Friday, March 4, 2011

King Afridi Spins Out Canada

Pakistan 184 all out (Umar Akmal 48, Misbah 37)
Canada 138 all out (Afridi 5/23)
Pakistan Win By 46 runs

Phew! Glad that was over and done with! Everything Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi turns to, turns to gold! The enigmatic entertainer is invincible. Turning out to be unplayable in the CWC. He is breaking records and leading the way. Pakistan make it 3/3 and mathematically qualify for the knock out stages. 6 more wins to go........

His captaincy still has many limitations, but he has found that golden spark in his bowling to overshadow everything else. Misbah is doing a good job as VC and playing his part too. Younis is also helping out.

Great fighting effort on the field today. The team is generally in great spirits and unity which always helps the cause. However as Afridi said in the post match presentation, it is a wakeup call for the top order.

Afridi's figures so far in this 2011 CWC: 28-3-73-14. Average of just 5.2! On track for something big! First Player in CWC history to take 4fors 3 times in a row. The BoomBoom is on fire. Pleasure to watch. Well bowled captain sahab. You are in the form of your life when it matters most! The gun player is taking one and all by storm.

Legends are both present in Sri Lanka for the 2011 CWC. One as head coach and the other as expert/commentator. Hopefully, they have both been working hard with the pacers i.e. Akhtar, Wahab, Junaid and Gul and sharing their advice, tips and experiences. WW was a deadly combination in the 90s era.

Same attack + Akhtar vs New Zealand. One of the following will be dropped. You decide?
1) Hafeez
2) Shehzad
3) Kamran

I would drop Kamran personally and give the gloves to Umar Akmal!

Moment Of The Day

1) Afridi's delivery to the dangerous Rizwan Cheema where he totally fooled him. It was the googly which Afridi gave some extra air. Rizwan's eyes lit up to go for an expansive shot and in the process the ball turned back and sneaked through the gate to clip the top of the off stump bail. It was undoubtedly a special feeling and a great piece of thinking and variation which was applied at the killer moment in the match.

2) Wahab Riaz's outstanding catch where he made excellent ground diving forward. It also brought up Afridi's second 5 for in the World Cup within just 3 games, a feat which has not been achieved before by any bowler. It was also the 5th 5 wicket haul in Afridi's career with 3 coming against minnow sides. Nonetheless, records and records.

3) Wahab Riaz's yorker to remove the Canadian number 11. The left armer changed the trajectory and came round the wicket and fired in a missile full and straight angling into the right hander and uprooting the stumps. Afridi gave us a smile in admiration as a relieved man. The moment belonged to him.

Just to clarify with everyone Pakistan are the first team to reach the quarter finals. That is that. However, they still have 3 Group Games left and it is important they top the group too in order to carry the momentum forward and make full use of an easier route which they deserve having put themselves in such a great position so early on. Pakistan reach the QF Stages for the first time since the 1999 CWC. Well done Cornered Tigers!

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