After an insulting loss in South Africa and ignominious show in the world cup, the Pakistani cricket team, which was also spited by the match fixing allegation, not to forget the death of their coach Bob Woolmer, along with the backdrop of doping scandal, was looking desparately for a win, which they at last got in a grand fashion, in Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on 18th May, 2007.
It was a run-away lovely madness by Shahid Khan Afridi, who in the 39th over by Bandara cut off the blood vessels of Srilanka with impunity. His innings enabled Pakistan to rush towards the target of 236, in special mode of command and authority. Pakistani fans at the stadium went crazy, while the fans at home, got a new life and many wept with gratitude. The love for the game surfaced again, and people started smiling again in the streets of Karachi, Lahore, Peshawer, Quetta, Skardu, Muzzafarabad and in every city, town and village of Pakistan.
Only players like Afridi could reach their half centuries in 22 balls, by scoring 32 runs in just six balls. He hit 2 bloody fours and 4 grand sixes betwee straight and point, and though his most of the shots were miscued as usual, but the luck was on his side, on that day, and he butchered Lankan attack. He was the man of the match with his electrifying 73 runs on just 34 balls with the strike rate of 214.70 runs. His 8 fours and 4 sixes are what would be remembered by Abu Dhabi for a long time to come. He even made Jayasuriya, the king of slog, flinched at number of times.
Shahid Afridi was well supported by Kamran Akmal, who after a nightmarish performances in some last months, have regained his confidence and remained notout at 51 runs with the 100 percent strike rate. Mohammad Yousaf started well but was bowled by Maharoof after scoring just 12 runs. Yasir Hamid, also failed again. One of the elements that received most attention was the opening stand. Everybody was talking about it. Salman Butt made his comeback in a good fashion and scored 34 runs. But the thing is that he always scores good in the first and last match of the series, and just sucks during it. He needs to change the history.
His partner Imran Nazir also started the aggression and scored 38 runs. One of the higlights of the evenings were the three most foolish and funny runouts in the Pakistani lineup. Salam Butt, Imran Nazir and the brand new skipper Shoaib Malik made a fool of themselves. In the Pakistani batting, the nice fielding and tight spin bowling by Srilankans kept the game balanced, till Afridi romped them.
Earlier, Srilanka scored 235 runs in their allocated overs. Except Farveez Maharoof and Chamara Silva, nobody did it right. Even Jayasuriya, Jayawardena and Tharanga failed miserably. Mohammad Asif, was so economical, McGrath would be proud of him. His economy was 2.60 in his 10 overs. Umar Gul took 3 wickets, but he was expensive with an economy of over 6 rus. Sami and Razzaq also took one wicket each.
Though, one may attribute the defeat of Srilanka to the absence of Muralitharan, Vaas and Sangakkara, the essence is that even they would be unable to stop Shahid Afridi’s wild and furious shots.More on:Abu Dhabi, asif, Cricket, Pakistan, run outs, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, srilanka, tharanga, Umar Gul, yousaf
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, May 21st, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Review.
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