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September 22, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup 2007

Gul yorks Pakistan to the final

Kamran Abbasi
Umar Gul picked up a four-for, Pakistan v Scotland, Group D, ICC World Twenty20, Durban, September 12, 2007
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An incredible year for Pakistan for all the wrong reasons has ended with an incredible tournament for all the right ones. Shoaib Malik's team must now control their excitement for one more match but win or lose they have managed to begin this new era with hope. Most importantly they have brought smiles back to the faces of their supporters.

The game was won by Pakistan's bowlers and in particular Umar Gul who produced a pinpoint spell just as New Zealand sought to accelerate. Gul's progress has been remarkable since he returned from injury last year. Despite the ongoing failures of the last twelve months, Gul's stock has grown with each series and tournament. He is now a mature bowler with fire, accuracy, and astute bowling instincts. His line and length of attack is in contrast to Mohammad Asif and Sohail Tanvir but ideally suited to the death overs. And it is this variety that makes Pakistan such a difficult team to score against.

Monday's final will be a moment of celebration for Pakistan, and although they have no reason to fear either of their possible opponents, they will need to show more of their new-found resolution and spirit. It is too early to herald the revival of Pakistan cricket but Geoff Lawson and Shoaib Malik have done everything that could have been expected of them--and more.

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

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Posted by Dr.sami.from tbilisi... on (June 17, 2009, 22:40 GMT)

i hope pakistan ll win Twenty20 World Cup 2009.and shahid afridi ll repeat his bating style in next two matches...

Posted by Pooja on (September 24, 2007, 17:43 GMT)

Maybe i am the first one to post after today's final. Though I am an Indian, I am a die hard supporter of the Pakistan Cricket Team. I'm extreemly sad coz of the loss. But all credit to Misbah who kept our hope till the end. He's the new discovery of the Pakistan Team. He should have been the Man of the series.

And Pakistan have played great cricket through out the series. I don't want to criticise the team in any way. And i will continue supporting the Pak team alwayz. I love you Pakistan!!! You guys are the best!!!

Posted by Faraz on (September 24, 2007, 12:17 GMT)

Mark my words...Pakistan will win. Reason, Misbah.

Posted by Javed Has on (September 24, 2007, 12:04 GMT)

A great final coming up between two great teams. I will delight in a Pakistani victory but if it goes the other way I am sure my Indian relatives will send me an e-mail or two!

BTW I agree with Hunain Zia. Muslims ask for Allah's guidance in whatever they do. I would be most happy if Irfan Pathan did the same. We get rewarded for asking Allah. If our prayers are answered then we enjoy and if not we get an even better reward in the hereafter. Now you know the background so its not an issue that should upset any Indian or anyone else.

Posted by khansahab(A.A.Khan) on (September 24, 2007, 11:17 GMT)

Eamiran,

I am surprised your post was actually allowed by the blog owner since it was quite incensed. What I advised one other blogger who holds similar views as you and what I would advise you too today is that if you feel one is being biased, you should not respond by being biased yourself. Life is not only about an eye for an eye. It is too easy for human beings to misjudge others and seek foolish vengeance. I don’t think you saw Fawad’s performance in the Twenty20 Cup. You mention him as the deity of domestic cricket in a sarcastic manner. Will Malik give him chances to prove his worth at international level? What amuses me is that people like you feel that Butt, Nazir, Akmal etc should be given chances again and again when they have constantly proven themselves as mentally weak and unable to withstand the pressures of playing international cricket. As for Asim Kamal, his domestic career has never been as remarkable as Misbah’s or Mohammad Yousuf’s or even Miandad’s. But he has always performed in the international arena. Domestic performance is an indicator of a player’s talent but there have been many players (Malik included) who have demonstrated superior skills in the international context than domestic context. I recall you once mentioned that Asim Kamal gets dismissed in the nineties too much. Why should that be a problem? The point is that he has always rescued a team from a crisis and that is more important than any personal three figured triumph. Here I would like to give an example of your beloved Sultan from Multan who, as a leading newspaper reported, asked one of his close and powerful friends to speak to the Chairman PCB and request him to include Inzamam in just one international Test so that he can become the leading Test scorer for Pakistan. That is the man’s integrity.

As Pakistanis we have equal rights to speak against any way we feel our country is being governed or unjustly dominated. I just speak about what I feel is right. If I feel that Asim Kamal or Yasir Hameed are more talented than Butt or Nazir it does not mean I am biased. Since I feel they are more talented it is only fair I feel that they have not been given more chances. You have to muster enough inner strength to tolerate the fact that someone from another province can be better than you. If you start realising this possibility then trust me a lot of this “ethnic and sectarian” violence you speak of will disappear. As far as any bias against Punjabis is concerned, the most bitter and incensed comments on this blog have been made by Punjabis and if I was to mention them I am sure they would not be allowed. My favourite all time player is Waqar Younis and I am a great fan of Wasim Akram and Saqlain. You may be amused to know that Miandad is not my favourite player and in fact I have never seen the man play in a match. However I am familiar with his records such as being one of the only two men whose Test average never dropped below 50. You seem to hero worship Inzamam as you can’t fathom my grievances against him. Your love for that “son of the provincial soil” has blinded you to my perfectly valid and reasonable arguments. Inzamam might be your favourite player; I understand many people consider him to be amongst their favourite players but he is not amongst MY favourite players and his lineage has nothing to do with it. Do Mr Abbasi a favour and learn to live with the fact because in the future I will criticise Inzamam again which will cause your blood to boil. And please all this nonsense about hero worship- I have just spotted a wealth of talent in Fawad and Asim and I feel they have been discriminated against. Where did hero worshipping come from? If I ever idolised anyone if was Waqar Younis- my hairstyle, run-up, bowling action etc were like his. What province does he hail from?

As far as Salman Butt is concerned his situation is opposite to Asim Kamal’s. He always performs well in domestic matches and warm-up games before any series. But outside the Subcontinent is record is horrendous. Why was the need to make him vice captain when he can’t play the swinging ball? He has been an inconsistent player and you saw how pathetic he has been in this Twenty20 Cup. I have spoken in support of Taufeeq Umar in the past too citing that he is better than Butt, Nazir or Farhat. Guess what province Umar is from? As for Imran Nazir please don’t even go there- he’s rubbish. I think you need to look at some previous posts of mine without a “hatred mindset” to see my comments on Malik, Hafeez, Misbah and Tanvir. I have praised all of them as players. Again my criticism of Malik’s captaincy is something which is perfectly reasonable as many individuals will agree he has been too rigid in his approach thus far. Some people have gone as far as to ridicule me for my admiration for Malik as a batsman. Now what province does he hail from? I can’t believe a regular participant like you as missed my posts where I have heavily criticised Younis, Faisal Iqbal and Mohammad Sami. So Eamiran, the problem is with you, not with me. What I find quite disappointing is such someone like you, who is ostensibly well-read, is so full of hatred and unreasonable allegations.

I don’t consider myself to be the best writer on this blog and I am not an egotistical person. Attention seeking is not about writing the biggest posts. It is about saying things without much thought and saying things for the sake of it. Don’t tell me you are so shallow that you think someone can only be an attention seeker if he writes the most. Cricket is something I am very fond of and the blog owner is at his discretion to allow or disallow my comments. Sometimes I get repetitive in my comments and I must apologise to readers and Mr Abbasi for that, but that is only because I feel very passionate about the Pakistani team.

Posted by Bob Byrnes on (September 24, 2007, 10:57 GMT)

It seems quite a few blokes are negating Kumble's feet in the Delhi test. I am a britisher & I own the DVD of that game. Barring Ijaj ahmed & saqlain all seems to be the corrct decisions. Even in ijaj's case he was always a prime suspect for LBW's early on in his innings so I think that went against him. All in all a superb performance from Kumble & he deserved it for the kind of gentelman he is...

Posted by Ashok on (September 24, 2007, 10:54 GMT)

To the Big brother Javed.A.Khan:

You can shout whatever you want. But all cricketing world knows how you won matches in Sharjah(Not just against India) with the help of 13 players(11+2).

The fact is that indiscipline, dishonesty is a way of life in Pakistan(ball tampering, drug abuse, revolts in the team, biased umpiring, of course the glorious dictatorships, madrassas, jihads...)

Posted by hunain zia on (September 24, 2007, 10:52 GMT)

wow, seems like a pak-india battle in this forum..... and include some australians.... well to the australians, i'd say, dude, forgive our language rite now... we'r too tensed up to be nice to anybody, even ourselves. i havnt slept the whole nite because of the tension... and yeah, it'z a bit early to give credit to lawson but one thing i'd like people to notice is that when pakistan makes a mistake in a match, in the next one you do not see it. i think that is lawson's doing and also,the fitness of the players which is remarkable. both teams are very evenly poised with pakistan with the better bowling and india with the better batting. It is hard to say who may win, but whoever wins, it'z everyone'z victory. it was a victory just to be in the final with all the criticism they had especialy from cricinfo.com who said that they dont expect the team to qualify to the semi finals.. it was heart breaking to read that, but the teams have proved them wrong. some emphasis on players: shoaib malik and dhoni: both new dynamic captains under whom the team seems to gel together well. they are the stabilizers.. however, i would tip shoaib to be better in this field

bowling: umar gul, mohamed asif, sohail tanvir, shahid afridi, fawad alam, mohammed hafiz, shoaib malik against RP singh, Harbhajan, sreeshanth and Irfan pathan... i think nothing is required for me to be said here... o yea, do notice, india has a problem with the fifth bowler, pakistan has 7 that they could rely on.

Batting: india slightly superior with the likes of Dhoni, Yuvraj, Uthappa and Sehwag... however, pakistan has some problems with their opening batsmen but the likes of afridi, shoaib malik, younis khan and misbah-ul-haq can win the match anyday if they try their best. and it is also good to notice that in the last few matches, the indian batting order has had difficulties facing pakistani bowling, and now that tanvir, who is deceptive, is in, it could be a test for india's batting.

However, Indians are better at holding their nerves in a crunch game and that talks alot seeing that they look evenly matched, it favors india in that department, however, in neutral terms, i would say pakistan are a better outfit and InshaAllah, pakistan should win this game.

However, whoever wins in the next 6 hours, they were both deserved winners

P.S: some indian bloggers (a rarity) have posted that we should play like men and leave God out of this. please, we believe in our Allah and ask him to help us there. This does not harm anyone, and plz, stop making an issue out this..... Good luck Indians and Pakistanis both

Posted by Mabsoos Ahmad on (September 24, 2007, 10:41 GMT)

When Yuvraj Singh said that " it is like a dream to play against Pakistan in final" sums up the heat and intensity not only in the players but for crazy spectators.

Frankly speaking, after the exit from the WC in WI, people from the two nations were not taking interest in the cricket, but since the two rivals are in the fray for final an exciting match is on the card.

It would not be out of place to mention that the two teams are playing without their stars and they have done a wonderful job. Whoever wins the final, is not going to make a difference but the interest of cricket has returned. No team has edge and on the given day, who plays better cricket will win the final.

If Pakistan has better bowling line up then India has better batting. But I have a feeling that Shahid Afridi has due which needs to be fulfilled and he will make the difference between the two teams in the final, it is because everybody has contributed something or the other but his performance is due with bat.

I reckon 51/49 in favour of Pakistan.

Posted by Wahid Karim on (September 24, 2007, 10:30 GMT)

I guess this doing away with Tableeg bullshit, left right center prayers and Maulana Inzy changed the tide in favor of our Pakistan. Play frequently and pray occasionally is what is required rather than the other way around as practised by Inzy, Yusuf and co.

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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 editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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