Stories about south africa

From dropping catches to dropping matches, is it the end of the line for Pakistan?

On a morning when ominous looking clouds loomed above, Pakistan won the toss against India. But we soon realised it was to be the only thing that Pakistan would win that day. Due to the overcast conditions, Sarfraz Ahmed chose to bowl first, in what looked like a good decision. Over 330 runs later, he and the Pakistan cricket management realised it was in fact the wrong call. The game followed a similar pattern to the one which Pakistan lost against Australia last Wednesday. Mohammad Amir initially bowled well, only for the pressure to be let off at the other end, ...

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WC2019: With 6 crucial games remaining, can Pakistan make it to semi-finals?

Unpredictable, mercurial and unbelievable are some of the words commonly used to describe Pakistan cricket. Our team can perform like school boys in one match and put on a record defying performance in the next. Be it the 1992 World Cup, the 2017 Champions Trophy, or their remarkable performance against England in the ongoing World Cup, Pakistan seems to summon the help of some higher power to script a fairy tale-like turnaround for them when least expected. The road ahead After being demolished by West Indies in their opening game of the World Cup, most of us were very sceptical about ...

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Who decides Usman Buzdar and other lawmakers’ salaries?

Last week, the Punjab Assembly unanimously passed a bill within five minutes which increased the salaries of the chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, MNAs and MPAs to an incredible extent. According to the details of this bill, the speaker’s monthly salary was increased from Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, while his deputy would receive Rs185,000 instead of Rs35,000. The MPAs, who used to earn Rs18,000, would earn Rs80,000 every month. CM Buzdar’s own salary was increased by Rs59,000.  After the matter was taken up by social media, Imran expressed his sheer disappointment and termed the decision ‘untenable’. The Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry also labelled the development ...

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Out with Sarfraz, in with Shoaib

This tour of South Africa seems to be a moment in Sarfraz Ahmed’s life where everything goes haywire. The rise and fall of Sarfraz and the emergence of Shoaib Malik from within his own ranks months prior to the World Cup, is a tailor-made story with enough grief and sorrow to hit the shelves and be sold out in its very first week. If we are to skip a few pages back, Sarfraz, standing in an oddly designed white coat, was lifting the Champions Trophy amidst cheers and celebrations on the streets of London. Sarfraz was on top of the world, ...

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#PakvsSA: 4 reasons why we messed up, 4 ways to turn it around

It has been more than a month yet Pakistani batsmen remain unable to find their feet in South Africa. Thus far, our performance can only be described as a horror show, particularly from the batsmen who continue to be haunted by short balls. During the Test series, it was Duanne Olivier who tested our batsmen, and this torment was perhaps to be continued by the rest of the South African bowlers during the ODI series. As of now, the series stands at 2-1 in favour of the hosts, with only two games remaining in order to decide the fate of the ...

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“Abey kaale”: It’s not only Sarfraz Ahmed

I grew up in a neighbourhood near Civil Hospital. Being a government hospital, it was always thronged with people – most of them belonging to the poorest segment of the society – who come in bereft of hope to get their loved ones treated for free. Civil Hospital was more frequently visited by residents of Lyari, a squalid area that is home mostly to the middle, lower-middle and poor segments of our society. Now, if anyone has seen the denizens of Lyari, they know that most of them differ from others in their looks in certain ways. Their complexion ...

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After South Africa’s thrashing, it’s evident that Pakistan’s Test team needs a major reshuffle

Pakistan last played a Test series against South Africa in 2013 and lost 3-0. Five and a half years later, nothing seems to have changed. Another series defeat, another series full of poor planning. When will the Pakistani management learn? Winning series in the UAE against the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia isn’t the most difficult feat to achieve. For me, the biggest test of a team’s competence is playing away from home in tough conditions. And South African conditions are exactly that. The toughest place for Asian teams to play is generally England and South Africa. Ironically, these ...

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No longer a gentleman’s game: Why Virat Kohli is the epitome of modern cricket

Winning a Test series in Australia has been one of the biggest challenges in world cricket. The formidable Aussies usually have a habit of sending visitors bruised and battered from their shores. So complete has been their domination at home that no Asian team had ever won a Test series in Australia till last week, when the Indians finally crossed the final frontier. The significance of the achievement can be gauged from the fact that several cricketing greats, from Sir Viv Richards to Imran Khan, have praised and congratulated Virat Kohli and the Indian team for this historic win. Remarkable performance ...

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Why the Pakistan cricket team deserves Mickey Arthur’s wrath

The cracks within the Test unit had started surfacing a while ago, with a disappointing loss in the Test series against New Zealand at home. Turbulence was felt by those up in the ranks, and yet everyone stayed silent. However, a humiliating defeat in the first Test against South Africa penetrated all the cracks in the Test squad and caused Mickey Arthur to experience a meltdown inside the dressing room. Arthur is well within his domain to criticise senior players who are neither performing nor learning from their mistakes. Pakistan had a golden opportunity – as it sat comfortably at 101 ...

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In order to bring their A-game, Pakistan needs to concentrate on their A team

It is often said that the gap between International cricket and Pakistan domestic cricket is way too wide for new youngsters in the Pakistan team to bridge. Pakistan Super League (PSL) tries to minimise that gap when Pakistani domestic cricketers not only compete with international cricketers but also learn how international cricketers prepare themselves for a match by sharing the dressing room with them. But is that enough exposure to prepare them for international cricket? Indian Premier League (IPL) takes centre stage in the world of cricket every year during which no or very little international cricket takes place. Even ...

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