Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011 November 21, 2011

'Boom Boom' thunders in Sharjah

Don't bother looking at the umpire's finger when Shahid Afridi takes a wicket, just watch the man himself. The instant Afridi strikes his star-man pose, fingers pointing to the heavens, cue pandemonium
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Don't bother looking at the umpire's finger when Shahid Afridi takes a wicket, just watch the man himself. The instant Afridi strikes his star-man pose, fingers pointing to the heavens, cue pandemonium. Sharjah, scene of heroics from the revolutions of Javed Miandad's bat and the bowling arms of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, has the boom of Mr Boom Boom to add to its legend. Afridi didn't simply win the Man-of-the-Match award, he owned it.

As Sharjah's cricket public revived the thumping atmosphere of bygone days, Pakistan's players rekindled some past attributes. Spirit, an ancient virtue, was in evidence as Sarfraz Ahmed and Saeed Ajmal supported Afridi to pose a total of opportunity. Later that same spirit surged through the Pakistan team as Sri Lanka crumbled, losing seven wickets in the space of 19 runs. Pakistan's bowlers were once masters of defending a low total just as the lower order was accustomed to fighting for every run. Those skills seemed lost but are beginning to return.

Here Afridi was an inspirational catalyst. First he coaxed his fellow batsmen to rally around him, as he produced one of those responsible efforts that leave you wondering why he doesn't control himself more often, hitting through the line with effortless power. With the batting Powerplay and Ajmal for company, the moment seemed ripe for death or glory. Instead, Afridi worked the ball with good sense, rightfully trusting his partner, and launching himself when the ball merited it. This was an atypical Afridi assault, a sensible one, and it perplexed Sri Lanka.

Ajmal was a willing accomplice with bat - and he would later prove to be the same with the ball - nonchalantly stroking the Sri Lanka bowlers and flicking his head to demonstrate his self-belief. In any other match, a match not utterly dominated by Afridi's personality, Ajmal would have been its most valuable player.

Under the dark Sharjah sky and blinding lights that had flummoxed Dilhara Fernando's attempt to catch an Afridi missile, the star man shot through Sri Lanka's innings with leg-breaks, googlies, off-breaks, and rocket-powered faster balls, inducing an ear-splitting ecstatic cacophony in the stadium as loud and frenzied as in any of its previous 200 ODIs.

Afridi's return to international colours was always a formality; a return to heroics was far less predictable, especially with such measured thrill-making. One of the issues with Afridi has always been how to harness his ability, and on this evidence Mohsin Khan and Misbah-ul Haq may be on to something. Misbah has allowed the strong personalities in his team, like Afridi and Younis Khan, to flourish, demonstrate leadership, and take ownership. Misbah's captaincy is shorn of ego, a maturity that has escaped Pakistan cricket for decades, perhaps since the time of Mushtaq Mohammad, and creates an environment for flair with responsibility.

Whatever the magic formula, Pakistan must stick to it, for despite a couple of areas that need strengthening in the starting XI Misbah's team have developed a winning habit. Sri Lanka's poor form has helped but Pakistan, especially the bowlers, have been hard to suppress at times.

A diligent team becomes dynamic when Afridi is roused and booming. When Afridi strikes the pose and the crowd roars its approval, any neutral venue would become a home away from home. For Pakistan, Sharjah has always felt like a second home. In those circumstances, when the stadium lights lit up, a night of magic should have been booming at us from the stars.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • boomboomAfridian on March 21, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee article!!!!!!!! love him BOOOOM BOOOOOM AFRIDI!! he is the BEST EVER All-Rounder!!! can't wait to see u leading from front in WC 15 & 2020!!! btw thnkx for the article kamran bro!!!

  • Neelam on March 2, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Now that Pakistan have won this tournament they will have to prorefm to the raised expectations of their fans. They wont be underdogs in the Champions trophy and it will be interesting to see how they handle pressure of expectations.

  • Wasi Shah on February 4, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Top Bowler and Moderate Bat.Afridi is our Lion.

  • Muzaffar lone on December 24, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    inzimam & s afridi r my best players

  • Muzaffar lone on December 24, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    i like all world cricket

  • gagro on December 14, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    yes osman siddiqi i agree with u.playing good cricketis best than to speak good english.weldon umer akmal.love u afridi

  • Saleem Akbar on December 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Well said Mr.Abbasi. Actually afridi is playing good cricket.he is in brilliant form and can play long excellent cricket. Pakistani team is in fantastic form and i hope pakistan will win series against England.

  • Jagga Jatt on December 8, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    AFRIDI has def got the X-FACTOR.....The best thing to happen to pak cricket was the 3 Amigo's getting locked up.THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT, THE FUTURE'S GREEN

  • GAGRO on December 7, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    weldone shahid afridi. i love ur pose

  • asif si on December 7, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    he bowls like anil kumble....talented bowler...n hes not a good batsmen at alll

  • boomboomAfridian on March 21, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    awesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee article!!!!!!!! love him BOOOOM BOOOOOM AFRIDI!! he is the BEST EVER All-Rounder!!! can't wait to see u leading from front in WC 15 & 2020!!! btw thnkx for the article kamran bro!!!

  • Neelam on March 2, 2012, 17:11 GMT

    Now that Pakistan have won this tournament they will have to prorefm to the raised expectations of their fans. They wont be underdogs in the Champions trophy and it will be interesting to see how they handle pressure of expectations.

  • Wasi Shah on February 4, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Top Bowler and Moderate Bat.Afridi is our Lion.

  • Muzaffar lone on December 24, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    inzimam & s afridi r my best players

  • Muzaffar lone on December 24, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    i like all world cricket

  • gagro on December 14, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    yes osman siddiqi i agree with u.playing good cricketis best than to speak good english.weldon umer akmal.love u afridi

  • Saleem Akbar on December 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Well said Mr.Abbasi. Actually afridi is playing good cricket.he is in brilliant form and can play long excellent cricket. Pakistani team is in fantastic form and i hope pakistan will win series against England.

  • Jagga Jatt on December 8, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    AFRIDI has def got the X-FACTOR.....The best thing to happen to pak cricket was the 3 Amigo's getting locked up.THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT, THE FUTURE'S GREEN

  • GAGRO on December 7, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    weldone shahid afridi. i love ur pose

  • asif si on December 7, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    he bowls like anil kumble....talented bowler...n hes not a good batsmen at alll

  • raees mustafa on December 5, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Whataplayaa! Yes, he should definitely open as Hampshire done with him and were successful in doing so...

  • Osman Siddiqi on December 4, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    So while this comment isn't pertinent towards the article, I could not find another place to express this. Don't you think it's high time they let the player's speak in the language they are most comfortable with during presentations/conferences/etc? Get a translator. This game is an international sport and you can see how nervous some non-English speaking players get when they are forced to converse in a language they lack fluency in.

    Mr. Abbasi, I love reading your blog, but this is a topic that needs to be addressed. Speaking English has nothing to do with cricket and forcing cricketers to speak English is I'm sure a nerve-wracking experience and not to mention seemingly rather imperialistic. Again, it is an international sport. Let the players represent their countries, their cultures, and themselves as best they can in the most fluent way they can.

  • hanan on December 3, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    Pak should let Afrid OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Shane on December 3, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    Anybody know of any good youg batsman in Pakistan because I have only heard about bowlers???

  • Abdur Rahman on December 2, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Hi Mr.Kamran Abbasi! I would like to say onething that you can't Separate Afridi and thunder! Because both same! (Afrdi is thunder and the thunder is Afridi) (Boom Boom is bomb and the bomb is Boom Boom) Thank you

  • Saad on December 2, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    Whenever Afridi does well- Pakistan wins- a "match winner". As Imran Khan says there are many talented, good players but match winners are a rare breed, Afridi is one of them.

  • BASSIM on November 29, 2011, 18:55 GMT

    GOOD HARD WORK BY PAKISTANI TEAM BOOM BOOM WISH YOU BEST OF LUCK PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • khurram on November 28, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    Excellent article, nice work bro. Really Afridi silenced his critics from his performance. There is no doubt that he is still the best player in Pakistani squad. I will say that he should deserve to be the captain of the team again. Hats off to you Mr. Kamran

  • Kaiser Lashkari on November 28, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    I hope and pray that Mr.Abbasi could revive The Cricketer Pak. magazine to four or six issues a year9depending on his busy schedule). Such a talented writer should get his work published (besides The Wisden). He is articulate, logical and unbiased in his reasoning and very very sincere about the welfare of Pakistani Cricket. I hope he pays heed to my request and takes up this project SERIOUSLY.

  • shankar on November 28, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    Yep, we are jealous of your "achievement(s)"!!

  • umer on November 26, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    this to shankar,remember what kapil dave,sidhu and some other indian players use to say about sharjah,that Sharjah means indian HAARJAH.and by the way who cares what you think you guys will and always have been jealous of Pakistan's achievements.

  • Hijab on November 26, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    BOOM BOOM AFRIDI IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD.HE IS MY FAV PLAYER EVEN HE IS IN FORM OR NOT COZ HE IS THE BEST............. THUMBS UP FOR MR KAMRAN..........

  • Syed Mansoor Hasnain on November 26, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    -I WAS LUCKY TO BE IN STADIUM IN DUBAI FOR THIRD ODI, IN SHARJAH FOR 4TH ODI, AND ABUDHABI FOR 20-20, ALL SALUTE TO PAKISTAN TEAM ......SUPER PERFORMANCE -I HAVE NEVER SEEN CROWD SO MAD FOR SINGLE PLAYER .......AFRIDI -MOST AMAZING WAS SHARJAH CROWD WHO WERE BEST AMONG ALL 3 CRICKET STADIUMS.......THEY MADE SURE PAKISTAN WON THIS MATCH FROM NO WHERE AND AFRIDI AND PAKISTAN PLAY WITH 110% ABILITY TO GIVE AN UNFORGETABLE PERFORMANCE........ -WILL BE EAGERLY WAITING FOR ENGLAND TO COME AND SEE AFRIDI MAGICS AGAIN...LIKE 2 SIXES IN 2ND LAST OVER AND TURNING THE 20-20 MATCH IN FAVOUR OF PAKISTAN....

  • Pakistani on November 26, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    I am totally agree with you Mr Abbasi that Misbah allowed strong personalities like Afridi & Younis to flourish but these two PATHANS deserve the credit more than anyone else because these two proved by their actions not by just words that they play for their country wether they are leading or playing as a player under any captain, nobody else in Pakistan`s cricket history has done this before, there are many who spoke but they didn`t proved with there actions. We should be proud of these two PAKHTUNS like we are proud of other PAKHTUN " THE LION OF PAKISTAN IMRAN KHAN"

  • Muhammad Umair on November 26, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Nice.. very well written.

  • Emad on November 26, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    BOOOOM BOOOOM

  • shahoo on November 26, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    @ Taha what will do sarfraz ahmed in team when there will b two akmals who both can keep wickets....

  • tariqsarwarwattoo on November 25, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    yap good team,but replace 2)kamran akmal with Asad Shafiq 8)sarfraz ahmad with M.yousaf

  • Zain Kazmi on November 25, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    Very well written. The pen you use must be very proud to be held by you! :-)

  • muhammad hashim on November 25, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    afridi has been performing well since last 3 yrs and his bowling is as unplayable as shane warne or murali and he is the best allrounder in the world in current time

  • zafar101 on November 25, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    want 2 c india vs pak

  • KJ on November 25, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Pakistan have found a decent captain at last...someone who remains cool under pressure; is thoughtful; doesn't panic and most importantly has earned the respect of his players. They now want to play for him and for Pakistan. Sure, Afridi is a talent extraordinaire, but each game has produced a hero, whether it is Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Cheema, Ajmal, Younis, or the Captain himself. A good Captain brings out the best in his players and he seems to have brought out the best in Afridi who for once batted sensibly when required. People criticize the way Misbah bats, but Pakistan desperately need a batsman for the bad times, when wickets fall all around. He is Pakistan's wall. The only suggestion I can make to Misbah is that he separates himself and Younis Khan in the batting order. After all these are the only master batsmen Pakistan have as of now. Credit also goes to Mohsin and also to Waqar who managed the team through its most difficult period and maintained his dinity.

  • Shahid on November 25, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Writing , hearing positive things like this for Pakistani team was long ago. Felt really good when Pakistan won and Boom Boom showed his magic and after reading this article it feels that there are people who still love this team by heart instead of criticizing them all the time.

    Well written K Abbas ! Appreciate your work.

    Long Live Pakistan !

  • zulfqarhyder on November 25, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    good luck and all the things are going in to Pakistan way. there should be no compromise on the discipline as well as the former coach Waqar Younis master mind politician has left the team which has also shown the fruitful results in Pakistan s` favour.

  • Vishw on November 25, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    @Desihungama: I agree with your words -- What great all-rounders cricketers achieve once in their lifetime, Afridi has done it twice! He did this before retiring, and did this again after coming back from retirement :-)

  • Taha on November 25, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    Pakistan ODI team should be: 1) Hafeez 2) Kamran Akmal 3) Younis Khan 4) Umar Akmal 5) Misbah 6) Afridi 7) Abdur-Razzaq 8) Sarfraz Ahmed 9) Seaad Ajmal 10) Umar Gul 11) Aizaz Cheema/Junaid Khan

    Maybe later the could test out azhar ali in place of younis khan in ODIs

  • Abdur Rahman on November 24, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Welldone by my favorite BOOM BOOM Shahid Khan Afridi!!!!!!!!!!!!! So Best luck to do more well in the future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Waseem Akhtar on November 24, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Kamran please change your picture.

  • yasir shakoor on November 24, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    Bravo to Afridi and Pakistan team on their gritty performances. Superb Article, keep it up Mr Abbasi. I am very ecstatic at Pakistan's team recent performances. i think they are jelling well in the captaincy of Misbah. Never a doubt about LALA and his flamboyance.Hurray BOOM BOOM!. Not being sarcastic and duly appreciate Maliks performances in the past but Hello! why is he ruining the recent performances of the Pakistan team with his unprofessional performances. Wish that Amer comes back.

  • Syed Adeel Ali Shah on November 24, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    I honestly hope that PCB, now with a new Chief, works the way it should i.e. Selecting Players on Merit. I am not sure about the selection of Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat in the Team.

  • Nadeem Mirza on November 23, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Shoaib malik now Golden duck (after the score of 2 in 22 balls). Along with Zimbabwe failures. No noticeable score in international arena for last two years. He should be rested for good now. Will you still keep quite, Mr. Abbasi.

  • Humayun M on November 23, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    I am so glad someone finally acknowledged Mushtaq Mohammad. He was the reason Pakistan became a world class team. He took the same team that Inti had and with maturity, intelligence,boldness and flair transformed it into the most exciting bunch of cricketers of the time. He inspired confidence in people like Imran and Miandad among others and went on to win against India, and Australia and WI in their own backyards at a time those teams were the ones to beat. Not to forget beating NZ in NZ without any Packer stars in his own team with an allround performance himself.

  • joy on November 23, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Kamran, Time for your next juicy post. your friend Butt, Amir , Asif's plea has been dismissed !!! :)

    joy

  • M.amjad on November 23, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    Nice Article infect Mr. Kamran ! Welcome back Afridi. Good Luck for future.

  • GHINVA RAZA on November 23, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    @ SHANKAR.!! grow up dude.! show some sportsmanship,rather than just biting your nails out of jelousy!! Lovve the article Mr.Kamran.thumbs up!!

  • RohitK on November 23, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    To be honest, I always thought Afridi's batting was overhyped due to the fastest century, and his bowling was underrated. If you check his past performances, his major contribution to the team has been through taking wickets and choking strike rates. To be very honest, I think his BOOM BOOM label and the associated fan expectation ruined his batting, because he kept trying to slog everything and got out. But against SL he showed some real class, both with bat and bowl. If he takes his bowling maturity into his batting, Pakistan might just end up with another all rounder in the class of Imran Khan. Congrats to Afridi, and hoping he will keep up his performance. Wishing for more India-Pak matches.

    @Azhar: Pakistan has beaten India plenty of times even when Sachin was playing. Lets not get carried away.

  • Mohammad Hameed Anwar on November 23, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    Nice article. Shahid Afridi is definitely playing cricket more sensibly after coming back from retirement. And it shows. I wish him more success and blessings from God.

  • Areeb Tariq on November 23, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Don't know about ICC rankings, but we're definitely no 1 in "winning matches we have no business even contesting" rankings. 100% Agree With Osman Samiudin.

  • Arshad on November 23, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    "any neutral venue would become a home away from home. For Pakistan, Sharjah has always felt like a second home" that is lovley.

  • javid on November 23, 2011, 7:36 GMT

    boom boom i love u,u r the best ONE,U R the LEGEND, Pk team is in need of u.

  • Shahid on November 23, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Good job boom boom

  • salman saeed Butt on November 23, 2011, 6:09 GMT

    afridi is the real hero of pakistan we all love him very much keep doing this you will be graeter then imran khan one day you have to win 2015 world cup for us please keep on doing this

  • Dhirendra pant on November 23, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Afridi hve been always a great cricketer and I think every one who loves cricket loves his all round cricketing ability and his extra ordinary pose. I love to watch this miracle man for more 10 to 15 years of International cricket. Good Luck.

    Dhirendra, Nepal

  • Azhar on November 23, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    To beat india u have to wait till sachin retires...

  • Hussain Khan on November 23, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    Lets not get carried away. We need a consistant Afridi, not a one day wonder!

  • NidaUllah on November 23, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    All the history is the bio-graphy of a brave man "Sir Carlyal". And Afridi did it. His courage, game plane, way of attack are the tremedous approaches to stepdown the Srilankan team, though 200 was a tease able target for SL. Afridi " The real tiger"

  • TD_160 on November 23, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    Historically, Sri Lanka have struggled against Pakistan because of their pace attack. Sri Lanka have negotiated the Pakistan pace attack resonably well since the first game of this series. Afridi has definitely been the difference between the two sides. He may no longer be the captain, but he is still leading from the front.

  • Vasantha Kumar on November 23, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    Vasanth Kumar, SL supporter but I watch ODIs to see Afridi in his X man pose!

  • awais javed satti on November 22, 2011, 22:28 GMT

    pakistan spin attack is now the best.... Not a single country is near to it..... and i do not hesitate saying that in leg spin bowling after shane warne afridi is the best in business similarly in off spin department saeed ajmal is the best after murli.... and hafeez supports them as a world class spinner also

  • gabby on November 22, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    @Ammar, great post and true reflection of our cricketing spirit.

    I just hope that team management, Pakistani fans and Shahid himself don't get carried away from Boom Boom batting performance. I have always believed that he is a bowling allrounder and should focus only on bowling while his batting should be considered as a bonus. Many people would disagree with me but I feel his fastest century actually hampered his bowling career else he would have been the top spinner in all formats of the game uptill now. I rate him a much better bowler than Kumble because of his wonderful variations and superlative control.

  • Kashif J Ashfaque on November 22, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    It was a 1 man show!! Afridi vs Srilanka :D

  • adeel on November 22, 2011, 17:44 GMT

    hi in my views pakistan cricket team doing a v nice job but we still need to look upon our mistakes. we still need the proper players for the proper posts,like instead of imran farhat i think they should open with sarfraz the w keeper give him chance to perform because later order he is not able to perform well and shoib malik is fit for 3 position and he is bowler and good fielder as well,and in the end i think abdul razaq sould b in every game because he is also a match winner on his day like afridi.

  • Desihungama on November 22, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    @Kashif Mast - Pakistan lost the 99 World Cup not because they were inferior to Australia but because it was a common knowledge that their flamboyant ways came in the way. Wasim/Akhtar and others were parting very late in morning before the match. So how do you expect them to perform? It was all evident on the field. This precisely changed the team ways and they went religious in the company of Inzamam.

  • mudasir on November 22, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    PAk ODI Team Mohd Hafeez Kamran Akmal Abdul Razack Umar Akmal Younis Khan Shahid Afridi Mishba ul Haq Shoaib Malik Wahab Raiz Umar Gul Junaid Khan

  • G4rgoyle on November 22, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    @Hassan Farooqi - I completely agree with you. I have been impressed with how Younis and Afridi made their presence so dominant in the field. Their body language has been positive and they appear to have genuine respect for their fellow players esecially for Misbah. I can't say this is something I have often witnessed in the past, at least not in the last few years.

  • Asif on November 22, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Shame on Ejaz Butt,Intikhab,Waqar,Sarfraz Nawaz and other detractors who were trying to finish the career of afridi.It was a big slap on the face of Sarfraz who thought afridi is not an automatic choice and has to proove his fitness and also waqar who stated that afridi's return will harm the junior players.

  • Faizan Shaikh on November 22, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    One thing i dont quite understand is, why have people made Waqar Younis the bad guy here???????? For me and as per stats, Waqar is a legend and whtever happened b/w him and Afridi, the fault must be on both sides....But unlike Afridi, Waqar showed he is an intellectual and a guy with values. He is right there in the commentry box praising Afridi for his efforts guys. Stop hypocrisy and treat ur legends with respect.......Good effort by Afridi and the team. Misbah is a quick learner and i hope England are in for bit of a surprise....:)

  • Saadi on November 22, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    SriLanka were... LALAfied!!! LONG LIVE PAKISTAN!!

  • Shayaan Ahmed Matin on November 22, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    There is no stadium in the world like Sharjah cricket stadium. I have so many memories from my matches there... Sami's hattrick in a superb matchturner, naved latif and inzi bhai's memorable partnership as well as Mohammad Yousuf( then named Yousuf Youhana) and Inzi brilliantly stroked it around, Wasim and Waqar's deadly combinations, Razzaq's brutal slogs over midon and midwicket.. countless games ive watched at that stadium and no stadium has ever been the same

  • utkarsh singh Rajput on November 22, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Well done Lala!We all here in India specially Raj puts like you like any thing!Your return in International cricket will definitely solidify the Pakistan cricket team!May god bless you Lala!

  • Azeem (Juabil - Saudi Arabia) on November 22, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    I enjoyed reading this articles as much as I enjoyed seeing the last overs of Sri Lankan innings. I was upset when Russell said that "Now the prayers can't help Pakistani Team". Afridi is a match winning players, I was little worried when they held a Dobe Test for Afridi after the first match but again the hero of Pakistan showed that he is a clean and respectable person. Great win by a Great Team, I wish Best of Luck in future and hope they will rise their ranking also.

  • Saad on November 22, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Being a die hard fan of cricket and Pakistani team, i must say that though this was a great win but Sri Lanka has not been in good form other than Sangakarra. Had it been some in form teams like Australia or SA then the match was theirs to take....Pakistan didn't perform well and this performance though covered our batting collapse but sooner or later we are going to face a tough team and we can't be lucky always!!!

    PS: i don't consider India a tough team because they are only good at their home grounds!!!

  • Javed Akram on November 22, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Afridi ...Lala..A magician with ball.Even the well experienced Sanga and Jayawardene looked clueless against him.you can't blame the other Srilankan batsmen. With the bat he played like a matured batsman for once. He must be sensible enough to understand now that how good a batsman he is. Hats off to you Lala

  • Imran Khan on November 22, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Afridi is an all time champion. I think that he has turned the fortunes of Pakistan cricket and credit should go to him for turning around the fortunes of this lineup. He led this team to the semifinal of the WC 2011 and was the leading wicket taker of the tournament and he brought that winning flair back in the side and now his stats are talking and backing him. Truly a champion at least he aint a record chaser like Tendulkar who is so excited about his 100th ton and hasn't been scoring runs.

  • noor fareed on November 22, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    afridi is my best player,either he is in fom or not.......... i like its batting style and in bowling his googly,specialy he bowled to rizwan cheema in wc2011.........

  • Rakim on November 22, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    Afridi is da man!!!!! Kamran I wish I could write like you :D!!

  • Shiyam Razak on November 22, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    Kamran Bhai,

    Assalamu Alaikum !

    It was a great article you are the best.

    All the best.

    Regards Shiyam

  • Ammar on November 22, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    You can take away our world cup hosting rights. YOu can take away our home games. You can snub our players for IPL. You can snub our Domestic T20 teams for the champions league. You can ban our players. You can jail our players (and quiet rightly so). BUT WE WILL KEEP COMING BACK STRONGER AND STRONGER!!!! LONG LIVE PAK CRICKET!!!

  • zubair on November 22, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    Mr Waqar Younis and Mr Ijaz Bhatt..... I feel sorry for you. Actualy let me hav a big laugh. Hahahahahahahahaha Bdw guyz question for al of u --who gave the title boom boom to afridi?

  • Keen Khan on November 22, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    One of my fried said that Afridi did not do anything in last world cup semi-final, but he should know that what your Misbah did, he was playing just like in test matches. Afridi is the best player and was and will be the best player. He must lead the OID and T20 teams. Boom Boom you are the great. The whole world love you.

  • srivathsan on November 22, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    If an example is to be quoted for WINNING SINGLE HANDEDLY, you cant find a better one than afridi's effort.i like afridi the bowler than afridi the batsman.He has to be handled properly.VERY WELL DONE PAKISTAN.

  • Rameez on November 22, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    boom boom back with the bang

  • Anwar on November 22, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Well done and learn from your and other mistakes.

  • khalid saeed on November 22, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    It is not really a big deal whether some like or dislike Afridi, It is not a big deal either that Pakistan has won ODI serie against apparently a young Siri Lankan team. What it matters is consistancy in delivering result. Pakistani team a whole still have to prove a lot, it includes captain as well as senior player such as Afridi and Younis and let us wait and see their capabilities of consistant delivery in matches still to come such as against England in few months on the same soil.

  • que on November 22, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Why is it that everytime Pakistan performs and starts winning, it seem to light a fire under Indian fans' butts n they come out with thier negativity? Pakistan has'nt played at home in years n still have been doing very well. All India can do is beat up on ppl at home n then go to england n choke. Get over urselves n let just enjoy good cricket regardless of who's playing well. thx

  • masteer on November 22, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    no body has talked about the great opening bowler gul

  • Wahab Khalid on November 22, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    Brilliant and to the point article! It feels really great reading this article after a great win ... Keep it UP ...Both, Pakistan team and Kamran Abbasi

  • Ummi Khan on November 22, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    Pakistan team Should include Asad Shafiq in place of Sarfaraz and ask Umer Akmal to keep wicket... Shoaib Malik should axed out in place of Abdul Razzaq to give stability to there pace attack.. Then its one hell of the team!!!

  • nasir on November 22, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    congrats! to pakistani team & flamboyant Afridi,praise for umar gul also who make pressure on opposition with tight line & length thro out the series and make opportunity to take wickets for others. he looked completly change with his bowling after this world cup. best of luck to pakistani team.

  • Muhammad Sabih Toor on November 22, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Asad Shafique is a very talented batsman, he must be adjusted somewhere. He is the future star batsman.

  • Gohar on November 22, 2011, 7:43 GMT

    Love him or Hate him!! but you can't ignore him!! that is the power of BOOM BOOM personality!!

  • M Ahmed on November 22, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    The Best way for improving UMAR AKMAL is to bring him in front. Ask him to bat at no. 3 Here he ll get get more time to settle and play the ball as per merit. Only then he ll be developed and accustomed to play big innings. Pak is ruining his talent by bringing him at no. 5, 6. At such a young age he dosnt like the pressure and always throws his wicket.

  • Khawaja Naveed Zafar on November 22, 2011, 7:26 GMT

    Very nice article and very refreshing to see Pakistan has developed the winning habit again. One question which is mind boggling to me is on what credentials Shoaib Malik is included in this team, Why Asad Shafiq is not in the team

  • Naeem Anjum on November 22, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Afridi is a true fighter, he always fights for his nation & pride. We all love you AFRIDI.

  • Anwar ul Haq Sandhu on November 22, 2011, 7:04 GMT

    critics!!!! stop criticism for just criticism, and start admiring good performances. a person may not value much for u but let others celebrate his performance who like him. and ur criticism even after his great performance infact shows the class of the man, they say, "you either love him or hate him, BUT you can not ignore him" hez a legend of his own kind.

  • Hardik on November 22, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    After Imran Khan, Afridi is my favourite player in Pakistani team. good job Afridi.... Congratulations from India!!!!

  • Moinul on November 22, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Afridi is the real match winning player.He good more support from the team mate,so that team can perform better.Best of luck Pakistan cricket team.They will beat England.

  • SKhan on November 22, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    I too agree with the sentiment that it was an amazing performance, though I have my doubt about Misbah. The man is 37 yrs old! Thats ancient in cricket terms.

    And re Razzak, I hope Pakistan management puts more trust into him, hes a gem & arguably even more awesome than Afridi. He just needs a bit of love & care from the management.

    Same for Shoaib Malik. I love the man & while he has been distracted by his lady, there is not doubting the fact, he is going to overcome bad patch & perform soon enough, given the attention & confidence by the coach et all.

    P.S: Every run scored, every ball bowled by Afridi in this series has been slap to the face of Ijaz Butt. May we never see the likes of him again.

  • SAIFULLAH on November 22, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    All are well said, Pakistan is much better then earlier.We need the same consistency from the team...Afridi you deserves this. You are a match winner, You have been Consistency good in your bowling , Try to play like yesterday's inning in each an every match...We need to see the same performance in every match...Missing you mohamed Aameer.Come soon in the playing eleven. Almost we have a good bowling attack, only we need a good opening start and middle order batsman to support them.

  • Commentary on November 22, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    If they stop taking money to lose, then, yes, a win is there for the taking.

  • Vinod Pathiyal on November 22, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    not seen any other cricketer communicating to the crowd in such a unique way after taking a crucial wicket. all his wickets were crucial in the match against Sri Lanka. and i am in short of words to appreciate misbah for his unbiased leadership as well as the way he carries hiself on the field. i think misbah will go a long way. and younis, you rock....that catch in the slips was excellent demonstration of your reflexes.

  • Feroz Khan on November 22, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    It goes without saying pakistan could win the one day series against Srilanka only because of one man Mr. Boom Boom, that was salp on the face of his critics still he can continue playing for his country for another 5 years if he keeps him self fit. Good luck Boom Boom.

  • Imran Ali Khan on November 22, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    very well written article by Kamran.....and yes it was booming day for afridi he is a world class match winner of this era.....i totally support misbah for his calmness and patience because without that this team is really difficult to handle he respect each and every player of the team as afridi himself said in the presentation and it was misbah who was hopeful when the game was moving away from his side and asking his bowlers to have 1 wkt when sanga and mahela world class were on there.....so his captaincy is remarkable and in 3rd ODI his bowling changes gave pak victory....good luck team pakistan PAKISTAN ZINDABAd

  • Badar on November 22, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    @George Findlay dude if someone does something which is totally immature, he should be critisized, and the same player when performs the way afridi did the other night,he should be given due credit. Well in Afridi's case you can even give some undue credit, since he is such a rock star. :)

  • Bilal Chaudhry on November 22, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Team is doing great. but I am not happy with the selection of asad shafiq over fawad alam.. I cannot understand why fawad is not in the test team despite averaging 60 in domestic cricket..

  • MK RAHAMAN on November 22, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    No Doubt Afridi Is D Soul Of Pakistani Teamm..!!

  • Muhammad Feroz Khan on November 22, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    well I think Afridi did magic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shahid Afridi owned Sharjah!!! He has bought Sharjah cricket ground with his wonderful performance :PPPPPPPPPPPP

  • Adnan on November 22, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi.. you wrote what i felt... nice bro.. keep it up ...

  • Tamil on November 22, 2011, 5:09 GMT

    Its all fans to blame-including myself-for the inconsistency in Afridi's batting, the reasons are:

    "We want Afridi to try for 6 every time and keep hitting, hence he was trying to fulfil that expectations".

    No matter, he is consistent or inconsistent, I can remember one player in my life always, that is AFRIDI for his entertaining, exciting, aggressive sportsmanship and more....

  • Saqs on November 22, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    Worth reading article Kamran..Kuddos to you! Well,the suggestion are pouring from everyone..good job Pakistan. Pak hasn't lost any series under Misbah's captaincy. Something to cheer about..New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Srilanka and now England to go, if they do well against England and Australia then they will be on top of the world, but i want them to do well against India where they are lacking behind. They almost won the semi-final against India and could have won the world-cup, anyways, best of luck to team Pakistan and hoping to see the team coming up and up in future..if they play the way they are playing now they can beat any team in the world.

  • mohammed on November 22, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    I want to see pak play this sort of cricket against England want to see 4-0, 4-0, 3-0. If they really care about their cricket

  • fahim akhter on November 22, 2011, 5:01 GMT

    well done!Mr. Boom BOOMMMMMMMMMMM, now what critics have to say about enthusiastic in field, attcking bowler and a handy batsman. Do we have better choice ? i was shocked when one of our comentators said Sangakara was little slow, he didn't mention the bowl was extremely good. where is our nationalism ? God bless pakistan and pakistanis

  • Pradeep on November 22, 2011, 4:57 GMT

    You are making too much of it. This PAK team is not a world beating side. Admittedly they are a more controlled set, and Misbah is a intelligent, if unimaginative, leader. But they simply lack the talent that previous PAK sides had, to surprise and scintillate. That being said, this side will be more consistent, and can only get better. As for Sri Lanka, this is the worst period they've had since 1999, and just like then they have to make tough decisions if they want to go back to being one of the top sides in the world

  • getsetgopk on November 22, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    A fine article once again Kamran, Afridi yet again showering back its die hard fans with one delightful performance reminiscent of 80's and 90's when failure was not an option and victories were not achieved but owned. England, you've be warned!!!

  • Adnan Syed on November 22, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    The great part is Afridi getting the praise from Waqar Younis in the commentary box. Great sportsmanship from Waqar after the blame game from Afridi...

  • Shan on November 22, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    Srilanka lalafied!!! cricinfo abassified!! great article keep up the good work team Pakistan all the best for the England Series cant wait for it!!!

  • BikCrikNepal on November 22, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    Booom Boom is Boom Boom...and he is back with bang..but my concern is about approach of pak team under misbah..when u r winning the matches u wud not think about negatives bt wot if the 4th ODI was lost ot Srilanka? In this match Afridi saved the Misbah and team management from being criticized from all over the world of cricket. They were playing such a defensive cricket for which Pakistan is not known for. What S. Malik was doing there..he sud not be in the team..he is no better than Razaq not in bowling not it batting..and i think Umar Akmal should be batting between Younus and Misbah to continue to the flow of runs..Best wishes for 5th ODI

  • Sunny on November 22, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    Pakistan really played well both with the bat and as well with ball. Though I am a Indian, I am big fan of Imran Khan. At the same time people cross the lines when watching India Vs Pakistan match. Its just a game. I hope India & Pakistan should play each other frequently. Once again well done Pakistan.

  • zeeshan wasi on November 22, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    its first time to read your article which is simply adorable indeed...whatever the circumstances we are going thorough whether its Pakistan's political hiccups or surprising and heartbreaking cricket corruption news; still we feel the heat and can't miss the battleship as it's a sign of joy and relief after all.

  • PakFan on November 22, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    The best thing I heard from Afridi after winning the series is when he implied that the team wants to win the next game (even though it is a dead rubber) and bring consistency to the Pakistani equation. To be honest this is what was lacking is the recent Pakistani teams and only winning on a regular basis can let Pakistani team walk along the greats of the current era. Misbah needs to be acknowledged not only for winning the series but also for his sportsmanship as a captain as he sacrificed himself in an earlier ODI for a more settled Yonus Khan.

  • Saaid on November 22, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    Very well written. It was a pleasure seeing Afridi in such good form. Hopefully if Afridi will continue his great form then Pakistan team will do well against England in the winter.

  • terry007 on November 22, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Great write-up Kamran. Let's also give credit to Ajmal and Sarfaraz for helping Afridi in becoming a hero again. Credit Misbah for his cool temperament on harnessing the past negative energies of the three ex-captain playing under him (younis, afridi and that party-bazz malik). These ex-captains destroyed Yousef when he was the captain. Credit the coaches for the harmonious dressing room atmosphere. And above all, good things have returned to Pak cricket as the "big butt" is gone from the PCB. Good to have seen a victory snatched by Pakistan from the jaws of defeat in the 4th ODI.

  • Kashif Mast on November 22, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    Hi, i have read most of your articles, its good to know about how Pakistan cricket is excelling but my only concern is why all the writers go in same direction that when they are (Pakistan or any other countries) performing well then the article is praising and put them in so much hype....leave it and i come to the point...do you think Pakistan is going in right direction..i agreed they played very well and won the series from SriLanka but what they have achieved ...what are the prospects and future of Pakistan against South Africa and Aus or against other teams...we lost the 1999 world cup but at that time i was watching a tv show from ESPN and few cricket pundits are sitting there and they were comparing the Pakistan and Australian team before the final showdown...at that time they were sure in all departments that Pakistan goona win the world cup but unfortunately they lost but the point is your team is to be like thatthat you have to do well in all departments..be like 1999 team.

  • Zahid on November 22, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    Great article. While praising Misbah for the calmness and a dignified approach to captaincy, It must be noted that on various occasions when he needs a more positivity, he just went back to the old defensive formula. In the 4th ODI, Every one screamed for two slips to start with but he kept on operating with one and in this course two catches passed by and 8 unneccessary runs were added. Secondly, I think, Umar Gul is not performing up to the required level. Only once in 4 matches, he took a wicket in his first spell and tends to bowl short. His yorkers are a story of gone by days and you rarely see any late swing from him.

  • SYED JAFFERY on November 22, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    Great article. I hope this trend will continue and there won't be another controversy soon. You don't have much to say when the team is performing well but I still believe two players should be a part of the team , Yousuf and Razzaq. They will bring more class and strength to the team. Against stronger opposition you would like to play with the strongest team.

  • Canjecricketer on November 22, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    Love seeing Afridi back and thriving. This current Pakistan team is really looking dangerous. This time I hope they can put corruption and controversy behind them and become the truly great team they should be.

  • BILAL MIAN on November 22, 2011, 0:02 GMT

    Kamran your article is as good as afridi's best all round performace in the fourth ODI against sri lanka. Interestingly in the short list of allround performancesin ODIs, afridi features twice where has taken atleast five fickets and scored a half century which clearly illustrates the immense natual talent in him which he has only demontrated consistently in his bowling but not batting. This team really needs the likes of muhammad Aamer and wahab riaz in playing eleven to make this team to heights of glory and top rankings. Hopefuly aamer will return soon that's my instinct and wahab hopefully will be cleared to play earlier once cloud of suspicion clears away. Middle order batting lineup needs a bit of improvement with likes of hammad azam to replace razzak in long run and fawad alam to take younis khan's place in future. Pakistan is heading in the right direction, captaincy has been innovative and ego free .

  • Irfan on November 21, 2011, 23:50 GMT

    Many things to be said about this game. Obviously one of them is congratulation to Pak team! The other is not to get carried away, it is customary to rain praise on the team in one breath and in the next-curses. A restrained jubilation is called for. Team is gelling well, Misbah, though overly cautious and calculated still has a lot to learn and is doing it well. He has found the key to handle the senior personalities in the team which is worth praising and paying dividends in bushels. Because of the wins, let's not forget that n Shoaib Malik and Razzaq are yesterdays news and they should be replaced with some fresher and more ambitious legs. Sohail Tanvir hasn't lived up to his billing where Cheema has, therefore for future ties the choice is obvious. If we carefully create an alternative player for each and every position the performance is bound to improve.

  • NAEEM RASHID on November 21, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    we hate him,we love him,he broke our hearts so many times but when he pay back its always bigggggggggggggggggggggggggg

  • Salman on November 21, 2011, 23:06 GMT

    What a way to go!!! Long Live Pakistan and its cricket team, and yes, Afridi!!! The credit also goes to Cheema, who bowled beautifully and if given an extra slip, would have changed the situation much earlier. We should not forget Ahmed Shahzad and Imran Nazeer, two of our best and abandoned players.We wait for the return of the young bowler sent to jail, to induct back in. We should give Razzaq a permanent place for a couple of years, as he has the capability to create wonders, and we should continue to develop our capabilities. Few players need retirement, Shoaib Malik included. The captaincy was great, and so was the return of Afridi and Younus Khan. All did great and we are proud of you guys....keep it up!!!! inshallah.

  • Morfi on November 21, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    People still trying to find words to downgrade Afridi or declare him an overrated player (we know where you are coming from), just one phrase for you: Stop trying too hard, it shows...! ;)

  • George Findlay on November 21, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Its ironic that you are the same guy who utterly lambasted Afridi when he underwent that whole retirement or semi-retirement facade and now you are applauding him like nothing happened because he silenced the critics by not only his bowling but also his batting...I`m Welsh by the way and I don't even like Afridi but you gotta stay true to a word...

  • Desihungama on November 21, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    I agree with Nadeem Pakistan team is one batsman away to become world beaters. They need an opener to complement Hafeez. What great all-rounders cricketers achieve once in their lifetime. Afridi has done it twice and who's to say he won't do it again? Bring on India and Australia!

  • Usman Zia on November 21, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    I cannot believe the people who are still complaining about Afridi, the man has hardly put a foot wrong in ODIS for the last few years. His bowling has been magical and wheneven his batting has been as bad as peopl think. He is a bowling allrounder, not a batting allrounder. He is the number 1 spinner in the world. Does anyone realise that? Even if you talk about his batting, remember the 2 100's he scored last year against Bangla and Srilanka? He does so much damage with his bowling that batting does not matter. Pakistan need super stars and match winners like him the team to keep the people interested in the game. Go Afridi, you are the best no matter what anyone says.

  • Pak Fan on November 21, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Hallelujah and Amen to that, Kamran.

  • Faysal Malik on November 21, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    I feel some of our arch rivals are feeling jealousy it’s the beginning of good performance against strong opposition. We don’t need your comments keep your comments for your players who are only good playing in their own country. I must say that you are in the queue you will be Pakistan’s next hunt.. very soon Insha’Allah

  • fhs on November 21, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    Misbah is the best! He is a good man and enjoying having good people people (except Malik) around him. I support Misbah 100% and urge my fellows to support him. He is taking our team in top 3 ranking. Trust me, he is getting there!!!

  • Khurram Farooqui on November 21, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    For Shankar above:

    Yes Shankar, it is just one series after lots of bad news. Now can we please get back to enjoying ourselves?

  • fhs on November 21, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I think 'X' is a better choice of word (not star) for Afridi's pose. Afridi factor is making a huge differnece! Go Boom Boom!

  • Aitzaz Hussain on November 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    Super Hero of cricket!!!!

  • Amir on November 21, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Very rightly said...Afridi is and always has been capable of playing an inning like this one. I hope he is going to keep playing and serving Pakistan with such intellegent and inspiring innings.

  • Shoaib Ahmed on November 21, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    BOOOOM BOOOOM is back with a BANG. what a performer. plzzzzz bring back IMRAN NAZIR and this team will be complete. I miss Muhammad Amir sooooo much. i hope he comes back soon. everybody deservs a secound chance in life and he is such a talent.

  • AM on November 21, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    With around 50 runs required by Sri Lanka, seven wickets in hand and plenty of overs to go, I switched off the commentary that I was following on Cricinfo, because I thought this was a lost cause for Pakistan. Many hours later I went back to Cricinfo to check out Sri Lanka's margin of victory, only to receive a most pleasant shock that Afridi had demolished the Sri Lankan side. This just about sums up my feelings. Congratulations Misbah and company and especially Afridi!!!!!

    One thing I could not understand about Misbah's captaincy(whom I support) in games 2 and 4 is why he persisted with Aizaz Cheema in the middle overs when he was clearly the more expensive bowler compared to others like Muhammad Hafeez and Razzaq(who played game 2 but did not play game 4 . Otherwise Misbah has done a commendable job and let us hope he keeps it up in future as well. Good luck.

  • Juice on November 21, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    A very good article Kamran. Shahid Afridi is very important to the success of this Pakistani team. I believe right now the only thing missing a good consistent fast bowler. This team has shown a great amount of heart and ability to find its way through the adversity it has faced. Misbah and the management have been very keen in handling the comeback of Shahid. This game was a prime example of the ability and skill that 'Boom Boom' possesses. Congrats to the Pakistani team on the series victory!

  • shah ji on November 21, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    At last some one mentioned Mushtaq Mohammad "The Greatest Pak captain after Kardar"

    He was the one Who transfer Imran from a Medium pacer to Fast Bowler,real pace was seen in Sydney ,Reverse Swing at its best was seen in Melbourne. Century befor Lunch in Karachi, The rise of Miandad ,Imran, Qasim,Bari,Sarfraz ,Raja and the best of Majid , Zaheer and ASif Iqbal were seen in his leadership.

    He beat Australia and West indies "The best teams" on their home ground.

    Hats of to a great legend

  • Malik Farhan Ahmed on November 21, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    Very true Affridi realy set the match for Pakistan he is a match winner and yesterday he proved with his outstanding display.Affridi has the abbilty to take 450 odi wickets to become 2nd highest wiket taker for pakistan..........

  • Rizvi on November 21, 2011, 19:03 GMT

    Very well written. Long live Boom Boom

  • Rizwan on November 21, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    A responsible inning from afridi after a long time, good to see, Love you Afridi, Love Pakistan

  • Sam on November 21, 2011, 18:48 GMT

    Overexaggerated praise for a overhyped player. Very good bowling; Inconsistent batting, Misbah is real deal. Pak would've won with or without him.

  • farhat jafri on November 21, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Since yesterday I was waiting for your article, but it is limited to one match only, I was expecting the overall view from your eyes.Hope will get a full review soon.

  • waheed ahmad on November 21, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    Really nice article once again. Afridi is really a great player he is playing for Pakistan for more then 15 years now and still looks like a teenager fresh player.May he Live Long and help pakistan to be the number1 side of Cricket

  • muhammad zahid on November 21, 2011, 18:42 GMT

    no doubt Afridi is a great player.he is major influence on pakistan time.

  • BASHIR ALAM on November 21, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    yeah i agree afridi did a wonderful job but the match was not as much important as the semi-final where he fails and under perform specially in batting. he needs to look at DHONI, when situation is big come up with something huge. now good thing is that he is not a captain of the side and this will help him to analyze his game more. PCB needs to keep misbah the captain in all formats because of his excellent skills of leading.

  • Rizwan on November 21, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Ths article gives me goosebumps!

  • aftab on November 21, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Knock knock...BCCI!!

  • Owais on November 21, 2011, 18:13 GMT

    Very beutifully written piece. Yes vividly remember Pakistan outfit under Imran and to some extent Javed, when our lower order used to fight for each and every run. Players like Saleem Yousuf, Wasim Akram, Rashid Khan and Abdul Qadir, all moved up the order from their number 11 positions ! in times of need, even Tauseef and Iqbal Qasim would score a few important runs. That spirit has been missing from Pakistan teams of late nineties and totally absent in the recent past. World cup semi final was a prime example, one good 50+ partnership would have seen us through against India. Good to see this spirit showing again. As for Afridi, I would say there still is time for him to become a thinking batsmen. The capability is there, just the brain part is missing. Afridi the bowler does not need anything, just keep going. Lastly I would say Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq unfortunately seem to be past their sell by dates. Razzaq keeps getting run out - why cant he put in more effort ?

  • farman ali on November 21, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Afridi is one the good player in the world and he proved that he is one of best all rounder in the world.he has ability to hit the ball hot build pressure on the opposition and get big score on the board .

  • Waqas Ahmed on November 21, 2011, 18:06 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi you truly rock, Feels like I am in Sharjah :) Very good article

  • Nadeem on November 21, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    The only thing i am worried about right now is the self-destructive nature of Pakistan cricket. I hope we the fans and the Pakistani cricketers don't get too carried away. Hope the team become more consistent. With no clear dominating force in world cricket, and one of the best allround bowling attack in the world. Pakistan is only one solid batsmen away from becoming the best team in the world.

  • moiz on November 21, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    The maverick lala will always be a match winner. His bowling has really blossomed over the last three years but his batting (which rarely fires) was a reflection of his T20 semi final and final innings.

  • Maz Bonafide on November 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    smashed it

  • Zaidazim on November 21, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    I tink razzaq shud replace farhat.hafeez n malik/umar akmal open n 1 down.

  • shankar on November 21, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Whoa, Whoa....its just one series against an out of form opponent...anyway, one can understand the ecstasy after all the dark days with players being sent to jail & stuff....

  • Mithilesh Kumar on November 21, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    As great an article as Afridi's performance.

  • Mohsin on November 21, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    Very well written as usual!

  • Rana Sohail on November 21, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    Awsome.....There were no words about Cheema he did so well....plz write about batting attitude of Misbah he looks like a burden on pak team....

  • sohail khan on November 21, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    very well said,yes afridi is the super star and he once again proved it,he won the match single handed.he is the main asset of Pakistan cricket team.wish him many more victories like this in future.afridi rocks...

  • zeekay on November 21, 2011, 17:32 GMT

    Kamran - what a gem of an article you have written !

    Im totally smitten by its beauty ! Wah

  • RB01 on November 21, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    Afridi is a fine player and was great in the match. But lets not rewrite history, everyone now knows how Pakistan "earned/bought" those miracle wins in Sharjah. I believe the ground was even banned for a while.

  • Abaid Awan on November 21, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Brilliant Knock by Afridi and a Brilliant Post by Kamran Abbasi...Keep it up u both

  • alm on November 21, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    sssssssss Sexy bowling frm Afridi... gifted person 4 d cricket....

  • Iftkhar on November 21, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    No need for Shoaib Malik in the team just make Adul-Razzaq a permanent fixture he will flourish given the chance, I cannot recall any match-winning innings from Shoaib Malik I think its time for him now to just watch tennis.

  • umar on November 21, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    Whilst Afridi bowling is brilliant his batting has gone down hill, he is not in the same league as Chris Gayle any more, he should bat like he did more diligently and his hitting days are relatively over, by that I mean he useless in putting a bowling attack under pressure.

    No doubt great win, but he has to be more consistent in big tournaments, i.e like the world cup with his batting, rewind to 2009, he batted like he did yesterday and won, fast forward slightly to 2011 world cup in the semi final against India he threw his wicket away.

    In short MR Afridi you slog days are over.

  • Laeeq Ahmed on November 21, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Please correct its 'through the line' rather than 'though the line'.

  • AbbyP on November 21, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    A very well written article - as you clearly pointed out a lot of credit needs to go to Misbah and Mohsin in the way they are allowing the individuals in this team to flourish and take responsibility...the game at Sharjah was a throwback to the late 90s and early 00s, when Pakistan would fight to defend small totals (games against Srilanka and SA come to mind), and the countless times when Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq et al would bail us out with the bat...

    Mohsin Khan seems to have developed a strong working relationship with the players, any chance that he might be appointed as the full time coach going forward...?

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on November 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    Wow! what a game. Shahid Afridi silenced his critics and almost single handedly won a game for Pakistan. Afridi is certainly one of the best ODI player of his generation. No wonder Afridi is the only player to have scored more than 50 runs twice and taken 5 wickets in a limited overs game. It was Afridi's night and no one can take it away from him. The Srilankan's at the end looked understandably shocked in utter disbelief. They lost the game from a winning position, losing the last 7 wickets after adding only 19 runs. It goes to prove that even in the modern era, one Man can change the complexion of the game. Congratulations to team Pakistan for their grit. May the magic of Shahid Afridi rub on his mates and bring out top performance from them in the future.

  • Salman Malik on November 21, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    This team has done great things so far and is on the right track. If they can be competetive against England and beat them in Tests in the coming months, Pakistan will have arrived. For once the Test team looks better than the ODI unit. Those people who think Test matches are dead or dying need their heads examined...there is no other cricket that matches Test Cricket and it is soooo pleasing to see Pakistan do well in Tests..the old formula is right---do well in Tests and success in other formats will autamatically follow. This is specially pleasing given the tribulations Pakistan team and fans have had to go through. If Pakistan continue to do well in Tests...they will inevitably do well in the 2015 World Cup.

  • Adeeb on November 21, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    brilliant article........

  • Hassan Farooqi on November 21, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    "Misbah has allowed the strong personalities in his team, like Afridi and Younis Khan, to flourish, demonstrate leadership, and take ownership. Misbah’s captaincy is shorn of ego". Right on! What you did not mention was that it was the ability of Afridi and Younis to reciprocate. Something Shoaib Malik et el were not able to.

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  • Hassan Farooqi on November 21, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    "Misbah has allowed the strong personalities in his team, like Afridi and Younis Khan, to flourish, demonstrate leadership, and take ownership. Misbah’s captaincy is shorn of ego". Right on! What you did not mention was that it was the ability of Afridi and Younis to reciprocate. Something Shoaib Malik et el were not able to.

  • Adeeb on November 21, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    brilliant article........

  • Salman Malik on November 21, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    This team has done great things so far and is on the right track. If they can be competetive against England and beat them in Tests in the coming months, Pakistan will have arrived. For once the Test team looks better than the ODI unit. Those people who think Test matches are dead or dying need their heads examined...there is no other cricket that matches Test Cricket and it is soooo pleasing to see Pakistan do well in Tests..the old formula is right---do well in Tests and success in other formats will autamatically follow. This is specially pleasing given the tribulations Pakistan team and fans have had to go through. If Pakistan continue to do well in Tests...they will inevitably do well in the 2015 World Cup.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on November 21, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    Wow! what a game. Shahid Afridi silenced his critics and almost single handedly won a game for Pakistan. Afridi is certainly one of the best ODI player of his generation. No wonder Afridi is the only player to have scored more than 50 runs twice and taken 5 wickets in a limited overs game. It was Afridi's night and no one can take it away from him. The Srilankan's at the end looked understandably shocked in utter disbelief. They lost the game from a winning position, losing the last 7 wickets after adding only 19 runs. It goes to prove that even in the modern era, one Man can change the complexion of the game. Congratulations to team Pakistan for their grit. May the magic of Shahid Afridi rub on his mates and bring out top performance from them in the future.

  • AbbyP on November 21, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    A very well written article - as you clearly pointed out a lot of credit needs to go to Misbah and Mohsin in the way they are allowing the individuals in this team to flourish and take responsibility...the game at Sharjah was a throwback to the late 90s and early 00s, when Pakistan would fight to defend small totals (games against Srilanka and SA come to mind), and the countless times when Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Saqlain Mushtaq et al would bail us out with the bat...

    Mohsin Khan seems to have developed a strong working relationship with the players, any chance that he might be appointed as the full time coach going forward...?

  • Laeeq Ahmed on November 21, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Please correct its 'through the line' rather than 'though the line'.

  • umar on November 21, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    Whilst Afridi bowling is brilliant his batting has gone down hill, he is not in the same league as Chris Gayle any more, he should bat like he did more diligently and his hitting days are relatively over, by that I mean he useless in putting a bowling attack under pressure.

    No doubt great win, but he has to be more consistent in big tournaments, i.e like the world cup with his batting, rewind to 2009, he batted like he did yesterday and won, fast forward slightly to 2011 world cup in the semi final against India he threw his wicket away.

    In short MR Afridi you slog days are over.

  • Iftkhar on November 21, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    No need for Shoaib Malik in the team just make Adul-Razzaq a permanent fixture he will flourish given the chance, I cannot recall any match-winning innings from Shoaib Malik I think its time for him now to just watch tennis.

  • alm on November 21, 2011, 17:25 GMT

    sssssssss Sexy bowling frm Afridi... gifted person 4 d cricket....

  • Abaid Awan on November 21, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    Brilliant Knock by Afridi and a Brilliant Post by Kamran Abbasi...Keep it up u both