Stories about ODI victories

Windies tour: Who’s who on the Pakistan squad

Pakistan team selectors have made a smart move by picking a fresh squad for the one day and T20 matches to tour the West Indies later this month By excluding old horses like Younis Khan, Misbahul Haq, Abdul Razzaq and Kamran Akmal they have paved the way for the next set of players in order to rebuild the house for the next World Cup. It was a decision that had to be made and there’s no better time to groom younger players than now. If we can unearth another Umar Akmal, perhaps find another exciting fast bowler and a decent wicket ...

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Bye bye Ireland: What the ICC doesn’t see

With its decision to exclude Ireland from the 2015 World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is hearkening back to the days when it was called the Imperial Cricket Council – when the ‘natives’ had to prove themselves to stand at the top table of world cricket. In those times, it was India and Pakistan who had to fight for the right to have legitimate Test tours and deference was given to other Test teams. This time around, it is the Emerald Isle who is the victims of the ICC’s Ejaz Butt-esque levels of incompetence. Unfair ICC Instead of encouraging Irish cricket ...

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World Cup 2011: Why do we love to hate India?

Cricket mania has spread like wildfire and everyone wants their team to win. But so far, the South Asians are championing the race tooth and nail. Pakistan is poised to face its rival India in the semi finals and we have made cricket a life and death scenario. Our spirits were high after securing victories against big teams like Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, but a prospective showdown with India has given our excitement a new meaning altogether. We are just not willing to accept defeat. If we were facing any other team in the semi-final instead of ...

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Magic in Mohali: I watched Pakistan beat India

In November 2007, I went to Mohali to watch a Pakistan versus India match. Walking to India We crossed the Wagah-Attari border by foot – a monumental step in my life.  I was struck with mixed emotions, the joy of visiting India and extending our message of peace and love. At the same time, I remembered the stories of hardship my ancestors faced while migrating to Pakistan in 1947. It took nearly six hours of waiting, tedious registrations and formalities amidst heavy police protection at the Indian side of the border. A large number of Indians were walking towards the border for the evening ...

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A reign ended, an era completed: Ponting broken, Australia defeated

In 1999, Shane Warne broke millions of Pakistani hearts at Lords’ as did Symonds in World Cup 2003, but from a true cricket fan’s perspective it was sad to see India outplay Australia. As we bid farewell to the supremacy of what was perhaps the second greatest team the sport has ever been privileged to see after the great West Indian team of the 1970’s and 1980’s, I cannot help but reflect what the hard-nosed Aussies gave to the game of cricket in their 12 years at the top of the pile. Classy Kangaroos The panache, flair and vigor of the Kangaroos ...

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Kamran Akmal: The man behind the gloves tries hard

In recent years, the role of a wicket-keeper has been completely revolutionised. Not only are they expected to play every match of a tour but also have a batting average of over 45, be big hitters and faultless all day long behind the stumps. They’re also expected to be perfect in all formats where a few tend to open the batting after having been in the field for the whole innings. A wicket-keeper will end up covering approximately 10 to 15 kilometres in the field during a Test and is the person who touches the ball the most during a game. ...

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Pakistan’s brittle batting exposed

Yesterday’s clash against Canada uncovered a bitter fact about the Pakistan team – a fact that was made foggy after successive wins in the World Cup – which will yield valuable repercussions. The question of Pakistan’s batting vulnerability always exists, exposing the team’s inability to trust its own top-order under pressure. Panic was their nemesis. For a team, who was recently added into the list of favourites to win the World Cup, to perform abysmally against minnows is an indication of a contradictory mix of complacency and lack of self-belief. Complacency was apparent as our openers failed to perform again, playing ...

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Pakistan vs Canada: Will cricket fans ever be satisfied?

“Drop Hafeez.” “Drop Ahmed Shehzad.” “Make Kamran Akmal open.” “No, replace Kamran Akmal and make Umar Akmal keep.” “Wahab Riaz should be in the team.” “Replace Rehman with Saeed Ajmal.” “Replace Umar Akmal with Asad Shafiq.” Is there any other request that Pakistani fans want fulfilled? It’s high time we stop acting like the selectors of the team and focus on celebrating its success stories. Seriously, have they not done enough to make us happy? Pakistan have played three matches this World Cup and have won all three! What more do we want? If we understand the game so well, we should also understand the age-old captaincy rule: never change ...

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Pakistan vs Canada: Notes from an unhappy fan

After a tie with India and a horrific loss to Ireland, England were all over the news. Being the spoilt brat that it is, the Pakistan team couldn’t take it; how could it watch silently as England stole the limelight? They wanted the attention back on themselves, and their match against Canada did just that. Electing to bat first, Pakistan put up one of the worst batting performances by a top ranked side in this tournament. In their match against Zimbabwe, Australia also went slow but eventually put an above par total on the board and kept wickets intact. But Pakistan ...

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The Pakistan team is playing one batsman too many

Pakistan’s batting goes down till number eight and that, in the playing-eleven, is tolerating one batsman too many. A formidable side must have a perfect mix of bowlers and batsmen as inefficiency in the team-mix can cause problems for the best of sides in the World Cup. Given that Pakistan enjoy the experience of stable batsmen like Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan, who form the backbone of their line-up, the team can increase the efficiency by eliminating a batsman and adding a specialist bowler. Umar Akmal, a stable and potentially dangerous batsman, came at number six in yesterday’s match. What the captain needs ...

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