New Zealand v Pakistan, 5th ODI, Hamilton February 3, 2011

Pakistan perform inspite of turmoil

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Few sports teams are as enigmatic as the Pakistan cricket team. Over the last twelve month the captaincy has changed hands so many times it is enough to make fans dizzy, and the side has been at the centre of a spot-fixing scandal that has cost them their two premier fast bowlers. Yet, somehow, they continue to impress on the field. Where other teams might falter as all around them crumbled, Pakistan perform in spite of the shambles. They are are still to name a captain just two-and-a-half weeks shy of the World Cup, another sign of their dysfunction, but the manner in which they've rolled New Zealand in the one-day series sends out a message that none of the more fancied teams can afford to ignore them.

Three victories on the trot have allowed many players find their roles within the team. Unable to trouble batsmen with extravagant pace or movement, Abdul Razzak has taken up the task of tying down one end with the new ball while the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul attack from the other. In Napier, his seven-over opening spell included three maidens and cost 16 runs. In Hamilton, he was only required to bowl four overs, but a tight spell from him meant New Zealand's explosive top order couldn't get ahead of the required run rate early. Shahid Afridi's canny legspin has not only kept things quiet during the middle overs, but has broken vital partnerships that have threatened to take the game away. Mohammed Hafeez meanwhile, has chipped in with a few miserly spells of his own in Saeed Ajmal's absence. In Umar Gul, Pakistan have one of the finest merchants of reverse swing, and as Wahab Riaz proved today with a terrific late-swinging toe crusher to uproot James Franklin's stumps, he's no picnic with the old ball either.

"Anything over 90 miles is hard to play, especially on a pitch like this when the ball wasn't exactly coming on the bat in the second innings," Waqar Younis said after the win in Hamilton. With Gul Wahab and Akhtar in the World Cup squad, Pakistan have three bowlers who are constantly pushing the 145 kph mark, with ample high quality spin options in their ranks as well. "Maybe we were about twenty runs short today, but the bowlers covered it beautifully. Mohammad Hafeez and Afridi bowled well and they picked up wickets at the right time."

The batting too has begun to fall into place for Pakistan. In the last three games, each of the openers has made a hundred. Misbah-ul-Haq, in the form of his life, has provided stability and sense to the innings alongside Younis Khan. And as New Zealand found out twice in Christchurch, first in the Twenty20, and more recently in the one dayer - Pakistan's middle order allrounders are capable of slamming an attack helpless within the space of a few deliveries. Whether by design or not, some semblance of a gameplan seems to be developing for Pakistan - the openers set off rapidly before Younis and Misbah use their experience in the middle overs to provide a platform for the likes of Afridi and his cohorts do their best to bring down the stands by repeatedly launching six ounces of leather at them.

Despite the uncertainty over the captaincy issue and the ignominious distractions that have preceded it, Pakistan seems surprisingly settled and focused. Waqar Younis thinks that it may actually be because of the public embroilment that the team has endured over the past few months that it is performing so well as a unit.

"I think [the controversy surrounding the team] has had a positive effect," Waqar said. "Not only in this series but in the last series against South Africa we played positive cricket in both the Test matches and one -dayers. In a way you could say it geed us up an pulled us together because reading all that rubbish in the newspapers every morning gives you a bit of togetherness. With the amount of controversy we've had in the last year, it's good see guys making a comeback and scoring runs. It's good to see the unit really getting together and putting up a good show. "

It's difficult to gauge just how much momentum Pakistan will take into the World Cup, primarily because they are not a side that sustains winning impetus over a long period of time. They are instead a team that turns things around in a single innings or a sparkling spell. But the format of this World Cup could play to their strengths. Several major upsets aside, Pakistan are almost guaranteed a place in the quarter finals, and from that point it's three victories to the title. They may not be a side that dominates an entire six-week tournament, but few would put it past a rampant Pakistan to win three games in a row in the final stages.

Waqar remained hopeful ahead of the tournament. "It's every team's dream [to win the World Cup] and we are on the right track at the moment. If we can deliver similar goods over the six weeks, you never know. We're positive."

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and blogs here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    We can pray for Pakistani team to win the coming world cup with no great expectations.So many times they have disappointed us.Remember T20 world cup semi final against Australia in West Indies.Fielding is their weakest link.One dropped catch or missed run out opportuinty can change the shape of a particular match. Now they seem to be a winning combination inspite of all distractions.GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN!

  • POSTED BY cric009 on | February 4, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Again.. most of the folks on this board already assuming pak to be already playing in semi and then final just becuase of this single win in a long time!! I am hoping, pak players know the reality very well where they actually stand at the moment compared to other teams, and try to quickly improvise, get out of contraversies and put up honest and hard fought display of cricket in WC and also from moving forward. Comparing with other teams like ind,bangladsh etc in right spirit is OK, but the only reality is to consistently improving their own performances .

  • POSTED BY Boomboom-razzler on | February 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    My playin 11 4 w.c: 1)Shahzad 2)Hafeez 3)Asad shafiq 4)Younis 5)umar 6)kamran 7) Afridi 8) A. Razzaq 9) Umar gul 10)Wahab 11) Aamir(if cleared,inshallah....otherwise akhtar.) i dont knw y dey play Misbah instead of Asad....he iz a gr8 prospect and way better fielder !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    If Pakistan made into the semis of WC 2011, they will be the only team qualifying for all the semis from 2007 of all the big events including 1 Champions Trophy, 3 T20 World cups and a 50-50 World cup. Isn't that a great achievement for Pakistan after so much controversies??

  • POSTED BY PrinzTigers on | February 4, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Ahmed Shahzad is matured and still is around 19 years old. In addition to this, the men in the making are Babar Azam & Hamad Azam. Pakistan has been tradionally lacking quality Batsmen, but the future looks very bright as Pakistan possesses the best young talent in the world now.

  • POSTED BY le_stephenois on | February 4, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    @nlambda: 2009 in UAE.. I am not gloating about spinners, just pointing out that Australia lack quality spinners, really there is no point in anyone gloating about their team's spinners compared to Australia's... heck even Zimbabwe has Ray Price and Ireland has Dockrell, you guys have Hauritz.... enough said.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Pakistan v Sri Lanka for the final with only Australia likely to sneak in.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | February 4, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Remember the term; "Cornered Tigers"; and when the tiger is cornered it attacks, and that is Pakistani cricket team, I know they are not the favorites to hold the world cup trophy but I'll be not surprised if they win it, as we all know them.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | February 4, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Remember the term; "Cornered Tigers"; and when the tiger is cornered it attacks, and that is Pakistani cricket team, I know they are not the favorites to hold the world cup trophy but I'll be not surprised if they win it, as we all know them.

  • POSTED BY ummii on | February 4, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I would not like Pak to be one of favorites or even underdogs in coming mega tournament. There should be no hopes from this side in WC. Coz history has shown us that whenever there are high expectations from this team they falter.. Vice Verse. So keep no expectations from this side & they will perform & may be even win the WC.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    We can pray for Pakistani team to win the coming world cup with no great expectations.So many times they have disappointed us.Remember T20 world cup semi final against Australia in West Indies.Fielding is their weakest link.One dropped catch or missed run out opportuinty can change the shape of a particular match. Now they seem to be a winning combination inspite of all distractions.GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN!

  • POSTED BY cric009 on | February 4, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Again.. most of the folks on this board already assuming pak to be already playing in semi and then final just becuase of this single win in a long time!! I am hoping, pak players know the reality very well where they actually stand at the moment compared to other teams, and try to quickly improvise, get out of contraversies and put up honest and hard fought display of cricket in WC and also from moving forward. Comparing with other teams like ind,bangladsh etc in right spirit is OK, but the only reality is to consistently improving their own performances .

  • POSTED BY Boomboom-razzler on | February 4, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    My playin 11 4 w.c: 1)Shahzad 2)Hafeez 3)Asad shafiq 4)Younis 5)umar 6)kamran 7) Afridi 8) A. Razzaq 9) Umar gul 10)Wahab 11) Aamir(if cleared,inshallah....otherwise akhtar.) i dont knw y dey play Misbah instead of Asad....he iz a gr8 prospect and way better fielder !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    If Pakistan made into the semis of WC 2011, they will be the only team qualifying for all the semis from 2007 of all the big events including 1 Champions Trophy, 3 T20 World cups and a 50-50 World cup. Isn't that a great achievement for Pakistan after so much controversies??

  • POSTED BY PrinzTigers on | February 4, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    Ahmed Shahzad is matured and still is around 19 years old. In addition to this, the men in the making are Babar Azam & Hamad Azam. Pakistan has been tradionally lacking quality Batsmen, but the future looks very bright as Pakistan possesses the best young talent in the world now.

  • POSTED BY le_stephenois on | February 4, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    @nlambda: 2009 in UAE.. I am not gloating about spinners, just pointing out that Australia lack quality spinners, really there is no point in anyone gloating about their team's spinners compared to Australia's... heck even Zimbabwe has Ray Price and Ireland has Dockrell, you guys have Hauritz.... enough said.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 6:24 GMT

    Pakistan v Sri Lanka for the final with only Australia likely to sneak in.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | February 4, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Remember the term; "Cornered Tigers"; and when the tiger is cornered it attacks, and that is Pakistani cricket team, I know they are not the favorites to hold the world cup trophy but I'll be not surprised if they win it, as we all know them.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | February 4, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    Remember the term; "Cornered Tigers"; and when the tiger is cornered it attacks, and that is Pakistani cricket team, I know they are not the favorites to hold the world cup trophy but I'll be not surprised if they win it, as we all know them.

  • POSTED BY ummii on | February 4, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    I would not like Pak to be one of favorites or even underdogs in coming mega tournament. There should be no hopes from this side in WC. Coz history has shown us that whenever there are high expectations from this team they falter.. Vice Verse. So keep no expectations from this side & they will perform & may be even win the WC.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    Well....alot of questions are being raised on the competitiveness of Pakistan against high quality teams.....i think that the last few performances of Pakistan clearly showed what is the level of the team. They chased down 290 and 270 against a bowling attack consisting of Morne and Steyn.....they defended 240 and 270 against england in england who had the likes of morgan, strauss, trott and bell.

  • POSTED BY Faizan-Ul-Haq-Fareedi on | February 4, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    COngratulations!!! TO My Beloved Pakistan.. Just Keep being Unit and Play as You are Playing Now.. So Hope U will Play Final Match of WC and Get The Tittle of World Champian....!!! Hope For Best ... Prepair for Worst..!!!

  • POSTED BY boeman on | February 4, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Pakistan you won me over...against all odds you kicked our ass. well done!

  • POSTED BY the_predator on | February 4, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    @BravoBravo: The world knows how novish aussies are while plying SPIN. This world cup is in sub-continent. So pray that subcontinental batsmen are not in form otherwise your bowlers are going to get destryoed. Do not believe me? Go and check the record s of shane wrane (probably the best spinner this earth has seen ever) against indians and srilankans (Remember that hammering by sachin?) Also go verify how HARBHAJN got ponting in his back pocket. Also I think recently austrelia lost a home series against SRILANKA and lost a away series again INDIA (although only one match was that).

    My favorite to win this cup is sri-lanka. My dark horses are INDIA and PAKISTAN. they will beat lot of other big teams.

    Bowling of pakistan is a big plus (lot od excellent and mean bowlers). And indian batting lineup (if there are no injuries) is by far the most dangerous. Sachin, pathan, kholi,gambhir is in excellent form. Pathan in subcontinental condition is perhaps batsman to fear.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    @nlambda: And I ask, when was the last time Pakistan beat Aus in a test match before headingley? And what happened to Aus after that? It is all the will of god. And as for being favourites, do you know which team you're talking about? The team who's supporters are all praying for them to remain UNDERDOGS!!! I am very happy that we 6th rankers have beaten only a 7th ranked team so that people don't start reading anything into this victory and yet it has helped us develop possible team combinations and given confidence to youngsters. As long as they keep screaming "pakistan zindabad" the way they did and retain a strong faith, "strength on paper" and "odds-on favourites" are non-issues. May we win inshaAllah!

  • POSTED BY the_predator on | February 4, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    I am a big fan of pakistani cricket (although I am not from pakistan) just because of their un-predictability. Their most of the players are in good form. This team is one of the dark horse of WC. They wont be favorite against the bigger names but they will win lot of matches.

    Having SAID that they have won against NEW-ZELAND. This same team got thrahed by bangldesh even by 4-0. I was watching these matches. In these matches pakistan attacked brilliantly new-zelanders but they did not get attacked. For example AFRIDI scrored a huuricane 65, but the same was not done against them. It remains to see what hapens if DILSHAN/WATSON/YUSUF PATHAN/shewag/deviliars does the same to them. How would they handle it. Also Newzeland did not have quality bowlers. It remains to see what hapens when the face STEYN/MORKEL/LEE/MURALI. I am sure they will be able attck these bowler as easily as they have done it against new zeelad. I wish all the best to pakistan team. The will be one of my favorite

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    i can't see how you guys are still maligning pak cricket based on the fact that new zealand got beat 5-0 and 4-0 by india and bangladesh... Ironic is the fact that New Zealand dismissed india for EIGHTY TWO runs sometime last year as well... we don't use that basis to say that india has a bad team, in fact they are one of the bests... but you couldn't say it wouldn't be fair if we did, seeing how you guys are so casually pressing around this team's accomplishments... holding a full strength english team to the last match of a series in their background is not a lean feat either... especially when you are playing without your front line seam attack and another couple of vital players... and the same goes for the 3-2 south africa series... So please, let's acknowledge and applaud this team's courage.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    @Bravobravo: There no doubt that Pakistani cricket team has done a great job by performing in New Zealand. Their accomplishment looks even greater when you consider the turmoil they've been through. But please, give credit where it is deserved. India white-washed New Zealand, means, they win in every game. How can that be 'marginal?' The same goes with the Bangladesh series; Bangladeshi team played well, let it be their backyard, but 4-0 is never unimpressive.

  • POSTED BY on | February 4, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    Can't read anything into the kiwi v's pakistan series as the keystone black caps were just so bad,it is going to take a huge turn around to see either of them troubling Aussie etc.

  • POSTED BY cricket_fan_1980 on | February 4, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    Lets not get carried away. Pakistan will have to fight very hard to win the World Cup, but they have shown glimpses of their former selves over the last 3 to 4 series. They've been in challenging away conditions, been surrounding by demoralising controversies, lost key players, yet maintained their pride and respect and fought hard to put on a good show of cricket. They've played three top sides prior to this New Zealand tour, and looked very dangerous in the ODI's. However, there are stronger teams out there who are also preparing very intently for the WC. My gut instinct is that this could be England's year. Yes, the aussies destroyed them down under, but in the subcontinent I think they'll pull their socks up. They have a lot of talent. India still has the strongest batting line up, but their bowling needs to sharpen up for something as physically and mentally demanding as the world cup. Being a Pakistani fan however, I am wishing that our lads stay on a high!

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | February 3, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    @le_stephenois: I was not aware of this - you beat Aus in 2009? Which game was this? Anyway, there is no way I would use the 'favorites' tag for Pak vs Australia. 'Competitive' would be as good as it gets. And don't gloat about spinners - your champion spinner must still be traumatized by that over in the 20-20 semi-final.

  • POSTED BY pk_cric_rox on | February 3, 2011, 23:10 GMT

    people will talk all about statistics n ICC ranking table n everything, but i only want to compare this world cup with that of 1992, when pakistan was almost 6th favourite to win, just like this time.team was not in good shape but imran was determined to keep team together and win, n his vice captain miandad whole heartedly backed him up, just like afridi and misbah this time.in 1992 pakistan youngsters like mushi,inzi,moin and aqib got into form at right time just like hafeez, shehzad, umar and wahab seem to pick their rhythem.just before 1992 cup we lost our best young bowler waqar younis to an injury and this time it was amir. although my hopes r not that high to win the cup but if i was a non-pakistani i would fear this team most in this cup. and i m just glad to see pak team so united and happy on the field.go have fun guys and play according to ur talent and victory is bound to come

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | February 3, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    PAKISTAN CRICKET has a vast back up talent. Loss of any player regardless of how good he is, a little difference will it make. One of the reasons is that pakistan doesn't have tandulkars, Sangakaras and kalisĀ“in its ranks.Most of the players are of decent standard and it isn't much about individuels. Umar Akmal, Misbah, Asad Shafiq can easily be replaced by Navid Yasin, Usman Sallahudin, Baber Azzam, Shoaib Malik etc. BIGGEST PROBLEM is that when there are no home matches then the young emerging players don't get those side matches against a national team wiches u normally get in home series. And PCB hasn't done anything to find some replacements. Other member countries have a moral obligation to provide such games to pakistans second ranked players.

  • POSTED BY cric009 on | February 3, 2011, 22:38 GMT

    nice to see pak winning a series after a long time. it's irirational to see most of the comments predicting them being already in final though!! I hope the pak players dont get over confident with this one-off victory in last couple years like most of these posters here. I am sure, the WC is very well poised , and teams getting into qrtr finals will have to show real good performance. Any of these teams like SA,Aus,Eng,Ind,SL,Pak cud very well get into Semis.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    if Pakistan are to win the world cup umar akmal and razzaq have to be utilized in different roles..umar akmal 2 come in at 3 to take advantage of field placing with kamran dropping down the order, also kamran akmal is a very good opener in pakistan-esque conditions...at the moment the 2 openers are doing a good job so he has to drop 2 around the 7th so he can come in and have a slog instead of trying to build up an innings to get his confidence back....also thinking about the future the teams to watch out for are pakistan aus n england, they all have very good youngsters coming thru...i.e junaid khan m.rameez n.yasin u.salahuddin raza .hasan sadaf hussain for pakistan, for england gale hildreth buttler bairstrow james taylor adil rashid chris jordan and aus patrick cummins mitchel marsh

  • POSTED BY le_stephenois on | February 3, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    @nlambda: 2009 actually,, when Pakistan play Australia in the subcontinent Pakistan will be favorites to win, their team has gelled well, while Australia are suffering from injuries, out of form bowlers and lack of quality spinners.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    I wish the Pakistan team all the best at the world cup,but you cannot take to much out of beating the Keystone Black Caps. Really they should have got a lot closer to Pakistan last night but have constantly found new ways to get themselves out.

  • POSTED BY BravoBravo on | February 3, 2011, 21:27 GMT

    I agree with Hussain Syed: The recently concluded series involving NZ against IND, and BD can not be compared with NZ vs PAK. As IND and BD were playing in their own backyard against NZ, they have the home ground advantage. BTW, IND victory against NZ in 5-day test format was marginal and unimpressive. Congrats to PAK team for doing a good job.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 21:15 GMT

    we beat new zealand in their own home !! dats wats important !!

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | February 3, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    @sunnymachoo: Aus vs Pak in a 50-over match... Aus win is certain. Pak just cannot handle the Aussies. Exactly WHEN was the last time you beat Australia in a 50-over match? Was it 2005? We will see in a month or so which of the two of us is correct. Meanwhile you are better served praying that Aus gets knocked out by another team.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    INSHALLAH WORLD CUP 2011 FOR PAKISTAN

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    A clear message. Never ignore talented Pakistan

  • POSTED BY pakistanitiger786 on | February 3, 2011, 20:54 GMT

    i can tell one thing for sure..the way team pakistan went into a huddle and shouted pakistan zindabad..they will play like tigers in the worldcup for sure..this is a very dangerous sign for other teams..and for people who created all those controversies for them.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    For all of you who are comparing this victory to Bangladesh's whitewash earlier this year... how can you compare the two? Bangladesh played at home, on wickets that turned miles, with 5 spinners in their ranks against a team that has traditionally been terrible against spin... I honestly don't see how you can compare... its mindnumbing...

  • POSTED BY kharsoom on | February 3, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    Wining against NZ may mean nothing, only thing it has done is provided Pakistan hands-on time to finalize the combination for the World Cup. Mental toughness and discipline is mandatory and I think Pakistan is not there yet; difference between wides and no balls could be the difference between winning and loosing against quality teams. Wahab Riaz and Gull showed time and again their weaknesses during death overs by bowling wides and no balls. Despite that current Pakistan team looks good and certainly would be competitive; they recently showed this against quality teams like SA, Aus. and England however little more discipline is needed to be at the top and I think coach and senior players are aware of this and I hope this will be repeatedly discussed worked on during next two weeks. They don't have to put themselves under pressure by claiming that they will win the world cup, they just need to go and play good positive cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Australia and Pakistan have peaked at the right time in the one-dayers.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:54 GMT

    I predict an Aussie v/s Pakistan Final in WC 2011

  • POSTED BY K-amps on | February 3, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    So we have an upper hand on a team that has won 1 game in the last 14 (that victory came against us)... Perhaps some perspective and reality check is in order. While we can celebrate the improvement in fielding and Ahmed Shazad gaining confidence, in order to get our hopes high for the WC, more needs to happen. 1) Shoaib needs to remember how to bowl his outswingers again. (2) We need a decent innings from YK more often than not. (3) Misbah cannot keep wasting deliveries and then get out after raising the RRR. (4) Umer Akmal should come 1 down so that YK and Misbah are not together both ruining the run rate. (5) Pak needs to adopt a lesser risky strategy of saving wickets and going hard at the end because it's a risky and wasteful strategy. Australia was mediocre in the mid 80's but embraced and relished the singles. They never block or leave balls like pakistan does, instead keep the score ticking. This is a low risk strategy. YK can do it, but Misbah cannot... etc

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    Well...very nice article nothing to add Thank You

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    in ma point of view, Pakistan has a bright chance of winning the world cup becuz of their unpredictable destructive nature of over throwing the opponent any time anywhere in the world. while other teams like India fall apart easily in trouble and critical situations whereas Pakistan tigers are the best in these situation. "THE CORNER TIGER" a famous name for Pakistan

  • POSTED BY BravoBravo on | February 3, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    Lot of fans talking about the WC2011 on this forum. My bet is on AUS for winning the covetted trophy for fourth consecutive times. AUS defeated badly all the 3 subcontionent stalwarts PAK, IND, and SL with intiidating margins. If ICC ranking means anything then do not rally for anyother favorites except for AUS. IND only chance to win this trophy are extremely rare except if somehow they reach to semi finals and then win the semifinal and pray that they will face SA as opponent in Finals, not ENG, not NZ, definitely not AUS---

  • POSTED BY sunnymachoo on | February 3, 2011, 19:26 GMT

    @nlambda well buddy, thats not certain! Nothing is certain!

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | February 3, 2011, 19:23 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket Team has always thrived in choas. That's one. But ironically, what's helped their cause the most is persistance of other teams not to tour Pakistan which has sort of become a blessing in disguise as the team is only playing overseas on bouncy, sporting, seaming wickets and that has helped our batsmen tremendously.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    @ sherishahmir, srilanka hosted 1996 Worldcup and they won. Pakistan is never out of the title race until they are boarding the plane. even in the worst patches only Pakistan can beat Pakistan let us see what team lands at worldcup the mad cornered tigers or the tame house cat

  • POSTED BY sri1ram on | February 3, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Very nice.. congrats to Pak on a series win! Beating NZ in NZ is a big accomplishment - nevertheless, if that is the cause for so much optimism for so many for the WC, there might just be a reality check in a competitive WC. Australia, England, SA, India are no slouches and each deserve their rankings - Anyway, my best wishes to the Pak team after all that their players and once proud people have gone through!

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:08 GMT

    //"I think [the controversy surrounding the team] has had a positive effect," Waqar said. "Not only in this series but in the last series against South Africa we played positive cricket in both the Test matches and one -dayers. In a way you could say it geed us up an pulled us together because reading all that rubbish in the newspapers every morning gives you a bit of togetherness. With the amount of controversy we've had in the last year, it's good see guys making a comeback and scoring runs. It's good to see the unit really getting together and putting up a good show. " //

    Wicky, you should have told this before...its a long time since I have sweared!!!

  • POSTED BY D-rose on | February 3, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Pakistan looks like a strong World Cup team at the moment. Nice to see the batting developing an identity and the bowling will always be there.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    wow it is great to see that Indians are now participating in conversation, they should worry about that their team performance in SA, there batting is strong but there bowling is week, if they score 300+ then it can be chase-able in India because their bowling is very week. It would not make any difference because we do not have to much expectations from our team, It is the Indian fans should worry that they are starting day dreaming about India is champion LOL, no host ever win the world cup due to the pressure of home crowd.

  • POSTED BY cricket_for_all on | February 3, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    It seems that AUS, PAK and SL are getting real WC practice.

  • POSTED BY libra0619 on | February 3, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Pakistan team's unpredictable performances make it such a fantastic team in the world (Either wining or loosing). Current performance just before world cup makes them an exciting opposition for a team. I am sure no team can take Pakistan lightly. Anyhow they have all the ingredients as mentioned in shape of inform opening pair, then calm middle order and off course big hitters at the end, likes of Afridi, Umar and razaq, good thing is wahab riaz, umar gul and sohail Tanvir showed that they can bat too. Only worry is that younis and Misbah going to slow in middle overs, Pakistan can not afford it in world cup, where they should keep momentum going on good rate as well as keeping wickets. Anyhow it is going to be a thrilling world cup: no doubt about it, Where Pakistan team going to have its role for sure.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    @ ANDY it is true that by winning this series we can not say that PAKISTAN is in the favoruite list,,, but can say that If they play with their talent and good on that day they can win.

    Best of luck pakistan

    Good combination but there is need to improve the bowling, shehzad is talented boy i have request to the selector that please dont waste the talent as IMRAN NAZIR was wasted.

    NEEd to improve the bowling

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | February 3, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    I don't about you guys but has anyone else seen the similarities in the way A. Shezhad and Tendulkar play their shots (except for leg side ones)?

    Anyway, now the next step for Pak should be to get rid off Younis, Misbah, Sohail and one the specialist spinners. After that add: Azhar Ali, N. Yasin, N. Jamshed and J. Khan.

    If that happens then I will guarantee you that Pak will lift the trophy and if not then, Pak are crashing out of the group stages!

    Misbah did play good last game but what happens if, gets out in the middle overs?

    Like today, he made 20+ and soaked up 44 balls but got out!

  • POSTED BY poderdubdubdub on | February 3, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Pakistan did very well to win the series against New Zealand. However dont forget even the likes of Bangladesh clean swept New Zealand in the last series. I am a bit amazed at the euphoria by the Pakistan supporters, it seems Pakistan has already won the championship. Pakistan must closely scrutinise the weaknesses in the team if they want to join the top four in the WC. First of all the batting is still frail as a unit, respectable totals were achieved only through individual performances, the two Akmals are still playing way way below their potential. Afridi himself is totally unreliable as a batsman. On the positives bowling is settling down well after the tragic loss of brilliant Amir, also fielding shows signs of improvement, although Kamran spilled a dolly today. Best of luck to the brave Pakistan team.

  • POSTED BY bouncer1021 on | February 3, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Surprised me completely. After loosing Amir, Asif and But with Yosuf made me think that this team was done and burried now. From no where came Ahmed Shazad and Wahab but its really the middle order like Misbah holding the collaps is helping the team. I dont know if they will be consistent enough to go beyond Qurter final but its good to see Pakistan playing exciting cricket.

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | February 3, 2011, 16:55 GMT

    Well,all one can say is "Never predict the performance of this team.Just enjoy their cricket."

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 16:46 GMT

    before talking about winning the world cup..i think everyone should realize that these victories are against a lowly NZ that was recently thrashed 4-0 by bangladesh of all teams..

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    keep it upppppp.........pakistan zindabad

  • POSTED BY RAVI_BOPARA on | February 3, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    PAKISTAN WONT HAVE ANY CHANCE IN THE WORLD CUP!!!

  • POSTED BY nlambda on | February 3, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    @ahmednaveed: Australia will certainly beat Pak whatever the stage of the tournament.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | February 3, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    amazing series victory from Pakistan, very fine death bowling. you guys could do very well in the wc.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan, & Congratulations 2 all Pakistan Cricket Lovers On a Well Deserved Victory. Pakistan has Lost 2 England and S.Africa 3-2 and are playing Away from The Home Soil. And Without Asif & Aamir the 2 Key Bowlers. So a Very Very Good Performance & a Real Combine Team Effort After A Long Long Time.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    Lets hope that Pakistan performs their best in the Wolrd Cup, I wish we regain the trophy again after 19 years. Pakistan Zindabad!

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | February 3, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    Some of the posters here need to calm down. One series victory doesn't mean this team should win the world cup by any stretch of the imagination. Anything past the initial group stages of the WC is just a bonus. The biggest positive is that players are playing good cricket, and youngsters are developing at good pace which is vital for the future.

  • POSTED BY ahmednaveed on | February 3, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    WE can , We Will be the Champ , We are the stronger than anyone , no one can beat us . Inshallah Our team will appear in the World cup with this spirit.

  • POSTED BY ahmednaveed on | February 3, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Good performance ,GReat Inning from Ahmed shahzad ,Both openers are perfect choice , but required a few changes , Kamran Akmal will not be an option in world Cup must be replcaed , as he is explicity under performing , we always have a doubt on his performce and crediblity now . Should be replaced with Batting specialist and UMar Akmal would be a wicket keeper . Abdul razzaq should bat at number 3 , he is not been utilized well be Skipper ,he can perform much better on top order as well . Afridi should come before Two specialist bats Umer Akmal and another one who be replacement of Kamran Akmal .

    Pakistan can be a champ . our support and prayers are with Team Paksitan .

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    I agreed with the writer. Pakistan never mind that they are not the favourites to win the world cup. It will make them more strong to show the entire world, when they play as a unit & according to their potential, they will blast off the best sides of the world. Remember the 1992 World Cup or 2009 ICC T20 World Cup, when they play like a unit, they had beaten down the best sides of the tournament, England in 1992 & Sri Lanka in 2009. And one more thing, these Cornered Tiger never afraid of defeat, so that team can win from any stage.

    AT LAST CONGRATULATION TO PAKISTAN TEAM & SPECIALLY THEIR MILLIONS OF SUPPORTERS AROUND THE WORLD. MAY ALLAH MAKE THIS UNITY OF OUR TEAM MORE STRONGER IN THE FORTH COMING WORLD CUP.

    PROUND TO BE PAKISTAN

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Indeed Pakistan is performing well under such conditions after a disgraceful period of time. I keep my fingers crossed for this world cup to come to Pakistan this time. As sometimes there come a feeling when Pakistanis are down they are the most ferocious cricket team. Cheers for Pakistan !

  • POSTED BY khurramsch on | February 3, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    agree. very well played. just 1 think that this trategy of slow start, slow midle & firing end doesnot work always as it did today so they should atleast maintain 4.5-5 during midle overs by singles.overall well prepared, openers did something this time, misbah all times, youinis got starts, umar akmal made good contributions, & afridi & razak as always did fire sometimes.bowling in good rythm. for WC i would say its open contest coz of grounds & groups. top4 wil goto quarter finals & then 3 wins on the day.who knows any team could go.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Pakistanis will fight like cornered tigers. Their worldcup victory will be the victory for people of this nation.

  • POSTED BY mumkin on | February 3, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    I can see Shahid Khan Afridi holding the WC high i his hands and smiling ..... Lets support Team Pakistan..... Afridi has his share of disappointments but when ever he has been trusted, he has delivered....don't forget his back to back 50s in the T20 WC which was won by Pakistan...he can inspire batsmen by batting, bowlers by bowling and fielders by fielding...he can lead by example....He is a born leader...

  • POSTED BY xuberie on | February 3, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    No Doubt Pakistan is teh team t be feared in this world Cup as they are unpredictable and no body can plan for unpredictability, so watch out all the "Professional" teams !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    The Cornered Tigers maul the Kiwis. Watch out we are coming.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Well, Sri Lanka hosted WC 1996 together with Pak/India and they won it comprehensively; hence you can not say that HOSTS never won the worldcup.

  • POSTED BY poderdubdubdub on | February 3, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Well played, hats off to Pakistan. However Pakistan won the series against a totally demoralised New Zealand side, Pakistan will take the foot off the gas at their perils. Dont forget even the likes of Bangladesh clean swept New Zealand in the last series. Waqar must closely scrutinise the weaknesses if Pakistan has to return to the top four in the ICC rankings. First of all the batting is still frail as a unit, respectable totals were achieved only through individual performances, the two Akmals are still playing way below their potential. Afridi himself is totally unreliable as a batsman. On the positives bowling is settling down well after the tragic loss of brilliant Amir.

  • POSTED BY sherishahmir on | February 3, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    Fully agreed what have written in the article, fortunately pak is not going as a favourite in the w-cup as it happened in the previous w-cups, but with this winning tour and the way teams is playing as unit hopes can be built around that our team will perform better, like what they did in T20 world championship in England. Further the history of world cup also reveals that hosts could never won the title, can also works in Pak favor as we r playing in our own conditions without being hosts.

    So given the weightage of w-cup history that hosts never won to India & S Lanka, the winning contendor could be among Pak, SA, Aus and Eng, if history repeates itself and no upset happen otherwise. Further, i am hoping to have a exciting w-cup not like the last one one held in WIndies.

  • POSTED BY KYZA on | February 3, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    Great Great WIN for Pakistan, man all those reading this can you see the depth and strength we have in our bowling man even without Asif and Aamir 2 top 10 fast bowlers in World Cricket at the moment, we have the Rawalpindi Express, Umar the toe crusher Gul and now Wahab the yorkermiester Riaz, COME ON PAKISTAN you have more natural talent than any other cricketing nation, show the world nothing can STOP US, INSHALLH with rhe grace of ALLAh we will win this world cup

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    The most unpredictable team ever ...!! Also a team that can suddenly rise way above its limits ...

  • POSTED BY wnwn on | February 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad is the future of Pakistan cricket so if any Pakistani selectors are reading this please stick with him even if he has a bad spell because he's special.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Pakistab should gain confidence from this series win....consistency is the key to their world cup dream

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    nice article. Good analysis.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    THIS IS THE RYTHM GROWING SLOWLY UP AND UP..... I INSHAH ALLAH HOPE TO SEE THE COMPLETE SEVEN BEATS OF MUSIC ...... WHOEVER THE CAPTAIN THE TEAMMATE DONT CARE ABOUT IT ..... MY SUGGESTION TO PAKISTAN TEAM PLAY ALL LIKE CAPTAIN ALL LIKE FEILDER ALL LIKE OPENERS MIDDLE ORSERS AND HARDHITTER ALL LIKE BOWLERS ....... AS PER ME THE TEAMWORK UNITY AND HARDWORK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR OF THE PAKISTAN TEAM.... ONE MUST BE A CAPTAIN BUT ITS JUST A PAPER WORK..... NOT TO BE PROUD MAKE GAME PLAN ALLTOGETHER AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER ........ THEN SEE INSHAH ALLAAH NOTHING IS FAR AWAY....... WISH YOU INSHAH ALLAAH BEST OF LUCK MY PAK TEAM........ AND AT LAST MY DREAM THAT THE COACH, CAPTAIN OR ANY PLAYER OF PAK TEAM MUST READ MY COMMENTS..... AND HOPE IF THE GREAT IMRAN KHAN READ THIS COMMENT MY HEARTIEST REQUEST PLEASE SUPPORT AND HELP TO PAKISTAN TEAM LIKE WHOLE NATION SUPPORT YOU FOR YOUR CANCER HOSPITAL.... WE NEED IMRAN'S EXPERIENCED ADVICED PAKISTAN ZINDABAD LOVE U PAK WE R PROUD OF YOU

  • POSTED BY Mehr00z on | February 3, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Lols.. Andrew Fernando has put it perfectly.... They are going to be the dark horse & the silvr lining in the ICC cloud... Wish them all the vety best... Amen sum-amen

  • POSTED BY Kamran-Naz on | February 3, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Nice 2 see Pakistan winning a sereis in New zealand,Hope they continued this winning form in worldcup also. ( Inshallah ) Pakistan Win the world cup

  • POSTED BY Zohaib.Ahmed on | February 3, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Afridi should be the captain of the WC Squad... INSHALLAH Pakistan will win the WC..

  • POSTED BY tick on | February 3, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    well we are all hopeful that team pakistan performs well and remain united like they are now..razzaq coming at 8 with able powerful hitters like riaz,sohail tanveer and gul gives a batting depth and than depth in bowling is also great..for me what i have witnesses pakistan cricket in last decade,they are really brilliant when they gel together,play positively and confodently and play like a spirited team..if they can do these than no we are in with a real chance...indeed beating any team in its home ground is big achievement and newzeland are one of most dangerous sides in word on home turf so good progress by pakistan after a stormy last 6 months.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. .........inshAllah we will win the world cup

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  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. .........inshAllah we will win the world cup

  • POSTED BY tick on | February 3, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    well we are all hopeful that team pakistan performs well and remain united like they are now..razzaq coming at 8 with able powerful hitters like riaz,sohail tanveer and gul gives a batting depth and than depth in bowling is also great..for me what i have witnesses pakistan cricket in last decade,they are really brilliant when they gel together,play positively and confodently and play like a spirited team..if they can do these than no we are in with a real chance...indeed beating any team in its home ground is big achievement and newzeland are one of most dangerous sides in word on home turf so good progress by pakistan after a stormy last 6 months.

  • POSTED BY Zohaib.Ahmed on | February 3, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    Afridi should be the captain of the WC Squad... INSHALLAH Pakistan will win the WC..

  • POSTED BY Kamran-Naz on | February 3, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    Nice 2 see Pakistan winning a sereis in New zealand,Hope they continued this winning form in worldcup also. ( Inshallah ) Pakistan Win the world cup

  • POSTED BY Mehr00z on | February 3, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Lols.. Andrew Fernando has put it perfectly.... They are going to be the dark horse & the silvr lining in the ICC cloud... Wish them all the vety best... Amen sum-amen

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    THIS IS THE RYTHM GROWING SLOWLY UP AND UP..... I INSHAH ALLAH HOPE TO SEE THE COMPLETE SEVEN BEATS OF MUSIC ...... WHOEVER THE CAPTAIN THE TEAMMATE DONT CARE ABOUT IT ..... MY SUGGESTION TO PAKISTAN TEAM PLAY ALL LIKE CAPTAIN ALL LIKE FEILDER ALL LIKE OPENERS MIDDLE ORSERS AND HARDHITTER ALL LIKE BOWLERS ....... AS PER ME THE TEAMWORK UNITY AND HARDWORK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR OF THE PAKISTAN TEAM.... ONE MUST BE A CAPTAIN BUT ITS JUST A PAPER WORK..... NOT TO BE PROUD MAKE GAME PLAN ALLTOGETHER AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER ........ THEN SEE INSHAH ALLAAH NOTHING IS FAR AWAY....... WISH YOU INSHAH ALLAAH BEST OF LUCK MY PAK TEAM........ AND AT LAST MY DREAM THAT THE COACH, CAPTAIN OR ANY PLAYER OF PAK TEAM MUST READ MY COMMENTS..... AND HOPE IF THE GREAT IMRAN KHAN READ THIS COMMENT MY HEARTIEST REQUEST PLEASE SUPPORT AND HELP TO PAKISTAN TEAM LIKE WHOLE NATION SUPPORT YOU FOR YOUR CANCER HOSPITAL.... WE NEED IMRAN'S EXPERIENCED ADVICED PAKISTAN ZINDABAD LOVE U PAK WE R PROUD OF YOU

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    nice article. Good analysis.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Pakistab should gain confidence from this series win....consistency is the key to their world cup dream

  • POSTED BY wnwn on | February 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad is the future of Pakistan cricket so if any Pakistani selectors are reading this please stick with him even if he has a bad spell because he's special.

  • POSTED BY on | February 3, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    The most unpredictable team ever ...!! Also a team that can suddenly rise way above its limits ...