Northamptonshire v Pakistanis, Twenty20, Northampton July 3, 2010

Pakistan cruise to six-wicket win

39

Pakistanis 137 for 4 (Shahzaib 64, Afridi 42, Willey 2-14) beat Northamptonshire 133 for 3 (Chigumbura 58, Wakely 55, Ajmal 1-15) by six wickets
Scorecard

Shahzaib Hasan's aggressive half century and a blistering 13-ball 42 from Shahid Afridi helped Pakistan thrash a weakened Northamptonshire by six wickets with 27 balls to spare. At the halfway mark the visitors had moved cautiously to 57 for 1 but Afridi, returning from injury, bulldozed the opposition in his short stay at the crease to put Pakistan in the right frame of mind ahead of next week's twin Twenty20 internationals against Australia at Edgbaston.

Pakistan launched their chase at a-run-a-ball with both Hasan and Kamran Akmal taking advantage of any loose deliveries. Hasan slashed Jack Brooks over point to open the chase and a couple of overs later pulled the same bowler for six. Kamran, restless at the wicket, hit two strong cover drives against David Lucas to erase a scratchy start. But he soon faltered, offering a simple catch against a slow, looping full toss from left-armer David Willey.

At the other end Hasan continued the attack, picking up two boundaries behind square leg in Elton Chigumbura's first over. But the Zimbabwe allrounder bounced back with some tight lines and lengths which slowed Pakistan's progress and both Hasan and Fawad Alam suddenly found it difficult to pick the gaps.

Alam had replaced Salman Butt, who had been rested, and looked apprehensive on the front foot. Frustration soon set in and he offered an easy catch to Chigumbura at point trying to cut James Middlebrook, the offspinner. The run rate had dipped considerably as Pakistan added just 16 runs in the four overs after the Powerplay.

But any hopes Northants entertained were smashed to smithereens by Afridi. He swung his bat at almost everything and three boundries resulted from thick edges off Middlebrook. In the same over the Pakistan captain had lofted the offspinner over the long-on boundary for his first six.

The turning point arrived in the following over from Brooks. Against the first ball, a short delivery on the off side, Afridi moved back and smartly tapped the ball between point and gully to pick up an easy boundary. Next came a punched straight drive past the ropes, and this was followed by a huge slog only for the leading edge to race past thirdman for a third successive boundary. A handsome pull then flew over square leg for his second six. Hasan made it the most expensive over of the match (23 runs) with a lofted square drive for another four.

From 57 for 1 after 10 overs Pakistan had rushed to 121 in the next four overs. Afridi duly retired, soon followed by Hasan who was caught in the deep but Pakistan finished on a high note.

In the absence of senior players such as Andrew Hall, Chaminda Vaas, Nicky Boje and wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien Northants were always going to find it difficult to challenge the 2009 World Twenty20 champions. Fighting half-centuries from Alex Wakely and Chigumbura kept them in the contest but 133 was never going to be a big hurdle for Pakistan.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NazimAbbasJafri on July 7, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    Credit goes to Afridi, he showed every thing which was needed to this team. As taking decision to play with Shoaib and shoaib did well not gud enough but fairly doing gud job...

  • avinklr on July 6, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    pakis need wasim akram, as shoib is old, mohammed sami has disappeared

  • on July 6, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    great performance by GUll & Aamir. Pindi express d-tracked again. bt i hope he'll soon get out of it. best of luck 4 next match . Pak Zindabad...

  • on July 5, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Good going boys, good game, keep it up. well done.

  • aiksa on July 4, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    I think it has been unfair to give Pakistan side matches against weakend county teams. It wil be a giant leap against Ausies who are on the roll now after losing first three games against England. Whenever they lose, they always come back very hard. I wish Pakistan the best of luck, which they will certainly need against Australia. Fawad Alam has no place in T20 for sure. ODI & tests may be. He really needs to improve his batting & particularly strike rate. Tait & Bollinger will be very hard to cope. We'll know tomorrow.

  • wanderer1 on July 4, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Fawad Alam is once again getting the raw end of the stick. He's a test batsmen in the mould of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. It's unfair to him to be playing T20 cricket and trying to make a name for himself through that format. Look at his domestic record and the way he batted against the Aussies in Australia a few months back. He has grit and determination and sticks around, which can't be said of too many other Pakistani batsmen. This infatuation with big hitters and sloggers has to stop. If you can't launch the ball into the stratosphere it seems you're not deemed good enough to play for Pakistan.

  • on July 4, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    I agree with you guys that Abdul Razzaq should be playing in ODI and I think he can play in Test matches too, so we are missing that talent in those formats. Also I think Shoaib Akhter should play test, Australia have mainly fast bowlers that not only bowl fast but bowl smartly, they have a lot of varieties, like when ever their captain ask them to ball bouncers they do and pick wicket or they bowl on good length, or change bowling angles (around/over), so we need someone like them to give a good fight, no offence to Umar Gul/M.Amer, but whenever Gul pitches one short he get smashed, he is only good at bowling yorkers, and Amer can't ball good yorkers, only good at short balls or balls which goes away, my point of explaining all that is we need Shoaib Akhter, he can balls any delivery in any situation, he is a match winner, he just need to play more cricket, he is fit and has pace than any other Pakistani bowler, I think it was bad decision not playing him in Test...

  • on July 4, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Yasoo97 I agreed with your team but you miss only one player who is also match winner and he is Imran Nazir.He must be included in all formates and then give him open hand to play his game I am sure he can give a lot to Pakistan team.He is brave Crickter with big heart we shouls not forget him.One thing more they should send Shoaib Malik one down he will also perform well for Pakistan on this position we can see in his carrier record it shows he can play.Shoaib Akhtar still can bowl very fast only give him the confidence and courage,he is our great asset we should not spoil him by sitting on the bench waiting for his retirement.He is fit let him to play all formates.Please don't forget Abdul Razzak let him to play in the test also he 100 time better than Fauad Alam we are spoiling his talent also??????????????

  • iftikhar93 on July 4, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I don't think this will help Afridi. it will not help him in ODI'S AND T20'S. HE should try to play calmly and sensibly because at the moment he's just not a member of the team but also a player who is representing his team, so Afridi should hit but also play sensibly and calmly. Best wishes for tomorrow's game.

  • on July 4, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    To win matches Pakistan must not select FAWAD ALAM... I don't like the way he plays, his strike rate is very poor, and he looks like a little kid, he gives wrong impression to opposition about Pakistani players, because most of our players are well built, strong and can hit a lot of sixes like Shahid Afridi, Shazaib hasan, Kamran akmal, Umar akmal, Razzaq list goes on...!! He doesn't fit in when you guys will accept the truth !!!

  • NazimAbbasJafri on July 7, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    Credit goes to Afridi, he showed every thing which was needed to this team. As taking decision to play with Shoaib and shoaib did well not gud enough but fairly doing gud job...

  • avinklr on July 6, 2010, 23:59 GMT

    pakis need wasim akram, as shoib is old, mohammed sami has disappeared

  • on July 6, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    great performance by GUll & Aamir. Pindi express d-tracked again. bt i hope he'll soon get out of it. best of luck 4 next match . Pak Zindabad...

  • on July 5, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Good going boys, good game, keep it up. well done.

  • aiksa on July 4, 2010, 17:34 GMT

    I think it has been unfair to give Pakistan side matches against weakend county teams. It wil be a giant leap against Ausies who are on the roll now after losing first three games against England. Whenever they lose, they always come back very hard. I wish Pakistan the best of luck, which they will certainly need against Australia. Fawad Alam has no place in T20 for sure. ODI & tests may be. He really needs to improve his batting & particularly strike rate. Tait & Bollinger will be very hard to cope. We'll know tomorrow.

  • wanderer1 on July 4, 2010, 16:57 GMT

    Fawad Alam is once again getting the raw end of the stick. He's a test batsmen in the mould of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. It's unfair to him to be playing T20 cricket and trying to make a name for himself through that format. Look at his domestic record and the way he batted against the Aussies in Australia a few months back. He has grit and determination and sticks around, which can't be said of too many other Pakistani batsmen. This infatuation with big hitters and sloggers has to stop. If you can't launch the ball into the stratosphere it seems you're not deemed good enough to play for Pakistan.

  • on July 4, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    I agree with you guys that Abdul Razzaq should be playing in ODI and I think he can play in Test matches too, so we are missing that talent in those formats. Also I think Shoaib Akhter should play test, Australia have mainly fast bowlers that not only bowl fast but bowl smartly, they have a lot of varieties, like when ever their captain ask them to ball bouncers they do and pick wicket or they bowl on good length, or change bowling angles (around/over), so we need someone like them to give a good fight, no offence to Umar Gul/M.Amer, but whenever Gul pitches one short he get smashed, he is only good at bowling yorkers, and Amer can't ball good yorkers, only good at short balls or balls which goes away, my point of explaining all that is we need Shoaib Akhter, he can balls any delivery in any situation, he is a match winner, he just need to play more cricket, he is fit and has pace than any other Pakistani bowler, I think it was bad decision not playing him in Test...

  • on July 4, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Yasoo97 I agreed with your team but you miss only one player who is also match winner and he is Imran Nazir.He must be included in all formates and then give him open hand to play his game I am sure he can give a lot to Pakistan team.He is brave Crickter with big heart we shouls not forget him.One thing more they should send Shoaib Malik one down he will also perform well for Pakistan on this position we can see in his carrier record it shows he can play.Shoaib Akhtar still can bowl very fast only give him the confidence and courage,he is our great asset we should not spoil him by sitting on the bench waiting for his retirement.He is fit let him to play all formates.Please don't forget Abdul Razzak let him to play in the test also he 100 time better than Fauad Alam we are spoiling his talent also??????????????

  • iftikhar93 on July 4, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    I don't think this will help Afridi. it will not help him in ODI'S AND T20'S. HE should try to play calmly and sensibly because at the moment he's just not a member of the team but also a player who is representing his team, so Afridi should hit but also play sensibly and calmly. Best wishes for tomorrow's game.

  • on July 4, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    To win matches Pakistan must not select FAWAD ALAM... I don't like the way he plays, his strike rate is very poor, and he looks like a little kid, he gives wrong impression to opposition about Pakistani players, because most of our players are well built, strong and can hit a lot of sixes like Shahid Afridi, Shazaib hasan, Kamran akmal, Umar akmal, Razzaq list goes on...!! He doesn't fit in when you guys will accept the truth !!!

  • on July 4, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    IF Afridi Is fire in Both t20 Matches Again...Aussies...Then i think no thing can Stop PAkistan Victoryy.......Boom Booom Afridi

  • Shayan.Aamir on July 4, 2010, 7:40 GMT

    It was a good show on the behalf of the team Pakistan, truly called Boom Boom Pakistan now. We hope that Men in Green should now transform this form to the international matches as well.Having said that I am little concerned for Men in Green as off late they have not been able to carry the momentum gained during ups n down of the match till the very last ball and this is only stigma attached to Pak eleven which can be eliminated through commitment and solid planning.Now coming to playing eleven I think ( one could disagree) Fawad Aalam should not be considered for T/20 encounters. He has handful of talent with good positive approach but his style of batting much suits longer versions of cricket.He has the ability to stand and deliver but only in ODIz or tests.In ODIz too he has to be promoted so that he could have time to build the innings and help Pak to post a good total on the board. Boom Boom eleven should also consider playing .Razaaq at one down or two down position.

  • on July 4, 2010, 7:00 GMT

    @ Faisal Mashood Afridi: You also asked:

    "And what possible use is Kamran Akmal anymore if he isn't opening?"

    I think Kamran has batted at no.7 on numerous occasions in ODIs where he comes in late and has to slog, and he seems to be good at it too. So he can do the same here. Also because our batting (middle to late middle order) is a bit weak. If Afridi and Umar Akmal dont score we'll be in trouble, so we need someone like Kami at no.7 to give the batting line more impetus and stability.

  • on July 4, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    @Faisal Mashood Afridi: "Why is Shazaib opening for Pakistan?"

    Good question. Here's why.

    This isnt the Caribbean, where the ball doesnt assist the fast bowlers much, its Eng, and the ball seams and swings a lot here, so you need proper opening batsmen to fight it out, rather than sending in a make-shift in shape of Kamran.

    Secondly, let me remind you he made his Debut in the T20 WC in England. And yes he did perform in that tournament. I can only imagine the kind of pressure he must have been under at that time, having to make his debut in the knockout stages of the T20 WC and playing his part in his teams victory.

  • A_S_M on July 4, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    It is good to try and test out new players like Shahzaib Hasan and Umer Amin who seem to be picking up momentum. It is important that Pakistan have plenty of talent ready as a cricketer may not be physically and/or psychologically fit on a particular day. Every batsman or bowler has his day - when he relatively under-performs. A good sports psychologist is needed to utilize talents to their fullest. Case in points are Fawad Alam (last 2 matches) and Umar Gul (this match) - no one should doubt their ability: plenty of talent and technique - but they are humans and have their 'bad patch' as well like anyone else. The board's sports psychology is equally important here to allow the likes of Fawad Alam - who did relatively better than the rest against the Aussies (top of the teams) in recent times - to gain confidence and come up to his true mark as a real class all-rounder. Same would go for Misbah and Yusuf. A cricket battleground is not simply one of fitness & talent but also of psyche.

  • dr_salman on July 4, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    @john n playcricket well i also disagree that alam cant play ne cricket...i m sure against his inclusion in t20 side...useless really...he cant smash the ball around..cant play fast...he s just a chipper who slows down the game with poor strike rates,even yunus khan plays faster t20 innings than him ;) ..but for tests surely he can b very gud...where one has to occupy the crease n runs keep coming by...n also for ODIs where i think pak really is in need of a middle order batsman who can stick for some while...keep the scoreboard ticking wid 1s n 2s..n lift the side..n fawad is jst that sort.. i guess the cap n coach shd recognize the suitability of a guy for individual formats n play him accordingly..i wd say fawad fits in for tests n ODIs..but not at all fot t20

  • on July 4, 2010, 4:37 GMT

    I certainly second Umair_umair's comment that we should be realistic and emphasize ourselves for the improvement like India and England are, winning a tight series 3:2 against the Kangaroos is not an easy task, and England have been beating them.

  • yasoor97 on July 4, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    this is how pakistans team should be for all formats : salman butt , shazaib hasan , shoaib malik , umar akmal , umar amin , kamran akmal , shahid afridi , abdulazzaq , mohammad amir , shoaib akhtar , saeed ajmal . (shoaib akhtar should be replaced by mohammad asif in tests) and (in the case of umar amin if he doesnt work out for pakistan he should be replaced by some other innings building batsmen that is not a slogger) PLEASE RIGHT IF YOU THINK THIS TEAM IS GOOD.

  • yasoor97 on July 4, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    there is a slight problem.our balling is getting a little down. i think that our ballers shoud be amir akhtar ajmal no more beacauze gul is finished he is out of form he cant play any format know amir and akhtar are a better choice we should only have 3 jahil batsmen.

  • on July 4, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Why is Shazaib opening for Pakistan? I know he has done well in warm-up games but he hasn't done anything to prove himself in international cricket. He might be talented but Pakistan had a good thing going with Kamran Akmal and Butt opening. Why fix something that isn't broken? And what possible use is Kamran Akmal anymore if he isn't opening? might as well play a better wicket keeper.

  • Bhakkar786 on July 3, 2010, 23:28 GMT

    @ play cricket. " he can't play quick deliveries on short length or any length" Your saying he can't play deliveries on any length? He's a test debutant centurion away from home, yet he can't play any length, thats quite amazing. Say what you want but he's definetly a potential for tests. " I been watching his batting closely from test series in Australia, he is not technically correct batsman". So you've been watching his technique very CLOSELY and you have come up with the conclusion that he isn't technically correct, Amazing! what a great observation. Let me ask you one thing, is chanderpual technically correct? Listen, it all comes down to the runs to your name. I bet u've just seen his score on the northants vs pakistanis scorecard and decided to bash him, well thats becuase his style is suited to test, real cricket, and odi's not flimsy t20s, but the pcb decided to shock everyone and exclude him from both tests and odis, and not only that put him in the format he's least suited 2

  • sweetleo77 on July 3, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    Afridi played very well and he is fully fit for Aus match

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 23:20 GMT

    I think we (Pakistanis) should try to be realistic , must back our team and hope for the best but should not talk big and proud things. I still remember that we were writing comments here before Asia Cup match against India that Shoaib will break the ribs of Indian batsmen but what happened was totally a heart break. We should realize that situation has changed in world cricket. See how India and England are improved teams now. So we should just hope that Pakistan team gets more and more matches and slowly return to top 3-4-5 teams in tests and ODIs. Its not about One or Two players that will come with a magic stick and crush other teams. In T20s it is possible but in ODIs and Tests, we need more commitment and team effort. Fielding being the most important. So individual players like Shahzaib or Nasir Jamshed; Misbah or Umer amin; and so on cannot do anything unless the team is committed.

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    Questions about Afridi. @ gameboyz and Faisal Sharif: Retired out is common in practice/side matches. Where a player leaves the crease(goes out) to give chance to other players. In other words Retired Out is to declare yourself out voluntarily. You can also have a look at the scorecard of first 3 day match against Kent, where Fawad Alam was retired out. After Retired Out player cannot come back to bat again, whereas retired hurt is when player is injured and cannot continue his innings , so he goes out and can come back at a later stage(so it is NOT OUT). Apparently, in this match, Afridi went out to allow some practice for Razzaq and Malik, as this was the last practice match before T20 against Australia. @Ghazanfar Naqvi: I think Afridi is totally OK, otherwise he would not have risked himself in practice match. His boom boom innings gives an idea about his fitness and confidence. As I said earlier he got Retired out , not Retired Hurt, so I think no worries about him.

  • on July 3, 2010, 22:22 GMT

    I hope they don't play Fawad Alam and Umar Amin against Australia, specially Fawad, he is not good batsman in any format, he can't play quick deliveries on short length or any length, he will waste a lot of balls, and will put Pakistan under pressure, I been watching his batting closely from test series in Australia, he is not technically correct batsman, they should have selected Misbah and Nazir instead of these two.

  • Pakistani_290 on July 3, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    retired out = walking off (letting other batsmen to have a go)

  • on July 3, 2010, 21:35 GMT

    shahzaib turning out to b pakistani sehwag,keep up shahzaib,Shahzaib is 1 of the most dangerous opener in pakistan as far as hitting is concerned,he must click at the top...we need 1 like him at the top along side left handed salman butt...LETS HOPE IS NOT MISHANDLED AS THEY DID TO FAWAD ALAM SO FAR

  • on July 3, 2010, 20:53 GMT

    shabash pakistan wel done

  • on July 3, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    Good slogging from Afridi but Gul is starting to become a worry, 40 in 4 getting hit for sixes by Chighumbura.

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    afridi is the best .but satarting is he frist

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    could anyone tell me how is S afridi ? can he play monday match against aus ?

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    what is meant by retired out, have only heard of retired hurt, why retired out in case of afridi's dismissil in the scorebook

  • gameboyz on July 3, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    nice to see afridi scoring runs but why retired out on 42 in just 14 balls

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    However, I think Salman Butt Should be batting at No. 3 and shahzaib and Kamran Aklmal to open.

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Well Done. But watch out for Tait in the real T20Is.

  • KHAN_169 on July 3, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    well done job by all go afridi go pakistan boom boom

  • waseemsarwar on July 3, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Hassan seems to have adopted in English conditions, But his and Pakistan's real test will be against Tait and co. So far so good.

  • TouseefAhmad on July 3, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    Awesome display of Professional Cricket by Team Pakistan... I hope they perform better against the aussies and the english as well...

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 3, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    would be interesting to c how the XI looks like for Aus T20 ... they should go with akhtar, aamer and gul

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  • Bilal_Choudry on July 3, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    would be interesting to c how the XI looks like for Aus T20 ... they should go with akhtar, aamer and gul

  • TouseefAhmad on July 3, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    Awesome display of Professional Cricket by Team Pakistan... I hope they perform better against the aussies and the english as well...

  • waseemsarwar on July 3, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    Hassan seems to have adopted in English conditions, But his and Pakistan's real test will be against Tait and co. So far so good.

  • KHAN_169 on July 3, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    well done job by all go afridi go pakistan boom boom

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    Well Done. But watch out for Tait in the real T20Is.

  • Umair_umair on July 3, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    However, I think Salman Butt Should be batting at No. 3 and shahzaib and Kamran Aklmal to open.

  • gameboyz on July 3, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    nice to see afridi scoring runs but why retired out on 42 in just 14 balls

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    what is meant by retired out, have only heard of retired hurt, why retired out in case of afridi's dismissil in the scorebook

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    could anyone tell me how is S afridi ? can he play monday match against aus ?

  • on July 3, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    afridi is the best .but satarting is he frist