Pakistan vs South Africa: Team green chase the dream

Published: March 7, 2015

Team green celebrates Rahat Ali's (C) wicket during the Pool B 2015 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan at Eden Park on March 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Team green celebrates Rahat Ali's (C) wicket during the Pool B 2015 Cricket World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan at Eden Park on March 7, 2015. PHOTO: AFP Wahab Riaz bagged the last scalp of Imran Tahir. PHOTO: AFP Rahat Ali celebrates after removing the dangerous David Miller. PHOTO: AFP

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and the unpredictability of Pakistan’s cricket team. Most of Pakistan does not even expect this team to beat Ireland, let alone South Africa, arguably the best cricket team in world cricket.

Not only did we do that, we managed to defend a score of 222. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see AB De Villiers alone to score that against us.

Judging by our team’s performance in the past few matches, it seems like the only thing restricting our team was Moin Khan’s late rendezvous to the Australian casinos.

The nation woke up with the best possible news – Sarfaraz Ahmed was in for Nasir Jamshed. The campaigns to raise funds to bring Nasir home were partially successful.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

My only regret was that the Nasir Jamshed Twitter parody account would not be as active.

The other news was not this fortunate. Younus Khan was in for Haris Sohail, the conspiracy theorist in me believes that Younus tripped him in training just to get into the team.

With Sarfaraz in the team, we got our best opening start in this World Cup. Not that that is too much of an achievement, considering the cumulative scores of Youns and Nasir in all the previous matches do not even reach double figures.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

Even when the wicket fell after a blinding catch by Dale Steyn, Younus looked like a batsman reborn. It did not make the run out with Sarfaraz any more excusable but at least we were looking like an international cricket team for once.

Misbahul Haq and Younus were nice enough to allow the entire nation a breakfast break by ensuring there was no excitement while they were on the crease together.

The inevitable Pakistan batting collapse almost makes you long for their mundane and boring partnership.

The collapse made all of Pakistan repeat all their duas for rain. Kids in Tharparkar were wishing for rain in Auckland rather than Thar.

Misbah was still holding fort, so at least all of us could blame everything on him.

Shahid Afridi’s batting served as a perfect metaphor for my sex life. One strike and he was out.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

The rain restricted the innings to 47 overs; honestly, we would have rather had it restrict the innings to 40. Somehow, we managed to crawl to 222.

A fighting total as all clichés go but honestly, a total you would never expect to defend against South Africa.

Pakistan got the perfect start with the bowl with De Kock playing just like his name but Hashim Amla looked good at the end. Once again, Mohammad Irfan looked on fire; he also fields like he is literally on fire. With Nasir out of the team, the amusement factor in the field was provided by Irfan.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

There were no favours by Amla on his Muslim brothers. If he cannot play for Pakistan, the least he can do for the Ummah is not to score runs against us.

Full credit to our bowlers, and Misbah’s captaincy – we kept bowling well and taking wickets. Only Pakistani cricket fans could be this ecstatic, and surprised to see a wicket keeper taking catches. Sarfaraz ended up with six catches behind the stumps. For all the girls out there, know that he is a keeper.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

South Africa did well to keep up their reputation as ‘chokers’. They even Misbah-ed their captain in their attempt at impersonating our batting line up.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

No Pakistani cricket fan was confident in Pakistan’s chances till De Villliers was on the crease. De Villiers was literally taking the clothes off our players.

Photo: Shehzad Ghias

In the end, it was not enough, and Pakistan got the mauqa’ we were all waiting for. With songs by Junoon blaring in the stadium, Pakistan finished their best result in this World Cup. The rain only added to the dramatic effect.

All Pakistanis would have taken a rained out match to ensure Pakistan a point but that performance shows why you should never discount our team.

We are firmly in this World Cup, and hopefully, we are here to stay!

It is time for some fireworks. In the words of Junoon,

“Pakistan kabhi na bhoolo”


Shehzad Ghias

A graduate from the LUMS Law School and is running his own theatre production company, Cogito Productions.He works as a theatre teacher at various schools. He tweets @Shehzad89 (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    wicket keeping catch average difference between this guy and Akmal requires a scientific calculator to view. I hope he plays the next matchRecommend

  • wb

    “Most of Pakistan does not even expect this team to beat Ireland, let
    alone South Africa, arguably the best cricket team in world cricket.”

    Is this the analysis of a cricket fan or an expert? The first part might still be true. Ireland looks much better than either India or Pakistan.

    Ireland might still defeat both the teams. In fact, I’m hoping it does.

    And South Africa were not even the favorites going into the WC. It was New Zealand and it still is.Recommend

  • Farah

    Stopped following you on Twitter after noticing your jokes were ‘inspired’ by those who you are following. 4 of those memes were jokes retweeted during match. No coincidence.Recommend

  • Bee

    I know this is meant to be funny, but the quips on kids dying of hunger around the world are just unsettlingRecommend

  • nust

    You mean *uncertainites.Recommend

  • Shehzad

    Hi Farah,
    Wondering which one in particular do you feel might be inspired by others. I make sure not to ever copy ideas so your claim is slightly disconcerting Recommend