Saturday, January 29, 2011

3rd ODI Reaction: Pakistan Win =D

A memorable scorecard indeed.

Sorry for the lateness of the reaction guys! I stayed up for the whole game, but immediately had many things to do once the match had finished so couldn't afford to get carried away too much! Obviously I am absolutely overwhelmed as I am sure you are with today's 43 run victory at Christchurch to level the series with 3 to play in due course. We all should be really pleased for Mohammad Hafeez aka Professor for reaching his maiden ODI century in his 61st appearance. Finally he reaches the magical all important 3 figures which will do a world of good for his confidence, especially with it coming in a winning cause. He deservedly received the MOM award.

Shahid Khan Afridi demonstrated his unique nature today which made great viewing. When he fires with the bat like we saw today, he has the capabilities to take any attack to the cleaners and become a true world beater. Never has one doubted that. Although it may only happen in rate proportions, when it does happen, it feels so damn good. Well played BOOMBOOM. That was a breath taking 65 from just 25 deliveries which absolutely dominated proceedings. Nonetheless, I reserve my judgement about him NOT being the best man to lead Pakistan as our chances of success and playing more consistently are significantly easier under a more cool and composed figure. However, individually we must give utmost credit where its due and if the team performs like they did today and makes the equation straight forward, then his mediocre captaincy limitations can be compensated for.

Additionally, the skipper bowled beautifully. He beat the bat on numerous occasions and his variations were coming out really nicely. One can only hope that he has regained his effectiveness and venom in the bowling department which could be a key factor in Pakistan's World Cup prospects.

Umar Akmal also came to the party which was a refreshing sight. His 29 ball 44 helped the innings acceleration at the death. His involvement in the field was fantastic with 3 cool catches and one crucial outstanding run out which probably sealed New Zealand's fate. Pakistani fans and followers can only hope this young tiger has re-discovered his international cricketing brilliance after a sparkling display today. Is this the Umar Akmal we all know? The star teenage attraction which took the world by storm in 2009?

Credit also has to be given to the middle order anchor role stability Misbah Ul Haq provided. Not every player in the team has to be a match winner and we have to notice the contributions of structured methodical players and the underappreciated significance they bring to the team. Misbah played a significant hand and engaged in an important partnership which battled through the potential difficult patches. This enabled the big star power houses to play with freedom, positivity, intent as soon as they arrived at the crease rather than them being exposed earlier in the piece where things would not have been easy without a platform set where they could unleash.

Pakistan will now be looking to consolidate on the good work by winning 2 of the next 3 ODIs which are to be held on the 1st,3rd and 5th of February respectively and subsequently win the series too. Will this thrilling tour come to a series decider on the 5th at Eden Park? Watch this space and watch out for the cornered tigers!

Good News: Pakistan's premier spinner Saeed Ajmal will be fit and fully available for selection in the 4th ODI. He is a key part of our plans. It's important they draft him into the starting line up somehow. Squad rotation perhaps?

Cool and collective Umar reminded us of his outfielding usefulness


  1. good innings by afrid,akmal,hafeez

  2. Well to start with, I think Hafeez was the key in Pakistan's inning at the top of the order; as if a team wants to post a big total, one of the guy in top 4 has to have a decent knock and the script of 3rd ODI was perfect. Hafeez staying in there taking his time whilst YK and Akmal playing silly shots to get out and Shehzad was just unlucky as he got a good ball.

    We must appreciate Misbah's role and not blame him for batting slow as he played his part by helping Hafeez stabilise the innings after quick wickets which allow our lower order like Umar and Afridi to free their arms with no mercy.

    Great to see Gul back in form as we all know he has his ON and OFF days but today he was special alongside Wahab and Tanvir. Afridi and Hafeez bowled well, showing we dont need an extra spinner on a non-turning wickets and overall that helped us as even our number 11 Sohail Tanvir could bat! :o

    Go well Pak and good luck for the rest of the series :)

  3. Excellent analysis Kallerz.

    This is one of the problems of Pakistani fans, fail to consider the bigger picture and don't acknowledge performances which are not match winning. We all know how good Razzaq, Afridi and Umar can be in the last 10 overs so if Misbah occupied the period between 20-35 overs going along at a steady rate and keeping wickets intact, he can actually maximise their effectiveness. He played a key part.