World Twenty20 2012 September 28, 2012

Umars come of age

South Africa succumbed to spin but they also succumbed to two Umars who came of age
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South Africa succumbed to spin but they also succumbed to two Umars who came of age. When Pakistan's batsmen fritter away their opportunity, Umar Gul sometimes smites a few long balls as a release valve on everybody's frustration.

It was only a matter of time before those Pathan smacks would make the difference in a match. From now on, when Pakistan's top order is in brainless mode, it will offer some solace to remember: never fear, Gullay is near.

At 76 for 7 Pakistan were all but done, a meagre target made monumental. South Africa's spinners had matched, even surpassed, their celebrated counterparts from Pakistan. But it was typical of Pakistan to choose the least plausible route to victory, and a strong position in this difficult group.

Indeed, Pakistan's comedic batting performance reminded everybody why this Pakistan team is succeeding despite its flaws, with the biggest questions surrounding the longevity of two of its most experienced players, Messrs Malik and Afridi: one too slow the other too rash.

The partnership between Umars saved blushes. Gul provided an adrenalin rush. However, it might be Umar Akmal who benefits most from sensibly guiding his team in unexpectedly challenging circumstances. Akmal attacked early in each over, an age-old method to ease pressure, and otherwise resisted throwing his wicket away. For a man known as an unreliable finisher, Akmal's measured final-over six off Morne Morkel set up a finish to relish.

Dav Whatmore has work to do. He knows that. But his team are doing what they do best, strutting the fine and life-shortening line between success and failure.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad irfan on December 1, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    my commet is so late, but i wana clear that Shahid AFRIDI & Umar AKMAL Are the most talented players of the world. we love both of them. all pakistan love both of them. few people using social media, internet arenot the father's of cricket. make a survey in pakistan every thing will clear. many people are jealous of Afridi&Umar Akmal fame. Afridi and Akmal's are best

  • Taimur Malik = Aus on October 30, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    make umar gul or Umar akmal captain of the team, this will be long term planning but i wish board have some brains, we know misbah and hafeez are both failures. Misbah got too much wishful thinking and Hafeez is just not the man with his own poor form. Umar's are the team man's and they can build team for upcoming tournaments. i wish board learns some lesson and stops making short lived decisions by appointing captains... learn from south africa or australia

  • Nasir on October 7, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Yes gull has come of age, still doesn't get grips of what is good length and line, he often bowls a wide when he uses bouncer. Cannot swing the new ball and not even an opening fast bowler.

    One dimensional cricketer when it comes to his bowling, he has earned his success by bowling later part of the innings.

  • shahid on October 5, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    afridi is a BADA BOJH on pak team shoulder. he has lost all cricket in him . he shuld be retire from all type of cricket.

  • jazim hussain on October 1, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    we cannot expect the same in every game from gul, pakistan need to inject fresh blood in the team, as old seems to be viral now. afridi is not performing but still lablled as a match winner, razzaq is warming the bench and arafat is playing and doing nothing, imran nazir is playing a blind mans game, and the captain hafeez is defending his position as a captain...........

  • jazim hussain on October 1, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    we cannot expect the same in every game from gul, pakistan need to inject fresh blood in the team, as old seems to be viral now. afridi is not performing but still lablled as a match winner, razzaq is warming the bench and arafat is playing and doing nothing, imran nazir is playing a blind mans game, and the captain hafeez is defending his position as a captain...........

  • Peter D,Souza on September 30, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    To expect Pakistan Team management tom think is probably asking too much . For Pakistan itbwas vital to win india . This would have been possible if Pakistan had selected it's best players for this and earlier matches. Abdul Razaq annexcellent all rounder and a player with vast experience who has played so many winjing roles for Pakistan wasva clossol mistake .now , Pakistan,s only chance is a win against Australia which isbabtall order but also the win has to be with a very big margin tom ensure a big imrovement in the net run rate .

  • Shabbir Ahmed on September 30, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Imran Nazir by failing in batting and further by dropping a catch helped India to achieve the net run rate to get ahead ofPakistan .

  • Iftikhar Malikn on September 30, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Pakistan,s only chance was a victory against India which would have been possible but for poor Team selection . Including a batsman with a flawed technique such as Imran Nazir was a big blunder . Shoaib in place ofbAbdul Razaq was the second mountain of a blunder . Now Pakistan,s next match is against Australia . Australia will take Pakistan ton the cleaners .

  • Ahmed Yar Khan on September 30, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    What a shame , the best all rounder Pakistan has Abdul Razaq has not been given an opportunity to show his abilities . He is far more consistent as compared to Afridii in both batting and fielding . Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir are the very surprising inclusion in the Team. Why these two were preferred over Abdul Razaq only Hafeez can explain .

  • Muhammad irfan on December 1, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    my commet is so late, but i wana clear that Shahid AFRIDI & Umar AKMAL Are the most talented players of the world. we love both of them. all pakistan love both of them. few people using social media, internet arenot the father's of cricket. make a survey in pakistan every thing will clear. many people are jealous of Afridi&Umar Akmal fame. Afridi and Akmal's are best

  • Taimur Malik = Aus on October 30, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    make umar gul or Umar akmal captain of the team, this will be long term planning but i wish board have some brains, we know misbah and hafeez are both failures. Misbah got too much wishful thinking and Hafeez is just not the man with his own poor form. Umar's are the team man's and they can build team for upcoming tournaments. i wish board learns some lesson and stops making short lived decisions by appointing captains... learn from south africa or australia

  • Nasir on October 7, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Yes gull has come of age, still doesn't get grips of what is good length and line, he often bowls a wide when he uses bouncer. Cannot swing the new ball and not even an opening fast bowler.

    One dimensional cricketer when it comes to his bowling, he has earned his success by bowling later part of the innings.

  • shahid on October 5, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    afridi is a BADA BOJH on pak team shoulder. he has lost all cricket in him . he shuld be retire from all type of cricket.

  • jazim hussain on October 1, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    we cannot expect the same in every game from gul, pakistan need to inject fresh blood in the team, as old seems to be viral now. afridi is not performing but still lablled as a match winner, razzaq is warming the bench and arafat is playing and doing nothing, imran nazir is playing a blind mans game, and the captain hafeez is defending his position as a captain...........

  • jazim hussain on October 1, 2012, 20:00 GMT

    we cannot expect the same in every game from gul, pakistan need to inject fresh blood in the team, as old seems to be viral now. afridi is not performing but still lablled as a match winner, razzaq is warming the bench and arafat is playing and doing nothing, imran nazir is playing a blind mans game, and the captain hafeez is defending his position as a captain...........

  • Peter D,Souza on September 30, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    To expect Pakistan Team management tom think is probably asking too much . For Pakistan itbwas vital to win india . This would have been possible if Pakistan had selected it's best players for this and earlier matches. Abdul Razaq annexcellent all rounder and a player with vast experience who has played so many winjing roles for Pakistan wasva clossol mistake .now , Pakistan,s only chance is a win against Australia which isbabtall order but also the win has to be with a very big margin tom ensure a big imrovement in the net run rate .

  • Shabbir Ahmed on September 30, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Imran Nazir by failing in batting and further by dropping a catch helped India to achieve the net run rate to get ahead ofPakistan .

  • Iftikhar Malikn on September 30, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Pakistan,s only chance was a victory against India which would have been possible but for poor Team selection . Including a batsman with a flawed technique such as Imran Nazir was a big blunder . Shoaib in place ofbAbdul Razaq was the second mountain of a blunder . Now Pakistan,s next match is against Australia . Australia will take Pakistan ton the cleaners .

  • Ahmed Yar Khan on September 30, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    What a shame , the best all rounder Pakistan has Abdul Razaq has not been given an opportunity to show his abilities . He is far more consistent as compared to Afridii in both batting and fielding . Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir are the very surprising inclusion in the Team. Why these two were preferred over Abdul Razaq only Hafeez can explain .

  • Jamiluddin Ansari on September 30, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    The only blessing from Pakistan failing to qualify for the semi finals will be that hopefully the deadwood in the Team such as Afridi , Shoaib Malik , Imran Nazir , Kamran Akmal will be removed and retired for good l hoefully , after that the team building long postponed will begin .

  • Abdul Majid Jhumra on September 30, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Pakistan with their very low score has been a big helots aindia . They will win the match and within the number of overs to imrove their net run rate and qualify for semi finals . Abdul Razaq,s absence was bady missed in this and earlier matches. How he preferred Shoaib Malik and Yasir Arafat over Abdul Razaq was a grandmother of blunders .

  • Javed Hasan on September 30, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Pakistan has had a fair share of luck in this match son far . Now at thiss more cometitive stage Pakistan will pay a price at its very poor Team selection . Afridi untill about two years back wasa bowler who could not be relied upon anymore as a batsman . Since the last two,years he has been declining Asa bowler as well . Kamran Akmal is a very poor wicket keeper . However , there is very low level of consistency in his batting . Similarly , why discarded cricketers Shoaib Malik and Imran Malik were selected for this tournament is a big mystery. ImranmNazir,s technique is badlyflawed.,as for Shoaib Malik he cannot bowl at International levels and he is too slow a batsman for T20s. Unfortunately , Hafeez dislikes Abdul Razaq - a truly outstanding ODIs and T 20s . This has been a big disadvantage for Pakistanm.,

  • Humayun Butt on September 30, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    Hafeez has committed a blunder of enormous proportions keeping the Team unchanged and retaining Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik . These two are well known to have flawed techniques inmbatting and cannot survive against first tier Teams . Abdul Razaq and another faster bowler was badly needed inn this match against India. India has stacked it's Team with 7 batsmen . We will need a very big total . Why Hafeez is alergic to the inclusion of Abdul Razaq is a big mystery .

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on September 30, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    Hafeez blundered in this all,important match with India in continuing with Imran Nazir andShoaib Maik .in the last three years these two ' players' have never performed against first tier Teams . The Team badly needs a second fast bowler . Imfia has seven batsmen . Abdul Razaq was badly needed . When you are captaining Pakistan you need to be above cronyism . Sami would also have been an useful addition as suggested by WaqarbYounus . God help Pakistan to escape from this petty cronyism . Let us hope it doesn't,t do too much damage .

  • Nahdi on September 30, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    lol @ our impatiently passionate nation.. Every body is after Afridi considering him a reckless batsman. Forgetting the fact..that first... ""HE'Z A BOWLER!!!!"" Batting is just a fluke bonus if it comes out of a blue-moon. Hence he very much deserves a place in playing 11 specially in a format like T-20. Should rather bring in Razzaq in place of Arafat or Shoaib Malik.

  • shahzad on September 30, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    this is very nice article. i hope pakistan team performance better than next time for starting batsmen. other wise so difficult for will be next match wining. we are all pakistani & everyone looking as winner team. take care & bless 4 pakistani team.

  • Ashraf Ahmed Janjua on September 30, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The Indians know Pakistannhas no choice but to include Kamran Akmal ( catches will be dropped and stumping chances will be missed with his fumbles ) .this is one Trump card forthem . The other two Trump cards will come their way if Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik are included included in the Team . Abdul Razaq,s exclusion is the fourth Trump Card for them . Pakistan can keepmon hoping Afridi will finally perform . The Indian bowling attack is weak .however , Afridi has not performed as a batsman for three years . He is now more focused on advertzing andbsponsorships . This is where he makes serious money . It will be futile to expect any contribution from him.

  • Azfar Hasan Ahmed on September 30, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi , perhaps one of your contributors can provide an explanation how continuing failed cricketers over the last three years such as Afridi , Imran Nazir andShoaibMalikandImranNazir Malik continue to find a place in the Pakistan Team . However,, outstanding players with proven records such as Junaid are not given a place. Another unexplained mystery is the continuing exclusion of Abdul Razaq . Why is Hafeez notinhisfavour ? He is treated very badly . On the odd occasion he is selected he is asked tobatat number 8 and whence comes in only maybe 8 balls are left when he has very limited opportunity to'show his mettle and outstanding capabilities . God help the Pakstan Team .

  • Javed Hasan on September 30, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Shoaib Malik cannot be described as a bowler . The one over he bowled in the pre match he was taken to the cleaners . Asa batsman against first Tier Teams he bats painfully slowly and cannot last long . Imran Nazir,s technique is flawed and all the oposition Teams know how to handle him . These two will bea liability for Pakistan in the match and matches ahead . Why Hafeez is determined to exclude Abdul Razaq USA mystery , unfortunately it's Pakistann which wil pay the price for Hafeez,s unfairr cussedness .

  • Jamal on September 30, 2012, 3:33 GMT

    Among many other, the main reason which no one ponders upon is Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik. these two are in the team because of a mister's SIFAARISH. please note in the games Pakistan collapsed, the sluggish batting of Shoaib, In this match he scored 12 of 29 balls. That's 5 overs in your T20I game. He made sure Pakistan's defeat. Both these guys play very tactfully and hit in the games where they see Pakistan has already won and if they did something, they will be caught. Now HOW CAN ICC catch someone who intentionally plays SLOW and gives the game away??

    Razzak needs to be in this game and Shoaib OUT if you wish for Pakistan to win.

  • Syed Ayaan Ali on September 30, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik are all flat track bullies who cannot bat agaisnt quality bowling. I don't remember a single innings which they played in trying conditions and against quality attack. Get in the youngsters in their place. Ahmad Shahzad for Imran Nazir, Sarfraz Ahmad for Kamran Akmal and Asad Shafiq for Shoaib Malik.

  • Ahsan Malik on September 29, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    Afridi used to be a very good all rounder . Upto about three years back he remained a good bowler who could bat a bit . Since the last two years he isa bowler who can no longer bat and make a two digits score . Shoaib Malik has not been an all rounder since the last three years . In bowling he would contribute to the victory onthe opposition by conceding more than ten runs an over - minimum . He can only succseed in batting against second and third tier teams . Imran Nazir has very poor technique and most world side love to see him lay for Pakistan . He can onlly survive to two digit scores through dropped catches . He was on one against Bangla Desh when he was dropped against an easy catch . Kamran Akmal has the credit of enjoying the title of being the worlds worst wicket keeper . In every match he cuts such a poor figure fumbling and dropping the ball , iris wonderful Pakistan has reached the position Otis in inspire of the negative performance of so many .

  • z syed on September 29, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    What everyone seemed to have missed in the adrenelin rush was the striking shade of Majid Khan in Umar Gul's nonchalance and grace when executing the shots. The same sleepy and effortless ease was on display. May be their pathan mothers were distantly related!But this guy needs to take his batting seriously.

  • afaqabbasi on September 29, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    this was a magical movement of pakistan victory. no man can't be expected that gull will be backbone for pakistan.

  • Asif on September 29, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    thanks God that we all not the selection committee.. all of us have different ideas...

    Let's do what we do best -- celebrate the win if we win -- or shy away when we loose !!

    Cheer up guys... let the boys play their game... you have to admit that any such performance is a miracle from this team due to the absence of international cricket games in Pakistan..

  • Hamid on September 29, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Can some one tell Pakistan skipper " Shoaib Malik can Bowl" Every south african struggled against spin yet no over from malik why ....

  • Syed Qasim on September 29, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Poor Dav Whatmore he should consult The doctor after Every Match its Not easy to coach Pakistan lol!

  • Dr. talha on September 29, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Somebody tell me whats was the purpose of the first round in this world T20?? When teams are not carrying the points to the second round. Wsatage of time!!!

  • NURUL ISLAM on September 29, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    AFRIDI SHOULD EITHER BE PROMOTED TO OPEN THE INNINGS. WHATEVER RUNS HE SCORES SHOULD BE TREATED AS BONUS. OTHERWISE HE SHOULD BE DROPPED ALTOGETHER.

    PAKISTANIS ARE WASTING THE TALENT OF A PLAYER LIKE ABDUR RAZZAK. HE HAS BEEN A GREAT SERVANT OF PAKISTANI CRICKET. HE SHOULD BE SELECTED IN PLACE OF YASSER ARAFAT. YASSER IS A GOOD BOWLER BUT DOES NOT HAVE BATTING ABILITIES.WITH AFRIDI NOT PERFORMING AT ALL,A BATSMEN LIKE RAZZAK IS SURELY NEEDED DOWN THE ORDER.

  • Noman on September 29, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    High tense game won by Pakistan..Sadness on my face cant be mentioned when Pakistan was 76/7, but i always keep hope that our team can do anything at any time and when gul started his hitting,,,i got thrilled so as my family members...It was just unbelievable to watch kallis being smacked for 2 consecutive sixes by Gul...

    What pakistan team needs is to replace afridi with Abdul Razzaq and Malik with Asad shafiq as Malik is playing as genuine batsmen not as a all rounder but his performance is not upto the mark.If asad shafiq comes in, he will bring more stability in Pakistan,s batting.. Hope to see another thriller on Sunday b/w Pakistan and India...

  • SN Qazi on September 29, 2012, 11:22 GMT

    Pakistan has been lucky a few times to have arrived where they are . Perhaps the argument in keeping Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir is they bring in luck . However , Shoaib Malik since the last three years has not performed . As for Imran Nazir he can perform against second tier Teamsonly . If they are retained inthe more difficult phase ahead they will be adding strength for the oppositions.

  • dmqi on September 29, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Like many other posts I also do not understand why the two players Malik and Kamran was brought back without giving chances to young players. Kamran dropped crucial chances in this match too. How many years will it take for a nation to find out a batsman-keeper out of more than 130 million people? But given their records both will possibly get chance to play against India. I would like to see Razzaque but he is not at his best too. In place of Afridi? Hard call.

  • addasKhan on September 29, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    I am Pakistani Brit.... with my heart in Pakistan of course, and whenever we took that 'Holiday' to Pakistan my cousins would take me to their 5,10,15 over tournaments...I witnessed some amazing 'gulli danda' cricket.....the shots these boys would hit with the shalwaar kameez on was beyond belief....what i am trying to say is T20 is right up our street...literally!!!!.... I used to bat last even though i represented Essex county cricket for a number of years! So happy for Hafeez, just knew that 'chanda' would make it to international level when he used to play with us here in the UK!

  • A.Rauf Razzak on September 29, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    Pakistan team unpredictability is what we love we lose when we suppose to win easily and we snatch victory from losing Certainty, its just a GAME enjoy the "Thrill" PAKISTAN provide you we Pakistanis to do not like "consistency" , or "uniformity" or "standardization" its fun to see match settle at the end, you wont get it from any other Team.

  • fahad on September 29, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    We have not won the world cup or even made it to the semis ! Lets not get too carried away

  • mubashar khan on September 29, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    i think both Malik and Afridi are wasting their time and nation time, should resign themselves......... what a waste... should give a chance to Asad Shafiq and Abdul Razzaq.

  • khayam zafar on September 29, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Yesterday game between Pakistan and South Africa had everything but drama for me because let me explain to you. I watched full South African innings and was very happy that we are going to win this one easily but due to Pakistan kinky batsmen they love excitement we were suddenly 76-7 and the game was gone for good but because of Friday prayer I decided to record the remaining match and watch recorded live after juma prayer. When I came back with my cousin to see what happened. While watching the recording I got call from my aunty first saying congratulations Pakistan won, I couldn't believe my ears and said how come because we were in a hopeless situation but first thing I said Khala you have spoiled my fun now I am not going to get heart attack or chew my nails but deep down I was very happy and after that calls from all my very happy friends and family. Moral keep praying and switch off phones while watching recorded live matches. ;-)

  • khurram on September 29, 2012, 8:21 GMT

    nice article no doubt. But honestly pakistans each win is full of errors and the danger is that when these errors came up in 1 game altogether then it might be over. Fast bowlers are not doing any great. Spinners are doing something but not perfect, Afridi & ajmal are not into many wickets.In batting, sometinmes they are star & sometimes they are just poor like yesterday. Umar guls inings cant come regularly. pak is totally unprrdictable.Razak should come in team for some one. raza bowled well but VS india we dont need this many spinners. they are good players of spin.

  • Shamshad Ali Khan on September 29, 2012, 8:14 GMT

    Eliminate Non performers Shoaib Malik , Imran Nazir and Afridi for the next match and Pakistan will rock !!!

  • Saifullah on September 29, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    Wt a match.. 1st giv u hope of victory then made you feelingless and lastly giv u trumph fr0m n0where..!! AFRIDI is d key 4 Pak in dis format.. He is much better than Razzak with the ball.. He is real terror figure so shud b in team.. Drop Malik, he has bec0me a burden, gvng n0 performance at all..

  • Saddique Ahmed on September 29, 2012, 7:58 GMT

    Very good article Kamran Sahib. Some of our players needed to be brought down to earth two days ago it was Nazir now Gul tomorrow someone else? I think we need to fully support our team and to bowl out the top SA team with players like Amla,Kallis, AB, for a low score is a feat in its self.

    Go on Pakistan make us proud

  • Sajjad Abbasi on September 29, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    EVERYBODY IS DISCSSING ABOUT YESTERDAY MATCH , IT WAS GREAT GAME . HERE IS MY TEAM FOR NEXT TWO GAMES.

    1 IMRAN NAZIR 2 HAFEEZ 3 NASIR 4 KAMRAN AKMAL 5 UMAR AKMAL 6 ASAD 7 ABDUL RAZAAK 8 AFRIDI 9 GUL 10 AJMAL 11 YASIR ARFAT/HASAN RAZA

    I HOPE 90 % YOU WILL AGREE WITH ME , JUST PRAY 4 PAKISTAN TEAM FOR NEXT GAMES.GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN.

  • sofiyan on September 29, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    "But it was typical of Pakistan to choose the least plausible route to victory, and a strong position in this difficult group."

    When I read this, I burst out laughing because I felt you were describing me :)!

  • juned on September 29, 2012, 6:32 GMT

    U r right bilal I like ur comment "stop deciding on 1 match perfomance and haffez n jamshed plays a stupid short no need of dat short or risky short dat time they make pakistan in pressure.all d way dat was d luck dat pakistan have won.thanks to allah d almighty.

  • Mateen on September 29, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    Nothing to do with Umar Gul and/or Umar Akmal heroics. Pakistan should thank (their lucky stars)and especially to S.African captain AB de Villiers for LOSING the game. Knowing well that “spinners ( and not the quicks )” were effective on this wicket, de Villiers made that horrendous decision to persevere with Kallis & Morkle and that mistake ( Kallis over ) gave Pakistan the sniff from hopeless position of 76/7. The only positive( for Pakistan) was Haffeez decision/strategy to bowl 15 overs of spin which completely caught the South African off guard and restricted them to 133. Again de Villiers should have batted higher ( at No. 4 ) which could have enhanced S.A. chances of getting a higher total (Behardien was very ordinary).

  • Mateen on September 29, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Nothing to do with Umar Gul and/or Umar Akmal heroics. Pakistan should thank (their lucky stars)and especially to S.African captain AB de Villiers for LOSING the game. Knowing well that “spinners ( and not the quicks )” were effective on this wicket, de Villiers made that horrendous decision to persevere with Kallis & Morkle and that mistake ( Kallis over ) gave Pakistan the sniff from hopeless position of 76/7. The only positive( for Pakistan) was Haffeez decision/strategy to bowl 15 overs of spin which completely caught the South African off guard and restricted them to 133. Again de Villiers should have batted higher ( at No. 4 ) which could have enhanced S.A. chances of getting a higher total (Behardien was very ordinary). Nothing to do with Umar Gul and/or Umar Akmal heroics.

  • Nauman on September 29, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Guys.... I think that shoaib malik should b given chance against india coz he has good stats against india.... Razak is not performing and see his last match against aussies in uae in t20.... afriidi is more balling star than his batting... In t20 only saeed, afridi and gul have passed 50 wickets.

  • Nauman on September 29, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Guys.... I think that shoaib malik should b given chance against india coz he has good stats against india.... Razak is not performing and see his last match against aussies in uae in t20.... afriidi is more balling star than his batting... In t20 only saeed, afridi and gul have passed 50 wickets.

  • zaid_sl on September 29, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Team selection is all about horses for causes. When afridi n shoaib Malik aren't performing why keep them the playing . Drop them n bring Asad shafiq And razzak.Asad shafiq is required badly when wickets start tumbling like a pack of cards

  • Farooq Ahmad on September 29, 2012, 5:14 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan!!!!!!! no need to be so happy, this is only one match, One person wins the match, and everyone praise him like he is the only one and next match if he is out on ZERO, then all of us would asking PCB to kick him out.

  • ali_a on September 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    Kamran Sahab, a little disappointed after you did not publish my very first comment in your last post. What happened you started censoring our thoughts?

    I will say it one more time: Pakistan's biggest disappointment is the appointment of players that have tried to undermine the team for their personal gains -- Malik and Kamran Akmal. You"ll see them perform only in matches that are non-consequential. Malik's inclusion (if he is not bowling) and Razzaq exclusion is a mystery to me. Another questionable selection is kamran Akaml. Are we to believe that Pakistani team has no replacement for Malik and K Akmal? If Pak is to succeed in this tournament, they need to play Razzaq instead of Malik and ask Afridi to bat sensibly as he did in 2009 cup. The brainless and reckless shots of Hafeez and Jamshed was a warning side for Whatmore. Pak needs to bat much sensibly if they are to defeat Aus and India.

  • imran on September 29, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    So, the best attack of the world is smashed by a tale ender. Steyn, morkel and co are unable to stop Gul.

  • Asif on September 29, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    The best option for pak is to try out afridi @ the top alongwith nazir.Most of the time he gets out caught @ the boundry line which will not happen in the power play overs.Any way he is playing as a specialist bowler & a very good fielder & hence hafeez should ask afridi to open & even if he gets out it will make no difference as batting # 7 puts him under tremendous pressure & he fails very often.Pak should include razzaq instead of malik or raza against india as they play well against spinners.

  • Dr. talha on September 29, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    When will Hafeez star performing against major oppositions?? And when will he score big without a dropped catch??

  • Jahangir Khan on September 29, 2012, 4:04 GMT

    Enjoyed the match enormously ., watching the performance of our batsmen I was disappointed again with the performance of Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir and KamrannAkmal .,he also hada bad matchmasa wicketkeeper . Shoaib and Imran Nazirey are botth spent forces for the last few years and can only survive against second tier Teams ., my questions are :!Why was Junaid not selected for the at 20s Tournament z? And Why Abdulm Razaq continues to be given step brotherly treatment by Hafeez ? Cronyism is a big problem in both selection process at PCB level and also atthe Captain,s level . Winning the match against India is very important . Hafeez should not add strength for India by playing Shoaib andImran Nazir .

  • Nadeem on September 29, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    Not sure what shoaib Malik is doing out there? It is amazing how badly we are missing Junaid Khan, the leader of the pack now in Test and ODI also. He should have been there instead of Sami or whoever. Need Asad Shafiq in place of Malik and Abdul Razaq in place of Yasir Arafat. Afridi still has in him. Could come good anyday just like Gulay.

  • feroz alam on September 29, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    i agree it is hard to be a pakistani fan as our team test our nerves and may cause seriuos dammage to people with weak heart. unfortunately we bring misery on our self. nobody can defeat green shirts except themselves. afridi, shaoib malik, kamran ukmal and razzak, yes razzak all should be dropped permanently. afridi got to go he is stale now, his time has passed.

  • greenluv on September 29, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    I would like to see more of umar very much of this before i say "come to age" about afridi he needs to tell him self it is ok to play under hafiz and i need to perform. Tanveer for next game as i can see him getting their openers struggling. not saying mark my word down its call FEELIN LOL

  • Firdous Amin on September 29, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    Great Win for my Nation...! Both Umer's played like Gaints of cricket. I think our team combination is good but if change is necessery then Yasir should be replaced by Razzak. Pakistan Zindabad...!

  • Aditya Mookerjee on September 29, 2012, 2:17 GMT

    I thought you mentioned Saeed Ajmal, when you said, 'these Pathans'. How a Pathan can seem a dapper Englishman, it seems, is what I wanted to know. Imran Khan is outstanding like any Pathan, in his home town. He must have looked like an individual pursuing unusual ideas at Cambridge too, to himself, and also to others. Ajmal, has done the impossible. People like Mohinder Amarnath, Kapil Dev, if I had met them, when I was a kid, it would have been, well, like meeting the most nice, reasonable people. It seems, in the times when they played, that was the ideal, to themselves. If I had seen Imran Khan, during that period, I would have felt, like a boy feels, seeing Adam. It would have been unthinkable, a great honor.

  • fhs on September 29, 2012, 1:26 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan on their fantastic win against SA. It is a dream start of super 8. For Sunday’s game against India, I suggest to replace Malik with Shafiq and Afridi with Razzak. These are my reasons: 1)Afridi: I highly doubt Afridi will make any runs and take any wickets as Indians play him very well. I am sure you all will agree with me it has been very painful to watch when comes to bat. Razaak is better and reliable. 2) Malik: If Malik is not bowling, then he should be replaced with Shafiq who is better batsman tahn him.

  • asad on September 29, 2012, 1:09 GMT

    Great article, Mr. Abbasi! Umers rock - they were simply too hot for SA to handle. Great win for Pakis!

  • Babu ram on September 29, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    Pakistan is amazing today lets hope pak play oct 7 at colombo

  • Hassan on September 28, 2012, 23:57 GMT

    Great effort by the Umers. Gul hit the ball beautifully but seriously I believe that Akmal was under more pressure since he was the batsman and people are usually after him for unknown reasons. The greatest presence of mind that he showed was NOT to cross on the catch when Gul got out. great work. Although I really wish that Pakistan won this easily as I believe that the runrate is going to play a very important role in this tough group !!!!

  • Aasif on September 28, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    Pakistan got very lucky to pull this off, credit to Umers but they have to get the team right. It is no brainer,,, to me the best combination is.... NAZIR. HAFIZ. JAMSHAID. KAMI. ASAD. UMER. RAZAQ. AFRIDI. GUL. AJMAL. HASAN. 4 spinner and 2 seamer use their quota according to situation and you have batting lineup till number 9. I will not trust Sami,Tavir,Arafat or Malik for my money,, I don't know what anyone of them is doing in T20.

  • Asad on September 28, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is the weakest link. I dont know what he has done after his return and still in team.12 of 26 balls and the commentry team was praising him a if Kohli was batting.

  • Shahid A. Khan on September 28, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    I think our bowling was also below par; South Africans bowled better than our world class bowling attack..... I still don't understand why Junaid Khan is not in the squad. We need some changes in the team Abdul Razzak replacing Afridi; Assad Shafiq replacing Shoaib Malik. I don't doubt the integrity of any player but Afridi; he is doing politics after losing his captaincy..... he just doesn't deserve a place in playing eleven. I truly wish if we could have Hammad Azam in the squad as a backup for Hassan Raza / Yasser Arafat..... I also don't understand why our selection committee does not see out of the box..... Umar Gul performed today in batting but his core strength is bowling and he has been failing on that front..... Junaid Khan could have been must better option......

  • Shazia on September 28, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Well done Umar and Gul. SA bowlers didn't bowl yorkers & that resulted in Gul to swing the ball well. While Pakistan won this match, most of us will forget the horrible mistakes that were made during the chase of relativly easy target. Nasir Jamshed showed that the so-called 'Miandad factor' is contributing not a 'BIT' in improving the batsmen's mindsets. The coaches and the staff are not helping the team to develop the mentality to read the game plan & execute accordingly. Kamran played a horrible shot... Afridi, I wonder how long it will take the management & the fans & Afridi to call it the 'Day'. Shoaib Malik-Mr.Experience, what worth he has in playing such innings? any first class batsman can perform better. He seriously has some good contacts to be in this team after all such performances. Razzaq is being wasted. The way Yasir/Tanvir are performing, Razzaq can easily beat them on the bowling form, not forgetting his much added value with the bat. Pakistan got lucky today!

  • Shoaib on September 28, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    Pakistan brings the sheer excitement and entertainment to the world cricket than any other team. The title of UN-PREDICTABLE and DANGEROUS side truly reflects their game. They have the most match winners than any other teams but If you want to learn the art of winning the lost game and loosing the much easier one, see the history of Pakistan Cricket.Love to watch Pakistan Cricket.

  • zkl on September 28, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Pakistan the cricket team = Pakistan the country = Raw, inconsistent, brave, exciting, but always expect the unexpected. The Brazilians of the cricket field never fail to excite with match winners in the bowling and batting departments. When you put on the TV you never know which Pakistan team will turn up, but you know they will bring excitement to the game. One day the media talk about a poor bowling performance which is then replaced by a poor batting performance. May the day come when we see consistent performances which allow the Pakistan fans to watch and enjoy a match without having a heart attack.....then again may be not.....what we have is the Paradox that is Pakistan the Cricket team and Pakistan the Country....will be taking my pills ready for the next heart stopper.... Pakistan vs India...may the best team win!

  • Siddiqi on September 28, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    Well Played Gul and Umar. This should help Gul to get back confidence in his bowling as well. Umar Akmal has once again shown his great talent. I do feel that Umar needs to bat at top in ODIs and 20/20s as they are wasting him at no 6. He is always expected to come in the end overs and scope a quick fifty and this will spoil his career. Coach and captain needs to groom him for no 3 or 4.

  • Tabish on September 28, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    It's easy to say that LALA should be dropped. No one can justify what he did in this match, and perhaps how desperate he has got in his urge to perform. We need to remember that he was the man behind our success in previous T20 Cups. So here's a simple solution, he cannot be healed by just counselling, my solution for Afridi will be to allow him open the innings with Nazir - Trust me, if he remains for 2 overs, which he will for sure, we will have our BOOM BOOM back. Lets see..

  • amjid khan on September 28, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    Great performance by Gul! On this performance it makes sense for promoting Gul-DOZEER above Malik/Afridi/Arafat in the batting line.

    Afridi is finished as a batsman, he never was a proper batsman, he never used his brain and unfortunately all the coaches have let him down over the years. Now it is too late for Afridi. I sometimes wonder if he needs an eye test. He must be be dropped now! But if he is selected as a baller only then Guldozer must bat before him. Drop Malik and bring on Asad Shafiq.

  • Ahmed on September 28, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    No coming of age. It was simply Gul's day and Akmal could not have won you the match without liberal assistance from Gul. As for Gul batting exploits today, I haev seen him losing his wicket playing the same flick/pull so many times in the past. It just came off today. I think it was some divine intervention. The actual point to be noted ist hat our top order threw their wickets - PATHETIC. And they should start sending Afridi at number 9 or 10, thats where he deserves to be. Thats where Swan of England comes out to bat. Afridi is a bowler and a tail end batsmen who leaves his brain in fridge when he goes out to bat.

  • Adnan Malik on September 28, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Fabulously magnificently guided to victory by two Umerz i think the best cricket match i have ever seen in my life and never prayed much for pakistan win before ...credit must go to all team the spirit of fight back from these kind of situations really matters and shows the team character i hope pak team will continue to do same in upcoming matches and i request all pak team fans to please back your team and pray for them.Good Luck Pak Team We are proud of you ....

  • Zahid on September 28, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    Does any one believe that Umar Gul will find his line n length and Afridi will start playing with sense before the end of this tournament.

  • Shahid on September 28, 2012, 19:26 GMT

    Ghaznavi Invaded india 17 times and won the battle at last. Equation is a bit different for Afridi, who needs 117 attempts to reach the milestone of hitting a six on the very first ball he faces after his entry. what a difficult chrachter he is that he never lets sense to prevail.

  • Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on September 28, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    Today's match was actually "LOST by South Africa" due to de Villier's BAD DECISIONS/dreadful errors. (1) AB should have batted at No. 4 and could have boosted (SA total) (2) AB de Villiers should have gone for KILL when Pakistan was 76/7 by employing his spinners Botha and/or Duminy (spinners role was crucial in both innings)!

  • Shaheer on September 28, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    well well well..... I'm an Indian and I support afridi and I like him... I don't know why people question him.... Every time he bat Pakistan going to rough patch... That's why afridi try to hit and free tense... Gul is lucky that he got fast bowlers .... And I think Pakistan must rearrange batting line up... Hafees demoted no.5 or no.6... Afridi should bat no.3.... Nasir jamshed and imran nazirshould open the innings... Other position is ok.. and one think, replace Malik razzak.... This would be help Pakistan if they want to win trophy......G best wishes for afridi and pak...... Also afridi is the one of best fielder in Pakistan side.... I ♥♡♥ him.....

  • Aatif on September 28, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    What people criticizing Afridi are forgetting is that he is a bowler. He came into the Pakistan team as a bowler and he still easily has his position in the team as a bowler. He got more popular as a hitter and us fans are to blame for expecting the same from him again and again. I agree he hasn't matured when it comes to batting and his shot selection is poor, but people who are talking about dropping him do not know what they are talking about.

  • Hello1 on September 28, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    This is no team.It is a bunch of highly unreliable, irresponsible and erratic bunch of individuals. They rarely perform as a unit. If the batting clicks, the bowling falters.The fielding is seldom up to international standards. The likes of Afridi play to the gallery and not for Pakistan. He can only dazzle in soft drink ads. Else he has proved a huge flop and it's time the think tank does something to get rid of excess baggage and dead wood.

  • Faisal Taquie on September 28, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    Afridi bowls and fields for the team but bats for himself and his marketing. He wants to still be labeled as a guy can hit a six every ball whether Pakistan need 6 runs to win with 10 wickets in hand or need 160 runs to win with half the wickets in hand. He just bats so that people can glamorize him and we have fallen into the trap. I'd say if Razzaq and Gul bat Afridi's way, brainless, senseless, and aim of hitting every ball, they would hit a lot more runs and a lot less ducks than Afridi!

  • ABKhan on September 28, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    Pakistan could win WC easily but only if they drop shoib Malik. Performing in a warm match after getting dozens of chance does not make anyone a player. Another thing Imran nazir should be selected only when playing against minnows, he could never bat against a top team.

  • Imran Khateeb on September 28, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    My heart always pounds even Pak plays against Afgahns, Irish, or Zimbabway. But, also I believe as always, Pak rides success on people prayers, not solely on their performance in recent years. I am sure next few games before semis will definitely see some changes in order. We need an genuine all rounder in team.

  • Jawad on September 28, 2012, 18:21 GMT

    We won Thank God!! But it is very sad to see the attitude of Pak Fans, a match before this everybody was criticizing Gul that he has nothing to show and blah blah. Why can't you see positive side of player if Afridi is not performing with bat still he is one of the top three bowlers in this format, a better fielder in Pak side and an occasional hitter! Sighs! People are so selfish to mock others while setting aside all the great things he had done. Grow up people give some room everybody has a bad day. He never was a reliable batsman but a charmer. In Pak people have no respect for what somebody has done. Pathetic

  • dhar santi on September 28, 2012, 18:16 GMT

    I can understand criticism on Afridi, he is not entertaining with his bat. But he is still best bowler, and day his bat produces world will be stunned again. The day he plays with bat or ball pakistan wins. compare with tendulkar each time he plays team looses, but fans still love him.

  • Bilal on September 28, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    stop hating Malik... he was the one who won the warm up against India... he stayed on the crease till end in semifinal and final of 2009 wc... blame hafeez n jamshed for playing reckless shorts while no need of it and bringing all the team under pressure... and stop deciding on one match performances...

  • Bilal on September 28, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    stop hating Malik... he was the one who won the warm up against India... he stayed on the crease till end in semifinal and final of 2009 wc... blame hafeez n jamshed for playing reckless shorts while no need of it and bringing all the team under pressure... and stop deciding on one match performances...

  • Roomy on September 28, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    A roller coaster ride, and snatchig a victory from the jaws of defeat. Gul is bull and akmal was calm. Go team Pakistan ...

  • Khurram on September 28, 2012, 17:48 GMT

    Abdul Razzaq for Yasit Arafat and Asad Shafiq for Shoaib Malik....The best we can have now...2 fast bowlers and 4 spinners.

  • Razi on September 28, 2012, 17:46 GMT

    Afridi iz the best player in the world.He will surely performed in the next game. Afridi rocks!!!!!!!

  • Jibran on September 28, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Shoaib Malik is playing in place of a talented young batsman like Asad Shafiq, a batsman who can provide plenty of stability to the line up when it comes falling down like a deck of cards. You need that kid in there at number 5 or 6 to in between the hard hitters.

  • Naumaan on September 28, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Although we won the match but lots of things needs to be learn from that regarding batting specially. No doubt Hafeez's captaincy is remarkable today! But we must have to put our 100% against team India in our upcoming match. We'll surely can lift this T20 WC Trophy. Best of luck Team Pakistan =)

  • Bismillah Khan on September 28, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    On his day, Afridi can win a match on his own, which cannot be said of most of Pakistani players. Besides, hee deserves a place in the team only on the basis of his bowling and fielding, and whatever he delivers with bat is a bonus. But I do believe that playing Malik is a waste and he should be replaced by Razzak, who is a bit like Afridi, a match-winner on his own. Good luck team-Pakistan for the rest of the tournament.

  • Ray on September 28, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Completely second Harry; please treat Afridi as a bowler who can bat. He has been Pakistan's most successful bowler in the past past few years along with Saeed Ajmal. Afridi's fielding is way better than most in Pak and his batting is the bonus. If we want to remove someone from the team it should be Kamran and Shoaib. It seemed like they had 'other intentions' than winning. The way Shoaib consumed deliveries wasn't normal - if that is his game, then he should be removed from the team. As for Kamra, the least said the better. Easy stumping missed followed by pathetic batting.

  • Mohammed Shakhawat on September 28, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Firstly Congratulation Pakistan and Umar Akmal / Gul. Thanks Mr. Abbasi for his nice article. I suggest that Pakistan must replace Shoib Malid to Asad Shafiq for its next game. Rest all the player is okey.

  • nadeem sharifuddin on September 28, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    This is greatest come back in pakistani T2020 cricket history. SA once against chocked and pakistan won it. Umar gul and Akmal just played innings of their lifetime. Let's hope we win against India because that's most important.

  • Mubasher on September 28, 2012, 17:22 GMT

    absolutely right Mr. Abbasi about Malik & Afridi one too slow the other too rash. well time has come for Afridi to deliver else otherwise no place for him to stay in the national side. he has been the great ambassador of the country for the last 15 years but his madness never come to an end. at some crucial occasion he played some stupid strokes. Afridi boy you have to perform well otherwise things will never remain same.

  • maharoof on September 28, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    assalamu alayikum friends pls dont go to silly about afridi . he was a future legend

  • Desihungama on September 28, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    I am in disbelief. I took off from work to watch [This] match and at 76/7 I called back in to say I will be coming to work. While on my way - I got stunned!

  • Khurram on September 28, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Abdul Razzaq for Yasit Arafat and Asad Shafiq for Shoaib Malik....The best we can have now...2 fast bowlers and 4 spinners.

  • adnan on September 28, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    it is only luck Pakistan team is winner but actually it is Only thanks to ALLAH this match Pakistan win it is not even a well performance by batsmen of PAK team, i don't think it will be a winner Team of world cup if they ignore the mistakes of there side because in there poll there is no Bangladesh and Afghanistan they are now playing with professionals teams like AUS & IND

  • Imran Khan on September 28, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    You wrote right the messrs malik and Afridi. Our batting may be the big issue but its an old dilema.But dear Junaid Khan is the missing link in the bowling, v have only one bowler i-e is Gul others are useless.

  • QI on September 28, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    True in this match but after how many failures? First 3 batsmen showed total irresponsibility in the chase of a reasonably achievable target with cautious approach. Kamran was a big winner in one game and failure in the next. When will these hot headed pakistani players will know how to play like the Australians? It is more of a SA captain's mistake that made Gul's day, Gul the savior for the hopeless pakistani batsmen. You will need another bowler in the next match to rescue the batsmen. Cut their salary.

  • Humayun Murad on September 28, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    I agree with Harry's opinion that Afridi should be viewed only as a bowler and he is still a very good bowler. We don't expect runs from Ajmal.Plus Afridi is a safe fielder nd Pakistan has few of them. Razzak for Malik makes sense.

  • WaseemKhemji on September 28, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Another important thing that I missed. You have to give credit to Raza Hasan for his bowling in such a high pressure situation at the age of 20. I also strongly believe that you need to slot in Asad Shafiq or Abdul Razzaq in place of Shoaib Malik. Shoaib Malik is just one dimensional.

  • WaseemKhemji on September 28, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Please guys. Stop considering Afridi as an allrounder. Why can't all of you consider him just a bowler and mind you he is our second best bowler behind Saeed Ajmal in limited overs cricket. He justifies his place as a bowler in the team and if he performs with the bat this is a huge bonus. (You never ask your best bowlers to bat to get selected in the final XI - Classic examples: McGrath, Walsh, Ambrose, Waqar, Warne, Murali).

  • MuhammadMuneer on September 28, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Well done UMAR pair!good luck Pakistan team.

  • Saqib on September 28, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    Win is Win! Celebrations & well done Team PAK.

    As any Pak supporter, we need improved batting display against Aus & Ind, plus enhance our wicket taking abilities.

    Afridi = Marketing & to me has never been a cricketer.

    Amla, Watson, Kohli are match winners!

    Gul Boy, you da fighter!

    Way to go team Pak.

    Be cautious in next games. All the best!

    Windies & Pak are my pick of the lot to make it to the GRAND FINALE!

  • Saqib on September 28, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    Win is Win! Celebrations & well done Team PAK.

    As any Pak supporter, we need improved batting display against Aus & Ind, plus enhance our wicket taking abilities.

    Afridi = Marketing & to me has never been a cricketer.

    Amla, Watson, Kohli are match winners!

    Gul Boy, you da fighter!

    Way to go team Pak.

    Be cautious in next games. All the best!

    Windies & Pak are my pick of the lot to make it to the GRAND FINALE!

  • zee on September 28, 2012, 16:07 GMT

    Wow! I can't imagine how did you manage to put this together after such a breath taking drama/excitement by Pak batters. However, don't you think that Afridi, for a very long now, is displaying a carefree attitdue specially with the bat which should be rebut by the same force? It was not his first, and I'm sure won't be his last show of ruthless behaviour with the bat if he is allowed to keep on playing. Pak fans have shown enough patience to put up with with Afridi's madness, it's time to either perform or leave. Pakistan should be first rather than "Afridi persona". Don't you think so?

  • Boink on September 28, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Boom Boom is now just Phuss Phuss with the bat. The Guldozer now routinely out hits Afridi.

  • amer hamid on September 28, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    why oh why are pakistan persisting with mr afridi? more often than not he fails to deliver when his team and the country need him most like today surly mr razzaq deserves a chance or am i the only one thinking this.

  • Harry on September 28, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    I don't understand why people question Afridi's place in the side. He's one of the best bowlers in world cricket right now. View him as a bowler that can hit the occasional boundary. Any top team would love to have him as a bowler given his variety

  • Bilal Naveed on September 28, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    This is a great win for Pakistan! More often than not in the recent past a Pakistan team would give up at 70 odd for 6 with plenty of balls to spare. That we didn't give up and got stuck into the opposition is a very heart warming sign indeed!

  • Abdullah on September 28, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Really bad to see Pakistan batting collapsing yet again but thank God Umar(squared) did it for Pakistan. I also want to highlight the mistake made by Ab de villiers of not bowling out Botha and Duminy's four overs. On the lighter side, RSA once again proved that they are chokers and will remain chokers. Sorry RSA fans ;)

  • Nadeem on September 28, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    I liked the fighting spirit of both the Umar's (especially Gull). But if pakistan fancy there chances in this WC, they need good/sensible batting from top and middle order (a rarity for a pakistani team). All in all the best thing about this team is, they are fighting it hard till the end.

  • Crickie analyst on September 28, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    In my view it wasn't the Pathan smacks that made the difference but, fortunately for us, it was the shortage of one additional slow/spin bowler in S.Africa's lineup. Peterson and Botha had exhausted their overs and there's no way those smacks would have cleared the ropes if there was another slow bowler in the ranks. South Africa's strategic blunder yet again.

  • Faisal on September 28, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    Well put Kamran, the way Hafeez and Jamshed threw their wickets was simply pathetic display of "How to play a responsible knock". Afridi should be dropped to number 9, if he cannot bat any more. Imran Nazir should not be thinking that every bowling attack is a Bangladesh attack. Upper order should stay calm while batting. Its high time that Umar Akmal played a responsible knock. I think Abdul Razzaq should be in the side, instead of Yasir Arfat or Sohail Tanvir, such a sorry thing to see a good all rounder is getting wasted by another captain. People talk about Razzaq has nothing left, off course if u don't give him a chance how would u see his performance? Whenever he gets a chance he makes a break through with a ball and a bat. Its a good thing that Pak team won but not every day Umar Gul can save a game for them. Batting line up should step up against Australia and India.

  • rayban2376 on September 28, 2012, 15:44 GMT

    it really isnt easy being a pakistani supporter :-) each match is a roller coaster ride ......

  • Arshad on September 28, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    It is embarrassing to see the pathetic display of the so called batsmen! Top 5 batsmen managed only 42 runs! Shahid Afridi did what he does best! Totally STUPID and IDIOTIC display! He has the ability to destroy a team if he stays at the crease for more than an over but he is too stupid to bat sensably. The only reason he is on the team is because of his bowling. Umars did a wonderfull job and saved Pakistan. Great job Umar Gull and Umar Akmal. Good win. One more and Pakistan will qualify for Semi-final.

  • akbar qamar on September 28, 2012, 15:41 GMT

    Although Guldozer is not doing good with the bowl but he is still able to win the MoM award because of his outstanding and fearless batting.

  • A.Ali on September 28, 2012, 15:40 GMT

    Pakistan will do better by replacing Shoaib with Shafiq. Pakistan is already playing with 6 bowlers, they don't need the 7th one in Shoaib.

  • haroun rashid on September 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    Umar Akmal may have come of age but sadly Afridi still hasnt!!

  • bilal jaffar on September 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT

    pakistani ki batting boht he buri the...per bowling lasani hai...any way we won thats all for the today....hopefully pakistan will achieve there goal in the rest of the tournament..best of luck team pakistan

  • aftab from VB on September 28, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    The only thing missing in Umar Gul's knock was the moustache that he's wearing in the Pepsi ad. But, bulls eye, Umar Akmal is back for Tests. I can safely say that we have two consistent players now on, Ajmal and Umar Akmal. We are through to semis, minimum.

  • Aftab Qureshi on September 28, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    Naturally, as a Pakistani, I am thrilled that Pakistan pulled off the victory and, in the process, climbed two places in ICC T20 rankings. I am deeply disappointed, though, that the upper order succumbed to fear and gave way to irresponsible batting. This result is no more than good luck on an otherwise bad day. Don't expect lady luck to be on your side in next matches, and don't begin pinning hope on Gul repeating such remarkable performance. I do agree with Kamran that Whatmore has more work to do.

  • Omer on September 28, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    Yet another nerve racking finish for Pak supporters when it should have been plain sailing! Omer gul has true grits of Javed and Imran Khan and he reminds of Nawaz - exponent of reverse swing

  • Viqas on September 28, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    while i agree U Akmal played a (rare) sensible innings, saying that he has come of age is a bit of an overstatement IMO. He needs to play many more sensible innings before he can be classified as "coming of age"

  • Mohammed Omer on September 28, 2012, 15:26 GMT

    Yet another nerve racking finish for Pak supporters when it should have been plain sailing! Omer gul has true grits of Javed and Imran Khan and he reminds of Nawaz - exponent of reverse swing

  • Mohammed Omer on September 28, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    As usual, a nerve racking ending for Pak supporters when it should have been plain sailing! Well done Omar Gul! He has the spirits and grits of real heroes like Imran Khan,Javed Miandad. One similar player was the exponent of reverse swing Nawaz ..

  • Kaazi Saab on September 28, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    I am a Pakistani through and through. I live and breathe Pakistan Cricket. However, as a Pakistani fan, I think its my responsibility to point out that Afridi needs to be dropped. He is not producing with the ball and his shot selection in a time when the team need his experience and bat the most is a sign of pure selfishness and immaturity. He has helped Pakistan win many games, but this is the natural cycle of the game. Players get old, lose touch with the talent that made them famous.. in Afridi's case.. he just never matured.

    Remember my fellow fans.. You play for the team and your country. Afridi's shot selection is a clear sign that the man clearly plays for himself and in this day in age.. that attitude is worst than treason.

  • Ali on September 28, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    'strutting the fine and life-shortening line between success and failure' - epic! this phrase sums Pakistan up!

  • ammara on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    excellent article. what i cant fathom is why the other headlines are labelling the victory as 'improbable' and 'unlikely'. pak bowled well, south africa bowled well. the match swung both ways during the course of the match and in the end pak batted a little better than south africa. whats the huge 'improbability' if pak won?

  • M Sajjad Bhatti on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Whatsoever they got 2 important points for road to Semi Final. That's Pak Cricket. Uncertainty and unpredictability don't let their opponent to write script against them. They always bring beauty and entertainment in the game. If they beat India in next 'Grand Finale' of T20 World Cup 2012, they would have best chance to lif up the trophy. Best wishes for Pakistan and India Cricket Teams from M Sajjad Bhatti

  • Asif Sufi on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Brilliant, never fear when Gullay is near! This line is going to stick.

    If Malik is not going to bowl, can't bat, why is Asad Shafiq not played! He is technically a much better batsman and hungry to prove his mettle in T20 too. Afridi has lost it. Yes, he bowls good 4 overs, but I would let Razzaq in. At least Razzler shows some brains when he bats.

  • Askkhan on September 28, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Please remove Sohail Tanveer and shoaib M. and add Abdul Razzak and Asad Shafiq... Keep it simple.

  • Faran Ali on September 28, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Don't hate malik . . . he won u the warm up against india . . . why is afridi the blue eyed boy of pak cricket ? 3 ducks in 5 innings . . . and still he's a "Match winner"

  • Omer on September 28, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Pakistan were lucky to pull this off.

  • Anees on September 28, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Whenever I feel i have seen everything in cricket something crazy like this comes up and remind me why I love this game. I had no hope at all for Pakistan to win and was trying to find an excuse to hide from freind circle but all went well and now I am out celebrating. Great Victory!

  • jamshed on September 28, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    pakistan should calm their nerves down an believe in themselves that they can lift the world cup if imran nazir and afridi performs others are good

  • Suhaib on September 28, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    I was just about to update my fb status to "Umars come of age"... and then I see your article

  • shakeel on September 28, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Very rightly said. What match. Why to support and why keep to on supporting such a team called Pakistan. Dev need to get knock that horrible smell out of his boys, because they smell of complacency!

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  • shakeel on September 28, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Very rightly said. What match. Why to support and why keep to on supporting such a team called Pakistan. Dev need to get knock that horrible smell out of his boys, because they smell of complacency!

  • Suhaib on September 28, 2012, 14:40 GMT

    I was just about to update my fb status to "Umars come of age"... and then I see your article

  • jamshed on September 28, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    pakistan should calm their nerves down an believe in themselves that they can lift the world cup if imran nazir and afridi performs others are good

  • Anees on September 28, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Whenever I feel i have seen everything in cricket something crazy like this comes up and remind me why I love this game. I had no hope at all for Pakistan to win and was trying to find an excuse to hide from freind circle but all went well and now I am out celebrating. Great Victory!

  • Omer on September 28, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    Pakistan were lucky to pull this off.

  • Faran Ali on September 28, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    Don't hate malik . . . he won u the warm up against india . . . why is afridi the blue eyed boy of pak cricket ? 3 ducks in 5 innings . . . and still he's a "Match winner"

  • Askkhan on September 28, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    Please remove Sohail Tanveer and shoaib M. and add Abdul Razzak and Asad Shafiq... Keep it simple.

  • Asif Sufi on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Brilliant, never fear when Gullay is near! This line is going to stick.

    If Malik is not going to bowl, can't bat, why is Asad Shafiq not played! He is technically a much better batsman and hungry to prove his mettle in T20 too. Afridi has lost it. Yes, he bowls good 4 overs, but I would let Razzaq in. At least Razzler shows some brains when he bats.

  • M Sajjad Bhatti on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    Whatsoever they got 2 important points for road to Semi Final. That's Pak Cricket. Uncertainty and unpredictability don't let their opponent to write script against them. They always bring beauty and entertainment in the game. If they beat India in next 'Grand Finale' of T20 World Cup 2012, they would have best chance to lif up the trophy. Best wishes for Pakistan and India Cricket Teams from M Sajjad Bhatti

  • ammara on September 28, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    excellent article. what i cant fathom is why the other headlines are labelling the victory as 'improbable' and 'unlikely'. pak bowled well, south africa bowled well. the match swung both ways during the course of the match and in the end pak batted a little better than south africa. whats the huge 'improbability' if pak won?