I've been away for a few days and haven't watched much of the Australia - Pakistan ODI series, which Australia now leads 3-0 with two games to play. Pakistan have, as they did in the Test series, had their moments but have not sustained, or been allowed to sustain, their efforts.
In ODI#1 at the Gabba the margin was 5 wickets , thanks to a Cameron White century, in #2 at the SCG 140 runs as the Pakistan batting folded, while yesterday game#3 here in Adelaide a 40 run margin perhaps flattered Pakistan, whose top order batting was again inconsistent.
Disappointed as they must feel Pakistan do have something to look forward to in a broader context and in the immediate future: on Saturday they will appear in the Final of the 2010 Under 19 World Cup in New Zealand.
They will play Australia, who today scraped into the Final by virtue of a 2 wicket win against Sri Lanka : 8/206 vs 205. I watched much of the game on Foxtel (a pat on the back to them for telecasting it). The Sri Lankans looked finished at 5/32 but managed to recover to 205: not bad though not a matchwinning total it seemed. Yet Australia, who themselves looked brittle at 5/93 against a varied Sri Lankan attack (9 bowlers were used) , would not have passed it without Mitchell Marsh's 97/110b (12x4), Tom Triffitt's 50/70b (2x4) and, not least, some nailbiting moments as nos 9 and 10 negotiated 12 consecutive dot balls before seeing their team home.
A great game, and yet another demonstration of how good the 50 over a side game can be.
If you can watch the Final on Saturday: if it's half as good as today's game it'll be well worth doing so.