Sambit Bal
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Editor, ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's

Clinical, professional and un-Pakistani

The win came through a most uncharacteristic performance

Sambit Bal at Lord's

June 21, 2009

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Shahid Afridi celebrates the moment of victory, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009
Shahid Afridi's pose after sealing the win was that of a winner who had known the inevitability of victory © Getty Images
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In the end there were no theatrics. The glory came with a leg-bye, and with Lasith Malinga appealing for a leg-before. Then there was Shahid Afridi, standing with arms wide open, pointing upwards. As the stadium erupted around him, he stood still, no drama; it was the pose of a winner who had known the inevitability of victory.

The team-mates came charging in; a flag was produced, some of the Pakistani players knelt to kiss the turf, and the stadium was awash with green. Suddenly you noticed that even the stewards were green and were called the green team. Was it always meant to be?

Resolute. Restrained. Mature. Measured. Not in the most bizarre of your dreams would you associate these words with Afridi. But those very words summed up his performance today. He wanted the responsibility, he grabbed it and fulfilled it. And his approach to the game was a microcosm of how Pakistani played the final.

It was a clinical, thought-out and utterly professional display. Very un-Pakistani. Yorkers didn't thud into pads or uproot stumps; there were no magic moments from the spinners, either; and the ball didn't fly over the ropes.

Abdul Razzaq, no more than a trundler, but a canny and grizzled one, did what the unheralded Angelo Mathews had done far more dramatically for Sri Lanka at The Oval a couple of days ago, and once Sri Lanka lost four wickets in the Powerplay, it was a question of keeping the screws tight. And so Pakistan did, until the last over, which produced 17 runs.

On another day, trusting a rookie bowler with the final over could have been a costly mistake, but this was to be Pakistan's day. And for the most part they remained in charge of the game. And from the way the first over was bowled, it was apparent there was a plan.

Tillakaratne Dilshan loomed large over the match. By a distance, he had been the batsman of the tournament, both prolific and quick, inventive and solid. Single-handed he had won Sri Lanka the semi-final, and with their bowling, Sri Lanka were perhaps not looking for a lot more than 150. The weakness of the Pakistan bowling attack, apparently, lay at the top. Would there be a change in tactics? Give Umar Gul an over? Open with Afridi?

Pakistan stuck to the same bowlers. Mohammad Aamer, 17 years and six Twenty20 matches old, was given the new ball. What changed, though, was the method. The first ball was a sharp bouncer, and Dilshan got hurriedly out of the way; the second one hurried him into a cut shot; the third pushed him further back, the fourth could have had him - the attempted pull ricocheted off his body and then caught his bat and could have gone anywhere; and the fifth did - a weak pull spooned up to backward square-leg. A plan only looks well-laid after it has been executed precisely.

Yorkers didn't thud in to the pads or uproot stumps; there were no magic moments from the spinners either; and the ball didn't fly over the ropes

The main threat removed, Pakistan fell back to the percentages. Razzaq removed three; Afridi hurried through his overs, subtly varying his pace - one ball was recorded at 126kph - and length, and mixing them up; Saeed Ajmal, slipped in overs quietly; and Gul arrived to finish the job. A lot has been said that about Gul's ability to reverse the 12-over-old ball, but his success at this format lies in his mastery over line and the ability mix up his length. It was a short ball that got him the wicket in this match.

The chase, of course, belonged to Afridi. He had scored three embarrassing ducks early in the tournament, mostly swiping across the line, and until the semi-finals had earned his spurs bowling. Ahead of the semi-final he had begged for a promotion, and vindicated himself there with a match-winning half century. Here in the final, though, he played perhaps the most responsible innings of his long and frustratingly inconsistent career. When Afridi nudges his third ball to midwicket and scampers two, you instantly become aware that you are watching something different. It turned out to be special.

His first boundary did not come until the 20th ball, when he hoisted Murali for a six and followed up an inside-out drive that went for four. There were seven boundary-less overs while he was at the crease, and in a sudden explosion, he turned the match irrevocably Pakistan's way hitting successive balls from Isuru Udana for six and four.

Like in the first tournament in South Africa, this one was a low-scoring final. It wasn't as dramatic, but it was a simmering, gritty contest won by a team desperate not to miss out once again. It would have had a poignant touch had Misbah-ul Haq, whose fateful scoop cost Pakistan the title the last time, got an opportunity to redeem himself, but that he was not needed reflected Pakistan's mastery over the proceedings.

As the Pakistan team took their victory lap, the public address system belted out "Dil Dil Pakistan", an all-time favourite rock song by Vital Signs, an 80s Pakistan band. Later at the press conference, Younis Khan described the win as a gift to the nation. The cricketers have done their bit to lift a beleaguered country.

Sambit Bal is the editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by imranalee on (June 23, 2009, 20:07 GMT)

It is the nation that has seen it all. The chaos, the drama, the terror, the sorrow, the happiness, the tears and the smiles but yet again we have risen against time and by the grace of the Al-Mighty the glory is ours. Afridi, razzaq, kamran, malik, younis and all the quys have made us proud. We remember 87' we cherish 92' we have not forgotten '96 we took the nail in '99 but after a decade and trying to forget 2003 and 2007 holding back the memories of 2008 we will always be proud of 2009. We love Pakitan.

Posted by TRUTH_CRUSHER on (June 22, 2009, 16:01 GMT)

first thanks to all who apreciated the victory.coming to the topic that sampat using the word that UN-PAKISTANI ,well i have a different point of views that all big wins comes in the simpler way, can see the past records there were two mega event won by pakistan in both were pakistan downunder at the initial stage seems to cut off from the tournament and then the whole spirit of the players changes and the win all the games not only this time way back in 1992, pakistan out classed newzealand and england in 1992 world cup s newzealand was unbeaten at that time and alo the england. so its almost like a pakistani way that most unpredictible team in the world can be bowled out on 43 and can almost chase a 350 runs. its happens many times in test odi now as well as in T20 u may flash back to T20 world cup final in 2007 when pakistn starting with a good and then colapse in middle and misbah effort that shows that they will win it and suddenly india wins similarl continued

Posted by fadooo on (June 22, 2009, 14:59 GMT)

Hahah wonderfully put sambit ! You are one of my favorite writers. Watching the final, I couldn't believe this is the team I have been religously following for the past 16 years(I was too young to remember 1992). Especially watching afridi bat, it was as if Kallis or younis was playing. Never seen his so responsible ever. Very unpakistani but more heartwarming than it has ever been.

Posted by skn007 on (June 22, 2009, 13:58 GMT)

I am an Indian fan.

Congratulations to Pakistan Team! They played better cricket on the semi-finals and finals and deserved to be the champions.

Pakistani fans, atleast now please stop complaining about Modi and BCCI. It was the pakistani government who were against sending their players to IPL-2 due to the security concerns in India. Just 3 weeks before the tournament only it got moved to SA, by then all the team composisition were already in place and the frachisee owners were not in a position to take players any at that stage. Even most of the australian national players were not in IPL-2 since they were playing in UAE with pak.

Regarding the Champions Trophy, it is a BCCI managed tournament planned to be held in India. If Pak government can't give permission for IPL, will it give permission for their players to participate in CL? Modi is a business man and he doesn't want any last minute issues like that. Don't forget that all the Pakistan players played in IPL-1.

Posted by AndyLong on (June 22, 2009, 13:52 GMT)

Well done to Pakistan's most level headed captain since Imran. You could tell the change for Pakistan was that they were not playing against each other, only the opposition! Under Younis's plan, Afridi took up the mantle and ran the semi and the final. How great to see one of the game's most naturally talented players' express himself with ball, bat and in the field. A joy to behold!! And where do you find these new guys - Misbah appeared at the last 20-20 and looked the real deal straight away; Ajmal came from nowhere and amazed me with his accuracy and skill; Shehzad didn't get the scores, but patently has incredible talent and Aamir?? He's only just 17 and is like lightning, where do all these outrageously talented players come from? England has nothing like the level of this talent - more power to you Pakistan!!

Posted by reality_check on (June 22, 2009, 13:48 GMT)

Clinical, professional and Pakistani is how I will put it. This victory is special in so many ways for Pakistan. It's very hard to even compete in an international tournament let alone win it given the state of affairs in Pakistan for last couple of years not to mention everyone refusing to tour Pakistan and less cricket then air on the moon. All the pundits wrote off Pakistan as a second rate team so I am so proud and happy to see Pakistan team flip giant two fingers to all the doubters. Good for Pakistan and good for Pak cricket. Mr. Modi... you can now put the unchampions T20 league without any Pak representation to where the sun doesn't shine. Leave politics out of cricket. Thank you!

Posted by Shabbirshah on (June 22, 2009, 13:19 GMT)

On the batting front Pakistan performance was very professional. In my opinion the bowling performance (except the way they got Dilshan out) was poor. The wicket of Jaysuriya was pure luck and Jaywardane has himself to blame to got out on a regular outside the off stump delivery. There were many lapses in the field especially giving away singles was a regular feature. Umar Gul was not able to reverse the ball and he relied on useless short pitch deliveries which resulted in some easy pickings by the Lankans. It was quiet sad to see that an amateur like Mathews able to score 35 runs of 24 balls. However, batting was something special and memorable. The approach of Shahzaib and especially Akmal was immaculate, not to lose wicket was the agenda of the day. We should not forget the tireless innings of Shoaib Malik who assured to check the fall of wicket from other end providing opportunity to Afridi to plan his innings accordingly. Overall, its a champion performance by the team.

Posted by SMALI_RWP on (June 22, 2009, 13:19 GMT)

Sambit: Your article was on the button. I think there has been some misunderstanding by some reader with the word "UnPakistani" to describe he performance of the winne, which was Pakistan. In fairness, your choice of word was very appropriate, normally in situation like the Pakistan team found themselves battling it out SENSIBLY for a change is very unlike Pakistani. To state my point from overs 13-17 both Malick & Afridi concentrated on taking sharp singles!. Then there was no rush of blood shots!! from Mr. Afridi. This is really Un-Pakistani pwerformance. Well said Sambit.

Posted by arif7d on (June 22, 2009, 13:11 GMT)

I agree to the opinion of farazm79. Yes, the title you chose, is misunderstood by many. and it was bound to be misunderstood.. :D You know, thats what normally happens in response to such choices of words n actions in our subcontinent. May be u should have choosed a diplomatic one. :) that apart I enjoyed reading it. Infact I enjoy reading all of cricinfo articles. and by the ways this is my first post over here on cricinfo, even though I have been regular visitor since last 4 years!

Posted by resmyrakri on (June 22, 2009, 12:54 GMT)

It seems that ssan did not understand what Sambit mean by UnPakistani. Pakistan plays the game in spirit. Unlike Engalnd SA or Oz who plays like machines and accumulate runs and bowls in particular predictabale but highlyperfected way, Pakistan play with heart. Pak always had the talent, but lack consistency because the way they play. On a day they cant be beaten by anyone and the very next days Minnows could show them they are nothing. It is this all or none situation that make Pakistan team so called "unprofessional". This display in the final looked like a professional display. Usually afridi would have been playing at a strike rate of 300. Here he changed his game totally, as is the inexperienced Amir. It sees to me that there was definite allocated role for everyone on that day, which is not usual with Pakistan. They always play thier natural game. Kudos to Pakistan from a core Indian fan.

Posted by capri74 on (June 22, 2009, 12:48 GMT)

Though it is true that most of the Pkaistan's success in the history of cricket is beacuse of individual's briliance but it is also the fact that whenever they are dtermined to win, nobody can stop them no matter how clinical, professional and smart the opposition is. I am also of the opinion that it was not the luck that brought Pakistant into the semi or final because luck can be once only but can't be consecutive. Pkaistan is the only team amongst final 4 of T20 WC 2007, which is the clear evidence for all the critics that all lucky teams were out this time and the professional team has finally lifted the Worl Cup after being unlucky last time. Now the world has witnessed that the players who had not been given opportunity to play in IPL and became isolated; they dominated with their new and smart stuff.

Posted by foenix on (June 22, 2009, 12:41 GMT)

I would really appreciate if our 'highly skilled' writers and commentators could for once learn the difference between 'kissing the ground' and 'Sajdah'. The players who are muslim don't kiss the ground rather they perform a Sajdah, which means a prostration to the Almighty Allah, thanking him for the victory he has bestowed them with.

So please, enhance your knowledge and learn the evidence. Don't hesitate to call it properly, 'a Sajdah' rather than just a kiss to the ground. All the best!

Posted by SammyBoyo on (June 22, 2009, 11:08 GMT)

Thank you BCCI and Lalit Modi, you did the Pakistan team a great favour by barring them from partaking in the recent IPL tournament held in South Africa. The Pakistani cricket players were rested and injury free and could comfortably take part and ultimately win the 2009 ICC T20 and make the Pakistan nation truly proud. No one in their right minds would even have imagined that Pakistan would be the eventual WINNERS. Go Pakistan Go. Show the world that you are NOT down and out... as they all thought you woyuld be. Perhaps their doubts was your strength and you proved to the world once again, your determination, strength and stamina to reach your ultimate goal. Build on this and go from strength to strength. Long live PCB and the Pakistan cricket team.

Posted by Mashood_Pakistan on (June 22, 2009, 10:46 GMT)

Sambit Bal, Every nation has their heart behind their beloved ones so we feel bad on such perceptions you got from the match and shared on the internet. The word Un-Pakistani can not be justified by any means as the attitude of the team does not depend upon its nationality. It depends upon the team composure and the game that team shows on a particular day. If India would have won the tournament, definitely you would not be reporting in this tone. Salute to Pakistan my Country on achieving such stature.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (June 22, 2009, 10:37 GMT)

T/20 World cup 2009 Winners-Pakistan, T/20 World Cup 2007 Runners up Pakistan- ICL Winners Lahore Bad shah's. Club Championship winners in UK 2005- Faisalabad Wolves- I have a question for you Mr. Lalit Modi? What is future of your so called Champion's league without the world champions? And BCCI, Thanks very much for trying to alginate Pakistan and now you can go back and run boring old toothless circus IPL. Pakistani cricket team to cricket is what Brazil is to football or what Muhammad Ali was to boxing or what All Blacks are to rugby. A nation that has left to fight their own war has shown the world that what they are made of. A proud day for every Pakistani. Cornered tigers have again proved that adversity brings the best out of them. These heroes of nation have given a smile to nation amid the brutal killings of their own ones. Well done, Pakistan and very well done Lalit Modi for spurring the Pakistani cricket team.

Posted by chohdrysandhu on (June 22, 2009, 10:37 GMT)

Agree with the author 100%. This final was bit too clinical having involved mavericks like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. A lot of people facied Lankans, but in my opinion they were the under-dogs. Records suggest that they are one of the two Pak-bunnies. The other one off course is New Zealand. Even then, I thought that each bowling side was capable of containing the opposite batting line-up. May be the score in the end did not allow that show to be unveiled.

Honestly, losing 3 wickets to Razzaq is bit of a joke. And I am a die hard Pakistani supporter. Gul was not required to show his skills.

The win has provided a cover to what was at times absolutely pathetic captaincy by Younis Khan. But for some weird reason people think that all 'Khans' are 'genius-khans. Are you kidding me? Great tactical minded Imran Khan Vs a 'try hard Khan'. Younis Khan may be the second best batsman in the Pakistani line-up, he is certainly not worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Imran Khan.

Posted by Malikpwns on (June 22, 2009, 10:03 GMT)

The words clinical , professional and un-Pakistani define Younis Khan's leadership in his first ever world Cup final as a captain. As a Pakistani myself, i must admit the Pathan stunned me with his clever tactics(much needed to outsmart masters like the Lankans). As for unpredictable, i agree Pakistani players are unpredictable. Nevertheless, the men in green are only as unpredicatable as the game itself! They played as the professionals they are and won a deserving victory. Not to mention their reaction after winning the cup- humility. That is why they knelt to the ground and thanked the Almighty God. They were just thanking their Lord for giving them a victory that proved to be a wave of happiness and relief to the Pakistanis in their ocean of gloom and distressing times. Posted by maheen

Posted by farazm79 on (June 22, 2009, 8:31 GMT)

Thank You Sambit for the article. I believe your title is misunderstood by many, but it really portrays the events of the final in the light of Pakistan's recent matches. But the actual difference was that Pakistan had a game plan this time, Moral was high and the right mix of players were in the Team. The match could have gone either way. If only one Sri Lanka got going earlier or few more wickets fell for Pakistan early, we could have had a different result. but the bottom line is it didn't happen differently. Pakistan has the talent to achieve this and more. I just hope that there should be more Pakistani people writing articles for Pakistan for a change.

Posted by danish_tahir87 on (June 22, 2009, 8:21 GMT)

correction sambit, "some of the Pakistani players knelt to kiss the turf". The did not bend down to kiss the turf, they bent to do the "sajda" to thank the Almighty Allah!!

Posted by SarmadAJ on (June 22, 2009, 8:17 GMT)

It was total professional and Pakistani peformance. To reminder of those who label pak team with unpredictable and Unpakistani, this was our second consecutive final & I think that even in the last world cup our boys played like champions, we lost but we went down fighting and this is what really matters. Its time now we need to stop being skeptical and we all need to believe in ourselves. There is no secret ingredient to make something special you just need to believe its special. YES WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS, COME ON PAKISTAN LET THE WHOLE WORLD SEE "WE KNOW HOW TO WIN"


Posted by LeoSaqib on (June 22, 2009, 8:13 GMT)

Nice article Sambit, We Pakistanis have,somehow,at last proved ourself TRUE CHAMPS and I can bet that our regional T20 tournament winner team and runner up is also best in the world, but due to Lalit Modi and Co. that will not be allowed to prove their superiority in coming IPL Championship.WHAT A SHAME.I just wonder if the winner of this tournament honestly could consider itself a real CHAMP? What will be the credibilty of this Champoinship? Furthermore, I sincerely think that restricting Pakistani cricketer from participating in recent IPL fiesta proved blessing in disguise because if Umar Gul, Afridi or Saeed Ajmal would have injured, just like Indian crickters,T20 World Cup would not have been clinched,like they did so convincingly.THANKS MODI.THANKS BCCI.

Posted by thambiannan on (June 22, 2009, 8:05 GMT)

It was indeed a high-quality, professional cricket from the Pakistani's, who missed out last-time champion title with a blunder. Anyways forget about the past and live in present, so as did by the new T20 champions. We can easily figure out Pakistan's calibre in the shortest format-unpredictable game. Runner's up & title in back to back attempts. Remember, they've been banned from IPL earlier this year cos of Indian political interests and everyone can think, what their players done to made them banned. I would say, they really deserved the title, for they've played competitive cricket, and become something to cheer about for all the Pakistani's who were under severe un-ethical challenges. Again it made clear that T20 is an un-predictable game and the one who come with least expectations will be having the highest chance. Its all about handling pressure and making wise decisions. Pakistan, Go & Enjoy!!!

Posted by ssan on (June 22, 2009, 8:04 GMT)

Its sad too see that someone calling champions unprofessional. Just because Pakistan is weak in some aspects of game you call them unprofessional. Just because Pakistan is weak when it comes to fielding. Just because Paksitan is a slow starter you call them unprofessional. You don't call Indians, SA or even Australians unprofessional just because they don't know how to reverse swing a 12 over old Ball. Just the fact that they beat two most formidable teams in tournament to lift the trophy says a lot about Paks character and professionalism. Hats off to the lads in green they played great and deserve every bit of this victory.

Posted by BoonBoom on (June 22, 2009, 7:48 GMT)

Good article yet you dont miss a chance to ridicule Pakistan !! Pakistan has played final of both T20 world cup (2007, 2009), played ODI world cup semi final 3 times (1979, 1983, 1987), played two finals (1992, 1999), yet you mostly highlight all the negativity in your article. For how long we will continue to show such animosity towards each other?

Any you dont know why the players were kissing the turf?

Whenever there is a news for a wrong reason, blogs are full of indians commenting everything about pakistan bashing but now where are all your conntrymen?

I really wish and pray we end this sort of attitude towards each other.

Posted by GuruMaharaj on (June 22, 2009, 7:26 GMT)

Sambit! merey bachey! we indians should be proud of that indians are the submissive and loyal worshippers of religion named as Cricket. but we should also admit that Pakistan is the God of cricket. we never produced players like Imran Khan, Miandad, Afridi and most of all the legendary 2Ws, Waqar and Wasim. being neutral, histroy shows the records they made. and i am not jealous of them so i congratulate them and thank pakistani team to give us great cricket to watch. BR

Posted by saraahh on (June 22, 2009, 6:36 GMT)

Correction: They weren't "kissing the turf". They were prostrating. I bet you knew that, Mr. Sambit. And THIS is called false reporting. But nevertheless, an article worth reading! And I completely agree with the headline. So un-pakistani. But hey, good for us!

Posted by cefur on (June 22, 2009, 5:47 GMT)

First of all Great win and congrats to the Paksitan and the great nation. They really deserved it too.

They had security issues back home, teams did not want to come to Pakistan any more even Bangladesh refused to play with them. They hardly got any cricket through out the whole year even their neighbor India turn their back on them not allow them to play IPL and Champions trophy.

T20 started awful for this green team, even Cricinfo had a articles by Osman saying "Rubbish Pakistan" (Pakistani team really made him chew his words, and that article is no where to be found) but yet... they showed the whole world what we are made of .. that us thats Pakistan for you.

Pakistan Zindabad

Posted by umer503 on (June 22, 2009, 5:42 GMT)

Unlike all, i would certainly agree with Sambit.. Clinical, Professional and "Un-Pakistani".. the precision in the chase, the method and planning in the bowling attack (Check out first over) and overall game tactics...!! quite very uncharacteristic of what u call a Pakistan Cricket Team.. rightly said by someone at Cricinfo, that they lost their unpredictability by being predictable losers.. but they've retained the TITLE of being the very fascinating unpredictables is still a GO.. and mind you.. its quite GOOD TO GO... :P Job Well Done Mr. Khan...

Posted by Ehsun22 on (June 22, 2009, 5:36 GMT)

un-pakistani?? wut lukd un pakistani to u in this match..all it is our players r back in formmm!..thats i will also hav to disagree with ur headline as well.. congrats to the team..and ofcourse all of Pakistan! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

Posted by Ali_T20 on (June 22, 2009, 5:30 GMT)

this is pure pakistani. I wonder how Lalit Moddy though that T20 can be completed Without Pakistani Players? Pakistan Proved that T20 can not be completed without them. they are the real champions of T20. They are ICL Champions and now World Champions. India should keep Politics away from the Cricket.

Posted by kaiser1 on (June 22, 2009, 3:43 GMT)

Frankly speaking I was holding back my emotions since the semi final against the SA as I had seen many shocking defeats suffered by Pakistan that I kept praying but did not write the comments in the blogs since, I had in mind that I would write only after Pakistan wins and here we are the T20 world champs. Congrats to all Team and the whole nation. Thanks all the fanatic supporters of PAKISTAN for joyful expression of feelings. When i was watching here in Hong Kong on Internet the whole bunch of my friends who could not watch kept calling me to know the details of every moment of the game until the end of the game and I saw the emotions of Pakistani public on Samaa news Tv till late in the night, they were delirious and finally had a broad smile on their faces and hope this win unites the whole nation against the evil forces trying to destroy the image of a proud nation. Amen!

Posted by shehkhan on (June 22, 2009, 3:41 GMT)

Sambit! this was VER VERY MUCH PAKISTANI - Saying "Clinical, professional and un-Pakistani" is completely illogical and ridiculous - Well done boys, we are proud of you.

Posted by Woody111 on (June 22, 2009, 1:33 GMT)

While it's not quite real cricket I hope holding the 20/20 trophy has real significance for Pakistan. Either team deserved the accolades and considering Pakistan won't see any test cricket held in their country for several years: they are welcome winners. Congratulations lads! May peace become a reality in your country so the great game can return to it.

Posted by zack11 on (June 22, 2009, 0:16 GMT)

Well it will be really funny...tht there will be a champions league of t20 in october...and there will be domestic teams from every country but not the Domestic champions(Sialkot Stallions) of WOrld t20 Champions Pakistan....and not to forget Sialkot Stallions have won 4 back to back domestic t20 cups and have a winnng streak of 20 games which is a world record and have players like Imran Nazir, SHoaib Malik , Rana Naved , Mohammad Asif , Abdur Rehman and the best domestic t20 talent of Pakistan.......

Posted by wanderer1 on (June 21, 2009, 23:27 GMT)

#Aisy zameen aur aasmaan, in kay siwa jana kaha... Dil Dil Pakistan!! Jan Jan Pakistan!!#

What a catchy tune! And Afridi, whaddaplayaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! All those years of broken hearts have been forgiven, you've now been bestowed the keys of the country, which means you're entitled to a free cup of chai wherever you go.

Posted by Murlax on (June 21, 2009, 22:17 GMT)

Afridi has always been one of my favorite players. He had so much potential but always chose to go the extravagant way. He finally chose to defend 2 balls and boy, what a change in result. I hope Pakistan cricket can survive the current controversy surrounding it so that I can get to see the responsible Afridi in action. That picture shown in the article shows his determination and the final satisfaction. Who knows, if Sehwag can get triple hundreds in test matches, maybe Afridi can too. Don't throw out that possibility out of the window just yet...

Posted by Roamer on (June 21, 2009, 21:44 GMT)

This really was a clinical and professional job by Pakistan .... defeating the most consistent teams of the tournament so handsomely .... nobody can call this a fluke as they defeated both the teams (SA and SLanka) that were undefeated throughout the tournament ... Congrats to Pakistan.

I wonder what Lalit Modi must be thinking when he forgot to invite Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, a team from Champion of Twenty20 is missing .... so should it be called Unchampions league now? :)

Posted by Big_Chikka on (June 21, 2009, 21:15 GMT)

Sambit have to disagree with your headline. "Clinical and professional." "Nuff said!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" No need to add anything else to the headline. Well done the Pakistani cricket team. Pakistan Zindabad.

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Sambit Bal Editor-in-chief Sambit Bal took to journalism at the age of 19 after realising that he wasn't fit for anything else, and to cricket journalism 14 years later when it dawned on him that it provided the perfect excuse to watch cricket in the office. Among other things he has bowled legspin, occasionally landing the ball in front of the batsman; laid out the comics page of a newspaper; covered crime, urban development and politics; and edited Gentleman, a monthly features magazine. He joined Wisden in 2001 and edited Wisden Asia Cricket and Cricinfo Magazine. He still spends his spare time watching cricket.

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