Friday, October 12, 2012

Gangnam Celebrations For The West Indies

Written on 08/10/12
There is a huge sense of joy for West Indies amongst the cricketing circles as they have been in the doldrums for a while. This triumph could see the spark of a revival in West Indies cricket and the world game will be all the better for it. They have a reputation to pride on and build on with their invincible test side of the 70s and 80s. With all the turmoil, disputes and internal problems they have faced it’s pleasing from a neutral perspective to see them smiling, dancing, singing aloud and enjoying each other’s company.

Darren Sammy has taken plenty of stick with his bits and pieces cricketer tag, questions regarding his place and usefulness in the side, but even after triumphing as a world cup winning captain, he doesn’t take it out on anyone. We could certainly do with more characters like him. As a leader he is tactically astute, knows how to get the best out of his players, keeps the side together and is now letting the results do the talking.

Marlon Samuels played a brilliant hand yesterday night in Colombo. West Indies got off to a shaky start, but he absorbed pressure, counterattacked, backed himself & took one of the finest fast bowlers in this format to the cleaners. He is one of the most watchable and versatile players in the world game and was instrumental last night and throughout the tournament & that’s evident with him being named in the side of the tournament today for his consistent contributions.

Your 2012 WT20 Playing XI?

World T20 2012

Mine is

1) Chris Gayle
2) Shane Watson
3) Mahela Jayawardene (C)
4) Kumar Sangakkara (WK)
5) Marlon Samuels
6) Luke Wright
7) Yuvraj Singh
8) Lasith Malinga
9) Saeed Ajmal
10) Ajantha Mendis
11) Mitchell Strac

Notable omissions: Brendon McCullum, Kohli, Narine, Finn

West Indies on the rise
ICC emerging player of the year 2011 was a West Indian
ICC emerging player of the year 2012 was a West Indian
IPL 2012 player of the tournament was a West Indian
They have comprehensively defeated New Zealand in all forms of the game at home (8-1)
They drew an ODI and T20 series at home against Australia
During the year they had a batsmen number 1 on the test rankings at Chanderpaul
They indisputably have the best Twenty20 player in the world aka Crystal Gayle
Asian Cricket Looking Healthy
Sri Lanka have featured in 4 WC finals in the last 5.5 years
Pakistan is the highest ranked Asian test side & Asia Cup winners
India are holders of the ODI WC and U-19 WC

In both the 2009 and 2012 T20 final the score was 0-1 after the first 5 balls, 4 dots followed by a wicket

In both the 2007 and 2012 T20 WC the first delivery of the tournament went to the fence for 4

Both of the previous 2 winners of the T20 WC have won it after hosting the previous one
In 2009 and 2012 the winner of the final lost the super eight game against the same opposition
West Indies only won 3 of their 7 matches in conventional style, including the semi final and final

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Truth

The Good
Mohammad Hafeez concluded with the highest run aggregate
Umar Akmal had the highest batting average, only dismissed twice in 6 matches, averaging in excess of 60
Saeed Ajmal unsurprisingly had taken the most number of wickets
Raza Hasan was the most economical bowler on show, going at under 5 after bowling 15 overs
Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik both held on to 3 catches each which was the most in the field
Nasir Jamshed scored half century more than once and was the only one to do so
Imran Nazir made the highest individual score
Saeed Ajmal claimed the best figures in a single game
 The Bad
Shahid Afridi only claimed 4 wickets in 6 matches & 8 matches if you include the warm-ups as well. In the 6 matches he averaged 6 with 30 runs for 5 dismissals. If you include the warm-ups as well he averaged 5 runs with 35 runs for 7 dismissals including 4 1st or 2nd ball dismissals. Prior to this, Afridi averaged 3.5 in the ODIs vs. Australia. Afridi did not hit any sixes in the competition and only managed 2 4s in the match vs. New Zealand with no further boundaries coming off his bat in the following 5 matches
Kamran Akmal was dismissed for below 5 runs in 4 of his 6 innings in the tournament and averaged below 13 for the tournament
Umar Gul had a higher batting average than Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi
New Zealand match = Nasir Jamshed
Bangladesh match = Imran Nazir
South Africa match = Umar Gul
Australia match = Raza Hasan
Warm Ups
India match = Won by 5 wickets
England match = Lost by 15 runs
Main Event
New Zealand match = Won by 13 runs
Bangladesh match = Won by 8 wickets
South Africa match = Won by 2 wickets
India match = Lost by 8 wickets
Australia match = Won by 36 runs
Sri Lanka match = Lost by 16 runs
Wins by World T20
2007 = 5/7
2009 = 5/7
2010 = 2/6
2012 = 4/6
Leading performer by tournament
Most runs = Misbah ul Haq
Most wickets = Umar Gul
Most runs = Kamran Akmal
Most wickets = Umar Gul
Most runs = Salman Butt
Most wickets = Saeed Ajmal
Most runs = Mohammad Hafeez
Most wickets = Saeed Ajmal

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 Magic

 We started the year in total unexpected fashion by whitewashing the colonial father in the longest, truest and premier form of the game. Shortly after, we were crowned ODI champions of Asia on a great night in Dhaka on the eve of our national resolution day. Now we are just 2 matches away from regaining our status as T20 World Champions. This would be a special and unique feat if we achieve this as all-rounders across all forms of the game. Regardless, 2012 will go down as arguably Pakistan’s best ever year in all seriousness.
 2010 was the darkest year in Pakistan cricket, 2011 was statistically our greatest in terms of number of matches won in a calendar year and now 2012 is something else all together with some major record breaking team achievements. It’s not easy following and supporting the Pakistan side when controversies follow the team like a shadow, making the these moments of triumph all the more significant and another one could be just around the corner. Full marks to the captains, players, backroom staff members and supporters for making 2012 a special one for Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket. Long may it continue as the willow and leather sport is an area of pride and identity for the 65 year old nation.......
1982, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011 come to mind when talking about great years in Pakistan Cricket, but 2012 is on a different level

Stats Round-Up Ahead of Semi-Final Clash

Pakistan have played Sri Lanka, 9 times in this format winning 6 and losing 3

Pakistan has a 2-1 record against them in T20 WCs

Pakistan has a 2-1 record against them in T20s played in Sri Lanka

Pakistan is the only side to reach the final 4 of the World T20 in all 4 editions. Australia and Sri Lanka are next in line with 3 appearances

Sri Lanka have only beaten Pakistan once in WCs (WCs and T20 WCs)

Shahid Afridi has been awarded Man-of-the-match in 3 Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka

In all of those man-of-the-match awards Afridi has scored a half century with 3 of his 4 half centuries in this format coming against the Islanders

Pakistan has won 16 out of 25 WT20 matches

Pakistan has a 38-23 record in their favour across all internationals played in this format since their debut in Bristol 2006

Mohammad Hafeez has only lost 3 in 10 Twenty20 internationals as captain

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have met in 20 internationals over the last year with Pakistan winning 9, losing 6 and 4 tests were drawn with 1 ODI having a no result

When Pakistan and Sri Lanka played in the 2 match Twenty20 series in early June, both teams won 1 each with the side batting first successfully defending fewer than 150 at Kandy

Dav Whatmore was coaching Sri Lanka when they triumphed in Lahore in 1996. He’s know coaching Pakistan when they are 2 wins away from triumphing in Colombo 16 years later.

When they last met at an ICC world tournament, Pakistan won in Colombo on Saturday 26th February 2011 by 11 runs with Shahid Afridi being adjudged man-of-the-match for a 4 wicket haul.

Pakistan in ICC men’s tournaments since 2007 WT20

2007 World T20 = Finalists

2008 Under-19 World Cup = Semi finalists

2009 World T20 = Winners

2009 Champions Trophy = Semi finalists

2010 Under-19 World Cup = Finalists

2010 World T20 = Semi-finalists

2011 World Cup = Semi-finalists

2012 Under-19 World Cup = Quarter Finalists

2012 World T20 = At least semi-finalists

Barring the recent disappointments of the junior side in Townville, Pakistan have reached 8 semi-finals in ICC tournaments over the last 5 years