ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

India v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, semi-final, Mohali

The crucial first 15 overs, and mysterious Misbah

The margin of the result was exactly the number of more runs India scored in the first 15 overs compared to Pakistan

S Rajesh

March 30, 2011

Comments: 46 | Text size: A | A

As it turned out, almost all the experts read the wicket wrong. MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar admitted as much in the post-match presentation, and from the scores it's obvious that run-making was a lot more difficult on this Mohali pitch than it was expected to be. The team composition and the early overs suggested a score of around 300 would be a par total, but later events showed it was another subcontinent track on which run-scoring against the hard new ball was much easier.

In that context, the difference between the two teams was the runs they scored in the first 15 overs, when the ball was new. Pakistan's top three played useful cameos too, but none of them exploded in the manner that Virender Sehwag had. Sehwag's 25-ball 38 allowed India to rack up 99 in the first 15 overs, compared to Pakistan's 70. The difference of 29 was exactly the margin by which Pakistan lost the match, which means in the remaining 35 overs, the two teams scored exactly the same number of runs. Of course, the approaches of the two teams at the start were obviously different since Pakistan knew the target in front of them, but Pakistan struggled as much as India did in the middle overs. What made their case worse was the fact that they got no reciprocal help from the Indian fielders, or from the dew which was expected to set in later in the evening.

How the Indian and Pakistan innings shaped up
Team - overs Score Dots 1s/ 2s 4s/ 6s
India - 1 to 15 99 for 1 52 18/ 2 16/ 0
Pakistan - 1 to 15 70 for 1 57 19/ 2 11/ 0
India - 16 to 40 101 for 4 85 50/ 6 8/ 0
Pakistan - 16 to 40 107 for 5 79 53/ 12 4/ 2
India - 41 to 50 60 for 4 29 21/ 4 6/ 0
Pakistan - 41 to 50 54 for 4 33 20/ 1 5/ 1

Misbah's mystery innings
Misbah-ul-Haq's strike rate at the end of his innings was 73.68; Tendulkar's rate for his 85 was 73.91. That, perhaps, is as good an example as any to illustrate the fact that stats without context is meaningless. Misbah's inexplicable go-slow through the first half of his innings resulted in the asking rate climbing to unmanageable proportions, and it also forced the other batsmen to take risks that might otherwise have been unnecessary. He tried to make up for it later, but apart from helping him reach a personal landmark and improving his strike-rate, his late hits counted for little.

Overall, Misbah played out 42 dot balls, which was the most among Pakistan's batsmen. In his first 42 balls, he scored only 17 and played 27 dots. During this period, Pakistan's asking rate went up from 6.07 to 8.45. Younis Khan's sluggish innings didn't help either - add his 13 from 32 balls to Misbah's 17 in his first 42, and Pakistan have every reason to feel their two most experienced batsmen didn't serve them well: in those 74 balls, the two batsmen got a grand total of 30 runs, with no boundaries. Even with the power-hitters to follow, that was a bridge too far.

Misbah's mis-paced innings
  Runs Dots 1s/ 2s 4s/ 6s
First 42 balls 17 27 13/ 2 0/ 0
Last 34 balls 39 15 13/ 0 5/ 1
Full innings (76 balls) 56 42 26/ 0 5/ 1

A spell to remember
The batsmen's poor effort ensured that a wonderful bowling performance by Wahab Riaz went in vain. He became only the second bowler, after Venkatesh Prasad, to take a five-for in an India-Pakistan World Cup match. He joins eight other Pakistan bowlers to have taken a five-for in an ODI against India.

More stats

  • This is India's first World Cup semi-final win at home in three attempts. They'd lost to England in 1987, and to Sri Lanka in 1996. However, they've won both their World Cup semi-final matches away from home (in 1983 and 2003).

  • Tendulkar has won nine Man-of-the-Match awards in World Cups, which is easily the highest. Three of those have been against Pakistan: he'd also won the prize against them in 1992 and in 2003.

  • Sehwag and Dhoni joined five other Indian batsmen to score 1000 ODI runs against Pakistan. Tendulkar leads with 2474 runs at an average of 39.90.

  • It was only the second time in his ODI career that Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for a golden duck - the first instance was against Kenya nearly ten years ago.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 46 
Posted by HotJon on (April 2, 2011, 18:36 GMT)

Error in the stats table: Misbah scored 2 2's in his total innings. FYI.

Posted by   on (April 2, 2011, 5:49 GMT)

INDIA HAS WON AND CONGRATULATED - NOW IT IS INAPPROPRIATE AND PATRONIZING TO CRITICIZE THE OTHER - MISBAH HAQUE IS ESSENTIALLY A TEST BATTER YET IN ODI ATLAEST HIS LATE RECORD SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. HE PLAYS WITH A GAME PLAN - THE FIRST SOME OVERS WERE GOOD TO SCORE AND INDIA'S OPENERS TOOK BEST ADVATAGE AND LIKEWISE PAKISTAN - BUT THE WICKET SOONER STARTED TURNING WHERE PAKISTAN LOST WICKETS. WITH YOUNIS KHAN GONE HAQUE HAD TO KEEP ONE END- THE TURNING POINT WAS RAZAK GONE AND AFRIDI DOWN IN HIS BATTING THROUGH THIS TOURNMENT- THE GAME WAS TECHNICALLY OVER AFTER THE 40TH OVER AND IF HE HAD NEEDLESSLY SWUNG HIS BAT, IT WOULD HAVE ENDED EARLIER. TWO ADDED FACTORS: THE WORLD BEST BATTER TUNDULKAR PALYED AN INNINGS HE WOULD NOT LIKE TO REMBEMBER, BUT IT IT WON THE GAME FOR INDIA - AS AGAINST THIS, UMAR GUL, PAKISTAN'S BEST HOPE LARGELY LOST IT FOR PAKISTAN. LAST NOT TH ELEAST, AS PERFORMANCE -MAN OF THE MATCH WAS WAHAB. AGAIN CONGRATS TO INDIA AND AFRIDI FOR PAKSTAN TAKING IT THAT FAR

Posted by jay_soni on (April 1, 2011, 19:01 GMT)

go....................................india.........................go

Posted by aaqil_dilshard on (April 1, 2011, 10:03 GMT)

even after giving 4 lives to sachin, and having such new players, pakistan was able to go that far. shows how weak india is.

Posted by Nagen on (April 1, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

I don't think there is any excuse for Misbah's innings. Everyone knew that it was a pressure cooker situation, but no player of International standard would have played an innings of that sort. He should take the responsibilityfor playing such a sluggish cricket during a very important match, which in turn made a no contest at all.

Posted by intcamd on (April 1, 2011, 0:48 GMT)

The middle overs were to score from. After Gambhir and Yuvraj got out in succession, India's run rate dropped badly as well. There were umpteen overs in which we scored just 2 and may 3 runs a over, and some times even just 1 per over. It was only in the last power play, that Raina accelerated. So all this focus on Misbah and Younis seems misplaced.

Also, this whole focus on power play. What difference would it have made? India took it in 45 to 49. In a couple of other games, India did not take till 46th over. In a couple of games, power play destroyed our tempo. All this focus on power play from the media honchos seems so short sighted.

Posted by cooljack_143 on (April 1, 2011, 0:41 GMT)

SEHWAG PLEASE THINK THIS AS A REVENGE GAME AGAINST RANDIV(for not letting you make 100) and play for team Inidia, as you did against BANGLADESH saying at the post match that it was a REVENGE GAME AGAINST BD.If sehwag is on revenge he will play patiently to stay till the 50th over and hit 150+ score.Go Sehwag Goooo!!!!!!!!! Dilshan and his POOPS (Dil Scoops) are nothing in front of you.You have your UUPAR CUT:-) to hit compared to UPUL. MERA BHARAT MAHAN!!! GOOD LUCK TEAM INDIA THE THEN 1983 AND NOW 2011 CHAMPIONS. WORLD IS GOING TO END IN MAY 1 , 2012 , WE WONT HAVE ANOTHER WC TO PLAY SO PLEASE GET THE LAST WC BACK TO US!!!!!!!!! let it be with us forever.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2011, 21:52 GMT)

Shoaib Akhtar, what a sad retirement for Speed legend, No one has talked about it. Poor guy retired on bench very sad. If Ravi Shastri wasn't too occupied with continuously repeating India is a better team he could have mentioned him in post match ceremony.

Also Toss was Crucial in Indian victory, by batting first and putting Pakistan's batting under pressure chasing, they were able to play to their strength.

Afridi wastes his wicket by batting down the order while chasing. Its useless, he cant be trusted with scoring 30 runs if 10 overs were remaining. Instead, on a flat wicket like this he should have batted within first 15 overs. Captain suppose to lead from front, not by batting at 7 when game is practically over. And why are they scared to take the power play early? defensive cricket = defeat.

Posted by   on (March 31, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

Misbah would have been praised if Razzaq or Afridi would have clicked (Afridi almost clicked except for the edge from bajji's tricky ball), Bajji's ball to Umar Akmal was a beauty and there was no pressure of runs in that shot

so why the question of Misbah batting coming up here

Posted by jammie2000 on (March 31, 2011, 15:39 GMT)

Guys, we always got misbah & afridi(batting) and Shoib(bowling) to play in Indias hands whenever they play against INDIA.. So NO Worries... Only Check the Umar Akmal type of Players not to Clik.... As far as Pressure, we have a Cool Mind in MS.... we will win FINAL...against SL since INDIA is playing the WOrld Cup in REverse order like playing the FINAL first (AUS), Semi(PAK), now the QF(SL).... NO PROBLEMS

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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