March 31, 2011

Bad Pakistan triumph over Good Pakistan

The most-watched cricket match in the history of the known universe prompted probably the biggest single celebration of a victory in terms of the total number of people shouting “yippee” (or variants thereof) that sport has ever generated.
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The most-watched cricket match in the history of the known universe prompted probably the biggest single celebration of a victory in terms of the total number of people shouting “yippee” (or variants thereof) that sport has ever generated.

The cricket did not match up to the pre-match hype. This was inevitable. The only way it could have done so was if Virender Sehwag had scored a 25-ball century, Sachin Tendulkar had posted his 100th India 100 before being carried away into the skies in a flaming chariot, Kamran Akmal had taken a series of sensational one- and no-handed catches, Asad Shafiq had run into a phone-box, whizzed round at high speed and emerged as an at-his-peak Garfield Sobers in a superman outfit with a Pakistan passport in hand, hammered his team to the brink of victory, before Virat Kohli came steaming in like Dennis Lillee’s pet wildebeest and obliterated the Pakistan tail with a blood-curdling barrage of 100mph yorkers, bouncers and googlies, before with four needed off the last ball Saeed Ajmal danced down the wicket to Zaheer Khan and reverse-cover-drove him off one knee in the air towards a diving Ashish Nehra on the boundary who caught the ball in the tips of his fingers to prevent it going for 6 before a passing kestrel pecked it out of his hands and dropped it on the ground in front of Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani who then ceremonially tied their feet together and jointly kicked it over the boundary rope for the tying runs, before saying “No-one deserves to lose this match,” then holding hands and launching into a rousing rendition of ‘Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong’ while the Mohali crowd harmoniously crooned backing vocals and all cuddled effigies of Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Regrettably for cricket as a sport, the TV companies and above all the poor old sponsors, this did not happen. What did happen was a game that, for the neutral, was compelling for a long while, but ultimately a little unsatisfying.

In the Pakistan v Pakistan match that is so often a feature of Pakistan matches, Bad Pakistan’s recurring inadequacies with the bat and in the field proved decisive, aided by a one-off shocker by their previously outstanding strike bowler.

Their two most experienced batsmen, Younus and Misbah, showed that in limited-overs cricket there can be a fine line between “wise old heads” and “doddery old codgers”, combining in a pensionable display of peak-time passivity that harvested just 24 runs from the first 65 balls they faced. This ratcheted up the pressure on their younger team-mates Shafiq and Umar Akmal, who promptly perished trying to force the pace.

Bad Pakistan’s fielders jumped on the bandwagon of friendly co-operation between the nations with a consummate object lesson in the art of dropping catches. They dropped difficult ones, they dropped easy ones. No blade of grass at the PCA was safe from a surprised ball thudding onto it from a fielder’s hands, muttering “I did not expect to end up here.”

Personally, as a cricketer who himself has shelled dollies other fielders would not even have considered were droppable, I could only sit back and applaud. The greats of sport save their best for the biggest stage, and Bad Pakistan again proved themselves among the greatest catch-droppers ever to have adorned the annals of the great game.

Bad Pakistan thus comfortably defeated another excellent display of spin-strangulation by Good Pakistan and their unexpected hero Wahab Riaz, who rumours suggest may have accidentally knocked himself out after dreaming he was a golf club and trying to drive a coconut 300 yards with his head, then waking up thinking he was Wasim Akram and scything down four of India’s top six. Some Pakistan v Pakistan clashes are timeless classics. This one was ultimately a little one-sided and predictable.

India, without being as impressive as in their outstanding quarter-final with Australia, again showed the resolve and calmness of potential champions. Their batting was patchy, two ultimately crucial cameos by Sehwag, brilliantly, and Raina, with cool determination, bookending Tendulkar’s fascinating struggle, which mixed tenacity, lashings of generously donated luck, and isolated outbreaks of his trademark strokemaking genius.

In the field, where they had been rather flaccid in the group stage, they were again focused and determined. Their bowling had seemed a major and potentially costly vulnerability early in the tournament, has been excellent in the knock-out games. Nehra and Munaf, who since the latter’s 4-48 in the opening match against Bangladesh had jointly taken 4 for 264 in 40 overs in matches against Test opposition, took 4 for 73 in 20 overs of probing discipline.

Thus Mohali, and the rest of India, could celebrate the twin joys of (A) India beating Pakistan, and (B) India not losing to Pakistan. Both of which seemed equally important to the supporters. Joy C – potentially winning the World Cup for the first time in 28 years did not seem particularly high on the fans’ celebration priority list. One even said to me: “I don’t care what happens in the final, this was the only game that mattered.” Which was both wrong and silly.

I will write tomorrow on the experience of attending this uberhyped clash of fierce sporting rivals, a momentous contest with a place in a World Cup final at stake. Was it (A) Unforgettable sporting theatre played out in a febrile atmosphere of tension and excitement; or (B) an 8-hour onslaught of decibel-loaded, jingle-spewing, atmosphere shattering noise pollution from the stadium PA system? Or (C) Both? Tune in tomorrow to find out.

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

  • World cup on July 2, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    In the Pakistan v Pakistan match that is so often a feature of Pakistan matches, Bad Pakistan’s recurring inadequacies with the bat and in the field proved decisive, aided by a one-off shocker by their previously outstanding strike bowler............... Thanking you sir............... ______________________________________ saritha

  • Vijai on April 22, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    The only way it could have done so was if Virender Sehwag had scored a 25-ball century, Sachin Tendulkar had posted his 100th India 100 before being carried away into the skies in a flaming chariot...awesome!

  • Danyal on April 5, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    Love it ... I still cant believe pakistan lost that match .....

  • shahrukh imtiaz malik on April 4, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    what a pointless read. i didnt even manage to finish reading the article beacause of how childish it seemed. yes pakistan didnt have the best of games but the match was by no means one sided. we had our moments what with a fantastic five wicket haul by wahab riaz. apart from umar gul pakistans bowlers were unplayable. if any one was to be blamed for the defeat it was afridi. the decisions to give umar gul the bowl in the powerplay and not taking the powerplay when razzaq was on the field probably cost us the match. long story short, india were the better team but the match was by no means onesided!

  • Aneek on April 2, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Awesome. Your articles are so much fun to read. I end up laughing and like the humor you add. This is amazing stuff. Hope you write on and on and on for all the matches - especially in which India plays. Thanks !

  • Shouldas – Wouldas - Couldas ! on April 2, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Thanks for reducing the pain (Pak. fans) !

    Crux of the matter is "THE MATCH" was another "Comedy of Errors", A FARCE !

    Await your observations wrt todays final.

  • bilal on April 1, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    well i personally feel my man put it very simple bad pakistan beat Good Pakistan.but as far as razzak is concern i guess he havent got his part of playing he is the one guy who wasnt been used perfectly.rest younas and misbah are gonners now.New blood should b given a chance.

  • Xavier on April 1, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    I dont understand why Andy is so upset... I belive that this match was played in the right spirt of the game. I do admit that Pak didnt play upto their mark. But dont forget the fact that the Indians lifted their game particularly against Pak and Aus to reach Semis. Dont forget the nail biting tie against Eng. Andy - u need to grow up. You are so pathetic in your sense of writing because you are upset that the Indians & Pakistanis didnt fight each other and as i said earlier the game was played in the right spirit. may be BBC & CNN didnt get enought masala story to air to keep the western world entertained and your inability to digest the fact that this final final is an all asian final. Ind ended Aus dominance since '99. SL showed Strauss men early way to flight. Let there be some unbiased approach in your way of writing - may be then the public will appreiciate you.

  • Ketan on April 1, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    You manage to be funny as well as insightful at the same time.

    Contrast this to the videos posted by Sid and Gokul, who are hopelessly biased against every city except Chennai. Not every Indian city can be as great as Chennai. Instead of looking for things that are good in a city like Chandigarh, they consistently try to focus on finding faults with it. Is there no city except Chennai which meets their high standards?

  • Qasim on April 1, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    I was hoping you would mentioned pakistan's ultimate game plan - Let Sachin Tendulkar score a century to raise its chance of winning this match !

  • World cup on July 2, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    In the Pakistan v Pakistan match that is so often a feature of Pakistan matches, Bad Pakistan’s recurring inadequacies with the bat and in the field proved decisive, aided by a one-off shocker by their previously outstanding strike bowler............... Thanking you sir............... ______________________________________ saritha

  • Vijai on April 22, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    The only way it could have done so was if Virender Sehwag had scored a 25-ball century, Sachin Tendulkar had posted his 100th India 100 before being carried away into the skies in a flaming chariot...awesome!

  • Danyal on April 5, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    Love it ... I still cant believe pakistan lost that match .....

  • shahrukh imtiaz malik on April 4, 2011, 17:59 GMT

    what a pointless read. i didnt even manage to finish reading the article beacause of how childish it seemed. yes pakistan didnt have the best of games but the match was by no means one sided. we had our moments what with a fantastic five wicket haul by wahab riaz. apart from umar gul pakistans bowlers were unplayable. if any one was to be blamed for the defeat it was afridi. the decisions to give umar gul the bowl in the powerplay and not taking the powerplay when razzaq was on the field probably cost us the match. long story short, india were the better team but the match was by no means onesided!

  • Aneek on April 2, 2011, 4:52 GMT

    Awesome. Your articles are so much fun to read. I end up laughing and like the humor you add. This is amazing stuff. Hope you write on and on and on for all the matches - especially in which India plays. Thanks !

  • Shouldas – Wouldas - Couldas ! on April 2, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Thanks for reducing the pain (Pak. fans) !

    Crux of the matter is "THE MATCH" was another "Comedy of Errors", A FARCE !

    Await your observations wrt todays final.

  • bilal on April 1, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    well i personally feel my man put it very simple bad pakistan beat Good Pakistan.but as far as razzak is concern i guess he havent got his part of playing he is the one guy who wasnt been used perfectly.rest younas and misbah are gonners now.New blood should b given a chance.

  • Xavier on April 1, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    I dont understand why Andy is so upset... I belive that this match was played in the right spirt of the game. I do admit that Pak didnt play upto their mark. But dont forget the fact that the Indians lifted their game particularly against Pak and Aus to reach Semis. Dont forget the nail biting tie against Eng. Andy - u need to grow up. You are so pathetic in your sense of writing because you are upset that the Indians & Pakistanis didnt fight each other and as i said earlier the game was played in the right spirit. may be BBC & CNN didnt get enought masala story to air to keep the western world entertained and your inability to digest the fact that this final final is an all asian final. Ind ended Aus dominance since '99. SL showed Strauss men early way to flight. Let there be some unbiased approach in your way of writing - may be then the public will appreiciate you.

  • Ketan on April 1, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    You manage to be funny as well as insightful at the same time.

    Contrast this to the videos posted by Sid and Gokul, who are hopelessly biased against every city except Chennai. Not every Indian city can be as great as Chennai. Instead of looking for things that are good in a city like Chandigarh, they consistently try to focus on finding faults with it. Is there no city except Chennai which meets their high standards?

  • Qasim on April 1, 2011, 18:47 GMT

    I was hoping you would mentioned pakistan's ultimate game plan - Let Sachin Tendulkar score a century to raise its chance of winning this match !

  • Karthik on April 1, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    the second paragraph was the work of a pure genius.. the pre-match hype was so monumental that only such a game would have been a fitting finale(or semi-final)! will miss 'on the road with zaltz' after the wc..

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    I seriously think this guy is a joker, (literally a Joker on Fools Day). this article, i think has a juxtapose of a man from a country where they think they are composed and in another, a cricket fan, not able to stand the mighy of another country winning the game beating them black and blue. Cut it, Zandy, this clearly shows you are jealous. Songs are integral part of the country and this is how it is played. if you don't like it, don't go. I don't think anyone forced you. Alteast we are not those drunkards who will be sipping beer as if it is a tonic all the time and go home drunk from the game. I guess you go to the game to keep away from the family and not for the move of it. Get drunk now.

  • Tanolikhan on April 1, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    On 30th March I saw a big change in Pakistan.... I walked in the streets trying to find Punjabi, Pathan, Baluchi, Sindhi, Muhajir, Shiya, Sunni but i couldnt find anyone of them. Everywhere everyone was a PAKISTANI!

    Now tell me was that a defeat or victory ????? Jiye Pakistan !!

  • Vilander on April 1, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    this is drib, pak played as bad as they always play india beat them. But kamrans catches, sachins flaming sky ride and cudding inzy effigies was funny.

  • jaydee on April 1, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Andy boy u r good.What a thought as both teams were at their erratic best but better batting line up saved the day for India but kudos to Wahab for excellent bowling on an unhelpful wicket. India has to wake up fast otherwise Lanka is gonna run away with the cup. They quickly need to get their focus back.

  • Arshad on April 1, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    Really enjoyed reading your stuff! Its hilarious.

  • Sudhin on April 1, 2011, 16:43 GMT

    Andy, you rock man...never stop writing Lucky you were not into playing cricket full time ;)

  • Zamin on April 1, 2011, 16:33 GMT

    This was probably the most hillarious cricket article I have ever read.

    'Asad Shafiq had run into a phone-box, whizzed round at high speed and emerged as an at-his-peak Garfield Sobers in a superman outfit with a Pakistan passport in hand, hammered his team to the brink of victory'

    This is the stuff of legends !!! LMAO !

  • Sha on April 1, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    In a movie there are lots of characters needed. Hero, Villain and huge cast of supporting actors. Cricinfo is the movie and you are the COMEDIAN. You just cant read India and Indian moods when they play against Pakistan. You are better of watching and commenting on the Ashes (or ?)...

  • pallu on April 1, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    ANDY.. THAT WAS JUST HILLARIOUS !!!

    to all my friends above who are making critical comments here, just chill out. don't take it personally and just enjoy the humor. keep it up Andy..

  • terry on April 1, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    The only reason to visit cricinfo (other than for score updates obviously) = Zaltzman

  • anwar on April 1, 2011, 15:41 GMT

    hey Andy Your humor is touching new heights as is Pakistani fielders' peripheral neuropathy and holes-in-hands syndrome. Misbah and Younis did the same mistake, which saleem malik and Miandad did, when they batted slowly and in the 1996 Quarter Final at Bangalore, in fact, simply played into the hands of Dhoni. And why pakistanis did not take powerplay has no better explanation other than, they wanted to win in sharjah style, in the last over, on the last very few balls. Yes, it was Good Pak losing V Bad Pak, and it was also Good Agile Pak (Afridi, ajmal, wahab, asad - K Akmal not included)) versus Pakistan Past its sell-by date (Younis, Razzak, Misbah), which the former one lost.

  • surfatwork on April 1, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    great article, Andy. enjoyed reading it (and your other ones too). You have also given Pak a credible stance - that it was Pakistan that beat Pakistan - infinitely better than India beating Pakistan.

  • Kumarcoolbuddy on April 1, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Good article. But I am tired of seeing ppl complaining on rich BCCI and talented Indian players. I rarely see Non-Indians supporting Indian players how ever good they play. Especially Pak and bangaldesh ppl say "If India wins then its opposition team's bad performance and if India lose then its India's bad performance". Isn't it funny.

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    It is ironic how Pakistan itself is given (dis)credit for its own loss. The article rules out the efforts of Indian players throughout the game. In the end, it was the extraordinarily tight bowling and fielding from the Indian side that won them the match. One must not say that "Pakistan defeated itself" - seems such a pathetic statement. It was the Indian team's discipline and professionalism that defeated Pakistan.

  • Zulfi on April 1, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Pakistan can't field. Period. They cannot read either, otherwise they would feel humiliated by articles like these.

  • Paresh on April 1, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    I think they were trying to hide Kamran behind the wicket because he was dropping catches everywhere. Also wondering you can not "drop" someone and complain that is because he "drops" catches.

  • BJD on April 1, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    andy, ur team has reached home a long ago.....its time u join them!!!

    nice article nonetheless

  • Paresh on April 1, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    "No blade of grass at the PCA was safe from a surprised ball thudding onto it from a fielder’s hands"

    Beautiful Mr Zaltman

  • Taha Lateef on April 1, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Great Article. It seemed as Sachin himself was relieved at getting out and not making a century. Imagine the pain and agony of the little master, when they would have played the highlights of his 100th international hundred over and over again for the next 100 years with him being dropped at least 5 times (Afridi would have had to drop the catch he took) and having his luck with a stumping and the plumbest LBW!!! Sachin go ahead and hit a century in the final, but not like the one that you were trying to make against us (Pakistan). Make it a treat to watch.

  • Asif Iqbal on April 1, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Nothing wrong with what is included but whats excluded. No mention of Umar Gul's abysmal spell. Billed as the "new" number one boy, he buckled and helped Sehwag redoubt seem taller wider bigger than it was and the Pakistan team could not clear that hurdle. Had Shoaib been there the pressure would have been off Gul. And there was room in the team for both Shoaib and Riaz. Including Razak and not using him throught the tournament is beyond me. Perhaps Waqar and Waseem Akram(W Riaz's coach) are still not finished with sniping at Shoaib. Well he has retired so maybe these two can relax that he will not over shadow them and there is no secret of Afridi and Shoaib's troubles. Team players my foot.

  • DSK on April 1, 2011, 14:30 GMT

    Dear Andy,

    Indo-Pak match is not about cricketing skills, as many have pointed out. It's the traditional geo-political rivarly that fuels the game. Infact this match is a little short of war between the two nations. I am glad we emerged victorious. Although after the display by the Pak team, had they won, I might have supported them to go all the way. Regarding the article, it was funny as always is the case with your articles.

    Cheers, DSK.

  • Avik on April 1, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    Sorry mate - you got yourself to look a bit silly on the analysis and yet envious of what was happening there! Full marks on the drafting and not so good on the merits - you have one more match to pull off redemption. :)

  • Aravindh on April 1, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    I dont think it is up to you Andy, to decide what an indian or pakistan cricket fan should expect when thier teams play against each other. As simple as that. If one said he doesnt care about the final, then that is the way it is. We are paying extra bucks for the commodities sold to us because our cricketers endorse them. When they are touching my life everyday financially, they are obliged to satisfy my expectations when there is a cricket match. I dont think there is any other way to look at it. For people who have nothing much to look forward to , everyday - this is defeintely an encounter that we can keep building up for a week and we will keep doing the same in future because, cricketers life, BCCI, ICC and even cricket will be at stake if we turn our backs. Please dont ever question the way we love cricket and our teams. if we stop noise polluting...there is no future for the game itself. would u rather prefer that?

  • Prashant on April 1, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Does the run on sentence at the beginning have anything to do with a secret admiration for the works of Marcel Proust?

  • Richard Kodamanchili on April 1, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    I disagree with your statement - “I don’t care what happens in the final, this was the only game that mattered. Which was both wrong and silly". If the cup (or final) is what really matters, then no captain should be making statements that they are proud of their team - because they committed the sin of missing the cup!! Everyone has their own expectations from a contest - and if they're met, then they're happy!

    And yeah, if Sachin got caught when he was on 27, then Yuvraj would've scored a century or Nehra would've collapsed Pakistan for under 150! Anything could've happened, so there is no point in saying "if this, if that"!

    The reason the match was won by India is because the Indian XI was better than the Pakistan XI. Yeah, maybe Inzamam-ul-Haq could've finished the game, but it was Misbah-ul-Haq at the crease and he couldn't play the Indian bowling, which was obviously better than his batting! Same case with the other batsmen too!

  • RSK on April 1, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Tomorrow's final is just a glorified version of the drab ASIA CUP final that happens every now and then !

    RSK

  • Riddlerr on April 1, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    An average article.. I hope there are better ones..

  • iqbal Merchant on April 1, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    I think Pakistan has beaten themselves.Reasons are many.Sloppy fielding,reckless batting,late power play and poor captainship.This is not new.We as nation very emotional.We should give credit to players to reach semifinal.We have to hire pshycratic to work on their mental toughness.We have to built middle order around Asad shafiq,Umar akmal,Shoib Malik.Anwar Ali as afast bowler allrounder inplace of Razzak.Junaid khan should be given a chance immediately and shehzad at number seven.Tanvir should be included inplace shoaib Akhtar.New wicketkeeper is must.Rest is fine.

  • Avyukt on April 1, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Coming from Andy, an average article. Hype wasn't just about cricket. It was about a match between neighbouring rivals, anticipated to bring a sub-continent to halt, and it indeed did.

    "cuddling effigies of Inzi" is a diamond.

    @ D 206. By finalists you meam Sri Lanka. Hmm, let's see. How many 'Sri Lanka's are playing here! Lol. Yeah maybe the good one and the bad one. But still wishing good luck to both of them!! double Lol.

  • Adil Ahmad on April 1, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    What is it you smoke before writing this sort of wonky way out stuff man? Playing with words and saying zany things doesn't mean it's neccessarily funny. And anyway, this sort of stuff's been overdone now, with everybody writing in this wacky, goofy, madcap manner, where the real thrust of the argument is sacrified for the sake of being dearthly funny. Sorry, had to be said.

  • Intelligent Man on April 1, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    I am not a pakistan supporter but I find this piece of writing totally unacceptable. As usual you are writing nothing but all anti pakistani stuff. you are so biased andy.....just unbelievable

  • Qasim on April 1, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    For those who have commented, I believe there was a disclaimer you were required to sign that ensures you know what sarcasm is prior to reading this article. It's rather unfortunate that most of you didn't sign it, let alone read it.

    If only people checked their biases at the door when reading something written by AZ.

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    I am sorry to read bashing of their own team members by the pakistani public.... I would like to know, why they are not bashing up their incompetent Cricket board which drops players on flimsy reasons and then recalls them on flimsy pretext ???? Currently, the Pakistani team is like a "Gully cricket" team in which the captain changes every six months. No captain is given enough time to develop a team. Either the team members are changed, or he is removed from captaincy.... In such a scenerio, one can't expect Pakistan to be a top ranked team consistently...

  • haris on April 1, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    very good article. awaiting yr article on final.

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    Its really funny that people think Pak had missed catches and moans as if this is the first time in their history and even someone blames ICC and BCCI. If hafeez hit a reckless shot and what about kohli (who also highest run scorer last yr). If pak drop catches and thats why sachin scored. Agreed. But what about MSD slippery hands behind the stumps and yuvi's missed opportunity of run out (Umar akmal's)and he added 20 oddruns after that.. simple fact is pressure. Both team got panicked.. Less panicked team won..

  • Jasojeet on April 1, 2011, 11:55 GMT

    Love your imagination and thought process Andy!!

  • Venkat Srinivasan on April 1, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Only a cricket match!! Andy: look up the "Miracle on Ice."

  • Mohammed Muzammil Hussain on April 1, 2011, 11:01 GMT

    Wow mahn...........this is hilarious stuff......Just loved the article!!! =D

  • Amazing on April 1, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    Reverse-cover-drive..!!!!!!!! ROFL

  • jawad on April 1, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    poor tendulkar

  • shahjhan on April 1, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Nice article, As far as the match is concern it was damaged by the politics of Indo-Pak. The behavior of number of Pakistani players shows that lack of team spirit and playing without preparation. I think the match was fix just to start the dialog between the two countries through ''Cricket Diplomacy''

  • Aftab Iqbal on April 1, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    DearMr. Zaltzman,

    There is 2 ways you difine Pakistan deffet:

    India did NOT win this match, Pakistan Lost this match,

  • Jam Jojo Sadiq on April 1, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    The writer is correct Pakistan or Kamran Akmal threw this match away. The extra 30-50 runs tendulkar scored were the difference ultimately. Akmal is a very odd individual indeed. But lets be fair to India it wasnt bad pakistan beating good pakistan. The indians beat Pakistan because they are a better team. I just find some of the jingoism and unsortsmanship of indian crowds and media hard to stomach. Also does waqar younis do anything as coach apart from sit impassively?

  • Daniel on April 1, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Cric_Lover No it doesn't. You just don't have a sense of humor.

  • Salman on April 1, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Pakistan lost India by 29 Runs These 29 runs were those runs extra conceded because Sachin Tendulkar was drop to score these runs These were the runs not scored by Pakistan middle order as they play very defensive and consume extra 29 balls these 29 runs were those due runs on the mighty hitters Afridi & Razzaq should have scored.....

    It was all in our hands at least Pakistani team should have grab one of the above opportunities......

  • Boswell Perkins on April 1, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    Nice article....clearly some of the jingoistic tub thumping neanderthals attending the pakistan-india game are also in attendance in the comments section here....such nationalistic jingoistic hate fuelled elements in the crowds will turn cricket into a soccer crowd and shame India as a nation..

  • Azeem Iqbal on April 1, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    100 percent agreed awesome

  • John on April 1, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    ...it could have done so was if , by a one-off shocker by their, for cricket as a sport, was compelling for a long while, as a cricketer who himself has shelled dollies other fielders would not even have considered were droppable, --- I will write tomorrow on the experience of attending this uberhyped clash of fierce sporting rivals --- this is writing is it? The final paragraph leaves us with no doubt that it is Andy's experience which is more important. Highly unoriginal.Petty...and surprise, surprise, where are you from Andy? No appreciation or understanding of other cultures. Try eating the food, smelling the roses, communicating with locals and growing up. You don't deserve having the money spent on you to work overseas.

  • VINAY on April 1, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    i dont know why people and media in pakistan are unnecessarily critisizing the pakistani players. they did good job. consider the mathces which they won during the other matches in the same world cup tournment. they played beyond the expectations in the tournment and end of the day one has to win and other has to loose this is part and parcel of the game. it's only hpye from the media causing this problem and i have been watching one of the pakistan news channel which creating unwanted hype before the match and they were talking about predictions by picking the card by parrot and bringing astrologers in to the T.V studio for predicting the match match result some times the results may come true and people started in believing his predictions now pakistan lost the match he started saying the players are sold for money he says as per his astrology pakistan has got 100%chances this kind of messages through media will hurt the spectators in pakistan and they start hating game and players

  • Abrar Khan on April 1, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    Nice aftermath of the match Pakistan really gave a way some good chances to win anyways God Bless Both Nations

  • Asad on April 1, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    Andy--one thing not connected with your article. Sachin was out lbw. It appeared so dead that many lesser mortals may not have asked for a review. No one is even raising this as a controversial decision, thanks to the DRS. If a Pakistani player had been reprieved like this...the debate, so popular in India---that DRS stands for devil's recent shananigan---would have been re-ignited. Kudos to ICC for trying DRS out in CWC and convincing people that it works and raises the quality of the game. And oh yes...good funny piece. You are getting better with each match.

  • Sanjay on April 1, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    Nice pun.. both the teams played badly but India little less badly.. bowling probably India scores more marks because Pakistan just could not bat,, particularly the middle order.. Fielding - India is much better side any day and it showed (even Nehra could make a fabulous effort for a catch - could not believe it). Most importantly, I thought India played with a belief and Pakistan was little shaky. I do not agree that it was not a good game. India Pakistan matches are not known for huge scores or towering sixes, they are known for the aura of every moment of uncertainty and 'till the last ball' kind of climax.. and this match lived to the reputation every minute. Sad to see Pakistan go but loved this unit..well played Pakistan.. !!

  • P.K.Sundar on April 1, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Quite brilliant. Kicking over the boundary line for a tie took the cake.But I expected a word or two (or hundred actually) about Dhoni's peculiar block which looks like a cross between a one-legged man playing French cricket trying to keep the ball from hitting his leg and a hockey player blocking a penalty corner hit. And was not the stroke he attempted more stupid than Hafiz's idiotic scoop? I think Harbhajan's delivery which got Umar Akmal's stumps should be declared the ball of the tournament. I thought you would be the best person to do it.

  • Nirender Hirwani on April 1, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Yes indeed it was Pakistan v Pakistan. But I will never understand what message was given to Umar Akmal and (who's message it was) after he had scored quickly to reach 29 of 22 balls.....and BOOM.....He got out in very next over.......

  • simmi on April 1, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    who the hell this idiot is? what is bad Pakistan or good Pakistan , i would say they didn't play good at that day otherwise they were just brilliant throughout the series Afridi lead the side very well you guys were good & graceful opponent . but do something with this akmal

  • Raks on April 1, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @Naveed Umar - Do I smell sour grapes? Your team was pathetic accept it rather than being jealous of us. Andy - you can see from this guys comments why we care about just defeating them and nothing else matters for us.

  • ali abid on April 1, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Andy.. you did the right analysis.. i also personaly think that it was game of bad plays. who plays more bad will lose. yes there were few individual performances like wahab, sehwag, nehra, saeed ajmal . but overall it was the pressue which felt on both sides but pakistani as usual lost the match as they were showing "how to lose a match"

  • Rash_in on April 1, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Cuddled effigies of Inzamam Ul Haq - priceless :)

  • Rajiv on April 1, 2011, 8:41 GMT

    Ahhhhhhhh!!!elementary stuff . Lengthy sentences , unnecessary metaphors . It was like reading the book of best essays from Kindergarten kids!!.Grow up andy

  • Prakash on April 1, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    Andy, the second paragraph shows your sheer brilliance and sense of humour. Any tips on how to write a hilarious article? Is it just instinctive!!

  • minhaj khan on April 1, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    I WILL SAY TEAM INDIA HAS PLAY GOOD CRICKET THEN PAKISTAN ALSO I THINK PAKISTAN SHOULD LEARN FROM INDIA HOW TO PLAY IN PRESSURE GAME.ALL THE BEST FOR DHONI AND TEAM.

  • Yasir on April 1, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Reading comments of a few of Indians it seems that they so often over-react to things. Pakistan lost the match, we fans are disappointed but we know that the team played well and the result could have been otherwise. Had India lost the match there would have been a severe reaction. When Idia played last series in Pakistan I was in Pindi Stadium in a lost match. We applauded every good shot by Sehwag, Tendulkar and Yuvraj. Open up a bit guys, learn to respect the enemy.

  • Sanyog on April 1, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    Andy, From your short bio "in 1995, dropped the same batsman three times in fifteen minute".

    Is this really happened to you ? -- Surely a inspiration to emulate, and was done perfectly by some people.

    cheers, Sanyog

  • Atul on April 1, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Good or bad, it was the Pakistani cricket team, which lost to Men in Blue on Wednesday. It was not a case of Pakistani batsmen throwing there wickets away except for one. Batsmen capitulated due to disciplined bowling by India. Just follow the pre-match comments on any news portal/ cricinfo and you may realize why this match means as much if not more than a final. The aspect to be appreciated was there were no animated scenes on the field, which could be fallout of the presence of dignitaries in the stands.

  • Syed Arbab Ahmed on April 1, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Good suitable headline for Pakistani Cricket, "A Pakistan vs Pakistan" match.

    V used to lose to India more than often before Javed Miandad hit the very famous 6 to Chetan Sharma, then India used to fear from us, they did not even want to play with Pakistan, v need the same kind of PASSION, HEROICS from a single man or from a team otherwise

    A million dollar question, can v overcome our mental dent and beat India in a world cup match?

  • AndyisLame on April 1, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Andy, for the first time, I have to say: your piece is lame. You are an outsider - you do not understand what India-Pakistan rivalries are about. Nor are you aware of the histories b/w the countries, not will you ever realize how serious cricket matches can be b/w the two countries. so to mock ppl (im talking about indians and pakistanis both) opining that this match was more important than the final - is WRONG. as far as we are concerned (and im a pakistani btw) beating india was always more important. it didnt matter if we had lost the final, since we would have lost to our sri lankan brothers.

    this article would have been funnier had it come from a pakistani or an indian who knows what he is talking about...he would have made more relevant jokes.

  • umesh on April 1, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    normally i luv ur articles...but not this one...it doesnt depict the correct picture... sorry zaltz but u lost the plot... but tht cud not b expected frm u... for tht u need to b either Indian or Paki... then only u will feel the skippin of heart beat... its not Ashes... this is life and death for us... which was fuelled by u britishers and now u find it silly and wrong...get a life dude... u were damn lucky to witness the match first hand...ppl were ready to put their life savings on stake for getting tht one entry into stadium which u got... but its true when they say wht wud an outsider wud feel... neways we dont care even wht u feel... doesnt matter...wont read ne of ur further article...how can u put it good Pak vs Bad Pak... u mean it was all abt pak's way of playing and India was just there bcoz they had to b there... wht a shame... pak was never fav and they didnt had the fire power to win... It was all pressure which we won...

  • Good-Do on April 1, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    ANDY, I think u should also write about the little master performance. I hope ST never forget this match. Can u imagine that a batsman like SC class can give 6 chances and yet no significance influence on game complication. I saw many classi batsman u normally have to gave them only one change and the can change all the complication of the game but I feel very sorry about ST, he simply embarrass himself and the cricket lovers all over the world.

  • ManoharB on April 1, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Whoa! That second line of the second paragraph has to be nominated for Guinness Records as the single longest sentence ever written in English language, making sense at the same time.

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    "If" Pakistan has caught Tendulkar, "if" Kamran has caught Sachin, there are so many "ifs". Pakistan - wake upto the fact that you will NEVER defeat India in a world cup match.

    What is exuding from all the comments - "Grapes are sour"

  • Bernard Stacey on April 1, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    With an epic second paragraph with 1490 characters, 1234 non-space characters, 1203 letters/numbers, 257 words, 360 syllables, 3 sentences and 85.67 words per sentence, this was a tour de force beyond all else. Thank you!

    I ran it through some editing software and found it has a Gunning fog index of 38.5. In linguistics, the Gunning fog index measures the readability of English writing and is an estimate of the years of formal education needed to understand the text on a first reading. Thus your readers need a full school education followed by a period of solid under- and postgraduate study for a further 26 years (or on average 8-9 university degrees) before they can grasp what you are saying.

    This might explain some of the more mystifying negative reviews!

  • RaviReddy on April 1, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    No blade of grass at the PCA was safe from a surprised ball thudding onto it from a fielder’s hands, muttering “I did not expect to end up here.”

    Very Funny . Sums up what happened in the match.

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    @Naveed Umar, Oh so you think ICC is doing everything to make India win this world cup. So, are you saying Pakistan lost because of something unfair that ICC did. Could you please tell me how ICC helped India in this match? I am just curious..

  • Anonymous on April 1, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    your england cricket team cannot find eleven english men and had to depend on south-africans and asians to form a decent playing eleven. slowly you not find even an orginal england-born, english-speaking "english" jornalist. better report on that rather than wasting time, money and "contents" of head (both inside & outside) to come up with this kind of articles.

    Subbu

  • Vinit Subhedar on April 1, 2011, 5:46 GMT

    Andy Zee , Your do it again.I bet you used to eat Asterix when you were young.

    >> Bad pakistna outclassed pakistan - TRUE >> TO BE NOTED: 1. India played on the Strenght of their (India's) weakness : Bowling,Fielding . 2. Afridi has won hearts of millions of Inidan's,it was every hearts wish which got fulfilled when even in tesne moments INDI-PAK players were smiling to each other 3. @Naveed Umar : Urgently treatment for BCCI Psychosis required

  • Vybhav on April 1, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Andy, I am a big fan of your writing , but i do not agree with some aspects of this article.

    Being a neutral spectator of the match, i can confidently say you have no idea about the emotions being involved in this match. Gathering facts and cracking jokes is one thing, but feeling the intensity of the match, praying for a wicket to fall, cheering every run scored and swearing at the opposition is something else. Those are emotions which Indians and Pakistanis felt when this match was being played. So , i do not agree with you when you say that this match did not live up to it's hype.

    Secondly, i do not feel that you are giving India the due credit. Yes, Pakistan sucked on the field . Yes, Sachin was handed out a lot of opportunities. But still, it was India's superlative performance which won them the match. Pakistan played very well, especially in their bowling. On some other day, the result could have been different, but it was INDIA BEAT them on this day.

    Cheers!

  • Mohan on April 1, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Pakistan lost AGAIN... a country full of megalomaniacs, that's what they are. Paki batsmen played bad shots because they cannot bat. Paki fielders dropped catches 'cause they cannot field.

    I agree they can bowl and they have the best assembly line of fast bowlers in world. But having a team of 11 bowlers is not going to win any matches. Not a single century in entire WC!!! Even against minnows. That says Paki batting is worse than a minnow's.

  • Rahat on April 1, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    This was supposed to be the weakest Pakistan team that had lost 3 best players in the betting scandal. Yet they reached semi-final, which few people expected it too, so I think Andy you missed this major point and the beck ground in which team went for this world cup.

    Yes they fielded badly but that happens even with three dropped catches the batsman again lost the game because of bad planning and it as not pressure alone but inept batting as well.

  • Faraz (the very first Faraz on all of Kamran Abbasi's blogs - but this is Andy Zaltzman's blog umm.. on April 1, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    I won't add any extra superlatives to the swelling list of compliments Andy has received, although as a Pakistani I appreciate his viewpoint on how Pakistan outdid itself against a pleasantly shocked Indian team and fans and yet I feel like congratulating someone on a marvelous achievement (this article). It is sad way for Pakistan to bow out after every indication that they would have made a meal of whatever India had boasted they would throw Pakistan's way. At this point, I am not sure if I will even tune in for the final, having paid heavily for the entire world cup 2011, hopefully the Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs so I can forget about this altogether.

    One thing I will say in thanking Afridi and his men, the way they untied Pakistan and the people of Pakistan around the world, the passion and fervor, he did what most politicians have failed at...even in loss, has he personified the spirit of Pakistanis and for that I will be always thankful to a certain Shahid Afridi

  • Anadi Bhatia on April 1, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    ANDY!!!! I'm commenting after reading the 1st paragraph. Cuddling effigies of Inzy!!!! ROFLs!!!

  • Muhammad Haseeb on April 1, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Nice One

  • D 206 on April 1, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    "a rousing rendition of ‘Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong’ while the Mohali crowd harmoniously crooned backing vocals and all cuddled effigies of Inzamam-ul-Haq."

    Hilarious!! who wouldnt have liked to watch the match u describe but this one was ok as well ... Sadly Pak lost to Bad Pak and to India :( but no worries they also provided some great moments this WC ... Well done team Pak n best of luck to the finalists (By finalists i mean Srilanka :)

  • Kunal Talgeri on April 1, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    Even a retired Moin Khan or Rashid Latif would be more competent today than Kamran Akmal. I am shocked at the big matches (Tests and ODIs) Akmal has dropped for Pakistan. Really incredible! (I thought Zaltzman would quip that Pakistan discovered three other Akmals on the field at Mohali when Tendulkar was batting.) For me it didn't matter if India or Pakistan won, but the standards set by the Pakistan team of the 1990s is completely absent in this bunch. Only Wahab Riaz and Ajmal evoked some lovely memories of Waqar's reverse swing and Saqlain's craftiness. And of course, I miss Mohammed Aamir. :-( This team can get there, but not with Kamran Akmal.

  • Faraz (the very first Faraz on all of Kamran Abbasi's blogs - but this is Andy Zaltzman's blog umm.. on April 1, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    I won't add any extra superlatives to the swelling list of compliments Andy has received, although as a Pakistani I appreciate his viewpoint on how Pakistan outdid itself against a pleasantly shocked Indian team and fans and yet I feel like congratulating someone on a marvelous achievement (this article). It is sad way for Pakistan to bow out after every indication that they would have made a meal of whatever India had boasted they would throw Pakistan's way. At this point, I am not sure if I will even tune in for the final, having paid heavily for the entire world cup 2011, hopefully the Toronto Maple Leafs will make the playoffs so I can forget about this altogether.

    One thing I will say in thanking Afridi and his men, the way they untied Pakistan and the people of Pakistan around the world, the passion and fervor, he did what most politicians have failed at...even in loss, has he personified the spirit of Pakistanis and for that I will be always thankful to a certain Shahid Afridi

  • Hume on April 1, 2011, 3:01 GMT

    Nicely said! Somehow i feel that P.G. Wodehouse has come back to life and is now writing exclusively on Cricket. ! Keep up the good work. Your articles are not only completely true but provide a laugh in every sentence (just like Wodehouse).

  • waqas on April 1, 2011, 2:01 GMT

    pakistan vs pakistan .. i guess i got to agree with that .. except viru .. no one could play pakistani bowlers ...if sachin wasn't dropped 6 times india would have been out under 200 .. and india bowling , just one ball to say it was a good ball thats why umar akmal was out by bajji .. otherwise it was all pakistan who lost their wickets by playing bad shots and some v , bad shots ...

  • Satya on April 1, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    A neutral observation can never fathom what India Pakistan rivalry is about. Did the match live up the pre-match hype? Yes, the kind of celebration we witnessed post match of a billion Indians proves the fact. I do agree it was a below average show in cricketing terms, but that is not the point. The hype was about India meeting Pakistan in a semi-final of a World Cup. It was a battle of nerves and not necessarily cricketing skills. And India emerged superior, and credit has to be given to that. Pakistan crushes West Indies in one match, and end up dropping 6 catches in the following match proves that they did not have to nerve to face a India-Pakistan knock-out match. I would not term it as pakistan loosing to pakistan.

  • Gaurav Srivastava on April 1, 2011, 1:22 GMT

    Very funny indeed. Specifically the part describing the way the match could have lived upto the hype. I have always enjoyed your articles and am glad you have become a more regular part of cricinfo. Also your tweeter feed is also good Keep up the good work !

  • Suyash on April 1, 2011, 1:20 GMT

    Awesome as ever Andy :)

  • Ram on March 31, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Andy

    i would like to point out that although a funny article..Don't take away the fact that Indian bowlers were disciplined and bowled wonderfully all through the game. Pakistan was Pakistan i respect them and their talent but give credit where it is due..i would not have any one steal this win from Indians because a few could not hold to their catches. Better team showed up and won..PERIOD!

  • Sanket Jain on March 31, 2011, 23:26 GMT

    Andy,

    I am a big fan of your articles. However, I would give this article only 4 out of 10 because it lacked the punch: it had too few outlier numbers (e.g., drive a coconut 300 yards with head), too few outlier words (e.g., krestel), too less creativity, and it was interlaced with too much pragmatism, whereas the focus on your previous articles has always been on portraying characters in a comical fashion.

    Best regards Sanket

  • VD on March 31, 2011, 23:08 GMT

    I have been quietly reading your article and this on I could not help resist laughing out loud, understandably, I'm India fan and cricket fan, but you painted an uber-hilarious picture about game not living up to the hype.

    I agree that pressure does strange things to otherwise healthy functioning mind and I think both teams could not perform at their best, the contest if played out in group stages would have been absolutely phenomenal. India handled the pressure slightly better than Pakistan, the drop catches allowed India to pose the target.Once you drop such catches, no matter how you act, it stays in mind for a while when billions of people are watching..

    Nevertheless wonderful writing, I always look forward to your special match analysis, it is much better than expert commentary of those retired cricketers :)

  • njr1330 on March 31, 2011, 22:08 GMT

    Pakistan had at least 10 opportunities to win the match, and blew them all! Amazing!

    There must be a better wicketkeeper in Pakistan than Kamran Akmal... I can think of at least 2 in Liverpool CC's 3rd team !

  • vp on March 31, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    Great read. super funny. Love your style.

  • Naeem Syed on March 31, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    The media hype before the game was India “The World Greatest Batting Ever” will score 400+ run and poor Pakistan will role in front of them. Andy you are absolutely right only Pakistan beat Pakistan in the semi. I really feel for Sachin, the greatest batsmen in my era. He was embarrassed to see catch after catch dropped and the jittery way he batted and feel relieved when Afridi took the catch and ran out. Umpire did not even ask him to stay to see if it is a no ball like they did before to give him a chance to make his 100 “very funny”. When to take the power play has to be come from the coach/captain, as they are running the show. Afridi and Waqar should take the full responsibility.

  • Rama on March 31, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Bad pakistan vs good pakistan, good thinking. It balanced. What if Sachin was out on second catch and UV was not out by first ball. If Sachin was out earlier and UV's first ball would not have been same ball. He would have scored more than 50 and score would have been same. Nobody wants to drop catches and Pakistans history shows that they drop catches. Sometimes they win with dropping catches and sonetimes they don't.

    At the end India played very well in all aspects and they won. In that situation you should handle pressure. Dhoni did very good job by changing bowler regularly before batsmen settled. Overall India did very good job and good team wins.

  • Faisal on March 31, 2011, 20:35 GMT

    Very well written article!! Just imagine had pakistan hold on to their catches & senior batsmen Younis & Misbah had not forgotten it was a 50 over match, We would have all have witnessed a nail biter match. Better luck next time Pakistan (after 4 years) to try to beat INDIA.

  • Hassan Farooqi on March 31, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    KAkmal would be the next captain and things would be alright. Yes he is tipped to be dropped for West Indies tour. However his brother is to take over and we know the family loyalty of Akmal brothers. Adnan Akmal would drop more catches than Kamran, and everyone will shout, "Bring KAkmal back". He will be back as captain and the Akmals would then live happily ever after. You think I am joking? Remember what happened in 2003 world cup. Inzi had a top score of 6 runs, dropped, and then came back as captain.

  • Pushkar on March 31, 2011, 19:41 GMT

    Dude, this is by far the funniest cricinfo article ever. Well done.

  • Rashid on March 31, 2011, 19:40 GMT

    Please tell me which other board will not include in the original squad Mohammed Yusuf when you have as stable as Pakistani batting lineup. Hafiz's weird shot and Misbah's questionable batting and the list goes on.

  • Naveed Umar on March 31, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Keeping every odd aside, it was very much obvious that India will win this cup bcuz only one thing is missing from Sachin's gr8 career and tht is 'World Cup' ... this is going to be gr8 gift from ICC to Tendulkar it was obvious dude, bring on any team and u will find the same result ... as simple as tht ... biased ICC will obviously support BCCI bcuz of their high revenues n all. Good Luck to so called fake world cup champions India

  • Parag Paranjpe on March 31, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    Ha Ha!!! Absolutely love the description of how the match would have matched up to the hype. Brilliant :-)

  • BronxZooCobra on March 31, 2011, 19:19 GMT

    Now I know why they invented periods (full stops). I was out of breath just reading through some of those sentences. You're trying a bit too hard. I quite enjoyed it, but you pushed it too much over the edge.

  • bluebleeder on March 31, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    First.... LOL on the paragraph about pre-match hype :-)

  • Ammit on March 31, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Crowd is never satisfied until they see Gladiators bleed or hear music of bones breaking. When ppl see Ind vs Pak they see it with first hand, second hand or media imposed baggage. A common cricket fanatic on either side of fence wants to see others blood and nothing of that nature happened. If you remove the flags from the equation then it was a good cricket match. But people were not filled, everyone had an itch to see an abuse, shoulder rubs, shouting loud,sledging, angry eyes, throwing sucker punches etc. All of these could have happened if we did not have the class Monitors in the box[Ministers]. The real reason for inviting them was to make sure boys do not end up fighting with each other ;),.This match did not give me a memory or moment, No Prasad showing door to Sohail No Sachin hitting Upper cut to Shoaib, No Miadad Jumping,No Jadeja hitting Waqqar for plenty. It was like a tattoo done with a mud which will wash off as soon you take shower, which is very next day.

  • Anonymous on March 31, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    Man this guy is "seriously hilarious" !

  • gaurav on March 31, 2011, 19:09 GMT

    I enjoy the humor in your writing. This piece it seems you wrote in a hurry. Andy, is this a case of famous English fatigue at the climax?

  • Lowell on March 31, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Superb!!!!! absolutely hilarious. I laughed my guts out. Great stuff Andy.

  • Ace on March 31, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Epic, brilliant article Andy. Pakistan vs Pakistan is exactly what happened.

  • Salaar Shamsi on March 31, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    Andy, you are a genius. Obviously, being a passionate supporter of Pakistan, I was gutted but I've gotta say the better team won, also love the juxtaposition of contrast, didn't really see India anywhere, it always a case of good Pakistan vs bad Pakistan, having said that, I'm still extremely proud of the boys, on the whole, they were brilliant.

  • chhotagabbar on March 31, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Im just tired of articles like these. Okay the Pakistanis played bad, but Indians led by nehra and munaf were also instrumental in getting the win.

  • Mihir on March 31, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Andy, as a neutral, you could not even begin to understand the tumultuous history of our countries and the onslaught of ridicule that a citizen of either country is confronted with (by citizens of the other) in the event of defeat. This is why it is wrong and silly for you to say that “I don’t care what happens in the final, this was the only game that mattered.” is both wrong and silly. The stakes involved in a game of this sort are amplified by the historical animosity between our nations, and cannot be rivaled by any other contest - even a world cup final. This is why he doesn't care about the final and this is why at the end of the day, the quality of the game didn't really matter to the public - all that mattered was that the teams were playing one another.

  • Omar Khan on March 31, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Hilarious piece!

  • Nafeez on March 31, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Amazing Article. Probably one of the decent longest sentences i've ever read . Kudos Andy Zaltman

  • Sudhir on March 31, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Sensational writing... :) Awesome Andy.. Just can't stop reading your articles at least a dozen times.. and I just can't wait for your experience that you're going to write tomorrow :) Hilarious stuff, Andy.. I've been knocked off my revolving chair so many times while reading your "experiences" and analysis! :D Cheers

  • Cricistan.com on March 31, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    Isn't that what happened? Obviously you made up the bit about Sachin scoring a match winning/tying century.

  • Cric_Lover on March 31, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Wow, Andy Zaltzman, I did not know you would be so pissed off at not being invited to the match by the government of India. This article looks like it was written by a 5 year old kid, who was not given a candy rather than a journalist.

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  • Cric_Lover on March 31, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    Wow, Andy Zaltzman, I did not know you would be so pissed off at not being invited to the match by the government of India. This article looks like it was written by a 5 year old kid, who was not given a candy rather than a journalist.

  • Cricistan.com on March 31, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    Isn't that what happened? Obviously you made up the bit about Sachin scoring a match winning/tying century.

  • Sudhir on March 31, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Sensational writing... :) Awesome Andy.. Just can't stop reading your articles at least a dozen times.. and I just can't wait for your experience that you're going to write tomorrow :) Hilarious stuff, Andy.. I've been knocked off my revolving chair so many times while reading your "experiences" and analysis! :D Cheers

  • Nafeez on March 31, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    Amazing Article. Probably one of the decent longest sentences i've ever read . Kudos Andy Zaltman

  • Omar Khan on March 31, 2011, 18:56 GMT

    Hilarious piece!

  • Mihir on March 31, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    Andy, as a neutral, you could not even begin to understand the tumultuous history of our countries and the onslaught of ridicule that a citizen of either country is confronted with (by citizens of the other) in the event of defeat. This is why it is wrong and silly for you to say that “I don’t care what happens in the final, this was the only game that mattered.” is both wrong and silly. The stakes involved in a game of this sort are amplified by the historical animosity between our nations, and cannot be rivaled by any other contest - even a world cup final. This is why he doesn't care about the final and this is why at the end of the day, the quality of the game didn't really matter to the public - all that mattered was that the teams were playing one another.

  • chhotagabbar on March 31, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Im just tired of articles like these. Okay the Pakistanis played bad, but Indians led by nehra and munaf were also instrumental in getting the win.

  • Salaar Shamsi on March 31, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    Andy, you are a genius. Obviously, being a passionate supporter of Pakistan, I was gutted but I've gotta say the better team won, also love the juxtaposition of contrast, didn't really see India anywhere, it always a case of good Pakistan vs bad Pakistan, having said that, I'm still extremely proud of the boys, on the whole, they were brilliant.

  • Ace on March 31, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Epic, brilliant article Andy. Pakistan vs Pakistan is exactly what happened.

  • Lowell on March 31, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    Superb!!!!! absolutely hilarious. I laughed my guts out. Great stuff Andy.