Twenty20 World Cup 2007 September 22, 2007

Gul yorks Pakistan to the final

An incredible year for Pakistan for all the wrong reasons has ended with an incredible tournament for all the right ones
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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dr.sami.from tbilisi... on June 17, 2009, 21:40 GMT

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

  • Pooja on September 24, 2007, 16:43 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!!!

  • Faraz on September 24, 2007, 11:17 GMT

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

  • Javed Has on September 24, 2007, 11:04 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.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 24, 2007, 10:17 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.

  • Bob Byrnes on September 24, 2007, 9:57 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...

  • Ashok on September 24, 2007, 9:54 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...)

  • hunain zia on September 24, 2007, 9:52 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

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on September 24, 2007, 9:41 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.

  • Wahid Karim on September 24, 2007, 9:30 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.

  • Dr.sami.from tbilisi... on June 17, 2009, 21:40 GMT

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

  • Pooja on September 24, 2007, 16:43 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!!!

  • Faraz on September 24, 2007, 11:17 GMT

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

  • Javed Has on September 24, 2007, 11:04 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.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 24, 2007, 10:17 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.

  • Bob Byrnes on September 24, 2007, 9:57 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...

  • Ashok on September 24, 2007, 9:54 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...)

  • hunain zia on September 24, 2007, 9:52 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

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on September 24, 2007, 9:41 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.

  • Wahid Karim on September 24, 2007, 9:30 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.

  • satyajit on September 24, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    My my the religious fervour displayed on this blog is surely remarkable. Unfortunately I dont think it counts a hoot on the cricket field. The team that plays better wins ,not the team that has "Allah" or "Bhagwan" on their side.

  • Qasim on September 24, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    Javed “Montreal waala” (rehmat Allah ilayhi) ka qaul hai, “Ay eeman walo, rozay rakho unless jab cricket khailna ho woh bhi T20 ka final woh bhi India ke khilaf”. Is he quoting a hadith or reciting from the Quran?

    There is no such relaxation (correct me if I am wrong). I guess people who do manual/physical labour can never fast in their life during Ramadan unless they take the month off. Please think/research before you write such drivel, it is DEFINITELY NOT your forte.

    I am not one of those who believe that Pakistan will win it because of Ramadan but I also believe that they will not lose it because of fasting either.

    Coming back to the cricket, it should be a good contest though India has a slight edge due to their batting. I would go for Fawad over Rao as he adds more variety to the bowling (left arm spinner) and I would expect him to bat better than Rao. Also Rao hasn’t had any match practice during the tournament. I am sure that as soon as Fawad’s nerves settle, he would be able to bowl much better than the other day.

    No matter what the outcome (although a win would be nicer), you have done us proud.

    Pakistan Zindabad!!! (By the way, I think some people are getting lost while on their way to a political rally and are ending up at the cricket matches. Will someone please show them the way out.)

  • srivathsan on September 24, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    DREAMS COME TRUE.What a final it will be.What every fan in india & pakistan wanted has at last happened.Any normal match between india & pak generates so much passion & now in a final ,that too WC CAN YOU JUST IMAGINE ?I am sure the entire streets in both the country's would be empty in yhe evening.If any one wants enjoy a hassle free ride then they wont find a better oppurtunity.Coming to the game ,Iam happy that the trophy is definitely going to be in sub continent which itself is a great solace.Both the teams are in great form & full of youthfulness & they have proved that they can play better without the so called bigwigs & thoroughly enjoyed their game.The more interesting aspect is they have played without any pressure or fear.They have achieved what no body even expected.NOW LET THEM PLAY IN THE SAME MANNER & LET THE BETTER TEAM ON THE DAY WIN.AFTER ALL YOUR BROTHERS ARE ONLY WINNING IN ANY CASE.LET THE RIVALRY BE HEALTHY.LET US CLAP THE WINNER WHO EVER YHEY MAY BE.I agree with JAVED A.KHAN that it is too early to give credit to LAWSON.In my opinion it is the youthful energy that is responsible for the wins of both india & pakistan & the role of a coach is negligible.

  • sarfaraz raza colombo on September 24, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    hmmm..... its very nice to see my favourites cricket team in finals, i don wanna say anything now ..... jus a simple advice for all who have written comments ....its nice to see that u all are here with pakistan team today but where were urll wen they came out of de first round in icc world cup b4 5 months ?? Always give our team a hope that win or lose there fans are always with them .. insha Allah jeet pakistan ki hogi .. will wait and see wats Allahs will ...now ill write after de match good luck pakistan

  • Kasi,Bangalore India on September 24, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    After Imran khan you guys have a potent leader in Shoib Malik. He always reserves his best against India. What ever the outcome of this tournament Both teams reserves their credit. Take nothing away from the teams.

  • Omer Admani on September 24, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    Tayyab, Butt is not suited to 20/20 cricket and he is a better test player. I agree with you to that extent. But he is probably the mentally weakest player in the Pakistan side. Not long ago, he used to start to mutter to himself while on the crease. Obviously, now, someone has advised him not to, but he just can't take the pressure of international cricket. That makes him half the player he could be. He has had enough chances and his inability to find the 'gap' in 20/20 cricket is surprising by one-day standards as well. Yasir Hameed was a better opener I thought. He was more consistent but he lacked the temperament to play longer innings. Also, I think Fawad Alam did a good job in the match and he sould be played. The occassion sort of got to him, but that is understandable. He was suddenly put in the team in a semi-final without any confidence backing him. He could have been conveniently played against Bangladesh. In any case, he took two crucial wickets. Don't forget that in this format if wickets are in hand, then the momentum can turn around within a couple of overs. He broke the opening stand (crucially) and I think we haven't seen the best of him as a bowler yet. Yasir Arafat seems to go for too many runs anyway and the odd slog doesn't make him a big hitter yet. I think this is where Pakistan doesn't know how to introduce new talent. They are given one match and they fail...they are not played. That way their confidence is shattered. Soon, they are played another match and dropped, and so on...kinda makes the players feel like they don't belong. Howevr, Butt has had abundant opportunities and he needs to work on his mental strength rather than any aspect of his batting.

    Anyway, I think Pakistan pulls this one off...we have much more variety in bowling with potentially two future stars.

  • MJ on September 24, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    Saiful Ansari, I find your views very sound. With the resumption of cricketing ties between India and Pakistan, I--and I cannot speak for an entire nation, let alone two--feel that all inimical views have simply fallen by the wayside. I get the distinct impression that the two virtually identically matched teams really enjoy playing each other, and unfailingly manage to raise their skills to an entirely new level every time they do so. Let's not undermine or sully the effort that they put into each encounter with our own perversely jingoistic (or religious) views. Savor your team's victories, but spare yourselves the heartburn. I am thrilled that India showed had the wherewithal to vanquish the kind of opponents that it has had to--England, South Africa _and_ Australia--in order to get to the finals. I am similarly thrilled for Pakistan that they've got to the finals by defeating Australia, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Alea jacta est and all that sort of offal: The stage is now set for an exciting finale, and I look forward to it with slavering anticipation.

  • Pramod_India on September 24, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    What a great match it is going out to be in finals - India versus Pakistan. While I hope India will get home with flying colors it is worthwile to remember that this is the future of India and Pakistan who are lining up today to play the match. Stalwart of both India and Pakistan like Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Shoib, Haq, Yousf are not playing. These young players will be representing both India and Pakistan in next world cup because I do not think the seniors from both team will be around when the next ODI World Cup comes four years from now. Lets see which of those two teams younger players have better big match temperment than the other. Both teams are evenly matched in skill levels with Pakistan having a slight edge in bowling department and India having a slight edge in batting department. Pakistan's bowling has helped them to restrict their chasing total to manageable levels usually 140 to 150 range which helped their batting to get it while Indian batting has delivered with good scores which in turn helped their bowling. Now the finals - Big match and big pressure. Feilding has been good from both teams because they are youngsters. We will see which teams hold their nerve, but it will come back to one thing - big match tempermant. Who has it? We will wait and see.

  • orange on September 24, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    ohh ohhh ,the india lions r ready to hunt .its the matter of how they hunt and get thier prey

  • Imran Ali on September 24, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    Salman Butt is horrible at 20/20. He reminds me of Mohd Wasim, 5 runs off 45 deliveries... I bet if Mohd Wasim was playin 20/20 he'd have the 'akal' to accelerate or get out tryin...

  • Muhammad Tariq on September 24, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    I think this great Pakistani Team is on the way to become the Strongest Team of the world Although it is too early to say. But As they are performing and fighting i am excited and optimistec to say this. About Today's is the Final of Twenty-20 Championship i will repeat the words of the The Cricketing Legend which he say before the World Cup Final in 1992 agains England that "If we plyed like TIGERS today i will dont mind WIN or LOSE today" So good luck Pakistan, Hope you will do your best.

  • anand on September 24, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    i urge to both india and pakistan fans to not to remember bitter cricketing history, bad decisions, miandad's six off last ball, kumble's 10 wickets, bowl-out defeat for pak...i think we must be very happy that both of us went down in ICC 2007 world cup in 1st round and faced a lot of humiliation, but both of us are now in finals...kudos to the young sides....whatever happens today...its a victory for both pak and india and a tribute to the great game cricket, which is the best leveller.....what a resurrection by both sides...we have lots to cheer

  • farooq zuberi on September 24, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    PAKISTAN INDIA final...what a great moment. i am sure its going to be tense for all the fans...there is really not much to choose from between the two sides and on the day brilliant cricket from even a single player could turn the match on its head....i hope Pakistan wins..but even if they don't they deserve all the applause for the brilliant show....especially when no body expected that from them!

  • Agha Muhammad Sibtain on September 24, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    It is nice to see the Pakistani team again in Action. I am really happy with the performance of whole team specially Umar Gul and Sohail Tanvir. Our team has won against Australia, Sri Lanka and New-Zealand, which is very helpful against South Africa's tour of Pakistan. Pakistani People are looking for the opening batsmen combination and also firey opening attack of bowling. I pray to Allah that Pakistan should win the final of ICC 20-20. Good Luck Pakistan.

  • Usman Tahir Khan on September 24, 2007, 4:33 GMT

    Well here we are, i have a gut feeling pakistan might do well though there is nothing between the two teams with balance tilting in favor of india in batting & vice versa in bowling. I have a feeling that any team batting first would win provided they post a total of 175 +. Pakistan need to do the following(IMHO)

    • Asif should bowl his quota of overs in a go ( unless he is murdered earlier on) with his pace he should take any advantage he can get with new ball and not bowl in the end.
    • Yuvraj should be made to face off spinner like shoaib/hafeez with ball turning away and not coming on the bat.
    • If batting second and facing a huge total open with Afridi & Imran.

    Harping on about Imran playing with a straight bat doesn't serve a purpose and has no ground. He was simply lucky against new zealand with a chance going down early on in this innings, he is the kind of player who will come off in one inning and will fail miserably in next 5. I reckon the important factor is Hafeez, he seems to be in a great knick and can turn the tables up the order if pakistan is batting first.  

    Ofcourse none of this matters if sehwag or yuvraj get going for 4-5 overs.

  • Kabir, LosAngeles on September 24, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    Do you know Why Pakistan and India is in the 20/20 world cup final? Pakistan, because trouble maker sohaib Akthar is not there. and India because Greg chappel, Tandulkar, Ganguly and Dravid is not there. This is what happens when you hand over the team to young players with no ego. This is why Iraq won the Asia cup soccer this year. eventhough country is devastated. If Pakistan bring Akthar back in to team, it will be a diasaster. Please keep him out of the team for good.

  • Umar.Khan_Islamabad on September 24, 2007, 3:41 GMT

    MY GOD!!! What has this bloody chap did during his layoff.In his early days he had a wierd action,medium pace and inconsistent bowling but with the passage of time he has turned himself into a threat for the other teams. 20/20 and he comes in late in the innings and gets it right for the very first ball. He's a treat to watch nowadays.I wonder what's shoaib thinking now ;).

    One more thing in the semis a pakistani player was playing for us in the kiwi colours. Guess who???? ROSS TAYLOR. I reckon if he had bowled an over or two, Pakistan would've won with 17 balls to spare rather than 7 balls.

    Cheers!!!!

  • Javed Ibrahim on September 24, 2007, 3:17 GMT

    Osman Al Khairi. Who lives on a different planet. I think its you rather than Hasan Raza. You seem to twist facts to see them from your perspsective to favour you;. As far as Anil Kumbles 10 wicket goes,you seem to be at a loss to understand what a LBW means. Try ICC rule book and you will understand \\LBW. Be fair man and give credit where credit is due.

  • Nath on September 24, 2007, 3:08 GMT

    Congratulations to India and Pakistan for their semi final wins, and may the final be the 'cracker' we are all hoping for. These two teams are worthy finalists. Much as I would have wanted Australia to be there, they did not have a good tournament and probably did not deserve to make it even as far as they did.

    And JAVED A. KHAN, I think you need to lower your opinion of yourself. You may see yourself as being above criticism, but I cannot understand why. As I've said previously, writing 1,000 words when 100 would do does not make you articulate or expressive, it just makes it difficult to see the point of wading through all your writing.

    With your comment that 'I am sure, I am annoying a few "Naths & Dolts" and the "rext" of the Australian supporters on this blog' you are giving yourself way too much credit. I do not know you, but having read several of your posts I know enough not to take anything you say seriously. And I am not annoyed when people express their honest opinion, that is something we are all entitled to ... I find the general ignorance and self importance of your comments amusing more than annoying.

    And the fact that you have resorted to childish name calling gives a good insight into your mentality. How do you manage to get through life if you cannot even cope with mild, justified criticism?!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 24, 2007, 3:06 GMT

    Ref. Hasan Raza at September 23, 2007 9:40 PM you must be a wolf in the disguise of a sheep or you must be off your rocker to talk about dubious decisions in Dubai against the (poor) Indians.

    First of all it is not Dubai but, Sharjah. Secondly, the umpires were not Pakistani's but neutral. And please don't even bring the umpiring issue, because we all know how impartial and fair umpire Joshi & Co are and how Kumble got those 10 wickets in Delhi. Thirdly, it was mainly because of Javed Miandad's sixer *** that dented the psyche of the Indian players after which they never recovered until the high scoring Karachi ODI in March 2004. Had Moin Khan pulled a six or even a four on the last ball, the result of that series would have been entirely different. Never mind that series, even after that India has lost more matches against Pakistan.

    *** http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/328/7443/800

    India's winning in a few matches here and there or in the world cups has not altered the majority wins that Pakistan has accomplished against India, in India. Remember Nehru Cup 6-1. The last tour of Pakistan to India, India were leading 2-0 and Pakistan won the next 4 games in a row, including the Kanpur Massacre. Recently "Ash-Zed" posted results of India / Pakistan matches and the stats are obvious that Pakistan has won more matches against India. There is no need to remind you guys by posting the links or the stats.

    As the Urdu expression goes "ghora door na maidaan," lets see the result tomorrow and within 12 hours from now the twenty20 world cup winer would be announced. So, keep your fingers and your toes crossed. Although Dhoni's mantra is "Play without pressure, play to enjoy the game, express yourself, and don't worry about the results." All this is lip service and BS, from inside he must be jittery and nervous. Because, this is a very big event for both teams and for all players, no one can say, I am relaxed and there is no pressure. And finally a question for Mabsoos Ahmad: Who are you supporting tomorrow?

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on September 24, 2007, 1:52 GMT

    There seems to be quite a lot of debate on the place of Salman Butt, Fawad Alam and other guys in the team. I have to say that Butt may not be the most suitable candidaate for Twenty20s... but that definitely does not make him a rubbish player. When we go back to the regular forms of cricket, i.e. Tests and ODIs, I still think that he is a better option than any other opener, simply cuz he has a better technique. And on Australian and English pitches, a batsman without a sound technique is no batsman at all. We got to see that in the series in England last year. Only Inzi, Yousuf and Younis(to a certain extent) had any level of success while everyone else failed.

    Secondly Fawad Alam did not get enough chance to show his abilities in the last match, hence we should not be quick to judge him so quickly. We never got to see his batting.. and from what I have seen in the domestic 20-20s, this guy is quite impressive with the willow.

    However, we must realize that even if Fawad Alam, or for that matter Sohail Tanvir, do manage to impress us in Twenty-20s, it does not mean that they would do exceptionally well in Tests. Sohail Tanvir has really taken us by surprise, but I wonder how well he does in the longest version of the game. I dont know if he could keep surprising batsmen consistently as time goes on. He might and I hope he does. So let's not jump to conclusions and say that Butt is rubbish or Fawad Alam is great or pathetic, or sohail Tanvir is the next WAsim Akram etc etc etc. I will only start making opinions once I see these guys play in Tests and ODIs. As far as 20-20s go, Fawad Alam and Sohail Tanvir in, Salman Butt out. I really hope that Pakistan wins today. It would put an end to this so-called jinx, which the media seems to blow out of proportion.

  • Ravi from OZ on September 24, 2007, 1:48 GMT

    I enjoy reading Javed Khan's posts. Pakistan selectors/administrators would be well served to read these blogs to gain better perspective.

    I sincerely hope that the Monday final is played in the best spirit regardless of the outcome.

    As I said before, anyone can become a hero or zero in an instant in this format (My fear is that some mad cricket fans will burn effigies/houses just because a player/team fared badly).

  • EAMIRAN on September 24, 2007, 1:13 GMT

    Win or lose, could one of our pace men, Umar Gul as he is currently the fastest of the lot, nail Sreesanth in the unmentionables? I would also request Nazir and/or Afridi to try and belt this joker out of the attack. It is one thing to be agressive and "at-the-batsmen" all the time, it is quite another to behave like Australopithecus waving off competitors from his kill.

    While they are at it, can our pacemen also nail Imran Nazir in the nets. This will discourage the pull and cut early in his innings. It has already worked once!

    A.A.Khan,

    Your tirade against my opinion of a particular players abilities bordered on the rabid; however this does not surprise me. I have obviously offended your obsessive hero worshipping mentality and in the process, one of your heroes - Fawad Alam - the deity of domestic cricket. Obsessive hero worshipping, and conversely effigy burning (in your case, Inzi's effigy), is part of a religious culture that Pakistanis have inherited from our Eastern neighbours.

    For your information I have always supported trying out Fawad Alam, and bringing back Asim Kamal for test cricket (please see early posts); however I was not impressed when seeing him bowl, and conveyed the same in my earlier piece. Is it too early to tell? Probably. Should he be tried out in longer versions of the game? Yes. As far as Asim Kamal, the "other" provincial favourite - he has performed poorly in domestic cricket and is out of form.

    You also mention a whole host of other players such as Rehman, Butt, Malik, Akmal, and Nazir (who all happen to be Punjabi's - coincidence?) as if to suggest I have supported or praised their performances. On the contrary, I have always been highly critical of at least the last four. Rehman, has always been a fringe player and has escaped notice. With the exception of Malik, who at least appears to be a thoughtful and hard working individual, if not the most talented, the other 3 should not be playing. Infact, if you think Butt is stylish you obviously "don't know much about cricket". At this time, may I also humbly suggest that you rein in your provincial prejudices on this blog. We are, after all, one nation, and should try to discourage bigotry in a country that already suffers ethnic and sectarian violence. I am sure you agree.

    As far as attention seeking is concerned, I am not the one who posts multiple essays on every blog.

  • Junaid on September 24, 2007, 0:49 GMT

    @Tayyab Ali. I agree with you that Salman Butt is the most talented opener in Paksitan. He has performed really well in past in tense situations. 100 in Austrailia on his first tour, match winning 100 in front of 125,000 indian supporters in India, 100 against England in tough situation and several other good innings. In the last one day series in Abu Dhabi he was man of the match in 2nd one day and played really well. In the practice matches before 20/20 he was the highest scorer. If he was not able to score freely in 2-3 matches in this world cup does not mean that he is not good for longer version of the game. He is certainly as asset for Pakistan and PCB should not make a blunder of dropping him in future.

  • Andrew on September 24, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    I love seeing Australia dominate, even after all these years. I have to say though, that the best two teams are in the final. Let's hope for another nailbiter, but please not another bowl out. That's no way to end a final!

  • Tay'yab-Ali on September 23, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    Ref Khansaab (AAkhan)

    You say many on this blog do not know anything about cricket. Following your observation on Salman Butt I assume you are referring to his rubbish form in this tournament otherwise I also put you in the very same category.

    Butt has failed in this tournament and has been a huge disappointment. He is out of form or more likely he is not suited to 20/20-but rubbish he is not. He did extremely well on the tour to Australia. Any player at the age of 20 years who scores a hundred on wickets suited to McGrath, gillespie, lee, Warne & mcgill is not a rubbish player. Butt followed this up with a ODI 100 in Eden gardens. Butt is a quality player with lots of potential and time to play his shots- a quality normally seen in very good players.

  • Siddiqi on September 23, 2007, 23:19 GMT

    Best of luck to Pakistan in the final. Pakistan need to bring Yasir Arafat in place of Fawad as there was nothing special in fawad's bowling and atleast Yasir has more experience and hard hitting abilities towards the end of innnings. I have nothing against young Alam and he should be given chance in longer version but he is looking a complete misfit for this pressure match. Key for Pakistan will be Asif in bowling and Imran/Younas/Afridi in batting.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 23, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    I think Hasan Raza (above) is from a different planet. India hardly won anything in the 90s aside from a few inconsequential world cup games and as a natural ramification, refused to play against a strong Pakistani side on the pretext of the Kashmir issue. What a load of baloney that was! As for the recent years, despite being the weaker team, Pakistan has a decent record against them. Also, with regards to the contentious and dubious decisions that have gone against the Indians in Dubai, lets not even go into how Anil Kumble got his 10 wickets (It seemed that day that any delivery that hit the batsmen on his pads would be out, appeal or no appeal) or the number of attrocious decisions that went against us when we were playing on their home turf. Hasan Raza should really snap out of his 'Chakdey India legends' mode and look at things from an impartial perspective before passing random judgements.

  • Pakistani on September 23, 2007, 21:44 GMT

    I agree with khansahab about fawad alam in the coming future he will definitely be the pakistan backbone if no one show there favouritism. salman butt, imran nazir, kamran akmal , imran farhat, muhammad hafeez all had enough chances but not yet established themselves to a quality and reliable cricketer i put the name of younis khan and shoib malik also in this list but somehow they escape from here but a small margin. they are blocking the way for taufiq umar ( more realiable and establish opener than imran nazir,salman,hafeez, farhat) yasir hameed ( 70 odd runs when throw out of team), shahid yousuf( deserve a chance technically correct batsman) , asim kamal,( when throw out last inning is for 99 just to accomodate shoib malik) faisal iqbal( never give the chance they deserve)theser are some to say more like khalid latif, khurram manzoor, bazid khan, sarfraz ahmed and many more but in pakistan more than parchi comes. abdur rahman no need to be in team for south africa as already u have afridi, hafeez, fawad alam, shoib malik to bowl as spinner. we shuld stop parchi and favouritsim to make pakistan true world champion like australia. They make cricketer on there ability not on favoritism. since 1999 pakistan team down after that 1999 world cup final and adhoc in board. we dont need stylish we need reliable , technically correct batsman in the team.

    best of luck for pakistan in 20/20 final.

  • Saiful Ansari on September 23, 2007, 21:42 GMT

    Not even by a long shot, the supporters or the critics gave the boys of Pakistan cricket squad any decent prospect of playing in the finals of 20/20 World Cup. Their early exit in Limited 50 Over version some months ago had been shocking. To the delight of their supporters the Team, has proved everyone wrong. The point is going forward, can this young Pakistan Team, hold up to the high standards of play, it has set for itself in this tournament.

    Both India and Pakistan are similar teams. In a recent encounter of the two arch rivals, India won 3:0 in a bowl out. The game ended in a tie, and Pakistan had a better record getting to India's 141 for 9 with a loss of only 7 wickets. On the basis of the rules, India won the game in a bowl out. This is a controversial rule designed to decide the tied games on the format of the penalty kicks in a soccer game.

    In fact, playing the finals is not the same animal as playing in the round matches. We will either see a very close game or either India or Pakistan will resort to a poor display and may not be able to take the pressure of playing the finals of a World Cup.

    Pakistan being the inconsistent of the two teams may show up with a bang at the finals or fall apart. Shoaib Malik has so far done a good job as a leader and should keep the morals of Pakistan player?s high. He must lead from the front and motivate his boys to bring their best game to the finals. Shoaib must set targets and exhort his players to go about their business of winning the tournament.

    India on the basis of their 6-1 record in the World Competitions is clearly the favorite and Pakistan will have to come from behind to break this jinx. It does not matter, which team can win on Monday, as long as it is a close contest, played to the highest standards for the good of the sport.

    We the supporters of Pakistan Team are very proud of the boys and wish them success in the finals. Keep up the good work.

    We have also enjoyed the resounding victories of India against Australia and South Africa. The Indians are on a roll and deserve congratulations for playing some of their best cricket.

    There will be one winner on Monday and the supporters of Pakistan and India know that the best side on the day will win the tournament.

    We are counting on both teams to produce their best cricket and meet the expectations of millions of cricket lovers throughout the world.

    On the Pakistan team, Afridi can take away the match if he gets going with the bat and the ball. Sohail Tanvir will be the dark horse. Misbah and Shoaib Malik the steadying factors. Asif has to use his capacity to contain runs and take wickets at the beginning and Umar Gul to do more of the same towards the end.

    India has a constellation of stars. Yuvraj has been the man in form and a handful for any team. His supporting cast is formidable: Robin Utthapa and Dinesh Karthik. Dhoni is the anchor. Among their bowler?s: Sreesanth. Irfan Pathan and R.P. Singh can win matches with the support from their specialist spinner Singh.

    On Monday, a billion of Indian and Pakistani fans will have their hearts in their mouth and at the end of the game, one nation will have reasons to celebrate deliriously, while the other will grieve, but whatever may be the consequences new stars will emerge on the stage and millions of younger fans will have a reason to follow these rising stars in to the world of cricket.

  • Hasan Raza on September 23, 2007, 21:40 GMT

    Insh-a-Allah Pakistan will lose in this blessed month. India since the last decade has been more than a match for Pakistan and with respect to the last decade, quite a few matches were in Dubai where the number of dubious decisions against India were quite astronomic.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 23, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    http://content-pak.cricinfo.com/twenty20wc/content/current/story/312178.html How convenient to overlooke the final of the miniworld cup, the one where Javed smashed Cheetan Sharma for a six of the final delivery! How convenient eh..

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 23, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    Thank God the rain in Johannesburg is scheduled to arrive two days after the final and the weather today and for the next two - three days is good with bright sunshine and balmy winds of September blowing gently - a perfect day for a perfect final. Reportedly, both India and Pakistan enjoyed a good net session today on a otherwise lazy Sunday. Tomorrow, its going to be a battle of nerves and whosoever plays well and keep their nerves cool would be taking the cup home. Both teams are doing their homework and trying to rectify their mistakes and sort out their strengths and weaknesses for a game neither side could afford to loose due to bad planning or due to silly mistakes. But, one of them is going to win.

    Reportedly, Pakistan will play the same side without making any changes in the batting or bowling order. The reason is very obvious and Wasim Saqib has mentioned in his last post that Imran Nazir has learnt to bat with a straight bat. He was pestered a lot to use straight bat rather than playing cross bat shots on every single ball. So, finally it got into his head, its for this reason he has stayed there longer and managed to score more runs. Also, the presence of Malik as his runner must have been the other factor to calm him down. It isn't correct that Afridi opted to bat low because of Mr. Bond, although Bond got him but the fact is he plays well and scores more against fast bowlers and medium pacers, more often gets out on spin bowling, Harbhajan, Abdur Razzak are his other wicket takers.

    The reason Younis Khan did not play well against NZ is obvious. Someone confirmed that he was fasting along with a few other firm believers. It is good that you fast, but one should sort out priorities in life and cannot do justice to both. And you are not a super human to give 100% when you are fasting and also playing a game that burns calories at the speed of light, especially during the day time and in a crunch match when you are running around you need to have sufficient fluid level in your body. If piousness alone can win matches then, Pakistan should field a Moulvi XI next time. Because, there is no need for any skills or energy, only Taqwa, fasting and the prayers of the nation can win matches for them. Aren't they aware that when there is no fuel, there is no energy and no performance? Ironically, the final is also during the day time (12:00 GMT) and we don't know how many of those ignorant dolts would be fasting. "May the invisible force of green mean men be with them."

    About Fawad Alam: Yes, I haven't seen anything spectacular in his bowling but it is too early to pass a judgment about his performance. Just 2 overs of bowling and 2 wickets means nothing. We need to see him batting and bowling in the longer version of the game and same with Tanvir. Still, Alam is a better replacement for the sore Butt. And Tanvir is a nice find to forget the Shoaib Factor. In a way Younis Khan tried to fill in Butt's role by scoring 4 runs in 15 balls. Btw, Wasim Saqib it is much easier to remember if you breakdown the word like this: "tendon-it-is" then you will never forget. There is no malice intended here, just a suggestion.

    India, is still thinking whether Jogi Sharma should be in or out for tomorrow's match? And who should replace him? He had an extremely bad field day in both matches except for the last over of the semi-final. Jogi was lucky to get those two wickets in his last over, but that means nothing. Because, Hussey was struggling with his niggles, so its no biggy that he got two wickets in the end with 22 runs to score in 5 balls. The real credit goes to Harbhajan Singh for that splendid over in which he got rid of the danger man Michael Clarke on the first ball of his over and gave away only 2 runs. Agarkar is the only choice left for India, he is a wicket taker and the most experienced bowler, he can also bat a little i.e., in case his services are required as a batsman.

    As regards, the Coach's role so far it is very difficult to say how much Lawson has influenced the team in winning these matches and whether or not he should get any credit for this lackluster performance? We are always very quick in "giving & taking" away the credit from everyone in one breath. And we always deal with this, IF's and "Butt's" logic. Like, someone said: "if Lawson was not there, Pakistan may not have been in the final!" How about India then? They are doing great without a coach.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 23, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    Ugh, im just so sick of the media's persistence in delineating that they've had the better of Pakistan in 4 world cup games while COMPLETELY IGNORING that we've had the better of them AS A WHOLE in both ODIs and Test matches. I just hope we can beat them so we can shut them up once and for all.

  • IB on September 23, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    Thanks Euceph Ahmed you took the word out of my mouth. Although I am exciteted and extremely happy that Pakistan is in finals but after the final we must focus right on other forms of cricket and that will be the real test of skills. I knew right from the beginning that Pakistan would do great in 20/20 form of cricket as this format and style suites them. We in pakistan play limited overs games on street and in parks and especially in Ramadan we have great 20/20 tornaments and produce this kind of talent enough to handle international 20/20 pressure. As far as pace squad is concerend, with Asif, Gul, sohail, Kararia and Afridi this is absolutely formidble for any form of cricket and seems like all these guys have now aquired the skill set of Imran khan, wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir, But for batting we still need people like Mohammed Yousaf and Inzmam in the test squad. Regarding current squad in 20/20 which is absolutely faboulus and breath taking I still see a room for Abdull Razzaq and Mohammed Yousaf but I think our selectors have better views on that. As far as Sohaib Akhater is concernd, we can use him in the test and ODI but he is not for 20/20 anymore especially with his kind of attitude in which he thinks he is like Imran Khan. Regarding Sohal Tanvir, I think it will take sometime for the batsmen to understand his bowling action and by that time he will be pretty mature and for thatreason he should keep on working hard as he is young energetic player. I was looking his 20/20 domestic stats and amazingly found out that he has scored 2 centuries and 3 fifties in batting but I could not see his strike rate. I wish he doesnt have to bat in final and Pakistan should sail smoothly to lift the cup. I consider him a great asset for Pakistan cricket team along with Gul and Asif and I hope that our AGS squad(Asif, Gul Sohail) will be as formidble as Imran, wasim and waqar were. Keep up the good work Team Pakistan !!!!

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on September 23, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    Assalamulaikum Kamran:

    Hope Ramadan is going great; indeed Gul has made a big improvement MashaAllah;

    Pakistan Zindabad Pakistan Paendabad !!

  • Junaid on September 23, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    Congrats to everyone for Pak India Final. Well played Imran and Gul. I think Pakistan needs to plan really well as Indians are playing some top cricket in last 2 matches. Asif is the key because if he can manage to destroy the top order than Pakistan will have a huge chance. I think Pakistan should bring Yasir Arafat in place of Fawad Alam as I have not seen any potency in his bowling that can trouble likes of Yuvraj or Dhoni. He was lucky to get wickets on 2 loose balls because batsmen were trying to hit out and miscued the shots. In batting Younas Khan needs to fire as he is the most capable to play a big innings in the final.

  • Adnan on September 23, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    how far is Monday? how many hours for the final? i can't wait!!!

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 23, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    My earlier post didn't get posted as Mr. Abbassi wasted no time to start a new thread; finally we are going to see an India and Pakistan final after a long time. I hope that the match goes down to the wire and live up to the expectations of a billion people.

    Pakistan got an easy win over the New Zealand and Pakistan completely outplayed and outsmarted them in every department of the game, finally Imran Nazir learned to bat with a straight bat and our openers provided a solid platform.

    Asif although he is not completely fit, he has tendentious and has played the last three matches in pain still performed well his first three overs only costed 17 runs which is less than 6/over but he gave away 14 runs in the final over in my opinion in the last over anybody could have given away this many runs. I hope he feels better against India and bowl like his usual self. Young Fawad Alam had a good first match but to be very honest I didn't see any thing in his bowling although he took two wickets but his bowling looked ordinary. Shoaib used him intelligently and took him off when he saw Styris was looking to get after him. Fawad must be an extremely relieved man when he didn't get a chance to bat I saw him sitting on the bench all padded up and his legs were constantly jittering.

    It was funny to see AFRAIDI didn't open the innings after all the hue & cry, with Shane bond in the attack I was almost certain of it as he never likes to take the responsibility on his shoulders in a big match when it comes to batting but he is performing well with the ball, I hope he gives an all round performance in the finals and wins the player of the tournament award. Younis Khan has so far only given one good performance in the tournament I hope he performs well in the finals we cannot expect Malik and Misbah to carry the burdon in every single match, Afraidi and Younis have to score. I am amazed that people are quick to criticize Asif , Butt, and Hafeez but are completely silent about Younis Khan.

    If we compare both the teams India's batting is stronger than ours but they are one bowler short other than Harbajan and Srisanth their bowling is not that good R P singh can also bowl decently on his day. Pakistan's bowling has more variety that is why almost all the teams have struggled to score against them but IMO, our team is one batsman short, I wish if the team management had selected a specialist batsman in place of Rehman his selection has completely gone wasted. Pakistan Should drop Younis Khan down the order and bring Kamran Akmal at One down Position the only reason I am saying this is because Younis Khan in the recent past has developed a habbit of throwing his wicket in big matches in a strange manner.

    Indians will try to bully Pakistan from the very first ball, If our openers manage to survive the first six overs I think we have a good chance of winning the tournament. Come on guys its only one match you can do it.

    GO TEAM PAKISTAN.

  • Rohit on September 23, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    I hope India leave out Joginder Sharma and bring in Ajit Agarkar for this important match. I mean the only reason he is probably there is because of zonal selection policies.He is not more than a club bowler , pretty innocuous medium pace and cant even hit short of a length or yorker length on a consistent basis.The only reason he bowled a good last over to Hussey was because Hussey was really struggling with his injury .He would be absolute cannon fodder to Pakistan.Irfan is practically a batsman these days , Agarakar can slog around a bit so we shouldnt worry too much about depth in batting and like Pakistan play 5 frontline bowlers.Second point i want to raise is , maybe batsmen should retire when they suffer a injury ,instead of bringing runners in and disrupting the flow and wasting time in 20/20 cricket.We had three instances of runners in the day , and it was pretty clear neither Sehwag nor Nazir were fit to begin with and shouldnt have been allowed to bring runners.Lastly i am very happy that people who wrote off India and Pakistan have been made to eat their words . The future of cricket is in the subcontinent , and if the respective boards can get their house in order and provide many such opportunities to the youth , these two teams will dominate the twenty20 , odi and test rankings in the years to come.

  • Jawad-Michigan-USA on September 23, 2007, 13:23 GMT

    Congrats to both teams on making the finals.Well if you take momentum and confidence into consideration then India has the clear advantage.Pakistans best chance is to bat first and rack up a score of 180+ and then unleash Gul and Asif.On the other hand if India manages to post an imposing total it will be a tall order for Pakistan considering the weak opening combo and under pressure middle order.Afridi is long overdue for a blitzkrieg and all he needs is 5 good overs. Whatever happens tomorrow both teams have redeemed themselves extremely well after the Carribean disaster.Unfortunately, one will be a villian tomorrow and the other will be part of a bedtime story for decades to come.

  • Awas on September 23, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    Wow! Pakistan v India what a final! It’s going to be Mother of all Battles. Mouth-watering.

    Instead of looking at subjective scenarios such as similarities with the 1992 world cup win or what happens in a holy month of Ramadan, I would prefer to look at these games in a more objective way. Pakistan has played as a team and there have been some outstanding individual match winning performances. The captain has been inspirational and the team has gelled under him. Some credit must be given to the coach for working hard with the team. Shoaib Malik himself praised his work and mentioned that he analyses things “very minutely”. I have said before, people who preferred Whatmore over Lawson were mistaken. Firstly, Whatmore’s record wasn’t as great as it really looked on paper. Sri Lankans themselves said he had no hand in their world cup win. To me his approach for the job was merely opportunistic. Many of Lawson’s contemporaries spoke highly of his work ethics including Imran Khan. Our own players preference for Lawson was not because he was “easy going” it was merely liking one person better than the other which is normal human nature. In a student teacher scenario, you have many teachers but only one or two are your favourites and that’s not because they are more of a matey type. In my time at college, I always liked the brilliant lecturers and there were always others that you knew were useless and were only there to show their presence.

    Looking at the final objectively, I just get the feeling India peaked in their semi final. They have had three pressure cooker games in a row. Whether they have enough energy left to take on another one is difficult to say. Pakistan on the other hand has had two relatively lacklustre wins or has rather laboured in their last two wins and they seem to be peaking nicely and may be better placed to cope in a pressure cooker match. Let’s hope they can maintain their unbeaten record in this tournament.

    Criticising the captain unnecessarily for his “stubbornness” is a little unwarranted at this stage. His and coach’s strategies have worked so far. It is difficult to change a wining combination. So, let’s persevere with him. Salman Butt was definitely a weak link but his exclusion must have been pushed by someone higher up than just the team management in South Africa. Some have been critical about Mohammad Asif but he really has done quite well over all. He should be avoided in death overs and used either entirely at the top or in the middle for his remaining overs.

    Exclusion of Mo Yo was a blessing in disguise. Having been on an excursion in Raiwind and looking at his priorities he would have definitely preferred to fast during a match than care about lethargy playing for Pakistan. Getting a hump for being excluded from an energy infused tournament was nonsensical. He must be regretting his stance now having seen how well Pakistan is doing.

  • Waleed Ahmed on September 23, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    PAK VS INDIA WC FINAL!!!!!!!!!!THATS HUGE !!!!i hope afridi clicks on monday n india will stand no chance winning this game ......inshallah inshallah we will see malik returnin home with the WC trophy !!!!MAY ALLAH HELP US ON MONDAY !!!!

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 23, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    There are some individuals on this blog who don’t know much about cricket and who it seems are only here to seek attention. One of such bloggers has provided his views about Fawad Alam’s performance, the man who has a better bowling record than the so called specialist left armer Abdur Rehman at domestic level and who has a better batting record than players like Malik, Nazir and Butt at domestic level. If Fawad had not taken Vincent’s wicket when he did God knows what total NZ would have mustered. How can one base an opinion or judgement on account of a single international ODI inning? Many great players have “recorded blobs” in their first few innings and have gone on to become legends. Now all of those players come from places where merit and talent is taken into account. These players have been trusted by their captains and when they have eventually assumed control over their nerves they have given astounding performances. As far as Fawad’s appearance as a “decidedly ordinary spinner”, one does not need to have an action has convoluted or spin the ball as profusely as Murali. What matters is Fawad’s talent and performance over a period of time but for that he must be given chances. Contrast Fawad’s position with that of Butt, Nazir and Akmal who have been playing for years and yet have not established themselves as reliable cricketers. Salman Butt is stylish and does not look like a “decidedly ordinary batsman” when you see him playing his shots but the truth is that he is a rubbish player. Period.

  • Auwais on September 23, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    its unbelieveble, pakistan in the final. i cant wait for monday .. my exams are spoiled

  • Valavan on September 23, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    India are clear favorites. Pakistan have a chance if they could give such a high stake performance. If India going to score as yesterday. surely they are going to win. Indian Top 5 are in Top form + Last 3, Pathan,Sreesanth and Singh. The match is going to be a cracker with India having a slight edge. Lets see how Pakistan going to rewrite the script.

  • Naeem ur Rehman from Birmingham, England on September 23, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    I was chatting to one of my friends on MSN after the Australia game and expressed my wish of Pakistan-India semifinal or final. I'm sure Al-mighty is listening to me in this month of Ramadan. That friend of mine (Zill) has posted his comments above and I’m bit disappointed to see the pessimistic approach. I agree with most of you that Pakistan should not fear anything and just go for it. I’m sure looking at our majestic performance in the cup and the super fit boys (Omar Gul and Shoaib Malik in particular), the Twenty20 trophy must be singing to them “Take me home …” 

    Lets talk about what we need to do in this huge final. To start with, do not make any changes to the team who played the semifinal unless Asif is not fully fit. Muhammad Asif should look to bowl all his four overs in one spell and look to bowl off cutters and with some bounce to the Indians, they do not like bouncy stuff near their body, as you might have seen in the preliminary overs in the seminal against Australia and the game against us in the group stages. Sohail Tanveer should bowl around the wickets to the right handed batsmen; he is almost unplayable from the angle he creates with this multidimensional bowling action. Gul or Tanvir should bowl the last over and also we need to make sure that a spinner, most probably Affridi and Gul should bowl at Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni. We need to try to win the game in the start, if bowling look for wickets and if batting do not loose them, bat exactly like we did against Kiwis, keep a lid on Imran Nazir’s emotions. Lawson and Malik need to have one to one chat with every player and should give them an individual script to follow.

    The last but not least by any means, we can not give a single extra run in the field, no miss fields, no no-balls and no wide balls. Dropping a catch is unthinkable and try to hit the stumps every time we have shy at the stumps.

    Our nation deserve a victory and some great joy after what we have been seeing in our country in past few months, what a great Eid present it will be for all of us! And at the end I would just say bring it on and give your best and leave the rest to AL-MIGHTY!!

  • safwan on September 23, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    great win for pakistan!! but i hope salman butt doesn't play in the final and afridi shud bat up da order at no.3 or 4! and the T20 shud be ours. pakistan zindabad!!!

  • hunter on September 23, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Come on Pakistani tigers this is your last hunt. Forget to whom you are against...forget the occasion. Just go for the kill...

  • Mudassir Fida on September 23, 2007, 10:21 GMT

    Omer Gul has been doing the fire stuff for Pakistan and he is kind of a bowler whom u can trust in the last overs. Asif's performance has been bit down in match against NewZealand. I hope he finds it again in Final

  • omar hussain on September 23, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Mubarakbad to the Pakistan squad and to all Pakistanis in the homeland and aboard.All the players have responded well but the bowlers deserve special praise for their efforts.It brings back hope and smiles to all Pak. fans old and young.I am very happy for Umar Gul and Tanvir,and am hopefull that the latter can do just as well in Test cricket.It is a blessing that Gul has matured into a very canny bowler,now we need just one more pace bowler who can bat a bit to fill Razzaq's place.Shoaib Akhtar has had his days as well as,sadly,Inzamam.Yousuf must ,of course, reurn to the test side.Finally let us hope that Afridi,Malik,Younis and Asif fire all cylinders as usual against India.It is a proud and great moment for Shoaib Malik,and i take my hat off to him.Keep the good team work going and Allah bless you!

  • Asad H on September 23, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    India and Pakistan will both go into the final very evenly matched up. PK has to be very cautious of Yuvraj Singh as he can single-handedly turn the course of the match and not to mention Dhoni, Uthappa and RP Singh.

    Pakistan will need to score fluently from the word go and Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Misbah and Afridi can get us there. Gul, Afridi, Asif and Tanveer will also continue their economical bowling momentum from recent matches. Neither team has a significant advantage over the other in either department and it will come down to who can play cooler and not melt under the pressure.

    The most interesting fact here is that neither team is reliant on veteran players and both teams are running on mostly new talent. Once the Aussies lose Ponting, McGrath and Warne these next gen South Asians will be tough to deal with for some years to come. The advantage the Aussies had in professionalism and better team focus is clearly not quite as large anymore and if India and Pak teams can remain highly professional and disciplined then the future for these guys is really bright. As a Pakistani, thank God we got rid of Mullah Inzamam and the bovine team culture that came with it - also narcissistic players like Shoaib Akthtar just have a poisonous influence in the locker room..clearly this team can win without him. On India's side, it is much the same - the big egos of senior players and the palace intrigues that come with them are not worth putting up with..the future of this team is players like Yuvraj, Utthapa, Dhoni, RP etc.

    Good luck to both teams and look forward to a great match,

  • Faesal on September 23, 2007, 9:55 GMT

    Good performance by Pakistan, though it was a predictable outcome against NZ. Umar Gulli has been quite a cool customer during the whole tournament and Malik & Misbah have been in quite a good form as well. But I don't agree with AA kan saeb's assessment of who should bat first and that Pakistan team lacks mental strength. Pakistan must play their natural game irrespective of whether they bat first or second. I hope Asif is feeling better for the final because half fit Asif hasn't been much good lately. Good move to play Fawad Alam instead of napping Salman.

  • Hasan on September 23, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Ian Chappel said at the start of this tournament that both India and Pakistan would dissappoint us. He also said with a lot of conviction that Pakistan would not go past the Super 8 stages and given that they had Scotland in their group, that wouldnt be a big achievment. What surprised me was that he didnt even use the word maybe, it was almost like he was 100 % sure of these results. I am sure he is regretting that now. While I usually dont agree with Javed A khan (and think he is really bored and probably refreshes cricinfo several times a day so he can make the first comment on this blog) I have to say that my heart too says Pakistan but my head says India. Usually India does better in key games and are better at handling pressure ( For Eg. Bowl Out and That famous game in Karachi in 2004, which I was fortunate enough to witness live at the stadium). I am also tired of having my Indian friends rub into my face every time the statistic that Pakistan has never beaten India in a WC game. Well what Pakistan has a great to change those stats around and redeem themselves. Once again Umar Gul is the key for Pakistan. Lets hope Asif can take some wickets again as he has been disappointing in the last few games. And we also need to get rid of Yuvraj early. If he gets in, Afridi will need to come up with something special with the bat, which is something he hasnt been able to do thus far in this tournament. GO Pakistan...

  • shahmeer on September 23, 2007, 9:20 GMT

    finally they got fawad in there... i think he should come in to bat early though... because he isnt matured/experienced enough to handle middle/lower order pressure and required calm/cool in a T20... number 3&4 wud b a good spot for him to share with afridi, before the younis/malik/misbah combo comes in.. nice to see imran nazir playing good cricket today... i think v hav a good chance against india becoz even though they hav a couple of killers (namely yuvraj and dhoni) in their team, v hav more matchwinners (malik, younis, misbah, afridi, gul, asif) on our side so v'd only need to fail a couple of their players to fail them but they'd need to fail a lot more of us to fail us...

    ubaid has made a good point - v were celebrating like kids as if zimbabwe or kenya wud against australia... shahid afridi currently tops ICC's player of the tournament table (source: icc website)... and who knew it would all b for his bowling and none for his batting...

    right now it might sound like a t20 wc final isnt quite as imp as an ODI wc final, but with the pedicted popularity of the t20 in the future, this pak-ind final could go down in history books for a long time... and lets hope no more t20 ties until they remove the senseless bowl-out rule... i think even in a knock-out match they shud use NRR or previous standing or whatever rule they wud in a regular ODI in case of a tie...

  • Ramzan on September 23, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    Ya, great Job by Pakistan..I have never expected PakVsIndia in final (i was expecting 2 teams among Aus, SL, NZ, SA)..after S.L being out now..all my wishes to Pakistan...really they deserves the trophy...really good piace of work from Asif, Tanvir, Gul & Imran Nazir, Butt, Afridi, Shoaib, Misbah can do the all. I think Afridi should bat in Number 4 if Pakistan is to be batting first in the final....seeing him lttle early in the middle will drive Indian bowlers crazy

    Go Pakistan Go.....you can make it

  • Dr Faizullah Khawaja on September 23, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    firstly congratulations to this young pakistan team on a great consistent performance. we have a few defects as shoaib malik said and need to address them in the final against india. I think the opening is more or less settled with nazir and hafeez. we need one more bowler like umar gul and that can be rao iftikhar. in place of young fawad alam we should play rao he can be very economical in limited overs match.we start with asif and sohail tanvir and in the middle afridi and hafeez and end with umar and rao, that would be very difficult for any team to score against.

  • Faheem Khan on September 23, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    off course all we (pakistani) will pray for the win especially when the rival is India. Never minds if Pak loose any match but not from India

  • Ali-H'Town on September 23, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    First of all i would like to Congratulate Team Pakistan for roaring into the finals, one more match and inshallah the worldcup is ours. Lat time we won the '92 worldcup, it was alos in ramzan and NZ was the unbeatable team that we defated and trashed in seminfinal to get to final. Coincidence!!if its is its a nice coincidence. Other thing i noticed and liek about Shaon Malik is that when Imran Nazir needed a runner, he the captain went and did the running, whereas, he coul;d have asked anyone else to do it. Him taking on the running for an opners speaks a lot about him leading from front, i dont remember any other pak captain doing it recently. Other thing is that he had guts to drop Salman Butt for fawad alam, hats off to him for that too.

  • Shoaib on September 23, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    Pakistan has always done great job in bowling. This is the department where Pakistan out-classed all the teams in the world since 80s. Yes, Asif or Umer Gul or Afridi or Sohail Tanvir, Different faces but produced the best results. However, It's 20/20, We need to look more realistically on Pakistan team that if it produced any good in batting. How many reliable batsman we have? I started calling name and said negative 10 out of 11 times. How long are we going to win matches only because of bowling? Look at our past, We mostly lost because of our batting. We need to find a good coach or some one who can teach the batsman, some techniques, some patience, some knowledge of how to deal with different kind of balls, Othewise, We are gonna win one tournament and lose a lot others. We need to be real instead of looking at short wins. This is what Australia is all about. They find their shorts and fix them as quickly as possible...We need to act similarly to make Pakistan, an unbeatable team.

  • Arsalan Iqtidar on September 23, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    Its surly a dream final....One of my friend once said that his IDEAL MATCH (in personal profile) is Paksitan Vs India final and PAKistan wins....he has found half of his ideal match and I and i belive all of Pakistan is wishing for him:)....Most of the Paksitani population would not be able to watcht the finale as national TV is not showing it....i belive still the energy would still be very high and surly with balance in Pakistan Side i certaily belive we can do it!!!

    LETS DO IT GUYSSS!!!! ALL THE BEST

  • Shan on September 23, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    It's India vs Pakistan in the finals!!! Both teams are strong, but India certainly has the edge. In the first match, Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir had to play Asif when the conditions were really tough. But make no mistake, if Uthappa, Yuvraj, Sehwag and Dhoni can play the way they can, Pakistan can start praying. No, no one in India is even thinking about what Afrid or Malik or Misbah can do, because it simply wont matter as long as Indian batsmen can do what they do best! But, we know how the sight of old friends egg the players on... so be ready for another match scripted for bravehearts ;-)

  • Unknown-Anonymous on September 23, 2007, 4:23 GMT

    well,well,well....now who would have thought that india and pakistan would make it to the finals. a dream come true....i am a pakistani but i was hoping for india to win last night. the only scare for the pakistani side is yuvraj singh.... and of course RP singh. But nonetheless they should play like fearless champions.i dont know how i will wait till the match and how much i'll be sweating during the match. Please send me some towels if u could... and one more thing GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN AND PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • fhs on September 23, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    Pakistan Zindabad!!!

  • Arif on September 23, 2007, 3:35 GMT

    Well Amazing Pakistan are back to where they belong. This team is amazing. About the final, let me tell you all that the trophy will come to Pakistan. Why? Because when Pakistanis start playing like they are at the moment then the opposition and their form doesnt matter. Pakistan dictates the terms.

    Come on Pakistan!!!!!

  • RAJA UK on September 23, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    INDIA PAK FINAL dream match up statisticly india have always won in a world cup game against pak i think probability has to give up some time and monday will be the day malik will lift the t20 world cup and bring it home for eid inshallah if either team looses its going to be a hard pill to swollow for them and their fans

  • pakistani on September 23, 2007, 2:52 GMT

    Salam everyone.

    It is good pakistan reached the final of 20/20 cup and they played good cricket.

    But this cricket is not a cricket just go and hit in which bowlers get the wicket and i know when it comes to one day and test match this team will have head down. they need batsman like muhammad yousuf, asim kamal in the middle order and the opener should be changed now to yasir hameed , khalid latif, khurram manzoor and wicket keeper too from kamran akmal to sarfraz ahmed for one day and test match. they should also think of changing the test captain shoib malik not a test player at all. i know its difficult to have one in test matches but i think muhammad yousuf should be a test captain and shoib malik one day captain. after 2-3 years when yousuf retires they can make shoib malik test if they want might be he improved his skills for test matches at that time.

  • Krish Naidu on September 23, 2007, 2:25 GMT

    I think people should stop invoking religion in Cricket. It is a game of human, why involve god in it? Of course, you failed to note that there are also millions of Moslems in India and our dear Pathan is Moslem in the team. Don't be Moulana everytime. Play like a man.

  • Asim R. on September 23, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan and India for reaching the finals of T20.

    Umar Gul’s performance has been impeccable in the bowling department. One reason could be that Malik is clearly defining a clear role for each team member - that is translating into better discipline and focus in the field. Lawson clearly has also played a role here as well. After a long time in Pakistan cricket – the focus seems to be “just cricket”. Everyone seems fresh, shaven, and sharp. This is a good omen that bodes well for Pakistan cricket in the long run.

    In the short term, however, winning from India in the T20 final is going to be no walk in the park. Yuvraj clearly seems to be in the groove. He has won India the last two games (that he played) almost single handedly. Pakistan would certainly target him with the slower bowlers – Afridi would certainly entice him with his mixed bag of tricks.

    At the end, the key is going to be sharper discipline in the bowling department. Asif’s line and length will come in handy if he manages to keep it up. India did great today with Sreesanth and RP with a tight line and length to contain Australia.

    Coming back to Gul – he is going to be the key in the death overs for Pakistan – whether they bowl or bat first - but he will need help. Pakistan has the depth and variation in both bowling and batting to adapt to any situation in the game.

    Sweat and blood aside, the final is going to be a battle of nerves, skill, and agility. Whoever wins at the end – one thing is for sure – there are going to be a billion eyes watching the unfolding of the mother of all battles.

    We go to gain a little patch of ground That hath in it no profit but the name. (Hamlet 4.4.18-19)

  • Muhammad Asif on September 23, 2007, 1:35 GMT

    Please no more skeptical scanners!

    Thanks to the whole team for the true entertainment.

  • EAMIRAN on September 23, 2007, 1:15 GMT

    Although Pakistan has been consistent in it's performances throughout the tournament, there are "odds-on" chances of things not going according to plan. What if their solid bowling attack fails in the finals? The batting has looked patchy at best, and if India rack up a biggish score, batting first, it may all be too much for an average batting side. It does not come as a surprise that Pakistan is one of the only "major" teams that has not posted a single 190+ score in the tournament so far.

    A word about Fawad Alam, who many on this blog consider Pakistan's next messiah with bat and ball. Despite the 2 wickets he secured against NZ, he looked a decidedly ordinary spinner. If I recall correctly, he also recorded a blob in the one and only ODI he has played thus far. Infact, he reminds me of Asif Mujtaba, a diminutive left handed batsmen, who also bowled left arm orthodox. Asif M. scored heavily domestically and, likewise, bowled usefully, but like many before and after him, remained an average international player. Hopefully Fawad is better than that.

    Finally, win or lose, this format is only glorified "mohalla" cricket. Our real test will start with the upcoming Test series against SA, Australia, and to a lesser extent India. Some of the "gully" cricketers in the team right now will, hopefully, not be included the test team. Others who were deemed unsuitable for this format should be bought back as quickly as possible - including, despite his ever-growing unpopularity, our very own nut-job - Shoaib Akhtar. Yes - Umar Gul has bowled well in this tournament, Asif bowls well in test cricket, and Tanvir is an upcoming talent, but Akhtar's services, however limited they may end up being, may help us win against very tough opposition. Pakistan should avail of his talents before he loses it (in more ways than one) completely.

  • Michael Todd on September 23, 2007, 1:15 GMT

    Thought it was about time someone from NZ contributed congratulations after 74 comments from Pakistan supporters.Well played Pakistan.You took your chances well.Our fielding (usually our strong point) let us down and the rain break took away our momentum but the best team won.Gul and Afridi were superb.You now have a great balance especially in your bowling attack.It is exciting to see so many potentially great young players coming through and I am looking forward to the final.

  • M. Saeed on September 23, 2007, 1:03 GMT

    Well well well ..... 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003. Pakistan Vs India in a world cup match and we have never won it. Although i am not a big fan of T20 cricket but pakistan in the final and they are playing with india. It shouldnt happen this time pakistan should win. if they can do it then it will wipe away all the defeats we suffered from india. India looks like a dangerous team and they have far more convincing wins under its belt then pakistan. i dont know but i have a horrible feeling that we are going to lose the FINAL. all the achievements for getting into the final will get swept away if we lose the match. BEACUSE THERE IS WINNER AND A BIG LOSSER AND I DONT WANT PAKISTAN TO BECOME A BIG LOSSER ONCE AGAIN

  • MIAN ASIM JAVED on September 23, 2007, 0:48 GMT

    Okay as every other Pakistani Fan i`m quite nervous and excited at the same time .

    I actually spend some time studying Yuvraj`s videos.He is a natural timer of the ball who doesnt hit the ball very hard. He is a very wristy player and strives on timing and is probably the best timer of the ball out there.

    Stong Points about Yuvraj`s batting :

    He mainly hits the medium pacers or the fast bowlers, because that is where he gets his timing from .He would rely on the wrist TO middle the ball everytime he hits it for a six or a four.

    A WAY OF GETTING HIM OUT QUICKLY IS :

    I have seen afridi get the best of him , to time the ball against spinners on every single ball isnt easy . A mishit against a spinner can result in a catch unlike a mishit against a pacer which could result in a boundary

    MR KAMRAN SOMEHOW GET THIS MESSAGE THROUGH , DONT BALL OUR PACERS AT YUVRAJ , LET AFRIDI , HAFEEZ OR MALIK HANDLE HIM. CALL THE COACH UP DO ANYTHING TO GET THIS MESSAGE THROUGH PLEASE, ITS THE FINAL . WE NEED THIS WIN .

    C`MON PAKISTAN , WE NEED THIS. WE NEED IT TO HAPPEN. FOR ME THIS IS THE MOTHER OF ALL WORLDCUPS.

    AND THE PEOPLE ,who are going on about INDIA winning in the WC matches against PAKISTAN , correct your statistic`s , these two teams havent met twice in a major tournament and the second meeting in a major tournament could have a different story to tell. So stop following history .

    And let me correct all you people again , the first match pak and india played was actually a draw , India just got the points , but on the official table it`s a draw.

    Good luck India , Pakistan hopefully wouldnt need luck to win.

  • werewolf on September 23, 2007, 0:19 GMT

    well I think it will be an interesting contest. I think with India firing on all cylinders and especially they all round display of bowling and some clean hitting against Aussies must have enarmously raised their confidence and the fact that they have beaten Pakistan in this competition and as well as they have never lost to Pakistan in a world championship match goes in there favor. There are few weak links in Pakistani team. Younis Khan hasn't been firing and so is the problem with Asif recently. I hope all goes well and Pakistan win comprehensively.

  • Deepak Naidu on September 22, 2007, 23:17 GMT

    it doesnt get better than this ! india V pakistan, in a world cup final ! let it be a T20. the rivalry, pressure of winning, the great expectations of the respective nations and not to forget the back lashings if they fail... well, well, well... this is a game of cricket my dear friends. win or loose, is a part and parcel of it. both the teams have done superbly to compete in a format which is alien to them. and to think of it, they both went out of the world cup 6 months ago after humiliating defeats against minnows... so, let us sit back and enjoy the game as it is. ofcourse, wish our team good luck but asking in a public forum to pray is not called for ! i feel proud of our young team which has given us enough entertainment and quality cricket to last for a long time... here's to a healthy & entertaining final !!!

    Chak de INDIA !!!

    ( i would say a small prayer too... oh god ! plz plz plz, let there be no bowl out this time !!!)

  • ubaid on September 22, 2007, 23:13 GMT

    I was happy to see pakistan win but the celebrations in the end left a sour taste. While the team has a right to be happy at the achievement, we acted like we didn't belong. There was no dignity and one almost got the sense that they had won the tournament. From the way they celebrated and what malik said at the end made one wonder that they don't think they can win the final and have done all they needed to do in this tournament. It was like zimbabwe winning against aus. Anyways, congratulations to them. I wonder if lawson knows Frost. "Miles to go before I sleep.."

  • Naushad on September 22, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    Congratulations to both india and pakistan for thier most deserved victories..

    No one really expected for indo-pak final . they were underdog and they proved lethal against world's best team.. I am pakistani but today i supported india against aussie the reason is obvious ...we are criticise by the englishmen for so long that we are nothing infornt of south africa and aussies...And now..both teams beat south and aussies ..now they wont claim at least that we are the best!!

    I am very much possitive and looking for good cricket and it will be dream come true if Pakistan wins...Remember! Pakistan never won a match against india in world cup! hope this is finished in style....

    And this could be done only...by our prayers...rememeber..it was month of Ramadan when we won the cup!!! now its same month...so please pray for only Muslim team in the game...Best of luck to Pakistan..

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 22, 2007, 22:30 GMT

    This has been an impressive performance by Pakistanis but now that one final hurdle is left Malak needs to focus on a few pointers. Now that Fuad Alam has delivered with his effective bowling he must play in the final. Credit has to be given to him for taking the first wicket and swinging the momentum in favour of Pakistan, because before he got Vincent out it looked like NZ were on course for a total of 180+. After Vincent’s dismissal no NZ batsman could really establish himself. I have little comments regarding Nazir’s innings because his performance does not establish anything we are unaware of. After so many poor innings he finally looked confident and sensible. He has done this in the past but has always failed to maintain any consistency. Umar Gul has been fantastic. He has been Pakistan’s star performer along thus far. Gul is the new Shoaib Akhtar for Pakistan although he does not have that pace. When did pace matter so much anyway! It does not matter as long as Gul is keeping runs down and picking wickets. India have won an amazing and unbelievable victory against Australia and now it seems that they will have an edge over Pakistan. Pakistan will have to keep control over their nerves and play with their minds, not with their hearts. I think the momentum is with India and Pakistan will have to heavily rely on Asaf because he feels extra motivated when playing against India. I agree with Javed Bhai that if you exclude the match against India Asaf has been a disappointment. He can redeem himself by a match winning bowling display on Monday. I really think Malak should opt to bat first if he wins the toss although it is more likely he will do otherwise. Malak needs to realise that the batting lacks mental strength and he and Masbah can’t always rescue the team from turmoil. I think he will keep the same team and I am 85% sure Nazir and Hafeez will be dismissed cheaply. If Asaf does not get early wickets India have the confidence and momentum to score more than 160 in the first innings which means that Pakistan will have a tough fight considering the likelihood of Nazir and Hafeez getting out early when chasing.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 22, 2007, 21:56 GMT

    Just the thought of the final between India and Pakistan is giving me goose bumps. I don’t know how I’m going to get through it! In a nutshell, this is my worst nightmare: A loss to India that is repeatedly shown by ESPN (India), Star and Ten sports over and over again So, this is my plea to all the bloggers and supporters of Pakistan cricket. Let’s go to our respective mosques, temples and churches and pray for a Pakistan victory!!!! Essentially, if Pakistan wins the final, I won’t care if they lose to India for the next three years. A Pakistan victory over India in a World cup final will supercede anything evenly remotely important in cricket. The world will end with that. Heres to it. InshAllah.

  • Nat on September 22, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    A big Hi to my Indian and Pakistani friends. So, the two great cricketing nations will meet. There is a great song, UP WHERE WE BELONG.

    Well, this is where we truly belong !

    India and Pakistan. Go out there. Play your best. Show the Aussies, Kiwis, Proteas and Brits, how the game is really played.

    I think the finals is going to be a tussle between the individual brilliance of Afridi and Yuvraj.

    I pray that India wins, of course !

  • Nizar Dinani, Dallas, Texas on September 22, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    This poem is for all Pakistanis. LETS PRAY FOR THE PAKISTAN, This is the holy month of Ramadan. BRING CHAMPION TROPHY FOR US, It will be very good Eidi for us. IF IMRAN KHAN CAN DO, Yes them Shohaib Malik can do. DREAM COMES TRUE, God bless you. I SAY PAKISTAN ZINDABAD, Please join me and say Pakistan Zindabad. Thank you and suport our team.

  • Owais on September 22, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    By looking at bowlers' performances, to me it appears that Asif should bowl his quota upfront, no death overs to Asif and sticking with Omer being handed his quota towards death. Sohail can bowl 2 + 2 or slight variations depending upon situation. But please dont bowl Asif at death, his bowling seems cannon fodder for big hitters like Yuvraj and Dhoni. Pakistan team must also prepare plans to reign in the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Dhoni else it will become very difficult. The current line up seems far better than the one they have been playing most of the trournament.

  • noor choudry on September 22, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    thank God salman butt is out of the team fawad alam proved himself as the right choice, so happy with the performance of our team. good luck for the final. we can do it.

  • Adnan on September 22, 2007, 21:44 GMT

    Pakistan and India World Cup Final!!! It can't get bigger than this! Who would have thought that the two subcontinent teams, who made humiliating exits out of the first round of the World Cup in March, would be in THE world cup final within 6 months? This Pakistani team has brought back smiles to the faces of the Pakistani fans. I pray that we are even more jubiliant on Monday night. I am confident that inshAllah Pakistan will win and we will dedicate this win to the memory of Bob Woolmer.

  • Yasir on September 22, 2007, 21:37 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan you've made us proud once again but the job is not over as yet. The dream final is due to start in less than 48 hours and the big two of the asian block are going head to head, both teams were written off by the experts, both teams are peaking at the right time and both have come up with incredible performances on the way to get to the final.

    Though strong performances have come from Shoaib Malik, Afridi and Misbah (who would have thought he'd be one of our batting heroes!?!), none have had more to do with Pakistan's success than Umar Gul. The mere fact that we all are not feeling the need of Shoaib Akhtar is the biggest testament of Gul's performance. He has been the bully that is bowling the heavy balls, the screaming yorkers and quick and awkward bouncers homing in on the batsman's neck. He has been consistent and 'intelligently' aggressive. Which has not only got him a bag full of wickets but has made him the second most economical bowler of the competition despite having to do most of his bowling at the death of the innings. In a twenty over match being played on the green outfields of South Africa one can't expect much reverse swing and apart from the Scotland match he hasn't reversed the ball significantly, but the key to his success has been intelligent and unpredictable changes in length and relentless accuracy. Did anyone notice that in today's match he didn't ball a single ball on the batsman's pads and the awesome length changes in the couple of ball's prior to Oram's dismissal! He is surely turning into a match-winner and I can't wait to see him translate this T20 success into the longest and 50-over versions of the game; beware South Africa. I see him presenting the biggest threat to the Indians on Monday's final which should be nothing short of spectacular.

    Hat's off to Umar Gul he is surely a star. Hope he stays fit and keeps working hard and good luck to our team, you've played like champions and its time to bring home the trophy!

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on September 22, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    As per my earlier comments, I was not hoping for Pakistan to get to the finals unless Butt is dropped so that he continues with his never ending sleep and Imran Nazir realises why he has been sent to South Africa. The result of SF proved both the points.

    However, we must not forget another very important reason of Pakistan's better performance. All the mullahs have been kicked out and team is putting up hard work rather than just relying on Allah's will and using phrases like inshallah and mashallah.....

    Now the finals.....and equation is simple......if Pakistan is able to get Yuvraj out early, T20WC will come to Pakistan.

  • Fuad Bangash on September 22, 2007, 21:21 GMT

    A great team effort ! We always had great individual players, but for the first time since 1992, it looks like we a have a great team. To reach this final and that too in great style is unbelievable. Now, time to show the team effort one more time. It is time to show off what great cricket talent Pakistan has to offer. Lose all reservations and fears. It is time not only to beat India but to outclass them.

  • Saad Anwar on September 22, 2007, 20:52 GMT

    Assalam o Alaikum to all my Pakistani brothers and sisters!

    First of all congratulations to Pakistan for reaching the final of the Twenty-20 World Cup on its debut. They've really put up a very fine performance to reach thus far from a void of chaos and disarray.

    One very prominent component of this new revived Pakistani team has been its CONSISTENCY. It was only after the match that Ian Chappel admitted that he never thought he'd say "a CONSISTENT Pakistan." In the past Pakistan have proved to panic and hence lose the match; so much so that Australian newspapers described Pakistan as "Panicistan"! However, under the leadership of Shoaib Malik, it seems that Pakistan are making an effort to make amends for their previous failures. If Pakistan can combine their unique talent with their passion for cricket, and of course most of all consistency, then we might be seeing Pakistan as a force to reckon with in all forms of cricket.

    Another added feature of this fresh Pakistan team has been an all-together improved effort to lift their fielding standards. It may sound strange, but if anything, Pakistan outfielded not only Sri Lanka and New Zealand, but also Australia and if they continue with these small but many improvements, then only the sky is the limit for the Pakistani team.

    Umar Gul's presence in the team has been absolutely vital for Pakistan's success in a game that if anything crushes the spirit of even the world's best bowling attack. It was always felt that with all the recent happenings concerning the ICL and Shoaib Akhtar's subsequent elemination from the Pakistani squad, the current team had been clearly stabbed in the back. However, motivated by who knows what, the team, instead of faltering and self-destructing as in the 50 over version of the competition held earlier this year, rose to the occassion as if to prove to all their critics that despite all the recent unrest and turmoil, the Pakistani team can do anything. And thanks to Umar Gul, along with Sohail Tanvir, Pakistan's new find, the bowling department, if anything, gained new discipline and leadership, probably something Pakistan had long been craving for after the retirement of the Wasim Akram/Waqar Younis battery. Optimistically, it may even be said that Shoaib did the Pakistani team a favour by dropping out - all it would take are a few overs of undisciplined wayward bowling and the match is lost there!

    Of course, the Pakistan team is far form perfect -a permanent solution to the opening slot is begging to be found. That the team had two fifty run opening parterships in the last two matches is encouraging, though they were not off the same opeing combination. Nevertheless, if Pakistan is to win the final on Monday it is imperative that they get off to a very reasonable start - the middle order has rescued Pakistan from dangerous waters multiple times this tournament - though it is in tremendous form, it should not be expected to repair the damage every time round - not with Yuvraj and Dhoni in prime form.

    I pray for the best of luck in the final. But before I sign off, I would like remind every one of my fellow Pakistani fans that it was in the blessed month of Ramadan that Pakistan lifted the 1992 World Cup Trophy; inshallah they will succeed this time round as well. My thoughts and prayers are with the Pakistani team.

    Assalam o Alaikum everyone!

  • Ram on September 22, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    I am an Indian but I am really really happy to see Pakistan back on track! Monday, its going to be a India-Pakistan match. A classic is on the cards. I want Pakistan to play brilliantly but in the end India should win:). Kyun ki phir bhi Dil hai Hindustani!

  • fakhar on September 22, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    well congrats to all pakistan-team supporters we r in the final after 9 years. it will be the most entertaining/thrilled final, because its between India and Pakistan

    well I am still a bit worried about our batting, until now we have not chased even small targets in a comprehensive way. we got even problem against the bengalis!!!!

    I think umar gul spell in last few matches has stopped the flow of runs in last couple of overs.

    i wish pakistan all the best for finals

  • Maz from Rochdale on September 22, 2007, 20:37 GMT

    The boys have been playing extremely well and they have bought immense pleasure to us pakistanis. I think it was brilliant that they finally dropped salman butt who was the only weak link in the team.

    Good luck to the boys in the final. I think overall we're a more balances side than india and we should beat them. Just hope the pressure doesnt get to them.

    LAST TIME WE WON THE WORLD CUP IT WAS IN RAMADHAN AND WE BEAT NEW ZEALAND IN THE SEMIS. LETS HOPE HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF. NEVER MIND 'IT'LL MAKE MY DAY' IF PAKISTAN WIN ON MONDAY IT WILL MAKE MY YEAR

  • Imran From Rawalpindi on September 22, 2007, 20:31 GMT

    Salaam kamran and everyone I would like to start by congratulating all pakistanis around the world for our teams great performence and reaching to the final of twenty20 world cup. Firstly i will admit that when shoaib was picked captain of pakistan team i had my reservations and apprehensions about his ability to grasp the pressure of being captain of pakistan team which is famous for all its wrong reasons in last few years. But shoaib had proved clearly that he is cool influence has shown its colors in crunch matches. Its great releif to know that if given chance we can produce anything from this great nations of ours. Now we will face india in final and i am pretty sure that pakistan will put up tough fight and will surly win it and if not then they will show atleast that they will bounch back hard at tests,odi, and 20/20 matches in future. I am not satisfied at all with salman butt performence at all and he should be ejected from ODI and 20/20 team but he can be given few chances in test maches. Beside salam butt every one else performed great and deserve a big appause. Lastly i will make a quick remark about lawson being coach of pakistan team and he proved everyone one wrong including Mr Kamran abbasi when he was considered as a coach initially. I was in bunch of those who beleived that lawson will do a great job and will hustify his selection and surely he did. This is the only blog in the world where i share my thoughts with fellow pakistanis. I am very positive that pakistan will lift this world cup and we will start again our journey towards cricket glory without any hiccups. Well wishes for everyone....Allah Hafiz

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 22, 2007, 20:29 GMT

    INDIA vs. PAKISTAN WORLD CUP FINAL A DREAM OF MORE THAN A BILLION PEOPLE

    What will be the result of the final match? My heart says Pakistan and my mind says India. Because, Pakistan have won all their super8 matches. Whereas India, after loosing against NZ, really fought their way up to the final. Their wins against England, South Africa and Australia are far more convincing than Pakistan's and their confidence must be as high as Everest.

    India's batting, bowling and fielding have been much superior than Pakistan's especially in the last three matches and Pakistan's performance have been lackluster and not so convincing. And having said that, the consolation we get is, Pakistan always plays good against India. But, they have not won a single match against India in big tournaments such as world cup. Although in the round matches India has technically won that match, but Pakistan has achieved a moral victory despite the farcical ending resulting from the bowl-out rule. So, they know they can beat them on this occasion.

    Therefore, my feelings are that Pakistan will come out stronger this time and play like champions. Also, according to the law of averages its time for Pakistan to get over with this jinx. And again, according to the law of averages Yuvraj Singh may not be hitting sixes and nines all the time. Perhaps it is time for Shahid Afridi to play one big innings and this time he needs to open the innings with Hafeez. And, Imran Nazir must play down the order for the late order assault if needed. Malik MUST bat first if he wins the toss. Because, the Wanderers ground is famous for big scores. A daunting total always puts the opposition under pressure especially in twenty20 and even a team like Australia crumbled like a cookie.

    There shouldn't be any change in the winning combination unless, Asif is really unfit or seriously injured. But, he has a track record of taking wickets against India and the whole team including Malik also knows that, so the chances are even if he is half fit they will play him against India.

    A lot would be written and discussed in the next 48 hours but, no matter what the predictions of the pundits may be, in the end whoever wins will emerge as champions. Go Pakistan we are with you!

  • Zill on September 22, 2007, 20:14 GMT

    Yesssss! So far so good. Only one last hurdle left although you said Pakistan should not be too concerned about who their oponents will be in the final, I wish it was Australia because of 2 reasons. One, Pakistan would be under less pressure to must win the final against the Aussies and Two, Nobody would be shocked and sad if they lose to the Aussies. But just as I am writing this, I learned that it is India in the finals. So now the biggest challenge is there for Pakistan. The whole tournament performance would be forgotten if Pakistan lost to India in the finals. The pressure would be immense for both the teams and my gut feeling is that at the moment India is holding itself better under pressure. Pakistan have a tradition of making things harder for themselves against India and one is afraid they might crumble. Lets hope thats not the case and our boys come out the victors in the final. It would one great positive for Pakistan Cricket in recent time and for the future as well. Lets pray from here on.

  • Haider on September 22, 2007, 20:09 GMT

    I was in tears when the match ended, seeing our boys celebrating.

  • Nizar Dinani, Dallas, Tx on September 22, 2007, 20:00 GMT

    Well done Pakistan, If you win the toss in final, then PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bat first. Keep same winning combination. Inshaallah Pakistan will be champion. God bless Pakistan, Pakistan zindabad. Request to u all please make your comments within 5 to 8 lines. Big comment no body will read. Thanks.

  • Fawad S on September 22, 2007, 20:00 GMT

    No Question about it, Gul bowled wonderfully. And for the first time, we saw some surprisingly great batting from the opening duo. Pakistan would for sure need a similar performance to beat India in the Finals. GO PAKISTAN!

  • ali_a on September 22, 2007, 19:59 GMT

    It looks like my earlier post did not make it. Well it was a good game for Pakistan and hopefully they"ll get the momentum going. Inshallah they"ll beat India in the final to take 20-20 world cup.

    One note though, after seeing the match between India and Australia, I am very impressed with Yuraj Singh batting. Pakistan needs to come up with a better batting show in the final. Especially Afridi and Younis need to step up, get rid of their immature attitude and batting. Its about time now, that they should shine.

    Also Pakistan needs to improve upon their bowling with Asif too, he's not been that impressive lately. Umer Gul has been great and so is Afridi, Shoaib, Hafeez and Shoail.

    Pakistan is relying too much on Shoaib and Mishbah to pull them out of danger. Their batting is exposed in this tournament, they need to get a good batting coach -- likes of Zaheer Abbas, Miandad or Saeed Anwar, who can teach them the temprament of one day cricket.

    May God be with Pakistan in final! Inshallah Pakistan will beat India and win the final.

  • sidd on September 22, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    Its India VS Pakistan in the finals...Chakde India

  • MAhmood on September 22, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    They haev come a long way and the Final will be extra burdened due to PAK India rivalry, but the team is progressing, let us hope and pray for their steady progress!

  • Asad H on September 22, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    That's it - the Aussies can go home and throw another shrimp on the barbie. It's India - Pak in the final, This is going to be a great final!

  • nash on September 22, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    A cracking final between arch rivals.Every paisa worth. World cup records show pakistan has never beaten India in a world cup tie!!!Interesting finale on the cards.

  • Sitarah Anjum (London) on September 22, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    Mama mia, Pakistan playing final against India!!!!!! Mouth watering……… After the disastrous world cup both teams qualifying for Final in Twenty20 Cup. Rocking………… I’m on my feet and so are billions of Pakistani and Indian fans!!!! Great opportunity for Pakistan to take revenge. C’mon Pakistan, you can do it!!!! Yesssssssssss Misery for SA and mighty AUS, they can't belive it!!!!! Sub-continent on top, hurrah!!

    Umer Gul watch out for Yuvraj Singh, we need you to rock one more time..

  • Sitarah Anjum (London) on September 22, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan team, management, PCB and all the die hard supporters! As I mentioned in my previous thread that I have a feeling Pakistan can win another major tournament in this blessed month of Ramadan just the way they won World Cup in 1992, where nobody was expecting them to come that far. In this Twenty20 cup they started as underdog and many including me expected their departure from super 8 but they surpassed all the expectations and performed exceptionally and surprisingly well.

    The way our bowlers bowlled and fielders fielded is tremendous. Important inclusion of Jawad Alam paid off today and it must be a great morale boost for him as well as team Pakistan. Malik seems to make good team selections and on-field decisions all of a sudden. Thanks God he listened to millions of fans and dropped the struggling Salman to try Fawad who justified his selection by taking 2 crucial wickets. This tournament has been really good for team Pakistan in the sense that they found new talent in the form of Sohail Tanvir and also gave confidence to Fawad Alam. Imran Nazir finally rose to the occasion and played fine knock however he was dropped on few occasions but luck was with him and Pakistan.Who says Pakistan can not win without Shoaib Akhter? It looks very likely now that PCB will be treating him ‘properly’ this time! He has been taking everything for granted. We all liked his bowling but alas! his ego and temper was biggier than game and PCB! Akhter must be getting jealous with Sohail Tanvir’s performance now but who cares!

    I can now proudly tell my friends in UK that my team is rocking! C’mon Pakistan bring Twenty20 Cup home……..

  • Dr.Mohammad Khalid Mardan on September 22, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    I think both Pakistan and India have done an excellent job to let down all speculations of the cricket critics. It does not matter who are in final and who win but both teams have shown their ability that they are still the best and unpredictable teams. Even if both play the final , a win by anyone will please every one in the subcontinent as the cup and win will be in the greatest land of cricket.

  • Raja on September 22, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    A selfless display great cricket by Pakistani team. Way to go Gul.

  • shahbaz on September 22, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    well done pakistan.pakistan is waiting for the heros

  • sajid rabbani on September 22, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    very motivated,disciplined team.so far it seems like geoff lawson is keeping the players focused.and shoaib has been a no nonsense kind of person even before his captaincy.batting will always be a problem i guess ,however the pace attack is improving as i type.the team is young and has a very bright future ahead of it only if the thigh bruisers and the drama queens are away from the vicinity of the locker room.

  • jilani on September 22, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    Gul is a revelation. Perhaps giving Asif the last over is a bit risky especially in the current format. Espcially when Hafeez had an over or two to spare on a spin favored track. I wonder if that was deliberate of if that was a "miscount".

    Even though as a Pakistani, it is tough for me to concede but I am rooting for India to win the Semi and a sub-continental world cup final. To see another Kangaroo lifting this world cup will give me a heartbreak.

    NOW THAT IS A SWEET FIRST GAME FOR PAKISTAN TO BREAK THE LEGACY OF LOSING TO INDIA IN WORLD CUP MATCHES.

    Also, can we really afford to deposit Shoaib with ICL or not?

    And why does Geoff look so somber after every match?

    jilani

  • Syed Akif Shoaib on September 22, 2007, 18:11 GMT

    Congratulations to all supporters of PAKISTAN CRICKET on Pakistan making it to the finals.

    Despite Pakistan's middle order firing up, relatively pak has a weaker batting side but that has been compensated for with a revival of Pakistani bowling that has found a new talent in the young Sohail Tanvir and a matured Umar Gul to complement Asif's everpresent nagging line and length (though its not much use in T20)

    I see a moderate batting line-up for the Pakistani future team but a brilliant bowling department is in store if the already refreshing Sohail Tanvir mature and Gul and Asif reach even greater heights.

    Rightly said Mr. Kamran... Gul has matured in2 a good 'FAST' bowler PERIOD!

    P.S.. i dunt know y but one of my comments in the previous threads dint get accepted. I wrote "....still the final of this 2020 will be a GREEN DAY; Read my lips!...."

  • riyaz on September 22, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    Who needs SHOAIB AKHTHAR ?

    This clearly shows given time the likes of Umar Gul can bowl CONSISTENTLY at 90 M.P.H. unlike Akhthar who can do so only for a few overs and then he limps off . If ( a big if )Akhthar wants to come back to the team he better get very fit and bowl the way he did in the late 1990 s . So , Mr. Akhthar hit the gym and cut out the late nights and other unhealthy habits pronto as you are not getting any younger . If Akhthar does not change he will be the 12 th man for the rest of your life !

  • bilal on September 22, 2007, 18:00 GMT

    Things now looking pretty straight. Finally, Pakistan is looking like a team, a formidable unit. The most important thing in this team is the way captain has lead from the front. Misbah-ul-Haq couldnt have come at better time. Umar Gul has performed well. We do not have a super-star team, but then again, WE NOW HAVE A TEAM. A Fighting TEAM.

  • Shakeel on September 22, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    A great tournament for Pakistan and even if they lose the final they should still be proud of the way they have performed. A tournament win should be dedicated to the late Bob Woolmer who sowed the seeds of Pakistan's success today.

  • Kamran Qamar on September 22, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    In this tournament Umer Gul has performed too good.We did't expect such performance by him.From now on Pakistan team should not relay on shoaib akhtar in future matches.Best thing about Malik's team is they dont depend on match winners.Everybody has performed and that should be the norm of this team to challege Aussie or india in final and in upcoming series with South Africa

  • Bill Shankly's foot soldier on September 22, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    I am not the biggest fan of 20/20 cricket, but reaching the final of any world cup is huge thing. I was five years old when Imran Khan led the team to world cup glory and I am remember it much. If Pakistan win the world cup on Mondqay, it will be my second greatest sporting memory right after my beloved Liverpool winning the Champions League for the fifth time in 2005. Come on Liverpool & Pakistan!

    You'll Never Walk Alone

  • Gugu on September 22, 2007, 17:44 GMT

    You got it dead right this time Doctor. InshaAllah, may we win (Aameen).

  • Nader Nanjiani on September 22, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    It's natural to heap praise on the players and the current coach. But a lot of the Pakistani talent on display here is because of the late Woolmer and the current selectors. They showed guts and commitment when most doubted them.

  • Khurram Mir on September 22, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    No matter what , revival is pretty much on the cards here. I would like to see australia/south african challenge more so now!

  • Rehan on September 22, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    I think shoaib makes a big difference. He leads from the front and acts like a very dynamic, attentive and thinking leader in the field. Undoubtedly Gul has been the pick of the bowlers and the bowling performance of the team has also send a message to shoaib that he is not indispensable. Pakistan must not get complacent for the final and we also look forward to a good showing there too.

  • @Pakistan on September 22, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    Hats off to the stars representing Pakistan. Weldone guys, all of you have done a great job apart from your vice captain Salman Butt.

    Now Please do it just once more in final and bring home the pride of the nation we lost in Oval last year, a T20 cup of smile to the people of Pakistan. Please we really need it

  • Mohsin on September 22, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    Pakistan Zindabad!!! Excellent work guys.

  • Nusrat Hussain on September 22, 2007, 17:24 GMT

    I will make the following observations that helped in winning the game: 1. Shoaib Malik was not afraid of dropping the out of form vice captain and bringing in Fawad Alam. It made great difference as Fawad got the first break through. 2. Captain has changed bowling at crucial times and has taken timely actions on the field. This was not seen in the previous times. 3. Fielding and fitness has been on the peak. A word of caution for the Coach and the Captain; They should be happy, but do not be overwhelmed--a chrcterstic associated with all the Pakistanis. Let us calm down and deal in the coming match with the same professionalism. nusrat

  • Emron on September 22, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    Pakistan should not forget the consistent inconsistency in the top batting order and the senior player, Younus Khan. Pakistan have won mostly because bowlers have done well in keeping other teams far from huge totals. The real test will be chasing a big total. Good Luck!

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hongkong on September 22, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    Assalam alaikum. It is a tremendous start for the new captain which should be the base foundation for future. I take heart to say that Shoaib Akhtar factor should be a forgone reminder that winning does not come with wild habbits but resolute behaviour. Speed is essential as long as it is under control if anything goes out of control it should be dumped. Take Mcgrath for instance he has been accurate and always consistant which makes somebody great not wild and uncontrolable. There must many more youngsters waiting in the wing which must be looked up to for the future as Sohail Tanvir is a good find but many more can be found just around the scene of domestic circuit. Thank You.

  • Ali on September 22, 2007, 17:17 GMT

    They should keep the same combination of fast bowlers in the Final and also in the home serious against South Africa

  • Rahat minhas on September 22, 2007, 17:14 GMT

    Positive thinking and hardwork with a disciplined leadership and strategic approach Pakistan has proved that without big names a team can win.20-20 World cup tournament needed a different appraoch than any other tournament and for the first time the planning was 20-20 centered, as many games were arranged before the team left for South Africa.Only Salman Butt looked out of place and he has been dropped deservedly, so whether you are a captain or vice captain in this sort of cricket you should be dropped instantly, as this type of cricket requires different approach or proactive on the spot team selection for succcess!!

  • Imran on September 22, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, you mention that Pakistan must control their excitement for one more match, yet seem so excited in this post. And funnily, you posted this only 3 hours after Pakistan won, as if so excited that you couldn't wait! LOLZ ..... A typical Pakistani aren't you?

  • Monis Iqbal on September 22, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Hope it's India than Australia as we have a grim memory of making to the finals beating Australia in the process and still stumbling badly in the final. Whilst if India makes it to the final it would be mother of all finals as there are no traces in the past of arch rivals competing in a world cup final (not even Aus vs England or Aus vs SA). Today's witting move was to drop the vice-captain who has been in the line of fire of all Pakistani fans out here and the replacement (Fawad) proved right. Even if Pakistan loose in the finals but still the new era has begun. Hoping for a brighter beginning new era in Pakistan cricket.

  • Asad Ur Rehman on September 22, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Gull has remarkably done well througout his career and his bowling in this match has proved tha pace bowling is still an assett of Pakistan which it cannot afford to loose.. Hats off to you Gul and All Pakistani team..

    You people are bringing smiles back on our faces and May You do well in the final to bring back the cricketing Glory to Pakistan..

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on September 22, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    This tournament has really given Pakistan a much needed boost in confidence after a year filled with bizzare incidents. The team seems to have found the right combination with some players emerging as the saviours, none less than the least fancied ones, Misbah and Sohail Tanveer. Some players, like Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt have had a quieter tournament.

    Overall, the team has shown a lot of team spirit and brains after a long time and many downs.

    Playing Fawwad Alam in the semifinal was a good idea. It must have been a good idea to promote him in the batting order. However, having a batsman of his quality coming at number seven speaks of the depth in batting of the team. I just wish the best of luck to the team and hope that this spirit does not prove to be only a bubble; it rather remains for a longer period of time. New captain and new coach seem to augur well for the team.

    Irrespective of victory or loss in the final, the team has achieved a respectful place in the hearts of its followers. They should not get carried away by the praise and should focus on the coming, more important assignments as Twenty20 is still considered to be a lesser format of the game.

  • Usman on September 22, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan, it was good performance with support of luck in my opinion if things keep on flowing with Pakistan no doubt they can win the crown of 20/20's it was very wise to replace Salman Butt with a new youngster but at the same time a very hard ground for him to compete in in his first internationals i am totally agree with Mr, Abbasi about the coach and the captain they have done what one can imagine of i don't believe that Pakistan are in the finals if i look back at the events just passed away.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 22, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    After Pakistan's win against NZ in the semi-final, I was expecting a new thread from Mr. Abbassi but on second thought, I said, no may be he will wait for the result of the second semi-final and, then he will write. But, as excited as any other Pakistani, he has not wasted a moment in bringing up this new thread.

    Before I proceed any further with my observations about the match, I would like to congratulate the Pakistan team for going through to the finals. Well done Pakistan and well done Umar Gul.

    As Shoaib Malik says, Umar Gul is bowling "superbly," and there is no doubt about it. Before the start of this match and in response to Wasim Saqib's post in the previous thread, I had commented that it would be too bad to play a half fit Mohammad Asif in such a crucial match. And, once again Asif bowled like a mediocre bowler, giving away too many runs.

    Malik must be enjoying the win and there must a sense of euphoria in the dressing room. But, they need to reassess Asif's fitness before reviewing the on field mistakes and should not repeat them in the final. If he is half fit like today, he should NOT play in the final.

    Secondly, giving him the last over was a BIG mistake, it was similar to Imran Khan's folly in Lahore (World Cup semi-final) when he miscalculated and gave Wasim Jaffer the last over. Steve Waugh thrashed him for 19 runs and that was the exact margin by which Pakistan lost to Australia. Malik is lucky that Pakistan has won the match today.

    IMO, Malik should have asked Hafeez or Fawad Alam to bowl the penultimate over and Umar Gul should have bowled the last over. Because, he bowls good deadly yorkers in the death overs which are either unplayable or wicket taking balls. Umar Gul in his four overs gave 15 runs and took 3 wickets, whereas Asif in the last over in the first 3 balls gave away 14 runs.

    I have said this before that in this format Umar Gul is far superior than Asif and I reiterate my point again which may disappoint some bloggers but thats a fact. Asif is simply sticking to his length balls without any variety in his bowling. In Durban, against India the wicket was helping him and the ball was moving in the air and on the pitch as well. Anyways, this is very important for Pakistan to make amends in the final.

    I am glad that Fawad Alam didn't bat, that must have relieved a lot of pressure from his mind. He bowled well and got two wickets and took that stunning left handed catch of his own bowling, which was the breaking of the ice, after that NZ wickets started tumbling all over. Like, Malik said: "after the break, when the raining is coming ... I said, come on guys work hard now." :-)

    During the post match press conference, Daniel Vettori was not pleased when asked to comment on the runner requested by Imran Nazir by saying: "He asked for a runner claiming an injury and was dancing down the pitch and hitting sixes, obviously we felt that he wasn't injured and this is not the way we play cricket." There is no doubt that Imran Nazir's batting and Gul's bowling has won the match for Pakistan.

    Now, I am supporting and backing India to beat the OZ's to witness one of the finest finals ever played in the history of cricket between the two countries, India and Pakistan. By saying this I am sure, I am annoying a few "Naths & Dolts" and the "rext" of the Australian supporters on this blog. Some of them are already sulking, whining, complaining and "mitching."

    Finally I concur Mr. Abbassi's views that, Pakistan should not fear who they face in the finals and play aggressively, in any case they have already brought some smiles to their supporters especially after the Caribbean catastrophe but they need to finish off this match in style with a win.

  • Babbar Wajid on September 22, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    Pakistan does well in Ramadan World Cups, so i guess fasting should be made mandatory for our team during games... on a more serious note, it's taken far too long for us to discover Misbah's talents, who can perhaps put in another 2 or 3 good years... let's hope it doesn't take us that long to discover the next great Haq(-equivalent)!

  • Euceph Ahmed on September 22, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    urrrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh....spoiled it with that last line again, Kamran!!! If, by doing everything you mean Shoaib and Lawson have done nothing then we are in agreement. The Pakistan team was at such a low that the only way they could go from there was up. Besides, who doesn't know that this format of the game suits the street bums that Pakistan and India have gathered in the name of cricketers. Shoaib and Lawson's real test would be in the longer formats and we'll have to wait and see how the momentum of the spirit created here is carried into test cricket and ODIs.

    And now, let me negate myself right here right now. One thing that I'm beginning to get real hopeful about is the three-pronged attack of Gul-Asif-Tanvir. With Kaneria and Afridi as their wing-men, it's certainly shaping up to be one hell of a bowling attack. What a blessing Shoaib Akhtar's exit has been!!! His shadow shouldn't be allowed to fall within 10 miles of the team's dressing room.

    What a cricketer Umar Gul is turning out to be. More than that, he's developing into a role model of tenacity, perseverance and panache. I sincerely hope that both Asif and Gul realize what a lethal combination they can form and form a partnership that will be remembered for decades.

  • Dr. Kamran Shahid on September 22, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    I hope Pakistan starts learning even from victories as this one.Fielding was sloppy and Asif who is Pakistan pace spearhead had problems in bowling the last over where he gave 17 runs.Pakistan still has to play like a champion to beat a champion team and we should'nt celebrate prematurely as we always do and not always elevate our players to the level of Kings so soon. But so far so good

  • owais naseer on September 22, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    well that was brilliant performance but still there is some worrying things for the final.Most probably we are playing aussies there so we will have to behave like champions,Most worrying thing is shahid afridi not getting runs but still we are good enough to beat world champs.WELL WE SHUD WAIT AND HOPE FOR THE BEST

  • M.Imran Ansari from Perth, Australia on September 22, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Good work boys, hold yr best game for the final. Its been some time since Pakistan won a major tournament. It gives us absolute pleasure to see our team playing as a unit, in the true spirit of the game. Well done Team Pakistan...good luck for the final

  • Asad Karim on September 22, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Kudos. Well done Pakistan. Sacking of Maulana Inzamam was what the doctor ordered for all that ailed in Pakistan cricket.

  • Abhay on September 22, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    Gul is a really good bowler. he can bowl in any conditions even if its like a pitch like Durban. He can also easily adapt to any type of conditions and he also has a great Yorker with a good ability of getting wickets. I feel Gul and Asif are the best bowling pair in the tournament and as I said, Pakistan have a great chance to win this cup as they've already beaten Australia and have the ability to beat India.

  • Salman N Malik on September 22, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    It is a good victory but tougher challenges lie ahead, particularly the Test series against South Africa and India. Pakistan have a good outfit for ODIs and T20s but it's really Test matches where success will matter. The three most positive things thus far are the bowlers shaping well (Sohail Tanvir needs grooming and could well become a useful bowler for Tests and One-dayers); Shoaib Malik appears to be leading from the front with batting which is good sign; and the lack of disruptive forces like Shoaib Akhtar in the team. Geoff Lawson will like his options at this time. His influence is most likely to show in the bowling. The major problem is the opening and it is THE major problem for all formats of cricket. At the moment however, well played Pakistan.

  • bakar on September 22, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    pakistan zindabad

  • UM BAJWA, Islamabad on September 22, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    Indeed. Pakistan is on the roll in this version of the game. But it is not over until its over!!

    LETS JUST HOPE IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE STRING OF ADVERSITIES THAT WE HAD TO PERSEVERE FOR THE LAST YEAR OR SO........AND MAY IT BE THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA OF PAKISTAN DOMINANCE IN ALL FORMS OF THIS GAME.

    ALL KUDOS TO OUR TEAM.

  • Khan Dilbar on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    All written & read.Hope they have the same spirit in final & a win will make us more happy. Best of luck to all the Pakistan team.

  • Goher K on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    I could not agree more... Umar Gul has been amazing and deserves his place in the squad. Together with Asif and Sohail they make a devastating trio of accurate bowlers rather than really fast bowlers who bring the morale of a already troubled team.

  • ahsan chaudhry on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    Excellent performance, still sometimes patchy though but that patchy duration is getting smaller and smaller with every game. Hats off to gul and afridi. The control and variation these two have developed over time and then mastered is quite inspirational. Asif seemed to struggle a lil bit in the death overs whereas sohail tanvir keeps on impressing with his variety. I wonder when will we see his batting prowess but let's hope not in this tournament. And finally hafiz gave us a brilliant start and imran nazir built on it with his chance ful but attractive innings. Misbah sometimes shows over patience which is good for pakistan team's cause but not for the fans as match could have won earlier. Also that cartwheel at the end was an artistic touch.

  • Asad H on September 22, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Would be great to have a Pakistan - India final. The Aussies are very beatable and are in for a hiding from the South Asians.

  • Ali Khan on September 22, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    I agree with you. Umar Gul was the difference between the two sides today. He has done extremely well since his return from injury. Now its very important for the Pakistanis to continue their performance and the side should not be intimidated by either the might of Australia or the rivalry with India.

  • Naeeemster on September 22, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    Great stuff from Pakistan again. We are definatly on the right track. Nobody expected us to go that far. So thats already an achievement. Winning it will be just an ideal start for this new era. Good luck to pakistan for Monday final.

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  • Naeeemster on September 22, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    Great stuff from Pakistan again. We are definatly on the right track. Nobody expected us to go that far. So thats already an achievement. Winning it will be just an ideal start for this new era. Good luck to pakistan for Monday final.

  • Ali Khan on September 22, 2007, 15:30 GMT

    I agree with you. Umar Gul was the difference between the two sides today. He has done extremely well since his return from injury. Now its very important for the Pakistanis to continue their performance and the side should not be intimidated by either the might of Australia or the rivalry with India.

  • Asad H on September 22, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Would be great to have a Pakistan - India final. The Aussies are very beatable and are in for a hiding from the South Asians.

  • ahsan chaudhry on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    Excellent performance, still sometimes patchy though but that patchy duration is getting smaller and smaller with every game. Hats off to gul and afridi. The control and variation these two have developed over time and then mastered is quite inspirational. Asif seemed to struggle a lil bit in the death overs whereas sohail tanvir keeps on impressing with his variety. I wonder when will we see his batting prowess but let's hope not in this tournament. And finally hafiz gave us a brilliant start and imran nazir built on it with his chance ful but attractive innings. Misbah sometimes shows over patience which is good for pakistan team's cause but not for the fans as match could have won earlier. Also that cartwheel at the end was an artistic touch.

  • Goher K on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    I could not agree more... Umar Gul has been amazing and deserves his place in the squad. Together with Asif and Sohail they make a devastating trio of accurate bowlers rather than really fast bowlers who bring the morale of a already troubled team.

  • Khan Dilbar on September 22, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    All written & read.Hope they have the same spirit in final & a win will make us more happy. Best of luck to all the Pakistan team.

  • UM BAJWA, Islamabad on September 22, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    Indeed. Pakistan is on the roll in this version of the game. But it is not over until its over!!

    LETS JUST HOPE IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE STRING OF ADVERSITIES THAT WE HAD TO PERSEVERE FOR THE LAST YEAR OR SO........AND MAY IT BE THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA OF PAKISTAN DOMINANCE IN ALL FORMS OF THIS GAME.

    ALL KUDOS TO OUR TEAM.

  • bakar on September 22, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    pakistan zindabad

  • Salman N Malik on September 22, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    It is a good victory but tougher challenges lie ahead, particularly the Test series against South Africa and India. Pakistan have a good outfit for ODIs and T20s but it's really Test matches where success will matter. The three most positive things thus far are the bowlers shaping well (Sohail Tanvir needs grooming and could well become a useful bowler for Tests and One-dayers); Shoaib Malik appears to be leading from the front with batting which is good sign; and the lack of disruptive forces like Shoaib Akhtar in the team. Geoff Lawson will like his options at this time. His influence is most likely to show in the bowling. The major problem is the opening and it is THE major problem for all formats of cricket. At the moment however, well played Pakistan.

  • Abhay on September 22, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    Gul is a really good bowler. he can bowl in any conditions even if its like a pitch like Durban. He can also easily adapt to any type of conditions and he also has a great Yorker with a good ability of getting wickets. I feel Gul and Asif are the best bowling pair in the tournament and as I said, Pakistan have a great chance to win this cup as they've already beaten Australia and have the ability to beat India.