Mohammad Irfan Pakistan World Cup 2015
Mohammad Irfan was tremendous with the ball for Pakistan in their ICC World Cup match against ZimbabweReuters

Pakistan finally notched their first win of this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, with a 20-run victory over Zimbabwe, but it was the kind of victory which, while giving a sense of relief to their supporters, keeps that sense of trepidation still very much alive.

The bowlers did immensely well to restrict Zimbabwe to 215 all out after putting up just 235, but it is that 235 which gives Pakistan and their fans a cause for concern.

Yet again, they failed to fashion a really good opening partnership; yet again Misbah-ul-Haq came into the crease with his team in serious trouble (this time 4/2); yet again they needed their skipper to shore up one end to ensure they reached a decent score.

Criticism of Misbah of late is just plain ridiculous, with most saying he eats up too many dot balls in the middle of the innings, which in turn puts too much pressure on the other batsmen.

Without Misbah, Pakistan would not get past the 100-run mark with this struggling batting lineup, and the same could have been said about Sunday as well. The Zimbabwe bowlers bowled extremely well, keeping a tight line, letting the pitch do its bit, with the African team also probably knowing the Pakistan batsmen would offer a few gifts as well.

Without Misbah to calm things down, and ensure his wicket would not fall at one end, there is no way Wahab Riaz would have been given the opportunity to smash a few in the final overs, runs which proved to be extremely valuable.

Pakistan's bowling ability always seems to come to the fore under pressure situations, and Mohammad Irfan showed his prowess yet again. If you haven't faced the 7ft and some more giant too many times before, you will struggle, and that proved to be the case as the Zimbabwe batsmen floundered.

Irfan is not just that giant bowler who bowls one line and hopes the extra bounce he generates does the job, you know; he is really intelligent, someone who knows how to use the conditions perfectly, and there was no better example of that than against Zimbabwe at the Gabba on Sunday, with those intelligent off-cutters doing as much damage as any other delivery

However, Irfan needed some backing up in this match, what with Pakistan only defending 235, and Wahab stepped up admirably in that regard with his own four-wicket haul, while Rahat Ali, playing his first game of the tournament, bowled really well as well.

Clearly, Pakistan's best chance of posting wins in this World Cup is to bat first and ask their bowlers to defend the total, irrespective of the score, and Misbah will hope he wins three more tosses in the group stages.

Zimbabwe, despite Pakistan's potent bowling, should have really gotten over the line, but their inexperience in the pressure situations against the big teams told in the end, and it is a lesson that they will hopefully take from this loss.

While the win is big for Pakistan, there is still plenty of work to do for the men in green, and if they continue to bat as bad as they have in this CWC, their dream of winning a second World Cup title down under will come to a crashing halt soon.

Get the Full Scorecard of the Match HERE

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