Lots have changed since these two arch rivals last locked horns. India has gained a lot, while Pakistan is on continuous decline. Influx of new talent who delivers is turning Indian team into a formidable young outfit, whereas Pakistani affairs are stagnant, when it comes to the inflow of new talented players. To add insult to injury, Pakistan is under the shades of every kind of bad news from match fixing to doping to team fights.
Shoaib Malik, the young Pakistan skipper won the toss and hastily went to grap the white ball at Kingsmead, Durban. The decision was obvious and logical, as the rain-soaked wicket was seemingly ideal for the pacers. Indians showed little brilliance in their batting, and Mohammad Asif took full advantage of the conditions. He bowled wicket to wicket, and was the pick of the bowlers. He snatched away 4 initial wickets in his four overs by giving out 18 runs.
Gautam Gambhir and Veru Sehwag proved hopeless in front of Asif’s majestic ball hurling and went out cheaply. Robin Uthappa made thrilling 50 runs on 39 balls with two flat sixers and 4 well-timed boundaries on 39 balls. He was the highest scorer from Indian side. Yuvraj spooned-up a simple catch to Mohammad Asif after making a single. Asif was looking like Glenn McGrath re-incarnated. He meant business that day. Only after the completion of his spell, things started to look somewhat hopeful for Indians.
Karthik also didnt sell anything worthwhile, and after hitting two stylish boundaries succumbed to Asif. MS Dhoni played with aggressive calculation, and scored 33 on 31 balls with 1 grand six and 3 fours. Irfan Pathan also contributed his 20 runs, which included 2 sixers. When India was through, Pakistan was looking at the not-so-hard target of 142, but you know Pakis are unpredictable.
Salman Butt again failed miserably. Though he stroked one or shots quite impressively, but all in all he struggled. His opening partner was just pathetic, and instead of playing any cricket, he stood there swinging his bat, wildly. Indians played a little with him, and then got rid of him in disgust. Salman Butt was playing like a low-scoring ODI, and made 16 runs on 25 balls, while Imran Nazir managed to beg 7 runs. Younis Khan would never learn, no sir, its sure. First he contributed in the runout of Kamran Akmal, who was looking better as the time was passing, then he himself gloved the ball to his stumps. It’s amazing that he everytime finds a more humiliating way to get out of the ground.
Shoaib Malik was as callous as ever. He came, practised a litte, managed to score 20 runs, felt that enough is enough, so he lofted a simple catch to Pathan. Shahid Afridi’s slogging once again failed royally. Misbah-ul-Haq, the old man, ignited the hopes of Pakistan with his blistering innings of 53, but it would always remain a mystery that why did he didn’t open his wings earlier on. When on the last two balls, Pakistan required only 1 run to win, he missed a ball, and then on the second got run out. Match was a tie, but India took it based on over all performance.
If Pakistan really wants to stay in this short and agile world cup, it has to play with more passion, seriousness and do the hard work.More on:Gautam Ghambir, India, Irfan Pathan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammad Asif, Pakistan, Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Twenty20 World Cup, Virinder Sehwag
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2007 and is filed under General.
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