Twenty20 World Cup 2010 May 14, 2010

A rabble with a cause

 
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Australia haven't yet been on the backfoot in this tournament and if Pakistan can contrive to put them under pressure, a shock is possible © AFP
 

Are Pakistan a rabble? A rabble without a cause? They have been dismissed as such by former cricketers and pundits. It's easy to see why. Since Pakistan almost eliminated Australia in last year's Champions Trophy, their results have been abysmal.

Australia, in particular, have hammered Pakistan relentlessly, denying them a single win. Yet despite internal chaos and poor squad selection, Shahid Afridi's rebels have somehow advanced to the semi-finals of another world tournament.

Australia will certainly start favourites thanks to their punishing form in the Caribbean. Even the most optimistic Pakistan fan knows that their team is up against one of the strongest T20 outfits ever assembled.

But Pakistan must take heart. Their bowlers have found form and momentum at the right time. St Lucia's wicket plays to Pakistan's strengths and less so to Australia's. Anything is possible in T20 cricket, and Pakistan should feel less pressure as underdogs.

Importantly, Afridi's team has just begun to play with the required level of passion and aggression. Success in any form of cricket comes through taking wickets, and Pakistan must be brave and attack Australia. Much will depend on Saeed Ajmal, Afridi, and Mohammad Aamer. Now is not the time to experiment, and the surprising team combination that worked against South Africa should be persisted with.

The batsmen must seek to dominate Australia's pacemen, safe in the knowledge that the bounce in St Lucia will be less disturbing. Pakistan's batsmen are due a strong performance, and now is the time to deliver. A good start from Kamran Akmal and Salman Butt, and some impetus from Afridi in the middle order will be the keys to success.

Australia haven't yet been on the backfoot in this tournament and if Pakistan can contrive to put them under pressure, a shock is possible. After suffering persistently at the hands of Australia, after the hurt of the last few months, Pakistan can salvage some pride by eliminating Australia from a world tournament. That has to be worth fighting for.

Pakistan might have been playing like a rabble, but a rabble when roused behind a powerful cause--and what can be bigger than restoring your pride--can humble the mightiest force.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - S. Arabia on May 18, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    The T20 cup is with England now a worthy winner. I personally feel that either of the two finalists were worthy of the crown. England this time played to their potential while the aussies are always a tough side to beat. So no regrets on Pakistan losing the semi final to Australia, infact they have done really well to have reached the semis with this team. I am happy the way they played both against New Z'land and Australia and it makes one feel that the team is on the up. Waqar is a no nonsence man and he has the capability to pull the team through provided the board lets him have hjis ways. This of course is a big ask, with the Big Bellied Butt one cannot expect that to happen, plus having Mohsin as the sellection chief one is inclined to feel that the Butt Bulley will have his ways. Our bowling has come a long way and now we need to organize our batting and in perticular the middle order. I am expecting Younis to come back and Hammad should also be tried in.

  • ABLE TABLE on May 15, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    PAKISTAN HAS ALREADY LOST TO A TEAM PLAYING BETTER. WHAT BETTER PERFORMANCE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A TEAM WHOSE CAPTAIN IS APPOINTED AFTER SELCTION OF THE TEAM AND HAS NO SAY IN IT.

    PAKISTANI FAST BOWLERS HAVE FORGOTTEN TO BOWL YORKERS,SLOW BALLS ETC.

    FINALLY,I THINK RAZZAK IN THE FINAL OVER WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.

    ANYWAY,IT IS GOOD FOR THE PAKISTAN TEAM AS NOW THERE SHOULD MBE A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE PCB INCLUDING ITS CEO.

  • Jacob Sahayam on May 15, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Pakistan won just 2 of the six matches that they played. They lost to aus twice, Eng and NZ. They were quite lucky to be in the semi-final.

  • Elessar on May 15, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    I can't stop laughing at the outcome today. Australia showed who is the boss.

  • ZamanA on May 15, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    What a phenomenal match! It was captivating and enthralling. I was very disappointed with the result but on reflection, it was great for the game of cricket. The Pakistani players should not be disheartened. They put on a stupendous performance. It was inspired batting by Hussey and White which turned the tables. One cannot blame the Pakistani bowlers. It was a miraculous display by the Aussie batting. Post match analysis may show one potential area of weakness-the field placements, where defensive settings allowed singles .This allowed consolidation and confidence to the batsmen. Afridi, Waqar Younis and the entire team should be congratulated for the epic match. We will be talking about this for years.Looking forward to an exciting summer in England. A nucleus of the young team is developing. With the return of Gul and advent of M. Irfan we can be a handful. We should keep our focus on the World Cup 2011. It would be sweet justice for Pakistan to lift the trophy in India.

  • Dr. Khan on May 14, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    ....... KANGROO hunted the CORNERED TIGERS !!!!!!!

  • Mark on May 14, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Well done to Pakistan, they pushed Australia more than anyone else has in this tournament. The game could have gone either way and when White was out, I thought Australia was going to fall short.

    Again well done to Pakistan lifitng their game so much.

  • Desi on May 14, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    What a play by Pakistani team? They can still feel proud of this lose.

    Some body in this forum said "INSHALLAH(GOD WILLING) Pakistan will win". It sounds like even the god does not want pakistan to win with all the sins the countries is commiting. It is not your mistake to loose this game. Simply blame it on the country.

  • akhil on May 14, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Watching the Pak v Aus game..this is how you play T20 India. Not the crappy, wimpy stuff I see from the indian cricket. Learn how to play bouncers, learn how to bowl fast, learn how to play like men. Embarrased to be a fan of the indian cricket team.

  • Faisal on May 14, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Akmal brother did it....we got a start we needed..now its up to our bowlers...Go green Go....i love cricket but at the same time i hate it...I am in my office and just watching the score on cricinfo and praying....Pakistan you are going to final inshahAllah

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - S. Arabia on May 18, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    The T20 cup is with England now a worthy winner. I personally feel that either of the two finalists were worthy of the crown. England this time played to their potential while the aussies are always a tough side to beat. So no regrets on Pakistan losing the semi final to Australia, infact they have done really well to have reached the semis with this team. I am happy the way they played both against New Z'land and Australia and it makes one feel that the team is on the up. Waqar is a no nonsence man and he has the capability to pull the team through provided the board lets him have hjis ways. This of course is a big ask, with the Big Bellied Butt one cannot expect that to happen, plus having Mohsin as the sellection chief one is inclined to feel that the Butt Bulley will have his ways. Our bowling has come a long way and now we need to organize our batting and in perticular the middle order. I am expecting Younis to come back and Hammad should also be tried in.

  • ABLE TABLE on May 15, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    PAKISTAN HAS ALREADY LOST TO A TEAM PLAYING BETTER. WHAT BETTER PERFORMANCE CAN YOU EXPECT FROM A TEAM WHOSE CAPTAIN IS APPOINTED AFTER SELCTION OF THE TEAM AND HAS NO SAY IN IT.

    PAKISTANI FAST BOWLERS HAVE FORGOTTEN TO BOWL YORKERS,SLOW BALLS ETC.

    FINALLY,I THINK RAZZAK IN THE FINAL OVER WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER.

    ANYWAY,IT IS GOOD FOR THE PAKISTAN TEAM AS NOW THERE SHOULD MBE A COMPLETE OVERHAUL OF THE PCB INCLUDING ITS CEO.

  • Jacob Sahayam on May 15, 2010, 7:48 GMT

    Pakistan won just 2 of the six matches that they played. They lost to aus twice, Eng and NZ. They were quite lucky to be in the semi-final.

  • Elessar on May 15, 2010, 6:11 GMT

    I can't stop laughing at the outcome today. Australia showed who is the boss.

  • ZamanA on May 15, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    What a phenomenal match! It was captivating and enthralling. I was very disappointed with the result but on reflection, it was great for the game of cricket. The Pakistani players should not be disheartened. They put on a stupendous performance. It was inspired batting by Hussey and White which turned the tables. One cannot blame the Pakistani bowlers. It was a miraculous display by the Aussie batting. Post match analysis may show one potential area of weakness-the field placements, where defensive settings allowed singles .This allowed consolidation and confidence to the batsmen. Afridi, Waqar Younis and the entire team should be congratulated for the epic match. We will be talking about this for years.Looking forward to an exciting summer in England. A nucleus of the young team is developing. With the return of Gul and advent of M. Irfan we can be a handful. We should keep our focus on the World Cup 2011. It would be sweet justice for Pakistan to lift the trophy in India.

  • Dr. Khan on May 14, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    ....... KANGROO hunted the CORNERED TIGERS !!!!!!!

  • Mark on May 14, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    Well done to Pakistan, they pushed Australia more than anyone else has in this tournament. The game could have gone either way and when White was out, I thought Australia was going to fall short.

    Again well done to Pakistan lifitng their game so much.

  • Desi on May 14, 2010, 19:33 GMT

    What a play by Pakistani team? They can still feel proud of this lose.

    Some body in this forum said "INSHALLAH(GOD WILLING) Pakistan will win". It sounds like even the god does not want pakistan to win with all the sins the countries is commiting. It is not your mistake to loose this game. Simply blame it on the country.

  • akhil on May 14, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Watching the Pak v Aus game..this is how you play T20 India. Not the crappy, wimpy stuff I see from the indian cricket. Learn how to play bouncers, learn how to bowl fast, learn how to play like men. Embarrased to be a fan of the indian cricket team.

  • Faisal on May 14, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Akmal brother did it....we got a start we needed..now its up to our bowlers...Go green Go....i love cricket but at the same time i hate it...I am in my office and just watching the score on cricinfo and praying....Pakistan you are going to final inshahAllah

  • sri on May 14, 2010, 17:13 GMT

    Hi, Am Indian and rooting for Pakistan all the way here. Right now, Pak are at 113/2 at an SR of 8, all the very best against the arrogant Aussies. We need a subcontinental team to retain this format for a while!! Aman, Sri

  • Desi on May 14, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Yep, it is time to dish it, humiliation, back to Australia. No one tolerates a bully.

  • eresharif on May 14, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    defending pakistan;most probably they can b known as "unpredictable" rather dan pakistan;one can say,but in one word they r miracle or simply shockwire.......but this calculation doesnt direct us 2 pak's victoy over aussies....but all they have 2 do shock d world with their handsome effort...so just 2 wait whether they r capable or not....but it's pakistan who can rock d world in their day

  • Abhey on May 14, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Pakistan Players - play to your potential and level the score by sending them back... My best wishes are with you... Kitna baju kitne sir gin le dushman dhyan se harega wo har baazi jab khele hum je jaan se...

  • Faraz aslam on May 14, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Come On tigers roar once again as you have done it in 2009.Razaq & Aamir you have to do it for the pride of our country.I think today Khalid Latif would be the key to our success.Saeed Ajmal,abdur Rehman and Afridi have to give their 100%.

  • Abul Hasnat on May 14, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Pakistan has an outside chance to win today. Chances will improve only if catches are taken, the over all quality in fielding improves, and the captain makes the right decissions and calls in the right bowler at the right time. Following team is proposed: Salman Butt Kamran Akmal Shahid Afridi Umar Akmal Fawad Alam Khalid Latif Abdul Razzak Mohammad Amir Mohammad Asif Abdur Rahman Saeed Ajmal

    PS: Misbah should retire from this form of the game. Bring Fawad in. The game is about to start in one hour.

    Good Luck Pakistan. Perform w / Prayers

  • Mohammed Aslam on May 14, 2010, 14:54 GMT

    Inshallah Pakistan will win Against Australia.If their opener give them a good start & their fielding would be to the standard of T 20 W/C.Saaed Ajmal,Afridi,Abdur rehman & aaamir cna do that.

  • Hussain Rizvi on May 14, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Australia best T20 team ever assembled? Please. Last year's Pakistan team was probably the best ever assembled possibly with the addition of Imran Nazir to the squad. And Razzaq should be sent at No 3 and Hammad Azam should be included

  • Sam on May 14, 2010, 14:34 GMT

    You know, when Pakistan get into the groove, not even the Worlds Best XI players can beat them and I'm serious about that. If today they get into that groove and spirit, mark my words, Aussies will go down like they ARE the underdogs. And please stop calling the Defending Champions and the No.1 T20 team - underdogs.

  • desihungama on May 14, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    By the time you would read this comment, Australia would have won without even playing a single ball. It's rain O'dear!.

  • Rizwan on May 14, 2010, 14:22 GMT

    hardly any chance mate. This 'cornered tiger' cliche has worn out long ago. Current team is a bunch of mediocres, jokers and losers (yes I know these jokers won last yr's WC). They've managed to sneak into semis only due to factors they didn't have much control on. In few hours, they'll come down to earth after Aussies put 'em in their right place.

  • Jawed Saleem on May 14, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Go Go GREEN !

    Men from down under – Beware of “PAKI-THUNDER”!

    Mr. Abbasi, Many thanks for your encouraging/ reassuring/WISE words ahead of “CRUCIAL –GAME” .

    Today’s game is between 11 skilled Australians Vs. 4 (Lala, Akmal, Aamer & Ajmal).

    “STICKY” St Lucia. track/pitch will favour the “slow” bowlers in a low scoring contest. Final playing IX should be selected accordingly. ** Given that the Pakistan batsmen play within their limitations and hold nerves ( No Kama Kazi Heroics plz ) a target of 150+ should suffice ! ** Pakistan Bowling have the fire-power to expose the Batting chinks (in OZ line-up) and break the high-flying “Aussie-spirit” ! Pakistani Bowlers have the tools to restrict them under 140.

    Its time to balance the books ! Go Go GREEN !

    Jawed, Karachi

  • Mark on May 14, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    There's an old saying.

    "The race may not go to the swift nor the battle to the strong....but that's the way to bet."

    several people have said they lost all those matches so it must be time to win. Hello! that might work if it were chance, but it's not. Australia are the better team at the moment.

    They may have a bad day and lose, but I doubt it. Pakistan are a big game team, but so are the Aussies Bring on the contest!

    Ausssie, Aussie Aussie...Oi!, Oi! ,Oi!

  • Nayyar on May 14, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    Batting order needs to be changed: 1.Salman Butt, 2.Kamran Akmal, 3.Abdul Razaq, 4.Umar Akmal, 5.Shahid Afridi, 6.Misbah, 7.Fawad Alam, 8.Aamir, 9.Abdur-Rehman, 10.Saeed Ajmal, 11.M. Sami. I think Khalid Latif and Hafeez should not be playing today. But Abdul-Razzaq has to bat early either 1 down or even an opener. He did bat as an opener in ICL and did very well. If he can provide a good start for Pak then it will be a different game. Lets hope and pray. Thanks

  • Aziz on May 14, 2010, 14:08 GMT

    Kamran...have you lost it? Australia has not been on the backfoot in this tornament yet? They were tormented by Bangladesh and Zimbabwae. However, they recovered. Cricket is not about being on the backfoot. Its more about being able to recover when you are down. Australia can do it. Pakistan is yet to prove that they are capable of doing that.

    At any rate, good luck to both teams. We want to see some cracking cricket.

  • sudhir sogani on May 14, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    It seems everyone is after the aussies. The mentality of not praising the worthy remians. Let us be brave enough to admire the versatality and the will to succed of the aussies. Let us learn from our adversaries and do not take pleasure in cherding them. All the best AUSSIES.

  • Ejaz Younas on May 14, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    The two men who should click are Umar and Razzaq. During the last game that we lost, Aamer bowled a maiden over with three wickets and two run outs; how many times have anyone seen in any form of cricket a last over of the game bowled with such precision? I am confident that our boys will click as it has happened so many times in international compititions where team winning all needed only one game to get out. Haven't we done that to so many?

  • A.Ali on May 14, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    In round match, Australia's success was due to Pakistan's very poor fielding. If Pakistan fields well today then Australia has a very slim chance of winning. Also, it will be very difficult to hit Abdul Rehman for 54 runs in 4 overs as Aussies hit Sami. The only weak link in Pakistan's bowling is Razzaq.

  • Ketan Mayecha on May 14, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    Go Pakistan..Go....make the aussies drink the red hot chilly asian curry.. I am an ardent Indain fan but I wish Pakistan all the best....It would be gr8 if they come back with the cup - it would do the Pakistan Cricket real good. The players will get their due respect and some teeth in crickting decisions handled by the board. I would love to see a youngster like Umer Akmal taking the aussie bowlers to task....They should take one batsman in the XI who has not played in this T20 series. His spirit and desire to perform itself will do wonders...Best of Luck Pakistan....

  • Tariq Salman Alvi on May 14, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    It is the unpridctability which might prevail this time around again. The last match against South Africa they excel in fielding also. So it will be fielding and some luck in batting can put us through. Inshallah we will win and that will be real gift to the nation who is fighting in all front. I pray for their success and inshallah we will have the good news. Our street cricket is the same format that we play T20 all the time. Afridi is the one man who delivered in the last world 20 both in semi final and final, so expect him that he will deliver inshallah.

  • Zafar Saeed on May 14, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Watch out Aussies.....tonight we go Kangaroo hunting...!!!

  • sham on May 14, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    I wish Pak all the best. Although I am not very hopeful but being a Pakistani, I pray for their success. We lost in Australia not because Pakistani team was inferior to the Aussies but because of wild antics of our cricket board and unfortunately due to the fighting and politics amongst some of the players. I hold cricket board more responsible for Pakistan's losses. I was never in favor of making Yousaf the captain. He is such a wonderful batsman. I knew making him the captain is a foolish thing. I knew he'd lose his place as a batsman also and that is exactly what has happened. He is an awesome batsman but captainship simply was not his cup of tea. I as an ordinary Pakistani could see that. Why cricket board did not use their common sense! Just because he was the senior player did not mean he should be appointed as a captain. Due to cricket board's mistake, we have lost our best middle order batsman. I wish we could bring him back. In the current tournament, Misbah has failed again.

  • Nar_sri on May 14, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    Man.. you are discussing Pak cricket winning this match.. This is such a farce.. Played 5 Won 2(Bangladesh & SA) .. and still thinking of winning the tournament.. This tournament is farce.. They don't deserve to be in Semis...

  • Afridi on May 14, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    2 words - NO NOPE!!!! Australia DESERVE a finals birth.

  • BABAR on May 14, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    fielding is the key for the win today for pakistan.if we do not drop any catches then bowlers can to the thing.

  • scooby dooby on May 14, 2010, 13:17 GMT

    Pakistan must win the toss and bat first, that should at least be a positive start, if the field first i dont think they have a chance because they are not good at chasing.

  • Ariez on May 14, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    @karthik. You're right but we lost to australia on the same ground in that match so maybe Afridi might have learned a few things. even then it was one over by Sami that lost us the match basically and had razzaq clicked at the end we might have won that match. So the odds might not still favour pak but i wouldn't bet against them either.

  • Zeeshan on May 14, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    Repeat of 1992 WC Final - England Vs Pakistan it will happen !! Mohammed Aamer to deliver the two unplayable deliveries by a Left arm Quckie just as Wasim Akram did.

  • Tabish on May 14, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    A can of Red Bull in his hand talking to the boys "Wad daein gay babay, Wad daein gay" just like my friend "Ali Munna" would say before the start of every game. Go jawano Go :)

  • Sami on May 14, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    Unless Pakistan stop selecting players based on their reputation and pick them solely based on their performance, Pakistan have got no chance of either winning this worldcup or going up the ranking in test and ODIs.

    Peace

  • zamrag on May 14, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    yep ur right pakistan have powor to won this game but if god with is with them or aus wont play well or if gambling will not effect our playr,one moor thig do well get well its true if he will play hardly then posible to win this match other wise they can come back to home on one will stop then even they left back imran nazir and shoiabmalik in pak fo what they must take them also or there is world class playr shoiab ahtar i dont knew why they are just hoping for nohting but wat ever i hope pak will be the one,

  • Salim Ansari - Hong Kong on May 14, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    Kamran Bhai If Pakistani criketers play their natural game fearlessly then Inshaallah we will witness a great victory for Pakistan.

  • Tips on May 14, 2010, 12:53 GMT

    Australia are in top form and by far the best team throughout this tournament, therefore I believe Australia stand a better chance of winning. Pakistan's lacking their main players - namely, Mohammed Asif, Umar gul, Younis khan and Imran Nazir which could be detrimental. May the best team win.

  • Noman Yousuf on May 14, 2010, 12:49 GMT

    Revenge is sweet; Aussies! Payback time!!! Sumptuous Kangaroo Curree ordered for tonight's supper. On a serious note, surprise element is what has won Pakistan matches in the past (e.g. Sohail Tanveer in T20 WC 07, M Amir WC 09). Give Hammad Azam a chance and catch the Aussies off guard! Cheers!!!

  • ME on May 14, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    I'm scared that the match might be cancelled because of rain... !!!! Then Aus will move to final not Pakistan! Let's pray that it stops raining and Pakistan wins!!

  • MARLO, Copenhagen on May 14, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    I dont understand why FAWAD is not played instead of Khaled. He is a better batsman and fielder.

    I dont understand why they cant cut the rising ball which is out side off, with heavy hands with angling it away from 3rd. man. If they do try to cut, its just a lazy touch which ofcourse is a formula for down fall. They really need agressiveness in doing that. Its just a mind game where mind knows the angle at which the 3rd. man is placed. Its one of the basics. And just leave the rising balls at body if u are not a good hooker.

  • Ali on May 14, 2010, 12:45 GMT

    Ji Kamran Bhai - heart pinching stuff. Eyes got wet again after long time. Inshallah, Nation needs from our heores a great performance. What Imran Khan said once "great players stand on great days".

    Good Luck Pakistan

  • Tauqueer on May 14, 2010, 12:40 GMT

    pakistan should go out and play with a lot of heart.This is the best opportunity to take back what was theirs in 1999.australia has been a pain for pakistan since 1999.so go out and destroy the oz.drop hafeez and khalid latif and bring hammad azam and asif back in the side.open the bowling with aamir and send misbah at no3.pakistan is struggling to have a good player at one down.misbah is a good option.insha allah pakistan will win

  • Umair on May 14, 2010, 12:39 GMT

    ITs mind over body not heart!!! Australia is gonna win this match hands down, and they truly deserve it, they are a champion side. Pakistan dont even deserve to win this match against the real champion Australia.

  • karthick on May 14, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    While i will also be happy if an asian member like Pak reaches final, but let's accept the fact, Shahid did not captain well against Australia in the league matches. He just wasn't shrewd and making right bowling changes. I think Aus will win unless Umar Akmal chase or set target with his class. Pak bowling is actually weak in this tournament due to absence of Umar Gul. Ajmal and Rehman may not be very threatening in such a early morning match.

  • Salim Ansari - Hong Kong on May 14, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    Kamran Bhai If Pakistan play their natural game fearlessly attacking in first 6 overs then Australia will panic. Amir amd Ajmal will have to bowel to their lethel best to force Australian attacking batsmen on defensive mode. My guts feeling telling me it will be easy win for Pakistan........ Inshaallah

  • aftab on May 14, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    If Pskistan only improves fielding from the previous game with Astralia, they should be through to the final. There were enough dropped catches and stoppable runs. Afridi!

  • SHAHID on May 14, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    When ever you can see a body language improvement in pakistani player then you must know that they are dangrous. Last I saw them being in that zone, was in T20 (match with afridi's ball temp) against Aus on their tour down under. In that match Pak might have lost but those who saw it will know that the way pak fought on the field right until that shamefull episode of ball tempering, had put aus under a lot of pressure. You can't do much with Pakistani batting but they surely can make a difference in the field. Specially by being agressive when the going gets tough. I hope Razzaq is promoted to 3 and players in form are promoted to replace Hafeez and Khaled. It will reduce the pressure of loosing a lot of wickets early on and and Hafeez and Khaled might perform lower in the order where ball is older. I can feel Pakistan winning this match and then comes the story of unpredictability which in itself has its own charm.

  • Link on May 14, 2010, 12:31 GMT

    "what do you call this behavior, racism or stupidity?" - No, it's called common sense. The fact that Australia HAVEN'T LOST YET coupled with the fact that Pakistan are playing like they don't remember which way up to hold a cricket bat. It's not racism and it's not stupidity.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Pakistan win - But only because it makes it easier for England in the final.

  • karthick on May 14, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    While i will also be happy if an asian member like Pak reaches final, but let's accept the fact, Shahid did not captain well against Australia in the league matches. He just wasn't shrewd and making right bowling changes. I think Aus will win unless Umar Akmal chase or set target with his class. Pak bowling is actually weak in this tournament due to absence of Umar Gul. Ajmal and Rehman may not be very threatening in such a early morning match.

  • Akber Ali on May 14, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    No way - Pakistan Can't win except a miracle. Remember famous saying that God can bring life back into a dead body, but it is not God's daily practice. What I am trying to say is that Pakistan will perform and fail pathetically in this semi final. Australia is an excellent and professional performer. Please don't mind that Pakistani team has already received God's favor by qualifying for Semi Final.

  • Rizwan on May 14, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Inshah Allah Pakistan wins, prayers can make a difference look at '92. No-one is giving Pakistan any chance of winning and rightly so, as they have not played with any conviction, direction or leadership. But one thing for sure Pakistan does have heartfelt prayers from all. If Pakistan wins it is because of the acceptance of prayers of the good people of Pakistan.

  • ashfaq on May 14, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Pakistan have not won from Australia in last 10 months true but this has to change and this the biggest stage to do that. This a match of a mechanical methodical Australian way and absolutely original pakistani Talent which in my opinion has many surprises for team aussie. T20 is generally not a team game 2 extraodinary performances can do the trick and pakistan have out of 11 atleast 6 match winner and odds are that atleast 2 will click. Nannes did very well agaist all teams but against Pakistan he was expensive and the new leggie was hopeless against pakistan and they are certainly the weak link. Everybody knows and seen before on there day there is nobody like Afridi and co so good luck pakistan as men with heart are much desireable and good looking than robots. COME ON PAKISTAN

  • Mohammad Merchant on May 14, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    Today is our day.To beat Australia, you have to play with mind.not by heart.We should bowl with off side packed and only 3 fielder on onside. midwicket.Deep long on and short mid on. Bowlers should bowl on fifth off stump little bit fullest or little bit short of length.Offside should be short third man,point, short cover,deep cover and deep long off.inner circle fielder should be young and energetic fielders.deep fielders should be sprinter and good catcher.Mentaly you should not win till last ball is bowled.

  • usman on May 14, 2010, 12:15 GMT

    go go go pakistan, let us make proud once again MAY GOD Bless you

  • joey on May 14, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    best of luck to team pakistan. they always start slow butt gradually become the best. KICK HAFEEZ OUT!!!!!

  • faisal on May 14, 2010, 12:07 GMT

    I am not that kind of a guy who will crying about "what could be" or "what if" but here I can't help myself saying what might have happened if only omar gul is out there with the pak team,his form at other format is almost lamentable but in t20 he is the best(my personal fav is nannes).Last year pak's strategy of bowling him after 10 overs worked wonderfully in pressure matches.In this year,with 8 overs of bellow per bowling, against ruthless aussies, I can't see the hope.The presence of omar gul would have made this a fascinating concept like the semi-final of 2007 between aus-ind because then the ballance between this two team would be better.Anyway I am a die-hard fan of aussies(even when they are playing aginst my country bangladesh) but in T20 if pak win I will not be sad because as a muslim I definately want them to win moreover afridi is my second fav player after ponting.

  • Umair Huda on May 14, 2010, 12:06 GMT

    You win or lose,, you are ours,,play for pride with big hearts,,we all are with you,,Aussies are strong opposition right now but our prayers and Allah is with you,,whatever will happen we all will face and we hope for good..Go PAKISTAN Go into FINAL.

  • Easa Ali on May 14, 2010, 12:03 GMT

    I can't understand why most say Pak have been lucky to qualify? Pak beat SA, lost to NZ by 1 run and to England in the 20th over. Pak superior run rate suggests they played better than the others hence the qulufication into the Semis. After all they are the current World Champs.

    Finally, although the previous results against theAussies say nothing more than a loss but those who followed the test matches and the Odi will remember that either pak dominated and or was competititve for most of the period only to be let down by fielding captaincy and the batting collapse. That's is why I wouldn't underestimate Pak.

  • M. Alam on May 14, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    I fully agree with you. Pakistan team is most dangerous once cornered. To my surprise cricket pundits are laughing even mentioning Pakistan to be in semi final. My prayers are with them and I wish them best of luck.

  • khalil on May 14, 2010, 11:54 GMT

    No doubt AUS is a mentally tough opponent. Pak players should play upto their potential. Records are immaterial in such high voltage games. It is the performance on that particular day,which matters. Pak has all the ingrdients of cliking at the right time & place. They should rise to the occasion. They are the underdogs & should go into the match with positive approach, they have nothing to lose. They should go all out because it is the final for Pak Team.

  • sohail on May 14, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    After all the beating Pak team has had from the Aussies in the recent past, Pak team should look for a win today to even the scores. Although it wont be easy.

  • Rehan on May 14, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Lot can be said to lift Pak team morale though intriguing it may seems to defeat this Oz outfit, the key would be aggressive and mindful cricket, only Pak team have posted any reasonable total against Oz mighty bowlers in this competition (157), they can take heart from it, and its no coincidence that Pak batting line fair decently against Oz due to frequent encounter earlier this year. Kamran akmal have a very decent record against Oz bowlers in T20 format, umar can be handay as well.

    My preferable Pak line up for this match would be

    Salman Butt Kamran Akaml Fawad Alam Umar Akmal Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Misbah ul Haq Khalid Latif Abdur Rehman Mohammad Amir Saeed Ajmal

    Good Luck Pakistan!!

  • Najam on May 14, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    It all comes down to 'positive energy'. Pakistanis need Wasim Akram like agression to beat Australia. All the best!

  • Usman Ahmed on May 14, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    I really love ur comments. "Pakistan might have been playing like a rabble, but a rabble when roused behind a powerful cause--and what can be bigger than restoring your pride--can humble the mightiest force." perfectly said

  • Ali on May 14, 2010, 11:38 GMT

    I think your right after what Australia has done to us in the last couple of months . it is the time to pay back and win some pride and bring some glory and happiness to our Lovely country Pakistan ..Best of Luck Pakistan and i always pray for you :)

  • Zeeshan on May 14, 2010, 11:32 GMT

    Green team might be underdog but once again team is united, pumped up and ready to rock. Go Green Go. Bring us pride.

  • me on May 14, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Great article. I like the finishing paragraph, it is very true and well phrased.

    I hope and pray they succeed and that the Pakistan cricket team plays with confidence and aggression!! Just a bit worried about Umar Akmal because he is playing despite his back injury recently.... i hope he has fully healed.

    Best thing is that it's JUMMAH so our prayers have more chance of being accepted! :) :) :) All that fans can do is make dua and support...but the team must deliver!

  • Salman on May 14, 2010, 11:18 GMT

    More like Retards with a cause, ask Alam.........

  • another_fan on May 14, 2010, 11:14 GMT

    Well said Kamran. I still think though, that Razzaq is being wasted so low down the order, with only four to five overs at his disposal. Only in the game against the Kiwis did he have a bit of an impact, unfortunately, in vain in the end. I think promoting him to number 3, like in the 99 world cup may not be a bad idea, given that Afridi is reluctant to take that position himself. Razzaq is a good player of pace bowling, and if the move works, it should give him enough settling down time to launch into the Aussie quicks in the middle overs. Well, this might not work at all, but something audacious has to work for Pakistan for them to beat the Aussies.

  • Chandio Baba on May 14, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Inshallah Pakistan win beat Australia, please all of Pakistan and Muslims everywhere say a prayer for our boys, inshallah they can make Pakistan Zinda again with another world cup win in thsi format, Allah paak ke dua se, Inshallah. Our openers have to take a leaf out of Englands openers book by taking the game away from the Aussies by playing positive cricket shots at the start of the innings, I know skipper Afridi wants better fielding, I must say our batting needs to be much much better, we must bat first post 175 - 180 and then restrict the Aussies, Aamer needs some inspiration and needs to bowl like he did in 2009, Saeed Ajmal is our trump card 4 straight overs from him at the end use him like Gul as our strike bowler, leave Hafeez out and play another fast bowler I am not sure, but also not happy playing Hafeez, he was awful the first game between Us and Aus, we need to bat well, give ourselves something to defend, watch out Nannes and Tait.All of Pakistan needs to come together

  • Asad on May 14, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Pakistan will really have to be at their best to prove that they are serious about playing at highest level and win. No one knows what comes out of them today...but I just wish that the they dont feel afraid of the name 'Ausies'.

    Pakistan can win only if they play brave cricket. so let us follow the match bravely and hope that Pakistan performs well. T20 is just a click n go, so even if we lose,we shall take it as a part of the game.

    Australia is favourites of many, n they need to be challenged. Pakistan on the other hand have nothing to loose.....I hope this eases the pressure on Pakistani players while they take in this challenge.

    The good team on day shall win the contest, I dont want it to be australia yet another time, I would fancy England to carry on with their good work if Pakistan do not come up good with their job

    Best of luck Pakistan!

  • Has on May 14, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Come on Pakistan, you did it to machine that was South Africa (i'm talking about last year when they played like machines as australia are doing now).... If anyone country can playe poorly then come back the next day and thrash someone else it is Pakistan....Come on boys

  • Shaz Amin on May 14, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    the aussies are beatable remember this only 2 weeks ago.

    Zimbabwe humble the Aussies. SPIN SPIN SPIN is the key http://www.cricinfo.com/world-twenty20-2010/content/story/457605.html

  • Zohaib Saleem on May 14, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    Well said Kamaran 'a rabble when roused behind a powerful cause--and what can be bigger than restoring your pride--can humble the mightiest force'. This is what should be on the minds of our players, and I am sure they have the potential!

  • Ali Hussain on May 14, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    Pakistan have absolutely nothing to lose (apart from a semi final!) We go into this game with every cricket man in the business already talking about a Australia England final and fair enough...why shouldn't the best two teams bevin the final? No one is giving us a chance and who cares! That's perfect for our boys, I don't agree with going with the same team, as hafeez has had many chances and failed. I would put alam at three and even risk a debut for azam, at the end of day...I'm sure he can do more than hafeez! There is no pressure on Pakistan so go out and express to the world how good you are! Furthermore, lets shock all these pundits - it's what we do best!

  • ABDUL ALIM on May 14, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    i think if pakistan want to win over pakistan first of all pak b atsman have to do very well batting then fielding cause australia is the most professional site thats why pak spin will not be problem for them.i wish all the best for pakistan cause i think pakistan has given a natural beauty to this game.wish them all tje success

  • Hussnain on May 14, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    I totally agree with you and want to mention one more thing; Every expert (so called) is calling a final of England vs Australia without considering a single ball between Pak and Aus in semis. I dont understand why? Hopefully Pakistan will win and than the argument starts why the best team is not palying in finals, what do you call this behavior, racism or stupidity?????

  • FARAZ ATHER on May 14, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    now today is the hight time when the msot seniors like Misbah and Razzaq should deliver. the only thing that can hold Aussies is the aggression and team work. Remember 92 World Cup: Kiwi's were defeatless untill they met Pakistan. wish to repeat same story here

  • Gulab on May 14, 2010, 10:51 GMT

    I do not think that Pakistani team is a rabble but indeed before SA match it appeared that they have no cause. I hope if they have a cause to win they will definatly perform well. Let us pray that they put the cause of the win in their heads today. I also pray that Umar become fit for this important game. I request all Pakistani to pray for the team in this important clash.

  • Ali on May 14, 2010, 10:49 GMT

    The sentiment is fine, but to persist with the same squad would again be poor selection.

    Left-handed Fawad should come in to counter the Australian lefty quicks at 3 or whenever Butt gets out. Khalid Latif should not have been picked for this tour. (Latif out, Fawad in)

    Bowling was the problem in the first group match. Sami is forever unlucky and DJ Hussey can't get another look at Hafeez's bowling.

    Asif hasn't looked great thus far, but if there is swing on offer, two overs from him and Razzaq in helpful conditions might allow Pakistan to get through the powerplay without a spinner. (Hafeez out, Asif in)

    Ajmal is Pakistan's main strike bowler and should be used judiciously. Bring him in if an Australian partnership starts to form and for a couple overs at the death with Aamer.

    Win or lose, it would be nice to see Pakistan adopt a strategy with some thought behind it!

  • khan on May 14, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    It will be crunchy match to follow.

  • Khalil on May 14, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    I like your optimism, but I can't see anything but another resounding win for the Aussies. Pakistan have literally slipped in through the back door. I know they have done this before, but this time round the team, especially the batting is just not strong enough.

    So although I hope I am wrong, I don't think I will be.

    Still, we shall see.

  • Aasim Z Khan on May 14, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    A win for Pakistan today would be a shocker, but what a win it would be!

    Agreed that the 11 who played against south africa should be retained, but what good have hafeez and fawad done in their tourney? Fine, if there aren't any other options, so be it.

    Asif must play, especially now that its been raining at the ground. He's a proven wicket taker, who hasn't been allowed to wet his feet properly in this tourney.

    Considering the pitch, 160 plus 10 15 should be a good score for Pakistan to defend, so:

    a) win the toss and bat, b) score 160 +, and c) take an early catch and perhaps a run out

    This should bring the aussies under pressure, something which has been alien to them in this tourney..and should hopefully be enough for the shock of the year!

  • numan on May 14, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    kamran...i like your positiveness....still what matters is which PAK team turns out today...sincerely hope they fight it out today..

  • Ali on May 14, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    No doubt Ausi's are the best side but Pakistan should win today after loss of 3 Tests,5 ODIs and 2 T20s

  • Asim on May 14, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    Well i agree with the writer...

    Pakistan must not make different changes....however Either Misbah or Hafeez can be repalced, both contributed nothing other than putting extra pressure on the rest of the team..

    Attack Australia from the word go...but an attack that makes sense, an attack of afridi .. shows all three stumps and try to bully every ball out of the park, misbah trying to reverse sweep or playing behind the stumps... is useless and senseless.... small tweaks in the fielding positions and balling line & length will definitely see Pakistan home INSHALLAH.

  • ashfaq on May 14, 2010, 10:25 GMT

    Pakistan have not won from Australia in last 10 months true but this has to change and this the biggest stage to do that. This a match of a mechanical methodical Australian way and absolutely original pakistani Talent which in my opinion has many surprises for team aussie. T20 is generally not a team game 2 extraodinary performances can do the trick and pakistan have out of 11 atleast 6 match winner and odds are that atleast 2 will click. Nannes did very well agaist all teams but against Pakistan he was expensive and the new leggie was hopeless against pakistan and they are certainly the weak link. Everybody knows and seen before on there day there is nobody like Afridi and co so good luck pakistan as men with heart are much desireable and good looking than robots. COME ON PAKISTAN

  • Syed Adnan on May 14, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    Though Australia comes very strong in this tournament, but pakistan has a history of winning the mega events in these situations before, the competetion is between the talent and professionalism, i think pakistan is a real threat for australia in this match.

  • Eastasia on May 14, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan arguably is the most fortunate team to qualify for the semi finals given the dismal performance until the South Africa match. However, opportunity has presented itself so why not to make most of it. Pakistan should take heart from the fact that they are the “Only Team” who has bowled out Australia in this tournament and scored more than 150 runs against probably the best bowling line up. Batting first is the key for me along with steady bowling and sensible fielding. Let’s turn it around for one more time guys.

  • Yousuf Zaman on May 14, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Great Column. Every expert and pundit has already written us off. So nothing to loose , Go and attack on their fast bowlers. "Go Pakistan Go"

  • Mohammad Imran Ali on May 14, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    yes You are right. just a big heart can win a big match.Pakistan had done this thing in last year tournment. this time the task is same team is different with different attitude. My suggestion Pakistan should keep the las match combination. just takle the fast bowler well. 1st 6 death over will finalize the whole game.there is a news Umer akmal will not be playing. so Misbah should come up. this would be life game for him.

  • Ahsan on May 14, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Tonight's match is a classic example of "Heart says... Head says...". My heart says Pak, head says Aus. But since when did head rule over heart? Go Pak!!! May ALLAH be with you.

  • arman on May 14, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    why they are not select anwar ali that is a brilieant bowler in pak

  • Omer Iftikhar Ahmed on May 14, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Yes. Kami bhai i agree with you by eliminating Australia from. World Icc will be a good revenge for the last miserable summer un Australia

  • Jabbar Ahmed on May 14, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Well i think that only spinners cant beat Australia down .. we need to be at the top of our game in all departments.. and be prepared mentally cos facing Australia always seems to take some fear for the pakistni team and hence they plot their own downfall.. they need to be positive and hold on to chances if any in the field..

  • Khurram Masood on May 14, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    INSHALLAH(GOD WILLING) Pakistan will win.

  • mayur vithalani on May 14, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Yes; Kamran Bhai, there is no other big pride than to eliminate the Aussies from the T-20 World championship. This single win will wash out the previous set-backs which Pakistanis and their fans had to face in Australia!

  • Salman on May 14, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Come on cornered tigers. It is time to roar once again. Play with your heart and comensense. Give it your best and then some. We are with you.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Salman on May 14, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    Come on cornered tigers. It is time to roar once again. Play with your heart and comensense. Give it your best and then some. We are with you.

  • mayur vithalani on May 14, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Yes; Kamran Bhai, there is no other big pride than to eliminate the Aussies from the T-20 World championship. This single win will wash out the previous set-backs which Pakistanis and their fans had to face in Australia!

  • Khurram Masood on May 14, 2010, 9:57 GMT

    INSHALLAH(GOD WILLING) Pakistan will win.

  • Jabbar Ahmed on May 14, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    Well i think that only spinners cant beat Australia down .. we need to be at the top of our game in all departments.. and be prepared mentally cos facing Australia always seems to take some fear for the pakistni team and hence they plot their own downfall.. they need to be positive and hold on to chances if any in the field..

  • Omer Iftikhar Ahmed on May 14, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Yes. Kami bhai i agree with you by eliminating Australia from. World Icc will be a good revenge for the last miserable summer un Australia

  • arman on May 14, 2010, 10:07 GMT

    why they are not select anwar ali that is a brilieant bowler in pak

  • Ahsan on May 14, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Tonight's match is a classic example of "Heart says... Head says...". My heart says Pak, head says Aus. But since when did head rule over heart? Go Pak!!! May ALLAH be with you.

  • Mohammad Imran Ali on May 14, 2010, 10:12 GMT

    yes You are right. just a big heart can win a big match.Pakistan had done this thing in last year tournment. this time the task is same team is different with different attitude. My suggestion Pakistan should keep the las match combination. just takle the fast bowler well. 1st 6 death over will finalize the whole game.there is a news Umer akmal will not be playing. so Misbah should come up. this would be life game for him.

  • Yousuf Zaman on May 14, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    Great Column. Every expert and pundit has already written us off. So nothing to loose , Go and attack on their fast bowlers. "Go Pakistan Go"

  • Eastasia on May 14, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    I agree, Pakistan arguably is the most fortunate team to qualify for the semi finals given the dismal performance until the South Africa match. However, opportunity has presented itself so why not to make most of it. Pakistan should take heart from the fact that they are the “Only Team” who has bowled out Australia in this tournament and scored more than 150 runs against probably the best bowling line up. Batting first is the key for me along with steady bowling and sensible fielding. Let’s turn it around for one more time guys.