Friday, April 1, 2011

The 10 Best Pakistani Performances During The 2011 World Cup

1) Wahab Riaz 5/46 vs India in the Mohali Semi Final

It was the biggest match he would have ever played in. It was a school boys dream. On a humungous day in Mohali the former Aitchison college pupil stole the headlines and captured the attention with his splendid left arm fast bowling exhibition. It was a mixture of skill and character. It was an admirable performance on the big stage. The legendary left arm great Wasim Akram was delighted for him and was regularly singing his praises during his commentary stints. One cannot emphasise the brilliance which was witnessed from the pacer. The figures undoubtedly speak for themselves. A champion made his mark on the world.

2) Hafeez's 2/16 and 61* vs West Indies

The professor was the star of the show as the West Indies crumbled in Dhaka during the 1st quarter final match up. It was an outstanding all round performance from the opening batsmen and bowler in this instance who wrecked the West Indies with his credentials. He dismissed 2 left handers LBW during a 2 wicket maiden in the 6th over. He bowled exceedingly accurately and economically with his nagging trajectories. His bowling totally squeezed the opposition which earned him his full quota. Only going at 1.6 rpo certainly provides the picture. He followed this up with a beautiful well complied 61* to see his side over the line wicketless. His timing and placement was really pleasing to the eye as the professor regularly pounced on any given opportunity to find the gaps. It was an innings which included 10 boundaries. Consequently Pakistan emphatically marched into the semis and the professor virtually did it all by himself. Everything he turned to was converted into gold as he fired like an invincible prince during a do or die circumstance.

3) Misbah's 83* from 91 balls against Sri Lanka

This was Pakistan's highest individual score during the tournament and it was fittingly coming from Pakistan's highest run scorer, senior batsmen and vice captain during a monumental winning cause at the Premadasa against a well regarded side playing on home turf. An excellent contribution from the responsible cricketing braininess who lead by example and carried the bat when the situation required. An effort worth recognising.

4) Afridi's 4/34 against Sri Lanka

Defending 277 Pakistan's captain who had taken an astonishing 5/16 in the previous match against Kenya once more came to the party against a relatively strong batting line up in a tense match which was interestingly poised in Colombo after a brilliant first wicket stand from the Lankans. He claimed wickets at regular intervals with his variations and guile. During the process he also reached the milestone of 300 ODI wickets and that came with the dismissal of his opposite number and one of the most prolific run scorers in the tournament in Kumar Sangakara.

5) Umar Akmal's 44* against Australia

After sitting out of the match against Zimbabwe Umar returned to the side on the 19th March to take on the Aussies in Colombo. Coming into bat at number 6 after two consecutive dismissals there would inevitably have been tension and nerves jangling on the youngster but he expressed himself with his flair and flamboyance including some superb shots against the ever fighting baggy greens. He successfully saw his side over the line and concluded on 44*which ensured Pakistan broke Australia's 34 match undefeated streak in World Cups that day. He was given the MOM award during the post match presentation ceremony.

6) Afridi's 5/16 vs Kenya

In Pakistan's opening match of the tournament the skipper stole the headlines by running through the Kenyans. He bowled with accuracy, control and confidence and had somewhat found that magical spark to his bowling once more in doing so. It was a record breaking performance from the enigmatic personality as he claimed his 4th 5 wicket haul on the 23rd of February.

7) Afridi's 5/23 vs Canada

Defending just 184 Pakistan required wickets and the skipper led from the front by single handily turning the game on his head with his uniquely canny in form leg spin which left the associate nation absolutely puzzled and answerless. Afridi had 14 wickets in 3 matches after claiming his 2nd 5 for of the tournament as he led Pakistan to a 46 run victory which kept their position at the top of the Group A Table at this moment in time.

8) Afridi's 4/30 against West Indies

After grabbing on to an excellent catch at Mid Off to dismiss Chris Gayle the talisman once more produced a match winning spell of bowling in a crunch match. This included dismissing Pollard and Thomas in consecutive deliveries during his 27th over as his side dismissed the West Indies for just 112. This added to his tally as Boom Boom Mania dominated proceedings.

9) Gul's 3/30 vs Australia

After taking on the responsibility with the new ball Umar Gul produced the goods and bowled exceedingly well against the defending World Cup champions. He bowled with purpose, intent, firepower, control and accuracy. Having been awarded a Grade A contract the pacer raised his performance when it mattered to claim his 3rd consecutive 3for as Afridi's men bowled out the Aussies for just 170 odd.

10) Shafiq's 46 against Australia

Having notched up an unbeaten half century to guide his side over the line against Zimbabwe in his World Cup debut the Karachi middle order batsmen followed this up by performing against the big boys. He looked compact, tough and in full command at the crease as he played some elegant shots off the blade. Unfortunately he felt agonisingly short of another half century but one cannot take away the maturity and class he demonstrated during his stay at the crease.


  1. great take maaz-as always well written-maybe id have include ahktar's delivery that got mahela jayawardene too