Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pakistan Stun Top-ranked England to Complete 3-0 Whitewash

Pakistan defeated England in the final match of the cricket test series in UAE to complete a historic 3-0 whitewash.

Pakistani bowlers emasculated English batting throughout the series and won the third test by 71 runs in Dubai.

Pakistan won in spite of their relatively poor fielding and less than stellar batting which made them look very vulnerable at times. But the bowlers strongly reasserted Pakistan's dominance each time to bring their side back in the game, winning the first match in Dubai on the 3rd day by 10 wickets and the second match in Abu Dhabi by 72 runs on the 4th day by dismissing the entire England side for a paltry 72 runs. In the third test, the Pakistani batting collapsed with the exception of stellar performances by Younus Khan and Azhar Ali. Younus Khan found form and scored the first century (127 runs) of the series, and inspired Azhar Ali to surpass his score with the second century (157 runs) of the series. In a series dominated by bowlers, Younus-Azhar partnership of 216 runs was the best.

Recent wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and this latest victory against England have all been possible courtesy of Pakistan's formidable bowling attack, particularly the fine spin bowling by Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman who together claimed a record 43 scalps in the series. These Pakistani bowlers have more than compensated for the perennial weakness in the batting side.

The most fitting description I have seen of Pakistan's highly talented cricketers was in a recent Wall Street Journal piece by commentator Richard Lyons in which he called Pakistani cricket team "freakishly talented" and "the most resilient entity in the world". Just imagine what would Pakistan be like if these descriptions were also true of the nation's top civilian leadership as well.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Resilient Pakistan Triumph

Resilient Pakistan Defies Doomsayers

India-Pakistan Cricket Diplomacy

What Pakistan Did Right

Branchless Banking Responds to Pakistan Floods

Pakistan's Rural Economy Recovering

Pakistan's Growing Middle Class

Pakistan is Too Big to Fail

Obama on Cricket

Case For Resuming India-Pakistan Peace Talks

Pakistan Punish Aussie 2-0 in T20 Series

Afridi's Leadership

Pakistan In, India Out of T20 Semis

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


Shams said...

I guess tit was inappropriate to call them top-ranked after all.

Ramesh said...

Congrats Pakistan. Your team has improved a lot. Now only if your bowlers don't succumb to the temptation of money and become like those banned bowlers. We all understand that there is little money in Pakistan cricket, but still one can't be traitors

Riaz Haq said...

Ramesh: "We all understand that there is little money in Pakistan cricket"

Thanks to growing sponsorships by businesses, all of them live quite well, certainly a lot better than their predecessors anywhere in the world.

As to IPL, just look at what's it done to your Indian team. Lately, it's done nothing but brought shame to India.

Mayraj said...

Pakistan v England: Superb spin attack makes history with first whitewash against inadequate batting

Siraj said...

This is simply more than what we asked for, more than what we expected and more than what we imagined.

This kind of sustained discipline and team work is normally not associated with Pakistan. The whole Cricket world is buzzing with this extraordinary feat

The team does not have many big names but there was minimum politics and in house jealousy. It can be watched that they were enjoying and celebrating each other’s success

The bowlers really delivered out of the box. The difference from the past is that they kept nagging line and length and didn’t relent in their attacking game though catches were dropped, boundaries were hit and English tried to take the attack to Pakistan. Saeed Ajmal is no doubt the best off spinner around and after this series Abdul Rahman too will be counted as a world class leg spinner

The 200 + partnership between Younis and Azhar which changed the course of the game was almost a miracle. How can they play with such grit and determination under so much pressure, they came together when Pakistan was struggling on 28 for two. Younis started cautiously, he was not playing any of his shots including his trademark sweep but as he gained confidence and got the feel of the wicket he went on to play one of the most efficient and productive innings of his career. And how well Azhar Ali partnered with him. Azhar has time and again saved Pakistan from total collapse. His concentration and unhurried approach has brought a steadying element which was missing before.

This is really wonderful. Our nation has so many divergent ethnic and religious factions that it can’t come to any one agenda but Cricket is one exception. When it comes to enjoying the success on Cricket field, the feelings of men and women, young and old, poor and rich, corrupt and honest, Punjabis and Sindhis, Pathan and Baloochis are the same. They all enjoy and cherish the success of the national team.

My Allah bring more success to Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket !

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting op ed in Sri Lanka's The Nation on Pakistani cricket team:

Two years ago Pakistan cricket was in tatters. On top of not being able to host a single international team at home due to security concerns, a perception that has been there since the Sri Lanka cricket team was attacked in March 2009, Pakistan’s cricket image plummeted to its lowest ebb at the end of their tour of England in 2010 when they were beaten on the field and three of their cricketers including the captain were found guilty of spot fixing and condemned to serve jail sentences. It was perhaps the darkest hour in Pakistan’s cricket history.

Pakistan cricket needed a messiah to resurrect their fallen image from the eyes of the international cricket community and thereby emerged an individual by the name of Misbah-ul-Haq who took on the responsibility of captain at the age of 36 to steady the rocking ship and bring a sense of calm to an unpredictable team. Misbah’s unflappable temperament which shows in his batting and perhaps his degree in business management helped him manage and get the best out of his players. Not since Imran Khan won the World Cup for Pakistan in 1992 has there been a leader who could get the team to play together as a unit successfully.

The success of Pakistan with Misbah at the helm has been translated in no uncertain manner in the way they have gone about their business of winning. They have gone through seven Test series without a defeat. Unable to host international matches at home, Pakistan have made the United Arab Emirates (UAE) their home venue. A drawn two-Test series against South Africa (0-0) was followed by series victories over Sri Lanka (1-0) and England (3-0). Sandwiched between these series Pakistan won 1-0 in New Zealand, drew 1-all in West Indies, won 1-0 in Zimbabwe and won 2-0 in Bangladesh.
Their greatest triumph among all these wins was completing a clean sweep over the current ICC ranked no. 1 Test side England whom they comprehensively beat 3-0 for the first time. The win was described effectively by former England Ashes winning captain Michael Vaughan who said, “The better team won, that’s all you can say, Pakistan have been outstanding, they’ve been a unit, I’ve been very impressed by their professionalism, their unity in the field. England weren’t technically good enough, strong mentally, Pakistan have completely dominated with the ball. That’s been the story of the series actually, ball dominated bat.”

As much as Misbah and his players should take credit for Pakistan’s successes chief selector Mohsin Khan also deserves equal praise. Mohsin took on the role of interim coach of the Pakistan team last September when head coach Waqar Younis resigned for personal reasons. The former Test opener left his position as chief selector to help Pakistan to series wins over Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England.

Following his successful track record Mohsin showed interest in continuing as head coach on a permanent basis thus making it difficult for the Pakistan Cricket Board to replace him with a permanent coach Dav Whatmore with whom they already had talks during the England series. However the latest developments in Karachi indicate that the PCB has managed to convince the national team players to replace Mohsin with Whatmore.

Pakistan showed that they were made of champion stuff when they recovered remarkably after being shot out for 99 in the first innings of the third Test in Dubai to beat England by 71 runs and complete the whitewash, which was England’s first since officially becoming ranked no. 1 Test team....