The second ODI in Kingsmead, Durban between South Africa (SA) and Pakistan marked a ruthless return of positively charged Pakistanis. They not only succeeded in beating SA in this match but also did it with a bang. The un-predictable Pakistanis didnt give even a shade of a respect to the fact that an average target at Durban didn’t pass even 300 runs and posted a formidable and redoubtable score of 351, batting first.
Pakistani fans were waiting for the kick-off of this match with a heavy heart and shattered hopes. They were angry and rightly so because of what happened at Centurion couple of days ago. But nonetheless as diehard cricket fans they are, they waited for the match. Inzamam-ul-haq didnt try anything “smart” after winning the toss and robotically opted to bat.
When the openers came in, the first good news was the absence of Mohammad Hafeez and the first bad news was the presence of Kamran Akmal. To add insult to the injury, Kamran was yet again opening for Pakistan. Shahid Nazir was a treat to watch. He attacked SA bowlers like a cornerd cheetah. Fireworks began with his first brilliant stroke of excellence. His firepower with a touch of brainpower was like a balm for the souls of Pakistani fans. He set a tempo and Younis Khan after so many years showed that somewhere deep inside he has got conscience to earn the billions of rupees he has got from the tax payers of this country. Though his shots werent as spectacular as of the rest of Pakistani batsmen, he managed to get extremely useful 93. More importantly, he didnt strangled Pakistan by getting out early.
Then came the ‘Dulha’ of Pakistani batting, Mohammad Yousaf. When he struck, it stayed struck. He ridiculed the speed of Ntini. He devastated the dicipline of Pollock. He tamed the aggression of Andre Nel. Kallis even forgot to mess with him anymore. The centurion Yousaf played it traditionally with his famed lazy elegance. Did I mention Inzi got run out 40th time and this was his 75th involvement in any run out? That runout was a fly in the ointment.
Then came the most controversial Pakistani “cricketer” ever. In any given match, you can’t justify his inclusion and you can’t justify his exlusion. If he carries on, one wonders, who can possibly leave him out of the team in his right mind? and if he throws it away (which is often the case), one wonders, Is he a wise choice? Anyway, he nailed the coffin of SA in this match. What he did to Ntini by playing his ball on fine leg in very unusual ways was a revelation to everybody. What he did to Andre Nel by teaching him the definition of aggression was very educational for SA. What he did to other bowlers was atrocious and would be sadistic if discussed in detail.
Yours (perhaps, but certainly not mine) Rana Naved proved again with his lame, bland and ugly bowling that he is what they say a misfit. Mohammad Asif was again the pick of the bowlers. Abdul Razzag looked as tired as expected. Azhar Mahmood didnt get much of a chance to show that he is really a serious contender for world cup, may be in the next match. Fielding was as poor as ever. But all is well that ends well.
The point all Pakistani fans are raising is that consistency is the name of the game. We dont want this kind of performance in just a single game, we want it most of time, if not every time against every opponent. We want our team to win, and if our team loses, it should go down fighting.More on:Abdul Razzak, Andre Nel, Azhar Mahmood, Imran Nazir, Makhaya Nitni, Mohammad Yousuf, Mohammd Asif, Pakistan, Pakistan in South Africa 2007, Shahid Afridi, South Africa, Younis Khan
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, February 9th, 2007 and is filed under General.
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