World Cup 2011 March 9, 2011

Twenty utterly crazy minutes

The words “spectacular” and “New Zealand batting” have not always sat comfortably together in the same sentence
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The words “spectacular” and “New Zealand batting” have not always sat comfortably together in the same sentence. Yesterday, for twenty utterly crazy minutes, they were amorously smooching each other on the sofa at Pallekele, their clothes flying off in all directions whilst Barry White crooned in the background.

We must first pay tribute to the man who made it all possible – the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal. Shoaib Akhtar’s opening spell had been a microcosm of his career, a mixture of brilliance, wastefulness, and underachievement. He clean bowled Brendan McCullum with a perfect off cutter, beat a clutch of outside edges, touched 90mph, bowled three no-balls and conceded 14 from the resulting free hits, and needlessly hurled a ball so far over Kamran’s head for 4 byes that the beleaguered gloveman would have needed both a giraffe on a ladder and a functioning pair of hands to stop it. Neither of which, sadly, were at his disposal.

Afridi brought Shoaib back to bowl at Ross Taylor when he was not yet off the mark. Shoiab instantly found the edge. It flew just to Kamran’s right. It was perfection – shrewd captaincy and fine bowling had ensnared a dangerous opponent. And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball. One chance missed. Oops. No matter – Taylor was looking like a wicket in waiting.

Two balls later, another excellent ball by Shoaib found another nervously prodding Taylor edge. This time, Kamran could not help but get his gloves to it. Most wicketkeepers from cricket history would have caught it. Men such as George Duckworth and Bert Oldfield would have pocketed it without a moment’s fuss. Despite both having been dead for decades. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in America have been analysing the footage since yesterday, and still have “absolutely no idea how that ball hit the ground – it seemed to defy physics”.

Oops again.

Shoaib looked understandably irate, albeit in the manner of a parent whose naughty son has just thrown baked beans at his sister for the 100th consecutive mealtime. His figures then were 1 for 39 off 6. Without the no-balls, free hits, overhurls and wicketkeeper, they would have been 2 for 10. They could have been even better than that. Which explains why Shoaib has always been such a bristlingly compelling cricketer.

Taylor should have been back in the hutch, eating his birthday duck. His extraordinary innings might be described as an innings of two halves. Numerically. Or an innings of one 87% and another 13%, in terms of balls faced. His first 108 balls in 34 overs brought 69 runs, and just 4 fours, two of them edged. His final 16 balls featured 7 mighty clumps catablasted into or beyond the crowd, 4 more boundaries slapspanked to the fence, and a mind-altering total of 62 runs. He gelignited 54 runs – 466046 off Shoaib, 466246 off Razzaq – from the last two overs of pace that Pakistan bowled.

Pakistan may, on reflection, conclude that bowling low full tosses on leg stump was something of an error, but this was a startling, unprecedented assault. The Taylor-Oram partnership of 85 off 3.4 overs, by a massive margin, the fastest ODI partnership of more than 50 runs. If New Zealand had batted at that rate for their whole innings, they would have scored 1159. Most teams would struggle to chase that down. Even if the Indian powerbatting line-up really clicked, they’d probably fall 700 or so runs short.

All of this gives some credence to the age-old cricketing adage that schoolmaster have barked at their pupils ever since the game began: “It is definitely a good idea not to miss two facile chances that a Venezuelan schoolgirl could have taken when a key opposition batsman has just come to the wicket.”

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • hemant on March 18, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    If this line does not freeze your brain into shock with its awesomeness, I don't know what will...

    "And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball."

    I also would like to thank the readers too. Some terrific lines in there. I won't repeat them as I would be dancing on Kamran's grave if I did. The best one was probably from "nadfa" who said, "I have never laughed so much at my injury."

    Either way, Andy Zaltzman may be one of the best things to come out of this world cup. Amidst the utter lack of taste and grace brought about by shortened boundaries, flat pitches and promotion of batting, Andy's writing brings much needed respite from the tackiness all around us.

  • hemant on March 18, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    If this line does not freeze your brain into shock with its awesomeness, I don't know what will...

    "And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball."

    I also would like to thank the readers too. Some terrific lines in there. I won't repeat them as I would be dancing on Kamran's grave if I did. The best one was probably from "nadfa" who said, "I have never laughed so much at my injury."

    Either way, Andy Zaltzman may be one of the best things to come out of this world cup. Amidst the utter lack of taste and grace brought about by shortened boundaries, flat pitches and promotion of batting, Andy's writing brings much needed respite from the tackiness all around us.

  • Anonymous on March 17, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Okay... I am at work and I have stopped reading the article after the first 2 paragraphs...I am laughing so hard, my co-workers are glaring at me...will finish reading the piece at home at leisure... Andy...you rock!!

  • sp on March 16, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Andy, i can see where you're heading with that 1159 runs and India batting lineup falling short by 700 runs... the WC Final 2003.. lol! great stuff man..just hilarious

  • truth on March 14, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman

    In PAKISTAN if you are from Lahore you always has a privilege in everything. Cricketers from Lahore always has more chances, e:g Ahmed Shezad failed in four matches and still with the playing team, if any cricketer from Karachi failed even only one inning they are out forever. We are losing Khalid Latif, Khurrum Manzoor and Fawad Alam. They all are excellent cricketer but unfortunately not support from Punjab Cricket Board. In past how we treated Asim Kamal it is on record. We never gave opportunity to 2006 under 19 world cup hero Anwar Ali.

  • nasir on March 14, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    excellent articles....such glaring failure by wicket keeper..and people blame the bowler. what a bowler can do? even great imran, akram and yunus have been victim of such sloppiness in the field or else, murlis, warnes or kumbles could not have tuch their statistics...

  • Kieran on March 14, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    At least you know that Kamran will never be unavailable due to illness - you can be quite certain that he won't catch anything.

  • eman on March 14, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    great writing, but a bit harsh hitting a man who is down. would go down well in india, pakistan or bl where they love to crucify their cricketers when the team loses. by the way, would you want him to keep goal for england in the next soccer world cup?

  • Impala on March 14, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    As far as Kamran is concerned, Andy is his worst fan-that is if he has any! Fun-tastic article. What more can anyone else say. And it is not over yet, seems he is playing the next (and the next) game. Folks turn off your TVs when Pakistan takes the field.

  • venbas on March 13, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Its a pity that Kamran did not get the man of the match award. Surely Taylor would not have grudged the award to the man who made it all possible. If Pakistan continue with the Akmal brothers, then I am sure that they will be kicked out by the Quarterfinals alongwith India who have an equally inept bowling attack that the batsmen have to think about 370+ everytime they set out to make a target to an opposition.

  • hemant on March 18, 2011, 19:11 GMT

    If this line does not freeze your brain into shock with its awesomeness, I don't know what will...

    "And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball."

    I also would like to thank the readers too. Some terrific lines in there. I won't repeat them as I would be dancing on Kamran's grave if I did. The best one was probably from "nadfa" who said, "I have never laughed so much at my injury."

    Either way, Andy Zaltzman may be one of the best things to come out of this world cup. Amidst the utter lack of taste and grace brought about by shortened boundaries, flat pitches and promotion of batting, Andy's writing brings much needed respite from the tackiness all around us.

  • hemant on March 18, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    If this line does not freeze your brain into shock with its awesomeness, I don't know what will...

    "And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball."

    I also would like to thank the readers too. Some terrific lines in there. I won't repeat them as I would be dancing on Kamran's grave if I did. The best one was probably from "nadfa" who said, "I have never laughed so much at my injury."

    Either way, Andy Zaltzman may be one of the best things to come out of this world cup. Amidst the utter lack of taste and grace brought about by shortened boundaries, flat pitches and promotion of batting, Andy's writing brings much needed respite from the tackiness all around us.

  • Anonymous on March 17, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    Okay... I am at work and I have stopped reading the article after the first 2 paragraphs...I am laughing so hard, my co-workers are glaring at me...will finish reading the piece at home at leisure... Andy...you rock!!

  • sp on March 16, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Andy, i can see where you're heading with that 1159 runs and India batting lineup falling short by 700 runs... the WC Final 2003.. lol! great stuff man..just hilarious

  • truth on March 14, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman

    In PAKISTAN if you are from Lahore you always has a privilege in everything. Cricketers from Lahore always has more chances, e:g Ahmed Shezad failed in four matches and still with the playing team, if any cricketer from Karachi failed even only one inning they are out forever. We are losing Khalid Latif, Khurrum Manzoor and Fawad Alam. They all are excellent cricketer but unfortunately not support from Punjab Cricket Board. In past how we treated Asim Kamal it is on record. We never gave opportunity to 2006 under 19 world cup hero Anwar Ali.

  • nasir on March 14, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    excellent articles....such glaring failure by wicket keeper..and people blame the bowler. what a bowler can do? even great imran, akram and yunus have been victim of such sloppiness in the field or else, murlis, warnes or kumbles could not have tuch their statistics...

  • Kieran on March 14, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    At least you know that Kamran will never be unavailable due to illness - you can be quite certain that he won't catch anything.

  • eman on March 14, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    great writing, but a bit harsh hitting a man who is down. would go down well in india, pakistan or bl where they love to crucify their cricketers when the team loses. by the way, would you want him to keep goal for england in the next soccer world cup?

  • Impala on March 14, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    As far as Kamran is concerned, Andy is his worst fan-that is if he has any! Fun-tastic article. What more can anyone else say. And it is not over yet, seems he is playing the next (and the next) game. Folks turn off your TVs when Pakistan takes the field.

  • venbas on March 13, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    Its a pity that Kamran did not get the man of the match award. Surely Taylor would not have grudged the award to the man who made it all possible. If Pakistan continue with the Akmal brothers, then I am sure that they will be kicked out by the Quarterfinals alongwith India who have an equally inept bowling attack that the batsmen have to think about 370+ everytime they set out to make a target to an opposition.

  • khan on March 13, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    now adays Kamran Akmal is teaching his younger bros A B C D. A for AKmal B for ball C for catch and D for drop.

  • Khan on March 13, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    An eye opener for Kamran Akmal. But he may no be bothered to get into his heart. and WHY he should take it? becaz he is the blue eyed of Mr. ???? buttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt

  • Tayyab on March 13, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    When cheif of the store is Mr. 10% and opponents were having a low rated profile, we should not blame Afridi, Kamran and co. It is a case like finding WMDs in Iraq for ICC ACU. I mean, really, I did not feel that Pakistan were trying to win that match with NZ since begining.

  • aamer on March 13, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Awsome article. The beauty of the writing lies in the fact that it made me smile when the details were suppose to unbelieveably painful. Eveyone keeps asking the same thing; how could someone just drop such a catch with golved hands? Anyway lets hope we dont have to see the same spectacle again otherwise Zaltzman will have to come up with an ever brighter selection of words for his highness sir kamran ;)

  • Azeez on March 13, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    Pakistan team can't afford Kamran Akmal anymore. He singlehandidly took the team to the depth of defeat as this

  • kasham80 on March 13, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    This Article has in the best possible manner described the failure of Pakistan's Only Wicket Keeper as well as the Selectors who brought this damned person. He had been involved in controversies before too. Him along-with his bother Umar Akmal can altogether fail the whole campaign for Pakistan in this 2011 WC. Now the best cure for this problem can be to uproot both these brothers and put Younis behind the wickets. But that might not happen and if they sack Big Brother, the younger brother will try to fail Pakistan as much as he can. The last resort can be that both should stay in the team. At lease one of them the big brother will be a black sheep.

    In a nutshell Andy should be rewarded for this article if possible by the Pakistan Management as he has explained this situation very well. Now PCB has to heed this voice and the voices of many other people who have uttered almost similar words on different forums.

  • BOB on March 13, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Important Notice:

    Following this game, TAB have removed their odds of Kamran Akmal dropping a catch from their betting tabs, due too it being too definite a probability.

    Great article! Keep it up!

  • Carl Lewis on March 13, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is biggest moda fuka..........he should be banged in the middle of teh street........

  • Carl Lewis on March 13, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is biggest moda fuka..........he should be banged in the middle of teh street........

  • Saad on March 13, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    well done Andy. The way you have summarised the Pharoah of missed chances is absolutely brilliant. Being a pakistani am hopeless about the WC future. Now the younger one has sacrificed his "finger" to keep his brother another chance. Similar thing he did after Sydney test. I can not understand why the mediocre players like kamran and umer have so much power in Pakistan cricket that they can not be dropped. Something is definitely dodgy. Anyways I would like to add that Asad Shafiq is a proper domestic cricket wicket keeper umer is not. So I can not understand why all the attention is on umer's keeping. I think the management should give the gloves to Asad, and give rickshaw fare to akmal brothers from Pellekele to Lahore direct ride with no stop overs. We should remember game and system come first and players are only servants of the country. Big players come and go in Pakistan but cricket is still alive and amzaingly these 2 brothers and nowhere close to be good players.

  • Mani on March 12, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    If u ever hear American hip hop music u might know what I'm saying. You da you da best !!

  • Rafi Ahmed on March 12, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Kamran Akmal can take some consolation from the fact that his wicket keeping lapse in the fixture against New Zealand on ball 13.2 (after 13h overs, 2nd ball) letting off Skipper Taylor, was repeated by the South African keeper on ball 1.3 in the match against India being played today (12th March), when similarly Sehwag caught a thick outside edge & the ball raced to the boundary between keeper & 1st slip, neither attempting to get to the ball, the commenter saying that it was definitely a ”keeper’s catch”.

  • Rajiv Weerasundera on March 12, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    The hilarity of the writing is second only to one: the hilarity of Akmal's wicket-keeping! More strength to your elbow Andy-and hopefully for Paksitan, less of it to Akmal...

  • Dillon on March 12, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Induct him into the Hall of Fame for comedians

  • Hammad on March 12, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Karam aside, I think the biggest blunder of Afridi was not to give the last 5 overs of the end to Umar Gul. Only if Afridi had some brains in him.. AHHH!! Umar Gul should bowl from over no. 37th, 7 consecutives overs, till the end. Ajmal should also be back in the side.

  • yogendra on March 12, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    brilliant article andy...........you make the crowed hooked to art reading ....and those starting para ..best i have ever seen for sport article...

  • Pradeep on March 12, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Great stuff. In days of yore when cricket was a gentlemans game, this would be called "the glorious uncertainty of cricket" In todays world, does this noble explanation still apply? or was it a more inglorious certainty?

  • shar on March 12, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    hafeez shahzad younis razzaq misbah asad shafiq afridi gul ajmal akhtar junaid.

  • Anand Seetharaman on March 12, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    Isn't that a percfect summary? Wow

  • Sulu on March 12, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    Coach & Co. are like a family. Kamran has exercised this regularly and this company loves it. There is nothing can change this company for simple reasons, they like the screw-ups. No panic is what Waqar says, when an experienced bowler gets his butt kicked and Razak as the backup bowler with the side kick. Younis, a thirty three year veteran in WC with a 'duck' which by the way, was barbequed later for the Co. Next match, the same Co. member will keep behind wickets with Waqar behind him (special permit granted) incase should he drop again Waqar is going to get that. I love this drama, never aired before. People getting involved in this kind of drama is worthless cause only smart people get it. This match was a 'give away'? It is never too late to learn from mistakes as smart people does. Well, I will save my energy and Andy you save yours. This is no different than the one we see with the ICC (too many cooks)everyday who urgently need reconstruction or refurbishment.

  • ali zafar on March 11, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Pakistan cannot win the world cup is decided,because with this kind of team no one can expect a good show, first of all the skipper is completely out of his senses, he do not wants to take the responsibility,he should read the situation of the game and promote himself in the batting order,as long as captain will stay in the middle more comfort the team will feel,his job is to guide the other batsman and play according to the situation,if single double is okay than no need for huge and skied strokes.

    My personal experience, if bowler leaked more runs in bowling first it does not matter,batsman have the target in the front,its their responsibility to calculate the target and decided to go for 6 runs in over,just with single doubles and one boundary which is quite possible,openers should have the skill and ability to go with the run rate,they should decide who is going for kill and who will stay calm.

  • M Ahmad on March 11, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    came on guys if we sellect the worst person to run our country.can!t we sellect worst keeper like K Akmal.

  • Taimoor on March 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    brilliant, funny, true.

  • imran khurram on March 11, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    This is undoubtedly the most hilarious article ever written on cricket. Even surpasses the wit found in Bill Bryson's book....Brilliant...

  • DontNameUrSonKamran on March 11, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Kamran the clown Should be dropped without a frown.

    That guy makes the Paki team one-player short and the other team one-player extra. I don't know what he's been getting paid for during the last two years.

    Drop him or you'll drop the cup!

  • sami on March 11, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    one of the best articles iv read in a long time,masterly written,great work andy...youve earned one loyal fan

  • Knight Rider on March 11, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    Yusuf Pathan also scored 54 runs from 11 consecutive balls in his ton against the New Zealand, ODI. Pakistanis need to change their batting order a little and probably they must change their keeper first.

  • Ganesh on March 11, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Great article. Completely funny. Poor lad, just has too many off days!!!. Interestingly is supported by PCB, coach and captain. Hope he lives up to their expectation atleast for their sake.

  • Osama on March 11, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    andy what do you mean by "a few days off now" on your twitter post? YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE DAYS OFF... a lot of fun in many multitudes of human beings' life is at stake. you are ordered/requested/threatened/advised to keep tweeting as much as you can!

  • chetan on March 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    There is greater hope that the cricket ball might stick to a cement wall behind the stumps than Kamran Akmal catching it

  • feroz alam on March 11, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    excellent article with great humor. i also absolutely dislike akmal, but in reality theer are many other points to ponder. when every ordinary fan can see tha Hafeez is NOT an opening bats man, he is not even a bats man, that shaoib is an spent force, razzak golden days are over and afridi should not be counted as bowler then why hafeez, shaoib and razzak are still playing. junaid and shafique are just waiting and sarfraz is not evevn in the team. as a pakistani fan i would like to win the cup BUT TRULY this team does not have what it takes.

  • emran on March 11, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    couldn't stop laughing one of your funniest piece of writing. "the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches". hahahahaaaa. LOL

  • John on March 11, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Kamran Akmal doesn't belong anywhere near wicket-keeping gloves. I've never seen anyone so incompetent behind the stumps in 30 years of watching cricket. Well, my youth team keeper was actually as bad, but he wasn't being paid to play for his country. They might as well stick the gloves on a mannequin for all the good Akmal does.

  • nakiman on March 11, 2011, 3:12 GMT

    Excellent article, but you were a bit harsh on Kamran I thought.

    Mighty Khan made me laugh with this: What do Kamran Akmal and Michael Jackson have in common? Both wear gloves for no apparent reason.

  • Satyam on March 11, 2011, 1:59 GMT

    What is sad is there was no exaggeration to create comedy. The article is true to the facts match report

  • Rafi Ahmed on March 11, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    Atrocious wicket keeping besides, the last 5 overs conceded by the Pak bowlers to the NZ slog was criminal i.e. 125 runs for the loss of 2 wickets at a run rate of 25 per over, a new record for the last slog overs.

    By contrast, in the Sri Lanka/Zimbabwe fixture, the Zimbabweans conceded only 43 runs for six wickets, notwithstanding that the Sri Lankans were much more comfortably placed at 284/1 (9 wickets in hand) as against New Zealand at 202/5 at the same stage, showing clever bowling by the Zimbabweans, forcing misplaced shots on the rise for catches taken by their fielders; as against wayward bowling, wides & full tosses by the Pak bowlers during the same stage.

    Rafi Ahmed

  • Mahesh on March 11, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    Fan'F'ing'Tastic

  • katosumairi on March 10, 2011, 23:02 GMT

    Thanks for the wonderful commentary on what were some of those rare moments of surreality we'll never forget. I, myself went to bed at the 45th over mark... Your article has however cemented what the highlights package could only hint at. An unreal reality! Well done.

  • Mighty Khan on March 10, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Behind Ross Taylor, there is Kamran Akmal.

    What is Kamran Akmal's favourite pick up line? "Can I drop you somewhere?"

    Kamran Akmal is such a bad wicket keeper, he can't even catch a flu. Not even if he stood naked in sub zero temperatures in Siberia!

    What do Kamran Akmal and Michael Jackson have in common? Both wear gloves for no apparent reason.

    In pin drop silence, guess who drops the pin? Kamran Akmal!

    Kamran Akmal is every robber's dream, because he will never be able to catch them.

    Why did Kamran Akmal have to walk back to the team hotel after the match? Because he failed to catch the bus!

  • Ibm on March 10, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    Get rid of kamran akmal

  • Aamir Mirza on March 10, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Since last 3 days I had been fuming with anger over the dismal performance of Kamran Akmal. I feel obliged to thank Zaltman for letting me laugh out the UGLY performance of Kamran (Though some Newzealanders may not agree with me).

  • Rehan on March 10, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Is anyone surprised ? Is this better/worse than Sydney ? Kamran may quite possibly be the worst wicketkeeper ever to play the game. This is now borne out over a substantial period of time. While his batting keeps getting trotted out as an excuse for pciking him, as Ian Chappell said, even if he batted like Bradman, (maybe possible now that Bradman's dead), he can't justify his place in the team. Obviously, there is some factor other than merit at work here, so that no one from the entire Akmal family can be dropped. What else explains their continued selection ?

  • Sarah A-Mk on March 10, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Andy is the King of all that is Scathing Cricket Wisdom.

  • azam on March 10, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    all bukwas, it is a game & you know every dog has his day

  • haroun on March 10, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    That article was drop dead gorgeous!!

  • vinay ranjan on March 10, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Veenu_ub: NZ:Just growing the much needed team-bonding... getting right kind of signaling an opportune time.."

  • Miresh on March 10, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Amazing work Andy, no beat to you.

  • knubbyah on March 10, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman....you are the best thing to have happened to Cricinfo :D

  • Mr.X on March 10, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Very awesome article.

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2011, 13:31 GMT

    This is the best cricketing sattire I have ever read! I have no words to praise it!!!!

  • Deep Cower on March 10, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    Akmal's sister-in-law once patted the dog owned by Taylor's second cousin. Since then, there's been this bond between them, which could explain the missed chances.

  • S A Raja on March 10, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    Simply Hilarious and fantastic work, where do you get all these adjectives mate???

    have read this post atleast 10 times and couldn't control laughing!!!

    Keep it up Andy, Good luck and all the best. My 17 year old son has also become a great fan of you!!!

    Cheers Mate!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Blaming Bowlers Steals The Good Efforts of Taylor's Excellence-So i guess You Fellas please Stop Blaming SHOIB OR RAZZAQ-Albiet Kamran can and shud be blamed fr droping Twice when Taylor was New at The Crease-

  • Prashant on March 10, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Sir Andy, Take a bow, My personal fav was harsha bhogle, then you came along , hats off

  • Jay on March 10, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Gr8 article, but missing one punch line which I read in my local newspaper. "Behind Every Successful Batsmen, there is Kamran Akmal."

  • Shahzeb Akhtar Khan on March 10, 2011, 10:23 GMT

    i think hiring a crab to wear those gloves instead of kamran would be a more sane thing to do rather then let him carry on

  • Brett on March 10, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    The only thing that brought me more laughter and enjoyment than Ross Taylor and the Black Caps game was reading this article. Brilliant, utterly brilliant.

  • Kashif on March 10, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    @Waqas lone, Who will translate this for Kamran?

  • Khuram Khan on March 10, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I was upset with what happened in Pak vs NZ match and reason was The "Pharao of Fumble".What frusted me further was the statement of Coach Waqar Younis.Please give him a title too.You did bring comic relief.Bless you.

  • Gee on March 10, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    If anything, this WC game by Kamran is an evidence that the Sydney test was not fixed. If anything, he was just incompetent. Its the scale of Kamran's keeping incompetency and also of the PCB to persist with him, that is causing the controversy ... It just baffles people to even think if such is possible

  • Emteyaz Malik on March 10, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Super Super work done by you...But will remind you @the same time,It's pakistan , where performance is never ever been a sole criteria for selection...The selection comitte and PCB are also solely responsible of his selection.In any crecketing country his career would have been ended after his excellent performance in Australia...Your article really helped lower my BP,which was up since Tuesday...

  • Mohsin Naqvi on March 10, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    The Earl of Erroristan?

  • Sunil Bilgi on March 10, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Dear Andy, After this article of yours on Kamran Akmal you must be the most unpopular guy in Pakistan.So be it,as you have spoken your mind.But then this is cricket,Andy.Unthinkable things happen.But I do admire your ruthless reporting.It makes a layman sit up and take notice to understand the nuances of this lovely game. By the way after the cup gets over I hope you write articles regularly for Times of India sports page and you could do wonders reporting on Indian Politics. India is waiting for you Andy with open arms,your articles on our Politics will be very Delectable and digestible too.

  • Dilip Chacko on March 10, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    If after reading Andy's post Kamran does not commit suicide, I don't know what will make Kamran do that!!!

    But I guess we forget one thing - Kamran does not know how to read English

    Andy a truly fantastic piece and may you write many more!!!!

  • Yawar on March 10, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Excellent article

  • Rameez Funterr on March 10, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Good analysis... Pakistan should change their keeper otherwise they can pay alot for it in the up coming big matches...

  • Ranjeet on March 10, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Cant stop laughing! This is supreme!

  • Pakistani on March 10, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman! You have no right to criticize Pakistani Wicket keeper Kamran Akmal.

  • Ankit on March 10, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Ha ha ha :) thats all i can say for this brialliant wit.

  • CricLover on March 10, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Funny Article ;-)

  • Siddhartha on March 10, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    If New Zealand had batted at that rate for their whole innings, they would have scored 1159! I was drinking water and it all came out, that's how hard I'm laughind XDDDD

  • dr mustafa awan on March 10, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    a very well balanced article. but will you please let me know the results from MIT because i am still perplexed like millions of cricket loving fans across the globe and wondering what went wrong and that simple catch was drooped. even a street cricketer could have caught it. if kamran still stays in team , i think the lady luck will say good bye to green shirts.

  • nauman malik on March 10, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    excellent work andy this article really is to the perfection loved the way you described "the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal"

    atleast we got something to laugh at. lol hahahahhahahahahahhahahahah...........at akmall

  • farhan on March 10, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    It became quite clear very long time ago that Kamran is suspecious and he was dropping some catches intetionally. People are wondering, why he is still in team, who is supporting him? If now the management doesn't take an action, all the good names of Pakistani cricket are going to blure behind this fuss. I thing senior and retired cricketers should take some action.

  • rushi on March 10, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Andy, Please scribble some thing on the same line for Dear Piyush Chawla. No reason why Indian captain is adamant to play him inspote of below par performance from him.

  • Anonymous on March 10, 2011, 6:21 GMT

    Absolute Beauty.

  • Mahboob on March 10, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Good Day All!!! this article is realy a wonderful ... thanks for making me happy after a bad experience of watching Pakistani match (which is surely a routine).

  • Khalid on March 10, 2011, 5:22 GMT

    excellent article

  • iamPR4V33N on March 10, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    Absolutely at his best. Awesome article with great humor..

  • Saeed on March 10, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    I enjoyed this article, copied it to show to friends. The Mr 'Happy Birthday Kiwi Man' should surely be hung from the nearest tree in Gaddafi Stadium and buried. After that the name of the stadium should be changed. Not Gaddafi, not Akmal, as both are a disgrace to Pakistan. May be Akmal should be exported to Libya as the leader of a future Libyan Cricket Team.

  • Suleman on March 10, 2011, 3:49 GMT

    Lovely write up and superb analysis. Thumbs up Andy. :)

  • atif on March 10, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Pakistan cant drop kamran akmal permanently. No captain can do that.Because there is no Imran Khan. No selection commettie can drop him, and now After such a performance he is given A class contract by PCB which is for best.He is definately having a big back.

  • JOHN SILVA on March 10, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    It was an effortless performance, whichever way you wish to interpret the phrase, by Sir Kamran the Wooden Handed of the Round Table fame. But spare a thought and some appreciation for the accurate Akhtar and Razzak whose final overs were aimed so precisely at Taylor's swinging bat, without which Sir Kamran's feats would have remained unsung.

  • Anony on March 10, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Why dont Kamran hang himself and leave Pakistan cricket alone..

  • Vk on March 10, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Brilliantly funny!

  • Observer on March 10, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Great penmanship!

  • zeeshan mehdi on March 10, 2011, 1:05 GMT

    Gr8 article written by u,

    i think its the message to the pakistani team before the quater final, otherwise same thing happen with pak in quater final, the lose helps pakistan to eliminate its mistakes as happen against new zealand team, we all pakistanies think that its a message to wake up for pakistanies before quarter finals, as its happen with england when they were beaten by ireland, Neil' o brien brilliance innings. pakistan and england play world cup final, and INSHA ALLAH pakistan will win the world cup, Man of the match will be KAMRAN AKMAL

  • Squishy on March 10, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    Did anyone else notice on the link of the fastest ODI partnerships that New Zealand have scored 5 out of the top 10? And 3 of the top 4, in fact? Granted they've been on the other side of the equation for 2 more of the top 10 as well, but they seem to feature heavily nonetheless.

    Great work, Andy. Looking forward to seeing that 1159 getting posted one day!

  • Ankur Singhal on March 10, 2011, 0:09 GMT

    Andy, y did u have to disturb the ghosts of Duckworth & OldField. They must b rolling in their graves ... laughing ... hahahahahaha, LMAO, ROFL, cant stop laughing, now i have a tummy ache

  • Sachinism on March 9, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    Wow..!! this is freakin hilarious.. Da honours bestowed on mr akmal was too gud to tickle the funny bones of anyone.. Even the part where the rate at which NZ scored is taken into account shows the very thought of the writer. The sarcasm used is to the ultimate level.. " Most teams would struggle to chase that down. Even if the Indian powerbatting line-up really clicked, they’d probably fall 700 or so runs short.".. :D

    I guess shahid afridi might be interested in taking a leaf out of Australia's book where they ensure same mistake isn't repeated time & again and give kamran a break atleast from behind the stumps.

    Anyways, awesome artical andy.. Hats off..

    P.S- Keep entertaining

  • Chris on March 9, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Winners all round:

    Kamran - worst wicketkeeping display of all time NZ - best end of innings batting display of all time Andy Zaltzman - best cricketing article of 2011 (is all time going too far?)

  • Faraan Anwar on March 9, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    "Posted by: Waqas lone at March 9, 2011 1:29 PM

    You have never written better than this Zaltman. This article is a classic and must be handed out to Kamran Akmal. At least, he can be proud of your work :D"

    Forget handing over to him. He will drop this wonderful article too lol

  • Shiraz Shirazi on March 9, 2011, 23:19 GMT

    God Bless you Andy!! What a superb article. You should be given Man of Match for these comments. With such performance from Kamran thry should stop dreaming about winning the World Cup this year at least.

    Keep up the godd work, Sir.

  • Sundaram on March 9, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    Cool article

  • koundinya on March 9, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    absolutely awesome article...kudoos andy

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    absolutely awesome article...hats off mate

  • The Cricket Musings on March 9, 2011, 21:25 GMT

    Great article, and a good fluid writing style. I will definitely be looking out for your work down the line.

  • Abid Shah Mashwani on March 9, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Excellent article on cricinfo!!!!!! I will say by all means this is "the best" article I ever read on cricinfo. You summed up facts in such a nice way. WELL DONE

  • Fahad Malik on March 9, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    Awsum article loved the irony and sarcasm..a brilliant piece keem em coming

  • Khurram on March 9, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    I can't help but post to this article .... ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! :)

  • isphani on March 9, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    waooo!! perfect slap to Mr 'where to drop you'!! waiting for next match if any Zimbabwe playing having birthday on 14march...ooops i think chigumbura has......lolz

  • Muna on March 9, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    Well after a poor performance from pak in bowling and fielding department what to say about there batting??

    Once again hafeez and shahzad failed along with kamran and younis. If pak qualify for semi and they face SA or england can they chase 300+

    so pak get ready for the real fight knock out stages._

  • Shariq on March 9, 2011, 19:33 GMT

    Well here are few people we can blame.

    Captain, coach and laughing clown kamran.

    When NZ did 300 I saw Afridi's reaction he lost hopes and there is no way pak can win any high chase matches if pak captain dont have trust on him. Only Razzaq played a mature cricket and once again he proved he needs to come at uper stage. Time to bring back asad shafiq and drop umer and kamran.

  • bakhti,USA on March 9, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    what an awesome article,read it 4 times already and will read it again.what a commanding prowess of language and grammer and innovative selection of titles for that maharaja.It was about 3am in CALIFORNIA when he dropped those "Venzuvellan " catches,i shut of my TV ,went to bed but could not sleep because" FRANKENSTEIN of SYDNEY test"brougt in all kinds of nightmares. 210 /7 @ 46 th over and then 302.......oh my god!!!!! THanks again Andy !

  • irum on March 9, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    dont b so harsh ,fumbling happens sometimes, n when pakisan was winning noone was talking any bad, when it lose, every person has to say bad words, tch tch

  • sheru on March 9, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Akhtar did great bowling except the last over he bowled. We lost match because of the stupid captaincy of Afridi. Why did he tried to open bowling attack with rehman why not razzaq?

    Pakistani captain and coach needs to be aggressive and take risk, rather then sending the same batting order that has been failure since last 2 matches. Razzaq should bat at number 3 and send kamran to number 8, pakistan can not afford to loose quick wickets. Either let kamran open the inning with shahzad else send him to number 8. We can only wish and think but afridi wont let it happen. Really soon pak will be out of the the WC.

  • Zohaib on March 9, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    This is a gem form u Andy...just like the gems produced by kamran who i think has collected enough of them in his career to live comfortably in retirement..and it's about time he did

  • Les on March 9, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    In NZ v Pak in the recent WC game, in overs 46 and 48 of the NZ innings, Ross Taylor had the following batting sequence: 466046 off Shoaib, 466246 off Razzaq. Neglecting the first of those deliveries, the other 11 produced fifty runs in 11 balls.

    The fastest 50 from the begining of any international innings happened the World ICC Twenty20 cricket, 50 from 12 balls by Indian Yuvraj Singh.

    South Africa's Jacques Kallis has the fastest 50 in test cricket from 24 balls while the fastest 50 in one-day internationals is 17 balls by Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka.

  • Hamza Junaidy on March 9, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    :D

  • Karthik Kannan on March 9, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Best read ever. Please dont stop writing after the WC. Cricinfo, please hire Andy full time to write about all games after the WC starting with IPL. His is the first article i go to these days on cricinfo. I am sure there are many who share this view.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    it seems piyush chawla and kamran have paid something under the table for their chances

  • Syed on March 9, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    Very well written Sir. Unlike your yesterday's work. Consider posting it in audio as well? I am sure it would be even better listening to it in your british accent.

  • Aqeel on March 9, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    please stop criticising akmal alone, wtf went wrong with world famous PK bowling attacked is the akmal fixed some sort of power machine in boll or in batsman's arm. It is a team effort just consider it RT b.day present nothing else :p.

  • Srini on March 9, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    The article is a delicious treat for the way sense of humor is mixed with unbiased analysis.

    Only PCB can explain why there is somebody by name Kamran Akmal still keeping wickets (is he?) for Pakistan.

    Thankfully, I have not heard anybody saying that this match is fixed, given the deliberate looking missed catches and low full tossess and over pitched deliveries in the final overs.

    Long live Pakistan cricket -- we need doses of humorous articles amidst serious business.

  • Tooba on March 9, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Great work, Andy. Your superb write-up should win Kamran the top award for the worst performance ever seen on a cricket field. The lunatics at the Pakistan Cricket Board must have read this lovely piece and they now decided to reward Kamran with an 'A' category central contract. Keep it up, you'll end up with more dubious disntinctions by the time your career is over.

  • salim on March 9, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    this is not bad, but i believe i am funnier than you.

  • nabeel janjua on March 9, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    This by the best article I have read, perfect verbal on-slaught on our greatest wicket keeper Mr.Akmal. We should also thank Mr.Sohaib Malik for comparing him with Gilchrist, but did Malik fail to mention that a blind folded Gilchrist would do a better job.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    great article. Witty.

  • nadfa on March 9, 2011, 17:57 GMT

    I have never laughed so much at my injury (A Pakistani).

  • Rahul on March 9, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Hey Andy very nice one.....i would love to see such articles on upcoming matches (Especially those involving KAMRAN and his antics)....

  • 3_legs_2 feet on March 9, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    See, now I dont know what is the true icing on the cake. The re-watching of the lynching of Shoiab Chuckter and the other pie chuckers and the outright humiliation and obliteration of Pakistan or reading this super hilarious article.

    Good on ya Zaltzman. I say Zaltzman for President! .. err .. Prime Minister!

  • Gnana on March 9, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    I think Kamran is a wonderful test match opener for Pakistan. I have never seen anyone leave the ball so beautifully watching it all the way past him. He is even more skilled with his hands being able to drop the ball right next to his feet.

  • shan on March 9, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Ironic but only a day ealier I predicted that Kamran will drop catches or stumping chances in QF or SF, and pakistan will be out of world cup, it would not be one short bowler, inresponse to Imran khan's article to not play with one short, And it happened the next day, luckly not in knock out stage, Pakistan can still get ride of Kamran and give her a fair chance of winning world cup..

  • praveen on March 9, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    luved it...awesome ...made my day..ur words still r echoin in my head...will sleep with a smile on my face...thnk u..

  • Sajid Shah on March 9, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    I'ld like to give PCB the simplest & easiest option. "Hang Kamran Akmal to death." As simple as that.

  • Khalid on March 9, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Excellent article , Worth reading by all cricket fans!

  • dmqi on March 9, 2011, 17:19 GMT

    Andy, could you please write one on Waker Younus, the coach and Afridi, the Captain, on their raections. We need that badly. Thanks.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    Fantastic Article

  • Mirza Karamat Baig on March 9, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Can you believe it that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which is headed by a joker has awarded Kamran Akmal with the highest bracket of contract in category "A" even after having seen his performance of dropping simple catches. Those who have seen the run out missd at Sydney, actually he never attempted to run the batsman out, would have thrown him out of cricket team for ever. I am sure that other countries are always laughing when they see Kamran Akmal in the team despite his keeping blunders. I his career he has taken 200 catches and dropped around 150.

  • Hussain on March 9, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Great stuff Zaltzman. Taimur Khan - you should write too. This bit was hilarious!!! "Captain Afridi, asking a 36 year old rhinocerus to warm up three times for a bowling spell is asking for trouble. First spell was good if generously spiced with foot faults, second spell was "kamraned", and by the time he lumbered up for the third spell, you could hear the joints creaking. Taylor stitched him up good!"

  • SurfinAsh on March 9, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Now, you people.. What else can a poor guy do that his requests have been turned down for last five years? This is the way if he could get attention of media/PCB (and bookies) - so be it.

    So without further ado, I propose Kamran Akmal for the lead post - KAMRAN for CAPTAIN!! There will be no more missed chances (from him) after that.

  • Taha on March 9, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    That was breathtakingly brilliant Andy... Loved it!

  • mannan on March 9, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    as the french would say,ces't terrible!,keep up the good work,andy. pakistan deserve what they got from new zealand for persisting with kamran.

  • DK Sud on March 9, 2011, 17:02 GMT

    What an entertaining brief! If you keep writing like this, even the persons who do not know the difference between cricket and baseball would flock your blog just for shear humor. An Keep it up.

  • Iftikhar on March 9, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    Excellent article. The real problem is not that Kamran is an incompetent wicketkeeper. The real problem is that people like Ejaz Butt who are far more incompetent than Kamran at their jobs run PCB as their fiefdom. Kamran's consistent inclusion despite his incompetence and whimsical exclusion of players like Younus Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, and Muhammad Yousuf is symptomatic of the real problem: PCB's autocratic and thoroughly incompetent management.

  • Henry Valenzuela on March 9, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    I am from Venezuelan and this is a wondefull article, made me laugh from start to finish .. it just reflect in a comical way Kamran incompetence and Pakistan cricket as whole ..

  • feuer frei on March 9, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    On the back of Kamran's Pakistani shirt it proclaims KAKMAL. In Afrikaans KAK is sh!t and MAL is mad. Talk about living up to your name...

  • A M on March 9, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Great article. Hilarious, but always to the point.

  • 16 year old Taharka Carrington on March 9, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Brilliant article. It was a contrasting climax to a other wise balance game. It was a display of magestical batting vesus Immaculately indiscipline bowling and the feeling was also much to desired. AS we have seen so far in the is tournament(And will remain the same through out) don't matter how powerfully you batting line up is, may be or can be any total can be attain of chased if your bowling is rubbish and your feilding is woeful.

  • umar on March 9, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Hilarious ,would be rolling on the floor if it wasn't so tragically true, A perfect amalgam of laughter and tears....

  • trk- krsnaiscalling on March 9, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    really a smart work to wipe- off the poignant and distressed feelings of ardent fans with such hilarious yet incisive comments. Hats-off to you, Mr. zaltzman. Like to see more such articles from you.

  • Bala on March 9, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    I am waiting for the outcome of MITs research on Kamran.

  • kiz on March 9, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    I dont think your article started with the most convincing context newzealand and spectacular batting. The previous fastest fifty record was also possessed by the Kiwi batsmen.

    Quite a trash thrown on the Pakistani squad in this article, expressing your keen critique attribute towards Pakistani wicket keeper. I hardly find something so rigid was written for the Protease against the Ashes retainers. I think a critique should not be doing someone like that.

    I would love to rate this as a one of the SO ENGLISH write up. But I would advise you to better start thinking something of a more satire for the upcoming English knock out in quarters.

  • PakFalcon on March 9, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Mr. Zaltsman, As I sit here at my desk and start my work day in beautiful Southern California, USA I have to admit that I have not a had laugh like this reading an article in a long time, especially after the performance of my World famous "UNPREDICTABLE" Pakistani cricket team yesterday.

    Excellent and incredibly funny write up. You made magic with your words! :))

  • Nadeem Yasin on March 9, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    HAY...! Its really wonderful and perfectly praised the hard working man, the big Akmal... His way of dropping the catches really denies the Physics rules... lol

  • Rohan Bhalerao on March 9, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    How? Means how can u write like this? U r one hell of an impossible writer.. Funniest article i have ever read.. And the 1st para was the BEST i ever read, funniest or otherwise..! Keep enthralling us..!

  • khalleq qureshi on March 9, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    very well written article but Kamran Akmal inclusion will always be remained a question mark. He had been dropping catches behind the stumps,he is now dropped almost 6 or seven in this world cup and he will continue to drop. But our great coach Waq1ar still tying rather openly tries to defend him. Again a question mark ?

  • Rashid on March 9, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    The Kamran Akmal Bashing Brigade What is Kamran Akmal's favourite pick up line? "Can I DROP you somewhere?"

    Kamran Akmal is such a bad keeper, he can't even catch a flu. Not even if he stood naked in sub zero temperatures in Siberia!

    What do Kamran Akmal and Michael Jackson have in common? Both wear gloves for no apparent reason.

    In pin drop silence, guess who drops the pin? Kamran Akmal!

    Kamran Akmal is every robber's dream, because he will never be able to catch them.

    Why did Kamran Akmal have to walk back to the team hotel after the match? Because he failed to catch the bus!

    Maybe Kamran Akmal would have been a better wicket keeper if his hands were as big as his teeth.

    Behind every successful man, there is a woman. Behind Ross Taylor, there is Kamran Akmal.

    Why is Umar Akmal the best batsman in the Akmal family? Because he got the most chance to bat in the back yard as Kamran Akmal kept dropping him.

  • Imran on March 9, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Top class article, Andy. I could not help thinking about keepers like Healy and Dujon. Man it was fun watching their acrobatics and athletics behind the stumps, and we have this thing called Akmal spoiling the beauty of it all. Good Lord, a scarecrow would've performed better!

  • Usman Fayyaz on March 9, 2011, 16:26 GMT

    Hafeez Shahzad Younus Misbah U Akmal Razzaq Afridi Wahab Rhman Gul Akthar

  • AD10 on March 9, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    what an article andy!! at times its off but today it was spot on!"a functioning pair of hands to stop it" loved it, keep them coming haha

  • muthuswamy kadayam on March 9, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Fantastic description with so much of humour that I could favourably compare with the famous writings of J.H.Fingleton of Australia.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Wonderful wonderful article. Bloody Brilliant

  • shyam on March 9, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    I like your sense of humour - Andy!

  • jogesh99 on March 9, 2011, 16:11 GMT

    Only incompetence or some money involved too? I mean, dropped catches by the fixer himself - remember the ICC report and Intikhab Alam's report on the Australian tour. And a relentless barrage of juicy full tosses at the death by the masters of reverse swing - again, how convenient to write it off as Paki dysfunctionality.

  • Behzad on March 9, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Kamran's favorite quote to batsmen," Can I "DROP" you some where"

  • VivaVizag on March 9, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    When you need a life, there is Kamran and then there is God!

  • suvendra kumar ray on March 9, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    Utterly brilliant innings played yesterday I am reading now an utterly brilliant article written, just enjoyed it as much I enjoyed the batting

  • Ace on March 9, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    Haha, dude! Epic article, loved every bit of it.

  • Nasser Ali Khan on March 9, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Andy is amazing, I just can't stop saying this.

    Not only he is so funny, he also has a marvellous crickting brain. His analyses are so sharp and yet so different from other excellent analysts within cricinfo.

    Thnak you, Andy, for bringing joy to so many readers.

  • Amit on March 9, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    I second Anwar!

  • Salman Mirza on March 9, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    Amazing Words. Amazing Wit. Excellent Article.

  • Gaurav on March 9, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Wow Andy, you have fantastic way of weaving humor with tragedy... well done! You make reading fun.

  • bohurupi on March 9, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    No one, probably, could tell it better than Andy......

  • Farhan on March 9, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    Kamran Akmal will not be dropped, perhaps one or two matches but not permenantly. We don't know how much influence this akmal family in pakistan. PCB just announced their central contract and guess what, Adnan Akmal included in it but Mohammad Yousuf, Shoiab Malik, and Danesh Kaneria not included. So all three brothers are on contract so they must play replacing each other or play all together. This is the height of corruption, nepotism, monopoly and unfair selection in pakistan cricket. Akmal family have family relations with Mazhar Majeed, their wives shopped with each other, you think its that easy to throw akmals out. The mafia will make sure that if not all, at least one akmal must be in the team to perform on their behalf. Yesterday's drop catches from akmal and shaddy batting from both brothers must earn them lot of money. Do we know that akmal family bought a whole shopping plaza in Lahore which worth at least 50 million rupees.

  • Raj on March 9, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Ruddy Brilliant!!

    Was felling disappointed with your last article, but with this you disproved my fears that your touch isn't waning by any means.

    Keep writing :D

  • Omer on March 9, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Many writers on cricinfo.com try to write humor and fail miserably but you, sir, have written a gem!

  • Ray on March 9, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    I watched the match and found others too had contributed to Pak's defeat. The way Afridi handled his bowlers viz a viz the bowling power plays leading to the absence of key bowlers at critical times; Afridi's dismissal - he played well inside the line of a straight delivery and exposed his stumps; Umar Akmal and Razzak should have taken the batting power play earlier; Razzak's lack of interest in running between the wickets.....rather sinister.

  • Rizwan on March 9, 2011, 15:12 GMT

    OMG..I have never read an article more hilarious than this one. Great stuff Mr Zaltzman..Though i am a Pakistani supporter but i utterly enjoy this article. Was'nt enjoying much yesterday when Ross Taylor was hitting us all over Pallekele.

  • Krishna on March 9, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    The Grammar... The adjectives.... The Titles....The narration.... The Sarcasm.....The whole article was simply outstanding! The entire match summarized in one article with humor. It was a joy to read.

  • Engle on March 9, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    On a roll...

    The Marshall of muddled mix-ups The Commander of cloddish keepers The Sultan of sloppy, substandard, shoddy, second-rate stumpers The Imperial Emperor of inept, indecisive, inert, incongruous incompetence

    ...I'm done now. Feel better :-)

  • Engle on March 9, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    And some more ...

    The Captain of clod The King of clumsy The Director-General of disintegration The President of put-downs The Grand Wizard of bewilderment

  • Engle on March 9, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Let's have some more bestowments :

    The Czar of shambles The General of jumble The Duke of disorder The Confucius of confusion The Lieutenant of Let-off

  • Eric M. on March 9, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    loved the article...but please do not insult the Venezuelan schoolgirls by comparing them to Kamran Akmal. My 4 year old would have caught the second catch :)

  • Ammit on March 9, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Looks like someone is missing his comedy club gigs. Nicely written. Not being politically correct and rightly exposing bleeding wounds of the fallen down and massaging it with sea salt. Andy, why don't you go behind microphone or start your own Live Audio rather Video commentary? I would chose to watch you cracking match then someone cracking in match. Give it a thought and do a full length commentary. If you can pull this off then this could be the second best thing that can happen to Cricket in long time, of course first is God Sachin ;), you don't want to compete with that right?

  • Sriraj on March 9, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Hilarious Stuff!!! The Pakistan team should read it!!! They would be in splits..as i am currently!

  • ashok ahuja on March 9, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    its amazing that Pakistan selectors can't find a better wicketkeeper than Kamran Akmal in the entire length & breadth of the country, inspite of his repeated howlers in the last 2/3 years..

  • chris on March 9, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Great stuff, Andy. Back to your best after a couple of lower scores. You're even winning over those who take everything you write eeeeevvvvveeeerrrr so seriously.

  • rafey on March 9, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    So u finally had the inspiration to write such a brilliant piece. Its only Pakistan (and specially characters like kamram akmal. shoaib and afridi) who can provide such inspiration. U must than them. But for the game lovers it was a treat to watch!

  • Alex on March 9, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Surely the funniest piece of cricketing article in recent times. Funny to all-except the poor Pakistani fans. It defies logic-not the missed catches-that Kamran Akmal is still their wicket keeper. There are no cricketing reasons and so I wonder why? Hmmmmmm------------------

  • Mental on March 9, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Can't stop laughing..Exceptional writing Andyman!!

  • Arif Ansari on March 9, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Dear Andy, you've written the most "fun-tastic" article.It has every thing to describe man behind the scene! you are the fenominal spokesman of cricket lover and the maharaja of wit! love you.

  • muhammad Isa on March 9, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Absolutely mind blowing, Andy. You've summarized it pretty well. I wnted to mention our GREAT OPENERS, who have not passed 20 or so the entire w/c, and since it is the foundation of the rest of the batting, we cannot expect anything except poor over all batting and trmendous pressure for the incoming batters. Why did we not select the great KHALID LATIF and SHAHZAIB HASSAN who have performed atlesat better than the "DYNAMIC DUO" we have.

  • wh on March 9, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    That Venezuelan schoolgirl bit... Zaltman is crcket's the P.G.Wodehouse.

  • Muhammad Imran on March 9, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    What an article to sum up the whole event. Very well written indeed! But after all the criticisms being made on Kamran from the very moment he missed both the opportunities, I think we all are being cruel. It was just not his day, it's a world cup match, the pressure is so on that mistakes and blunder might happen. I am not a great fan of Akmal, but he has also played a vital role in many matches. He should be criticized but not to this extend that the whole fb is full of comments and foul languages and anger against him. With no offense to Afridi fans, why is not he blamed for being such a irresponsible batsman. What role does he play with his bat even when he knows the team needs him the most in many occasions. What does he do? Comes, hits a four or if lucky a Six and the very next ball he is on his way back to pavillion. The only inning he played responsibly was the T20 worldcup final which we won. That was a real talented, experience, responsible cricketer playing. But what after?

  • Javed Zarif on March 9, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    While i was getting ready for work, i had to leave newzealnd at 210 at the end of 46th over. while taking shower my little son and only cricket partner in Canada knocked the washroom door saying "BABA Kiwis hit a six". I laughed at his innocence. A six or two in the last 4 overs was a given. I did not expected 92 of last 4 overs. Nobody can put it better than Andy what happened. Pak should take a chance with another keeper, nobody can worse than Kamran Akmal.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Wonderful article ;-)

  • Waqas lone on March 9, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    You have never written better than this Zaltman. This article is a classic and must be handed out to Kamran Akmal. At least, he can be proud of your work :D

  • vinoth on March 9, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    great article, we need kamran for some humor here and there.

  • NS on March 9, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    "beleaguered gloveman would have needed both a giraffe on a ladder and a functioning pair of hands to stop it. Neither of which, sadly, were at his disposal" - serioulsy Andy, how did you come up with this. I wish there were more Kamran Akmals in this world for Andy to come up with such timeless beauties. Compared to this Andy you have been too soft on SA, they are going to be renamed Choke Africa and they did it themselves, did you know that.

  • Nazzia on March 9, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    This really does touch a raw nerve. Love the slapstick. Surprised I am the first one to comment.

  • @saffageordiecric on March 9, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    Any chance Boyc's Grandma could keep wicket for Pakistan?

  • Arsalan Usmani on March 9, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Great stuff Andy. Love Kamran's titles, and "Shoaib's opening spell..."lines. A very well written piece of good literary satire. Congrats on becoming a fine writer. This article vindicates, and even justifies, your hair style :-).

    Awesome stuff, i can't stop laughing...

  • Tahir Malik on March 9, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    Kammran Akmal is really a disappointong character of This Pakistani loss.But we should not lose our hopes on our lions. Afridi will do his best to make his come back.

  • sreekumar on March 9, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    how in the world do u come up with these things

  • Sohail on March 9, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    This takes away some of the pain inflicted by Kamran and replaces it with laughter. Very enjoyable read, as always.

  • adeel kaizeer on March 9, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    you people fail to take into account that india for the past 3 to 4 years india has played most of its games on home venues yes they have a strong batting line up but they aint that good.

  • Naseem on March 9, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    If Pakistan wants to give themselve a chance of winning this world cup. They have to get their act together. First thing get rid of Kamran Akmal and Shezad Ahmed. Improve their fielding and Batting

  • Amit on March 9, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    Absolutely awesome piece.

  • M. JALEEL on March 9, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Pkistan should must get rid of Kamran Akmal Who is king of Drop catches

  • Naseer Afridi on March 9, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    utterly one of the most hilarious article i have read in over a month... simply irresistible....

  • Joey on March 9, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Hillarious....I was half expecting kamran 2 sing happy b'day to taylor

  • AIJAZ ALI on March 9, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Very well written. The best words someone ca use to describe the horrible picture of Pakistan's cricket blunders. Only and Only Pakistan can do these types of miracles

  • Nick on March 9, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Lovely read that, Andy. Really summed up Pakistan's (in particular Kamran's) performance. Instead of taking a good long hard look in the mirror, Kamran should be reading this article and asking himself if good enough for world class cricket....put simply, that wasn't a world class performance...

  • Rohit on March 9, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    LOL. Andy, loved it. Loved it. The Badshah of Butter Fingers.

  • Mike friend on March 9, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    The comedy of Kamran can be thanked for the wonderous and thunderous hitting of taylor and co. Loved the article and the introduction of new adjectives which are entirely appropriate for describing those last 6 overs of the kiwi innnings - catablasted! slapspanked! gelignited!

  • saswat on March 9, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    hilarious!!!

  • Hasan Aziz on March 9, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Excellent Article.. Well done Andy :)

  • Atif on March 9, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Go Kamran Go! .... umm ....I mean go home ;)

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    lol lol lol..I really can't stop laughing.. That is the most hilarious post I've read in a long time. Brilliant work Andy (Y)

  • Ali on March 9, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    Rightly put!! Cant be any better. Great tribute to Mr. Akmal. :D

  • Elias on March 9, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Andy, I am still hurting from Pakistan's shambolic performance but I must thank you for at least putting a humorous spin on it. "the Maharajah of Missed Chances.... " such accolades!

  • afsar on March 9, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Andy awesome work man..simply great!

  • kaifi on March 9, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    very good written

  • Taimur Khan on March 9, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    May I apply for the post of gloveman for Pakistan? I am 43, weigh 130 kg and the last time I kept wickets was a decade ago. However, I would have caught taylor yesterday, twice! Captain Afridi, asking a 36 year old rhinocerus to warm up three times for a bowling spell is asking for trouble. First spell was good if generously spiced with foot faults, second spell was "kamraned", and by the time he lumbered up for the third spell, you could hear the joints creaking. Taylor stitched him up good! Why must we argue that Razzaq is a bowling option?(at the death no less) Another golden oldie Abdur Rehman has been preferred to Ajmal of Hussey fame. Granted that Taylor just out hussied hussey, Rehman at no stage looks threatening enough to supplant the wilier Ajmal especially when wasting the new ball. Shahzad & Hafeez r passengers on a train to nowhere. with this team we won from Lanka...its a judgement on Sanga & his men. Lucky Malinga was absent! Next week Kamran can revive sydney!

  • Aman Mehra on March 9, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    This man is so funny. I never miss his posts. Just loved the bit about the two dead guys and the Venezuelan girl. Roll out on Floor Laughing!

  • anand on March 9, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    brilliant work mate.... just summarizes Pak's cricket.... touch of brilliance and then utten crap... !!!

  • Zeisschanne on March 9, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Bang on Andy!!

  • Allan Clarke on March 9, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    Great article Andy but you sell the Kiwis short - 3 of the top 4 (and 5 of the top 10) fastest 50 partnerships are by New Zealand!! Must be the mental image of the rugby Haka that occasionally confuses and scares their opponents. Did Kamran Akmal become a full back and have the image of the All Black pack bearing down on him as the ball looped towards him?

  • Elaborator on March 9, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    A bit too harsh on Kamran, but "Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble" - hilarious!

  • David K on March 9, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    Your suggestion that "NZ batting" and "spectacular" are rarely conjoined is rather undermined by your link to the fastest ever ODI partnerships. 3 of the top 4 and 5 of the top 10 are by NZ, with the rest of world combining to provide the remaining examples.

  • Absar on March 9, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    An apt treat of read for the cricket lovers.

  • Rihatum on March 9, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Great Article, I have to say. The way you have given titles to Kamran Akmal's skills - I cannot just stop smiling and am reading those lines again and again.

    Now, If Kamran hadn't dropped those catches, things would have been totally different - the bowlers moral and especially Shoaib Akhtar's get shattered when you put an effort just to see it going down so simply.

    Pakistan should drop K.Akmal, get a specialist wicket keeper and they should be better prepared.

    They still are a dangerous side and one cannot just write them off, what ross taylor did yesterday is a gift from Akmal :-)

    Ross T. is a clean hitter and his baseball hits will always haunt Akmal in dreams - yes Akmal not the bowlers :-)

  • Y on March 9, 2011, 11:25 GMT

    Excellant Article, Zaltzman. Actually Kamran want to record his name in history, wether by good keeping or the other way. i dont know the selection critaria of Pakistan Criket Board to select a Keeper. i think its better to have Hockey Goal keeper in Pakistan, atleast he will stop the ball from going towards the boundary. Anyhow best of Luck Pakistan team.

  • Satyaki Datta on March 9, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Amizing wit.....brilliant.

  • Tom on March 9, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Truly the funniest article I have read this year - you are a godsend Andy.

  • Ben H on March 9, 2011, 11:14 GMT

    Baseball being Venezuela's most popular sport, I'd wager that any schoolgirl from Maracaibo could indeed have been able to pouch the chances presented to the hopeless Kamran Akmal. I may even have dated a couple. It beggars belief that this man continues to be selected as a wicketkeeper, as keeping wickets is not - on the evidence of the last few years - something he appears particuarly good at. Giving them away, however, is. That Pakistan didn't think to even select a back-up specialist for the WC shows staggering faith in old Iron-Gloves - ok, so Zulquairnan Haider is no longer available for selection, but surely someone in Pakistan can do a better job?

    Incidentally, does anyone else think Afridi's "captain's knock" of 17 off 10 also the height of idiotic irresponsibility?

  • Suhail Rana on March 9, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    Very well written, nice one.

  • Pathan on March 9, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Excellent analysis and will be echoed by every Pakistani fan on this planet.

    It was an outrageously dispicable performance by Pakistan and ultimately, Kamran Akmal, must be blamed for all the events that unfolded irrespective of how badly Pakistan bowled at the end. Thats because it should have never reached that stage. New Zealand would have probably been bowled out for around 200 and Pakistan would have *probably* cruised it.

    I dont believe there was anything 'suspicious' in Kamran Akmal's keeping because I have concluded now that he is just incompetence personified. Hopeless in every aspect.

    If I was Afridi, I would have walked up to Kamran at the end of that over, taken off his pads, and handed over to his brother. Then I would have told Kamran to leave the field, go to the hotel, pack his bags, and swim back to Pakistan.

    I really and truly hope that he doesnt stand behind those cursed stumps every again. Drop him, give Umar the gloves, and bring in Shafiq.

  • Aqeel Syed on March 9, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    Can somebody please tell Pakistan team management that Asad Shafique plays first class cricket as a wicket keeper!

  • Aqeel Syed on March 9, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Kamran Akmal made bowler, batsman, everyone on ground, in crowed and watching match at TV look fool when he let go Taylor's first catch.

    Man Akmal is a mystery. Master of missed chances.

  • Bhatti on March 9, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    "We must first pay tribute to the man who made it all possible – the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal" hahahahahahaha you Perfect fish you Andy... :D What a perfect drawn picture of "James Kamran 007" :D

  • Shaun on March 9, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    Uterly hilarious , Good read Andy thank you, This just made my day.

  • Nims on March 9, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    That was one of the most entertaining posts I have ever read !

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Andy...perfect firt 2 paragraphs....top notch

  • Khuram on March 9, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    what a fine analysis...th whole game is summed in a page. great work

  • Ehsan on March 9, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    On behalf of Venezuelan schoolgirls, I formally complain at the likeness.

  • Girikula on March 9, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Fantastic article! Suprebly written... have not read something like thins on cricinfo for long! :-) Hats off to Andy for the special way of writing, the words, the grammar and everything!

  • Anwar Khan on March 9, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman for knighthood! Long live Sir Andy!

  • Zulqarnain Rafiq on March 9, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    A well written piece by Andy. I, however, am baffled by another thought which is a source of constant worry for me and for so many Pakistanis as well as non-Pakistanis. It is about why Kamran Akmal cannot by dropped from the side. Is he too close to Chairman Ijaz Butt? Is he recommended by some strong politician or someone influential? Is he part of some underground mafia that also forced Zulqarnain Haider to seek asylum in Britain in order to allow Kamran Akmal to return to the side and keep playing in his incompetent (or deliberate underperforming) style? Or is it something else? Whatever it is, the PCB Chairman, the Pak selection committee, the recently formed PCB integrity committee, the Pak team management and Kamran's captains over the years have something to answer. If we Pakistani cricket lovers can't get these answers, I earnestly request Andy and International Sports journilists, reporters and writers to please raise these questions so as to save us from such hideous acts.

  • Ahmed Siddiqui on March 9, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    Hey Andy, nice and beautiful commentary there, I can't stop laughing and getting everyone at work to read it through. Very good analysis, true and distorted picture of Pakistan but with alot of humour. Hats off to you Andy and keep posting mate. Good luck.

  • shokku on March 9, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Bracing stuff there Andy, but like the hard slap across the face to wake up the cold stricken and half frozen, it is needed. Waqar never tentative as a bowler needs to take a hard look and ask what price entertainment, the Kamranstein cement block hands is too good almost too good to be true.. is it, is it willful negligence and as you indicate there are substitutes, even replacements or even consider playing without a wicketkeeper!! Imagine Kamranstein with cement hands.. but suddenly he may explode in batting... play him as a batsman again? That will psych out the opposition no end.. but this is an unsettled side needs heavy spanking..or they risk being the team that watches the "bus leave the station with their equipment inside".. Of course they provided great entertainment and so have you and we need more!!!

  • Brian C on March 9, 2011, 9:58 GMT

    Very interesting link to the list of partnerships - so three of the fastest four 50+ partnerships of all time involvement Kiwi batsmen? This is either a direct contradiction of your opening sentence or proof of the phrase "Lies, damn lies and statistics".

    Seeing that the fifth fastest includes Michael Yardy, I'm drawn to the latter conclusion...

  • Nitin on March 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Thanks, Andy. Solid commentary. Keep it up.

  • Asad Ur Rehman on March 9, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Awesome analysis Andy. I am a fan of yours. Your description of Kamran Akmal is sooperb. Hats off to you and keep on writing to cheer us :)

  • Ankit on March 9, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    "And Kamran, a renowned lover of beauty, did not want to spoil the aesthetic of that perfection by moving half a step to his right and interrupting the majestic parabola of the edged ball."

    too good :p :p

  • Sushant on March 9, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Amazingly described Andy!!! :) Hats off to u!!! :)

  • Touqeer on March 9, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    I love that, nice article. however, you simply missed/ignored that kamran has dropped one chance on afridi bowling too. afridi can have 3, 4 wickets quickly had that chance was taken.

    I can not believe what afridi done, by opening bowling from rahman? how kamran dropped so many chances? (even my grandmother can catch those) why gul and afridi bowled out at the end of 46th over and how on earth a batsman can hit so many shots in the span of 12 balls, not a single top edge etc.... one of those days when you feel not to watch cricket any more. painful really.

  • ADDAS KHAN on March 9, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    The description of K Akmals keeping in the first paragraph or so left me in stiches and tears! And i am a Pakistani Fan!!!

  • David on March 9, 2011, 9:42 GMT

    Brilliant, if not a bit twisted Andy. I watched the first wicket fall on TV here in NZ, past my bedtime as it was, and decided to turn in. OK, I took my laptop into the bedroom and sneaked a few looks as I was reading my book and preparing to nod. I actually challenged Ross Taylor aloud: "Are you going to get to double figures Ross?" - a bit cynical I know. Then went off to sleep, thinking that when I went to the news in the morning it would be a familiar story. Proved me wrong LPR Taylor. Think I have missed an initial. Well played.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Blinder, well observed

  • Monem on March 9, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Wonderfully written... Wish someone could read it out loud in Pak dressing room :-)

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Love your work

  • Anup on March 9, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Well written,, love the choice of your words

  • Sanjay Chhabra on March 9, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    Gold. Funny because it's true.

  • Kashif Siraj on March 9, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    Spot on Andy! One suspects that Venezuelan girls might take offense to have been compared to KAkmal. I heard a joke about Kamran at the birth of his child and nurse's refusal to hand the child over to him and another one if Kamran was asked to nominate a keeper to catch a cricket ball for his life he did not mention his name in the top 100 names that he came up with. I mean seriously the guy has taken his level of incompetence to never-been-achieved-before levels. If there ever was a liability in a professional team he is one.

  • Dinesh on March 9, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Fantastic!

  • shobhit kaul on March 9, 2011, 9:22 GMT

    I like the excessive use of alliteration when u put laurels on some poor guy who is pocketing money as he misses a chance.

  • Christopher on March 9, 2011, 9:21 GMT

    What an exquisite summary! Thanks

  • Jayanth on March 9, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Nice piece Andy. As usual, you come up with the hard facts in your own unique style. I liked about the adjectives describing the senior Akmal. A small suggestion - you should really be ensuring that your script are proof-read correctly - Brendon McCullum is spelt incorrectly in the second paragraph.

  • subramanyam on March 9, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    very very very funny. i ended rolling down lauging. can't imagine any one scoring 114 runs in 5 overs...and lastly all the best to MIT

  • Aamir Waqar on March 9, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    Can't express my gratitude to this wonderful writer. Though the article appears funny but to be honest, this is how we can put Pakistan's dismal performance and New Zealand's brilliance. The twenty minutes that turned their world around. May be this is just one big shock which would close the curtains for Pakistan in the future games as well. The kind of humiliation that Pakistan team wont be able to sustain.

  • Kunal on March 9, 2011, 9:18 GMT

    No one can match Ross's mighty sweeps....i love it

  • hamza on March 9, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    very nice article.He deserve more to be humiliated

  • Umair on March 9, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I think Andy himself would have caught the second one... Hopefully :D

  • Farrukh Ahmad on March 9, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Miserable, woeful, ugly and the list of adjectives would go n to describe the performance in general and "the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal" in particular. I wish I could speak my mind but that would cross the limits of decency...

  • Ben on March 9, 2011, 9:10 GMT

    I beieve you mean Jacob Oram in your caption, but amusing atricle. Sums up the game almost entirely!

  • Souks Widji on March 9, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    An interesting thing about your "fastest ODI partnership" is that NZ feature heavily: top 2, 3 times in top 5, 5 times in top 10. It appears that when it comes to partnerships, Kiwis favour speed above all else. Talk about Wham Bam Thank You Memsahib!

  • Muhammad Aman on March 9, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Wow Great column!!! I just love these words (the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal). Being a Pakistani I am really annoyed why he is still picked. I just wanna break my TV and PC not to hear anything about him. He is Sultan of Miskeeping

  • an taqi on March 9, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    u have said it all in a very nice way. first the Australian give away down under and now this mess. wonder what power does he wield that selectors can't get rid of him. surely not the power of performance.

  • Sibtain Naqvi on March 9, 2011, 9:06 GMT

    'Maharaja of missed chances'. Aptly said. Whats really galling is that 3 missed chances is just about par for Kaiser Klutz and yet he appears undroppable. I am praying someone injures him and Pakistan gets a reprieve. Shoaib has a history of beating up his teammates, maybe he can save his team by a few well timed, lusty blows.

  • Chirag on March 9, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    amazing article.. loved every bit of it.. :)

  • owais on March 9, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Few points AFRIDI MUST REMEMBER. 1- WHEN CHIPS ARE DOWN PLAY LIKE CORNERED TIGERS RATHER THAN MOVING AND GESTURING LIKE SITTING DUCK. 2- FOR GOD SAKE TELL HAFEEZ NOT TO ACT LIKE A MACHO , HITTING BOUNDRIES . I DONT WANT HIM TO SCORE BOUNDRIES I WANT HIM TO SCORE A 50 WITH SINGLES AND DOUBLES BOUNDRIES WILL COME AUTOMATICALLY, HE SHOULD COME WITH A MIND SET OF A TEST MATCH AND TARGET TO CARRY HIS BAT THRU 50 OVERS. IF HE CAN DO THAT I CAN GAURANTEE PAK SUCCESS IN EVERY MATCH AND LIKES OF AHMED SHAHZAD AND KAMRAN AKMAL WILL ALSO SCORE.(3) BAT KAMRAN AT NO 7 USE YOUNIS , MISBAH, UMER AKMAL AS 3,4, 5 POSITION . BAT RAZAK AT 6 AND KAMRAN AT 7 WITH AFRIDI AT 8.(4) PLEASE SHOW AFRIDI HIS INNING AT T-20 WORLD CUP FINAL WHERE HE BATTED LIKE PROPER BATS MAN . PLEASE ASK HINM TO SCORE 20 BEFORE TAKING CHARGE OF BOUNDRIES. 5) PLEASE PLAY STRIKE BOWLERS WHO CAN TAKE WICKETS , BRING IN SAEED AJMAL IN PLACE OF REHMAN, AND GIVE A TEST TO JUNAID AGAINST AUSTRALIA.SEE WHAT HAPPENS.BOYWITH STAMINA

  • prateek on March 9, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    hilarious,especially the line "maharajah of missed chances, don corleone of dropped cathes ear;l of err.i think kamran will always stay in the pak team because he is a crony of shahid afridi

  • prateek on March 9, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    hilarious,especially the line "maharajah of missed chances, don corleone of dropped cathes ear;l of err.i think kamran will always stay in the pak team because he is a crony of shahid afridi

  • Ryan on March 9, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Hilarious as usual!

  • Rajesh Sanghvi on March 9, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    WOW. Andy Brilliant.

  • Muhammad Umair on March 9, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Excellent tribute to Kamran Akmal!

  • PR on March 9, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Hilarious!

  • Nimesh on March 9, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Extraordinarily funny :)

  • Yasir Hasan on March 9, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    Very right sir... way to go Kamran, way to go to a place from where you never return to cricket field again... :-)

  • theTwelfthMan on March 9, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    This whole piece is hilarious! - and - as a Pakistani fan it has gone some way to quell my frustration with Kamran and Shoaib. Thank you !

    When the technology for men to have babies is possible, I want to be first in the queue for yours !

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    "Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal"

    haha Classic , Love reading your blog

  • Raju on March 9, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    I must say NZ played an awesome innings here... Ross taylor showed the world what is he capable of... Pakistan should be shamed for its pathetic performanane.. If PAK ends as no.4 at A group.. They will play against INDIA in super 8...

  • John on March 9, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Well Andy, I ALWAYS enjoy your writing even if I don't always agree with you (those parts of your writing that can be agreed or disagreed anyway). Today is an absolute yes to both - enjoyment and agreement. The quip about the giraffe, the ladder and functioning hands is clever, funny, imaginative, complex and simple all at once - truly genius writing that can possibly only be appropriately described as Zaltzmanesque (you at your own best) Cheers, John

  • Subba on March 9, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal. Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in America have been analysing the footage since yesterday, and still have “absolutely no idea how that ball hit the ground – it seemed to defy physics”.

    Excellent wording.

  • Nishant Sukumaran on March 9, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Reading Andy's article was as delightful as watching the last 4 overs of the New Zealand innings.

  • Neal Collins on March 9, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Andy, love your writing... but you haven't addressed the question: Why all those leg side full tosses at the close of New Zealand's innings. You're the only guy brave enough to touch on it.

  • Sameer Yousuf on March 9, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    Interesting article Zaltzman.

    Very much impressed with your writing style. Keep it up.......

    I would suggest to Paki team; it’s not a right time to replace the wicketkeeper. Boost-up Kamran’s moral he can change the situation once his betting click. Would suggest to Pakistan coach and caption to they should give a chance to Saeed Ajmal against Zimbabwe as replacement of Ahmed Shehzad.

  • Luqman on March 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    No idea what more i can say about him all i want to say it "DONT WANT TO SEE HIM AT ALL IN ANY KIND OF CRICKET GAME"

  • Tarek on March 9, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    lol! once again, utterly and spectacularly brilliant!!

    Highlights for me:

    'the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble...' witty list of uncanny titles for Kamran (perhaps titles for him to wear on his shirt? :D)

    and found this analysis of Shoaib very admirable and fitting,

    'Shoaib Akhtar’s opening spell had been a microcosm of his career, a mixture of brilliance, wastefulness, and underachievement.'

    ^ very apt analysis indeed!

    you provide a spark and a superlative flair to this site Mr. Zaltzman ... look forward to your further posts! :)

  • Diljan Khan on March 9, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    awesome .....

  • mamboo punkley on March 9, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Interesting that you say NZ and spectacular are not often in the same sentence when NZ has 5 of the top 10 fastest partnerships in history. That means that we are far ahead of any other country for brutal batting blasts.

  • Srijan on March 9, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Another fun filled article from the master. I was kinda expecting this article, because yesterday's circus was too good to ignore. am expecting more akmal jokes

  • Sandeep on March 9, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Nice article....i am reading Zaltzman for the second time...it's good...sometimes even funny...

    Nice read..!! shall come back again tomrrow to read him..

  • Ram on March 9, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    well compiled, funnily written... lots of wit.. hats of to you :) i thoroughly enjoyed this one

  • Balakrushna on March 9, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    very nicely written articles with lots of adjectives. Hats off to the thought process...

  • Jayesh on March 9, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    Three of the top fastest partnerships in the stat you shared are Kiwis!!! So are 5 of the top ten! It seems this affair of "spectacular" and "kiwi batting" bears some resemblance to the story of a certain Harry, who happened to bump into a Sally from time to time.

  • ramesh on March 9, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    seriously the way akmal wicket keeps, it is hard to believe he is not doing those fumbles on purpose

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    *Oram, not 'Orman' as stated in the picture

  • danm on March 9, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    It was a bit like the dropped catches in the Sydney Test and in Hobart on Pakistan's last tour of Australia. What odds were they offering in Karachi barber shops of NZ getting 300+ when they were half-way through the innings? And likewise, of Pakistan getting less than 200 against NZ? Inexplicable dropped catches, (again), wild returns, and fully-tossed no balls on leg stump, all in the penultimate over. Nobody wants to say "The Emperor is wearing no clothes!"

  • Ali on March 9, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    That's right. Put Zalts on Kamran's wounds why don't you? Seriously pithy epithets for a pathetic wicketkeeper. How about Mogul of Misses; Baron of Butter-Fingers; Despot of Drops? Should he be contemplating a career as PR man for Shell? I wonder how Shoaib feels about being the Czar of Extras.

  • Zeeshan Ahmad on March 9, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    Zaltzman ! Great article. I am a Pakistani and i think no worse criticism of Kamran (da worst keeper ever) i could have done than what made by you. Alas ! Alas ! Alas ! But the Kriminal Kamran will play the next game again....

  • Pranav on March 9, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    May be Kamran Akmal was glued to some hot babe in the stand and this could be his reason... just joking

  • Sugavaneswaran on March 9, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Kamran "would have needed both a giraffe on a ladder and a functioning pair of hands" - if this is brilliant stuff, the next sentence is simply the icing on the cake. Hail Zaltz!

  • Jagath on March 9, 2011, 8:20 GMT

    I simply couldn't stop laughing reading this article. It has everything from sarcasm to the best to the use of best words to explain the whole innings by New Zealand.

    Anyways, what an innings that was and it was worth staying up late in the night to watch it.

    Good stuff (the game and the article).

  • sathappan on March 9, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    "the beleaguered gloveman would have needed both a giraffe on a ladder and a functioning pair of hands to stop it. Neither of which, sadly, were at his disposal." - I am still laughing.. awesome review

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    "the beleaguered gloveman would have needed both a giraffe on a ladder and a functioning pair of hands to stop it. Neither of which, sadly, were at his disposal." - I am still laughing.. awesome commentary

  • Malan on March 9, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    hahaha very good read, quite hilarious I'd like to add, What is Kamran Akmal's favorite song? "Drop it like its hot! "

  • Asif Shafi on March 9, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Andy - howlarious article. I am literally rolling on the floor laughing - (and even if I was doing that on the ground I would have probably caught those catches!) Super Stuff. Keep it coming.

  • Sig on March 9, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Hil-f-arious!! Brilliant!!

  • Sreeni on March 9, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I have become so addicted to your column that I don't know what I will do when the World cup gets over. This has become as priceless as an everyday cup of tea. Such humour can indeed light up bleak lives. I suggest you settle down in India, which is the home of cricket anyway.

  • DM on March 9, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Totally loved your post. You have a fantastic style of writing Andy ! Keep it coming.

  • Srivy on March 9, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    Oh gosh...Kamran wud hv commited suicide after reading this article.Excellent (or rather harsh) criticism with finest comparison ( the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands ).. LOL .. One more sarcastic comment " This time, Kamran could not help but get his gloves to it."...Zaltsman...u r a Saltman , expert at rubbing salt over wounds!

  • saurabh on March 9, 2011, 8:04 GMT

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    I still have an ache on my side after all that laughing but I can't stop myself

    1,2,3 and again ..

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Kamran Akmal is so wretched in his keeping that i don't even pity him anymore. Infact who said Kamran is a match fixer?

    His skills are so inept that even the bookies will not place a bet on him..

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha..

    I really pity Pakistan though, they are an amazing team with a pathetic keeper :(

  • Vineet on March 9, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Andy this write up is ought to be your best piece of writing - but the credit must go to - the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal :-)

    May long play the unbeatable pair of Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Akhtar!!!!!

  • Raja on March 9, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    gando bakwas mat kar

  • Jim on March 9, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Bravo Andy - I look forward to the rest of your tournament coverage.

  • Arpan CHaudhry on March 9, 2011, 8:01 GMT

    85 off 3.4 overs :O

  • carl on March 9, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    this is one of the best pieces I have read in ages!!! love it

  • Sourabh on March 9, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    This is crazy writting.....well done Andy...This is the fourth time i am reading this and with each time the laughter has gone up..I would say this is much more entertaining than the action on the field..you rock!!!!!!!

  • Paul on March 9, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Thank you for a wonderfully amusing post.

  • Shenaz Assu on March 9, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Excellent one. Loved the sarcasm.

  • mohsin jamal on March 9, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Thanks Zaltz... it was a very scientific and true analysis. But I figure you don't know much about the background of this display of performance... think can any other team could ever do that... I am a proud Pakistani.

  • ksmani on March 9, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Andy, you missed the superglue. Kamran needed the "giraffe on the ladder, functioning hands and FRESH SUPERGLUE ON AND AROUND THE KEEPING GLOVES"..that combination would have given Kamran catching it with half the probability of someone winning a superjackpot in las vegas, when they were NOT playing any reel games.

  • sudhir on March 9, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Awesome article,with lots of humour mixed with facts of kamran akmal's wicket keeping and shoiab's brilliant fast bowling but under achieved on most occasion's....

  • Oliver on March 9, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    Brilliant article! Absolutely hilarious....just as Pak cricket has always been. Loved the tribute to Kamran...ROTFL

  • Faisal Afsar on March 9, 2011, 7:42 GMT

    rofl.... great... "Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in America have been analysing the footage since yesterday, and still have “absolutely no idea how that ball hit the ground – it seemed to defy physics”.".... loved this part...

  • Jameel on March 9, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Great article. Its been years and still pakistani fans dont know why is he still playing in the National team.. Well no body kicked him out after the sydney debacle. So i assure u nothing gonna happen now. Kamran U suck !!!

  • aNIL on March 9, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Don't worry Andy!!! They just rubbed with Kiwi who were reflection of Kamran in all departments of cricket. Next turn would be Kiwi to be feeling the same way.

  • Bilal Farooq on March 9, 2011, 7:39 GMT

    Excellent!!! just the right comprehension and description of what happened that too in a most hilarious way. Something needs to be done about Kamran's chronic problem, it seems more of a disease than his inability.

  • suresh shukla on March 9, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Now I think the Sydney test was not fixed afterall. Kamaran is actually so bad that nobody would bother paying him money for dropping catches..

  • a on March 9, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    the last four overs looked like the highlights of a whole match..truly unbelievable!!!

  • Rasco on March 9, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    Nice work Zaltzman

  • Brian on March 9, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Andy, you missed your profession. You should have been a comedian.

  • Pratap on March 9, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Heh heh... Nice n funny again from Andy Z. But no amount of superlatives seem to do justice to Kamran Akmal ;)

  • atul on March 9, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    just shocking moment for pak.

  • Wiseash74 on March 9, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Hahahahaha very well said Mr Zaltzman "The Don corleone of Dropped Catches" Kamran does have hand's made of bricks. God bless the selection team who are still persistent with him I think it is the World Cup we are playing for or maybe he thinks it's a Tea Cup we are playing for.

  • Paul on March 9, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Andy... How can you say that "The words 'spectacular' and 'New Zealand batting' have not always sat comfortably together in the same sentence? In your statistics link, 5 of the ten highest run-rate partnerships were hit by New Zealand batsmen.

    Also the words 'spectacular batting' and 'New Zealand bowling' have oft snuggled too... Of the remaining 5 highest run-rate partnerships (i.e. those not hit by New Zealand batsmen), 2 (or a whopping 40%) were smashed against New Zealand's dibbly dobbly attack.

    Imagine how good New Zealand's batting could be if they got to face their own bowlers in competition.

    Cheers, FU Chris

  • ph on March 9, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    your article is a slap on the pak bowlers' face. Only if you were in front of them, you would have stopped typing this and acted... LMAO

  • Rizwan Noor on March 9, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Thats an awesome article on what has happened last night. Hats off

  • Vijay on March 9, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Presumptuous of you to say India would've fallen short by 700 runs. Ever heard of a guy called Ravindra Jadeja?

  • alfie on March 9, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    so no credit to new zealand then?!!, you must be english with so much jealousy and i can understand as you have never had anyone in the history of the game who has had an innings like this Ross Taylors yesterday... maybe you should swallow your own pride and be complementary for a change.

  • kalyan on March 9, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    pakistan needs to stick to the basics & this is a very good example for "catches win matches"

  • Bernard Stacey on March 9, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    NEWSFLASH: Kamaran Akmal applies for NZ citizenship after being voted the Black Caps' Most Valuable Player.

    Kiwi Prime Minister said in a statement today: "We would love to have him but we understand that he may be applying to Zimbabwe next week as well. We will just have to cross our fingers and hope."

    Ironically this is the same as Akmal's strategy for wicket-keeping.

  • Nick on March 9, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Indeed. For Pakistan's sake, let's hope they got all their unfathomable terribleness out in one game. Looking forward to their game against Australia.

  • Sagar on March 9, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Good one...

  • NZFan on March 9, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Brilliant! Please keep them coming

  • Errol on March 9, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Kamran Akmal How much was that catch worth?

  • Shyam Kurup on March 9, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Brilliant!!!!! Andy.... u r a geniusely genuinely funny. keep going.

  • Mohit Phogat on March 9, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    Ridiculously awesome article. Wish I were so good with words, I would have written the same... Feeling is pretty mutual

  • Ali_Munir on March 9, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    "We must first pay tribute to the man who made it all possible – the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal."

    LOL, the above few lines are absolutely hilarious. Fantastic writing skills Mr. Andy.

  • Deepak on March 9, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    If Andy's analysis of Kamran's poor cricketing abilities does not end Kamran's career then nothing else will !!! Well said Andy. Having said that I feel for Shoaib...poor guy, LUCK is seldom with him.

    Cheers

  • Hassib Faridi on March 9, 2011, 7:10 GMT

    Funniest article, thanks for taking the pain of watching Pakistan's bowling, batting and fielding efforts from yesterday's game away..

  • amol on March 9, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    good sense of humour andy.just loved it

  • Ali_Munir on March 9, 2011, 7:09 GMT

    Hahaha, this was hilarious.

    "We must first pay tribute to the man who made it all possible – the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal."

    LOL, fantastic writing skills Mr. Andy

  • Saurav on March 9, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    Zalt u r jst awsome with ur slection of phrases!plz continue it through the cwc 2011!

  • Vipul on March 9, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Awesome and wickedly funny as usual!

  • pradeep on March 9, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Brilliant. Absolutely amazing analysis. I could not have put it better.

  • Anand on March 9, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    That's the funniest article that I read on cricinfo. I hope there is no fixing issue on this. Its just a mistake done by kamran 2 times. No fixing no fixing

  • shehryar ` on March 9, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    hilarious as always.

  • JLal on March 9, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    There's not much left to honor KAkmal for his mastery or call it mysterious glove skills. What a shame! Pakistan had lost that match even before they started betting. Entire team was shattered by Taylor, thanks to Master Kamran Akmal. Brilliant and commanding bat from Ross. He deserves it. Happy Birthday Ross! Kamran also deserves something, a plane ticket back to Lahore. He must hurt himself to save his team! Please for Pakistan's sake, Kamran, please hurt yourself during practice because giving you another chance means dropping many chances by you. Give your younger brother a chance!

  • Sudhanshu on March 9, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    The best way to describe Ross Taylor Innings.. Hats off to u Mr....

  • Terry on March 9, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    "The words 'spectacular' and 'New Zealand batting' have not always sat comfortably together in the same sentence."

    And yet following your link to the fastest ODI partnerships we find that 5 of the top 10 are by NZ pairs. Could it be that you just haven't been paying attention?

  • Shrikant on March 9, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    Wonderfully written article - apt for the spectacle yesterday that was an utterly crazy unbelievable 20 minutes ! :)

    A joy to watch for any cricket fan - ummm, unless you were supporting Pakistan ! :)

    P.S.: If you were supporting Pakistan, maybe you should apply for the wicket keeper's job !

  • Anand on March 9, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Funnayyy...I like the introduction for Kamran..Well honestly a guy who misses 32 chances in 25 tests should get the axe..but then its pakistan cricket..the most volatile cricket board and cricketing team the world has ever seen...

  • E S Sankar on March 9, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Fantastic article hit the bull's eye. Spot on . Kamal's favourite line to any body must be CAN I DROP YOU

  • Rahul Goswami on March 9, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    Hahahaaa. Zaltzman in exceedingly good form. 'Lance Corporal Granite Hands'!! Hilarious.

  • antony on March 9, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    “It is definitely a good idea not to miss two facile chances that a Venezuelan schoolgirl could have taken when a key opposition batsman has just come to the wicket.” Ha Ha..very funny.

  • Mimshad on March 9, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Kamran Akmal needs to go seriously... if Pakistan is to go anywhere in this world cup.. he needs to go back to training..He is really putting lots of pressure on the entire team.. he is a burden right now... Keeping takes a lot of energy.. he definitely needs time out..Razzaq needs to come up the order.. and Shoaib Akhtar needs to control his emotions on the field.

  • Lance on March 9, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    Absolutely beautiful writing . . . It's a rare treat these days to read something as hilarious as this.

  • Arun Chandrasekar on March 9, 2011, 6:42 GMT

    kamran is getting predictable. He must give take the occasional good(if possible diving) catch to avoid suspicion.

  • Anonymous on March 9, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    nice article:)

  • ravi on March 9, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    giraffe over a ladder!good one.

  • Poor man's Igglesden on March 9, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    What has Kamran Akmal got in common with a lottery machine? Millions are made off the back of them dropping balls!

  • John on March 9, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    It was not Kamran Akmal wicket keeping it was Zaltzman of 1995! Just being silly reading Andy's profile...

  • Newman20 on March 9, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    Brilliant piece, couldn't stop laughing. Please keep on writing such great articles and keep us entertained. Best Wishes...looking forward to the next article.

  • Adeel Khan on March 9, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    ``the Maharajah of Missed Chances, the Don Corleone of Dropped Catches, the Earl of Err, the Pharaoh of Fumble, Lance Corporal Granite Hands himself, Kamran Akmal.``

    ``Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in America have been analysing the footage since yesterday, and still have “absolutely no idea how that ball hit the ground – it seemed to defy physics”.``

    You are so Funny Man ....hilarious :)

  • a pakistani on March 9, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Excellent Andy!!! Thanks for writing the funny side of the joker we love to hate.

  • Shahzeb on March 9, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    Brilliant, hilarious article, specially the part listing Kamran's very questionable titles. Last night's performance by "my" team left me in such a daze that I'm pretending it was all just a bad dream.

  • Shaikh on March 9, 2011, 6:13 GMT

    That is a beauty, Andy..

  • Ahmed on March 9, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    The Don Corleone of Dropped Catches .. muhahaha ... thank you Andy .. it helped ...

  • foxawan on March 9, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    WOW! Loved it. I hope he falls down and breaks his windpipe or something in the next match.

  • Vik on March 9, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    Andy, you're the man.

  • R Vijayaraghavan on March 9, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Side-splitting stuff, Andy. I want more and more ... and more

  • Ali on March 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    After this World Cup, I dont want to hear of Kamran Akmal again! His errors will cost us this world cup! Kamran Akmal needs three hands to keep, even then he'd be missing catches.

  • Varun Sharma on March 9, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Andy, Kamran might cry reading this!!

  • yogesh on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    What can I say? The only writer to do justice to the mystery that is Kamran Akmal.

  • yogesh on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    What can I say? The only writer to do justice to the mystery that is Kamran Akmal.

  • Ahmad on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Great article, the best possible description of what really happened yesterday...but they still won't drop him! :(

  • Anil Dsouza on March 9, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Only Zaltzman can describe so brilliantly Kamran's abilities behind the stumps in good old fashion Queens Language, with no PUN Intended

  • Soham on March 9, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    I saw that game and particularly those 13% of balls he faced.. And what a inning that was.. I will not be surprised if we get another report of broken TV in Pallekele dressing room by Kamran or Afridi.. And as always great fun article form you!!! Enjoyed it..

  • ambi on March 9, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    kamran might have got signalling instructions from bookies in the crowd to drop those catches. who knows?.remember the famous sydney test in 2010. where four easy catches were dropped by kamran

  • Anand Bhat on March 9, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Hilarious as usual. Enjoyed Kamran Akmal part the most.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Anand Bhat on March 9, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    Hilarious as usual. Enjoyed Kamran Akmal part the most.

  • ambi on March 9, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    kamran might have got signalling instructions from bookies in the crowd to drop those catches. who knows?.remember the famous sydney test in 2010. where four easy catches were dropped by kamran

  • Soham on March 9, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    I saw that game and particularly those 13% of balls he faced.. And what a inning that was.. I will not be surprised if we get another report of broken TV in Pallekele dressing room by Kamran or Afridi.. And as always great fun article form you!!! Enjoyed it..

  • Anil Dsouza on March 9, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Only Zaltzman can describe so brilliantly Kamran's abilities behind the stumps in good old fashion Queens Language, with no PUN Intended

  • Ahmad on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Great article, the best possible description of what really happened yesterday...but they still won't drop him! :(

  • yogesh on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    What can I say? The only writer to do justice to the mystery that is Kamran Akmal.

  • yogesh on March 9, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    What can I say? The only writer to do justice to the mystery that is Kamran Akmal.

  • Varun Sharma on March 9, 2011, 5:54 GMT

    Andy, Kamran might cry reading this!!

  • Ali on March 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    After this World Cup, I dont want to hear of Kamran Akmal again! His errors will cost us this world cup! Kamran Akmal needs three hands to keep, even then he'd be missing catches.

  • R Vijayaraghavan on March 9, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Side-splitting stuff, Andy. I want more and more ... and more