Australia v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group A, Centurion September 30, 2009

Unpredictable v unyielding

33

In the last ten or so overs in Centurion was found the very essence of Pakistan and Australia as cricket nations, and their beauty. It is why people love one country and so respect and fear the other. That another nation could have benefitted from this almighty slugfest adds to the value of this ICC Champions Trophy.

There is not a country in the world that can pull off, even precipitate, the kind of crazy that Pakistan did here, let alone with the regularity that Pakistan does it. It is unique and it is theirs to unveil when they see fit. They have done it across the ages, in most countries, in all conditions, against all opposition and it is a thrill unlike others. Usually it happens at least likely moments when the game is drifting.

Today, Australia was toughing it out, chasing a small total, but there was a sense, even if a fleeting one, that a wicket might just do something. It was there today and it has been there on many such occasions, in Multan in 2005 against England, through the 1992 series against the same opponent, very often against New Zealand, also in South Africa in the early-to-mid 90s. Even when Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey were grinding along, so well were Pakistan bowling and so sluggish was the track that one wicket was going to make it, just one.

So Ponting then fell to an outstanding catch in the deep, which is often how these things emerge, to take on a life of their own. It happened during the 1992-93 Hamilton Test where an Asif Mujtaba reflex-stunner at short leg lit up the mother of all disintegrations. It happened against the same opponents just a few months back, on neutral territory, where Shahid Afridi's catch turned the match on its head, as well as the tournament itself. Sometimes it is a run-out.

And then everything changes. Fielders become panthers, more alert; bowlers sharpen their eyes and hone in on the length, and batsmen panic, as if they have suddenly discovered that the person lying down next to them for years is in fact someone else entirely. Rana Naved-ul-Hasan bowled two maidens in a row during the death overs (and gave just one the over before), having already beaten Hussey with a yorker so good, even he didn't see it hit the stumps. Mohammad Asif, just back from hell, snuck out a two-wicket over; Umar Gul came back to bowl the last over of the game cold, having not bowled since the 15th over of the chase, yet promptly produced yorkers as if he had been in the nets practising them non-stop in the interim.

Fielders were diving around, the captain was trying to keep a lid on things and Australia lost six wickets for 47 runs in just over 14 overs: magic. Waqar Younis wasn't around and Wasim Akram was only in the commentary box, having just been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, but they lurked over this period.

That Pakistan fell just short is precisely what makes Australia, Australia. Immediately after the game, Ian Chappell explained it: Australia never beat themselves. He has said it before, but it does not diminish any on repetition. They just do not implode as other teams might under this kind of tension. You have to beat them, for they will give you nothing and there is almost always someone who will not lie down and succumb to the madness around them.

Brett Lee and Nathan Hauritz did it here, Lee somehow squirting a drive off an outside edge through cover for a boundary, when Pakistan were favourites with 18 needed off 18 balls, off a ball he didn't pick. Countless others have done it before him. Any team other than Australia, Younis said later, would have bottled it, in a blaze of poor shots.

"I didn't think it was going to go this close with 20 overs left to be honest," Ponting said. "We sneaked over the line and we're through to the semis, the stage we wanted to be at."

Of course they did and of course they are, because they always are, irrespective of what any rankings might say. Fortunately for everyone, it took the tightest match of the tournament for them to do it.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 23:29 GMT

    (contd.) lastly i'd say... why is Pak so down when they are against Aus... Pak can beat any team anytime(just look at SA, Ind, SL), why not Aus but it's all about Pak team mind setup... i'm not saying Aus isn't the best team ---> they are very tough & one of a kind... but all i'm saying about is the attitude that should be changed... [P.S.] generally speaking, if a team is going to lose, they'll lose anyway but atleast they should show their brave efforts & courage so that their fans/supporters don't get hurt... [a Request to OSMAN SAMIUDDIN] there is a need of site for Pak team where people can make Healthy Suggestions & Positive Feedback, perhaps, you can help us to contact the Pak team to suggest them about this! so that the public can communicate/interact efficiently with the team... the team will get suggestions, feedback, public demands & conversely they can clarify/explain the happenings/things...

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 23:08 GMT

    (contd.) why don't PAK change their attitude when they already have got brilliant approach in playing against all other teams?.... they sent Misbah instead of U. Akmal, maybe because in the previous game after that fabulous & aggressive partnership b/w Muhd. Yusuf & Shoaib Malik & no significant runs were made by the rest... perhaps, Yunus was planning to repeat the same thing, but it didn't work out... he'll learn it along with time... @Pak Bowling - they were not sure in the beginning but later they fought very well till the end... @Pak Strategy - if Pak intentionally didn't play well against Aus, it wasn't a smart thinking after all... although it may take benefit out of it in the near future but will feel pressure if they come against Aus in final @Aus Batting/Bowling - no doubt about their professionalism, everybody knows it! you make a slight mistake, they'll take advantage of it... (contd.)

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 22:12 GMT

    @OSMAN ---> great article @PAK vs AUS ---> a thrilling game & great stuff from both of the teams... I'd like to share my opinion here: @Pak Batting: They didn't play well & showed as if they've come to the crease to lose ---> either of 2 reasons IMO: (1) Pak were already through to semi-finals, so they wanted to play semi-final against Kiwis, against which their records/chances of playing well & getting to the final through them are easy (maybe they didn't want to take any risk in their semi-final against England)... (2) Pak has no good records against Aus in the recent past, especially after 99'WC ---> they go dull when playing against Aussies, i don't know why? AUS has become like bogeyman team for PAK after 99'WC... why don't they realise their true potential & why don't they stick to their instincts ---> to me, they are misguided by someone or maybe some bunch of people... (contd.)

  • cricket4shafiq on October 1, 2009, 18:30 GMT

    Kmran & Osman

    Can you please make us undestand, how n earth Dilshan won the T20 performance of the year? not the Afriis all rounder display and gul's 5 or 6 could win it.....Why ICC wants to destro pakistan cricket and world cricket.

    2. Why Fawad Alam & Muhammad Aamir were even not considered for emerging plaers awards? is debut century against Mendis in their home turf, is making Dilshan a duck in the crease in a world cup final, and winning world cup is not a fair performance to even be considered from Pakistan teenagers.

    3rd and the most important: The Spirit o cricket Award: Ater all the hell of last few years, the way pakistan team has added generally t world cricket, and especially the 180 million of pakistan, after all the terrorism and then drugs etc...the way pakistan team come up, giving pleasure in the deserts o UAE, in England, in Sri Lanka----do any other team deserve spirit of cricket award more than pakistan?

    what a shame ICC, you have degraded yourself?

  • Dhumper on October 1, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    Coeurlion wrote "As an Australian, whenever Australia play Pakistan, I always get edgy". Same here being a Pakistani. I always get edgy when we play you. We can choke the life out of any country, be it South Africa, India or Srilanka, but when it comes to Australia we always have to go that extra yard before they go down. Pakistan and Australia are definitely 2 of the best teams out there currently and most entertaining! Wishing for a rematch in the final and a PAK win!!!!! but if not then a close last ball deal and then who ever wins!

  • khanofcricket on October 1, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    Mr. Osama, you summed it very well - the talent and ability of Pakistan and the consistency of Australians. I've never seen Rana bowl so well. Only if he culd do it more consistently he could be the most dangerous bowler in death overs. He seems to be a different bowler since he got the hair plant - may the additional weight on his head has something to do with that. Since the times of Wasim and Waqar Pakistan has got the reputation of being most dangerous in death overs and finishing the tail very quickly. I'm glad to see the same reputation being revived here. Those criticising Younis should realize that he is the one who was instrumental in getting everything together. There is always room for improvement which may be positive - if Pakistan can further improve in key areas then they would be unbeatable. Way to go Pakistan!

  • Nadman on October 1, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Good article Osman Bhai..Pakistan is GREAT, but i feel the Captain has to lead from the front in all areas or at least one. Younis may be a lucky Captain, but i do not believe he is good Captain. His recent decisions to put himself first to bat with Aus/Pak ahead of Umar, giving Umar Gul bowling in Centurion against India when he was useless, not continuing on with seamers in Wanderers with West Indies are personal decisions and not those that favour National Cricket interest. I do believe in this day and age, all 11 players have to chip in, as cricket has become very competitive. I along with others do not agree with the happy go lucky attitude of Younis Khan, especially for a Nation wrecked with problems, where cricket is not only the sole passions but the only glimmers of hope. I honestly believe that people will be OK if they see a good fight, no matter what the end game. We have the capabilty to remain at the top, if personal egos, favours and parchees are avoided.

  • ElectronSmoke on October 1, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    Being an Indian, I had ulterior motives for watching this match. Thankfully though, all those permutations of NRR went out of the window once the match kicked on. Indeed, as Pak bowlers made the ball talk and fielders found their tigerish prowl, it was 100% gloriously .. well, Pakistan. The only thing predictable about them is that they'll conjure up something magical. Then again, they were against Aus. Not for them the monotony of SA - but Brett Lee and Hauritz can anyday be more than Albie Morkel and Botha. Reputations and rankings be damned, only exceptional individual performance(s) backed with solid team performance can melt Australia; to outplay them you need to outlast them. Good luck to both the teams !

  • Aussiewarrior on October 1, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    To ekasraz, it shows your poor understanding of the game. A keeper standing up to the pace of a Nathan Bracken or a Praveen Kuman makes sense but not when Umar Gul is bowling. Gul was right on target for the final over and there is nothing better he could have done. At the end of the day, Aussies have the never give up attitude which makes them so dangerous no matter how depleted a side they may be.

  • mardrol on October 1, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    pieces of edgbaston 1999 were playing in my mind during the final over. but to be fair,though pakistan lost,they were the actual winners of the contest.pakistan cricket is back to good old days of akram's near invincibles.an akram has returned in the form of mohammad aamir to international cricket.these guys have another reverse swing sultan by the name umer gul.rana naved is simply an immaculate bowler but he has been all but just a shade unlucky. gifted is this pakistan team packed with dynamos of talent. god bless them.

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 23:29 GMT

    (contd.) lastly i'd say... why is Pak so down when they are against Aus... Pak can beat any team anytime(just look at SA, Ind, SL), why not Aus but it's all about Pak team mind setup... i'm not saying Aus isn't the best team ---> they are very tough & one of a kind... but all i'm saying about is the attitude that should be changed... [P.S.] generally speaking, if a team is going to lose, they'll lose anyway but atleast they should show their brave efforts & courage so that their fans/supporters don't get hurt... [a Request to OSMAN SAMIUDDIN] there is a need of site for Pak team where people can make Healthy Suggestions & Positive Feedback, perhaps, you can help us to contact the Pak team to suggest them about this! so that the public can communicate/interact efficiently with the team... the team will get suggestions, feedback, public demands & conversely they can clarify/explain the happenings/things...

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 23:08 GMT

    (contd.) why don't PAK change their attitude when they already have got brilliant approach in playing against all other teams?.... they sent Misbah instead of U. Akmal, maybe because in the previous game after that fabulous & aggressive partnership b/w Muhd. Yusuf & Shoaib Malik & no significant runs were made by the rest... perhaps, Yunus was planning to repeat the same thing, but it didn't work out... he'll learn it along with time... @Pak Bowling - they were not sure in the beginning but later they fought very well till the end... @Pak Strategy - if Pak intentionally didn't play well against Aus, it wasn't a smart thinking after all... although it may take benefit out of it in the near future but will feel pressure if they come against Aus in final @Aus Batting/Bowling - no doubt about their professionalism, everybody knows it! you make a slight mistake, they'll take advantage of it... (contd.)

  • ERROR_CODE00 on October 1, 2009, 22:12 GMT

    @OSMAN ---> great article @PAK vs AUS ---> a thrilling game & great stuff from both of the teams... I'd like to share my opinion here: @Pak Batting: They didn't play well & showed as if they've come to the crease to lose ---> either of 2 reasons IMO: (1) Pak were already through to semi-finals, so they wanted to play semi-final against Kiwis, against which their records/chances of playing well & getting to the final through them are easy (maybe they didn't want to take any risk in their semi-final against England)... (2) Pak has no good records against Aus in the recent past, especially after 99'WC ---> they go dull when playing against Aussies, i don't know why? AUS has become like bogeyman team for PAK after 99'WC... why don't they realise their true potential & why don't they stick to their instincts ---> to me, they are misguided by someone or maybe some bunch of people... (contd.)

  • cricket4shafiq on October 1, 2009, 18:30 GMT

    Kmran & Osman

    Can you please make us undestand, how n earth Dilshan won the T20 performance of the year? not the Afriis all rounder display and gul's 5 or 6 could win it.....Why ICC wants to destro pakistan cricket and world cricket.

    2. Why Fawad Alam & Muhammad Aamir were even not considered for emerging plaers awards? is debut century against Mendis in their home turf, is making Dilshan a duck in the crease in a world cup final, and winning world cup is not a fair performance to even be considered from Pakistan teenagers.

    3rd and the most important: The Spirit o cricket Award: Ater all the hell of last few years, the way pakistan team has added generally t world cricket, and especially the 180 million of pakistan, after all the terrorism and then drugs etc...the way pakistan team come up, giving pleasure in the deserts o UAE, in England, in Sri Lanka----do any other team deserve spirit of cricket award more than pakistan?

    what a shame ICC, you have degraded yourself?

  • Dhumper on October 1, 2009, 18:24 GMT

    Coeurlion wrote "As an Australian, whenever Australia play Pakistan, I always get edgy". Same here being a Pakistani. I always get edgy when we play you. We can choke the life out of any country, be it South Africa, India or Srilanka, but when it comes to Australia we always have to go that extra yard before they go down. Pakistan and Australia are definitely 2 of the best teams out there currently and most entertaining! Wishing for a rematch in the final and a PAK win!!!!! but if not then a close last ball deal and then who ever wins!

  • khanofcricket on October 1, 2009, 17:23 GMT

    Mr. Osama, you summed it very well - the talent and ability of Pakistan and the consistency of Australians. I've never seen Rana bowl so well. Only if he culd do it more consistently he could be the most dangerous bowler in death overs. He seems to be a different bowler since he got the hair plant - may the additional weight on his head has something to do with that. Since the times of Wasim and Waqar Pakistan has got the reputation of being most dangerous in death overs and finishing the tail very quickly. I'm glad to see the same reputation being revived here. Those criticising Younis should realize that he is the one who was instrumental in getting everything together. There is always room for improvement which may be positive - if Pakistan can further improve in key areas then they would be unbeatable. Way to go Pakistan!

  • Nadman on October 1, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    Good article Osman Bhai..Pakistan is GREAT, but i feel the Captain has to lead from the front in all areas or at least one. Younis may be a lucky Captain, but i do not believe he is good Captain. His recent decisions to put himself first to bat with Aus/Pak ahead of Umar, giving Umar Gul bowling in Centurion against India when he was useless, not continuing on with seamers in Wanderers with West Indies are personal decisions and not those that favour National Cricket interest. I do believe in this day and age, all 11 players have to chip in, as cricket has become very competitive. I along with others do not agree with the happy go lucky attitude of Younis Khan, especially for a Nation wrecked with problems, where cricket is not only the sole passions but the only glimmers of hope. I honestly believe that people will be OK if they see a good fight, no matter what the end game. We have the capabilty to remain at the top, if personal egos, favours and parchees are avoided.

  • ElectronSmoke on October 1, 2009, 14:56 GMT

    Being an Indian, I had ulterior motives for watching this match. Thankfully though, all those permutations of NRR went out of the window once the match kicked on. Indeed, as Pak bowlers made the ball talk and fielders found their tigerish prowl, it was 100% gloriously .. well, Pakistan. The only thing predictable about them is that they'll conjure up something magical. Then again, they were against Aus. Not for them the monotony of SA - but Brett Lee and Hauritz can anyday be more than Albie Morkel and Botha. Reputations and rankings be damned, only exceptional individual performance(s) backed with solid team performance can melt Australia; to outplay them you need to outlast them. Good luck to both the teams !

  • Aussiewarrior on October 1, 2009, 14:20 GMT

    To ekasraz, it shows your poor understanding of the game. A keeper standing up to the pace of a Nathan Bracken or a Praveen Kuman makes sense but not when Umar Gul is bowling. Gul was right on target for the final over and there is nothing better he could have done. At the end of the day, Aussies have the never give up attitude which makes them so dangerous no matter how depleted a side they may be.

  • mardrol on October 1, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    pieces of edgbaston 1999 were playing in my mind during the final over. but to be fair,though pakistan lost,they were the actual winners of the contest.pakistan cricket is back to good old days of akram's near invincibles.an akram has returned in the form of mohammad aamir to international cricket.these guys have another reverse swing sultan by the name umer gul.rana naved is simply an immaculate bowler but he has been all but just a shade unlucky. gifted is this pakistan team packed with dynamos of talent. god bless them.

  • PAK_TIGERS on October 1, 2009, 13:20 GMT

    Great article OSAMAN, you can write w/ passion. Pak lost but atleast they fight till the last ball . The results would of been different if 1) Misbah and yousef were not so slow when they were batting .2) Not taking power play earlier enough 3) when they did took powerplay was usless 4) UMAR K shoud of been up the ranks for batting. 5) What the hell Kamran was doing far away behind the stumps on the last ball of the game ? BUT once again good fight, I hope they learn from their mistakes, I be curious to see the bowling combination in next game. Naveed was outstanding ! Go tigers and bring home the CUP !

  • asfandyar_pakipower on October 1, 2009, 13:06 GMT

    surely usman bhai wrote a great article ...i was reading some of the comments from indians about pakistan while the match was still going on ..i guess they didnt know that pakistan is the only team which can do any thing any time ...no one can complain about the committment ....teams always do what suits them in every game and defeat suited pakistan more as they will have newzeland to play against whom pak have a 61% winning record so ...no problem we did scare australia and this kind of defeat wont hurt pakistan's moral and i m happy we kicked india out again ... and i was amazed with shastri's post match presntation comments when he said to dhoni more than once that u r a best team in the world and this and that they say in football ...table never lies ..if india's going home it means they were average

  • Nipun on October 1, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    The fact that Pakistan took it so easy for all their batting & upto the wicket of Ponting while fielding,& yet ran Australia so close tells you what a damn dangerous team they are.I craved for a tie,though,so that Australia doesn't face England again.Haven't we had enough of them already !

  • 4thelement on October 1, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    I would rather conclude that Pakistanis never played upto their potential in this game they took it extremely light. On the other hand Aussies desperately wanted to win this game so they tried their best from the very begining. Although! No doubt Younis still has to learn a lot as a Captain and needs more n more consistency and improvement as far as his batting is concerned; since becoming a Captain i have never seen him contributing to team's success or leading from the front in ODI's and T20's except a tripple century last year against Sri Lanka that too in Test Matches. Those who are saying that Keeper should have stood right behind the wicket looks so childish; how could a keeper can stand up to a bowler like Umar Gul whose bowling swinging yorkers with furious pace in the dead overs. That would be the end of his keeping capabilities. Anywayz it was a good game and overall Pakistan really outclassed Aussies............

  • boris6491 on October 1, 2009, 12:32 GMT

    Pakistan were outstanding, there is no doubt about that. They have, according to me one of the best array of death bowlers in the world led by Umar Gul and joined by Rana Naved. Australia must rectify their middle order batting which really did take things for granted. I somehow get the feeling that in all of their success, this side is slightly imbalanced. I really do feel that Australia require experience in that middle order and honestly, Brad Hodge should be there, possibly in place of White batting at 5. He has done nothing wrong and everything right and has really been treated poorly by the selectors. I just feel that with that experience, Australia can get the best out of both Ferguson and Hopes and overall, their middle-lower order batting. No disrespect to David Hussey, but I just dont feel he is the right player to replace Clarke in this squad. And the lack of experience was telling with Australia's collapse. However, full credit to the Aussies for battling it out.

  • coeurlion on October 1, 2009, 11:44 GMT

    As an Australian, whenever Australia play Pakistan, I always get edgy. Pakistan has always had an 'X factor'... from seeming losing or innocuous positions they can pull a rabbit out of the hat, and make ANY team look ordinary, and win. This game encapsulated both sides, as Osman writes. We were doing fine in the chase at 140/2. Then Ponting goes... and before you know it, we lost six wickets for 47! We won... on the last ball! (Phew!) This only whets my appetite... I hope for a rematch in the final (Australia to win again... sorry, Pakistani fans... I'm an Aussie fan). We're hosting Pakistan this summer... it'll be a good series, and hope that one day we'll be the tourists and Pakistan the hosts.

  • Saim93 on October 1, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    It was a great ending to the match, i was thinking the whole time that pakistan could surprise aussies and kept watching and i was right just when it was seeming that everything was over they made a great comeback, it was a treat to watch.

  • Herbet on October 1, 2009, 8:26 GMT

    Rana Naved's bowling was the best I have ever seen in the closing overs of an ODI. I found this odd because the last time I watched him was in a county game for Yorkshire and he was terrible! This Pakistan team has an enormous amount of potential in all forms of the game. They have a top class legspinner, a top class offspinner who can bowl doosra's, 2 of the best young right arm seamers in the world and a teenage left arm quick. Throw in an excelent wicketkeeper batsmen, a promising young batsmen, a good allrounder and 3 very gifted and experienced middle order batsmen and you nearly have everything. If only they had a world class opener for test matches they would be just about complete.

  • wahidmca on October 1, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    Pakistan played very well in last overs. But over all Pakistani's were never in the game , although they got a good start , they could not capitalize on it, they should have scored 20-25 runs more.Here i agree with the comments of the some people that Younis Khan has lot to learn. How can be the keeper so deep in the last delivery when they know they need only one of it. Omar Akmal looks a bright prospect for Pakistan but Younis Khan is wasting his talent by sending him lower down the order. He should be sent in first four.

  • Maissom on October 1, 2009, 7:10 GMT

    Brilliant article Osman bhai. The lines truly make one visualize what you have tried to portray.

    One of the major things that Pakistan team still needs to improve on is the fact that they need to kill the sniff more often as the likes of Wasims and Waqars used to do for us in the past.

    And yes, a rematch of these two teams in the final looks very much imminent and for that of course, the green shirts need to tackle kiwis well on a harder track than this. All the best Younus Khan. We have hopes from you that you can turn around things in a good positive and mature way!

    -Maissom from Beijing/P.R.C

  • Mirzamahmood on October 1, 2009, 6:54 GMT

    Excellent article in a thrilling game. Pakistan really played well in the rear end of the match. But I feel younus still has to learn a lot more. Cant imagine Akmal standing deep behind the wickets on last ball and throwing while both gloves on. Then Umer Akmal stranded regularly at number 6 or 7, I hope they are not trying to tranform him into a slogger. He needs to be sent in while at least 20 overs in hand. Power plays need to be used much better. It also appears that seniors like Yousuf, Misbah, Younis bat against australia with a defeatist mind set. The mind set has to change specially when you have an Aussi tour coming up. Must mention that I am please to see that younus has started attacking a little more in middle overs bowling and his captaincy is improving. Best of luck Pakistan.. Lets bring another cup home..

  • popcorn on October 1, 2009, 6:30 GMT

    Australia do not get beaten easily.And that is indeed their greatness. Unless umpires help the other side Ponting and Hussey could have seen Australia through - I thought Ponting should have hit flatter.No chance of uit being caught then.I wonder why Australia did not take the Batting Powerplay when Ponting and Hussey were so well settled, or while Hussey and white were batting. Polish them off! Now Australia knows - and England, and whoever faces Australia in the Finals beware.

  • Romanticstud on October 1, 2009, 6:07 GMT

    Pakistan have this knack of when the game is getting away from them to almost give up trying ... but ... if something dramatic happens, the opposition fall like flies ...

    Being a South African, I know what damage Pakistan can do ... Just take the T20 semi-final, when we had them quiet in the game 68/2 after 10 overs ... along comes Afridi and they got 150 ...

    Then again we have suffered close encounters with Australia too ... The world cup in 1999 was a prime example. We only needed one run in the last three balls ...

    I hope that these two teams meet again in the final and show the same exciting cricket that has made both teams world beaters over the years.

  • ekasraz on October 1, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    I hope this defeat will not haunt Pakistan in the near future. Younis sometimes misses very basic things.For example In the last over the keeper should have been upto stumps and a fielder on third man or fine leg. Pakistan should have won his match easily, but now they have to beat kiwis in Johanesburg. Kiwis have already won some important matches on that ground in this tournamnet and will be in thier comfort zone. Pakistan have to leave their comfort zone as they were more acusttomed to Centurion. Anyways I wish best of luck to Pakistan.

  • leggetinoz on October 1, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    very nice article. You (and chappells comment) are dead right about the Australian team. It comes down to the australian sporting attitude which is cemented in yuo from juniors playing in the school oval with your mates. We will never believe we are beaten and we will never give up. Despite the strength of the Australian team we will always be tought o beat due to this attitude. And we will never let up, we will force you to beat us, we will not make it easy for you.

  • suyanids on October 1, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    after all loss is a loss.They did not capitalised the last 2 wickets

  • pakistanisharjeel on October 1, 2009, 5:11 GMT

    Usman Bahi a great article i always love to read your coulums u know i just came back from my jogging and want to sleep suddenly i remind that hopefully today i can have an article from Usman so i have came online.but i felt this Younis khan ,s tem lacking good finishes what they did again srilanka tests?what they did agains asutralia in UAE ?? what they did yesterday.in my point of view our bowling attack is our strenght but since 2003 i have been follwing pakistan cricket i felt many many times we have so close to beat australia bt can,t?? because they r more professional and mentally tough we need to learn quickly.i remind in 2004 champion trophy we came v v close to beat beat austrlia in warm up match but lost same in holland tri series where third was india.same we did in 2004 krachi one day when ever i start to proud on paksitan team they hurt im always praying for the country but i think .in last 10 years its best balanced team LONG LIVE PAKSITAN PROUD TO Be a PAKI like usman.

  • 68704 on October 1, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    Sridhar wrote Nice piece but nicer game! To those touting the death knell of the fifty over game , this game must have been a surprise and full credit to both the teams for providing the fare they did. I really did think that pakistan would win by a few runs. But Australia were equal to the task and having a senior Pro like Lee at the end made a difference. Somehow Australia seems to find somebody who rises to the occasion. But full credit to Pakistan, what a bowling attack! I do hope that the right Pakistan team turns up for the semi finals and finals unlike the 1999 world cup.

  • sal80 on October 1, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    This type of crazy stuff we often see from pakistan and i dnt think any other team is capible of fighting till last but when they 11 green man decide to do sum thing they always do it ,...i think this match turns out to be the match of CT ..rana & ajmal both are asoum ..i hope they reach in final and will bring this trophy home.

  • saharraza on October 1, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Osman, tis a delight, it is, to read some of the stuff you write. I mean, so much sense coupled with so much stylish, articulate well-directed passion! You are sic man. Totally.

    I rolled my eyes heavenward when hubby completely lost interest in the match earlier and started (predictably) making snide comments about match fixing. I mean, what is it with unintelligent and indifferent observers of the game! Do they *have* to have an opinion even if it is so obviously moronic! And if the outcome is all you care about, just go read that instead of professing an interest in and knowledge of the game. Haha.

  • waseemsarwar on October 1, 2009, 4:33 GMT

    without any doubt the match of CT so far. Very Good article Mr. Osman and u really sketch beautifully the true condition of the match. I thought Shahid Afridi bowled a bit below his current form but ajmal, rana and 2nd spell of Asif was fantastic. I hope pak will go pass Kiwis as they have normally done against them is the past. and play Aus in the final again

  • redneck on October 1, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    it turned out to be a edge of your seat finish, when it looked like australia were going to win comfortably!!! i hope pakistan can play this way when they come down under at the years end! should make for some good matches this summer!

  • .Sohail on October 1, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Very Good Article as Always from you. I believe that, Pakistan needs two things always. 1) Unity 2) When they want to achieve. If Pakistan have these two Ingredients they can defeat any opposition, any where, any location. This whole tournament is another example of that. I bet to anyone; Pakistan and Australia will be in the final, and Pakistan will win the final of this tournament. Pakistan will also take the revenge of 99' WC Final after defeating Australia in ICC CT-2009. I am so sure about that, because now we can see both the Ingredients in green shirts. Best of Luck Team Pakistan. Sohail From Islamabad/Pakistan

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  • .Sohail on October 1, 2009, 4:06 GMT

    Very Good Article as Always from you. I believe that, Pakistan needs two things always. 1) Unity 2) When they want to achieve. If Pakistan have these two Ingredients they can defeat any opposition, any where, any location. This whole tournament is another example of that. I bet to anyone; Pakistan and Australia will be in the final, and Pakistan will win the final of this tournament. Pakistan will also take the revenge of 99' WC Final after defeating Australia in ICC CT-2009. I am so sure about that, because now we can see both the Ingredients in green shirts. Best of Luck Team Pakistan. Sohail From Islamabad/Pakistan

  • redneck on October 1, 2009, 4:11 GMT

    it turned out to be a edge of your seat finish, when it looked like australia were going to win comfortably!!! i hope pakistan can play this way when they come down under at the years end! should make for some good matches this summer!

  • waseemsarwar on October 1, 2009, 4:33 GMT

    without any doubt the match of CT so far. Very Good article Mr. Osman and u really sketch beautifully the true condition of the match. I thought Shahid Afridi bowled a bit below his current form but ajmal, rana and 2nd spell of Asif was fantastic. I hope pak will go pass Kiwis as they have normally done against them is the past. and play Aus in the final again

  • saharraza on October 1, 2009, 4:42 GMT

    Osman, tis a delight, it is, to read some of the stuff you write. I mean, so much sense coupled with so much stylish, articulate well-directed passion! You are sic man. Totally.

    I rolled my eyes heavenward when hubby completely lost interest in the match earlier and started (predictably) making snide comments about match fixing. I mean, what is it with unintelligent and indifferent observers of the game! Do they *have* to have an opinion even if it is so obviously moronic! And if the outcome is all you care about, just go read that instead of professing an interest in and knowledge of the game. Haha.

  • sal80 on October 1, 2009, 5:00 GMT

    This type of crazy stuff we often see from pakistan and i dnt think any other team is capible of fighting till last but when they 11 green man decide to do sum thing they always do it ,...i think this match turns out to be the match of CT ..rana & ajmal both are asoum ..i hope they reach in final and will bring this trophy home.

  • 68704 on October 1, 2009, 5:09 GMT

    Sridhar wrote Nice piece but nicer game! To those touting the death knell of the fifty over game , this game must have been a surprise and full credit to both the teams for providing the fare they did. I really did think that pakistan would win by a few runs. But Australia were equal to the task and having a senior Pro like Lee at the end made a difference. Somehow Australia seems to find somebody who rises to the occasion. But full credit to Pakistan, what a bowling attack! I do hope that the right Pakistan team turns up for the semi finals and finals unlike the 1999 world cup.

  • pakistanisharjeel on October 1, 2009, 5:11 GMT

    Usman Bahi a great article i always love to read your coulums u know i just came back from my jogging and want to sleep suddenly i remind that hopefully today i can have an article from Usman so i have came online.but i felt this Younis khan ,s tem lacking good finishes what they did again srilanka tests?what they did agains asutralia in UAE ?? what they did yesterday.in my point of view our bowling attack is our strenght but since 2003 i have been follwing pakistan cricket i felt many many times we have so close to beat australia bt can,t?? because they r more professional and mentally tough we need to learn quickly.i remind in 2004 champion trophy we came v v close to beat beat austrlia in warm up match but lost same in holland tri series where third was india.same we did in 2004 krachi one day when ever i start to proud on paksitan team they hurt im always praying for the country but i think .in last 10 years its best balanced team LONG LIVE PAKSITAN PROUD TO Be a PAKI like usman.

  • suyanids on October 1, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    after all loss is a loss.They did not capitalised the last 2 wickets

  • leggetinoz on October 1, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    very nice article. You (and chappells comment) are dead right about the Australian team. It comes down to the australian sporting attitude which is cemented in yuo from juniors playing in the school oval with your mates. We will never believe we are beaten and we will never give up. Despite the strength of the Australian team we will always be tought o beat due to this attitude. And we will never let up, we will force you to beat us, we will not make it easy for you.

  • ekasraz on October 1, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    I hope this defeat will not haunt Pakistan in the near future. Younis sometimes misses very basic things.For example In the last over the keeper should have been upto stumps and a fielder on third man or fine leg. Pakistan should have won his match easily, but now they have to beat kiwis in Johanesburg. Kiwis have already won some important matches on that ground in this tournamnet and will be in thier comfort zone. Pakistan have to leave their comfort zone as they were more acusttomed to Centurion. Anyways I wish best of luck to Pakistan.