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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 hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi