As if on cue, the rain started pouring in Eden Park as Pakistan took the final wicket of South Africa; sealing a much-needed if rather unexpected victory. After two comprehensive defeats and a generally unconvincing performance in the last four matches, Pakistan’s bowlers put in a sterling performance to drag Pakistan’s World Cup campaign back on track – living up to the oft repeated title of ‘unpredictable’.

Despite the title, there is a method to the madness; the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) constantly reshuffled its line-up in an attempt to find the right combination. Intense public criticism finally got through to the PCB, which had so far shut its ears to all suggestions. Sarfaraz Ahmed came in the squad in the place of the hapless Nasir Jamshed, and immediately repaid the confidence in him with a match winning performance. Sarfaraz took six catches in the match, most by a Pakistani wicketkeeper, and hit a crucial run a ball for 49 runs. Had Sarfaraz kept the wickets in the previous matches, they would have been much closer events, considering how the team has collectively dropped numerous catches. While this victory will inject a confidence boost and signal match winning capacity, woes still remain for team Pakistan. Apart for the consistent skipper, the batting line-up once again failed to click in, a fact that will be the deciding factor in tougher matches.

The title unpredictable reveals one thing quite clearly; while the Pakistan teams have immense potential to win any match, the national cricket board, whose job it is to convert talent into consistency, fails to deliver. As the rain started pouring, no man would have been as relieved as Waqar Younis, who had been under intense pressure; the victory lifted an intense burden from his shoulders. Perhaps one downside of this victory is that all the critical examination of the PCB setup and calls for change may be forgotten if the team progresses to the knockout phase. The need for PCB reform is as important as ever.