Champions Trophy October 17, 2006

A win to relish

The encounter between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was as emotionally charged as any match Pakistan have ever played
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Some commentators have dismissed the Champions Trophy as a meaningless jamboree but the encounter between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was as emotionally charged as any match Pakistan have ever played. The heat was on Younis Khan but he didn't fry thanks to a stunning batting display from Abdul Razzaq and a catching blunder by Sri Lanka's Dilshan.

Razzaq, the ex vice-captain, put in a captain's performance with bat and ball and Younis, the ex dummy captain, put in a yummy performance that showcased his natural leadership skills, obvious in his enthusiasm, energy, and positivity.

It was always going to take an outstanding perfromance to cool Sri Lanka's red-hot streak and Pakistan managed that with a composed chase under lights. The Razzler razzle-dazzled but the pursuit was steered by sensible knocks from Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik, and given an early thrust by Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat.

In the absence of their two best bowlers Pakistan will still struggle to win this tournament but more of this positive approach and India's batsman-friendly wickets could still carry Younis Khan's team a long way.

This was a tremendous team performance and Younis and Bob Woolmer must take the credit for that. Many of Younis's disillusioned supporters will have only now begun to forgive him. Continue like this and he could be pardoned just as enthusiastically as he was damned.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kashif on October 23, 2006, 13:31 GMT

    Why does pakistani cricket bring tears to my eyes... Is it because they are exceptionally brilliant one day and a misery to watch on another?? Either way, the odds were stacked against us and we played like a team of cornered tigers... If we can use Afridi more wisely, I think we have the talent to beat any team, on any day. Lets have some self belief and faith in the Almighty..

  • mawali on October 23, 2006, 12:06 GMT

    If I may digress a moment. I tend to agree with Sandeep about the Younis Khan statement "We are "MUSLIM TEAM" and thats why we won". Why do we have to drag religion in every mater. Religion is a private matter and leave it at that. Now, a great win by a TEAM. This was a total team effort that was won more from team spirit and enthusiasm than skill. I have witnessed such performance in football (American) and basketball. It is a special thing to watch. Go Pakistan beat New Zealand!

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on October 19, 2006, 5:35 GMT

    Excellent win, especially given the mauling we took in the 1st ten overs. One comment on strategy, I think Afridi should have a set role and that is that he should be the first player to walk in after 35 overs. If the openers last 35 overs he should come in 1 down, if we have a batting collapse, Akmal, and Razzak should be sent above him until we reach the 35th over then he should come in.

  • Awais on October 19, 2006, 5:23 GMT

    Despite all the controversies it was absolutely fantastic performance by our team. Hats off to all of them specially Razzaq and i wish them a very best of luck in future.

  • Hasnain Ali on October 19, 2006, 5:22 GMT

    Abudl Razzaq is a great player...and no doubt younis is also a great player and a great captain..with this victory now we are feeling good after some such a painful events.A big thanks to all tigers for a great victory.keep it up boys inshallah everything will b ok.

  • Jibran Baig on October 19, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    It is not news that Pakistan has gone through humiliating phase in recent times and there is no better way to put it behind than winning consistently. It is a good step forward, but it be wonderful if the all come together and win it all. If they do that than everything that has happened recently will be overshadowed.

  • Talha Hadi on October 19, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    The funny thing is this is not our best lineup, had inzamam not got suspended and Asif and akhtar not been accused of drug scandal this game wouldn't have been a game it would have been humiliation for SL. Pakistan still have a big chance to win, they might not have the big stars in the line up but they have the big hearts needed to play a proper game of cricket.

  • Kashif Anwar, M.D. on October 19, 2006, 4:25 GMT

    Thats the performance where paki power can give sleepless nights to the oppositions! amazing team performance with such unity is a rare sight. Sitting in USA watching fully knitted team fighting for dignity re-ignitted our patriotism and emotions for the country. Hats off to whole team and woolmer. Shame on You PCB for never ending dirty politics!!

  • Priyantha Wijayaunga on October 19, 2006, 4:06 GMT

    Dilshan should be dropped. He is not a match-winner at least recently. If the selectors want to give him a chance give orthers also, who are waiting.

  • Abdullah on October 19, 2006, 2:28 GMT

    Unity in Diversity...Pak proved this n won over a strong Sri Lankan side...Shahid Bhai should be asked to bat at a particular order n not anywhere without prior knowledge...

  • Kashif on October 23, 2006, 13:31 GMT

    Why does pakistani cricket bring tears to my eyes... Is it because they are exceptionally brilliant one day and a misery to watch on another?? Either way, the odds were stacked against us and we played like a team of cornered tigers... If we can use Afridi more wisely, I think we have the talent to beat any team, on any day. Lets have some self belief and faith in the Almighty..

  • mawali on October 23, 2006, 12:06 GMT

    If I may digress a moment. I tend to agree with Sandeep about the Younis Khan statement "We are "MUSLIM TEAM" and thats why we won". Why do we have to drag religion in every mater. Religion is a private matter and leave it at that. Now, a great win by a TEAM. This was a total team effort that was won more from team spirit and enthusiasm than skill. I have witnessed such performance in football (American) and basketball. It is a special thing to watch. Go Pakistan beat New Zealand!

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on October 19, 2006, 5:35 GMT

    Excellent win, especially given the mauling we took in the 1st ten overs. One comment on strategy, I think Afridi should have a set role and that is that he should be the first player to walk in after 35 overs. If the openers last 35 overs he should come in 1 down, if we have a batting collapse, Akmal, and Razzak should be sent above him until we reach the 35th over then he should come in.

  • Awais on October 19, 2006, 5:23 GMT

    Despite all the controversies it was absolutely fantastic performance by our team. Hats off to all of them specially Razzaq and i wish them a very best of luck in future.

  • Hasnain Ali on October 19, 2006, 5:22 GMT

    Abudl Razzaq is a great player...and no doubt younis is also a great player and a great captain..with this victory now we are feeling good after some such a painful events.A big thanks to all tigers for a great victory.keep it up boys inshallah everything will b ok.

  • Jibran Baig on October 19, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    It is not news that Pakistan has gone through humiliating phase in recent times and there is no better way to put it behind than winning consistently. It is a good step forward, but it be wonderful if the all come together and win it all. If they do that than everything that has happened recently will be overshadowed.

  • Talha Hadi on October 19, 2006, 4:31 GMT

    The funny thing is this is not our best lineup, had inzamam not got suspended and Asif and akhtar not been accused of drug scandal this game wouldn't have been a game it would have been humiliation for SL. Pakistan still have a big chance to win, they might not have the big stars in the line up but they have the big hearts needed to play a proper game of cricket.

  • Kashif Anwar, M.D. on October 19, 2006, 4:25 GMT

    Thats the performance where paki power can give sleepless nights to the oppositions! amazing team performance with such unity is a rare sight. Sitting in USA watching fully knitted team fighting for dignity re-ignitted our patriotism and emotions for the country. Hats off to whole team and woolmer. Shame on You PCB for never ending dirty politics!!

  • Priyantha Wijayaunga on October 19, 2006, 4:06 GMT

    Dilshan should be dropped. He is not a match-winner at least recently. If the selectors want to give him a chance give orthers also, who are waiting.

  • Abdullah on October 19, 2006, 2:28 GMT

    Unity in Diversity...Pak proved this n won over a strong Sri Lankan side...Shahid Bhai should be asked to bat at a particular order n not anywhere without prior knowledge...

  • Ahmed Z. on October 19, 2006, 2:00 GMT

    fantastic game and a memorable victory...Razzaq once again proved how great a one-day player he really is...but the troubling thing was to see the lack of firepower of the Pak seamers...I think we will struggle to contain the flow of runs with the new ball...Rana has to step up big time as he is the senior fast bowler in the team now and he has to provde early breakthroughs

  • Dr Shahid Zuberi, Scotland ,UK on October 19, 2006, 1:08 GMT

    There is nothing more beautiful than triumph over adversity and Pakistan showed true grit and class to overcome supremely confident SriLnkans. A majestic performance from Shoab Malik and Yousuf had set the scene for a final onsalught by Razzaque. However, the stern determination( so evident with thier wide stares and body lanaguage) and fluent stroke paly by both Imran Farhat and Mohd Hafeez was the back bone of Pakistan's spetacular run chase. Well done boys! Keep the flame burning.

  • Josh on October 19, 2006, 0:51 GMT

    Sri Lanka and Pakistan have really lit up the tournament (I'm glad Australia and WIndies have maintained it this evening). Must also praise the excellent effort by the Indian authorities & wonderous crowds. Pitches - well - do you really want to see your side hammered for 500 runs? (Don't answer that!) This tourni is turning out to be a classic - the last 2 matches have been amazing.

  • Mawali on October 19, 2006, 0:26 GMT

    Younis, commited a serious error in judgement, but to say that he is damned is going toooo far. This guy is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. I am gladly willing to forgive and support him all the way.

  • Omar Ansari on October 18, 2006, 23:41 GMT

    Haha after all the scrutiny the champions trophy has been put through in the past few months, mostly by the Indian Cricket board, I thought the poor pitches were part of BCCI's conspiracy to eradicate The Champions Trophy from the list of events lol, but the last two matches have proven me wrong. What a startling performance by both the West Indians and the Pakistani's!! They deserve a lot of applause for not only winning their opening group matches in style but also for igniting life into this tournament!!

  • Adnan Leghari on October 18, 2006, 22:14 GMT

    well i am as glad as the next person with tis remarkable Pak win. but wht i dont understand is y isnt Malik getting any credit. i think if it wasnt for the innings that he played, a win here wudnt have been possible despite Razzak's blitz. u asked who cud be Inzamam's replacment as a batsman, well u have ur answer i hope. take a bow SHOAIB MALIK!!!!!

  • Ali Asim on October 18, 2006, 22:14 GMT

    The real character of a team in the cricketing world is tested when the going gets tough. And mind you, it was tough for the "Team Pakistan" to sport such a performance with so much happened around them in recent roller coaster of events. It also shows how fit Younis is for the job. I always knew he had it in him, as mentioned repeatedly by Imran Khan that Younis has the leading qualities that Pakistan direly needs. And how can we ever forget that how many times Razzy buoyed Pakistan up when they desparately need it. He is undoubtedly the most seasoned and consistent of players in the horde.

  • Aziz on October 18, 2006, 22:02 GMT

    Good fighting spirit, depth in batting and unity on the field did the trick for Pakistan. I hope they continue this form, and more importantly the enthusiasm through the tournament and beyond.

    Razzaq and Malik are Pakistan's two most valuable players and certainly the credit goes to Bob Woolmer for harnessing them into excellent finishers. Younis Khan, well he may have flopped with the bat but cool captaincy and a bit of luck should keep him going. Good to see Yousaf and Farhat among the runs, expecially on an occassion when it mattered.

    Kudos to Pakistan and best wishes for the future!

  • Farrukh on October 18, 2006, 21:53 GMT

    What a win! I think this win is very significant not just for pakistan cricket but the entire nation. I can vouch that even living in the US i fel really ashamed and depressed after the drug situation, but this win was a real morale booster! We can win this tournament! Inshallah!!

  • Abbas Ali on October 18, 2006, 21:18 GMT

    Congrates to Younis & co. for providing a competition that will be cherished. It wasnt a big run chase, but provided the events that have occured in last few weeks, this was a great acheivement. I believe, the board and the captain should show faith in Rana n Anjum and encourage them, then only they can perform better.

  • Asif on October 18, 2006, 20:38 GMT

    Indeed it is a win to relish. After the malarkey of the past few days/weeks this is exactly what Pakistan needs, wins! Pakistan is, in my opinion, the most united and gifted team in the world and they show it on the field, its only self-belief that they lack sometimes and if they overcome that, NOTHINGs impossible. Fair enough they have beaten Sri-Lanka, but to be honest Sri-Lanka made a lot of mistakes as well and Pakistan were helped by that fact. Tougher opposition lie ahead, they still need to put their heads down and concentrate on what they really need, which is to be Champions of Cricket, and they can, even without Shoaib and Asif.

  • how long shall it last on October 18, 2006, 20:17 GMT

    Pakistan surprised all and sundary with this todays performance but i am skeptical about their future wins as their winning momentum does not long last in big tournaments.

  • Syed Shoaib Ahsan on October 18, 2006, 19:38 GMT

    Probably everyone in Pakistan would have breathed a sigh of relief! After experiencing so much of turbulence for so long, this was indeed a sigh much awaited for!

    Btw, Kamran Sahab, i guess you can stop coming up with the "dumb decision" thing in every other post. Let it be a thing of past, and let's hope for the best!

    Cheers!

  • Ali Abbas on October 18, 2006, 19:20 GMT

    What a brilliant start for all the Pak team and all there supporters. Although Razzaq plays a vital role in it, but its a pure team effort. Lets Hope they keep up this same sprit all along the tournament.

  • Raza Zaidi on October 18, 2006, 19:04 GMT

    This victory shows that a team is made up of 11, and not one or two. I was pessimistic after the drugs drama unfolded, but that made this victory all the sweeter and joyful for me. Still long way to go though. Rana and Gul will have to pick up their game many fold if Pak are to do any better than reaching the semifinals. Raza.

  • Sheharyar Ahmed Siddiqui on October 18, 2006, 18:56 GMT

    What a start!!A team effort.With all the positives i thought Shahid Afridi was once again wasted by facing Murli and Sanath.Since the toss Younis had the confidence in him and his team and as Razzaq Smacked sixes it was once again proved that one can never count out Pakistan.

  • Owais on October 18, 2006, 18:53 GMT

    Great performance, yes I have partially forgotten Younis Khan's moment of madness a few days ago. Razzaq always comes back hard when people start writing him off. Thats the reason why both Razzaq and Afridi are important players in the one setup. Finally I guess they should have sent Mohammad Sami along with one from amongst Yasir Arafat, this spinner they named and Kaneria (purely because of turning wickets and kaneria can take wickets here).

  • Asher on October 18, 2006, 18:33 GMT

    gr8 match lightens up the champions trophy and typical of pakistani approach; whatever they do they do in style on the field and off the field......younis responded exactly the way any khan would when cornered espesially after jaysuria's onslaught.....but i wonder how long would pakistan persist wid rana naveed,,,. i hope younas and woolmer wud replace him with yasir arafat.

  • Sheharyar Ahmed Siddiqui on October 18, 2006, 18:31 GMT

    What a start!!A team effort.With all the positives i thought Shahid Afridi was once again wasted by facing Murli and Sanath.Since the toss Younis had the confidence in him and his team and as Razzaq Smacked sixes it was once again proved that one can never count out Pakistan.

  • Imran Gheewala on October 18, 2006, 18:07 GMT

    I think we also need to mention the support the Pakistan team received from the Indian crowd. it was really heartening to see, maybe the politicians can read into it a bit and take the peace process forward. Another noticable thing was the passion and involvement of Bob Woolmer. This looked like the rebirth of "the Bob" as Inzi likes to call him.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 18, 2006, 18:00 GMT

    As capricious and absurd the last few weeks have been, I was surprisingly ecstatic to see the team perform as well as they did. Despite the enormous pressure that had engulfed the team, Razzaq and company played their hearts out! Though Afridi's shot selection and Farhat's astounding ability to throw his wicket away when set, left much to be desired, it was great to see everyone chipping in! That is precisely what most genuine cricket fans care about. Our team fighting till the very last and giving it more than a 100 percent! Last night's cricket match personified those sentiments. At last, something to cheer about:)

  • Omer Tariq on October 18, 2006, 17:48 GMT

    Pakistani team will cherish this victory for a very very long time and who knows this win spurs them on to reach the final.Emphatic performance.

    If they continue in this fashion, Younis may well be on his way for world cup captaincy!

  • Abdul Syed on October 18, 2006, 17:38 GMT

    This was a tremendous team performance and team must take the credit for that. Hope what Younis mentioned in the press conference that allowing freedom to team members to relax and religiion played a role for the team to perform.

    I just hoped they dump Rana Naveed and allow new talent to groom for the remainder of the tournament. Good luck to Pakistani team for the remainder of the ICC tournament, as WI just knocked out Austrilia.

  • ahsan on October 18, 2006, 17:12 GMT

    This is the fighting instinct our team needs for all the matches. In the end it does not matter if you win or lose then! Good luck for the tournament.

  • Ahmad Raza on October 18, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    Well I really hope that solid performances like this continue. The best sight was that everyone chipped in somewhere... and with so many all rounders in the side, we definately need that.

  • Aarish Mustafa on October 18, 2006, 16:30 GMT

    Razzaq is the man. For some reason, he bowls well against Sri Lanke. How can anyone forget his heroics when he bowled the last batsmen to tie the match. His batting speaks for itself. I hope he can return to the bowling form he was in around 1999, 2000. Shoaib Malik,one of the most underrated allrounders around, did an excellecent job with the bat and ball. Stayed cool throughout his innings.

  • obaid on October 18, 2006, 16:11 GMT

    all the controversy, all the criticism and in the face of all the adversity Pakistan pulled off a splendid win.

  • Yousuf Chughtai on October 18, 2006, 15:15 GMT

    Congratulations to the lads, but lets not get too ahead of ourselves here. No doubt it was an emotional win given the happenings of the past few months, but we still have a long way to go in this tournament.

  • Shahid on October 18, 2006, 15:13 GMT

    Its amazing to see what a young, united Pakistan team can do. They did it before when Pakistan toured India last time without Shoaib. I hope they can prove their critics wrong and go on to win this tournament. I hope Pakistanis all over the world, working in different departments, can learn and emulate these acheivements. "nahin naumeed iqbal apni kisht e veran se Zara nam ho to yeh mati bari zarghaiz hai saki"

    Thanks Shahid.

  • Faisal on October 18, 2006, 15:12 GMT

    This was one of the most emotionally charged match I've ever seen. The whole match was total entertainment. And Pakistan did well to make up for the absence of their 3 best players. Sri Lanka did very well to loose in such fighting spirit.

  • Asad on October 18, 2006, 15:09 GMT

    Wowww...ICC Champions Trophy really needed this sort of match, to get things started. I must say an awesome performance by pakistani bowlers to restrict S.Lanka to 253 and then on a difficult pitch getting the required runs with few balls to spare. One thing i don't understand is, Sanjay Manjrekar said Pakistan won because of dew factor. Even Mr.Abbasi said pakistan won, thanks to dropped catch by dilshan. Which match doesnt have dropped catches ?. Stop finding excuses and accept the fact that Pakistan has the got the biggest heart in world cricket

  • haseeb on October 18, 2006, 15:02 GMT

    What a game!!! This is the beauty of cricket the game. More questions were answered with this performance than can be done in an hour long press conference.

    Now there is news of Bob's position in question, which is a disgusting thing. Non cricket people in the board gudging the greats of the game. If only the board performs half as well as the boys performed yesterday. I would like to take this place to stress the absolute support received by Pakistan in the Indian city of Jaipur. THANKYOU for it. We are neither down nor out.

  • Umair Siddique on October 18, 2006, 14:57 GMT

    Great performance by the Pakistan team. It is just sad that Pakistani fans are so quick to write the team off when a storm hits instead of supporting and encouraging the team in their time of need. The Pakistan team is bigger than any one, two, or three players. They definitely proved that to Sri Lanka and the world in Jaipur.

  • Hassan Mirza on October 18, 2006, 14:51 GMT

    Razzaq once again showing great nerves under pressure as he has always done. Another reason to consider him as a future captain. He can be the next captain after Imran Khan to display great allround skills and lead by example. Something that PCB should really look into.

  • Wisal Ahmad on October 18, 2006, 14:49 GMT

    It was nothing but SPECTECULAR. This why we love them (Pak Cricket Team). It has just relaxed me after long depression (Due to doping saga). I will not suggest to Afridi to calm down and paly sensibly because he can not. We should give confidence to young players and tell them this time where you should stand tall. It was nice to see Yousaf taking responsibility and it was amazing to see a mature Shoaib Malik in thrilling chase. He never lost his cool and was street smart like Javed. But the real hero of the day was Mr. Dashing (Razzak). The real Punjabi Munda in action. At the end it showed the resolve and Power of Unified team. We know how talented this bunch is but the diffrence was there unity. They faught like team and they achieved unthinkable.

  • ravi on October 18, 2006, 14:45 GMT

    It is a typical Pak performance with the off-field fireworks translating into a fiery on-field performance. Indeed, if Younis Khan's team manages to win the trophy which is not an unlikely possibility with the familiar conditions of the sub-continent aiding them, Inzy just might have to look for a new job.

    One of course hopes that one of the world's best batsmen who has done so much for Pakistani cricket will be spared this fate.

  • Ali Naqvi on October 18, 2006, 14:36 GMT

    Great to see the team fight in adversity and triumph. For me the best part of the day was the unbridled joy on the faces of every team member at the end of the match. Their elation (Shoaib Malik and Waqar were even pulling pranks on Razzak at the presentation ceremony) spoke of recent tough times and how much they needed this win.

    Oh, just wanted to share a thought - I suggest Inzi deserves some credit for all this as well, for forging this unit.

  • Nadeem Mohammed on October 18, 2006, 14:36 GMT

    A big big congrats to Team Pakistan for a truely enthrilling display of patience and talent. This has been a turbulent time for Team Pakistan, but ironically, Team Pakistan has shown a strong performance together with the heart and courage to ease a win from the bottom of the wells. A fantastic performance, which hopefully, inshallah, be the begining of a unified Team Pakistan.

  • Hussam Qureshi on October 18, 2006, 14:35 GMT

    Great match. Great for the Pakistan supporters and for the tournament as well which was, to be honest, very boring before this. I have always been an optimist and believed that Pakistan have got the reserves to go on and win the tournament and with the fighting spirit and unity shown in the first game I am feeling a lot more upbeat now. The drugs saga is really tragic and I hope the two bowlers come out clean after the enquiry and we get a full strength bowling attack for the world cup. I really think PCB needs to do more to educate the players in this regard and should have qualfied person scrutinizing the medicines they take.

  • KA$H on October 18, 2006, 14:33 GMT

    1 of the most exciting and satisfying performances from Pak in recent times. To do so after the recent adversities made the game mean that much more!

  • Faisal Yasin on October 18, 2006, 14:32 GMT

    What a win from Pakistan .... unbelievable .... if they go like this and the team is unit then ICC cup is for Pakistan.

  • Abid Hussain on October 18, 2006, 14:25 GMT

    After long time Pakistan players perform excellent and it was totally team effect to win exiting match. The Younis Khan still need to work on his moodiness mind & and gown up approach to player and cricket. This was the prefect start for Pakistan and people love the excitement finish in cricket.

  • FUO on October 18, 2006, 14:24 GMT

    The first time after the drugs scandal that I realised that Pakistan cricket may be able to move past it and that I will do so too, was when I saw Yousaf run himself out. Because I was able to see the funny side of it. Inzi and Yousaf runouts are always comical and hilarious, if sometimes tragic. Yesterday's runout though, meant that when Pakistan's big gun got out, the rest of them put their hands up and made it count when it mattered. Good stuff!

  • Muhammad Shahzad on October 18, 2006, 14:24 GMT

    Congrats to whole Pak team and coach ofcourse! It was a pure display of professionalism, tremendous maturity, awsome team performance (no doubt about that) and it felt great to see a match like this.

  • Karim on October 18, 2006, 14:22 GMT

    This match was made it easy for Pakistan by Razak. However, Srilanka played very well but at the end one has to loose. Pakistan without key players will give self confidence to all younger players. I like to thank Pakistan and Srilanka for providing us a great game of Cricket to watch.

  • babar ali on October 18, 2006, 14:16 GMT

    3 words

    PRESSURE WHAT PRESSURE.

  • Ali on October 18, 2006, 14:13 GMT

    Wonderful performance from Pakistan in under pressure situation. I am sure they will go all the way to win the Champions Trophy. Good luck Pakistan

    Ali

  • rehan kidwai on October 18, 2006, 14:11 GMT

    A job well done under under pressure and criticism. Commendable performance from both bowlers and batsmen. I was however a bit disappointed to hear sanjay manjerakar rating evening dew as a decisive factor in tilting the game Pakistan's way. Srilanka knew about the conditions beforehand and they opted to bat first. Why cry for it then.

  • Ali on October 18, 2006, 14:11 GMT

    Two words for the team...."Superb Performance". It was an excellent team performance and an awesome competiotion to watch. Pakistan showed everybody that they still have the ability to beat any team collectively, and to be honest that's what a 'Team' is suppose to do anyway. No doubt the credit goes to the captain and the coach, but I think it would be unfair to not recognize the other people involved with the whole situation (including Inzamam and Waqar Younis). It was nice to see Waqar on the sidelines with the team, providing them good advise and cheering with them on every occassion. Once again great performance and a well deserved win. Congratulation!!!!

  • Arif Shah on October 18, 2006, 14:09 GMT

    One could just tell from the team's celebrations after the match that it was like they have won the tournament. Just shows how much the victory meant to them.

  • Tariq Saleem on October 18, 2006, 14:08 GMT

    A great day for Pakistan cricket. The teams and coach celebrations after the match reminds me of victory celebrations after 92 world cup final victory. Hugging, smiling and confident faces! Keep it up we are with you Pakis cricket.

  • Rashid Ramzan on October 18, 2006, 14:06 GMT

    Thanks to Abdul Razzak, Dilshan and dew for winning us a very important match. It is very pleasant to win first game after so much drama going on around our team, some due to corrupted board and some due to bad players. Its hard to say that pakistan is going to win this tropy but they will put up a good show to watch in matches to come.

  • Tariq on October 18, 2006, 14:02 GMT

    Pakistan gets involved with every problem that arises in cricket: chucking, scuffing up the pitch, allegedly scuffing up the ball, forfeiting the game, bringing the game into disrepute, a banned captain, a resigned board president, doped up players... Hell, any time there is ANY problem in the world, Pakistan seems to be somehow involved.

    But yet, despite this, there is no denying that the Pakistani cricket players have tigerish aggression, charm, talent and skill which, when combined, are overwhelming when the chips are down.

  • Yasir on October 18, 2006, 14:01 GMT

    This victory means alot not only to Pakistan cricket team but to the whole nation. Somebody said few days back, that Pakistan plays their best cricket when they are cornered and thats exactly what happened. Congratulations to Pakistan team and hopefully they will continue to play like this in the next games as well.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam on October 18, 2006, 13:52 GMT

    While some people can keep on stating factors of dew and dropped catches as instrumental in Pak's sucess, our players and we all have our heads high for the moment. Its simply remarkable to show this much character and effort when it really was the need of the hour. You dont get to see many perfect finishes like this everyday... Who cares now as to what happens with the next results. These are moments to relish and savour for today our cricketers have showed they really do care what their fans wanted from them. A display of sheer courage and enthusiam. straight from the heart.

  • Dr A Iqbal on October 18, 2006, 13:38 GMT

    My headlines "Razzaq 'razored' SriLanka" both with the bat and the ball, however, we should also appreciate the efforts of Muhammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat, and last but not the least, Shoaib Malik. Overall, Well-done Team Pakistan.

    Team Pakistan should not be carried away with this win and should try to reflect on the mitakes they made or more apprepriately how could they improve given the conditions. For example, sending Shahid Afridi one-down if not as an opener, as he could be much more effective in power-plays and he plays fast bowlers better than spinners.

    Incidently, this is the Holy month of Ramadan and back in 1992, Pakistan won the world cup in Ramadan too. Good Luck, Team Pakistan.

  • Shrinivas Venkatesh on October 18, 2006, 13:36 GMT

    It is indeed a morale boosting win for Pakistan as nobody expected the to even come close to winning. Younis khan especially, should be credited; for he lead the team outstandingly. Apart from that, the players, who put the crisis behind them on concentrated on the match should be commended.

  • Shrinivas on October 18, 2006, 13:36 GMT

    It is indeed a morale boosting win for Pakistan as nobody expected the to even come close to winning. Younis khan especially, should be credited; for he lead the team outstandingly. Apart from that, the players, who put the crisis behind them on concentrated on the match should be commended.

  • sajid dar on October 18, 2006, 13:35 GMT

    i always beleived that pak can win this tournament with their long batting run up n their ability to chase big totals...this is not the pak team of past wen the opposition used to dump the game by scoring above 250 or 260 against them..they have the ability to chase down any target n i think that shud be their mantra for success in this tournament..win the toss n field n inshaallah victory will b ours..

  • Mazhar Dar on October 18, 2006, 13:33 GMT

    I feel Abdul Razzaq will be come best alrounder in world cricket. the way he playing stunning batting display.

  • Tareque Uzzaman on October 18, 2006, 13:31 GMT

    This match not only revived interest in the tourney, but also showed a remarkable trait that I didnt know the Pak squad had...Thats reslience and composure in the face of off field adversity!

  • Azhar on October 18, 2006, 13:30 GMT

    A surprising but refreshing win considering the circumstances. The team came out a fighting unit and never lost spirit. The good work of the last 2 yrs has not been completely undone by recent events. But Pakistan (and maybe Inzi & Woolmer) need a strong showing to keep the vultures away & keep the core intact till atleast the world cup.

  • Mujeeb on October 18, 2006, 13:29 GMT

    I think this blog represents your bias towards Yunis Khan. May be him being a Pathan you ca't tolerate him. I saw the match on Broadband and I saw YK running towards the field and hugging the last pair and even BV after winning the Therefore leave him alone and just to remind you , there have been several times when Razzaq has failed and YK has come to the rescue. They played like TEAM PAKISTAN and that matters. in my opinion. Pakistan Zindabad' I kow you won't post these comments. Remember Truth always prevails.

    Mujeeb Atlanta GA

  • Dr. Ahmad Zia on October 18, 2006, 13:28 GMT

    what an emotional game and a big win. It was an allround performance maybe the best game I have ever seen Pakistan played with such a big heart. If Pakistan play the way they did, I am sure they can win this World Cup but I am sure many more. Best Wishes for Pakistan cricket team especially for Younis Khan......

  • Imran on October 18, 2006, 12:09 GMT

    A great win and hopefully the Pakistan team will find some stability from this win. You could see the enormous relief on the face of Younis Khan and Bob Woolmer when they had a big hug at the end of the match.

  • Waqas Raza on October 18, 2006, 11:39 GMT

    It must have been 11 or 12 people in the Pakistani dressing room that evening but the amount of joy and fervor in there made it seem like there were no lees than eleven or twelve thousand people in that dressing room jumping and crawling over each other after achieving victory. Well done team Pakistan!! You've showed true character by winning an encounter that was being termed as a miracle win for Pakistan had Pakistan won.

  • Shehzad Khan on October 18, 2006, 11:29 GMT

    "Consistently Inconsistent" The amazing highs and lows of being a Pakistani supporter. I thought we would get a hammering from a full stregnth Srilankan side high on confidence. The resilliance of the team was amazing - fantastic perfomance. Well done the boys - We are proud of you.

  • Ahsan Malik on October 18, 2006, 11:04 GMT

    Pakistan played as they always play when cornered. After seeming initially off beat, they did get their act together and performed to silence their critics. It is important to keep faith with your players, after all it is only a game...... we shouldn't ask for their heads if they underperform, at times, others are there to play as well!

  • Wajid on October 18, 2006, 10:35 GMT

    A fantastic performance under pressure. I salute Razaaq for his performance.

  • Zohaib Asif on October 18, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    The Best Game so far.Team Pakistan showed their chracter.This is the best thing about this team ,no matter how the situation is they always play as a unit.winning or loosing is apart of game but the spirit in which they play is highly admirable.

  • S.M.Owais on October 18, 2006, 9:28 GMT

    Hello,

    Hopefully the recent victory will have pacified the naysayers, of whom I have experienced many. One mustn't forget that this is almost exactly the same team that toured successfully to India and West Indies - barring the gaping hole Inzi's departure has left - and has a good chance in the championship.

    To end: excelsior Pakistan!

  • Arslan on October 18, 2006, 8:10 GMT

    A sad day but a good win!

    First of all - great work Mr. Kamran Abbasi - this blog is fabulous.

    i couldn't help it but feel sad yesterday. The win was great, but somehow i missed Shoaib and Asif. If they cheated though they should be banned! Taking Shane Warnes example this ban should be anything between six monhts and a year.

    Putting Afridi at nr. 4 was a smart move by whoever. So he didn't click yesterday, but the move pushed the last powerplay back - very smart use of the new rules. Pakistan is in with a great advantage when it comes to powerplays bcs. of the number of allrounders in the team! Had he clicked even for 5 or 6 overs, the Sri Lankans would have had to put off the power play till the 30th over perhaps, which would have been a great adv. for Pakistan. Good innovation.

    Best regards

    Arslan Norway

  • Hamza on October 18, 2006, 7:45 GMT

    This win speaks volumes of the capricious nature of Pakistan cricket.I wont be surprise one bit if Pakistan wins this tournament.What has happened is this drug abise controversy has united players more and they are more eager to perform.

  • Talal on October 18, 2006, 6:17 GMT

    Hey Pak SPIN

    That performance showed a hell a lot of character. No one expected pakistan to win the match however it seems that adveristy brings out the best in the pakistani players. I am still worried about rana's form. He was a bit erratic today and has been since the England one day series. But the spinners bolwed really well. I could give you a myriad of criticisms of what pakistan did wrong during the match. But I won't and i am absolutely ecstatic about the victory.

    This is pakistan mercurial, eccentric and idiosyncratic! A Vintage Pakistani performance.

    P.S. The indian fans were very partisan towards us and for that i thank them

  • Asad Khan on October 18, 2006, 5:26 GMT

    The match yesterday was the best so far in the Champions Trophy. Pakistan has an allround talent every team wish to have - only Afridi failed to chip in with the bat, but that was only going to back fire to put Afridi in that situation. Afridi has lost his batting form while playing on different positions in the last games. Here the pakistan team management must think whether to start with Afridi and Farhat. With Shoaib Malik's bat finding the ball and Razzaq's hitting ability we can expect something special from a team which was written off after losing their captain and their frontline bowlers.

  • Umer Anwar on October 18, 2006, 5:06 GMT

    Great win by Pakistan!! This is the kind of team performance we needed! The players showed great heart and spirit to win a game that no one thought we could win! The post match celebreations with with whole team, Bob Woolmer the coach, and Waqar Younis the bowling coach showed that the whole team was so united and that was a joy for a fan like me to see. We dont need shoaib akhter and mohammad asif. Let them be banned for 2 years. With Rao Iftikhar,Umer Gul,Mohammad Irshad,Sami,Arafat,Razzaq and even Azhar Mahmood waiting in the wings, we have a lot of talent to choose from! Good luck Pakistan !

  • Saeed Shah on October 18, 2006, 5:00 GMT

    This was an excellent performance by Pakistan. Full marks to Younis Khan and Bob Woolmer for pulling the team together in adversity and toppling the Lankans. A few changes that Pakistan should look at for the next game would be to bring in Yasir Arafat for Rana Naveed who does not warrant a place in the team at present, and promote Malik ahead of Afridi in the batting order. Beyond that, I think we have a good balance and Rao, Gul and Razzaq did very well as fast bowlers in place of the disgraced Asif and Akhter. Well done to Pakistan. This win brought a smile to the faces of the whole country. It shows we do not need the presence of so-called "superstars". Cricket is a team game and we proved with this win that we are an excellent team. Once again, well done to Younis Khan, Bob Woolmer and the entire team.

  • ┬žunny on October 18, 2006, 4:47 GMT

    I hope the team continue its performance like this through out the tournament. Winning and loosing (as always said) is part of game, but Pakistan should play good cricket.

  • Fahad Ali on October 18, 2006, 4:40 GMT

    It's amazing how winning heals all wounds. If younis somehow leads Pakistan to a successful campaign in this tournament, who knows what might happen until the World Cup. Especially keeping in mind that there has been a change of power at the top. Ironically, it seems that Pakistan seems to relish these chaotic scenarios and make th ebest of them when any other team would've collapsed, and that's precisely what makes them so special and unique.

  • samir hassan on October 18, 2006, 4:36 GMT

    The game proved to us that Pakistan do not need to depend on the two bowlers who have been banned. Razzaq and the spinners put in an excellent effort. Younis captained well however I am still worried about the batting order. Without Inzi we have a big gap to fill. If it had been Australia today we probably would have lost when we had lost our 5th wicket. However the Pakistan team played well and this was a good morale booster for them. Hopefully they can improve even more on this performance and get to the semi finals.

  • Shoaib on October 18, 2006, 4:21 GMT

    what a stunning performance... it was a sight to see younus at his best at the helm and all the other guys backing him up... WHAT A WIN !! i hope this will remove any self doubt in the team members and if the teams plays like this..... iam already dreaming of a semi-final appearance..

    PS. I think afridi and malik's batting order should be swapped.

  • sandeep on October 18, 2006, 3:56 GMT

    i knw pakistan cricket team have had tough tough time of late and this win was really out of ordinary but i was touch disappointed to see in today's papers Younis khan sayin we are "MUSLIM TEAM" and thats why we won !!! i dont know but they might have lost few fans after this statement in india sport is meant to be secular level playing field where skill, ability to overcome adversity like what pakistan did last night needs to applauded not the religion .so where does that leave Danish kaneria .. will also follow the yousuf route??

  • adam Nadir on October 18, 2006, 3:22 GMT

    This is a typical aspect of the Pakistan team that most fans overlook. There ability to harness ruthless energy when playing as underdogs. Their stoic display of confidence, and self-reliance can shock any rival. I personaly didn't believe yesterday, and do not today that Pakistan in any ways is handicapped by the abscence of Asif & Shoib. They will be rated as top three contenders for W-Cup 07, and come March, at the least will play the final. Kudos, they deserved that win.

  • Muhammad Haris on October 18, 2006, 2:53 GMT

    A Perfect Win at the Perfect Time.. I was always the Big Fan of Younis Khan and now he is one of my hero in leadership.. They way he takes pressure and everything, its just so natural about him..

    Pakistan & Younis Khan - Zindabad !!

  • Bosco Martyres on October 18, 2006, 2:39 GMT

    In Younis Khan Pakistan has a captain who can win them a world cup. He does not just stand passivly in the slips but energises his players. A good captain must always be alert about the opposition's strengths and weaknesses and make appropriate field placements bowling changes etc. Let's face it, Inzy does not have what it takes. Pakistan have been winning in spite of him.

  • Fawad K on October 18, 2006, 2:32 GMT

    One thing is for sure. Pakistan do great when you expect the worst and they do horrible when you start expcecting them to do well. This team is a group of explosive warriors who need to be tamed.

  • Mashood Yunus on October 18, 2006, 1:57 GMT

    We all make mistakes. Events of last week would have disturbed many and latest shock would be very hard to get over. the team's performance today showed how much they cared about us, about them and above all, about their unity. had they lost, I wouldn't have problem given how positive I found all of them and they All remembered to thank Allah. The fact that they won is just icing on the cake. We all make mistakes, we all forget and we all forgive. We are just humans, nothing less nothing more!

  • wajih rahman on October 18, 2006, 1:14 GMT

    just when pakistan lokk down for the count they come back brilliantly,the odds are still against them in this tournament but you never know with this strong willed team.

  • Imran on October 18, 2006, 1:06 GMT

    Congrats to Yk and BobWoolmer. I think Woolmer has done a great job for Pakistan and i think he is the best Coach ever for Pakistan.

  • Amos Farooqi on October 18, 2006, 0:56 GMT

    Awesome blog! I've just started getting into cricket. My Dad played in college in England and I really want to start learning how to play. I was very dissapointed that this wasn't even mentioned anywhere in the US considering the huge issue of steroid usage.

  • sri on October 18, 2006, 0:51 GMT

    Hudos to Pakistan team to come in and break a hot straking Sri Lankan team, it is nice to see players respond and do thier jobs with so much distractions around, my Congrats to the Captain, Coach for getting team ready and for the whole team for performing so well when all around them was not well. Hope the board picks up on players and concentrate on Game than everything else and bring stability.

  • salman on October 17, 2006, 23:55 GMT

    Perfect start by pak. After the last 6 weeks, this was exactly what was needed. A silver lining may that the forced exclusion of Shoaib and Asif will mean others will have to step up. Looking forward to yasir arafat coming in.

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  • salman on October 17, 2006, 23:55 GMT

    Perfect start by pak. After the last 6 weeks, this was exactly what was needed. A silver lining may that the forced exclusion of Shoaib and Asif will mean others will have to step up. Looking forward to yasir arafat coming in.

  • sri on October 18, 2006, 0:51 GMT

    Hudos to Pakistan team to come in and break a hot straking Sri Lankan team, it is nice to see players respond and do thier jobs with so much distractions around, my Congrats to the Captain, Coach for getting team ready and for the whole team for performing so well when all around them was not well. Hope the board picks up on players and concentrate on Game than everything else and bring stability.

  • Amos Farooqi on October 18, 2006, 0:56 GMT

    Awesome blog! I've just started getting into cricket. My Dad played in college in England and I really want to start learning how to play. I was very dissapointed that this wasn't even mentioned anywhere in the US considering the huge issue of steroid usage.

  • Imran on October 18, 2006, 1:06 GMT

    Congrats to Yk and BobWoolmer. I think Woolmer has done a great job for Pakistan and i think he is the best Coach ever for Pakistan.

  • wajih rahman on October 18, 2006, 1:14 GMT

    just when pakistan lokk down for the count they come back brilliantly,the odds are still against them in this tournament but you never know with this strong willed team.

  • Mashood Yunus on October 18, 2006, 1:57 GMT

    We all make mistakes. Events of last week would have disturbed many and latest shock would be very hard to get over. the team's performance today showed how much they cared about us, about them and above all, about their unity. had they lost, I wouldn't have problem given how positive I found all of them and they All remembered to thank Allah. The fact that they won is just icing on the cake. We all make mistakes, we all forget and we all forgive. We are just humans, nothing less nothing more!

  • Fawad K on October 18, 2006, 2:32 GMT

    One thing is for sure. Pakistan do great when you expect the worst and they do horrible when you start expcecting them to do well. This team is a group of explosive warriors who need to be tamed.

  • Bosco Martyres on October 18, 2006, 2:39 GMT

    In Younis Khan Pakistan has a captain who can win them a world cup. He does not just stand passivly in the slips but energises his players. A good captain must always be alert about the opposition's strengths and weaknesses and make appropriate field placements bowling changes etc. Let's face it, Inzy does not have what it takes. Pakistan have been winning in spite of him.

  • Muhammad Haris on October 18, 2006, 2:53 GMT

    A Perfect Win at the Perfect Time.. I was always the Big Fan of Younis Khan and now he is one of my hero in leadership.. They way he takes pressure and everything, its just so natural about him..

    Pakistan & Younis Khan - Zindabad !!

  • adam Nadir on October 18, 2006, 3:22 GMT

    This is a typical aspect of the Pakistan team that most fans overlook. There ability to harness ruthless energy when playing as underdogs. Their stoic display of confidence, and self-reliance can shock any rival. I personaly didn't believe yesterday, and do not today that Pakistan in any ways is handicapped by the abscence of Asif & Shoib. They will be rated as top three contenders for W-Cup 07, and come March, at the least will play the final. Kudos, they deserved that win.