Thursday, January 3, 2013

India Surrender to Pakistan on Home Turf at Eden Garden

"Bharti Sher Ghar Mein Dher" (India's Lions Collapse on Home Turf) was a GeoTV headline that aptly captured the celebratory mood among Pakistani cricket fans as Pakistan cricket team defeated arch-rival India by a wide margin of 85 runs to win the three match ODI series 2-0 at Kolkata's Eden Garden cricket ground. Many Pakistani fans saw it as a great new year's gift to lift the spirits of the nation in difficult times.

 Indian cricket team is the current ODI world champion. India is known to be hard to beat at home in one day international series. Australia ad Pakistan are the only two nations which have the distinction of winning ODI series against India on Indian soil.

Pakistan won big against India in spite of the poor performance of most of its batting line up which collapsed after a stellar opening partnership of 141 runs between Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed's 106 runs. Pakistan set a target of just 251 runs on a ground where average team score for first innings is 294 runs. It fell to Pakistani bowlers to defend this relatively small total of just 250, and they rose to the challenge. Junaid Khan bowled his heart out in an opening spell of 7-1-18-2, removing Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. Umar Gul came in to claim Virender Sehwag's wicket, and followed it up with the dismissal of Yuvraj Singh. Suresh Raina was tested with short balls before falling to Mohammad Hafeez's offspin. Indian batting line up collapsed from 42 for 0 to 95 for 5. Indian captain M.S. Dhoni was left battling alone, and again, he fought hard till the very end, turning down singles with the 11th man Ishant Sharma and hitting the odd boundary, knowing full well the inevitable defeat with rising required run rate.

 Here are some interesting stats from ESPN Cricinfo website:
  • In nine innings, Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed have added 760 runs for the first wicket with four century stands, Their average of 84.44 is the best for a Pakistan opening pair (min 750 runs added).
  • The 141-run stand between Hafeez and Jamshed is the seventh century opening partnership for Pakistan against India and the second by the pair against India.
  • The number of runs conceded by Saeed Ajmal (20) is the fourth-lowest by a Pakistan bowler in an innings against India (min ten overs bowled).
  • Jamshed scored his third century against India and his second in consecutive ODIs. Only four other Pakistan batsmen have scored more centuries against India.
  • Pakistan won their third bilateral ODI series (two or more matches) in India. Their last series win came in 2005 when they won 4-2. They have also won each of their four matches against India in Kolkata.
  • The 85-run victory margin is Pakistan's fifth-largest against India in ODIs in India. Only West Indies have beaten India in India by an 85-plus run margin more than once.
  • While the aggregate first-wicket stand for both teams in the game was 183, the aggregate for the remaining nine wickets was just 232. This is the second-lowest aggregate for the second to tenth wickets in India-Pakistan matches (all partnerships broken).
  • MS Dhoni's strike rate of 60.67 during his 54 is his lowest strike rate for a fifty-plus score in ODIs. His previous lowest was 65.90 during his 58 against Australia in Kochi in 2007.

Regardless of the result, I welcome the revival of this iconic sports rivalry with the hope that bilateral cricket will continue to be played with greater frequency and intensity for the benefit of the cricket fans around the world. 

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Top Ten Sledges in Cricket

Pakistan Breaks Australia's 34-Match Winning Streak

Wikileaks on India's Hawkish Policy on Pakistan

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


Anonymous said...

I am an Indian and I congratulate this Pakistan team for beating us comprehensively. Well done.

Indian team is going thru transition and this kick in the ass was necessary.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an AFP story on towering Pakistani bowler Irfan:

Glaring down at batsmen from a height of 216cm (7ft 1in), left-arm Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Irfan is a much bigger species than the original "Big Bird'', Joel Garner.

Human skyscraper Irfan towers over Garner (204cm) and is easily the tallest man to play international cricket.The product of rural Pakistan, who hails from the eastern Pakistan town of Gaggu Mandi, became a YouTube sensation after making his T20 debut against India in Bangalore last month.

Fans could not stop clicking on internet footage of Irfan charging in to bowl at Indian opener Gautam Gambir, 48cm shorter.

Sending them down at 145km/h and getting dangerous bounce, it is hard to fathom why 30-year-old Irfan is a relative rookie in international cricket.

He was working in a plastic pipe factory and playing park cricket before being spotted by talent scouts, who sent him to the national cricket academy in Lahore.

In 2010, Irfan played two one-day internationals in England as a late replacement for spot-fixing bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

Irfan turned plenty of heads with his bowling but was banished back to Pakistan domestic cricket when Shahid Afridi claimed his fielding wasn't up to scratch.

As with just about everything in Pakistan, his exact height has been a subject of conjecture with "estimates'' from the Pakistan Cricket Board putting it anywhere between 212cm and 216cm.

Irfan recently silenced speculation by insisting official measurements put him at 216cm. Australia's batsmen could run into Irfan as soon as June at the ICC Champions Trophy one-day tournament.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Riazhaq I have been ar ardent reader of your blogs but am surprised that when Pakistan is going through such upheavals you choose this topic. We need to discuss polio vaccination drive, sectarian violence, persecussion of minorities, power problems, insurgency in Baluchistan, killing of political leaders and aid workers, list can go and on. Cricket is the least on the nations priority list.
We need intellectuals like you to give us guidance like we have seen in many of your previous posts. Our country is on a wrong and a very dangerous path. We have external and internal threats. Many learned people are saying the country could get divided like Yugoslavia. We need to wake up, identify the problem, isolate it and terminate it.
Dr. Chaudary

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "I have been ar ardent reader of your blogs but am surprised that when Pakistan is going through such upheavals you choose this topic. We need to discuss polio vaccination drive, sectarian violence, persecussion of minorities, power problems, insurgency in Baluchistan, killing of political leaders and aid workers.."

You claim to be an "ardent reader" of this blog, and yet you don't know that I have been writing about and speaking on most of what you describe as "upheavals".

While covering the gamut, I try and avoid the standard media narrative that gives 95% of the coverage to the worst 5% of the Pakistan story.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET blog post on India-Pakistan cricket series coverage in Pakistan:

Most of the population in Pakistan has access to a television (of any shape or size) and the advantages that it comes with. One of these being, cable TV. In fact, channels that come from across the globe dominate our ‘viewing time.’

Amidst numerous entertainment channels, mainstream channels that are solely dedicated to sports are Star Sports, Star Cricket, Ten Sports, Geo Super, ESPN and PTV Sports.

While it may be argued that the best cricket coverage and analysis is provided by Super Sports and Sky Sports, we have to admit that they have become less accessible to the mainstream cable providers over the years, and are only available after additional payment for these channels, or alternate cable TV packages.

So watching cricket matches with top class coverage, especially with the current Indo-Pak series underway is a national concern, with cricket being a rare unifying factor in our society today.

A cricket starved fan will tune in an hour before the game starts, to listen to what the experts think, what factors they think will drive the game, and what decisions will be crucial for the captain.

It’s a fascinating hour before the game starts. Veins pumping with adrenaline, you’re excited and all geared up and you struggle to watch as many people as you can on various sports channels broadcasting the game.

Different channels employ different methods to present sports shows.

Retired cricketers, cricketers who are still in action, and senior sports journalists and analysts are employed to conduct match analyses. Although, sports analysts tend to change with every new series, sports channels have managed to associate themselves with specific analysts.

For example the Channel 9 team that covers all Test Matches in Australia: Tony Grieg, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappel and Richie Benaud; lovable and exciting, crazed enthusiast, opinionated and controversial, and a statesman, in the same order respectively.

The Geo Super team for the Indo-Pak series is Sikandar Bakht, Yahya Hussaini and Hamid Mir; they are producing a combined Pak-India Takra with an Indian channel where Kambli, Inzimam, Prabharkar and Sharma are present....

Saleem said...

This judgment of discarding the writ was more a political statement than a judicial .
Maulana qadri had made statements that showed that The Supreme Court has been in cahoot with him
and has endorsed his effort to delay the election. By this judgement the court clearly divorced Qadri's effort.
This could have been accomplished in many ways but this was the most forceful way to show that the Court
does not endorse Qadri's circus.
Hopefully, if the elections are held on time the question remains the likelihood that the same psychopaths and crooks
will come back to power and that is a strong possibility.

Riaz Haq said...

With just 1 run ODI loss to South Africa today , it could have gone either way till the last minute. Hope springs eternal. Be it cricket or life, pessimism is the ultimate kufr #Pakistan #cricket #SouthAfrica #odi Long live #Pakistan