Mohali: At some point over the next couple of days, Pakistan will come to understand just how close they actually got - with this side whom few gave a chance - to getting to a World Cup final. The margin of defeat looks comfortable enough but there wasn't a whole lot between them and India, ultimately, other than a safe pair of hands somewhere, anywhere in the field.
There are many frustrating ways to lose a game, let alone one as big as this, but few gnaw away at reason and rationality quite like those lost to dropped catches. In this age of the instant vent and search for a "match ka mujrim" (criminal of the match), Misbah-ul-Haq's innings is already being pilloried in Pakistan for its poor pacing. The reaction is misplaced and overdone, for the pitch wasn't given to fluent strokeplay, particularly after the ball softened, and there had already been some momentum-losing poor shots earlier from the openers.
Blaming the batting in any case misses the point. Pakistan are never comfortable chasers and 261, in a World Cup semi-final, at the home of the opposition is an entirely different kind of 261 from the ones they might chase down in a bilateral series in the UAE. The point is, they shouldn't have been chasing that much in the first place.