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September 14, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup 2007

Daft end to a gripping drama

Kamran Abbasi
Misbah-ul-Haq's 53 nearly sealed the win for Pakistan, India v Pakistan, Group D, ICC World Twenty20, Durban, September 14, 2007
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India and Pakistan played out perhaps their most thrilling contest in a world competition. One of the most absorbing situations in cricket is a batsman staving off a rampant bowling attack. First Robin Uthappa and then Misbah-ul-Haq demonstrated cool nerve and steady technique to salvage their colleagues from a batting disaster. Uthappa has been a revelation in England this summer which made Misbah's innings the bigger surprise.

But on a day that proved that Twenty20 cricket can share the thrill factor, a tie was a result both teams had earned. By sharing the points, both India and Pakistan would have qualified for the next round and the pre-tournament seeding ensured that results and standing had no influence over where the two teams would be heading next.

Pakistan, incidentally, will be pleased to be avoiding Durban in the next stage, almost as pleased as they must be with the wrong-footed emergence of Sohail Tanvir.

Yet the ICC has created a rule that sullied the climax of this match. In their rush to ape soccer's big tournaments, cricket's administrators have missed one point: there are no penalty shoot-outs in group stages, and they only take place in knock-out matches to ensure a winner and avoid a replay. India deserved to win the bowl-out because its players were relaxed and nerveless. But the bowl-out was meaningless, a daft end to a gripping drama.

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

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Posted by Shifa on (September 22, 2007, 5:32 GMT)

Did you people notice that in Pakistan-India match India Lost 9 wickets and Pakistan managed to achieve the target with the loss of 7 Wickets only. I think if the result was necessary then Pakistan's performance was better than India, Pakistan should have declared as winner. You see the objective for Pakistan was to achieve the run target and India's objective was to not let Pakistan achieve it. Pakistan fulfilled its objective India didn't.. So for me Pakistan won!

Posted by Prasad on (September 20, 2007, 7:46 GMT)

This bowl-out is ludicrous. That is no way to decide a cricket match. Having bowlers bowl at empty stumps is as meaningful as having them take real penalty kicks. In fact, we should have decided the match with real penalty kicks - I would have found that more meaningful.

Posted by Raja on (September 18, 2007, 17:22 GMT)

As soon as Razzaq, Inzamam and Yousuf are out of the Pakistan cricket team, we starts winning.

Inzamam never played a heroic innings against Austrlian. Misbah is betetr than Inzamam. PCB should not consider Inzamam for Test cricket. Many young players are better than him. Important thing is they are clean and not involved with politics or player groups.
Now we need good openers. Khalid Latif and Khurrum Manzoor are the best openers available in paksitan.
Raja Pakistani Sialkot

Posted by Muhammad Asif on (September 18, 2007, 16:15 GMT)

Misbah & Malik script Pakistan win. Now its your turn to script! Thanks for entertaining us, Again hats off for all team members.

Posted by Muhammad Asif on (September 18, 2007, 11:46 GMT)

On one side one of the bloggers says, "It is the captain who should have the ability to see and assess the situation by being flexible to utilize his resources to achieve the best results."
But on the other hand in the same post he says, "The team may win the cup and it may not be due to his captaincy but because of the performance of a few individuals."
Which shows that how much flexible you are, that even you can contradict your statements in the same post, amazing!

Posted by JamJar on (September 18, 2007, 11:01 GMT)

A superb win for Pak against Sri Lanka. Malik came good with the bat but the openers were poor as usual. Nazir should be the top of the list for the chop and should be replaced with Hafeez or maybe a gamble with Fawad. After all, it can't be much worse than Nazir's scores to date. His approach to batting was summed up brilliantly by Rameez Raja: "you know, he seems to suffer from lack of cricketing intelligence at times, some of the shot selections have been poor quality!"

Lets hope Pakistan beat the Aussies today!

Posted by Syed Ijlal Hussain on (September 18, 2007, 7:03 GMT)

Bowl outs are a shame for cricket! There really was no need for 'sudden death' in the group matches, but a much better option would have been bowling six balls each to six different batsmen - each bowl bowled by a different bowler, and deciding on the score.

Posted by Rahul on (September 18, 2007, 6:15 GMT)

I must say that this bowl out is not entirely fair. The game was played at a very high competitive level and both the sides deserved a point each. But the way India played the last over they deserved to win the match. All India v/s Pakistan matches are high voltage dramas and this one is also one of them. But to think of it, 20/20 cricket is just a show game where you hit out or get out, so we don't need to really worry about the results over here. The real game is the 50 over and the Test Matches. In 20/20 anyone can win - like Zimbabwe against Australia. So i feel 20/20 is a crowd puller and nothing else. Come on how can you decide a match in 120 balls, and when all the bowlers are going to get hit around the park.

Posted by WASIM SAQIB on (September 18, 2007, 6:00 GMT)

Pakistan played well today the team played like a unit thanks to Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan who provided the team with a solid platform,it was heartening to see both the major batsmen leading from the front however Imran Nazir and Salman butt again disappointed there is a serious flaw in Imran Nazir's batting technique he plays almost every shot with a cross bat,IMO he can never become a consistent and reliable opener so Pakistan should not waste time on developing him as an opener.

All the bowlers bowled well Asif was mainly on Target in his first three overs but in his fourth over he paid the penalty for over stepping he almost got Jaisuriya in his first over but the newcomer Sohail Tanvir missed a sitter. Sohail Tanvir again proved himself, his height and quick arm action occasionaly reminds me of Wasim Akram however its too early to make such a comparison one thing I have seen missing in his bowling is that so far he hasnt swung the ball back to the right handed batsmen which has been a key weapon of all the great left handed fast bowlers. Afridi bowled exceptionally well today and redeemed himself his performance with the bat was as usual he chipped in a useful 17 of 9 balls.Umar Gul gave his 100% as usual there has been a noteable increase in his speed so far Pakistan has not missed Shoaib Akhtar in this tournament which is a good sign. Pakistan's next match is with Australia,I would suggest again that Pakistan should drop Nazir and include Fawad Alam in his place.

Ahmer Arif Khan

Thanks for writing my name correctly, I also have no intention to be confrontational with you or anybody else on this blog and don't worry I will not be abusive as it is not in my personality.

Posted by Omer Admani on (September 18, 2007, 0:38 GMT)

Finally Pakistan put up a good performance, though there is still room for improvement.

Afridi should be sent up the order, there is no way Misbah should be batting after Akmal. Fawad Alam should be played instead of either Hafeez or Butt. Someone needs to have a word with Nazir. His approach is too haphazard, he needs a batting plan. I don't think he should be dropped because he, along with Afridi, are two players, who, if they stick for a substantial amount of time, should secure Pakistan a good total. He won us a series against Australia and I'd keep him in the team for the next game at least (just because it is 20/20). I hope we, for once, win from Australia. This is where Inzamam's absence will help Pakistan, because I feel he was so mentally hurt by Pakistan constantly losing against Australia (and him personally failing as well most of the times) that he spilled his meekness in the team. There is only one way to win against Australia, and that is by playing aggressive cricket. If Afridi is sent up the order and clicks, than that might just be the boost Pkistan needs. Also, Afridi as a batsman is worthless so down the order and it is a terrible waste of a player for what should be his stage.

Khansahab, The problem with Malik is that (apart from his stubborness as a captain) he can never bat on bouncy or seaming pitches. He has a good recent record against Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka is just one team. Also, I'd say that his innings against Sri Lanka is more likely to remain an abberation rather than become something accomplished with reasonable consistency. The fact that he knew no batting when he started speaks for itself. Also, Inzamam and yousof are/were much better batsmen and I don't think Malik is close to either of them. From what I can remember from test matches, he has only one significant hundred against Sri lanka. His record in seaming or swinging conditions is abysmal. I don't see him getting too many centuries/ double centuries like Yousof or Inzamam. Also, remember that he is just a batsman now, not an alrounder. On the other hand, Inzamam was a terrible captain. His decision-making was pathetic and his attitude in the team and meekness had a great spill-over effect. Malik in that sense is better than Inzamam, but can't be judged to be a 'good' captain. He might improve though and lets see. But if he doesn't deserve a place in the team as a batsman, he shouldn't be in the team. It means a lot of improvement on swinging/seaming wickets and against oppositions such as Australia, SA, and England. I think that is rather unlikely because of his inferior technique.

P.S: What is Butt thinking when he is batting? And what is he accomplishing, except finding the fielders all the time? He claims that his favorite shot is anywhere in the gap... and we can see why because of what a rarity that is.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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