Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pakistan In, India Out of the T20 Semis

Call it sheer luck. Or unexpected reward for the final desperate bid to stay. The bottom line is that defending champions Pakistan have squeaked through to the semifinals after defeating South Africa in the T20 Super 8 group E match at the Caribbean island of St. Lucia yesterday.

Earlier loss to New Zealand by a single run on the last ball of the Super 8 match may have helped Pakistan in achieving a better net run rate than New Zealand overall. But what finally did it was the expected defeat of the Kiwis at the hands of the English team. If the Kiwis had won against England and collected two points, Pakistan would have been packing up to return home today. Australia and England, both unbeaten so far, remain at top the groups E and F.

India were knocked out of the semis today after losing to the Sri Lankan team in a thrilling contest which the Lankans won by a massive six hit by CK Kapugedera on the last ball of the match. The Indians put up a brave fight but it was just not enough to go through to the semifinals this year. Sri Lankans now move on to the semis after the host team West Indies lost to Australia in the final group F match.

Pakistan made a bad start against Proteas with their top batting order falling quickly, but Umar Akmal's brilliant knock of 51 runs with four sixes helped them in putting up a respectable total of 148 runs for 7. Umar was well supported by his brother Kamran and skipper Afridi who batted well against spin bowlers in building up the score in the second half of Pakistan's innings. Pakistan's superior spin bowling attack and much improved fielding allowed them to defend a fairly unimpressive total by dismissing South Africa 11 runs short at 137 for 7 in 20 overs.

Pakistanis will now face the formidable Aussies in the first T20 semifinal on Friday. Australian appear to be the favorites to snatch the title from defending champions Pakistan. Being one of the most talented but unpredictable sides, it is quite possible that Pakistanis will succeed in retaining the T20 world championship.

Here are the video highlights of Pakistan-South Africa Group E match:

Related Links:

Pakistan Beat India in South Africa

Kiwis Dash Pakistan's ICC Championship Hopes

Pakistan Crowned World T20 Champs

Pakistan's Aisamul Haq Beats Tennis Great Roger Federer

1 comment:

Riaz Haq said...

Sad end to an exciting semifinal Pak-Australia match at St. Lucia.

Pakistan set a big target of 192 for Australia.

Pak bowlers removed Aussie top order quickly for a modest score of 105 for 5 after 13 overs when Michael Hussey walked in.

Aussies still needed 22 to win after in 20th over.

In the end, Aussies held their nerves and won with Hussey's three massive sixes and a four in the final over against Pak spinner Ajmal.

A good lesson for Pakistani cricketers in mental toughness under pressure.