Catches win matches and should you put down catches, it will be extremely difficult for any team to win, especially when they are defending a low total.
Pakistan learnt this lesson today, and learnt it the hard way. The Asian team's World Cup hopes were dashed by Australia who creatively won the quarter final at Adelaide Oval and have entered the semi final. The co-host nation won the match by six wickets and 14 overs to spare.
Earlier, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The 1992 world champions were bowled out for 213 runs with a ball to spare. In reply, Australia easily chased down the total in 34th over.
Australia face defending champions India in the last four round of the 2015 ICC World Cup at Sydney Cricket Ground next week.
Misbah-ul-Haq's decision to bat first did not go in the favour of his side as they lost quick wickets. Both openers were back in the pavilion before the 10th over. Then, the skipper and batsman Haris Sohail tried to steady the innings, but the Australian bowling attack proved lethal as the bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals.
Pakistan also managed to pick three early wickets and for some time, the match looked well poised. Wahab Riaz bowled six overs on the trot and was bowling one of the best spells of this World Cup, during which Shane Watson was dropped on 4.
Watson and Steven Smith then put on a brilliant partnership before the latter was dismissed for 65. Glen Maxwell, who was also dropped very early in his innings again off Riaz's bowling, remained unbeaten on 44 along with Watson (64) and ensured a massive win for Australia.
Had Pakistan held on to the dropped catches, things could have gone in Pakistan's favour and who knows, they could have ended up entering the semi final round.
Josh Hazlewood was awarded the man of the match for his brilliant bowling figures of 4/35.
Michael Clarke's side will now face India in the semi final of the 2015 ICC World Cup at Sydney Cricket Ground next week. The defending champions have been unbeaten in the tournament so far and the clash between the cricketing giants, will definitely be an exciting contest.