Saturday, 24 July 2010

Victory At Leeds Was Special

The victorious Pakistani team at Leeds

Pakistan have finally done it and it feels great!

They have beaten Australia in a Test Match for the first time since 1995!
They only won by 3 wickets in the end but all is well that end wells as Pakistan have historically managed to win a Test Match against Australia which means they square the series too which adds to the previous achievement prior to the Test Series of winning both T20 matches against Australia on the 5th and 6th of July respectively at Edgbaston. But undoubtedly and ultimately, the Test win is the one which matters the most! Its meaningfulness speaks chapters and chapters!

Salman Butt has started his captaincy career sensationally.

My series prediction of 1-1 in the Test Series came to perfection!

Now, the England series is about to commence at Nottingham on the 29th in the first of four Test Matches and now team Pakistan can look forward to it with some confidence, gained from an overwhelming victory against the world champions.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Astonishing Stuff At Leeds

Gul bowled out Michael Clarke as Pakistan were on fire!

Pakistan are well and truly in command of the second Test already! Having demolished the Aussies for just 88 runs, they are 148/3 at the close of play on day 1, giving them a first innings lead of 60 with 7 wickets in hand as both Umar's in Amin and Akmal are not out overnight!

It's been an incredible day of Test Cricket with Pakistan absolutely dominating proceedings throughout which was phenomenally pleasing for all us passionate Pakistani supporters!

Now the aim has to be to gain a considerable lead of around 300+ and drive home the advantage to win this Test and consequently square the MCC Spirit Of Cricket Test Series.

But as for now, one couldn't ask for anything better from a Pakistani perspective, surely?

I personally have a wonderful feeling that Umar Akmal will get a ton tomorrow! I back the talented youngster to shine at Leeds, weather permitting!

2nd Test At Leeds

Salman Butt, was Pakistan's best batsmen at Lords, now he is the skipper at Leeds, best wishes to him!

Having lost by 150 runs at Lords and Shahid Afridi immediately resigning from captaincy as a result, Salman Butt who takes over the reins will need his team to produce something special to square the series at Leeds, especially as they have lost the toss and are fielding first as well.

Australia have an unchanged line up whereas for Pakistan Malik replaces Afridi and the selectors have persevered with Farhat and Kaneria ,despite all the pre match talk that they may be replaced.

So that is that for now, it's time to rumble once more. Leeds, take it away!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

326 More..................................

With a further 326 runs required with 9 wickets in hand Pakistan are alive and very much in the contest! Salman Butt and Azhar Ali are presently both not out and were looking very solid in the evening session as Pakistan concluded day 3 at 114/1.

Why Pakistan Shouldn't Win This Test!:

1) It would be the highest ever 4th innings chase in the formidable history of the game
2)It would be Pakistan's highest chase in Test history and one may say how is that manageable with an inexperienced batting line up?
3)It would be the highest chase at Lords. Previous is 341 by WI.
4)Pakistan lack depth in the batting and the tail is usually more often than not hopeless, so if the match gets tense, Pakistan have limited ability!

Surely and inevitably history and logic is against Pakistan?

Nevertheless, we back Pakistan as ever and to conclude positively let me mention:.......................
Congratulations to Umar Gul for his 100th Test Match Wicket! He is the 14th Pakistani to reach the milestone!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A Glimmer Of Hope In The Bank

Pakistan's woeful batting performance stole the headlines of day 2 at Lords as Aussie opener Shane Watson claimed 5-40, 30 runs in that 40 of which came from our BoomBoom's bat and in the overall dismal 148 all out, an innings deficit of 105.

However, with Australia 100/4 at stumps and effectively 205/4, team Pakistan are still in the contest and they will take chasing under 300 to win, if anything it is improbable but it gives them something to play with nonetheless.

Overall, 15 wickets fell on an eventful rain interrupted day at the Home Of Cricket. Batting is extremely tough it would seem but its by no means unplayable and Pakistan should also feel in that way.

On the positive side of affairs, Salman Butt played gloriously with his sweet timing against the pacers and Shahid Afridi played with fearless intent and aggression for a 15 ball 31! Welcome back to Test Cricket captain sahab! Umar Gul's 2 successive wickets of consecutive deliveries has lifted the team and if they bowl well in tomorrow's early session and continue to take wickets regularly, they will be in with an outside chance as I once more optimistically conclude today's piece after a mixed day at the office!

http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan-v-australia-2010/engine/current/match/426394.html

A Good Day At The Office...........................

Asif was the star of the day for my point of view, he claimed 3 big wickets in quick succession and thrived in the English conditions to turn the game on its head!

Rain delayed the start of the historical Test Match at Lords but eventually play started at 12pm when Shahid Afridi won the toss and invited the opposition into bat on an overcast day. Mohammad Amir struck first blood when he bowled out Shane Watson cheaply as the Aussies went into lunch as 36/1 after 13 overs.

Ricky Ponting then went on to pass Brain Lara as the 2nd leading run scorer in Test Cricket but was then brilliantly caught at short leg by debutant Umar Amin of the bowling of Mohammad Amir as the Aussies were 51/2!

Simon Katich and Michael Clarke put on an excellent partnership and looked in top touch during the afternoon session. Clarke was playing some delightful shots whereas Katich was proving irritating to bowl to with his unorthodox batting method. However, after a partnership of 120, Mohammad Asif struck gold by dismissing the Aussie T20 skipper with an in dipper and Ian Gould raised the finger for an LBW on the brink of tea.

The 45th over of the innings was a sensational one from Asif and for Pakistan as Asif claimed 2 wickets with two real gems and suddenly the Aussie middle order collapsed. Umar Gul then came to the party and dismissed debutant Tim Paine with a leg cutter and Danish Kaneria found some form and rhythm and claimed the wickets of Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson with some high class leg spin bowling. Bad light finished the day's proceedings with Australia placed at 229/9 after 70 overs. An exceptional come back from Pakistan in the last session! Asif was voted our player of the day as his seam bowling triggered the Aussie middle order collapse.

We must not get ahead of ourselves folks as of yet, but the bowling in the last session was exceptional and has provided us with a really good opportunity in this match, hopefully this time we will make full use of it and consolidate on the superb platform that has been set. However, we all know how good Australia are at making the unthinkable a true possibility and how they can turn the tables with their self belief and fighting spirit.

http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan-v-australia-2010/engine/current/match/426394.html

Thursday, 8 July 2010

About Time For Pakistan To Win Some "Proper" Cricket!

Having won the T20 series 2-0 against the Aussies, the focus for Shahid Afridi's men now shifts to the longest and most challenging form of the glorious game, Test Cricket hello! Pakistan will have to be at its level best to stand any real chance and most probably will have to play out of their skins to win even 1 test match and therefore draw the series at the minimum. However, the T20 series victory has restored hope and lifted spirits and I believe Pakistan has the credentials to win a Test although it would be unlikely if statistical evidence is anything to go by. Australia have won the last 6 Test Matches against Pakistan and even when Pakistan played well, it just wasn't enough to overcome the dominant obstacle! Nonetheless, I have faith in Pakistan! Go Greens!

I have optimistically predicted a 1-1 series. I feel the Pakistan batsmen will hold the key as the bowling is already world class material and hopefully they can continue their good form. A lot will depend on Umar Akmal, Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik to some extent. Obviously dropping catches is unaffordable when you are playing a side of the calibre of Australia.

All in all, its very exciting times for Pakistan cricket and a very crucial time too. A win or even a draw would be a highly meaningful result at either Lords or Leeds. Once more, c'mon ya Greens!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Pakistan Win The Series 2-0

A fantastic and highly significant result for the tigers in Green

The support Pakistan had in Birmingham was overwhelming and great to see as Pakistan whitewashed the Aussies in the 2 match T20 series to kick start their busy summer of cricket!


Pakistan beat Australia by 11 runs in the second MCC T20 spirit Of Cricket match on Tuesday and by doing so take the series honours 2-0!



Once more Shahid Afridi won the toss and elected to bat first as Pakistan posted a competitive 162/9 in their 20 overs with Salman Butt top scoring for the home side, setting the visitors a rpo of 8.15 to win the game.

Australia lost wickets frequently early on to some aggressive fast bowling from Aamer and Akhtar. With 85 runs required with 7 wickets from 10 overs in hand; Australia bounced back and were looking favourites to win it before Shahid Afridi got two wickets in quick succession. Mike Hussey threatened to repeat the unthinkable in St Lucia for a while, but two LBW's went in Pakistan's favour and eventually a run out sealed the Aussies fate in the final over as Pakistanis went bezerk both over the net and in the ground, what a feeling it was to win a series against Australia and that being a whitewash too! Happy times, long may this continue..........


Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Highlights

Ball of the day: Mike Hussey departing with a snorting delivery from Umar Gul

Shot of the day: Umar Gul's sixer towards the end of the Pakistani innings. Umar Akmal's paddle sweep was also very delightful to view
Catch of the day: Afridi's one to get rid of the dangerous Cameron White in the 15th over when Aamer was bowling
Over of the day: The 11th over in the Australian innings in which Pakistan gained some much needed momentum. David Hussey was the bowler and 20 runs came of it as Pakistan ended up on 87/4 after that over had concluded. Warner's 5 consecutive boundaries of Akhtar's 1st was also very eventful and would be a well considered highlight from an Aussie perspective
Losers of the day: Shahzaib Hassan Khan, Akhtar, Michael Clarke
Best bowler on show: Aamer
Best batter on show: Undoubtedly, Umar Akmal......
Quote of the day:Waqar : "Umar Akmal is the Most Talented Cricketer I have seen in the last 15 years"

Monday, 5 July 2010

A Refreshing Outcome

English soil helped Pakistan to return to winning ways
A magical moment

Shahid Afridi’s men began their extended summer of cricket on a winning note following a registered 23 run victory over Australia on a scorching evening in Birmingham under a packed and electrifying atmosphere which was largely populated by the “home” team’s supporters. Not only was this needed for the sake of confidence going into events to come, but it was a highly refreshing sight to see Pakistan win a match against Australia after a miserable and what seemed an endless and continuous losing streak against the mighty rated World Champions.



Link:http://www.cricinfo.com/pakistan-v-australia-2010/engine/current/match/426392.html

Shahzaib Hassan Khan, the aggressive Karachi dynamite disappointed with a golden duck as did Shoaib Akhtar who plundered hopelessly. If Pakistani tendency is anything to go by, these two player's positions come under scrutiny for the next match.


On the promising side of things, Umar Akmal impressed once more and played exceptionally well under pressure to rescue Pakistan from 47/4 after blasting a 31 ball 64 which included 9 boundaries. The young tiger once more played a champion knock and really showcased his sheer God gifted talent. He played expressively and was a treat to witness from the naked eye.

With the ball Aamer got the breakthrough's at crucial stages and Umar Gul returned with a bang and revived his pace, consistency and firepower as a yorker expert. That sight of a Mike Hussey leg stump going cartwheeling was an incredible one for any Pakistani considering what the man had done to shatter our dreams on the 14th of May. It was sweet revenge to put it in simple terms. Ajmal also demonstrated his class and claimed 3 wickets as Australia were demolished for 144 all out in the 19th over when clueless Shaun Tait was stumped to an Ajmal doosra.

Pakistan now have an opportunity to win the T20 MCC Spirit Of Cricket Series today when they take on the Aussies once more in the 2nd and last T20 at Edgbaston. Go Greens!


Pakistan vs. Australia T20 Preview

Pakistan today commence their extended international cricketing season at Edgbaston when they take on the Aussies in the first of two T20's at 4pm GMT.

Pakistan have had a successful preparation campaign so far;beating the MCC, Essex and Northants with Shahzaib Hassan Khan and Umar Akmal stealing the headlines with their performances in particular. The team is looking strong and ready to take on the Aussies.


Against MCC:http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/engine/current/match/462605.html

Against Essexhttp://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/engine/current/match/426408.html

Against Northants:http://www.cricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/engine/current/match/426409.html

A photo match gallery of Pakistan in England taken by myself is available here on our very own fan page: http://www.facebook.com/Haroon.Umar.Akmal?v=photos&ref=sgm#!/album.php?aid=221147&id=191594347441

Today is a big and exciting cla$h especially when taking into consideration what happened on the 14th of May in St Lucia..Comeon you GREENS..... break this streak now!These Pakistan T20 match days now are becoming a special occasion for sure.

I have already voiced my verdict of a 1-1 series. However, Pakistan has the capability to win both matches which is obviously the result I want as a passionate Pakistani cricket supporter!

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