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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 hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
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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