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June 16, 2009

Twenty20 World Cup 2009

Moment of joy after torrid two years

Kamran Abbasi
Saeed Ajmal took 4 for 19, Ireland v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, The Oval, June 15, 2009
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Pakistan produced a clinical performance to qualify for a second consecutive World Twenty20 semi-final. Tougher challenges lie ahead but Younis Khan will be pleased to have avoided a potential banana skin.

As with other minnows who do not play regular international cricket, Ireland’s bowlers posed more of a challenge than their batsmen. Boyd Rankin, in particular, troubled Pakistan with his pace and bounce.

Nonetheless, a solid if unspectacular performance ensured that Pakistan posted a total that was way beyond Ireland. Kamran Akmal was the backbone of the effort, with Shahzaib Hasan, Shahid Afridi, and Abdul Razzaq playing handy cameos.

Still, there should be some disappointment that Pakistan failed to post a bigger total. The current batting approach is short of ingenuity and invention, which is something of a surprise from a Pakistani team.

Misbah-ul Haq, usually the prime architect of unusual strokeplay, has yet to discover his touch. His teammates will be hoping that he is saving his best inventions for the big games ahead.

Once more, Pakistan’s bowling proved formidable. And it was a day for unsung heroes to come to the fore. Saeed Ajmal continued his excellence in this tournament. His four wickets effectively snuffed out any challenge from Ireland. Ajmal’s combination with Afridi is proving critical for Pakistan in the middle overs.

Mohammed Aamer again wowed the crowd. His second over marked by fast bowling of the highest international standard. Aamer is improving with every outing and could become a truly special bowler for Pakistan.

As ever, Umar Gul finished off the Ireland innings with venom, the highlight being two consecutive yorkers that uprooted the stumps. Unfortunately, the first was off a free-hit delivery and did not count as a wicket.

It has been a tough 24 hours for Gul, whose world record-breaking spell against New Zealand has been tarnished by thinly veiled accusations of ball-tampering. It is an accusation that the New Zealand camp should hide their heads in shame over.

Pakistan have now banished some of the demons of their last defeat against Ireland. Several banners in the crowd urged Pakistan to win it for Woolmer. They did just that, and for themselves and their country.

Pakistan may have had one of the easier routes to the semi-finals but they had the worst 24 months of any team. It is a moment of joy and pride that they have gathered themselves to reach the final stages of a major international tournament.

The hard work begins now.

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

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Posted by Eric on (March 2, 2012, 18:46 GMT)

I thought it was going to be some rinobg old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful

Posted by Idrish on (June 20, 2009, 8:09 GMT)

Yes It is feat by chance and a click at the right time. But now on we must have a couple of sloggers and bowlers like Alam and stuff should be out and replaced. It is very astonishing that after Pakistan reached the finals, it is as if all the media has gone to sleep. No mention of any kind. Where is Chapples duo, manjrekar ???? they are only to beat drums for IN - Dia. Very shameful of the so senior but ridiculously partial 'great seniors' No a small mention to praise or even tell how they achieved this feat. Actually it wasnt wished at all !!!!!!!!!

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (June 18, 2009, 3:12 GMT)

I think Pakistani team should play unchanged, we don't have any players said to be specialists of a certain number in T20 so Younus can play anyone at any number depending on the situation. We should have faith in our Captain and should back him up on the decisions he is making that has worked till now. To all those who are criticizing Fawad Alam, who can forget the game in Canada that Fawad won for us and let's also not forget the most recent domestic season in Pakistan and most importantly the RBS T20 competition which ended a few days before this world Cup. I think we are wasting such a talent by just touring him and not playing him but at the same time I can understand Younus has to make some decisions in Pakistan's interest. Fawad should get his fair share in SL without fear of what will happen if he fails in one game. I believe, one should only be criticized if he gets his chance to perform and then fails, obviously that is not the case here. Good Luck in Semis, Go Pakistan!

Posted by Amer Ahmed on (June 18, 2009, 3:08 GMT)

I think Pakistani team should play unchanged and let's give Younus a chance to decide who plays at what number. We don't have any players said to be specialists of a certain number in T20 so Younus can play anyone at any number depending on the situation. We should have faith in our captain and should back him up on the decisions he is making, after all they have worked till now. To all those who are criticizing Fawad Alam, who can forget the game in Canada that Fawad won for us and let's also not forget the most recent domestic season in Pakistan and most importantly the RBS T20 competition which ended a few days before this world Cup. I think we are wasting such a talent by just touring him and not playing him but at the same time I can understand Younus has to make some decisions in Pakistan's interest and not players. Fawad should get his fair share in Sri Lanka without fear in back of his head of what will happen if he fails in one game. I believe, one should only be criticized if

Posted by Abas Zevrep on (June 17, 2009, 21:35 GMT)

I am so excited for tomorrow's match. Pakistan vs South Africa! If South Africa has an edge over Pakistan in batting then we've got an edge over them in bowling! If we can field as well as South Africa then let me assure you, we're going to the FINAL!! I hope our players give it their all. It's another "do or die" match for us, Younus. We've had easy ride to the semis but lets prove to everyone that we're capable of beating the best! :D

Posted by Kamil from Malaysia on (June 17, 2009, 14:40 GMT)

I would say Pakistan deserves to win this world t20. After all the hardships that they had gone through, it would be an eye-opener to the cricket world. Pakistan had produced great cricketing legends to name a few Wasim Akram, Imran Khan & Javed Miandad. Pakistan is still producing world class talents. Mohammad Amir is barely 17, but he has a composure of matured bowler. In the stark contrast, Sohail Tanvir who is much senior and "seasoned" than Amir could not maintain his composure during the game against Sri Lanka. I give him the benefit of doubt for a stiff back. Pakistan have a formidable side and I'm sure they will win again South Africa if Pakistan play as a unit rather than individual showcase.

Posted by Suhail Mustafa on (June 17, 2009, 13:32 GMT)

Kamran, we need to get rid of this Usman S ediot. Read the article title ' Science and art in Clash of Culture'. Cricinfo should stop Usman Samiuddin to write about Pakistan Cricket. From his name it seems like he might have some insight about Pakistan cricket, but he is clueless, a chicken George, a man who is blind and cannot see beyond what is obvious. Who cannot write a book about inefficiency of Pakistani Administration at this point in time. But this man cannot see these men out performed so many great teams with shear talent and doing the best they can. At this point when Pakistan is going to Play SA this article was tasteless, a little recognition and encouragement is in order. Osman go back to Calcutta or where ever you are from, you are not needed here.

Posted by kamrul hasan on (June 17, 2009, 12:28 GMT)

I am really surprised to see Pakistan’s performance in the ongoing ICC Twenty20 World Cup. This team was out of international cricket for long time. However, they have become one of the semi-finalist teams for the second time in this format of cricket tournament. However, they will face South Africa in this round. Let us see if they can make chance to play in the final round.

Posted by Aziz South African on (June 17, 2009, 11:52 GMT)

I would love to chat to some of the Pakistan fans on this blog after the semi-final. South Africa are prepared and organized. Pakistan are more talented. The team that is disciplined and more hungry on the day is going to win. If Pakistan exploit South Africa's apparent weakness against spin,and take on the SA bowlers confidently, this will be the decisive factor. Shoaib Malik and Misbah need to come to the party and not waste scoring opportunities. I would be happy to see Pakistan win the final...they deserve it after being ignored at IPL.

Posted by srivathsan on (June 17, 2009, 11:51 GMT)

While it is disappointing to see the lackluster performancw of india ,it is equally gratifying to see the performance of pakistan who have qualified for semifinal.They have come as a team with a penchant for success .The bowling has clicked beautifully. I agree with you that any subcontinent bowler doing well means either chucking or ball tampering in the eyes of western teams.They cant accept class & quality of subcontinental sides.Any way they are out & pakistan is in. I wish they win the cup & maintain the supremacy of subcontinental cricket. TO FARIDOON The comment of few individuals does not represent the view of majority & it applies vice versa.we should take the positives & leave out the rest.I fully agree with you that national anthem be played in all the matches including domestic so as to whip up the national pride.

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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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