Saturday, 30 January 2010

Australia Champs, Pakistan Runners Up .................

Congrats to Australia and commiserations to Pakistan. I saw the whole of the Australian innings and was impressed by the new ball bowlers Bhatti and Butt up front. From 23-3 they were really in command. I was also impressed by the variety, economy and accuracy of the spinners in the middle over's especially the boy from Sialkot called Raza who bowled with excellent control and consistency and really exerted the pressure on the Aussies with his unique left arm spin. However, after the innings had concluded at 207-9 in 50 I feel asleep in the interval on my sofa ! I woke up suddenly, switched the TV and saw Australia take the final wicket and celebrate jubilantly. I couldn't believe they had lost as I was desperate and confident of a youth tournament triumph but it wasn't to be.

Nonetheless, Pakistan should have their heads held high. They have done brilliantly throughout the course of the competition and have picked up some top finds and positives to take away which suggests a bright future. I am sure many of these boys will become pro's and hopefully this is only the start of something bigger and more illustrious to come for many of these lads.

Although they were obviously disappointed , the under 19 team have done the nation proud unlike the seniors !! They have shown fight, determination, strategical planning, pressure coping, energy and consistency. This shows the future of Pakistan cricket is in safe hands. As long as we get these brainless board members out, we can rescue cricket and rescue Pakistan !

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Azeem's Side R Nearly There.............

Will Azeem Ghumman and Pakistan get their hands on the U19WC and consequently be the first team to win a hattrick of crowns :) :P ? This top achievement will need to be recognised and celebrated ! Certainly this game deserves much more attention that the last 2 ODIs at Perth, WACCA Ground.

Will Azeem join Khalid Latif and Sarfaz Ahmed on the winning captains list ? Saturday awaits us !

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Victory Of Youth..........

Monday 30th December was the day when Pak got optimistic of pulling of 252 with 7 wickets in hand. However, the dreams of such destiny were shattered in the opening over when Mitchell Johnson struck gold by dismissing Umar and Misbah with successive deliveries in identical fashion. Kamran and MoYo steadied the ship but before the lunch break Hauritz captured 2 scalps in successive deliveries by removing Kamran firstly stumped, beaten in flight and then Aamer in bat pad fashion as one just kicked out of the rough on a wearing 5th day surface for the simplest of catches. Rauf was bowled before the lunch break and it was the second over after lunch which sealed Pak’s fate as Hauritz once again captured 2 victims in the same over, the third time this sequence happened on the day. That was that.

The following test was a demoralising, heartbreaking and a visually destroying one because after Pak skittled Australia for 127, they ended up on the retreating end. It was looking beyond reality but was the eventuality. MoYo pathetic unjustifiable field setting along with Kami’s technical flaws deteriorated in the most unthinkable manner as Australia accepted an open invitation to get their heads back in the match and frustrate Pak with global embarrassment.

The series was over and the final test was a repetition of the first in terms of gradual cycle. Ponting regained his form like a demon and suggested why he was voted Wisden’s player of the decade. His innings and formidability underlined Australia’s ruthlessness when other teams fluff their chances as this defeat just accelerated on the woefulness of the already shambolic state of the PCB.

There was some hope that limited overs would bring back some confidence and form but as it stands it’s been a depressing episode of sheer humiliation as the series has been comprehensively concluded with Australia claiming the hounours 3-0. Now a whitewash becomes a frontline possibility and fear for the low moralised camp to dread.

However, the island a little further from the depression lies an abundance of hope, promise and emerging talent looking to establish themselves to the world at the U19WC. 30th January will be the date of the final and hopefully their phenomenal achievement and moment of triumph will put somewhat of an end and justify this month of depression and shambles in Australia with the most justifying, pleasing and satisfying manner labelled the – brilliance of youth.

We should support, recognise and acknowledge their performances, achievements and emergence because with their youthfulness and success, promises and ensures the future is much brighter. Unfortunately, the previous two occasions didn’t see a transfer of such ability and promise onto the international stage. However, in my enlightened perspective I feel that this tournament will see a grand breakthrough of a promising and prosperous future for a nation in desperation for sporting success.

This is why I feel this way:

1) Azeem Ghumman is a pro- active captain. Doesn’t look like captaincy material with his physique but he alternates the bowling and field setting well. Future captain of Pakistan?
2) Usman Qadir is a class act. He looks promising without too much exaggeration or favouritism involved due to his father’s image.
3) Hammad Azam is a mammoth prospect who has shown excellent nerves of steel to perform under pressure.
4) Babar Azam and Rameez Aziz look technically and temperamentally sound for international cricket in the foreseeable future.
5) 100% winning record represents consistency and professionalism.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Pakistan Beat India In U19 Quarter Final !

MOM Fayyaz Butt is below with the one and only. Above are the team that have done the nation proud !!!! Congratulations Mr Ghumman and team.

They now play WI in the semi final on Monday with the Final on Saturday 30th. I back them to win glory.

Here below are the highlights of the quarter final against India.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Pak U19 Group Stages Review

Blogger HR reviews Pakistan U19s success in the group stages :

The Pakistan U-19 world cup campaign is off to a great start with wins against the West Indies, Papua New Guinea and a last over thrilling victory against the Bangladeshi tigers. The architect of these victories has been none other than another Akmal but with a different second name, the star I am talking about is called Babar Azam. Babar Azam is the cousin of the Akmal brothers and plays as an opener who can bowl 10 overs of off spin. Babar averages a strong 46.72 in youth cricket for the 12 matches that he has played for Pakistan U-19s. The highlight of this young man’s fresh career has been the 129 he scored against West Indies in the opening match of the U-19 World Cup. Babar an aggressive opener required a mere 132 balls to get to the score of 129, the aggression seems to be the blood of the Akmal family. In the same match Babar was able to bag two West indies wickets while under pressure after the Caribbean openers set a good platform for the chase adding 120 runs for the first wicket, Usman Qadir broke the opening stand but it was Babar who wrecked the West Indian middle order sending 2 batsmen back to the pavilion for ducks, eventually ended up with a bowling figures of 2-35 after the big hundred he scored earlier in the day and won the man of the match award.

The second match was against Papua New Guinea where Usman Qadir shattered the batting line up of the minnows taking a bagful of 4 wickets sending their batsmen for one run less than a 100. Chasing a small target of 100 experimenting was Azeem Ghumam by sending Ahsan Ali to open instead of Babar Azam although it didn’t made much of a difference as Babar was in the crease the 3rd ball of the opening over after Ahmed Shehzad was sent packing for a duck, in the very next over the 2nd opener Ahsan Ali was back in the hut and Pakistan was dashed to 0 for the loss of 2 wickets. In comes Azeem Ghummam who along with ideal support from Babar Azam steered Pakistan to a comfortable position, Babar ended the match in style by being not out till the last ball of the match and scoring a good enough 40 runs.

The 3rd match was against Bangladesh, calling them minnows will be injustice to this extremely talented team. Batting first Bangladesh posted a challenging total of 250 after some economical bowling from Usman Qadir & Shahzaib Ahmed. Chasing the tricky total Azeem Ghumam avoided mistakes & sent the regular openers to start the chase, it paid dividend after both the openers added a century stand finally breaking on 104 after Ahmed Shehzad got out for a steady 52 from 95 balls. The hero of the match once again Babar Azam who had other plans, scoring 91 runs proved enough for a victory & a second man of the match award for this young emerging star.

Pakistan has now stormed to the quarter finals & now will have to play some more competitive cricket where they will be facing good sides and hopefully we will see some more promising performances from the stars of the future. Another emerging talent is Usman Qadir son of former test cricketer Abdul Qadir, after learning the craft of leg spin bowling from his father he has already won matches for Pakistan U-19 and he along with Babar Azam might become the find of the tournament, Danish Kaneria should start biting his nails & so should the Pakistani national openers. The 129 scored by Babar Azam is his highest score ever which just highlights the attitude of this youngster giving away his best effort on the big stage is a great achievement. Let’s hope Pakistan wins back the U-19 World Cup once again from the rivals India.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Who Is Better ?

This is why Afridi is better than kaneria:

1) Kaneria was a mammoth failure in ODI. True good bowlers or matchwinners can perform in any format or should be able to.
2) Afridi has more variety. He can bowl the leg break, flipper, googly, off break and quicker one. Kaneria hasn’t mastered the full repertoire like Warne or Qadir. But moreover, he doesn’t use his variation effectively and wisely whereas Afridi does. That’s why his change up/ variation is much more lethal.
3) Afridi is a lot harder to get hold of and hit for boundaries whereas Kaneria is much easier. Top order players have encountered difficulty when facing Shahid and tail enders have been clueless but with Kaneria tail enders can hit him for boundaries and read him well too often. Kaneria hasn’t got the ability to be ruthless against the tail.
4)Afridi can capture astonishing set of figures like that 6-38 vs Aus in UAE 1st ODI last year. Also, he has produced many matchwinning spells in T20. I can’t imagine Kaneria getting anywhere near that level of brilliance with his marathon spells in test matches.

Nevertheless, in despite on that Kaneria SR and average in tests are up there with the best. He has been labelled as a threat. He has got ambition so he can aspire to climb. He has got the skills and has dismissed some top players. He is also a hard working country committed player. But, surely he has to actually win more matches in order to be labelled as only one of Pak’s finest in TESTS ONLY. No way was he better than Mushy or Qadir as they were dominating and genuine matchwinning bowlers who played an instrumental role in many Pakistani victories. Stats can be deceptive one has to remember as they don't reveal the whole picture of one's ability which is the case in Danish’s position. He is above average, nothing above that. As for my opinion, I feel he is overrated.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

PCB Ki Fate.........................

I still can’t seem to get over the daunting and devastating defeat. The fact that they dominated the scene for 3 days but yet ended up on the losing side says something about their capability to collapse like no other sporting unit. We are now strongly facing the possibility of another Australian whitewash just like we did 5 years back. What an embarrassment that will undoubtedly be. But with the series more or less over and the final match being a dead rubber the PCB should make some drastic alterations for the better. We can’t accept results of such depression and hurt and further. As Kamran Abbasi says on pakspin, Pak cric is going through the most crucial period in its unpredictable history of ups and downs currently. Following years of unpredictability and international isolation it is a time of literally “make” or “break” for the cricketing passionate but starved nation. Hence, key planning and wise decisions from the authorities are essential. Lets hope our corrupt nepotistic board can turn a corner and use some wisdom at long last.

This is what I would do had I been in the authorities position:

1) Drop tinny butter fingers Kami. His flaws have proved so costly.

2) Sack the MoYo and appoint Shahid Afridi or even Salman Butt. Trust me Salman strikes as “captaincy material” in test cricket at least.

3) Drop Faisal and Misbah Ul Huq . Bring in Imran Nazir. Such a gifted counter attack player who could and will be an asset in the middle order for test cricket. He is an opener by trade but I can identify a talent and personal strength.

4)Play an all rounder. The team balance has been affected without. Rana, Razzaq or Yasir Arafat who could bat at no8 and of course bowl. The batting has lacked depth for sure which has come as a part downfall in both 4th innings chases. Instead the tail batted as if they hadn’t lifted the piece of willow before.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Shocking Pakistan :(

The test may have been a great advert for the game but this is just a piss take or confidence breaker for Pakistan. They came so close to a rare victory against Australia, it was literally out of the question for Australia to win during many points of the match but yet it was the eventuality. Yes, a heartbreaking outcome indeed. A depressing emotion is going through many supporters and rightly so. So much support and time is dedicated to the game and yet this is how the national team performs. Diabolical. Many from this point would have lost faith and interest and again rightly so. Even a minnow side wouldn’t have faltered from the day 3 overnight situation.

The field setting was absolutely the height of frustration for us (supporters). Cold headed logic. Just gifting the opposition an opportunity to get back in the game. Such a defensive unjustifiable tactic. This also, released the pressure off the batsmen. They were able to get settled and get their eye in with the simplest of ease. It was as if the score line was reading something totally different. Pathetic captaincy and even management from the coach or senior players. Didn’t they realise how fatal this whole episode was developing into? But even then, when some realisation was beginning to kick in the batsmen were settled and the more superior of the forces.

Furthermore, 3 drop catches from a professional wicket keeper is totally beyond acceptance. This was penalising agony, but this is not like the first time this has happened. I expect a change soon. Consolidating on the criticisms, Nathan Hauritz was made to look like a demon or emperor. He bagged another 4th innings 5 for. He bowled well and deserves credit but to be honest it was only orthodox finger spin. Such a poor method or controlling of instincts proved to be a downfall once again.

Nevertheless, many would have said that this is respectable defeat due to the matter of fact that Pak have taken 20 wickets and competed. But that is total nuisance. If one can’t push for a victory from such a commanding position, then how can they expect to win any other test? Therefore, this a daunting occurrence in terms of future reference. That statement may have been a respectable regarding had the game been a different more neck on neck situation but it wasn’t to be, instead Pak dominated for 3 days but yet ended up on the losing side. In that capacity, it is worrying. In fact, that is an understatement. It is demoralising, visually devastating and heartbreaking.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Today@The Test SCG 2010, 2nd Test, Day 1

We were all over the Aussies today. What a grand start to 2010. Hats off to the Mohammad’s . Ricky’s toss decision has partly payed the penalty. Once more he underestimates Pakistan. I doubt he will get away with it this time. But that as a sole reason for Australia’s below par performance today is total exaggeration. It was simply and frankly the brilliance of Asif and Sami’s bowling on what was nevertheless a decent track to bat on. After all professional batsmen should be able to perform on any given day regardless of the pitch and conditions. Well top batsmen can anyway which is what Australian’s middle order are said to be. Therefore, just the toss decision is a lame/pathetic excuse for the Aussies. They are just still not used to having dark days like these.

Sami bowled with good rhythm, pace and discipline. He has really poked back at his critics and once again shown why he was such a prospect when he emerged on the scene many years back. Imran Khan rates him highly and now we once again begin to realise why. Asif on the other, was also splendid. Incidentally, he made his debut on this very venue 5 years back when he was very expensive. But what a bowler he has transformed into now. Had he refrained from the extracurricular activities I’m sure he would have been up there with his sights on overtaking some record breakers. His absence from the arena has really upheld his capability in terms of stats.

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