Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kiwis Dash Pakistan's ICC Trophy Hopes

Injury-hit New Zealand (234 for 5 in 47.5 overs) easily defeated favorites Pakistan (233 for 9) by five wickets in the second ICC Champions Trophy Semifinal match in South Africa today, bringing a sad end to Pakistan's quest for ICC Championship Trophy. After marginally losing to Australia on the last ball of the last match in group A a few days ago, this was Pakistan's second defeat in a row in ODIs leading up to the Final in Johannesburg.

While the young Pakistani bowlers performed well, the serious flaws in Pakistan's batting and fielding were on full display for all to see. On a decent batting track, Pakistani batsmen's lack of intent and self-inflicted wounds resulted in a very slow run rate and rapid of loss (throwing away) of wickets in their innings. The only bright spot in batting was the 19-year-old Umar Akmal, who fought back with a half-century. But just before the batting Powerplay, he became a part of a 32-for-5 collapse due to Simon Taufel's bad LBW decision against him. The other powerful display was by Pakistani tail-enders and bowlers Aamer and Ajmal who performed well as batsmen by putting on the last wicket partnership of 35 runs to take Pakistan to 233 runs.

Captain Younus Khan's crucial dropped catch, in particular, symbolized the failure of Pakistan's fielding against the well-disciplined New Zealand side. Younus fumbled the easy catch from Elliott when he was on 42 off 78 balls and New Zealand required 69 from 64, and only one four and two sixes had been hit in the preceding 21 overs. That drop, off Mohammad Aamer, came during an extremely tight period when New Zealand scored only 13 runs off four overs. With 59 runs required off the last eight, Vettori and Elliott called for the Powerplay, and with 10 and 14 coming off its the first and third overs, the pressure disappeared.

Looking back at the tournament, the only match where Pakistan side performed well was against traditional rival India, when they scored over 300 runs and limited India to less than 250. In all other matches, including the cliffhanger against Australia, Pakistan's lackluster batting and sub-par fielding continued to be a problem. In the only other match that they won against the weak West Indies side, they had serious problems responding to a very low score of 133 put on the board by the West Indian batsmen.

Younus Khan's interview that followed the match was very disappointing. There was no acknowledgment of responsibility for the loss, nor any understanding of the serious flaws on full display in both batting and fielding during the encounter with a relatively weak but disciplined New Zealand side.

Amidst this debacle at the ICC Championship Trophy matches, the best thing that was demonstrated in spades was the exceptional talent of Pakistani youngsters such as Umar Akmal and Mohammed Aamer, and relative newcomer Saeed Ajmal. These individuals offer great hopes for the future of cricket in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Vettori, Elliott Lead New Zealand to Final

Pak istan Crowned T20 World Champs

Malik , Yousuf Set Up Important Win

Cutting Sports Ties: Lose-Lose Proposition

S ports Draw Big Money, Megastars in India

Are Indians Rooting for Pakistan?


Maaran said...

if Saeed Ajmal is an youngster, then Riaz you have a mullet , LOL.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the biased and substandard umpiring in this match against Pakistan. According to 'The News', Pakistani coach and the umpires exchanged heated arguments during hearing conducted after the semifinal. Couple of deliberate decisions against Pakistan from umpires caused Pakistan to loose the match.

Unknown said...

@@@@@@@@@Couple of deliberate decisions against Pakistan from umpires caused Pakistan to loose the match.@@@@@@@@@@@@@

Oh ye, whenever you loose big time, you find fault with umpires, how cunning!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, it looks like there is no RAW-CIA-Umpire conspiracy. It looks like Pakistani players have betrayed their own country as they have done before, apart from losing deliberately to kick India out of the tournee. Hope to see some new Fatwas by Mullahcracy - see

Zen, Munich, Germany