Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pakistan Confirms its place in Semi Final

They went into the World Cup 2011 as the sixth best team, yet after the quarter final stage, Pakistan has emerged as undoubtedly the best side in the mega event. From a side that didn't have its main opening batsmen Salman Butt and opening bowlers Mohammad Aamir and Mohammad Asif, Shahid Afridi's men have come a long way by reaching the last four.

It is how they reached the last four that is more interesting. Luck deserted the West Indian skipper Darren Sammy as soon as he decided to bat first on the pitch where they bowled out Bangladesh for just 58 runs. Despite the inclusion of Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kemar Roach, the West Indians fell like a pack of cards when they batted. Not only were they unable to match the guile of Umar Gul but were bamboozled by the spin trio of Pakistan. Mohammad Hafeez opened the bowling - as well as the batting later - and kept the batsmen in check. He accounted for Devon Smith and Darren Bravo to finish with figures of two for 16 in 10 overs. Umar Gul's 7 overs cost him 13 and got him the prized scalp of the danger man Chris Gayle. Saeed Ajmal claimed 2 wickets for 18 runs on his return while Abdur Razzaq got one in his 3 overs. The show was ruled by the Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi who took his 4th haul of four or more wickets during the event to dismantle the West Indian batting as well as take his tally of wickets to 21, the highest in the tournament this year. He was instrumental in restricting the clueless visitors from the Caribbean to just 112, their third lowest score in the history of the World Cup.

Pakistan seemed like a changed team when it was their time to chase the modest target. Never a good chaser in one dayers, the two openers Mohammad Hafeez and Kamran Akmal stood still as if the very existence of Pakistan depended on them. They scored 113 runs without being dismissed, managing to keep the bad balls away and keeping themselves away from the good ones. For the first time in the history of the mega event, Pakistan defeated the former world champions by the margin of 10 wickets. They had lost 6 matches to them out of 8 before this match, but today they lessened the margin by batting with resolute and common sense. 

Mohammad Hafeez was declared the Man of The Match for his lion-hearted performance. He gave his best performance as did the other 10 members of the squad, and if they continue to do well, there is nothing in this world that could stop Pakistan from regaining the Cup that was once theirs!.

Source : The News

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