Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Australian Perspective T20 WC Preview

Australia men's squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Tim Paine, Steven Smith, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, Dirk Nannes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Shaun Tait.

Australia have an exciting, entertaining and mouthwatering squad! David Warner is a T20 specialist left hand opener who has got the ability to play a breathtaking knock and dominate bowling attacks. A lot will be relying on him following his resounding success in the format. He has captured the imaginations of kids everywhere around the globe. Shane Waston had a formidable Aussie summer with the bat. He also played an instrumental role in RRs success in the IPL especially in the first version. An ever developing impressive cricketer and if he repeats the way he has batted in recent times we could be in for a treat watching this spectacular opening combination unleashing their mayhem on the world stage!

Bowling wise, the pace really strikes ones eyes, might remind an old folk of the golden age when pace was a lethality and at its potent promising peak. The depth in batting is another, this is an important and necessary aspect for T20 in particular. People like Lee, Johnson and Hauritz have got a bit of a reputation as a handy valuable batsmen too!

In the previous World Cup Australia were down and out very early. They were eliminated in the preliminary stages following defeats to West indies and Sri Lanka. One would have thought that this would make them more determined and hungrier this round, they want to prove a point that they are and can be a top T20 team as well. They did nevertheless manage to find a place in the semi finals in the inaugural event held in RSA 2007 before being defeated to India and the heroics of Yuvraj Singh, the nation that went onto win the competition. I feel 2010 might just be their year!


Key Player:David Warner
Strengths:Pace options. Very fast bowling attack. A rarity in modern day cricket. LEE, TAIT, JOHNSON, NANNES........ , aggressive openers, fielding, depth in batting and bowling....
Weaknesses:No quality/experience in spin options...
Prediction:Winners ( I would like to say Pak ideally but don't see it happening. I hope I am proven wrong ! )

Monday, 29 March 2010

T20 WC Preview, Indian Perspective

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla, Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma







India were the 2007 champions in the inaugural event held in RSA. They should have done much better in 2009 but didn't manage to find a place in the semis. They have "matchwinnes" in their line up especially with the bat. Players like Sehwag/Dhoni/Yuvraj can thrive in the format and of course the dangerous Y.Pathan who is having a sensational IPL and has discovered this amazing six hitting ability.

Bowling wise Ishant Sharma should have been selected, his absence has dented the overlook of the Indian bowling attack. Praveen Kumar can be effective with the new ball, can move it both ways. I would personally say he is their strike bowler. H.Singh maybe a mouthy arrogant and brainless like person at times, but at the end of the day is a world class off spinner. He will be expected to be India's premier spin option. He will be supporterted by a variety of alternative choices including Jadeja, a good and ever developing slow left armer as well as Yusuf Pathan who is a useful and reliable operator when the ball in his had. Yuvraj Singh can't be forgotten or ignored either, he is more than useful. India have an abudance of choices and quality ones too in the spin department, a key aspect in T20 cricket as one has become increasingly aware of!

Overall, I expect India to reach the semis at the least and be a challenging force in the Caribbean. They feature in the same group as Afghanistan and RSA in the initial stages.

Key Player: Virender Sehwag
Strengths: Batting and Spin
Weaknesses: Fielding
Prediction: Finalists

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Predict the IPL Semi Finalists 2010

We are now well into the competition. Some teams have already played half their group games. This thread is an opportunity for bloggers to voice their verdicts. Lets see who is the best pundit and gets them all right! Whoever does will have their name announced in a thread nearer to the climax stage of the 3rd edition event.

Have fun and get thinking!

Maz Ka Verdict Hai

Rajasthan Royals
Mumbai Indians
Royal Challengers Banglore
Delhi Daredevils

Thursday, 25 March 2010

18 Years On................



Imran Khan led Pakistan to glory in 1992 down under! The "Cornered Tigers" became a hero from zero!

Today is 25th March - the anniversary of the day Pakistan won the WC in 1992 at the MCG in front of a packed crowd vs England..................


Scorecard Link For The Final: http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65156.html

Semi Final Scorecard Link :http://www.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65154.html



The moment of the day for me was Wasim Akram's gem to Allan Lamb

Perfection!! Hit the top of the off stump against a top order batsmen!! What a sight for a fast bowler!! What a moment that was!! Literally unforgettable!!

Mushtaq Ahmed's googly to Hick was another!! Trapped him as Hick didn't pick it!!

I wasn't around when this happened either but have watched footage repeatedly.

18 years on Pakistan finds itself in a mess both from a sporting and political perspective....................

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

PakDay Cup Results

Pakistan A won the PakDay Cup 2010. A well organised event by the PCB.

Here are the links for the two scorecards:


Match 1 Playoff (Pakistan U19 vs Pakistan A): http://www.cricinfo.com/pakdomestic-09/engine/match/452940.html

Final (Pakistan national team vs winner of play off-Pakistan A) :http://www.cricinfo.com/pakdomestic-09/engine/match/452941.html

Congrats to Hafeez and his side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Most significantly,Shahid Khan Afridi has officially been announced as Pakistan's captain for the T20WC. This has brought a lot of happiness and hope amongst Pakistani fans and supporters and rightly so. Imran Khan, the voice of Pakistan cricket also wanted Shahid Afridi to lead Pakistan because he is attacking, energetic and aggressive. A logical and idealistic choice at the end of the day from the PCB.

Talking of Imran Khan, here is his messsage for 23rd March 2010



Sunday, 21 March 2010

What A Match At The IPL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.cricinfo.com/ipl2010/engine/current/match/419121.html

CSK tied with Punjab Kings !!!!

Punjab Kings won the superover and have subsequently registered their first victory in IPLIII !

This is a much fairer way of settling a match in case of a tie than a bowl out. Much more application and skill required.







By Maz

Pakistan still on top in T20 Wins



(Please click on the table to enlarge)
Despite all the controversies & problems surrounding Pakistani cricketers, they still top the number of wins in T20 matches. Lets hope they carry on there T20 form in the World Cup as well and hopefully defend there title.

HR

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Pak Day Inter T20 Comp



23rd March is remarked as a nation holiday in Pak. The PCB this year are holding a T20 event on the day where two matches will be held at the Gaddafi stadium. The first of which is a Pakistan A vs. Pakistan U19 clash. The winner of this match plays the Pakistan national team , the champions of the format in a final. This is a good way to celebrate Paks T20 success, afterall they are world champions (that status of course might not stand for too longer!!)

Here are the squads
Pakistan: Salman Butt, Khalid Latif, Misbah ul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Muhammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Asad Shafiq.

Pakistan A: Imran Farhat, Shahzaib Hassan, Muhammad Hafeez (captain), Hasan Raza, Aamir Sajjad, Kamran Younis, Sarfraz Ahmad, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Abdul Rehman, Omair Khan.

Pakistan U19s: Azeem Ghuman (captain), Babar Azam, Ahmad Shahzad, Ehsan Ali, Ramiz Aziz, Hammad Azam, Mohammad Waqas, Sarmad Bhatti, Raza Hassan, Usman Qadir, Muhammad Naeem, Anoop Ravi, Shahzaib Ahmad.


PS:No captain has been announced for the national team !!


It should be eventful, entertaining and exciting. The winner is inevitable, but lets see who perform and impresses ! The matches are being televised on GeoSuper. If anyone has a link they could share that would be highly appreciated. Or if anyone knows where highlights are or recorded of the matches please share. Thanks in advance.
By Maz

IPL Round Up

Teams M W L PT
Royal Challengers Bangalore 4 3 1 6
Mumbai Indians 3 2 1 4
Chennai Super Kings 3 2 1 4
Deccan Chargers 3 2 1 4
Kolkata Knight Riders 4 2 2 4
Delhi Daredevils 4 2 2 4
Rajasthan Royals 4 1 3 2
Kings XI Punjab 3 0 3 0

For a clearer version visit : http://www.cricinfo.com/ipl2010/engine/series/418064.html?view=pointstable

Here is a video of a match RCB comprehensively won against RR by 10 wickets. All the wickets in the match are shown in this video, including a Praveen Kumar hattrick, simply a top bowling exhibition on the whole by RCB. I enjoyed Anil Kumble getting his opposite number Shane Warne, what a moment !! I admire both players.






By Maz

Monday, 15 March 2010

Yesteryear

Its been 3 years since the Irish humiliation in the CaribbeanWC. That was unarguably the lowest moment in Pakistan cricket's eventful history....

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2007/3/13052/html/scorecard.stm

A sickening scorecard

This was followed by the death of the great Bob.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Interesting T20 Stats

Interesting T20 Stats

-Ross Taylor has taken the most catches at international level of 19 in 27 matches, best tally of 3

-Yasir Arafat has taken the most T20 wickets at all major cricket with 90 scalps under his belt

-Brad Hodge has scored the most T20 runs at all major cricket

-Gibbs has the most T20 international ducks of 4

-Misbah Ul Haq has the highest batting average of 46 (over 20 games)

-Sialkot Stallions have the most consecutive wins in T20 cricket with 24*

-Yuvraj Singh has hit the 2nd most T20 sixes of 35 in 16 innings at international level. Also, holds the record for the fastest 50 off 12 balls

-Brendon MC has hit 38 sixes at international level, the highest. He has also hit the most fours of 98.

-Kamran Akmal has taken the most dismissals at international T20 cricket of 30 in 26 innings

-WI have conceded the most extras in an innings of 29 in 07WC vs SA

Chris Gayle has hit the most sixes in an innings of 10 at international level in 2007. At all major levels the record is held by Graham Napier of 16 in 2008

-Brendon MC has hit the highest individual score of 158 for KKR in 2008 at all major levels

-Andrew Symonds holds the record for the fastest century in 34 balls at all major levels

-Sohail Tanvir has the best T20 figures of 6/14 at all major levels

-There have only been 2 centuries and 3 5 fors at international level. 117 for Gayle in 07WC and one recently by Brendon MC. There 5for is from 5/6 for Gul in 09WC as well as Sammy recently against Zimbabwe.

- Brendon has hit the most 50s in international T20 of 7

-Highest international T20 score is 260/6 by SL vs Kenya 07WC

- Umar Gul has taken the most international T20 wickets of 43, followed by Shahid Afridi of 37

-Brendon MC has has scored the most runs in international T20

- Yuvraj Singh has also taken 2 T20 hattricks at all major levels

- The Wanderers in SA has staged the most international T20 matches of 18

Latest Flying Stumps Montage

The Timeline of Decline:

The Timeline of Decline:

This is the story of Pakistan cricket from the 2007 World Cup up until today.



2007 World Cup.
• The 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean was where it all started in my opinion.
Ireland produced one of the greatest victories in cricket's rich history by beating Pakistan on St Patrick's Day amid unbelievable tension in Jamaica. Reported BBC
• The very same night saw the tragic death of one of the greatest faces in the game of cricket Bob Woolmer, his death is still a mystery that marked the beginning of a decline for Pakistan Cricket.
• Another tragedy that we witnessed in the 2007 world cup was the sad retirement of then Captain Inzamam Ul Haq, the day will be marked as a great loss for Pakistan Cricket.

Geoff Lawson & Shoaib Malik Era
• An array of hope was sensed when Shoaib Malik successfully led the team to the final of the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007.
• The very same year Pakistan lost some of its great talent to the Unsanctioned Indian Cricket League, these included some of the top performers like Mohammad Yousuf & Abdul Razzaq with the former never seem to recover from the setback he faced during the controversy.
• Shoaib Malik was shown the gate after a period of bad form & poor captaincy that led to Younis Khan being appointed as the new captain, Younis worked with Geoff Lawson for a short spam until October 2008 after which Lawson was released by PCB.
• Intikhab Alam the veteran & perhaps the most successful Pakistani coach was appointed for the job.

Mumbai attacks & attack on Sri Lankan players
• November 2008 saw the tragic Mumbai attacks, who would have thought it would influence cricket in Pakistan so badly after which teams from all over the world refused to travel to Pakistan due to security concerns.
• But the always supportive & brave Sri Lankan cricket team toured Pakistan for a test series dismissing all security threats. March 3, 2009 saw one of the most terrible days in the history of cricket when the Sri Lankan cricket team was cruelly attacked by terrorists fortunately the players escaped with minor injuries but that led to the cancellation of the tour and Pakistan loosing the right to host the 2011 ODI World Cup, many lives were also lost in the attack.

Short lived celebration World T20 title
• Pakistani cricketers were ignored for the second season of the IPL2 perhaps a blessing in disguise.
• Then came June 2009 and against all odds the men in green won for there wounded nation the 2009 ICC World T20 title.
• Immediately after the triumph in T20 World Cup saw the return of Mohammad Yousuf and one thought that things are getting better and better, but when Pakistan toured Sri Lanka they were comprehensively beaten in the series, a series where on many occasions Pakistan lost after being in a winning position

Pakistan white washed
• Due to problems with the PCB Younis Khan opted out of the test tours of New Zealand & Australia. Mohammad Yousuf was appointed as the new captain.
• Pakistan was able to draw the test series in New Zealand but was thrashed by Australia in the tour down under, a white wash of 9-0 was least expected.

Top players banned & fined
• An Inquiry committee was set up to find out the reasons of defeat and resurrect Pakistan cricket, on 09th March 2010 the inquiry committee concluded & decision was made to give life bans to Mohammad Yousuf & Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik & Rana Naved were banned for one year, Akmal brothers & Afridi were slapped with fines. The decisions were met with mixed reactions from the public & former players. In my personal opinion the players did not deserve these severe punishments.
• 11th March 2010 rumors emerge that Chief Justice of Pakistan is to overturn the Ban on Pakistani cricketers & Ijaz Butt makes a U-Turn saying he never banned the players for life.

Whatever it may be one can only hope for the best, during this period of 3 years there has been moments of respite. But then again mostly it is followed by controversies & disappointment for the fans & the nation that loves the game.

HR

Monday, 8 March 2010

Cricket is Still Alive in Pakistan

Sialkot Stallions have once again created history by winning the RBS T20 Tournament for the 5th time in a row. Around 30,000 fans occupied the National Stadium seats with hundreds pondering on the rooftops and outside the stadium trying to get a piece of the action, whereas millions watched from the comfort of there house. Who would have expected this much attendance for a domestic tournament in Pakistan. The star studded Stallions were clear favorites before the beginning of the tournament, the reason behind was the inclusion of 7 International Pakistani cricketers in the team. That is a little too much for a domestic team and once again they proved it by showing there dominance in the countries most competitive T20 tournament. Some adjustments are definitely required to be done in constituting the squads of these teams.

Faisalabad won the toss and elected to bat first, it took 1 ball for Mohammad Asif to warm up as he blew away the stumps of Asif Hussain on the 2nd delivery of the match. Then came in the most recent acquisition of Sialkot Stallions Abdul Razzaq who had just severed ties with his home team Lahore Lions. After being demoted by the Lions Razzaq was happy to move to the powerful team of Sialkot Stallions, after all who doesn’t want to be a champion. Abdul Razzaq showed his worth throughout the tournament and was one of the major reasons for the dominance shown by Sialkot Stallions. In the final match Razzaq was able to bag two important early breakthroughs that sent Faisalabad tottering into deep trouble with 3 wickets down and just 19 runs on board. The trouble never seemed to cease and eventually Faisalabad ended up with 109/9 thanks to two little cameos by the in form Mohamad Hafeez and Captain Misbah Ul Haq. All of Stallions bowler were disciplined and got fruit for it, Asif ending up with figures 1/9 off 4 overs at an economy rate of just 2.25 was simply outstanding considering it was a T20 match.

Sialkot started the chase in an aggressive manner when Imran Nazir hit the first two balls for a six & a four. Wanting to hit the 3rd Ball out of the National Stadium Karachi Imran Nazir was caught by Asif Hussain at cover only slimming his chance of selection for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the Caribbean. Rana Naved was promoted to number 3 position due to his form with the bat but also took the credit of running out his partner at the other end making it to 18/2. Stallions were never found in trouble up until Shoaib Malik’s dismissal when they were sent to 56/4. The always reliable Razzaq kept a cool head and ensured that Stallions reach a comfortable position. The Sialkot Stallions became champions for the 5th time in a row with 3.3 overs to spare and 5 wickets remaining.

Abdul Razzaq was declared the man of the match for his all-round performance whereas Mohammad Hafeez was declared the Batsman of the series for his outstanding form throughout the tournament, Hafeez was stupendous in making a statement to the chairman of selectors for the openers position in the upcoming T20 World Cup. The failure of Imran Nazir who was just able to score 54 runs at an average of 13.50 in the 4 innings that he played has definitely set out an alarm in the heads of the selectors and there might be a contest between Mohammad Hafeez & Imran Nazir for that opening position in the National side, statistically & honestly speaking Hafeez deserves that spot ahead of Imran. Naved Ul Hassan surprised with the bat as well by becoming the second highest scorer in the tournament just shows the class of the opposition bowlers in the tournament that Sialkot had to face. Aizaz Cheema won the award for the best bowler in the tournament by taking 11 wickets in four games. Saeed Ajmal was second to him who had a great tournament and was able to grab 9 wickets at an economy rate of just 4.25 which is exceptional in T20 Cricket.

There has been talk in the PCB of replacing and possibly expanding the current RBS T20 tournament with Pakistan Super League where foreign players might be included. Monetary awards are expected to be bigger. The negative aspect being the tournament might not be held in Pakistan, as we are well aware of the security concerns shown by foreign players. The success of RBS T20 2010 might have definitely given second thoughts to the PCB management, nevertheless this tournament has proved that Cricket is alive in Pakistan.

HR



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