Malik upbeat in spite of series defeat

malikPakistan captain Shoaib Malik is in positive mood, despite his team’s Test and one-day series defeat to South Africa, which he says will help them prepare for a tough Indian tour.

“We are disappointed to have lost out on a chance to win the series but the guys tried hard and we will learn from our mistakes for the Indian tour,” Malik said. “If anything it is good we lost because now we can learn and be better prepared for the Indian tour which is always a pressure one for us.”

Pakistan vs South Africa; Last Match Fixed?

Where there is South Africa there is at least the allegations of match fixing, if not the match fixing. South Africa team is the leading team in world cricket, which remains in the nefarious halo of match fixing allegations all the time, and their history is littered with these. Pakistani team has also got a rich history in this regard, and when they both play against each other, fingers get lifted at the end.

Pakistan choke in sight of victory

t’s South Africa who are normally weighed down by the word ‘choke’ but Pakistan did just that in the final stages of their run-chase in Lahore, freezing at the threshold of an important series win. The game was in the bag when 36 were needed in the last ten overs with six wickets standing. But Pakistan contrived to surrender the game in a display of late-order batting that was both panicky and reckless. The 14-run win showed the close nature of the series and it could have easily swung either way.

Lawson wants his players to get fitter

Pakistan’s cricketers need nine to 12 months of work to get to the fitness level expected of professional players, their Australian coach Geoff Lawson said on Sunday.

“They are really a group of good people besides being good cricketers. They want to do well and work hard,” Lawson said.

“But physically they are still nine to 12 months away from being as fit as they should be. They are that far away from being where they should be as professional cricketers.

“The players have responded well to hard training but what is frustrating for me most is we do some things really well and than we fall back.

Shoaib itching to bowl Pakistan to series win

akhterShoaib Akhtar is looking forward to return to international cricket with a bang and says that he is itching to help Pakistan beat South Africa in the final one-dayer to seal the five-match series at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore today.

“I’m fully fit and can bowl really fast in the match against the South Africans,” Shoaib told chief selector Salahauddin Ahmed after a practice session at the Gaddafi Stadium on the eve of the series-decided against the Proteas.

“Shoaib certainly looks in peak shape and we are all expecting him to bowl with a lot of fire tomorrow,” Salahuddin, a former Pakistan Test cricketer, told ‘The News’.

Smith expects his team to shine today

smithSouth Africa captain Graeme Smith on Sunday cast doubt on whether Pakistan will risk paceman Shoaib Akhtar in the decisive final match of one-day series on Monday.

Shoaib, nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, was included among Pakistan’s 16-man probable squad after serving his ban of 13 international matches for hitting teammate Mohammad Asif with the bat at the World Twenty20 event in South Africa last month.

“He (Shoaib) is short of cricket,” Smith said. “It’s the first game for him in a very long time so whether they will risk him or not in such an important game is the key, we will wait and see.

Pollock and Smith ensure series-levelling win

pollockA clinical South Africa levelled the five-match series 2-2 with a seven-wicket win over Pakistan in Multan. The visitors boosted their chances of a comeback by restricting Pakistan to 230 after the hosts decided to bat on a flat surface.

Following that, Shaun Pollock and Graeme Smith effortlessly outclassed the opposition with a match-winning 159-run stand after Herschelle Gibbs got the ball rolling. Pakistan failed to really fire with the bat and they completely fizzled in the field, putting all the pressure on themselves going into the final ODI in Lahore.

Kallis crucial as South Africa fight to stay in series

A pattern has begun to emerge in this engaging joust. Wickets look as if they’ll leak runs except they don’t. South Africa, setting or chasing targets, start well only to get bogged down in the face of Pakistan’ twin spin stranglers and in that middle period, the game is effectively decided. Pakistan have reduced it to this simple equation and if it comes off tomorrow, then considerable hope will have been salvaged from a series, and era, that stuttered at the start.

Hosts aim to seal series

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said on Thursday that paceman Mohammad Asif and spinner Abdul Rehman will undergo a fitness test on Friday (today) before the match to see if they were ready to join the team for the fourth One-day International (ODI) against South Africa.

Rehman had experienced a groin problem in the third ODI while Mohammad Asif had to miss the first three ODIs due to an elbow injury to his bowling hand.

Final ODI shifted to Lahore due to security concerns

The final ODI between Pakistan and South Africa has been shifted to Lahore from Karachi following security concerns raised by the tourists.

“The fifth ODI will now be played at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore on 29th October,” read a statement from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). “The venue was changed on the request of the South African team management.

“On the request of the PCB, the South African team management sent one of their security officers to Karachi yesterday who held meetings with various offices of the government of Sindh. Despite all assurances given to the security officer, he felt that playing in Karachi was not feasible for the moment.”