Twenty20 World Cup 2009 June 17, 2009

Essential, thrilling, fascinating

South Africa pose a severe threat to Younis’s stated dual ambitions of winning this World Cup to uplift the people of Pakistan and to honour the memory of his previous coach and mentor, Bob Woolmer
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Younis Khan's Pakistan is shaping up nicely in this tournament © Associated Press
 

Pakistan fans should outnumber South Africans at Trent Bridge today, and Younis Khan’s team will require every last breath of support if it is to defeat the tournament's most formidable opponents. Has any Pakistan team's progress ever acquired greater significance?

South Africa pose a severe threat to Younis’s stated dual ambitions of winning this World Cup to uplift the people of Pakistan and to honour the memory of his previous coach and mentor, Bob Woolmer. Behind an inane grin Younis is a serious fellow.

His Pakistan are shaping up nicely in this tournament--it would be wrong to imagine the coach has any significant influence. A varied and aggressive bowling attack has allowed the batsmen to slowly find their form. But the concern is that Pakistan may be facing South Africa a match too early.

Historically, Pakistan have struggled against South Africa, especially on pitches with pace and bounce. This South African team boasts fast bowling aplenty, venomous and brutal. The better bowling attacks have troubled Pakistan, even the mediocre ones have broken their stride. On this basis alone South Africa must start favourites although Trent Bridge might just suit Pakistan.

But all is not lost. In every game, Pakistan have grown stronger. They have hit upon a team formula and a game plan that feels right for Twenty20 cricket. Shahzaib Hasan and Abdul Razzaq add some power hitting, creating a better balance between measured strokeplay and outrageous attack.

The players even look to be enjoying themselves, not in a frivolous WWE kind of way but in recognition of their improving game. When Younis Khan described Twenty20 cricket as fun he invited ridicule although it was really a clumsy cover for his intense annoyance with his fellows. He now seems very serious, especially following New Zealand's shameful attempt to question the integrity of his team.

There can be no question, however, about the quality of Pakistan's bowling in this tournament. For that alone, Pakistan fully deserve to be in the semi-finals. And it is the bowlers who stand the best chance of reminding South Africa of their chokers tag.

This will be the toughest challenge South Africa's batsmen have faced. Can Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, and Saeed Ajmal stifle South Africa as they have stifled others? I'm most fascinated to see how teenager Mohammad Aamer fares against South Africa's blasters.

Pakistan's flair can defeat the functional approach of South Africa. But this is a mighty South African team, and Pakistan will require an exceptional game in all departments to progress to Sunday's final. The senior players will need to lead the way, especially with the bat. Misbah-ul Haq and Abdul Razzaq, in particular, are capable of an unstoppable assault.

It might just be that Pakistan are peaking at the right time while South Africa are due a defeat. This might just be wishful thinking, South Africa are ruthless. Yet Pakistan have started playing with a swagger that comes with confidence, and in Twenty20 cricket anything is possible.

Win or lose, I want to see Pakistan play with passion and panache. In a few games of Twenty20, Younis Khan's team have reminded the world why Pakistan cricket is an essential, thrilling, and fascinating ingredient in our international game.

Win or lose, Pakistanis around the world have held their heads up high for a couple of weeks. "Proud to be Pakistani" shirts have made a reappearance. The Pakistani flag is once again associated with sporting performances that bring joy rather than the fear of international terrorism.

Win or lose, when people tell you that cricket is merely a sport, please tell them that for Pakistan this mere sport is a symbol of hope, a vibrant and pulsating connection with the international community.

No wonder Younis Khan chooses to smile. The enormity of his burden might otherwise crush him.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Amarjit Singh Kullar on June 21, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Nice article! I remember when Pakistan lost their first match.

  • ali on June 20, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    bring the cup home boys. We are all proud of you.

  • Mr.Moody on June 19, 2009, 12:14 GMT

    Champion pakistan sends S.africa[professional chokers] packed to their home. once again s.africa has proudly proven to be "CHOKERS", a tag which was labeled to s.africa by legend steve waugh. one suggestion to protease that kindly find a coach for their players who can teach them how to play spinners. and mr.Gibbs i came to know that u had invented 'new stroke' which u would use it in final. Alas! u better keep it for league matches as your dream of palying in final wud never come true!!!! Go greeen shirts and win the trophy!

  • Dani on June 19, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    @Robin Janse/Malay/boet. oops i did it again.... Proud to b Pakistani!

  • Saad on June 19, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan and finally i got a chance to see the Boom Boom Afridi back in his supreme touch.

    As I was going through the whole comments so all foreign people were commenting on Pakistanis that why are we so emotional? So please stop asking this question because you people would never understand a heart of Pakistani and for Pakistani and Indian cricket is not only cricket and it’s the matter of life and death that’s why last time India took the cup and this time Inshallah it will be Pakistan.

  • FAHAD T on June 18, 2009, 21:34 GMT

    well people especially all those who are still calling pakistan a"dysfunctional side" and "they won it due to one mans brilliance andlittle help from others"...they have not seen enough criket then.. there was two individual brilliance's from SA too but they did not win it!!!

  • a on June 18, 2009, 21:33 GMT

    PAKISTAN WON!

    p.s. @ Samuel: It's a cultural thing, an emotional thing, and in the end, whether we win or lose, it was God's will. And for many people, cricket DOES constitute a major part of life. Deal with it.

  • Amer Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 21:15 GMT

    Younus & Co. made us proud today. I salute our team for their efforts, they have beaten the unbeaten team in this tournament. This is quite a feat as no one had done it before today in this tournament. Some scary moments were there when it looked Younus miscalculated the overs but it turned out that he wanted to give Umer Gul a little break due to his head injury, so he took a chance with Fawad instead of Malik. Well that's part of the game and a little bit of drama intensifies the Maza. Everyone performed to their ability, one can criticize Malik for playing slow but he can't do any better in crunch overs so this might be a good number for him. Younus and Razzaq couldn't do any better towards the end either. On Sunday, I think we need to charge good in the first six overs to win this tournament, bowling I'm not worried about. I urge all fans to keep a cool head on their shoulders, win or lose Younus and his men has made us proud already. Well Done Team Pakistan, go get'em on Sunday!

  • Daaniyal on June 18, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    @Robin Janse/Malay/boet...

    so the chockers have ...surprise chocked again! :)

    suck on this bro's! :)

  • imsraaia on June 18, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Art win's over Science...... Pakistan Zindabad....

  • Amarjit Singh Kullar on June 21, 2009, 13:38 GMT

    Nice article! I remember when Pakistan lost their first match.

  • ali on June 20, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    bring the cup home boys. We are all proud of you.

  • Mr.Moody on June 19, 2009, 12:14 GMT

    Champion pakistan sends S.africa[professional chokers] packed to their home. once again s.africa has proudly proven to be "CHOKERS", a tag which was labeled to s.africa by legend steve waugh. one suggestion to protease that kindly find a coach for their players who can teach them how to play spinners. and mr.Gibbs i came to know that u had invented 'new stroke' which u would use it in final. Alas! u better keep it for league matches as your dream of palying in final wud never come true!!!! Go greeen shirts and win the trophy!

  • Dani on June 19, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    @Robin Janse/Malay/boet. oops i did it again.... Proud to b Pakistani!

  • Saad on June 19, 2009, 3:45 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan and finally i got a chance to see the Boom Boom Afridi back in his supreme touch.

    As I was going through the whole comments so all foreign people were commenting on Pakistanis that why are we so emotional? So please stop asking this question because you people would never understand a heart of Pakistani and for Pakistani and Indian cricket is not only cricket and it’s the matter of life and death that’s why last time India took the cup and this time Inshallah it will be Pakistan.

  • FAHAD T on June 18, 2009, 21:34 GMT

    well people especially all those who are still calling pakistan a"dysfunctional side" and "they won it due to one mans brilliance andlittle help from others"...they have not seen enough criket then.. there was two individual brilliance's from SA too but they did not win it!!!

  • a on June 18, 2009, 21:33 GMT

    PAKISTAN WON!

    p.s. @ Samuel: It's a cultural thing, an emotional thing, and in the end, whether we win or lose, it was God's will. And for many people, cricket DOES constitute a major part of life. Deal with it.

  • Amer Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 21:15 GMT

    Younus & Co. made us proud today. I salute our team for their efforts, they have beaten the unbeaten team in this tournament. This is quite a feat as no one had done it before today in this tournament. Some scary moments were there when it looked Younus miscalculated the overs but it turned out that he wanted to give Umer Gul a little break due to his head injury, so he took a chance with Fawad instead of Malik. Well that's part of the game and a little bit of drama intensifies the Maza. Everyone performed to their ability, one can criticize Malik for playing slow but he can't do any better in crunch overs so this might be a good number for him. Younus and Razzaq couldn't do any better towards the end either. On Sunday, I think we need to charge good in the first six overs to win this tournament, bowling I'm not worried about. I urge all fans to keep a cool head on their shoulders, win or lose Younus and his men has made us proud already. Well Done Team Pakistan, go get'em on Sunday!

  • Daaniyal on June 18, 2009, 21:11 GMT

    @Robin Janse/Malay/boet...

    so the chockers have ...surprise chocked again! :)

    suck on this bro's! :)

  • imsraaia on June 18, 2009, 21:00 GMT

    Art win's over Science...... Pakistan Zindabad....

  • Akbar on June 18, 2009, 20:58 GMT

    We are just one step away. Go Pakistan Go!

  • Raj on June 18, 2009, 20:48 GMT

    Cheers to the Pakistan team.. As an Indian, I was switching sides between South Africa and Pakistan throughout the first innings today when Pakistanis were batting - i think that feeling of love and indifference towards a Pakistani for an Indian is natural; However for some odd reason, sub-consciously, I was supporting the Pakistani team during South Africa's chase and was estatic after every wicket fell and felt happy for the Pakistani team as they roared to the finals. Way to Go! Bring home the cup!!!

  • Shoaib on June 18, 2009, 20:37 GMT

    Robin Janse, ready to eat som humble-pie? SA was outclassed by Pakitan!!! They fought well, but the pakistanis were better ... in everything!

  • AZ, DXB on June 18, 2009, 20:34 GMT

    Reply to Malay: Fluke GUL didn't give any width to chokers SA and the way your GIBBS got bowled and start picking up the ball in embarassment shows that SA are jokers as well.

  • Ujjwal Pandey on June 18, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    I expected a blog from you already, Mr. Abbasi, but I believe you are incredibly proud of your national team now that they have beaten highly overrated chokers. If West Indies beat Sri Lanka tomorrow, which I sincerely believe they will, we will be in for a real treat of a final. Should that happen, I will be, for the first time in the tournament, rooting against Pakistan but I shall wish them good luck now. Good job Afridi. And to anyone surprised by Pakistan beating South Africans, let me just blurt this one out "I told you so!" :D.

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hong Kong on June 18, 2009, 20:22 GMT

    Congrats to Younis and Co for reaching the final of T20 2009. I hope that Pakistan win the cup and lift the trophy. Amen|

  • AZ, DXB on June 18, 2009, 20:18 GMT

    To Theossa, Pittsburgh.

    Hope you have got your answer. CONGRATULATIONS !!!! to all Paki's

  • Imran on June 18, 2009, 20:14 GMT

    Alhumdulillah! Pakistan have won. What a delight to see Pak team fight and choke SA one more time. Afridi at best both with ball and bat. Insha'Allah Pak will lift the cup! Go Pak Go!!!

  • Saleem on June 18, 2009, 20:13 GMT

    And we finally nailed it.....we made it to the final on the smallest of margins....but we did it....we are all so Proud of you Team Pakistan....Well Done!.....Proud to be Pakistanis....Always

  • MARLO on June 18, 2009, 18:55 GMT

    ROBIN, let me know what u think. 50/3 in 9 overs SA, Afridi with 2 wickets in 2 over. Wait boy lot to come.

  • indian on June 18, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    sa should win

  • Sriram on June 18, 2009, 16:40 GMT

    Go For it!!! Only 2 matches seperate this team from dishing out everlasting hope and promise for the displaced people of pakistan.

  • MARLO on June 18, 2009, 16:26 GMT

    Dear Robin Janse, your book stinks. Pakistan is the only team to reach last 4 in both T20I worldcups ans until now Pakistani bowlers are topping the list Just like in the last world cup. Pakistan has the best T20 internationals record. Annnd Players who performed among the best in last world cup (except Imran Nazir) are stil in the team.

  • Lax on June 18, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    This is the first decent full strength team Pakistan is playing against. So they will be Tested.

  • Samuel on June 18, 2009, 16:18 GMT

    I am surprised at the comments from Pakistani supporters. Why you guys bring God in every comments. This is sports, not real life. Don't bring God for silly things. We need God for our life, salvation etc.. Funny people !!!!!!!!!!

  • Nadeem Subhani on June 18, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Our bowlers are doing great but batting is a problem. Both Malik and Misbah have to perform. We have a good line up. Both openers are performing well; Shahid should come at No. 3, he is a good hitter of new ball. If Shahid click today then we will be in good position. Then we have Younis who can hold one end and keep the scoreboard moving. Razzaq and Fawad should come after Shoaib and Misbah, if both Shoaib and Misbah fail today then Razzaq and Fawad will take the charge to increase run rate in the final overs. Good luck team, Insha Allah we will win.

  • Yasir on June 18, 2009, 16:07 GMT

    Kamran brother u r ryt.....we win or lose....but we have shown to the world what we are & what we can do....on a day we can defeat anyone...i want Pakistan to play like a Real Champion & for Late Bob wolmer if they really want to do anything for him & for Pakistan & as well for them

  • Samhouse on June 18, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    I for one am damn proud of this team. They could have easily laid down an accepted defeat after a handy trashing from the Indians and the English.

    Yet they persevered. They have shown character and despite victories against the minnows and some batting struggles, one can't help but wonder what script will await them this afternoon.

    One thing is for sure, the pen is in their hands.

    pakistan zindabad!

  • souljaboykhan on June 18, 2009, 16:05 GMT

    bay-be you know that i miss you i wanna get with u but i cannot baybe girl and thats the issue girl u know i miss u i just wanna kiss u but i cannot right now so baybe kiss me thru the phone! I'll see you later on!

    Pakistan Paindabad!

  • Farid Amin on June 18, 2009, 15:56 GMT

    An old Pakistani movie song lyrics will sum up what I think and feel:

    Jo Zamaane mein himmat na hare Apni Taqdeer khudh jo saware Uss ke liye Hame-shaa Qaam-yabi kadam chum-ti hai

    Good Luck, give your best, that's all we need!

  • mohammed sameer on June 18, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    firstly i would'lke to congratulate the whole pakistan team for their brillilant hard work n confidence and i can say that they gonna follow the same thing further insha allah talah they get succeed soon(sameer sydney)these pakistanis hav to performed kamraan akmal,shahid afridi,shoaib malik,misbah ul haq in batting n bowing doesnt need to say anythng but hav to carry on thier great rhythm.

  • Mohsan NADEEM on June 18, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    Inshallah pakistan gona win against S-africa... as v all knw about umer gul hiegst wicket taker in da tournament and den sayeed ajmal... v got quit gud bowling attack.

  • mohammed sameer on June 18, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    firstly i would'lke to congratulate the whole pakistan team for their brillilant hard work n confidence and i can say that they gonna follow the same thing further insha allah talah they get succed soon(sameer sydney)

  • Imran on June 18, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    Good Luch Pakistan. I am 110% sure we can win this and finals. My request to all pak fans...Please do not start backfiring our players if (God forbidden) we lose by any chance. We have already proved to the cricket world what we are capable of and cant be left alone. Please no more conspiricies against us

  • Nadeem on June 18, 2009, 15:42 GMT

    I love to see Pakistani victory. Its Joy for person like me living in USA. Good Luck Nadeem

  • sohail on June 18, 2009, 15:39 GMT

    I guess SA r kind of favourites to win but it wont be a walk over as some here are suggesting ,while SA is strong in all departments but pak is strong only in 1 i-e bowling,so competing 3/1 looks a bit difficult ,but if this 1 department has to come exceptionally good to make up for the other 2 departments. Anyway i want a fighting game ,,not a one sided affair. my best wishes to pak bowlers and i have special hopes for SHAHZAIB,if he comes good our batting will definitly come good inshAllah

  • Dani on June 18, 2009, 15:37 GMT

    gr8 article once again kamran...INSHALLAH Pakistan will win today....PROUD TO B PAKISTANI!

  • waj on June 18, 2009, 15:35 GMT

    Good Luck Pakistan, hope you go all the way!!!!

  • Springbok supporter on June 18, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    It's so funny to see Mr. Abbasi and all Pak cricket fans gung ho about Pak finally performing great. What's so great in beating NZ and a couple of minnows? They lost 4 out of 5 matches against test-playing nations if you include the warm-ups, of which the first one was against SA. I'd prefer taking WWE more seriously than such silly comments.

  • yasir on June 18, 2009, 15:21 GMT

    go guyz and make ur mark against SA

  • Imusman on June 18, 2009, 15:18 GMT

    I thing SA is favourit but T20 is Luck Game any team who put on the board 150+ other team can't get it because both teams have best bowling attack but SA have fielding advantige there fielding is one of the best fielding side in the world in batting both teams nearly same.

  • Usama on June 18, 2009, 15:02 GMT

    Great Article Kamran Bhai, yes i hope inshallah pakistan will go out today as a strong team and tear apart the south african batting, and as far as the bowling is concerned, lets hope that our spinners Ajmal, and Afridi can get them out early like the New Zealand match! Anyways match is just about to start in an hourm so lets pray to allah that we can win this match inshallah and make it to the finals.

    Ameen!

    Pakistan Zindabaad!!

  • Naveed on June 18, 2009, 14:58 GMT

    Excellent article by Mr. Kamran Abbasi. Win or loose doesnt matter all we ned a fight from Pakistan. Thankyou Pakistan team to you made us proud.

  • Ujjwal Pandey on June 18, 2009, 14:58 GMT

    Pakistan will win. Done.

  • Adnan on June 18, 2009, 14:49 GMT

    I dont think winning the t20 cup means alot. Firstly next one in just 9 months time. 2ndly there is no consistancy from any team as this game is so unpredictable look at matches of, Neth vs Eng, IRE vs SL, WI vs AUS. What matters is your long term standing in all forms like what Aus had managed for so long in ODI and Test.

    if any team is a Champ it does not just need to be t20 champ but also be ODI and Test then only you become the King of the Game and right now the only team doing that seems to be SA or SL

    Please correct me if I am wrong

  • boet on June 18, 2009, 14:26 GMT

    Pakistan is going down, South Africa is in a different leage. Go proteas!

  • Adnan on June 18, 2009, 14:26 GMT

    I am a Pak Fan but I don't beleive Pak stands a chance against SA. SA is professional in all aspects, bowling, fielding, batting, keeping etc. What does PAK have? UMER GUL Thats it, what if SA attack him and succeed? then what? Pak will be embarrased just like 1999 World Cup final Against AUS. Pak is as good as Minnows, and like of BAN, IRE, NZ, Zimb, WI, and now ENG. I would rate the top 4 teams as 1.SA -> 2.SL -> 3. Ind/Aus -> 4.WI ->ENG/PAK

  • Asif on June 18, 2009, 14:22 GMT

    As Pakistani fans we all know the trials and tribulations we go through in supporting our team. Will the batsmen hold their nerve, will the fielding be any good or will the Bowlers give away too many extras or lose their concentration. My concern for the semi final is our opening attack. SA will target Aamer and Razzak to get as many runs on the board as possible during the powerplay. Should that happen, who do we replace either or both bowler with while sticking to the plan of bowling spin after 6 or so overs and Gul during the last few?. Any thoughts?. We all know that this team, on its day, can obliterate any opposition so heres hoping it will produce that kind of performance both today and in the final Inshallah!. That having been said, the team has our unconditional support no matter what the outcome today. Lets hope this team will continue to strengthen and give us Pakistani's those rare moments where we can hold our heads up high.

  • Kashif on June 18, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    I think you and Osman are hell of writers, so entusiastic and patriotic and making this so dramatic. Praying Pakistan wins the world cup or atleast play the final so the world may understand that there cannot be any 20/20 leaues or championship without Pakistan, the inborne kings of this format, Pakistanis play this game everyday in every street. Go Pakistan.

  • Shazad Awan on June 18, 2009, 14:09 GMT

    I agree Pakistan may be facing SA a game to early, but the buzz and adrenaline rush of facing a formidable opponent, in a semi final, may just electrify the team to respond with fire in their bellys. This is the game, nothing less then 100% will do, the final piece of the batting jigsaw must fit today. For Younis and Co this is their defining moment, an opportuninty to lift a nation from the depths of dispair, to create history for all the right reasons. Do us proud boys...

  • Sameer on June 18, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    If guys like Afridi, Razzaq, Gul, and Misbah fires, i am afriad it will be curtains for south africans even before the full 40 over match.

    Go PAKISTAN GO !!! YOU CAN DO IT !!!

  • Shan on June 18, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    Kamraan Bhai, that was an amazing peice of writing. I am feeling the same passion and spirit and Inshallah Team Pakistan will win. Pakistan Team Zindabad

  • Zakir Khan on June 18, 2009, 13:56 GMT

    Match is going to start in about couple of hours. I haven't watched any game live in this tournament except the first one against England on internet which i later wished has never watched. but will definetly watch this game. to me Pakistan is the favourite.they will win easily against S Africa.i don't consider S Africa to be the favourites as many other thinks.my prediction is that final will be between Pakistan and West Indies and we will be victorious Inshallah. ''Khan effect'' will be more than enough to make us champion once again.

  • Mobeen Zahid on June 18, 2009, 13:51 GMT

    The article sums up the hopes and wishes of all the Pakistani people, the final is due to start in about a couple of hours as I write this, and all of us are praying for them to succeed. We may well lose, but a fool's hope is better than none at all. And when all is said and done, people might criticize and blame when we lose, but perhaps we should not do so. Time to get behind our team and wish them the best always. They are the chosen 11 and God willing, will crush the opposition. Best of luck to Younis and his men, They can most certainly do it.

  • M. Rashid on June 18, 2009, 13:49 GMT

    Solute to Younis Khan and Co. for making us proud/smile at least for some time.

    Thank you Kamran Abbasi for touching our hearts with warm and “proud to be Pakistani” sentences.

    Pakistan Zindabad!!!!!!!

  • Ali Amlani on June 18, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    I think that the only way Pakistan can win this match if we have Shahid Afridi as man of the match not because of his balling but because of his outsatnding batting. I know that this is sounding vey silly but I am having a feeling that it is going to be true in this game.

  • Ali Amlani on June 18, 2009, 13:48 GMT

    I think that the only way Pakistan can win this match if we have Shahid Afridi as man of the match not because of his balling but because of his outsatnding batting. I know that this is sounding vey silly but I am having a feeling that it is going to be true in this game.

  • Sachin Fan, Florida, USA on June 18, 2009, 13:27 GMT

    I BELIEVE that Pakistan will win this match. There is no team right now as motivated, aggresive and dying to WIN than Pakistan. I am an Indian fan and its hard to support Pakistan, But the reality is that they are DESTINED to win this match !!!! So stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed coz I said so... :-)

  • faisal on June 18, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    Proud to be a Pakistani. Every time the world power comes against us. we keep on facing difficult times, no disastrous times when people say we are drowned.but we keep coming back, back with a bang. no formula no strategy works for us or against us as we are so unpredictable. Inshallah Micky arthur will sit and think after the match today how this Nation does not obey any natural rules, my plan was the perfect one, every area was covered but how come these green shirts keep on showing stunning brilliance.they are impossible.we are, we are impossible. win or lose today for us but INSHALLAH we will keep on coming threatening to put them down on the floor through a competitive effort when they think you are flying in the sky on top of the world. Pakistan Zindabad!!!!!!!

  • Anshul Jain on June 18, 2009, 13:19 GMT

    Even thought I am an Indian, i really want the Pakistan team to win today. Not because SA defeated India but simply because Pakistan is my favorite team after India.

  • Aziz South African on June 18, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    I know the mindset of the South African sportsmen very well,especially our cricketers and rugby players. They are a determined lot, and you can forget about the 'chokers tag' because that will not win Pakistan the match. Pakistan will have to bowl, bat and field at their best and every player will have to take responsibility. Extras in the form of no balls and wides will have to be controlled as this could be the difference between winning and losing. South Africa are confident and are very hungry to take home the trophy. Reputations of players mean little and they will take even Gul on. I have always been a great fan of Pakistan and I sincerely hope that I am wrong in overestimating South Africa's prospects tonight. I am hoping to see Pakistan at their best tonight. Salaams to all Pakistani fans and best of luck.

  • quest on June 18, 2009, 13:17 GMT

    Lets not make this game as end of the world. ITs just a match and i agree Pakistan team must fight hard whether it wins or loses its another matter but they must fight hard. Lets also hope that Misbah would not find a new way to make himself out and fool

  • Abhinav on June 18, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    Hey I am an Indian.....but since we have been knocked out, I am rooting for Pakistan. I genuinely hope they win this tournament since it will be great for the morale of the Pakistani people and will give them hope. Pakistan definitely has the batting and bowling firepower to win this contest.

  • adnan on June 18, 2009, 13:09 GMT

    As a Pakistani Fan, I always want Pak to win. However I do not agree with Mr Abbasi. First of all Pakistan has not reached the semis becuase they did great but I would say it was a pure luck and not allround performance. I have not seen a single match where pakistan have won with great margin from any real big team (from warm up till now). SA, SRI, EnG, WI.

    and as for Younis is concerned he goes by the book i.e. Seniors are better. why has he not given the ball or bat to Fawad Alam? Why has he not tried to send Afridi or Fawad alam to open in place of Salman Butt. Why has he not prmoted Fawad or Mibah before Shoaib Malik.

    I beleive younis still need to learn and someone has to guide him how to properly switch the batting order. Bowling has always been pak's strength thus Younis gets lucky that other batting sides crumble. I will see the day Pak wins by battig wonders and then i will accept that younis has proved to be a good captain by promoting and sending batters in right order

  • khurram burney on June 18, 2009, 12:53 GMT

    well said Kamran brother, Pakistan will win the match tonite inshALLAH, but even if they don't you are rite about us holding our heads high because we are not a nation that others can just right off....i am proud to be a Pakistani and win or lose tonite i am already satisfied with the fite we have put up so far in this competition.

  • Farhan Ahmad on June 18, 2009, 12:47 GMT

    I think pakistan team an excellent and very attractive winning team. now this time is very powerfull bowling attack. so best of luck pakistan and mostly shahid afridi 1st down bating so best of luck.

  • Grant on June 18, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    Pakistan will crumble under the sheer weight of expecation. South Africa might lose against Sri Lanka, who can nearly match them in strength and versatility. But regardless of which Pakistan team shows up, South Africa remains a superior side. They may romp to victory, or take a more measured approach, but the result is inevitable.

  • saleem awan on June 18, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    Thanks Kamran for a wonderful article which already has a lot of fans pumped already.The team has so far only done us proud by being in the semi final. The Pak team will always be like this brilliant at times and lackluster at other time and I only hope that they continue to be brilliant for the next three days as the whole Nation needs some good news after all these gloom and doom in the country. It will show to the world that how much passionate we are about the game and will bring us pride.

  • Munna Lahori on June 18, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    Pakistani cricket team is vibrant and will prove its mettle in a cohesive manner, INSHALLAH. True that they were rusty but now they have realized that they have to make crores of people back home happy.... My advice to them will be three folds: Be fearless, fight it out as a team and give less extras. All the Best to our Sher Dil cricketers!!!

  • Usman on June 18, 2009, 12:36 GMT

    What's the role of Fawad Alam in the team? Pakistan must play a pacer instead of him. A medium pacer like Abdul Razaq in bowling department is a very big weak link. He will be taken apart by the SA blasters. I urge Younus Khan not dare open the bowling with him!

  • Theossa, Pittsburgh on June 18, 2009, 12:33 GMT

    LOL at Pakistani bloggers and fans on Cricinfo. They were ridiculing Younus Khan when he declared T20 as “fun” game and compared it to “WWE”. Now when Pakistan reached the semi final they are considering Younus a genius who calmed the team nerves by telling the players to enjoy themselves playing the fun T20s. I think what we have is an emotional and almost fanatic fan base in subcontinent. They are worshippers of the rising sun and as we say here in U.S. bandwagon fans. Leading this politically polluted cricket team must be a tough ride and the media makes it even tougher. My salute to Younus Khan! Talking about the match, SA is the favorite but Pakistan can win it with good bowling, good fielding, and just good enough batting. The pitch is different compared to the one used in India-SA clash. This one is supposed to be harder and less spin friendly. Given that Pakistan has two of the best spinners of the tournament Afridi and Ajmal who can generate turn on any surface, the pitch favors Pakistan. I think Pak should bat first and post at least 180 runs, although 160-170 could be a fighting total. If they lose the toss, they’ll probably lose the match. If Pak beats SA today, they’ll win the T20 WC. Usually whoever beats the top seed in semi finals, win the tournament.

  • Taslim Khan on June 18, 2009, 12:28 GMT

    I think misbah and malik have to click today if pakistan wants to defeat south africa. And they have to field well in todays match as they did against new zealand.Afridi has to understand his role also in the team as batsman.Because if he gets going then south africa cannot elude their defeat.we hope pakistan will play well today.They will outperform in every department. I pray to Allah for pakistan's win because they need that badly for their future cricket.

  • Imran on June 18, 2009, 12:23 GMT

    It's really a big game after a long long time. I'm all charged up and wish Pakistan to win all the way. Cannot agree more with Kamran on the comments "Win or lose, I want to see Pakistan play with passion and panache." This will only happen if Pakistan keep an eye on the cup believing they can lift it. If they win today, Srilanka will be in trouble if they qualify for final as well. Go Pak Go!!1

  • Khushi on June 18, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    very nice article. I think pakistan stand an excellent chance of winning this match. they are the best bowling attack in the world and some of the great batting line up as well. SA is definetly a good team but they have record of not performing well in big matches. Inshallah Pakistan will crush them. go Afridi and Gul:) May Allah give victory to Pakistan. Pakistan zindabad.

  • Taslim Khan on June 18, 2009, 12:02 GMT

    I think misbah and malik have to click today if pakistan wants to defeat south africa. And they have to field well in todays match as they did against new zealand.Afridi has to understand his role also in the team as batsman.Because if he gets going then south africa cannot elude their defeat.we hope pakistan will play well today.They will outperform in every department. I pray to Allah for pakistan's win because they need that badly for their future cricket.

  • Yasir on June 18, 2009, 11:58 GMT

    Pakistan's weakest department is first 6 overs (both balling and batting), if we did not loose the match at that time (min damage) then game is on...I think Fawad Alam is a misfit in the team, we should play a batsman instead of him, because at number 8 he is not going to do any thing...He would not get the bowling chance any way...Instead of him Butt should be played, as he can have a useful contribution during middle overs (if needed), he can play quality bowling much better than Fawad...There are not many choices in what are left...Sohail Tanvir was a good choice if fit...Our best chance is if we bat first and score 160+ and then contain the SAF under 50 with a wicket in first 6 overs...Best of luck to Pakistan

  • Mairaj Hoda on June 18, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    It's 7:20AM in Toronto. I wish Pak team all the best as they made us proud so far. I hope that the Pak team will fight till the last minute and be united regardless of the result. My suggestion is to play Fawad Alam up the order. This kid is with the Pak team for last two years on every tour. It is so unfortunate that he has not got a fair chance yet. I have seen him in Toronto last year against Sri Lanka, where he really showed his temperament and caliber. Being the only left hander in the side, who has the capability to hit 6s at will, should be batting up the order. Left and Right combination always creates problem for the opposition. I would suggest that since Misbah and Shoaib are not firing then it will be good to try him up the order, as he has proved his caliber at every level. Just like Dhoni, who gave the last over to J. Sharma, a new player, in 20/20 Final against Pak, 2007. If he performs its good for the team and it raises the confidence to a future prospect of Pak team.

  • Nadeem Ashraf on June 18, 2009, 11:55 GMT

    To me winning this T20 World cup is not that important. What more important is what this win will give us as a Nation. Especially in a hostile situation we are in. SA is a great team and it will be much more then just dificult to defeat them. But if Pak wins, this is going to give them even more: 1. Confidence to go in to finals and beat who ever it is. 2. Tranquility, which is required by not only the team but the whole Nation.

  • Mehmudah on June 18, 2009, 11:52 GMT

    beautifully summed up... well-written by Mr Kamran Abbasi!

  • ahsan on June 18, 2009, 11:39 GMT

    brilliant article....nearly brought me to tears!

    COME ON PAKISTAN!

  • Abbas on June 18, 2009, 11:31 GMT

    I have seen Pakistan loosing against South Africa so many times but still hopes are alive!!! Technically they are stronger than us but we do produce magic sometimes so hope for the best :)

  • kieron on June 18, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    The simple fact is, that if Sa play at their very best, pakistan will get blown away, even of pakistan play at their best, and Sa does the same, Sa will win! Pakistan will just have to hope that Sa has a off day! Good luck to both teams!

  • Arshad Khan on June 18, 2009, 11:24 GMT

    All punters out there: lay on SA when it touches odd of 28-30!!! But make sure to hedge because the team collecting more money on the BOOK will lose - don't underestimate the sports betting mafia!!!!

  • Aziz on June 18, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    I think that Pakistan is one of the country who have potential to face anything. In this semi Final the Key weapon for Pakistan will be Umer Gul, Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Razaaq, Amir and In batting Afridi and Razzaq thats all.

  • @Noon on June 18, 2009, 11:19 GMT

    Yes ... Yes ... Yes ... Mr. Abbasi .... whenever we sit to watch Team Pakistan play, we always wishing for that magic moment that we will win. At times we even carry the fool's hope that someone will hit a 32 on the last ball. May be opposition bowler will bowl 5 no balls and all of those going over the fence. Still we won't stop loving this "GROUP" now appearing as a team. If Pakistan wants to win today, they need to play as a TEAM. All criticism put aside, I would like to wish good luck to TEAM PAKISTAN.

    YONUS Khan, today we win or lose, doesn't matter. Just make us proud. Fight like tigers and roar like lions. Send Africans back to their jungles.

    GOOD LUCK ... Team Pakistan

  • Fraz Hassan on June 18, 2009, 11:18 GMT

    I heard that SA is Science and Pakistan is Art.

    My only question is why not science is able to invent ReverseSwing, Dosra & Shooter.

  • Gareth on June 18, 2009, 11:16 GMT

    I think its going to be a tight game. Most probably go down to the very last ball. But Im quite certain The Proteas will get the job done. Bring on Gul, Afridi and so on and so forth...we will despatch them with aplomb. Kallis is back @ the top of the order, AB is on fire, Albie is due a master blaster of an innings and so is Boucher. Then we have our most impressively miserly bowling attack...With all due respect to as great a cricketing nation as Pakistan is...i just dont see them getting a win today.

    Proteas all the way!!!

  • Saqib Iqbal on June 18, 2009, 11:15 GMT

    Our prayers are with you. GOOD LUCK TEAM PAKISTAN!

  • Mansoor Memon on June 18, 2009, 11:14 GMT

    Its 7:09 AM in USA, I m eagerly waiting for this match to start, i may be going home early just to see what will happen, my best best wishes to my great team , and above all great country.(i m gonna start crying now ! ...)

  • Arif on June 18, 2009, 11:08 GMT

    Brain says South Africa will win

    But

    Heart says Pakistan all the way.

    Go Pakistan!!! This one is for the whole nation

  • imran Zia on June 18, 2009, 11:05 GMT

    There is a sense among all that Pakistan may turn up with something special. Something that South Africans fear themselves is about to happen. Even after being tagged favorites they know that against Pakistan anything can happen. We must praise Younis Khan for at last turning up with the right combination. South Africa have failed to but up big totals on the board in the last two matches and playing against a better bowling line up wont help. Pakistan should be expecting bouncers and short balls so Younis and akmal have a huge role to play as they are the best players of the short stuff in our line up. It is now for sure that financially india maybe the strongest but as far entertainment is concerned there is no better team than Pakistan. ICC dont isolate pakistan as without them World cricket is poorer!

  • Smiley on June 18, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    GOOD LUCK PAKIS. ...........ALL THE BEST..........WE ARE PROUD OF YOU........PAKISATAN ZINDABAD

  • Basit Syed on June 18, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    Result doesn't matter today. My mind is showing a South African victory. But my heart is telling me that there will be celebrations in Islamabad tonight.

  • Faakhir on June 18, 2009, 10:45 GMT

    Let's be humble and realistic about the actual preparation and potential of Pakistan team. We would love to see Pakistan wn however South African side is clinical, very well prepared and has consistenely ben winning against top sides over last two seasons or so and most importantly has been playing top level cricket ulike Pakistan who were practicaly isolated by circumstances other than cricket!balanced

  • Khurshid Hyder on June 18, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    SA should remember one thing the best three boilers for T 20 are from Pakistan and fortunately Kamran and Akmal are back in for for batting and fielding. Jahanzib should keep on batting as he has done. he should not be afraid of his mis timing as this T20 like base ball. Only we cam make the run if take chances.

  • Ghulam AHmed on June 18, 2009, 10:42 GMT

    Dear Kamran, What an exceptional article by you...motivating, agressive, full of strategy, inspiring and emotional making as well....well done mr. Abbasi... If Pakistan do 80 percent of what u did in yr article...Pakistan will win... Good luck Pakistan our Swat and other effectees need it now.. come on u can do it

  • A.RAHMAN on June 18, 2009, 10:41 GMT

    This is A.Rahman from Sri Lanka. But my favorute team is Pakistan. SO our Pakistan will be the winner on this tournamant INSHAALAH. secondly I like to say something about Pkaistani Team. Dear IJAZ BUTT! You've take Fawadh AAlam from the team. Because, he is not doing anything for our TEAM. Please take AHMADH SHEZADH or SUHAIL THANVEER in to our TEAM. That batter for Pakistani cricket, when we Play against big TEAM. LIKE "AUS or SA".

  • Omer I. Khan on June 18, 2009, 10:37 GMT

    Another amazing post by Mr. Abbasi. When the world was ridiculing his fun and wwf comment, i knew that this was merely a miscommunication or a attempt at best from younis khan to cover up the entire insensity of what he really meant infront of the media. Pakistan with its issues backhome and its loving nation of cricket leaves younis khan with no other choice to be smiling, and on field he's damn serious. I am definitely proud to be a Pakistani and will become that inch broader if we oust the proteas, which we can, just have to believe...

  • Muhammad Islam on June 18, 2009, 10:36 GMT

    It is true that South Afica is favourite while going into this match and in case if Pakistan needs to go through to the final, they have to ball, bat, field with overall planned strategy. Once two teams are in field, one has to loose, but loosing side should fight and make the opponent work to win the match. ALL PAKISTAN IS HOPEFUL AND WISH AS WELL AS PRAY FOR SUCCESS OF OUR TEAM. WISHING ALL THE PAKISTAN SIDE THE BEST AND MAY ALLAH ALMIGHTY HELP OUR TEAM SUCCEED IN TODAY'S AS WELL AS THE SUNDAY'S MATCH. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • jawad khan on June 18, 2009, 10:34 GMT

    victory will come if and only if afridi stays for atleast 6 overs....and thats it..... Go ahead boys.....the nations prayers are with you....adn bring that cup home...

  • Abbas Naqvi on June 18, 2009, 10:32 GMT

    I will start with " Pakistan Zindabad , Pakistan Paindahbad ".If our team will play upto there full potential then no team in the world can even think to beat them.come on guys Pakistan must need a victory at this critical moment as a nation we are facing lof of problems.I think we should all also feel happy if our team will loose ( God forbids ) but after fighting hard.in the end best of luck guys.

  • Arsal Khan on June 18, 2009, 10:29 GMT

    hi!As a great pakistani fan and great follower of pakistan cricket i can only think that Pakistan will win but there is such a reason behind it that indian only spinner with the help of part time spinners give tough time to s.africans and Pakistan have three specialist spinners and a thrilling depth bowler umer gul.and dont forget that they r playing on the same pitch that which India played with s.africa so best of luck for Pakistan

  • Abrar on June 18, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    Go Pakistan Go..

    Pakistan Zinda baad :))

  • Syed Munib Hadi (Canterbury, UK) on June 18, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Younis task is enormous. In these times for the Nation. Couple of victories can fill the streets of Quetta, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi and Mingora with joy that we havent experienced as a Nation in years. No other event can unite Pakistan more than lifting this great sporting trophy at Lords. Go Pakistan all the Nation is praying for you.

  • a on June 18, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    Inshallah Pakistan will win...Inshallah. Nobody can sleep, we're so excited about the match.Pakistan zindabad!

  • Viraf Khan on June 18, 2009, 10:20 GMT

    This is from an Indian fan. We couldn't make the semi finals, but I'll be rooting for both Pakistan & Sri Lanka. South Africa are tough, but far from undefeatable. And no matter how much their captain might deny it, it is a fact that they choke when the going gets tough. Pakistan are far stronger mentally, and that's where they need to apply the pressure. Bring the spinners on early, keep South Africa guessing by rotating the bowlers, give Gul one over bursts, just about anything to throw South Africa off balance. Pakistan have the talent, no question about that. Now all they have to do is apply the same. Concentrate for 40 overs & the match is yours. South Africa is a well drilled army, and they can't be beaten conventionally, you need to do something different, out-of-the-box, and they will be rattled. I can't wait for tonight.

  • Asim Raza on June 18, 2009, 10:15 GMT

    I wish Pakistan Win this match....BUT we would have to play out of our skin....its not easy to beat SA.... they are strong unit, they plan well, they acr according to the plan !! so we will to play exceptionally well...wish you all the best Pak boys!

  • Faakhir on June 18, 2009, 10:13 GMT

    Let's be humble and realistic about the actual preparation and potential of Pakistan team. We would love to see Pakistan wn however South African side is clinical, very well prepared and has consistenely ben winning against top sides over last two seasons or so and most importantly has been playing top level cricket ulike Pakistan who were practicaly isolated by circumstances other than cricket!balanced

  • ameer on June 18, 2009, 10:03 GMT

    Pakistan jinthapad, dont worry my favourite"s just go with your excellent efforts, insha allah, almighty of ALLAH would give you excellent win. Basically i am from India nevertheless i love pakistan this is becuse we are all brothers. hello guys we are expecting very very excellent performence from you afridi (Regarding bowling u ve been in a mindblowing efforts no doubt about it, but batting need to be have consistency please make sure to concentrate with pure eyes on the home. if you will be batted well, insha allah 45% sure to win. we have bn expecting both Atrocious bowling and allurious batting from razzak, please my brother insha allah you can, do it with concentration. I love you saeed ajmal, what a performence before, even so, i must need same from you my dear. my heart is working with truble now, it will be convalacent after my pak win, ya allah, please please give a 100% accelarated effort to my brothers pakistani to win the match. Dnt Worry guys insha allah we wil win.

  • Mubashar Mahmood on June 18, 2009, 9:56 GMT

    I cant wait to see pakistan playing today. Its 10:49am here in UK and I'm only 60 mins away from the ground. I'll be watching pakistan playing later on. How exciting that would be? I'm sure they'll will considering SA are due to for a defeat...

    Things may not be right for people back in pakistan but Inshallah win today will give massive boost to whole pakistani nation!!!

    * * * PAKISTAN ZINDABAD * * *

    Mubashar from Coventry, UK

  • Sanjiyan on June 18, 2009, 9:54 GMT

    As an outsider I must say that Pakistan have suprised me with their turnaround after the defeat against England. They have a very potent bowling attack and a potentially devistating batting lineup..but i would like to point out that SA have an equally potent bowling attack..if not MORE potent and a batting lineup that has been much more consistant than any other(beside Sri Lanka) side. That should be enough for even the purest Pakistan supporter to agknowledge that this semi final will be about who can keep his head cool the longest.

    Good Luck Pakistan!!

  • Kashif Sehgal on June 18, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    Ahhhhhhhh... I feel like writing my heart out.. and Kamran your coulmn has made me even more emotional... Lets be honest every single one of PakiStani known that they are the underdogs but evey Pakistani is also supporting their them.. Hey i am not goning to critisise team selection, batting order, bowling and fielding flaws.. all i have to say.. I AM GOING TO SUPPORT PAKISTAN AND THE PAKISTAN CRICKET TEAM.. AND WISH THEM ALL THE BEST.. MAKE US PROUD FELLOWS...

  • Hassaan Bin Haider on June 18, 2009, 9:51 GMT

    As a die-hard Pak team fan, i hope that Pakistan would finish it well and with style. However, it would be un-wise to overlook our weaknesses and do not plan according to SA team. I think that our biggest weakness is batting. We need to send Afridi to open, as only 2 fielders ll be outside circle in first 6 overs. He can add some runs with his fearless risky shots. In balling, we should realize that YK's balling plan is an open secret. He would use Aamir and Razzaq to open, then Afridi & malik and then Saeed and Gul to finish. SA must have planned their batting according to it, so YK need to add an element of surprise there by asking Gul to open and then give him another spell at the middle or end to destroy the tail enders.

    Pakistan Zindabad! Inshallah we will win!

  • ameer on June 18, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Pakistan jinthapad, dont worry my favourite"s just go with your excellent efforts, insha allah, almighty of ALLAH would give you excellent win. Basically i am from India nevertheless i love pakistan this is becuse we are all brothers. hello guys we are expecting very very excellent performence from you afridi (Regarding bowling u ve been in a mindblowing efforts no doubt about it, but batting need to be have consistency please make sure to concentrate with pure eyes on the home. if you will be batted well, insha allah 45% sure to win. we have bn expecting both Atrocious bowling and allurious batting from razzak, please my brother insha allah you can, do it with concentration. I love you saeed ajmal, what a performence before, even so, i must need same from you my dear. my heart is working with truble now, it will be convalacent after my pak win, ya allah, please please give a 100% accelarated effort to my brothers pakistani to win the match. Dnt Worry guys insha allah we wil win.

  • dummer on June 18, 2009, 9:47 GMT

    hmmm,, all I have read on here is how hard, and how much pakistan deserve a win, What about the south africans, we have come far, after loosing 5-0 to england. the boys have worked hard to get to this point even our spinners, give them their due. Pakistan has had an easy route to the semi's... but I think umer gul is the best 20/20 bowler and we must watch out for him

  • nazia on June 18, 2009, 9:44 GMT

    pakistan will win.........inshaallah

  • sammy bi on June 18, 2009, 9:39 GMT

    I think the weather will have a major impact on tomorrow's outcome. It's supposed to rain right throughout the match, if only the game was starting early.

  • amjad fakhar on June 18, 2009, 9:38 GMT

    Yaar main tu sirf ya kahta ho kay ALLAH PAK hum par karam karain aur pakistan cricket team yah world cup t20 jeet kar pakistan lotain

    INSHALLAH

  • Malay on June 18, 2009, 9:37 GMT

    Hey guys Pakistan are very lucky to be here. They have performed mediocrarily and actually don,t deserve to be in the place where they are right now. On the other side Proteas have earned their spot in the semis and deserve to lift the trophy. They have beaten Pakistan (warm up), Sri Lanka (warm up), New Zealand, England, Windies, India (defending champions). The only bowler who could trouble SA would be Saeed Ajmal and the rest of them are a bunch of flukes even Umar Gul. Remember how he couldn't hit the stumps in a bowl out against India in the last World T20. Watch out for Albie Morkel and Gibbs. So all you Pakistanis be prepared for the drubbing against the Protean Power.

  • Haider on June 18, 2009, 9:33 GMT

    The position in which Misbah has been placed (as per Faizan Ahmed Khan), I am wondering, he is a bowler... I think Misbah must be given chance to play for maximum overs. One down or two down would be a better place for Misbah. Shoaib Malik needs to be at number 7 and Afridi should be used intelligently considering the run rate and wickets lost, definitely not as an opener.

  • mardrol on June 18, 2009, 9:32 GMT

    we're in for a pulsating,riveting,humdinging encounter.if pakistan play their 100% today we can very well see the semi-final being tied.there is a sense of deja-vu for me of what happened in 1999 semi-final.remember that pakistan are big-match players while sa are big-match chokers.both teams have nothing to lose.

  • farooq on June 18, 2009, 9:30 GMT

    obviously do or die situation for pakistan ..i think afridi should open , if he gets 15-20 quick runs , it would release a lot of pressure from pakistan's strong but out of form middle order. Younus should sent in misbah a little early , if he gets going , surely we are through to the semis.

    1) Shahzaib 2) Afridi 3) Kamran 4) Misbah ul haq and then depends ...u need hitters sent Malik , Razzaq u have lost wickets , neet to build on sent Younus ( captain sending Younus to bat ! lol)

    No doubt fielding will play an important rule. South africa with their athletic fielding saves around 15-20 odd runs in every match. And pakistan leak 15-20 runs.

    One more thing , people in pakistan say if india is out of the tournment and pakistan reaches a stage further than india , its like we have woon the world cup.

  • Arshad Khan on June 18, 2009, 9:27 GMT

    Referring to his stupid query about reverse swing, I think Vittori must have had a lot to drink the night before NZ was bulldozed by Umer Gul. Gees, hangovers can do so much harm to one's mental wellbeing! I wonder why he did not complain about Mendis, Murali and Mallinga when they were floored for a mere 110 in their next outing. Tsk Tsk grow up Mr. Vittori aka Cowardly Quitter

  • javaid khan on June 18, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    I'm a south african and can't wait for the game ! i have faith that SA will win and look forward to a great game, the pakistan cricket team has already made it's fans proud so win or lose tonight you can hold your heads up high !

    Here's hoping for an SA victory !

  • Zuhair Anwar on June 18, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    All depends upon the Pakistan batsmen. If they click we can win easy. Its time for Misbah, Malik and Fawad Alam to come to the party. We were able to outclass Netherlands, Ireland and New Zealand with out bowling alone but with the most professional and scientific team like South Africa we have to Bowl, Bat and field better than them to beat them.

  • Asif on June 18, 2009, 9:25 GMT

    Pakistan ik eshq ik janoon ka naam hei,,, We are lions, we are tigers... We are the most un-expected side.... We will rule the world.... This is our destiny... Pakistan tu zindabad tu paenda-baad... tujh per mere jan bhe qurban tu nishani hei es ummat kei... tu....Pak hei apni nam kei tarah

  • Aamir Jadoon on June 18, 2009, 9:23 GMT

    Well I think the first four overs of the bating of pakistan will be the most crucial part because the ball will be new and styn has a great control on the seam and swing. In my opinion it would not be a bad Idea if they sent Fawad Alam and shazaib hassan as an opener because over the years if you watch the bowling of styn you will see that the he is less effected against the left haded batsmen than the right handed and second important factor is that kamran Akmal also can play the spin well so Pakistan should not be fear about the south african bowling because in the tournament there spinners took the more damage just in one match parnil pick up the 4 wickets other wise spinners did the damage and pakistani batsmen are very good players of spin bowling. and they can handle the situation well any how on cards South Africa is very strong team but pakistan also can do the upset because they have the ability to do the upset.

  • Rayan on June 18, 2009, 9:15 GMT

    Today match will be breathtaking. Cricket lovers are waiting to see the extra-ordinary clash between the chocker SA and unpredictable Pak. Wishing all the success to both teams.

  • Babur on June 18, 2009, 9:14 GMT

    All prayers for Pakistan, May they come out as victorious in todays' semifinal against S.A. Its the right time for Malik & Misbah to show what they are capable of. Afridi should be sent to oopen the innings with Shahzaib & Razzaq will be as one down incase the 1st wkt falls too early. All the Best Pakis... U Can do it.

  • waterbuffalo on June 18, 2009, 9:10 GMT

    I hope we bat first and put up 150/60 then we'll bowl them out. Pakistan Zindabad! and great to see Abdul Razzaq again. Now to see Yousuf in a few months.

  • Rashel khan on June 18, 2009, 9:06 GMT

    Plz don't lose the concentration from play.In the field keep shouting. For first three batsman keep watching the ball hit the ball according to the merits until 8 over but over 2-4 keep hitting as much as u can. Than 15-20 hit the bowl if u have 5 wicket.don't wory about south Africa they r nt good as every body think. Bowling Try to pressure on smith, villiares nd gibs, don't give too many extras. Keep the bowl on line.good luck

  • MOONIS FAZAL on June 18, 2009, 9:03 GMT

    O YA.... definetly PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI!!

    no matter wats the outcome of a game we stand with our team PROUDLY. MAY ALLAH BE WITH US.

  • Sam on June 18, 2009, 8:56 GMT

    Doesn't matter who's going to win this match. They will face the Sri Lankans in the finals and get thrashed.

  • Bari on June 18, 2009, 8:52 GMT

    I have no doubts about Pakistan bowling. I am pretty sure they will do fine. My worry is our batting as South Africa managed to defend very small totals. But as in twenty20, couple of overs can change the course as we experience in tape ball cricket which is played by 95% of Pakistani amateurs. Good Luck Pakistan.

  • syed rahber hossain on June 18, 2009, 8:51 GMT

    Hope Pakintan can win this 20/20 world cup after Razzak it too strong and very good going on

  • Dr. Mubahir Hanif on June 18, 2009, 8:49 GMT

    Assalamoalikum!Alhamdolillah, things have slowly progressed in a nice and smooth way for Pakistan.A bat and a ball is a gift that any kid wants to have on any occasion. what do those grown up kids want now? They only want to see Pakistanis fight and fight hard. I am sure if we do that, we are through as the pressure is on SA and not on us.I think SA can never wash that choke tag and inshallah today also they will choke, why?Our bowlers have been excellent through out and pelase remember we have guys all the way from Kamran akmal down to Fawad alam who can turn around a match alone with their explosive batting. My instincts say that this time its gonna be more of batting and not bowling because its due, I mean match winning batting performance by any of the cornered tiger. All the best Pakistan, we are if Pakistan is. Pakistan, zindaa baad. Peace

  • Arshad on June 18, 2009, 8:48 GMT

    I think this is not all about winning and losing its all about the sprit and pastion which was missing in pakistani team since Inzamam lift the team.so thats what we want from team.

  • Adeel on June 18, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    The difference between Pakistan and the other teams is that Pakistan plays with their instincts rather than techniques. Only WI comes closer in this regard. If you are relying on your instincts, you can't win by playing defensive cricket. This is the secret ingredient which Imran Khan first discovered.

    Imagine a captain asking his vowlers that he don't care whether you give runs, do wides or no balls, he just want wickets. Wasim Akram bowled wide bowls more than any fast bowler yet awfully effective. It is the instinct not mere techniques.

    South Africa is technically very solid team. But for me this is battle between technique and instinct.

  • ss on June 18, 2009, 8:34 GMT

    Pakistan has got the potential and this is the right time to show the world that we deserve more respect then ever. Inshallah, Pakistani team will win the match with flying colours.

  • hamza on June 18, 2009, 8:32 GMT

    WE need chacha cricket

    where is he?

  • Passionate Pakistani on June 18, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    What a nice Article ,well yes Kamran absolutely right, for us cricket is a mere sport, this is a passion, i dont mind Pakistan losing but i want them to play with all the passion and a lose with dignity so at the end of the day even if we loose we can still held our heads up, but as a Pakistani i want Pakistan to win this cup so so badly we really need this as a nation and Insha Allah we will win, and still hoping against hope that our bad record against SA will improve today.

  • sheraz ahmad on June 18, 2009, 8:25 GMT

    I really hope we do win but we are getting carried away a bit. We have only won one match against a test playing nation, lost against 2 ,beat two associates. Lets not be too disappointed if they lose as if you compare our batting to theirs , we are well short. Our only hope is to put them in , get them for a low score and chase it down .

  • Junaid Rana on June 18, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    I would like to comment on the articles written by Kamran Abbasi couple of weeks ago when Pakistan lost to England and the title of the article was "SHAME Pakistan". What a shameful title it was and look this same person is now writing the totally opposite. I would just like to wish PAK Cricket Team the very best and INSHALLAH we will win. Just a suggestion for Kamran Bhai, next time choose the right title for your articles as you have every right to say anything to Pak Cricket Team but mind you no one will ever give you a right to insult Pakistan as indirectly you would be insulting yourself brother. Anyway, winning or losing is the part of the game and we PAKISTANIs would like to wish our team the very best for today's semi. GO OUT GUYS AND MAKE US PROUD!!!

  • Shahzad Mahmood on June 18, 2009, 8:24 GMT

    I am surprised to see the comments from all of you. Infact every body is saying that SA is the better Team as compared to Team Pakistan. No No No Noway. Pakistan is much better Team on a given day like semis and final day. Believe Pakistan will win easily from SA Insha Allah. But the win could have been so sure if we would have included Imran Nazir in the side. He is such a talented and dangerous batsman than any other in the world. But we are unlucky to bring him back inthe side. Anyhow Younis is playing his best cricket in the shape of batting, I think from Pakistan side he has scored more runs with vgood Strike rate as compared to any other pakis batsman. Hope that he will continue his form. Afridi should have some courage to open the innings to play vital role. Moreover the pressure on SA is more than Pakistan. Because everybody is expacting the win from SA, but at the end of the day the results will in favor of Pakistan...Inshallah.

  • shah on June 18, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    pakistan will win Inshaallah

  • S. Mathew on June 18, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    It's very interesting to see the sub-continet Giants are peaking at the right time, except India. Our brothers-across-the-border has something to cheer, and I wish them all the very best. You will win today, and in the final to compensate the last year. It is due. So younis Khan, If India was there I wouldn't say this, but now I can. Don't let the trophy leave the sub-continent. And you guys have it in you to win this year. The passion, the hunger, and the right mix. Go ahead and do it.

  • Raj on June 18, 2009, 8:11 GMT

    Completely agrees with Azhar.....SA is not that good a side as is persimed....they are on a winning streak bcoz other teams haven't performed to there standards...like india:)......i m for pakistan today...and Want afridi to open the inining....

  • taseer on June 18, 2009, 8:10 GMT

    Pakistan can win if shihid afridi faces 30 ball and saty on wicket. pakistan can win if seniors play show the courage. Pakistan can win if bowler given less than 5 extras. Pakistan can win if team shows tepmrament of big match. Pakistan can win if they bat first and post big score on board. pakistan can win if they belief on themselves.

  • Hammad on June 18, 2009, 8:09 GMT

    Pakistan is the only team among the other 3 contestant who did it twice to reach semi-finals. With almost no international cricket as compared to other teams they able to reach semi-final. Younis Khan and other players already make us proud. Even if they lose against South Africa it doesn't hurt us. I think all the players have done extremly good job. Best of luck to Younis Khan and all Paki Players. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Adeel on June 18, 2009, 8:06 GMT

    When things start going good, everything seems to be right. But we should not forget that Pakistan has to keep focus on just wining. My probable openers would be Afridi and Shahzaib and batting first is going to be the best bet. Pakistan bowling has been good but they would be bowling against the best batting this time so 'caution'. I wish Pakistan the best and wish Cornered Tigers will roar today. Wining or loosing would not be an issue if the game is fought with heart and spirit. Show the opponents that you are aggressive and a Team and not mere bunch of players. The body language will win the game!!! I hope that I would write a few lines for the final with Pakistan playing in it. Cheers!

  • Niazi on June 18, 2009, 8:05 GMT

    Pakistan can only win this if our batting clicks, batsman need to take more responsibility, SA will attack our spinners, Gul & Amir. If Pakistanis think SA will play defensive they are wrong, SA will attack from first over and target inexperienced Aamir. They have depth in batting and variety in bowling. Pakistanis like Indians seem to have some problem with short pitch balls and SA will use bounce to unsettle our batsman, they will try yorkers, slower balls. Our batsman struggled against malinga, time for Malik, Afridi, Misbah and everyone else to step up, may be we should try something different which SA's isn't expecting, they are clever and will have a strategy. Best of luck Pakistan.

  • Mohamed Feroj on June 18, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Now,its the time to show the Cricket world who pakistanis are.Come on Pakistan!Pakistan Cricket team badly needs this win & the world T20 trophy for so many reasons.They were Cornered,Isolated & Underestimated.So this is the right time to beat a team like South Africa.Who hopefully will get the taste of defeat for the first time in this tournament.So CHEERS & GOOD LUCK for the pakistan team.PAKISTAN-ZINDHABAAD.

  • Jawwad frm Delhi on June 18, 2009, 7:59 GMT

    All the best Pakistan. Play with passion and give your best. Show the world that you are the best team in 20 format.... All the best

  • Danish on June 18, 2009, 7:59 GMT

    This is the time go and prove to the world that Pakistan is not just about terrorism. Pakistan Zindabad

  • tony from canada on June 18, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    Believe me only in your mind Kamran is SA a formidable side.Through his wonderful demeanor throughout this tournament the Pakistan captain has conveyed to his comrades that this will be no sweat;a cake walk which is completely right.Meanwhile as usual the uptight SAs will lack sleep worrying about the big game all uptight.160 pakistan,99 SA wherever they bat.

  • Muddaser Ul Islam (R.A.K. UAE) on June 18, 2009, 7:44 GMT

    I think if Pakistan compite south Africa in feilding so then Pakistan is not a eassy team to defeat but we are relaing on our bowling which put extra pressure on them so Pakistan batsman need to relex them to put good runs on the board are chase well. My suggestion is you play your natural game free of fear. Don't let down your self bcoz u r the runner up of last and now u r in the semis,Please play like a unit just like you play against New zealand, win and lose is the part of game but we want to see ur effort either u lose r u win, being a Pakistani i wish and i pray for ur win ..........

    Allah nation are satnd behind you, praying for u,,...

    Allah give success to you AMIN SUMA AMIN.

  • israr-sharjah on June 18, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    south africa vs pakistan .......if u look to the teams equation. it will be 60/40 in favour of S.A. but if pakistans batting and fielding upto the mark as it bowling is, then i think it is not that difficult to beat them. so pak have to be execellent in all three departments of the game if they really want to beat S.A. because S.A also and always best in all three departments. in batting pak should try same order,but need to send there best and hard hitters up the order i.e. akmal,shahzaib,afridi,razaq,misbah...if they bat first they need to score 170+ in order to give thier bowlers a a chance to defend thier score against strong S.A.batting line...but if they field first they need to restrict S.A under 150 runs thats because pak chasing record is not that impressive,,, but at the end of the day there will be one winner and other looser but whome ever won or loose,, we want to see a fighting match and close finish.

  • Naif on June 18, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Nice Comments above all i Pray for the ElectriCity to be in the City ......for us to view the Match!!! go go go Pakistan !!!! and Also for KESC

  • Robin Janse on June 18, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    Pakistan is the lowest rated team in my book. Talkin about inconsistency = Pakistan. Bring them on. My obvious prediction - SA will Annihilate the Pakis

  • shahid on June 18, 2009, 7:42 GMT

    i personally wud have loved to see the other ICL (so called rebels) join the team. and pakistan wud have been unstoppable

    1 imran nazir 2 imran farahat 3 kamran akmal 4 younis khan 5 misbah ul haq 6 shoaib malik 7 abdul razzak 8 shahid afridi 9 rana naved ul-hasan (has made a reputation of a great pinch hitter in the ICL) 10 umar gul 11 saaed ajmal

  • Amir Masood (Sydney, Australia) on June 18, 2009, 7:38 GMT

    Excellent Kamran, We expect a competitive and positive display from Pakistanis and leave the rest to God. In the end it's the game of cricket that wins and I think our boys have done enough to make us proud given the situations thay had gone through back home. SA is a great side but Pakistanis can do anything and SAs are well aware and under pressure of that. Not much to debate, fingers cross. Go on Pakistanis and remember fortune favours the brave, have believe and faith in yourself and give your best. You will be surrounded by the prayers of millions and Inshallah those prayers will see you boys bringing the Cup home making the nation proud.

  • Waqas Hashmi on June 18, 2009, 7:36 GMT

    I am praying for pakistan to win this cup for us, Some people thinks that cricket in Pakistan is end, But they don't know, We have swing of Gull,Sharp spin of Ajmal,great drift of Afridi,Master blaster akmal,Youni the Stroker, Malik the intelegent, Misbah Powerfull, Each and every thing we have which bring Pakistan on victory stand inshallah.

  • Abdul Majeed Malik on June 18, 2009, 7:35 GMT

    If we win it we'll win it by a Run or a Ball and if we lose it we'll lose it by 20 runs or 5 wickets so its a 40(pak)/60(SA) percent probability. Be Warned SA have been twice unlucky in world cups so dont expect them to be unlucky this time but if we are to still win it, the opening stand will be the key as only a score of 170 is enough against SA or restricting them to that.

  • Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 7:29 GMT

    Com'on, All Greens, Win or lose Give it a fight and Show your Passion. The only thing that matters is your effort. Lets beat the Odds and Show the Spirit, May Allah Be with you!

  • Geoff Mac on June 18, 2009, 7:27 GMT

    South Africa will win. No doubt. For Pakistan's sake, a win for them would be wonderful, but it's just not very likely. It'd take stellar performances from some Pakistan players and none from SA for Pakistan to win. SA have a formidable team - mentally tough, clinical, consistent, have all the skills covered. They will take some serious beating, and I feel the mecurial Pakistan in just not up to the task.

  • Z.H on June 18, 2009, 7:23 GMT

    Assalam-o-alikum! I am really looking forward for this competition.I think if our batting clicks then inshALLAH there will be no stopping to us.Our bowling is damn good that we can say it can make up a bit for poor fieling but still we require a lil more effort in the field and a proper sensible batting.The only concern for me is batting. In the end all guys we got something we can really do for our team is DO PRAY.Prays always work and always support team PAKISTAN weither they win or whatever they need our support.Our support encourages them to do well. and please please do pray guys. INSHALLAH PAKISTAN will be the world champions inshALLAH.

  • emeye on June 18, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    Go green shirts go .... yayyyy

  • Fiaz Hussain on June 18, 2009, 7:20 GMT

    No doubt SA looks better side keeping in view their recent past form and wins, however if Pakistani players use sense and play up to their 70% potential, this will be a Pakistan day. Lot of best wishes for inspiring Younis Khan and his team.

  • Inam on June 18, 2009, 7:14 GMT

    In 1992 World Cup the then Pakistan Captain had a noble cause that motivated him to win the Cup, this time again it seems that the captain has a noble cause i.e. uplift the spirit of the nation and to pay tribute to a sincere coach, let's pray for the success of the noble cause

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on June 18, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Nice and comprehensive article, as usual. You are a great admirer of Pakistan Cricket and somehow great critics. Yes, this team is betting better and better but thanks to Mr. Abdul Razzaq. Look how a good all rounder be so emphatic in modern cricket that it could change the dimension of team. Now Younis is able to play around his players and using Afridi and others and shuffling his batsman which is good to see. Still we feel that he is not using Fawad Alam properly neither in the balling nor in the batting. May be he is going to use today. T20 is an offensive game, do not be defensive. The team who has mental toughness and courage wins the game besides the ability and proper planning with all the options. The only minus point in this team against SA is feilding but you never know some thing good will happen and the chocker will again be defeated and they keep their tag intact. This is good for Pakistan but they should not take it lightly. This game is make and mar and the last chance

  • imran on June 18, 2009, 7:11 GMT

    I have never been so proud of pakistan & especially of gul & Afrid with whom i used to open batting in our school team & play gully cricket in shadab , karachi. But i havefelt so good with his past performances than this one because of the last 2 years or more the pak team has been thorugh & to come up with such a brave performance when all world had written us off & even now all they are taling is SA & tema who exited early beggers belief.As a cricketer myself, i know we need to play very agressive cricket to win & give 110% percent in ielding & attack from the word go in batting & bowling. No dot balls & no extras.I want to see pak win inshllah or go down fighting till last second of the game. Thats all we paki fans want. Can't wait to see the pak team tour Australia & perform well in tests as well and not just one dayers. Good to see razzak back a i know he has a problem with dehydration while playing in hot conditions but england suits him & he can reverse swing too! ask lankans

  • Abbas on June 18, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    I wish that Pakistan wins today's match. For this, Pakistan has to bowl and bat very well in the first 6 overs. Only then Pakistan can put pressure on SA. SA will be under pressure because of their CHOKERS tag and the time is here to hit hard on them.

    May ALlah give Pakistani team a victory

  • Amjad Ali on June 18, 2009, 7:09 GMT

    if the proteas r soldiers, Pakis r warriors. even i dont fear SA sitting in my home n suppoze to be more tensed than the players actually. but this is how it is. lets have a laugh at it boys. u guys 've the best players at ur dspsal n with that special DO-or-DIE situation pakistan is favourite in this game. they play way better than any other team on earth in a DO-or-DIE situation.

    get lined up boys.. u have been marvellous.. credit to 'em all for whatever they r going through and whatever they 've been able to put on for a fight.

    and younas khan should also get his deserving credit for being able to hold(himself & guys) together afer whatever is happening bak home n throughout the early stages of the tournment.

    as for this article, it really is an excellent one. n with the paki team getting their feet in the game, guys like osman n kamran r putting up a decent show as well with their writing :). God bless u all... n lets have a go at 'em

    pakistan zindabad

  • Izhar Cheema on June 18, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    With all due respect to S. Africa, I think there is alor of exaggeration and hype about SA. Like I said somewhere else it is more like we are creating a myth about them. Have look on the last couple of matches, they couldnt manage to put a big total on the board, they won because the other teams let them win.... the rivals made more mistakes than the efforts and techniques put in place by Africans.

    My personal opinion is the South Africans can easily be beaten and I am sure Pkistan will thrash this myth tonight.

  • Faizan Ahmed Khan on June 18, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    I just want to say Pakistan ZINDABAD and we will win this INSHAALAH, secondly i wanna discuss or tell you about my batting order which i prefer to crush SA 1.Shahzaib 2.Shahid Afridi 3.Kamran Akmal 4.Abdul Razzaq 5.Shoaib Malik 6.Younus Khan 7.Misbah ul Haq 8.Fawad Alam 9.Umar Gul 10.Mohammad Amir 11.Saeed Ajmal

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • Kamran Hashmi on June 18, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    Nice read once again Kamran. I hope Pak wins today. The key to winning is our batting. Openers should try to give a quick start, 50 off 6 would provide enough launchpad for the batting powerhouse to post a good total. If you start batting defensively against the SA bowlers they wont let them get out of the shell. Also there is no point wasting the top performers of last world cup, i.e. Malik and Misbah to play as they did then, by not giving them enough room. I hope they are gonna make it count today. There are more chances that the wicket will turn so Pak spinners will make the life difficult....

    Best of Luck Pakistan !!!

  • Sulaiman Kara on June 18, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    I think South Africa should win this game easy, our bowling attack will adapt to the conditions and the Pakistanis will not be able to cope with the pressure. that being said i admire the pakistanis for reaching the semis, the bring so much passion to the game. so all the best to the pakis, they will surely need it!!!!!

  • Shahid on June 18, 2009, 6:57 GMT

    International recognition of emerging players are created in these type of high profiled events and I see SHAHZAIB coming out high. For Pakistan, I just hope there are no dropped catches and fielding lapses and that account for extras is kept in check. Dreaming dreams is free of cost but I don't think South Africa bowling is of a kind where it can be an afridi day so I hope Younes and Misbah show their class and perform. I still want Fawad to bowl and Razaq to open and face fast bowling. The only thing I am afraid of is that after loosing a wicket or two Pakistan goes in to defensive mode and consume some 5 overs to recover presuure situation. Younes must plan positively and ask his boys to go on playing their shots because the worst thing you can do against SA is to come under pressure. Enjoy the match boys and lets talk after that.

  • WiseObserver on June 18, 2009, 6:56 GMT

    Well...after all is said and done, it will be the Pakistan batsmen who will be resposible for the loss to SA.

  • Muhammad Usman on June 18, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    I think Pakistan can put up one of the most devastating performance on it's day. The current Pakistani team is shaping up well. Though so far they are striving on their luck. But as the tournament is progressing they are becoming more and more methadologists. I hope today they will jell together well and will be able to give South Africa tough time. In batting there is a need of little bit re-shuffling. Salman Butt must be included in todays line up instead of Fawad Alam who has not played any role in all his games in this tournament. Though Butt is out of form, but he good be really devastating against South African's Pace bowler. Younis khan send him at number three by giving him a task of playing freely. Best of Luck Pakistan

  • deen on June 18, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    pakistan should win the title of icc t20 because of india has come out from the semi t20. i hope pakistan players will play well and find the way to loss the south africa in the semi. best of luck to pakistan. if pakistan win the match it will help to them to improve their team performance and develop the cricket in this country

  • Zeeshan Ali on June 18, 2009, 6:46 GMT

    Cheer up Pakistan Supporters it will be Paki Power today. We pray for Pakistan Victory. Great column Kamran.

  • shahid on June 18, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    I think we need to give chance to Fawad Alam who can bat and bowl well ,but khan dont want give chance to him for what he is there..

  • SR on June 18, 2009, 6:35 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai,

    Great and balanced article. I have commented before and say it again, PCB should hire you as its Media Manager.

    I strongly believe Pakistan will give a tough fight. Young Ahmed Shahzad should be in the team in place of culprit Shoiab Malik.

    Thank you and best of luck to our team

  • Aamir Akhund on June 18, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    Kamran i think it will all come down to who wants it more. South Africa are desperate to get a major ICC tournoment under there belt and for us it has simply become the matter of national pride. Yonus has been brilliant throughout the tournament and in my opinion if we get Malik and Misbah to turn up 100% commited to the cause of the team ( i have a feeling we will be let down by these two) there will be no problem in progressing on to the finals. Last but not the least getting to the semi final was more then enough to bring back some joy into the life of ordinary Pak cricket lovers like me. It has been a great ride so far and i just hope we can go till the end with our head raised high and full of pride. Baby blue Indian victory was a fluke last time but this time we will not let victory get away from us.

  • Khurram Mahmood on June 18, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    All I need from team Pakistan is to have mental strength, can-do approach and fight like a cornered tiger during the game. Win or lose doesn't bother me, all we need is a good fight.

  • faisal on June 18, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    salam its 07:10 in uk and i cant sleep i cant wait 2 see pakistan my belove country flag go high again in england the place where cricket is born. u said right about the SA wining form its gone bt 2 far pakistan hav bounce back very strongly and i though pakistan is way 2 fvourites in semis(inshallah) ony one thing is worry pakistan and everyone is there fielding and extras if they control in those department then there is no way any team in a world can beat us and on a stats we r far 2 better then SA in bowling department so there is no worries all my pray are with pakistan team as i love 2 see them in final on sunday(inshallah) and our t-shirt proud to be pakistani was there and we always will be prou 2 be a pakistani all i can say go on pakistani's show the world what we made of.

  • Sher on June 18, 2009, 6:14 GMT

    Spot on Mr. Abbasi. Today, Pakistan will be playing with an open mind. Every Pakistani will stand behind this team through thick and thin. We're already very proud of their achievements so far. We've to remember that Pakistan has been alienated from international cricket for the past few years. Yet, against all odds the team has managed to qualify for the semis. That in its own right is worthy of praise. Despite all the criticism (justified at times) the Pakistani team has held their nerve and peaked at the right time. Many had written off Pakistan even before the WC started. Some still resent Pakistani effort. That however doesn't discourage a Pakistani supporter. In fact, it only unifies our collective will to go one step further. Let's hope Pakistan today shine for Bob Woolmer.

  • Saif Ali on June 18, 2009, 6:13 GMT

    Its all getting into final stage,defintely south Africa would start as a favourites at Trent bridge but pakistan always had been a team that can pull out something extra ordinary from no where.Atleast it was seen during 90's era with the combination of Wasim Akram,Waqar Younis and Inzamam.Lets see if the new trio combination of Afridi,Gul and Ajmal can replicate them.If something can let down Pakistan is their batting with Misbah and Shoaib Malik strugging in form.Later is under extreme pressure and has to show his ability ,there is no better time than to do it in Semi-final agaisnt South Africa. Another concern for Pakistan would be identifying the role of Fawad Alam. I am surprised that he has not been used by Younis Khan as a third option after afirdi and Ajmal.In fact he has been pursuing with Malik who is not really so effective. Fawad alam could be a better option instead.So here we are into sem-finals, no wonder the team that plays an intelligent cricket would emerge as a WINNER

  • Sher on June 18, 2009, 6:10 GMT

    Spot on Mr. Abbasi. Today, Pakistan will be playing with an open mind. Every Pakistani will stand behind this team through thick and thin. We're already very proud of their achievements so far. We've to remember that Pakistan has been alienated from international cricket for the past few years. Yet, against all odds the team has managed to qualify for the semis. That in its own right is worthy of praise. Despite all the criticism (justified at times) the Pakistani team has held their nerve and peaked at the right time. Many had written off Pakistan even before the WC started. Some still resent Pakistani effort. That however doesn't discourage a Pakistani supporter. In fact, it only unifies our collective will to go one step further. Let's hope Pakistan today shine for Bob Woolmer.

  • Abdur razzak on June 18, 2009, 6:05 GMT

    Goin by figures no doubt SA are ahead of PAK and the natural favourites. But i'm sure this would go right down to wire. May be a special cameo from Abdur Razzak or Afridi could well make a difference.

  • Danish on June 18, 2009, 6:04 GMT

    Its 2:00 AM in toronto. but i cant sleep. all i can think about is tommorrow's game. our boys have done an amazing job to come back.

    now i have no doubt, that we have the best team in 2020. india's victory in 07 was a fluke, a win of the last ball. but we are the best, we have just shown the world.

    win or loose, i am proud of my boys. they are already heroes for me.

    aamer, ajmal, and shahzaid are an awesome find.

  • Farooq Butt on June 18, 2009, 6:02 GMT

    The only thing between Pakistan and winning the world cup is Pakistan self distructive button. if they play with confidence and self believe no team in the world can defeat them. I think after Abdul razzq's addition team is more balance and the pressure is off afridi. He know there is one other guy who can hit the ball out of the ground. I believe Pakistan will win easily but if it got close then SA might have a more of a chance. Anyways I want to wish Pakistan cricket team best of Luck and My fellow Pakistani wish you all our team's Success. Inshallah Allah is with us in the time of need. World cup victory would be a saye of relief.

  • Robert on June 18, 2009, 5:58 GMT

    @ Zain Yousafani - Um... not good against spin? They beat India at spin. I think even that has now been put to bed.

    I think that South Africa are the most solid side in the competition, barring Sri Lanka. That said, this is T20 cricket and it only takes one over to change the course of the game. I think that much rests on Afridi with ball... and bat to a lesser degree. Will De Villiers do it yet again with the bat? Will South Africa strangle them in the field? Either way, should be a great game to watch.

  • Zuhair on June 18, 2009, 5:53 GMT

    Thank you for this great post Kamran. I know that Pakistan has a big task ahead today but it is in no way impossible. Even if Pakistan loses however, they've won our hearts. What i like about your article is that its positive and hopeful. i can't say the same about the bullshit of a preview Osman put on cricket info today. It was biased, negative, and full of philosophical bullshit. When you're negative and believe you wont be able achieve that something, you won't. So Thanks for this post.

  • AZ USA on June 18, 2009, 5:52 GMT

    It is the batting stupid...As they say Pakistan's existence proves existence of God. If we win tomorrow it will be another testament of the Divine presence - otherwise our batting is in shambles.

    As much as should feel good about this team - T20 is a game of mind, strategy, calculating opponent's moves, and strong nerves. I do not think we, as a team, have done any work on these aspects. The management is still in the 60s and 70s mode, these old farts have no understanding as to how the aspects have changed since the 90s. Brute force and individual brilliance is now not enough to see the teams home, it has become almost a science and game of maths. Look what Misbah did in the last T20 worldcup final - lost his nerve when he was almost home...

  • Saif Ali on June 18, 2009, 5:51 GMT

    Its all getting into final stage,defintely south Africa would start as a favourites at Trent bridge but pakistan always had been a team that can pull out something extra ordinary from no where.Atleast it was seen during 90's era with the combination of Wasim Akram,Waqar Younis and Inzamam.Lets see if the new trio combination of Afridi,Gul and Ajmal can replicate them.If something can let down Pakistan is their batting with Misbah and Shoaib Malik strugging in form.Later is under extreme pressure and has to show his ability ,there is no better time than to do it in Semi-final agaisnt South Africa. Another concern for Pakistan would be identifying the role of Fawad Alam. I am surprised that he has not been used by Younis Khan as a third option after afirdi and Ajmal.In fact he has been pursuing with Malik who is not really so effective. Fawad alam could be a better option instead.So here we are into sem-finals, no wonder the team that plays an intelligent cricket would emerge as a WINNER

  • Azeem Akhtar on June 18, 2009, 5:45 GMT

    Pakistan have a fantastic opportunity to attack South Africa and leave them reeling before they know what hit them.It is still a shame that Imran Nazir is not in the side as opener. Shazaib and Imran opening with Akmal, Razzaq, Afridi to follow is a mouth watering prospect even for the neutrals lets alone those of us whose blood cells are crescent and star shaped. Our bowlers have been truly magnificent. Gul, Ajmal, Afridi, Amir, Razzaq have been outstanding. I was hugely disgusted but not surprised to see the Kiwis question Gul's performance. That mediocre cricketing nation is not used to cricketers with such outrageous talent. At some point a bowler from England, Australia, NZ,or RSA etc will learn to reverse a 12 over old ball in T20 and it will be heralded as a magnificent art.These moaning whingers are pathetic. They're jealousy is outdone only by their crass stupidity.

    Come on Pakistan.We are already proud of you. May Allah the Exalted be with you in the semi and the final.

  • Misbah Dalvi on June 18, 2009, 5:44 GMT

    Great column Kamran. I feel all charged up!!

  • Zain Yousfani on June 18, 2009, 5:36 GMT

    I think South Africa would be feared of pakistan spin attack, because S. Africans are not good at spin bowling, and specially when pakistani spin attack is on song, it is really difficult to take game away from them, no doubt Umer Gul has got his rhythem going .. one he is in, he is really difficult to get out, but you dont need to forget S. Africa has very good batting order... So would be an interesting game , if body language of pakistani team looked good, else S.A will take game away from them,..Good Luck Boys...! Hope to see you in the finals on Sunday...!

  • Mateen on June 18, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    All the best luck to Pakistani team. This tournament has brought a lot of life to war stressed Pakistani nation. Bob will be watching this game from the windows of heaven and he will be there to support his faveriot son Younus. World is with Pakistan this time. Good luck Pak.

  • Syed Imran Mehdi on June 18, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    Salam, South Africa have only chance to Win if they can win toss and make a blasterious start in first six overs. Although i have soft corner for my PakTeam one thing that is surly to be said is "To keep nerves of steel" ...may ALLAH Bless us with Victory!! PAKTEAM ZINDABAD

  • Mohammed Anwar on June 18, 2009, 5:33 GMT

    May God Bless Younis Khan with courage and strength to bring this World Cup to Pakistan....

    Aameen.....

  • Wasim on June 18, 2009, 5:32 GMT

    Pakistan team should remember it's a win or go home situation they will have to play fearlessly and with a lot of swagger against a team which attacks relentlessly.

    Malik, and Misbah should remember that they owe it to their fans, Malik should think he is playing for Stallions and Misbah should not hold his big shots.

    We don't want to see run a ball 30's from you guys score a quick fire 20 but maintain the pace of the innings.

    Razzak and Aamer they will have to bowl intelligently as South Africa will try to attack them. Kamran and Shahzaib should also rotate the strike after hitting a boundary.

    Razzak and Misbah are the only two batsmen in this team capable of playing big innings in a big match, I hope they deliver tommorrow.

    We want you to play fearlessly and with swagger.

  • azeem on June 18, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    No matter what happens today, I am damn proud to be a Pakistani. After all the months of pain and suffering, these few weeks have made me and am sure the world, appreciate and respect Pakistan. For at least a few weeks, no one tested positive for drugs or even accused each other for a wrong doing in Pakistani Cricket , except for Qadirs' issue which I am least bothered about right now. All I ask from Pakistan is to play with passion and desire to achieve more than they have in the recent past.Win or lose , you have done our country proud my boys.

    Proud to be a Pakistani!

  • AJN on June 18, 2009, 5:27 GMT

    Excellent! Concluding part of your article really moved me to tears. I join you & many millions of our countrymen to pray for the success & glory of Team Pakistan (Ameen). Dear Boys, go ahead with confidence & self belief and lift the cup for your motherland. Yes our Nation do needs this small dose of happiness and joy.

  • Arsalan on June 18, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    South Africa is definitely not fearful and certainly a better team, So lets just be humble and hope that Pakistan wins.

  • addas khan on June 18, 2009, 5:23 GMT

    Well, it it crunch time Mr Abbasi. I have to say that although Pakistan have not played a strong side and were brushed away by Eng very easily there seems to be this "thing" that all Pakistan teams possess(right spelling?) That "thing" is knowing how to pace yourself in a cup competition. Sure, we dont have Anwar, Sohail, Inzi, Moin, two W's, Aaqib and mushy, but I believe that If we play to our potential we MIGHT push SA all the way to the wire. SA are a very strong team and they seem to be our bogey team as well. As an Arm chair expert at cricket, whatever the conditions, Younis if you win the toss BAT FIRST. Going by what happened between IND v SA, 150-160 will be a good score and we have the bowlers who can defend this total inshaalah. You will have all the Pak support @ Trent Bridge and with all that is going on back home that is tearing our country apart, we need some respite. IF we can overcome SA....I believe inshaaalh the cup will be ours. Come on Boys for Pakistan!!!!!!!

  • Fahad Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 5:16 GMT

    First of All i do agree that Team Pakistan needs support,both from fan and media.Its a tough tough match and so far the campaign is a see saw , couple of wins and few losses but the team has been shaping up well.Its the confidence and self belief that we need as team to defeat South Africa.Although It seems against odds as South Africa is very accomplished side they are and undefeated in this tournament but Pakistan is a team that can defeat any other team on a given day.As cricket starved nation not only we badly needed to win this match but also the tournament to the cricketing world that we are still a force to reckon.

  • Hamdan on June 18, 2009, 5:15 GMT

    A beautiful article. Pakistan Zindabad!!!

  • Sayed Hasan on June 18, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    If this is the same spinning Trent Bridge wicket as last match (Ind-SA), limiting SA in the first 6 overs would be critical. I'm sure GS and JK will go after the teenager and Razzaq if they bowl first. I am tempted to say, start with Gul and not wait for the reverse swing overs. If the past game is any indication the spinners, even Malik would be unplayable. For batting (assuming spinning track) contributions of YK and Misbah would be critical. In all likely hood it would be a low scoring game. Pakistan Zindabad! Win or Loose Fight hard!!

  • M Akber on June 18, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    clash of cultures ... alternate lifestyles ... what could define it more perfectly ... i do believe very strongly that if Pakistan can put there foot down in the start then South Africa would have NO CHANCE ... we don't have electricity in Karachi, but our prayers are with the team ...

    talking about WWE ... This Pakistan team with the MOST ELECTRIFYING BOWLING attack needs to open a can of whop @#$ ... Best of luck ...

    what could be better than to have a final with the 2 old school teams ... Pak v WI ... best batters and best bowlers ... that would be nice ...

  • Amjad Shehzad on June 18, 2009, 5:06 GMT

    Pakistan is proving to be a stronger opposition now. Players have now settled and they have a will to win and this is very important. It would be a tough task in semi-final against South Africa. One who is mentally stronger will win the game. Pakistan should consider atleast one change in their side. They are playing Fawad Alam in last games but he has not batted nor bowled. He has not been used to his potentials. We know that he is a good bowler and in this tournament, spinners have played a vital role. I would suggest that, Ahmed Shehzad should be included to replace out of form Shoaib Malik. Ahmed Shahzad should bat at #3 and Fawad should bowl 2-3 overs as does Malik. It would strengthen our batting and bowling both. I wish my team a very good luck!

  • Farhan Arif on June 18, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    Wow Kamran... You could not have summed it up any better. Bull's eye. Pakistan needs this more than any other sporting win to uplift national pride. of course the word would have to continue in realms other than sport too.

  • Shah Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    Kamran, how much is Younis paying you to sing his praises? The remark about 20-20 being "fun" and losing "no big deal" was a disgrace coming from the man who is lucky enough to be the current captain of the pakistan side. Instead of continuing to kiss upto Younis, be objective and stop singing the praises of your favorites like Younis,Afridi and Razzaq.

  • eddy on June 18, 2009, 4:55 GMT

    This is too much emotions. Win is obviously what I hope for pak but win/lose it won't matter, as long as pak give a good fight. Lets not get ahead of ourselves, even if pak win they still have a final to play win.

  • Tee on June 18, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    Both teams have there positives and negatives. Like Kamaran said, I would like to see a battle regard less of the result. Winning and loosing are part of the game. I manner of either should be dignified.

  • Syed Jamal on June 18, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Dear Kamran: I agree that SA are tough but if Pakistan play aggressive cricket, Pakistan can win. I would bat first if the game is on the same pitch on which India played. I would send Fawad Alam early as a left hander can confuse the bowlers. Yunus must hold one end together regradless of whether you bat first or second. Bowling wise, in between Gul and Afridi/Ajmal, it would be great to surprise SA with Fawad Alam and Malik. Bowlers must not gift away extras like wides and no-balls. Fielders have to be acrobatic and give 200 percent. All players should communicate and cheer each other. Tegh to Tegh hayen hum top sey lur jaate they Paon sheron key bhi maidan sey ukhar jate they Be brave and fight it out Pakistan! You can win! Inshallah!!!!

  • Muhammad Aman on June 18, 2009, 4:47 GMT

    Well said Mr. Abbasi. I dont want to comment whether Pakistan should win or lose. As a Pakistani fan I always be happy when Pakistan wins but I will be happier if they play with their full power and play for the pride of their nation.

  • Sohail on June 18, 2009, 4:46 GMT

    Anything can happen in today's match against SA. Let us not forget 1992 when a stumbling Pakistan suddenly picked up and went on to win the World Cup or 1999 when after winning (almost) all their matches they went on to a devastating defeat in the finals. But recently, Pakistanis have seemed to be crumbling under the burden of important matches and they are not coping well with pressures. This is where we should be worried and prepared for the worst; and this is where our team needs our prayers.

  • Abdul Basit on June 18, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Hmm.. I am not much thrilled to see Pakistan in Semis as we haven't beat any good side yet and we are through! We lost to better Srilanka and equal England.. Against South Africa will be our first real test of passion and class... We are lucky to be in Semis (Mercy of Grouping).. Lets hope for good news tomorrow...

  • Zainab Khan (Sydney) on June 18, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    I really hope our bowling attack can outnumber the SA's batsmen.. In saying that i have strong faith that newcomer Shahzaib with Akmal and ofcourse Razzaq can really get those numbers up on the board with great batting.. As Kamran Abassi has stated: "Win or lose, I want to see Pakistan play with passion and panache." And that is the key definitely. All the best to our Pakistani team, and may the boys make our nation proud InshAllah! I have faith we can do it! Just gotta get in there and play to the best of our ability..

  • Salman Ahmad on June 18, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    I think timing is just perfect - team is fired up and looks keen to perform. If they are vigilant in the field I strongly believe Pakistan can win. All the Best to the team. GO PAKISTAN!

  • Muddaser Ul Islam on June 18, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    I will pray for Pakistan tean to have win in this match, and Pakistan can do it. So i say to my team b a team and put all of ur efforts to win this game, InshAllah Allah will give you success in this match, we all are praying for you, every one play his on role. Youis bhai you must bost ur team to perform well bcoz v not have another chace, we want to see a crushing Pakistan team, South africa have a good batting line up Pakistan need to take wickets early so Pakistani feilders will helps their bolwers bcoz a team effort will make any thing easy, InshAllah we will win.Proud to be a Pakistani.

  • Javed Khan on June 18, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    It's 12:30 am here in US right now. Game starts exactly 12 hours from now. I must get up for job by 6 am, but not sure if I'm going to bed tongiht! Though anticipation began long ago, only last 12 hours are the most testing ones!

  • Nauman on June 18, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    The only concern I have is Fawad Alam. He totally deserves his place, no question about it. The question is whether he is ready for such a big occasion. I think we should have given him substantial chances in the games against Netherlands and Ireland, both with bat and ball. He could have easily bowled half the overs that Shoaib Malik has bowled. Anyways, I wish this team good luck. They have made us all proud, they have all made us walk with our heads high, and they have brought us joy in such testing times. I am also hoping that Misbah and Shoaib both get among runs tomorrow, this will curb all the talks abt rift b/w them and the captain. We really don't need any more conspiracies and controversies. And I hope that the faster men again show excellent reverse swing tomorrow, so that we can prove to the kiwis and others that we can do it consistently and we do it all without any foul play. Good Luck Pakistan !!!!

  • Vishy on June 18, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Nice article! I remember when Pakistan lost their first match, everyone was jumping and blaming the Pakistan team. How the team has responded to that and turned things around! South Africa definitely are the favourites with their strong batting and bowling and their wonderful fielding. I think Pakistan matches them in bowling and Pakistan's batting looks good on paper. Nobody is talking about Afridi, but if he has a good day as a batsman, the game can change in a couple of overs. I think he is due a big innings now. The worrying factor for Pakistan might be their fielding. And South Africa, for all their strength, scraped through against New Zealand and India. West Indies gave them a good fight too, before fading away towards the end. It is going to be a wonderful, competitive match today.

  • Tariq Rashdi on June 18, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan will wiin it because they want it more than the South Africans. Time to show why we reached Finals last year AND this year because we are the best in this format.

  • arvind on June 18, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    hi,hoping we get to see a tight n thrilling contest.btw indian supporters might outnumber everybody because there's gonna be indian womens semifinal also be played there,so cheers!

  • Amer Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 2:22 GMT

    I think South Africa is feared by our bowling attack as well as lengthy batting down the order. It almost showed from Graeme Smith's face when asked a question about facing Pakistan in Semis after defeating India yesterday. I think this match is taking place at the right time and is not one game too early, our players are on fire and it is a good time to get South Africa out of the way. Sri Lanka would have posed more threat to Pakistan as cricket is like a religion to them as well and they would be more pumped and aggressive than South Africa. Players to watch tomorrow should be Parnell & De Villiers from SA, best wishes to Younus and his men and I hope they make us proud. Even if we lose the match we should give Younus's men credit, Pakistan is in building process and a lot of good has come out of this tournament, after all we are already in the Semis. Lastly, unfortunately Bari has taken over the selection, hope Younus gets his men for the tour of Sri Lanka. Good luck to all fans!

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  • Amer Ahmed on June 18, 2009, 2:22 GMT

    I think South Africa is feared by our bowling attack as well as lengthy batting down the order. It almost showed from Graeme Smith's face when asked a question about facing Pakistan in Semis after defeating India yesterday. I think this match is taking place at the right time and is not one game too early, our players are on fire and it is a good time to get South Africa out of the way. Sri Lanka would have posed more threat to Pakistan as cricket is like a religion to them as well and they would be more pumped and aggressive than South Africa. Players to watch tomorrow should be Parnell & De Villiers from SA, best wishes to Younus and his men and I hope they make us proud. Even if we lose the match we should give Younus's men credit, Pakistan is in building process and a lot of good has come out of this tournament, after all we are already in the Semis. Lastly, unfortunately Bari has taken over the selection, hope Younus gets his men for the tour of Sri Lanka. Good luck to all fans!

  • arvind on June 18, 2009, 4:20 GMT

    hi,hoping we get to see a tight n thrilling contest.btw indian supporters might outnumber everybody because there's gonna be indian womens semifinal also be played there,so cheers!

  • Tariq Rashdi on June 18, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    Pakistan will wiin it because they want it more than the South Africans. Time to show why we reached Finals last year AND this year because we are the best in this format.

  • Vishy on June 18, 2009, 4:28 GMT

    Nice article! I remember when Pakistan lost their first match, everyone was jumping and blaming the Pakistan team. How the team has responded to that and turned things around! South Africa definitely are the favourites with their strong batting and bowling and their wonderful fielding. I think Pakistan matches them in bowling and Pakistan's batting looks good on paper. Nobody is talking about Afridi, but if he has a good day as a batsman, the game can change in a couple of overs. I think he is due a big innings now. The worrying factor for Pakistan might be their fielding. And South Africa, for all their strength, scraped through against New Zealand and India. West Indies gave them a good fight too, before fading away towards the end. It is going to be a wonderful, competitive match today.

  • Nauman on June 18, 2009, 4:29 GMT

    The only concern I have is Fawad Alam. He totally deserves his place, no question about it. The question is whether he is ready for such a big occasion. I think we should have given him substantial chances in the games against Netherlands and Ireland, both with bat and ball. He could have easily bowled half the overs that Shoaib Malik has bowled. Anyways, I wish this team good luck. They have made us all proud, they have all made us walk with our heads high, and they have brought us joy in such testing times. I am also hoping that Misbah and Shoaib both get among runs tomorrow, this will curb all the talks abt rift b/w them and the captain. We really don't need any more conspiracies and controversies. And I hope that the faster men again show excellent reverse swing tomorrow, so that we can prove to the kiwis and others that we can do it consistently and we do it all without any foul play. Good Luck Pakistan !!!!

  • Javed Khan on June 18, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    It's 12:30 am here in US right now. Game starts exactly 12 hours from now. I must get up for job by 6 am, but not sure if I'm going to bed tongiht! Though anticipation began long ago, only last 12 hours are the most testing ones!

  • Muddaser Ul Islam on June 18, 2009, 4:38 GMT

    I will pray for Pakistan tean to have win in this match, and Pakistan can do it. So i say to my team b a team and put all of ur efforts to win this game, InshAllah Allah will give you success in this match, we all are praying for you, every one play his on role. Youis bhai you must bost ur team to perform well bcoz v not have another chace, we want to see a crushing Pakistan team, South africa have a good batting line up Pakistan need to take wickets early so Pakistani feilders will helps their bolwers bcoz a team effort will make any thing easy, InshAllah we will win.Proud to be a Pakistani.

  • Salman Ahmad on June 18, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    I think timing is just perfect - team is fired up and looks keen to perform. If they are vigilant in the field I strongly believe Pakistan can win. All the Best to the team. GO PAKISTAN!

  • Zainab Khan (Sydney) on June 18, 2009, 4:43 GMT

    I really hope our bowling attack can outnumber the SA's batsmen.. In saying that i have strong faith that newcomer Shahzaib with Akmal and ofcourse Razzaq can really get those numbers up on the board with great batting.. As Kamran Abassi has stated: "Win or lose, I want to see Pakistan play with passion and panache." And that is the key definitely. All the best to our Pakistani team, and may the boys make our nation proud InshAllah! I have faith we can do it! Just gotta get in there and play to the best of our ability..

  • Abdul Basit on June 18, 2009, 4:44 GMT

    Hmm.. I am not much thrilled to see Pakistan in Semis as we haven't beat any good side yet and we are through! We lost to better Srilanka and equal England.. Against South Africa will be our first real test of passion and class... We are lucky to be in Semis (Mercy of Grouping).. Lets hope for good news tomorrow...