Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 20 March 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Pakistan Humble World Champs

All good things must come to an end it is said and so it was for the high riding reigning World Cup champions Australia when they were brought down to earth by a gallant set of Pakistanis.

The Pakistanis promised something special in their Group ‘A’ clash at the R. Premadasa Stadium under lights and they delivered to end the record run by the Aussies who had won 34 of their previous World Cup matches.

Australia met their Waterloo in Pakistan who played the better all round cricket to beat them by wickets. After bundling out the Aussies for 176, they batted sensibly to make 178 for six with Umar Akmal 44 and Abdul Razzaq 20 remaining unbeaten. It was a triumph for all Pakistan to celebrate.

With Pakistan on 139 for 5 and in danger, skipper Afridi played the most irresponsible shot that the game of cricket has ever seen or will ever see. He tried to hoist the first ball he faced from off spinner Krejza out of the ground only to have the mortification of seeing Lee accepting the catch gleefully at long on.

Earlier Kamran Akmal 23, Asad Shafiq 46 and Younis Khan 31 contributed useful runs in the Pakistan run chase. Brett Lee bowled a terrifying spell to take 4 for 28 just missing a hat trick.

Winning of the toss is always important in this format of the game and Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had luck with the toss and chose to bat on a wicket that was on the slow side. However they failed to capitalise on this early advantage was inexplicable as their miserable score of 176 indicates.

The Australians stuck with their reliable firing guns, while Pakistan showed that they can’t do without the controversial wicket keeper/batsman Kamran Akmal gloving him again. He made amends this time round being involved in four dismissals.

It was not the usual belligerent beginning by Aussie openers Shane Watson and Brad Haddin. Watson was not his usual confident self and after making just nine and with the total on 12 was bowled by a snorter from Umar Gul who was bowling with a lot of fire.

Ponting joined Haddin and slowly and steadily put on 63 for the second wicket before Ponting was caught behind off, off spinner Mohammad Hafeez for 19. It was another failure for this champion batsman who for his high standards has not been enjoying a harvest of runs.

Skipper Sahid Afridi was leading his troops with sound judgment and wringing his bowling changes intelligently, and had the Aussie batsmen searching frantically for runs. The bowlers were on line as the figures of off spinner Mohammad Hafeez proves - 10 overs for 26 runs.

Brad Haddin made 42 with 4 fours and a six, before tickling a delivery from Wahab Riaz to Kamra Akal at 92. Cameron White was run out for 8 at 117 and then Michael Clarke who was looking good was bowled by an in dipper from Abdul Razzaq for 34. 134 for 5 and things were not looking good for the reigning champions.

But with `Mr. Cricket’ Michael Hussey at the wicket all did not seem lost for the Aussies. But further disaster struck the them when Hussey played too early and lobbed a catch to Misbah Ul Haq off Abdul Rehman to be out after making 21.144 for 6.

Then Razzaq who was bowling his off cutters with great control got one to climb off a good length and Mitchell Johnson who is known for his big hitting could only get the ball to kiss his bat on the way to keeper Akmal without troubling the scorers. 147 for 7 and the kangaroos in quick sand.

Then at 169 Jason Krejza went for 7 bowled by Gul. Steve Smith who seemed to be threatening was bowled by Afridi for a well made 25 at 176 and then Gul had Brett Lee taken by Misbah for 5 to end the Aussie innings for a shocking 176.



S. Watson b Gul 			 9
B. Haddin c Kamran b Riaz 		42
R. Ponting c Kamran b Hafeez 		19
M. Clarke b Razzaq 			34
C. White run out			 8
M. Hussey c Misbah b Rehman 		12
S. Smith b Afridi			25
M. Johnson c Kamran b Razzaq		 0
J. Krejza b Gul 			 7
B. Lee c Misbah b Gul 			 5
S. Tait not out 			 0
Extras (lb5, w10)			15
Total (all out; 46.4 overs)   	       176

Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-75, 3-90, 4-117, 5-134, 6-144,
		 7-147, 8-169, 9-176, 10-176.
Bowling: Gul 7.4-1-30-3 (w5),
	 Rehman 10-0-34-1 (w1), 
	 Afridi 9-0-34-1 (w1), 
	 Riaz 6-0-39-1(w3), 
	 Hafeez 10-0-26-1, 
	 Razzaq 4-0-8-2.

Kamran Akmal lbw b Lee 			23
Mohammad Hafeez c and b Lee		 5
Asad Shafiq c Watson b Johnson		46
Younis Khan c Haddin b Lee 		31
Misbah-ul-Haq c Haddin b Lee 		 0
Umar Akmal not out 		 	44
Shahid Afridi c Lee b Krejza 		 2
Abdul Razzaq not out 			20
Extras: (b2, lb1, w4)			 7
Total: (for six wkts; 41 overs) 	178
Fall of wickets: 1-12, 2-45, 3-98, 4-98, 5-139, 6-142

Bowling: Lee 8-1-28-4, 
	 Tait 8-1-37-0 (w3), 
	 Johnson 9-1-40-1 (w1), 
	 Watson 6-0-26-0, 
	 Krejza 10-0-44-1.


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