Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup final, Mirpur March 23, 2012

Determined duo comes to Pakistan's aid

The performances of Sarfraz Ahmed and Aizaz Cheema played a critical role in the outcome of the Asia Cup final
48

Pakistan's biggest star may have won the Man-of-the-Match award, but the Asia Cup would not have been won had it not been for crucial contributions from two players who are less celebrated. Fast bowler Aizaz Cheema's bowling at the death and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed's career-high, unbeaten 46, after walking in at No. 8 played a huge role in separating the sides.

In Pakistan's versatile attack, Cheema is seen as the weakest link. Shahid Afridi's mix of legbreaks and fast googlies have routinely confounded batsmen, Saeed Ajmal and his mystery variations make him the top-ranked spinner in the world, Mohammad Hafeez has shown himself as a credible option for regularly bowling 10 overs of tidy off-spin, and Umar Gul, despite a recent dip in form, with his reverse swing and on-demand yorkers is seen as a threat.

Afridi bowled out early and strangled the runs in the middle overs, while Hafeez finished his quota in the batting Powerplay. As the match headed to the final ten overs, though the asking-rate had climbed, it was felt Bangladesh weren't out of it - Cheema or Hammad Azam had to still bowl four overs, which could be targetted.

That seemed to be Bangladesh's plan as well, as Shakib Al Hasan launched the only six off the innings on the first ball of Cheema's final spell, immediately putting the bowler, who is still in his first year of international cricket, under pressure. Cheema, though, bounced back superbly, mixing up his lengths and his pace to not concede a single boundary for the rest of his spell.

More importantly, he got the potentially-decisive wickets of Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim. A confident Shakib was shuffling around the crease every delivery, but he missed a paddle off a length ball and was bowled behind his legs. Another length ball that Mushfiqur wanted to send to the grand stand only went as far as the deep square-leg fielder.

Still, Bangladesh didn't give up, and they took it down to the final ball. Cheema again delivered, with a yorker on leg stump that was too good for Shahadat Hossain to hit what could have been the most famous shot in Bangladesh cricket history.

"I think Cheema was very confident, and Misbah [ul-Haq] did a great job as a captain," Hafeez said. "It was a pressure game and Cheema was the one who was really confident to bowl the last over, and on the last ball we were confident he would bowl a good ball."

Shahadat would have needed to hit a six off the final ball if it wasn't for some shoddy fielding off the previous delivery, when the man at long-off wasn't quick enough to stop the second and Sarfraz then flicked the ball towards the stumps to concede an overthrow.

But for that gaffe, Sarfraz fully justified the faith shown by the side in picking him for the final. Despite having Hafeez and Afridi as the two allrounders in the XI, Pakistan haven't nailed down the balance they want in the side.

They have grappled with the wicketkeeper conundrum for a while now. Is it better to pick a specialist gloveman, especially with three quality spinners in the side, or go in with either a specialist batsman or bowler or an allrounder in that spot? Pakistan have tried everything in this tournament: playing Sarfraz and the extra batsman in Asad Shafiq in the first game, Sarfraz and an allrounder Azam in the next, replacing Sarfraz with the extra bowler in Wahab Riaz against India. Riaz's meltdown in the India game, and the fact that they would have exactly five bowling options in case Shafiq played, forced them to go with Sarfraz and Azam in the final.

When Afridi's typically manic cameo came to a close in the 42nd over, Pakistan were seven down and looked unlikely to last the full stretch. It was down to Sarfraz to lift Pakistan from what seemed a sub-200 score, which even their world-class attack would have had little chance of defending, to a more competitive one. His boundaries off Shahadat, including in the final over when the bowler doled out freebies, boosted both Pakistan's spirits and their score.

When it came down to the crunch, both the headliners and the unsung players did their part for Pakistan, the combination of which proved just good enough to take down Bangladesh.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zaaid on March 26, 2012, 2:14 GMT

    @Sports4Youth They should do it as soon as possible. Apart from all the technique and performance thingies; younis and misbah are not going to make it to the next world cup. so there is no point in playing them in the ODIs. Indeed Gul used to be our 3rd pacer and he really does not qualify the standards of leading our pace attack. I dont know if you remember or not but Misbah choked similarly in one of the t20s in our domestic playing for Faislabad. So yeah; i also believe he does not have that finishing ability. Regarding the batting order in Asia cup final in my personal opinion big matches are not for experiments. They continued the batting order of previous games and it was a right thing i feel. Yeah .. you are so right. Sarfraz must be given the roles of Misbah/Younis. If it happens that would really be a plus !

  • RankPace on March 25, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    How long will it take to realise that Misbah should go from the one day and t20 games? How many more games is he going to spoil ? and for those who think misbah has improved the team performance since taking over as captain, they are wrong. Afridi was doing better. And now that Kamran is gone, afridi will do much better. dont blindly bring test players into one-day side and dont blindly bring one-day players in test side.

  • dmqi on March 25, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    SARFARAZ SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS TOP SCORE AT NO 8 AND PUSHING THE TOTAL TO COMPETITIVE LEVEL. AFRIDI'S CONTRIBUTION WAS VITAL AND HE WON MANY MOM AWARDS. WHY NOT GIVE CREDIT TO A YOUNG PLAYER. IQBAL QASIM NOW WILL HAVE TO GIVE SARFARAZ A GOOD RUN IN THE SELECTION.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Regarding the toss, i think Pakistan's streagth is bowling, so they should always try to see what time is best for their bowling. Since Pakistan's weakness is bowling, they should not simply think of batting first and putting a big score on the board, as often they loose early wickets and get under pressure in rebuiliding the innings. I think the best thing to happen to pak cricet in the last 18 months has been the emergence of M.Hafeez in all formats of the game and also the return of form for Boom Boom Afridi. These two players are specilist bowlers and specialist batsmen. Real match winners. Ajmal has emerged to be a real champ. Now just find some good fast bolwers to support the three spinners and the team is a world beater.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Regarding Sarfraz, I think if handled properly he can become the next good thing to happen to Pak cricket. Now that the board is thinking of doing away with Misbah and Younis from the ODI's, their roles can be easily given to Sarfraz and moved up the order. Also in tests he can easliy be Matt Prior for Pakistan. It will be better for Pakistan if in the Test Matches Adnan is replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed. Adnan has limited batting capabilities and also he is very immature behind the stumps. Instead of focussing on his job and helping the captain with the refferals he gets excited and wants to refer everything, often resulting in wasted refferals early in the game. Also instead of chattering too much behind the game he should concentrate on his job, which he does not do. I think the sooner Sarfraz is intorduced in Test matches the bette it will be for Pakistan.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Regarding Misbah's agressive approach while defending 237 and keeping 6 fielders in the circle. I see it differently. Getting just 236 was because of faulty batting order fixed by Misbah. None of the batsmen were in the right places. Players like Afridi should be given freedom and allowed a free hand, just lke India allows sehwag, Austalia allows Warner & Watson. WI used to allow C.Gayle. Afridi cannot bat under pressure and cannot construct a workman like innings. Also the presence of the two uncles (Younis & Misbah) does not help the team. But having got 236 I dont think Misbah had any choice with the field placements. It was more of a forced move instead of a tactical move. If you see all other matches were Pakistan got 250+ Misbah always used to spread the field, allow singles and let the game drift. Infact the low score forced him to be more aggressive. In the India game Misbah could not defend 330. I dont think his services are good for the ODI's.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Reg Misbah & Younis in ODI's. When these two were selected for the world cup many people did not like their selection. Even I was with them, but at that time i did not express my displeasure at their selection because the team had lost three important members of the team (Amir, Asif & Salman). So i thought a little experience in the middle order would help. But i was wrong and in the semi final game once again Misbah proved what a CHOKER he is. This was also seen in the last T20 against England, not to mention the T20 world cup, final against India. Since the WC 2011 i have increasingly felt the need of getting rid of Younis & Misbah from the shorter version of the game. Misbah has an avg of 42 in the odi's , but at what cost ? He bats selfishliy and creates so much pressure on the other batsmen the wickets start falling at the other end. Pakistan will be better off without him. Younsters like Shafiq, Ahmed Shehzad or any other youngsters except I.Farhat will be good for team.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Regarding Gul, I think he has been given far more opportunities than any other fast bowler without performing well. Normally in Pakistan there used to be so many fast bowlers of high caliber that when one fast bowlers does not perform well for short time, immediately some other bowler is ready to take his place. But now it has not happened for a long time, because the team was stuck will Gul for far too long. Gul was an ok third bowler during the days of S.Akhtar, M.Amir & M.Asif, though he had to sit out on many occassion. But since then he has dissapointed big time. He can't lead an attack. I think its time to move beyond Gul and start looking for new talents. I think the process should have started immediately when Gul perfomred very badly against WI in the 1st test. Even after that he did not perform well against SL & Bang. Still he was persisted and got exposed against England and the India game. Now if you want to prepare for the World Cup 2015 dont waste more time.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Thanx Zaaid, your response is well recieved. It appears we are on the same wave lenght. Also dont get me wrong, There is no question of me being offended for anything. Here we are only exchanging views in good faith and in the interest of cricket and team. Regarding Misbah, Younis & Gul if you were listening to Waqar's comments at the end of the finals game, he said that "Misbah is doing fine since taking over the captaincy, and now i am hearing that we will have different captains in different formats, and misbah being replaced etc." . . Well, now the rumors are that even before the finals were played and irrespective of the final's result, the board had decided that Misbah's role should be limited to Tests only. Also the board intends to do away with Younis, Gul & some others from ODI's. I am personally happy with the news. I hope it materialises. Your comments please.

  • Zaaid on March 24, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @Sports4Youth no no .. i was talking about maRch; not maTch. Anyways, its a thing of past and i was just replying to an older comment of yours. and i apologise in case it offended you by any means. did not mean it like that. Regarding the selection; i am against the selection of Younis and Gul since years. Younis is a good test batsman but he NEVER performs for Pakistan in BIG matches. Being the senior batsman our middle order depends a lot on how he performs and he is always getting out on these low scores. Usually he would perform in matches like when we know that we have won the series or we are through to the final. Same for Umar Gul. That man just cannot take pressure. Hit him for a couple of boundaries and then see his line getting wavered. IMO we need players who have got the TEMPERAMENT thing. Misbah's LOIs days are over too; he should retire now with this Asia cup victory rather at end of some series with a humiliating defeat like England's.

  • Zaaid on March 26, 2012, 2:14 GMT

    @Sports4Youth They should do it as soon as possible. Apart from all the technique and performance thingies; younis and misbah are not going to make it to the next world cup. so there is no point in playing them in the ODIs. Indeed Gul used to be our 3rd pacer and he really does not qualify the standards of leading our pace attack. I dont know if you remember or not but Misbah choked similarly in one of the t20s in our domestic playing for Faislabad. So yeah; i also believe he does not have that finishing ability. Regarding the batting order in Asia cup final in my personal opinion big matches are not for experiments. They continued the batting order of previous games and it was a right thing i feel. Yeah .. you are so right. Sarfraz must be given the roles of Misbah/Younis. If it happens that would really be a plus !

  • RankPace on March 25, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    How long will it take to realise that Misbah should go from the one day and t20 games? How many more games is he going to spoil ? and for those who think misbah has improved the team performance since taking over as captain, they are wrong. Afridi was doing better. And now that Kamran is gone, afridi will do much better. dont blindly bring test players into one-day side and dont blindly bring one-day players in test side.

  • dmqi on March 25, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    SARFARAZ SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MAN OF THE MATCH FOR HIS TOP SCORE AT NO 8 AND PUSHING THE TOTAL TO COMPETITIVE LEVEL. AFRIDI'S CONTRIBUTION WAS VITAL AND HE WON MANY MOM AWARDS. WHY NOT GIVE CREDIT TO A YOUNG PLAYER. IQBAL QASIM NOW WILL HAVE TO GIVE SARFARAZ A GOOD RUN IN THE SELECTION.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:35 GMT

    Regarding the toss, i think Pakistan's streagth is bowling, so they should always try to see what time is best for their bowling. Since Pakistan's weakness is bowling, they should not simply think of batting first and putting a big score on the board, as often they loose early wickets and get under pressure in rebuiliding the innings. I think the best thing to happen to pak cricet in the last 18 months has been the emergence of M.Hafeez in all formats of the game and also the return of form for Boom Boom Afridi. These two players are specilist bowlers and specialist batsmen. Real match winners. Ajmal has emerged to be a real champ. Now just find some good fast bolwers to support the three spinners and the team is a world beater.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:28 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Regarding Sarfraz, I think if handled properly he can become the next good thing to happen to Pak cricket. Now that the board is thinking of doing away with Misbah and Younis from the ODI's, their roles can be easily given to Sarfraz and moved up the order. Also in tests he can easliy be Matt Prior for Pakistan. It will be better for Pakistan if in the Test Matches Adnan is replaced by Sarfraz Ahmed. Adnan has limited batting capabilities and also he is very immature behind the stumps. Instead of focussing on his job and helping the captain with the refferals he gets excited and wants to refer everything, often resulting in wasted refferals early in the game. Also instead of chattering too much behind the game he should concentrate on his job, which he does not do. I think the sooner Sarfraz is intorduced in Test matches the bette it will be for Pakistan.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Regarding Misbah's agressive approach while defending 237 and keeping 6 fielders in the circle. I see it differently. Getting just 236 was because of faulty batting order fixed by Misbah. None of the batsmen were in the right places. Players like Afridi should be given freedom and allowed a free hand, just lke India allows sehwag, Austalia allows Warner & Watson. WI used to allow C.Gayle. Afridi cannot bat under pressure and cannot construct a workman like innings. Also the presence of the two uncles (Younis & Misbah) does not help the team. But having got 236 I dont think Misbah had any choice with the field placements. It was more of a forced move instead of a tactical move. If you see all other matches were Pakistan got 250+ Misbah always used to spread the field, allow singles and let the game drift. Infact the low score forced him to be more aggressive. In the India game Misbah could not defend 330. I dont think his services are good for the ODI's.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Reg Misbah & Younis in ODI's. When these two were selected for the world cup many people did not like their selection. Even I was with them, but at that time i did not express my displeasure at their selection because the team had lost three important members of the team (Amir, Asif & Salman). So i thought a little experience in the middle order would help. But i was wrong and in the semi final game once again Misbah proved what a CHOKER he is. This was also seen in the last T20 against England, not to mention the T20 world cup, final against India. Since the WC 2011 i have increasingly felt the need of getting rid of Younis & Misbah from the shorter version of the game. Misbah has an avg of 42 in the odi's , but at what cost ? He bats selfishliy and creates so much pressure on the other batsmen the wickets start falling at the other end. Pakistan will be better off without him. Younsters like Shafiq, Ahmed Shehzad or any other youngsters except I.Farhat will be good for team.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    @ Zaaid. Regarding Gul, I think he has been given far more opportunities than any other fast bowler without performing well. Normally in Pakistan there used to be so many fast bowlers of high caliber that when one fast bowlers does not perform well for short time, immediately some other bowler is ready to take his place. But now it has not happened for a long time, because the team was stuck will Gul for far too long. Gul was an ok third bowler during the days of S.Akhtar, M.Amir & M.Asif, though he had to sit out on many occassion. But since then he has dissapointed big time. He can't lead an attack. I think its time to move beyond Gul and start looking for new talents. I think the process should have started immediately when Gul perfomred very badly against WI in the 1st test. Even after that he did not perform well against SL & Bang. Still he was persisted and got exposed against England and the India game. Now if you want to prepare for the World Cup 2015 dont waste more time.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Thanx Zaaid, your response is well recieved. It appears we are on the same wave lenght. Also dont get me wrong, There is no question of me being offended for anything. Here we are only exchanging views in good faith and in the interest of cricket and team. Regarding Misbah, Younis & Gul if you were listening to Waqar's comments at the end of the finals game, he said that "Misbah is doing fine since taking over the captaincy, and now i am hearing that we will have different captains in different formats, and misbah being replaced etc." . . Well, now the rumors are that even before the finals were played and irrespective of the final's result, the board had decided that Misbah's role should be limited to Tests only. Also the board intends to do away with Younis, Gul & some others from ODI's. I am personally happy with the news. I hope it materialises. Your comments please.

  • Zaaid on March 24, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    @Sports4Youth no no .. i was talking about maRch; not maTch. Anyways, its a thing of past and i was just replying to an older comment of yours. and i apologise in case it offended you by any means. did not mean it like that. Regarding the selection; i am against the selection of Younis and Gul since years. Younis is a good test batsman but he NEVER performs for Pakistan in BIG matches. Being the senior batsman our middle order depends a lot on how he performs and he is always getting out on these low scores. Usually he would perform in matches like when we know that we have won the series or we are through to the final. Same for Umar Gul. That man just cannot take pressure. Hit him for a couple of boundaries and then see his line getting wavered. IMO we need players who have got the TEMPERAMENT thing. Misbah's LOIs days are over too; he should retire now with this Asia cup victory rather at end of some series with a humiliating defeat like England's.

  • Sports4Youth on March 24, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Regarding talking about team selection at the end of the tournament: I apprecieate your concern. Also i think that here we are taliking between fans only. What comments we post here is not going to the main stream media like news papers or Televison channels and hence not directly effecting the team phycologically. Here we are simply venting our feelings, anguishes & opinions. Those of us who agree with each other start appreciating each other. But you said selection about the 3rd match. so what is your view about the selection of W.Riaz in the India Match? And also the selection of A.Rehman as the sixth bowler against england at the expense of Sarfraz ? Lastly do you thnk that Gul, Younis & Misbah deserve to be in the ODI team.

  • khurramsch on March 24, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    well played by bangladesh but pakistan played better than that so won.

  • Zeeshanz on March 24, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    The toss was cruicial and Pakistan were under pressure till the last few overs when Sarfaraz initiated attack on Bangla bowling.. Hats off to Sarfaraz for getting those all-important runs, not to forget the brisk 32 by Afridi which could have been 50+ had he batted a little more sensibly but that's the way Afrid has been for the 340+ ODIs he has played and we love him for what he is! Only his presence makes a difference! When it came to bowling, all bowled well, and specially the young Cheema showed great temperament after being hit for a six; he came back so well that he not only claimed crucial wickets but bowled the death over like a master! Well done Cheema...he stole the trophy which remained in Bangladesh's pocket throughout the match except in the last over!

  • WildAmigo on March 24, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    Close matches are good for international cricket not just one sided matches. congrats to Bangladesh to given us good show. Pakistan have something to cheer but the problem persists as they lack opening bowling they have to find new bowl bowlers hurry. not much time left.. As for India they lack team work some one brilliance doesn't win all matches.. Kohli and Raina are great but they should be more calm to get things going in their way. Their attitude on the field was not good. Srilanka have good talent and are going in the right direction as far as talent is concer, Good Luck Asia.

  • mars2009 on March 24, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    Bravo to BD , that might be new beginning of Bangladesh cricket team. Asia Cup is just a tournament. Let us see who is real Asian Champion, that analysis covers all head to head matches rather than selective period / tournaments. Pakistan vs India , the score line is 69-48 in favour of Pakistan. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka again 76-47 in Pakistan's favour. Pakistan vs Bangladesh it is 30-1 in Pakistan's favour. Any taker??

  • Nadeem1976 on March 23, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Forget about who won or lose, just the way both teams came back in the match was worth watching. Pakistan was never in position to score 236 and Bangladesh was never in position to come near to 236 when Shakib was out. But Cricket is game of luck and brave and fearless. Both team displayed that in the end and luck favor Pakistan this time around. My heart still believe that Bangladesh deserved that match but they were arrogant while batting. They need to learn how to be humble and calm during big matches. I have great hope from BD in future and please Misbah this is the time for you to quit ODI and T2020. Thanks.

  • deconstruct on March 23, 2012, 17:58 GMT

    Never have I felt better in being proven wrong than yesterday. I was bitter with criticism against Afridi in this tournament, but he took the big moment to prove me wrong; and boy, am I glad that he did! That off my conscious - I still have no hesitation in saying that Misbah, and NOT Afridi, should be the captain. Every commentator and expert has appreciated Misbah's excellent captaincy in this match: the way he kept the fielders close inside the ring, choking BD batsmen for singles and forcing them to take risks; as well as his wily bowling changes. He must however, for his own sake, stop playing T20.

  • cricketkhan on March 23, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    its very evident that Pakistan's victory in asian championship has not auger well either with our neighbours nor with the people of cricinfo. this important victory and the events that has been prevailing within pakistan as a nation and as a cricket team is no secret. people have talked a lot about BD performance in the tournament, and my hats off to them. but also consider a team which has been rocked by continuous controversies and wrong doings.to lift a team from such a mess and troubles to the victory stand is no mean success. it was a herculean task which has been achieved by Pakistan. win or loose doesn't meter much, as only one team has to win, its the way u proceed with ur game and game plan which counts more.i bet that if any team has undergone such crises as pakistan team did, they would h ave never come up with such daunting and positive reply with thier game. BD played well and tremendous cricket no doubt, but pakistan has done far more better then this, kindly realize this

  • Shaonx on March 23, 2012, 17:13 GMT

    Oh my god, what a final we had so close but yet too far. My word just when you think this match is about to unfold you will immediately be stunned by the never ending twists. All the credit goes to Bangladesh they have really made the Pakistani to toil for this win. However, Bangladesh should be proud of what they have achieved from this tournament and hope to carry on this momentum in the future matches. Although the tournament end in disappointment but I have got a feeling that there is something special waiting for them just round the corner. Well done Bangladesh for the excellent effort throughout the tournament and we are really proud of you. Better luck next time.......

  • Zaaid on March 23, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    @Sports4Youth yes ! Sarfraz isnt suitable for hitting in the final overs (the role expected from every keeper in Pakistan) but in that particular match i think Afridi's innings changed the momentum (irrespective if he was sent at correct position or not). IMO these momentum shifts are very important and Afridi did change the momentum. Anyways, i was talking about Misbah's overall approach in captaincy. You might disagree but in the final we were defending a comparatively smaller total and i think we could see change/aggressiveness in the approach and strategy. 6 fielders in the circle. Giving Ajmal over in the first PP. Afridi 11th. I follow your comments quite regularly and my comment was actually a reply to your comment on team selection article here on march 3rd. I thought it should better have been replied at the end of the tournament : - )

  • BowledYa on March 23, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    And finally this tournament win should put water on fire for those calling for Misbah to be replaced by Afridi as captain. Anyone irked like I am with Afridi's childish post match comments, like "I worked hard", "boys worked hard"? Every time he says the same things. Can someone help him come up with some smart comments in English? Another reason Misbah should remain captain until we find the next one in a few years.

  • salman_0902 on March 23, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    BD had their best chance of wnning after poor umpiring when Yunas khan and umar akmal were given out. i am not sure they can have the same opportunity next time unless the improvement they showed in this tournament keeps increasiing.

  • adnan_rifat84 on March 23, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    I don't understand why people start judging youngsters by just one performance. Check Safraz's record against good teams he just performed well against Bangladesh not against major teams he always failed near strong bowling attack. A keeper from Peshawar Panthers Mohammad Rizwan seems he have some potential let him give some chance to show his abilities he young and dynamic wicket keeper just 19 years old and very good avg of 45.

  • ashakoor52 on March 23, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Only Sarfraz desrved to be THE MAN OF THE MATCH. I have obtained the comments from almost a 100 fans and 90% of them were in favour of Sarfraz.Anyway, Afridi did not deserve at all.

  • on March 23, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    I think Pakistan should have won this match convincely but credit goes to Bangladesh to make it tough. Bangladesh are improving. Pakistan has a good side but still they have lot of works to do.

    * Fielding and catching is very poor.We have to keep in mind fielding while selecting team * We have Umer Akmal, Asad Shafique and Hammad Azam and Nasir Jamshed as up coming batsmen. Umer Akmal should learn from Kohli inning when to play attacking cricket. Coach, captain has to work on his temperment. Jamshed require to loose some 20 Kg so he will not be liability in field. Asad should be given chance try him as an opner. * Pakistan fast bowlers require some young blood like M.Khalil,Talha and Bhatti. * Coach has to work on mental toughness of all players. * We should adopt rotation policy for our key players. Coach should pick different set of players for T20, ODI and TEST. * We should think of giving a ODI CAPTAINSHIP to Shoaib Malik. He has proven this in domestic season since years

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- Misbah's Problem is that he gives the role suitable to Afridi to Sarfraz and he wants to give the role suitable to Afridi to Sarfraz. I dont see the need of doing so. This does not alllow any player to player according to his natural ability and talent, which is destructive for the development of the team.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    @ Khalid Noor :- I fully agree that "Sarfraz is much better option than Adnan in Test Cricket. He can play Mark Prior role for Pakistan in the times of need. Moreover, in ODIs, Sarfraz must come to bat in early numbers, because he is not a natural hitter, but a player with cool temperament. " I believe that in ODI's Sarfraz is more suitable to take over the roles of Younis & Misbah i.e. stabilizing and building the innings. MOST IMPORTANTLY I APPRECIATE THE MOST IS THAT SARFRAZ HAS THE ABILITY OF BECOMING M.PRIOR FOR PAKISTAN. Great comment.

  • Baundele on March 23, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    I do not find any logic why Afridi was chosen as the man of the match. Shakib performed miles better than any other player from both teams. Even in the Pakistani team, Sarfaraj and Aizaz contributed much more than Afridi. Scoring a quick 32 and then throwing away his wicket when the team needed him to stay, and then bowling 10 overs when the opponent were in a rebuilding phase - thanks to other bowlers - Afridi never deserved it.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 23, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    @Sports4Youth. What ever may be the conclusion. Lions are much more stronger than tigers. They may be slow compared to tigers but his one kick will be enough! And that's why they considered as the King!

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    @ Zaaid :- I could not fully understand your question about change in Misbah's approach. In any case this game Yonis & Misbah at the no.3 & 4 spots was a better idea, though Younis was unlucky with the lbw decision, Hammad was promoted ahead of Afridi was good, but was rendered uneffected as afridi followed immediately with about 15 overs remaining. SARFRAZ SHOULD HAVE BEEN PROMOTED, BUT WAS NOT, AND SENT IN ONLY BEFORE THE BOWLERS, THOUGH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A SAFER BAT EARLIER IN THE ORDER. IF SARFRAZ WAS TO BE PROMOTED THEN THAT WOULD GIVE AFRIDI A MORE COMFORTABLE POSITION TO ATTACK FREELY IN THE END. YOU SEE THE MISTAKE WAS TO GIVE THE JOB OF REBUILDING THE INNINGS TO AFRIDI WHICH IS AGAINST HIS STYLE & GIVE THE JOB OF ATTACKING TO SARFRAZ WHICH IS AGAINST HIS NATURAL ABILITY. I hope it satisfies your question. But now we hear that Misbah, Younis & Gul may be done away from the ODI setup, if this happens it will be great.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    Sarfraz is much better option than Adnan in Test Cricket. He can play Mark Prior role for Pakistan in the times of need. Moreover, in ODIs, Sarfraz must come to bat in early numbers, because he is not a natural hitter, but a player with cool temperament.

  • on March 23, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    YOur great effort tiger but its your initial stage to climbing towards .That was your home ground Advantage...Keep it up and make your self as Asian Australia..Best Of Luck

  • ummii on March 23, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    why praising aizaz cheema,, he and umar gul with high rpo rate were the only reason BD got this far in match,,, Pakistan is lacking big times in Fast bowling department.. & they will struggle big times aginst SA, AUS , NZ, Eng on there own pitches as will the batting

  • on March 23, 2012, 9:50 GMT

    well done sarfraz keep it up and very well played by shakib nasir and tamim well done keep it up !

  • Ammy_rd on March 23, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Having watched the highlights of this match, i was surprised to see the lack of faith shown by Misbah in Cheema. Off his first 3 overs, atleast 3 boundaries flew off an inside edge or a lucky periscope shot! Cheema is clearly a better bowler than Azam and deserved to get a chance to prove himself before the last 10...Any how, all is well that ends well. btw, with Mohammad hafeez's present form with the bat, Please give a chance to Khalid Latif. this guy has scored 11 centuries and 6 fifties in 55 List A innings, at an average of 48.1 with a decent strike rate. He deserves to get an extended run in the side, as history suggests that people with an appetite for runs get them at both domestic and international level.

  • AndyZaltzmannsHair on March 23, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    Lions dont live in jungles. People need to remember this. The Tiger is the king. Especially Tony the Tiger.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    The best part of Sarfraz is that he is a proper, authentic, safe specialist wicket keeper. With the gloves in his hand everything will be safe behind the stumps.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    I hope this performance of 46 n.o. in the final game will spur the selectors to consider Sarfraz for the Test matches in the future. After all Sarfraz has a batting average of 44 in the first class games that is as good as some of their specialist batsmen in the team. He also behaves much more matuarly behind the stumps unlike Adnan. His battting technique is also miles ahead of Adnan and Salman.

  • KarachiKid on March 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I think its about time Sarfaraz was also given an extended run in the test side. His keeping is at par with Adnan Akmal while his batting is technically definitely better than both Adnan and Butter-gloved (a.ka. Kamran) Akmals. So Sarfaraz is the way to go. Its Umar that needs to told that its his LAST CHANCE not Sarfaraz.

  • Zaaid on March 23, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @Sports4Youth: so did you find some change in Misbah's approach? plus yeah you are right about Sarfraz being put under pressure .. and he batted well .. i think his batting style is suitable for middle order in ODsI rather being used as a finisher :-)

  • smalishah84 on March 23, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Well done guys....it was an awesome cup...well played BD and Pak

  • on March 23, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    Congrats to the best team in Asia! Pakistan are the champions!

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully :-- Re: Loin and Tiger comparison. Really speaking in terms of strenght and domination there is no difference between a lion and a tiger. A full grown lion and a full grown tiger are equal in streanght. Both of them refuse to back off, often resulting in the death of one of them. Usually it is the Lion who suffers the fatal blow at the hands of the tiger, because in a face to face the tiger dispalys better boxing abilities by standing on its hind legs and delivering quick, swift & decisive blows. while the lion cannot stand on its hind legs and is often late in delivering the blows. However, Lions stay and move around in their pride (pack or family). Tigers are loners. They always stay alone. Usually a jungle will be infested by either lions or tigers because they cannot share the same jungle. They will get rid of each other. But fortunately Lions and tigers are usually found in different territories.

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    At the end of Hafeez's press conference video it says Man of the Series Shahid Afridi! You should correct it as its Shakib ul Hasan.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Sarfraz only needs a little time to settle down. once he gets that time, he is certainly a technically better player than Adnan, Salman etc. HIs batting style is also idealy suited to test cricket. I hope now Qasim will refrain from comments like "last chance". Such comments can be very damaging to a younsters psyche. They can destroy a player. I hope in the future he will be given a more steady run, and not be dropped every now and then. Give him some confidence he can be a match winner, also with Sarfraz you can be sure that every thing behind the stumps will be safe.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    This is the first article that i have seen which really appreciates the under-rated players like Sarfraz and Cheema. I personally feel that Sarfraz has the qualities of becoming one of the best Wicket keeper that pakistan has produced. He only has to be given the right opportunities. I personally feel he should be used higher up in the order when avoiding a collapse is the priority and there is no pressuer to score quickly. He is ideally suited for the no.3 or no.4 spot. He should be given the role of Younis Khan or Misbah (that removes misbah and younis from the odi team). He is also a better keeper-batsman than Adnan akmal for test matches. I dont know why the selectors are avoiding him in tests even though his first class stats are way ahead compared to the others. Also i think Sarfraz would do better without comments like "LAST CHANCE".

  • getsetgopk on March 23, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Sarfaraz could have been the MOM but really when you look at Afridi's contribution in a low scoring game on a slow pitch Afridi's effort out weigh the efforts of all the others, with the bat 32 runs of 22 balls, with the ball, 10 overs conceding just 28 runs and picking up a wicket in a low scoring game, Afridi is my man of the match, could have been better with the bat but still way ahead of the others. Cheema and Sarfaraz did a fabulous job, this victory wouldn't have been possible without their effort, in all it was a nice team work. Well played and Congratulations to Pakistan, clearly the best in Asia.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 23, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    If Lion is not there in the jungle, tiger will be 'King' of jungle...go Pakistan go!

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  • Fast_Track_Bully on March 23, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    If Lion is not there in the jungle, tiger will be 'King' of jungle...go Pakistan go!

  • getsetgopk on March 23, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Sarfaraz could have been the MOM but really when you look at Afridi's contribution in a low scoring game on a slow pitch Afridi's effort out weigh the efforts of all the others, with the bat 32 runs of 22 balls, with the ball, 10 overs conceding just 28 runs and picking up a wicket in a low scoring game, Afridi is my man of the match, could have been better with the bat but still way ahead of the others. Cheema and Sarfaraz did a fabulous job, this victory wouldn't have been possible without their effort, in all it was a nice team work. Well played and Congratulations to Pakistan, clearly the best in Asia.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    This is the first article that i have seen which really appreciates the under-rated players like Sarfraz and Cheema. I personally feel that Sarfraz has the qualities of becoming one of the best Wicket keeper that pakistan has produced. He only has to be given the right opportunities. I personally feel he should be used higher up in the order when avoiding a collapse is the priority and there is no pressuer to score quickly. He is ideally suited for the no.3 or no.4 spot. He should be given the role of Younis Khan or Misbah (that removes misbah and younis from the odi team). He is also a better keeper-batsman than Adnan akmal for test matches. I dont know why the selectors are avoiding him in tests even though his first class stats are way ahead compared to the others. Also i think Sarfraz would do better without comments like "LAST CHANCE".

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    Sarfraz only needs a little time to settle down. once he gets that time, he is certainly a technically better player than Adnan, Salman etc. HIs batting style is also idealy suited to test cricket. I hope now Qasim will refrain from comments like "last chance". Such comments can be very damaging to a younsters psyche. They can destroy a player. I hope in the future he will be given a more steady run, and not be dropped every now and then. Give him some confidence he can be a match winner, also with Sarfraz you can be sure that every thing behind the stumps will be safe.

  • on March 23, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    At the end of Hafeez's press conference video it says Man of the Series Shahid Afridi! You should correct it as its Shakib ul Hasan.

  • Sports4Youth on March 23, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    @ Fast_Track_Bully :-- Re: Loin and Tiger comparison. Really speaking in terms of strenght and domination there is no difference between a lion and a tiger. A full grown lion and a full grown tiger are equal in streanght. Both of them refuse to back off, often resulting in the death of one of them. Usually it is the Lion who suffers the fatal blow at the hands of the tiger, because in a face to face the tiger dispalys better boxing abilities by standing on its hind legs and delivering quick, swift & decisive blows. while the lion cannot stand on its hind legs and is often late in delivering the blows. However, Lions stay and move around in their pride (pack or family). Tigers are loners. They always stay alone. Usually a jungle will be infested by either lions or tigers because they cannot share the same jungle. They will get rid of each other. But fortunately Lions and tigers are usually found in different territories.

  • on March 23, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    Congrats to the best team in Asia! Pakistan are the champions!

  • smalishah84 on March 23, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Well done guys....it was an awesome cup...well played BD and Pak

  • Zaaid on March 23, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @Sports4Youth: so did you find some change in Misbah's approach? plus yeah you are right about Sarfraz being put under pressure .. and he batted well .. i think his batting style is suitable for middle order in ODsI rather being used as a finisher :-)

  • KarachiKid on March 23, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    I think its about time Sarfaraz was also given an extended run in the test side. His keeping is at par with Adnan Akmal while his batting is technically definitely better than both Adnan and Butter-gloved (a.ka. Kamran) Akmals. So Sarfaraz is the way to go. Its Umar that needs to told that its his LAST CHANCE not Sarfaraz.