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June 9, 2009

Twenty20 World Cup 2009

Spin turns Orangemen to lemons

Kamran Abbasi
Shahid Afridi gets a high five from Kamran Akmal after bowling Tom de Grooth, Netherlands v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's, June 9, 2009
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Pakistan discovered that winning is more fun than losing, when they comprehensively defeated Netherlands at Lord's today. Netherlands played with spirit and had an even chance of qualification until Younis Khan introduced the spin pairing of Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi.

From that point onwards, after the sixth over, Pakistan seized complete control of the contest.

The rain kept away and allowed Pakistan's spinners to find improved control and bamboozle the opposition batsmen who are unused to facing such an unorthodox duo.With Pakistan's pacers also finding their length, Younis Khan can be well pleased with their bowling performance and, unusually, the wicket keeping of Kamran Akmal.

Afridi took the crowd's plaudits today with a match-winning spell, a six off the fastest bowler in the match, and Pakistan's first direct hit of the competition in the field.

Pakistan now require the bowlers to continue to be a strength because the batsmen did not score enough to bat Netherlands out of the match. It was good that the senior batsmen took more responsibility but at times, particularly during the partnership between Shoaib Malik and Younis, Pakistan's batting lacked daring and urgency.

Nonetheless, Pakistan's supporters will be relieved that a completely different team turned up today, one that was professional and determined to win. What's more, Pakistan now find themselves in the easier half of the draw with a golden opportunity to reach the semi-finals.

To be more successful, Pakistan require to move to a higher level of performance in their batting and fielding. But the longer they stay in this tournament the stronger they will get, as Pakistan's main handicap--now that they seem to have put their attitude right--is a lack of recent international competition.

A win against Netherlands doesn't make a summer but at least it allows Younis's undercooked team to fight another day.

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

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Posted by hamy on (June 12, 2009, 7:53 GMT)

really relieved to see pak in super 8s but the major issues remain, weakness in fielding area(miss fielding drop catches) and the incapable top order batsmen. i suggest that salman butt should be given rest(dropped/kicked out) in match against sri lanka, and ahmed shahzaad should be sent as an opener with akmal, and if fawad is kept in the team, then he should be given the chance to bat one down. i bet pakistan will win if our openers like shahzaad akmal and middle order malik, yonus and misbah and fawad play well and dont disappoint and the fielding side is well organized and our pacers like gul and tanvir play their role to restrict sri lankan top order strong batting lineup then inshallah pak will be victorious.

Posted by Tamjeed Ali on (June 12, 2009, 7:51 GMT)

Younis Khan said that Abdul Razzaq can't play the Sri Lanka game, but he will be available for the "last two" games. Younis seems pretty certain that Pakistan can't advance past the super eights. He needs to change his thinking.

Posted by ishrat on (June 12, 2009, 6:04 GMT)

Just a few things to ponder and tinker with. Shoaib Malik should open and we need Razak back in the thick of things asap. Razak is a naturally gifted big hitter and needs to be sent in at one down with Misbah coming in at two down. GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

Posted by atiullah on (June 11, 2009, 14:42 GMT)

pak ,if want to qualify have to beat ireland comprehensevely and have to win against at least one of the other two (nz and sri lanka) as sri lanka has better bowling than batting,pak must bat first if it wins the toss ,try to make at least 170 to 180 and get early wickets (dilshan and jaisurya) spinners will play important role against nz,who are struggling due to injury concerns. misbah ul haq and shoib malik must click in major game.i hope at least one good score in 3 matches from shahid afridi. with razzak back in side,pak may opt amer out ,to give more depth in batting or they may just drop fawad if they need extra seemer in a match.

Posted by atiullah on (June 11, 2009, 14:34 GMT)

playing11 for pak should be :

salman butt shahid afridi kamran akmal yunus khan shoib malik misbah ul haq abdul razzak fawad alam sohail tanveer umar gul ahmad shehzad

Posted by Amjad Ali on (June 11, 2009, 6:44 GMT)

TO JANNIE :

the group format is worked out in this way:

All the FOUR semi-finalists in Group A, B C and D i.e India (A), Pakistan (B), followed by NL and Australlia.

and every n they ve been given the status of A1, B1, C1 and D1..

these will remain A1, B1, C1 n D1 (n the rest follows accordingly as a2,b2,c2,d2) even if they qualify second in their group because of their previous high ratings. in case of bangladesh and australlia both being eliminated from their spot and since they didnot make it to the super8s, ireland and WI are given their spots i.e A2 n C1 (australlia rated highly than SL so WI replaces AUS which is C1)

since NL were rated highly than SA they still remain D1 and so does pakistan as B1

just in case u r not good with it.. read this

http://www.cricinfo.com/wt202009/content/story/406918.html

Posted by Hasan Hashmi on (June 10, 2009, 19:38 GMT)

Nice to see Pakistan win.

I wish that six gives afridi his batting confidence back, some how I still think we need more from his batting then bowling. & Wasim should play for Pakistan instead of doing commentary.

Posted by Irfan on (June 10, 2009, 14:08 GMT)

I guess you didn't like my last post because you never posted it. I was not defending the team’s performance but what really irked me was the timing of that post “Rubbish Pakistan made England looked good”. I think you over reacted. The outpouring of the sentiments was to be expected so there was nothing new there, every blogger was crying for Younis's head. All of a sudden after today’s win everything has changed. And you wrote this article. I expect you to have a rational approach then a common man. Pak team won against a minnow, all the test-playing nations sort of brushed them aside. The inevitable has merely been deferred. The quality opposition will make them come undone completely. Butt who could nevvver face a moving ball must be replaced with the kid "Shahzad", who should be paired up with Akmal. Fawad should be drafted in; his days on the sideline should be over and he should be tossed the ball ahead of Malik for a change, as he is the only lefty spinner in the side.

Posted by eon on (June 10, 2009, 13:23 GMT)

Hi Jannie.. Group E=> IND, SA, WI, ENG Group F=> PAK, NZ, SL, IRE

Super 8 groups are not based on their ratings or points within their group. It is based on the Seed ratings. So PAK being Seeded as No. 2 will be in Group F ir-respective of whether PAK tops his group or occupies the second spot. Currently top 4 Seed ratings are - IND 1 PAK 2 AUS 3 SA 4

Thats how the teams were spread across the 4 groups as well. Where top 4 Seeded teams were scattered over the different groups.

Posted by Amanzeb khan on (June 10, 2009, 12:54 GMT)

To Jannie, The slots in the group eg. A1,A2 etc are not based on performance in the group but are based on pretournament ranking. So who tops the group does not have a bearing on the next rounds grouping which is based on the ranking. If a team displaces a ranked team then it just takes its place eg. West Indies has taken Australia's place

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

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