Pakistan v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Dubai

Nervy South Africa hang on for win

The Report by Osman Samiuddin

November 2, 2010

Comments: 89 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 228 for 9 (Amla 119*, Shoaib 3-39) beat Pakistan 226 for 9 (Fawad 59*, Morne Morkel 4-47) by two runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Hashim Amla made his fifth ODI century of the year, Pakistan v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Dubai, November 2, 2010
Hashim Amla made his fifth ODI century of the year © AFP

They fell apart again at the death but ultimately a hundred from Hashim Amla and four wickets from Morne Morkel were just about enough to sneak South Africa home in the third ODI in Dubai. A second death-overs meltdown in two games let Pakistan come within two runs, but a 2-1 series lead was secured.

South Africa were exceptional for 42 overs in defending 229. Pakistan had just lost Abdul Razzaq, they needed 76 on a sluggish, boundary-shy surface: game over. But Morkel, Rusty Theron and Lonwabo Tsotsobe lost their minds, nerves, lengths and lines. Fielders began to drop catches as Wahab Riaz, of all batsmen, smashed an 11-ball 21 and, with Fawad Alam, pillaged 56 runs in the Powerplay. Ultimately, despite a panic-stricken last over from Theron, Pakistan just didn't have enough batsmen. Alam remained unbeaten on 59, valiant but not deal-sealing.

Before that, Morkel and Tsotsobe had opened with sterling spells. The visitors have made light of Dale Steyn's absence, mainly because Tsotsobe has had a fine series. He is uncomplicated, using the natural left-arm angle well and has subtle changes in pace. If he hasn't bowled an outstanding spell that will stick in the mind, neither has he bowled a poor one. Today was no different.

Having Morkel at the other end, bowling with unspeaking meanness, helps. Morkel gave nothing away for long, not on width, not on length; both the pace and bounce added to an unceasing atmosphere. One over to Younis Khan was particularly good, five dot balls which left him nowhere to go but out, and he was, off the last ball.

The first ten overs ceded 23 and one boundary. With Pakistan not going anywhere, the fielding took over. In any case Imran Farhat was as lively as a library and as awake as a morgue to scoring opportunities. The arrival of Asad Shafiq got things moving but so tightly did South Africa police the field that a run-out looked inevitable. Eventually it came breaking a labored but vital 85-run stand. Soon after, a cramping Shafiq went the same way. Morkel returned, just as mean, and dismissed Shahid Afridi. He set the tone for Razzaq, bowling short or shortish, and giving him nothing remotely full and that should have been that.

Smart Stats

  • Hashim Amla averages 82.16 at a strike rate of 103.13 in ODIs in 2010, with five centuries and three fifties in 13 innings.
  • Amla scored 52.19% of South Africa's total, which is the fifth-highest in all ODIs for them. The highest is Gary Kirsten's unbeaten 188 out of 321 (58.56%) against UAE in the 1996 World Cup. The others are Herschelle Gibbs (59 out of 101 against Pakistan), Gibbs again (118 out of 211 against England); and Dave Callaghan (169 out of 314 against New Zealand).
  • This was Jacques Kallis' first ODI duck in more than three years - the last time he scored one was in October 2007 against Pakistan in Lahore, 42 innings ago.
  • For Younis Khan, on the other hand, this was his sixth duck in his last 43 innings.

But if nothing else, Amla's fifth hundred of the year, a masterful knock deserved the win. But for him South Africa would've been nowhere and we would've been lauding a match-winning spell from Shoaib Akhtar.

From the start, there were two pitches, one for Amla and another, sluggish one, for the rest. He hit nine out of his side's total 12 boundaries. Two in the first over solidified the impression that he has batted in one unbroken stretch since the first ODI. Where others couldn't time it, he glided along, utilizing the modern batsman's get-out clause - a dab to third man - liberally.

Occasionally he improvised, but mostly he just stayed cool. That helped, given the outrageous decision that sent back AB de Villiers. An important partnership had been constructed when in Afridi's first over, TV umpire Zameer Haider chose to give de Villiers out stumped when he was distinctly in. Others gave Amla some support but it was a one-man job.

A brace of boundaries paved the way for a hassle-free fifty just before the halfway mark. Then he disappeared, quietly picking off runs here and there. He emerged once on 78, when Shafiq dropped a sharp chance at cover, and again when cutting Saeed Ajmal twice to move into the 90s.

A dab to third man - what else? - brought up the hundred just before the batting Powerplay became mandatory. He then found the odd boundary, a classy drive past mid-off and a rare, ungainly pull, but most importantly he stayed unbeaten till the end, not sweating at all.

Shoaib's work thus took a back seat. Amid standard turmoil this year, Shoaib has quietly managed as impressive a comeback as any of his previous ones. He still has the pace, but the shortened run-up and seemingly permanent limp, reduces the visual a little. The smarts are very much intact.

He stifled South Africa at the start, rolling in casually and mixing up some solid length bowling with excellent changes of pace; no less a man than Jacques Kallis, returning for Robin Peterson, was deceived by one. Colin Ingram could only pop another slower one back soon after.

This was the 11th ODI in a row Shoaib has played since his return earlier this year for the Asia Cup , the longest, unbroken stretch he has had since 2002 (joint-second longest ever in his career). Any questions over his fitness were forgotten in later spells. He gave one run in two overs during the middle, even making the set-as-cement Amla jump around. He then came back to rattle and shake Johan Botha, only a poor last over to regret. Eleven came off that, important in the big picture.

Innings Dot balls 4s 6s PP1 PP2 PP3 Last 10 overs NB/Wides
South Africa 155 12 0 37/2 19/0 37/3 64/3 1/11
Pakistan 167 12 2 23/2 14/0 56/2 80/4 1/5

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Osman Samiuddin

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by zain6766 on (November 4, 2010, 20:46 GMT)

Listen to the bull S-it from Mr.Murtaza, "....his own batting form not upto the standards and he admitted that he needs some break." His out of form performance is twice as good as Imran Farhat and this new dude Asad! If all the players that are currently in Pakistani team are "in form" then God help us. If this is what "in form" means for pakistani players, then i am sure my own club can take on them here in the US.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2010, 13:54 GMT)

the team only depend upon the following guys razzaq afridi fawad akhtar. what are the other guys doing in the side. in this serreis and in other they had won the game for pakistan and for afridi.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2010, 13:52 GMT)

well i will say that team needs only opener they should find out wether hafeez can open or not and in other hand there is kamran akmal. these two openers should be open the side up to world cup. shoib akhtar umar gull and wahab riaz should attack. why is saeed ajmal not balling at his best. why are the other boys not playing heartly.other then afridi razzaq fawad and akhtar

Posted by   on (November 4, 2010, 9:02 GMT)

I think Fawad Alam played sensibly,yes he was not able to hit big shots but i think it was the fault of Imran Farhat's slow innings that lost us the game. I think Fawad has got good enough talent to be in the middle order of the Paksitani team. He won the player of the series award in the 2006 domestic T20 tournament he was also the highest wicket taker in that tournament.He also won a T20 I against Sri Lanka in Toronto hitting 2 sixes in the last over. I think he needs a little more confidence from the fans and the management and he will be able to hit 4's and 6's.He also scored 168 in his debut test as an opener and since then he has only played 3 tests which i dont know why.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2010, 3:07 GMT)

I don't know why people so wobbling with not inclusion of Imran Nazir in the national side, when his own batting form not upto the standards and he admitted that he needs some break. I don't know why people want to include an out of form player in the national side...

Posted by myaqoob on (November 4, 2010, 0:26 GMT)

@hrasiq buddy we dont have much time to get new players in,as world cup in not too far away .i think we should stick with this odi team till world cup . kamran akmal,shahid afridi,younis khan,mohd yousuf,abdul razack,umer akmal ,misbah ,shoaib malik,mohd sami,umer gul ,shoiab akther . extras,imran nazir,mohd hafeez,rana naveed ,suhail tanvir....After world cup we can get in new players .we dont have any chance if team will have .imran farhat, asad shaif ,shazaib hassan,zulkarnain haider,wahab raiz,saeed ajmal,fawad alam .

Posted by F.M. on (November 3, 2010, 23:18 GMT)

I dont think we should critisize Fawad Alam. At least he tried n did whatever he could. Yep, he cant hit 4s or 6s... all we needed was a 4. But Blame bhanja jee- Imran Farhat. He was just playin 4himself. Used up too many balls. Yeah Shoaib had muscle, he should've been sent before Ajmal. The only reason that didnt happen, is cz Afridi goes into a coma during the death time. All he can manage then is to nail-bite... cool minded skipper-advice is out of the question!

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 19:06 GMT)

Afridi likes to be captain , but he is not capibal to do any format captaincy

Jeo Supper team : Fawad Alam, captain Fawad Alam vice captain , wk keeper Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam, team manager Fawad Alam,l Asad shafiq , faisal Iqbal Fawad Alam,Fawad Alam, 11.Fawad Alam,




Posted by sharprider on (November 3, 2010, 17:20 GMT)

Well, it was something within Pakistan's grasp, yet, it turned out to be a heart-breaking loss in the end. It remains to be seen how this team can get into the winning column when it clearly depends on a limited number of players to do the "job" for them on many an occasion, especially if there is a potential winnable situation. Why is there. apparently, a feeling of uncertainty prevalent as far as Plan A or Plan B is concerned? To be counted as a fighting unit, and a professional one, Pakistan needs to come out of this situation and start playing the game of Imran's and Miandad's times. While Fawad Alam might be a reasonably good batsman in the middle-order, he clearly lacks the will and know-how to deliver the final blow to the opponents and get over the finish line, as was so well demonstrated by Razzak in the previous match. Moreover, Afridi himself needs to re-learn the technique of first digging in and then lashing out at opportune moments and not just start swinging right away.

Posted by zain6766 on (November 3, 2010, 16:35 GMT)

Had IMRAN NAZIR been give chances as much as Afridi, the skies the limit for pakistan. why isn't he playing for pakistan in T20 and ODIs? PCB deserves to be in a situation its in due to the fact about incompetent leaders such as Butt and Afridi. Didn't Afridi said that he doesn't even know why he played that shot the other day when asked about after getting out as usual? The guy can't figure it out after playing almost 250 ODIs to why he do stupid things he does? Bring IMRAN NAZIR back if they want to win the series. This guy does things in 5 overs what these imcompetent openers can't do in 15!

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 15:58 GMT)

@nav84 Wow dude the most hilarious comment i have ever read .... If Amla had 7 centuries in 35 matches then he would have 75 centuries in 442 matches ah ... ha ha ha ha Cant stop laughing seeing ur comment .... If a debutant scores a century will u say he will score 442 centuries in 442 matches .... U r chanceless dude

Posted by Uomur on (November 3, 2010, 15:36 GMT)

Fawad Alam should have some self-respect and leave international cricket for his pathetic performance. At one point it seemed that the south african didn't actually want him to get out. The selectors should just ask one question to themselves before adding people like Fawad in the squad. Is he a potential match-winner. The same thing applies to Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq. Its time to smell the coffee people. Younis might have been an outstanding player but his current performance is pathetic. And Misbah doesnt even deserve to be in the squad let alone the captaincy. Look at south africans on the other hand. They have deleted Boeta Dippenaar, Hershelle Gibbs when and introduced new players like Ingram who are potential match-winners.

Posted by mharisq on (November 3, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

pakistan batted better than before.. Wahab Riaz was going greats.. Fawad Alam shouldnt have asked him to stop the last ball of Morne Morkel's over as he got out just because he was trying to guide it towards the 3rd man.. it would've been better if he tried to hit it over extra cover which he had successfully been doing, as it was right in the slot

Posted by mharisq on (November 3, 2010, 15:16 GMT)

@myaqub as for the players whome you are reffering as club cricketers (imran farhat,fawad alam ,asad shafiq,mohd hafeez,saeed ajmal ,wahab raiz,shazaib hussian ,zulkarnain haider)... Asad Shafiq... he doesnt usually play as an opener.. in the recent times, he has been one of the most eligible players when played in middle order.. Muhammad Hafeez... he has been the most economical bowler during the current series, going through his overs quickly even in power plays giving loads of flexibility.. n he is among the better fielders when it comes to taking the field.. plus he has given you the start in just about every game that he has played recently.. i dont know whats your criteria is rating a player... Wahab Riaz... guess you were having loadshedding during last 2 one dayers or you have never ever seen a fast bowler operate.. he hits the deck even better than Umer Gul.. plus he has that natural left arm quickie advantage.. in the absence of Amir, Pakistan definitely needs this guy..

Posted by myaqoob on (November 3, 2010, 14:21 GMT)

These are the players who simply create pressure like situation 1.imran farhat,fawad alam ,asad shafiq,mohd hafeez,saeed ajmal ,wahab raiz,shazaib hussian ,zulkarnain haider .get rid of these club cricketers .These players cant even play good on subcontinent wickets.Fawad alam is good player,but these days one day scores are over 250-300 .you cant play a player like that who will keep on blocking and cant hit boundaries.We need muscle players .who can hit .

Replacements --imran nazir,mohd yousuf,mohd sami,suhail tanvir,shaoib malik,rana naveed,kamran akmal

One PAk SQUAD-- Kamran Akmal Imran Nazir Younis khan Shahid afridi Abdul Razck umer akmal misbah-ul -haq shoaib malik umer gul mohd sami shaoib akther

Posted by Desi_In_US on (November 3, 2010, 14:19 GMT)

After watching Afridi bat the way he has been, it makes you wonder if it's real time or just a re-run. He is that wonder kid from the 90's that never grew up. I hate to say this but I think his brain is about as thick as the bat he uses. To top it off, he has nerves to pass a tip to lower order. This type of losses should be squarely put on pathetic display of leadership shown my Afridi. Dude, put up or shut up!!! For once own up to your short comings and stop making excuses. Stop making louzy excuses that Pakistan team is under stress. You are getting paid to do a job. There is saying that if you can't handle the heat get out of the kitchen. So, if you can't handle the stress, take leave of absence till you figure it out and let someone else play who is 'not' stressed.

Posted by inzi1234 on (November 3, 2010, 14:11 GMT)


Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 14:07 GMT)

really smith's absent is really a problem for SA their middle order is solid with kallis, AB de villiers and JP duminy i think that ingram can bat at no.6 and probably there's no need of albie morkel when there someone like david miller to bat at no.7

Posted by Proteas123 on (November 3, 2010, 13:49 GMT)

@ kzn_guy - Agree that SA need to groom a young all-rounder. Don't think that we will find someone close to Kallis or McMillan. Hope there is someone like that will come along soon. Till then McClaren or Albie are as good as we are going to get. Botha is a good bowling all-rounder though, although he is no Pollock.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 13:02 GMT)

Sarfraz ahmed is better replacement for kamran akmal , he is frm karachi v know he representing karachi dolphins this year. he can bat well better than zulqairnain. i know zulqairnain itself great wicket keeper behind stumps but last night he shows that he didn't hit hard like kamran akmal. so bring back sarfraz in replace of zulqairnain haider.

Posted by NomZia on (November 3, 2010, 12:47 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal is doing the same error as Saqlain did during the end of his career: Bowling the the mystery balls too much. And this is the same tip he gave to Ajmal on the tour of England. He should bowl his doosra or topspinner only once in an over or so.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 12:42 GMT)

If anyone could be blammed here is Afridi! His presence at the crease was senseless, hitting the second ball out of the park and the second ball after the six was him out of the park! Does his brain satisfy him to pass on the blame to the lower order and tailenders? For Pakistan, expectations from number 1,2 and 3 are to give them a start with around 80 odd runs with a loss of max 2 wicket by 20th over, then comes the number 4, 5 and 6 to ease it to 40th over with the scoreline to go around 160 to 200 and leave for 7, 8 in form of razaaq and afridi to do the talking and expect a total of 10 from 9, 10, 11!

its quite simple yet too complicated! chasing down 229 required steady start, after 25th over, score was 85/2! nothing wrong there! it was number 4,5 and 6 who failed including SHAHID KHAN AFRIDI DOOM DOOM!

Very disaapointing from him!

Posted by DINESHCC on (November 3, 2010, 11:37 GMT)

"CAPTAIN LEADING FROM THE FRONT". Many of us would defintely seen this type of commentary or news articles in almost every match. But this is totally absent in the present pakistan team. Excepting a few match winning performances against India, he has done nothing in any other matches. Under critical situations he played some awkward shots and got out. Even in IPL or CLT20 such type of shots will not be played by any batsmen. But a responsible captain, even in the 1st test match against Australia played an unwanted shot in both the innings and got out and immediately announced his retirement from test cricket also. In 306 ODIs he only scored 30 fifties and 6 hundreds which means he got out cheaply in more than 250 innings. Better Pakistan can go for a new captain who must lead from the front. Another big let down is Zulqurnain. He proved that Kamran is better option.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 11:14 GMT)

Please Afridi & co get the team combination right. If i have to select the team from those current players I vll go like this (Bating first): 1. Mohammad Hafeez 2. Asad Shafiq 3. Fawad Aalam 4. Younus Khan 5. Umer Akmal 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Abdul Razaq 8. Zulqarnain Hyder (Wk) 9. Wahab Riyaz 10. Shoib Akhter 11. Syed Ajmal .or Umer Gul or Tanvir Ahmad (Bating Second) 1. Mohammad Hafeez 2. Asad Shafiq 3. Fawad Aalam 4. Younus Khan 5. Umer Akmal 6. Zulqarnain Hyder (Wk) 7. Abdul Razaq 8. Shahid Afridi. 9. Wahab Riyaz 10. Shoib Akhter 11. Syed Ajmal. or Umer Gul or Tanvir Ahmad And one more thing regarding the batting of Mohammad Hafeez he is not good on offside and needs lot of practice for off side otherwise he will not cement his place in the team. 2. Zulkarnain Hyder he is a test player your first choice should be Kamran Akmal he is a quality player.

Posted by Marktc on (November 3, 2010, 10:23 GMT)

As much as people don't want to admit- I think the lack of Smith in the team has had a negative effect. They think they are on top and Botha does nothing to keep the intensity up. I agree Kzn guy- Albie needs to be shed and a younger all rounder added.

Posted by MHJafry on (November 3, 2010, 9:49 GMT)

Afetr loosing the 3rd ODI the capatain released a note ,that " Ajmal instead of making stroke should have given strike to Fawad Alam". VOW what a remark from brainless capatain. He should have been ashamed of giving such remaks. When the capatain came to batting the situation was still not under control of the Pak team. What he did. He did the same thing what he is doing from so many years. Luckily he made some 40+ in the 2nd ODI.But he got out in the same brainless shot which is his patent style. In fact there is no position for such brain in the team.

Posted by RevSA on (November 3, 2010, 9:30 GMT)

I must say that the flak the Pakstani lower order is getting is extremely unfair! These guys are the bowlers who are doing a great job of bowling! I know Pakistani team is in a bit of a mess, but blaming the wrong people is not going to help. Blame PCB, blame Afridi's complete lack of responsibility, blame the top order's poor form; Do not blame the bowlers for not batting like champions!

Just as a note: Don't you think many other players could also win the odd match by simply going after every ball? Why does only Afridi get to do it and is excused for failing 90% of the time?

Posted by Cricket_4_Blood on (November 3, 2010, 8:58 GMT)

@Nizan Khan - Are you drunk? What's wrong with you bro? can't believe your preferable side as if like you're involved in match fixing scandal selecting a stupid like you have mentioned in your comments. Bro. either watch cricket, gain knowledge & comment if not wear a saree & sit in front of the TV to watch teledramas.

Posted by khurramsch on (November 3, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

ok now about next games i think saed ajmal has lost his form in this tour , nothing much in t20s and nothing in ODIs/ even in last 2 games he didint bowled full 10 overs. so i think they should include umar gul in place of ajmal as u already hav 2 spinners hafez & afridi. hafez bowling gud.

2- Umar Akmal should come in .and for me i think he can also be added in place of zulaqrnain as keeper.coz real weak link is that zulqarnains bating is no more than a bowlers.he looks nervy out there.and that makes u 1 batsman short.

3- and afridi needs to b more resposible.when he came it was RRR 6 per over. when razak got our RRR 11 per over.they both need to be more responsible. coz that type of inings in 2nodi cantbe repeated in each game. this ground & pitch is not like and ground is also big (70-73-81-80) while abhu dhabi was 70 all sides. only 12 boundries from SA & same is the case for pak.

Posted by khurramsch on (November 3, 2010, 8:38 GMT)

gr8 finish in the end. AMLA was gr8 & bowling from both sides. Pakistans problem is still the same BATTING.2 inform ( not 100% but good in this series) Younis & hafz went early & partnership of farhat & Shafiq was toooooo slow. & when it was needed that they increase their strike rate they got themselves run out cheaply & unnecessarily. Afridi should have played more sensibly. no blame on lower order coz when razak out it was nearly 11 runs per over. this dubai pitch is not like abhu dhabi to hit every ball besides ground is a bit biger than that. its a bowlers pitch. Shoaib must have come ahead of ajmal when 20 of 18 needed. ANY way 1 thing is for sure that if game close SA will feel some pressure like misfielding & bowling in power play in these 2 games. anyway it was realy close game to watch & 2 in a row. gr8 entertainment

Posted by dmqi on (November 3, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

TO PAK FAN: I am surprised to see you all are complaining about loosing the game. You should be satisfied that SA did not score 250 plus, thanks to Pak TV umpire. Then there is Amala versus Younus (PCB just drained him out). You have a brainless captain, no dependable batsman. I would rather congratulate the young Fuad Alam and Asad for brining the game so close and giving hope to the old junks that they can play against bounce and pace. Shoeb Akhtar bringing him back after ruining himself for years. It is time for the stupid PCB to put together a team with a good Captain, but there is no one around, again credit goes to PCB for not having an opening pair and a captain. By the way, What happened to Yousuf?

Posted by nav84 on (November 3, 2010, 8:32 GMT)

Amla has 6 centuries in 35 ODIs....with this rate he will have 75 centuries in 442 matches....that is 29 more than sachin in same number of matches... :D :D

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 8:24 GMT)

i don't think there is any balance in pakistan team.Their keeper has no quality of batting at all and fawad alam can not make big hits...they lost the match for fawad alam i guess...he had hit only three boundaries all of which were in the batting powerplay...they need yusuf and kamran akmal in the middle,imran nazir on the start....i think that will do for paks........

Posted by woollybugger on (November 3, 2010, 7:59 GMT)

Poor old Tsotsobe - copping flak from all sides. Kepler Wessels had a go at him last night during television commentary about being 'bad' during the death overs, and quite a few posters here too are rather unfairly comparing him to Dale Steyn. The fact of the matter is that he went for less than 30 runs in his spell last night, and has consistently been the most economical SA bowler on tour thus far... and taken a bunch of wickets. Give the man a break! It was great to see Morne Morkey hitting his straps again.

Posted by duncanmoo on (November 3, 2010, 7:29 GMT)

@Gautam Shenoy I agree that it was Albie's bowling in the last over that lost South Africa the previous match and he has not been on form at all. But that is also the captain's mistake, I like Botha and he will continue to learn the job, but that was a bad mistake not keeping a specialist for the last over. Interesting that albie did not bowl at all in this match, and Duminy (who is totaly under-used as an allrounder) had 5 overs. Perhaps Albie is about to be dropped?

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

loved the match. but i think the wrong run out given of AB devillier disturbed SA batting more. Situation would have been different. But still loved our team fight back.. Best of luck Pakistan

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

i feel very bad for Fawad, almost everybody criticize him here in my circle of friends, i see the same attitude on tv too. ppl we also need to know what player has what job, no.5,6 are supposed to steady the chase and to guard there wickets, unfortunately afridi has always failed to do so and Alam does the job really well.. he isn't a t20 player, nor is he capable of playing big hits, but his avg is 40+ and strike rate 80+ keep the scoreboard ticking. he does so CONSISTENTLY, he produced 50 in 60 balls, he was a threat, i know he cant hit boundaries thats the worst thing abt him.. imran farhat played the most selfish innings, 48 in 80+ balls, omg ! misbah was a failure in both opening matches, i guess umer akmal shud have been in for misbah instead of farhat, n alam shud be moved higher the order.. not all players are big hitters, that only happens in t20.. alam should get support of afridi n razaq as they're big hitters, sumthing dat rarely happens. i support Alam for his role in team

Posted by kzn_guy on (November 3, 2010, 7:06 GMT)

Some very basic observations about Pakistan: Their bowling is good and getting better. They need the batting to back them up. Zulqarnain is really not doing anything with the bat. He bats like a newcomer to club cricket or a tailender. You have to have a batsmen keeper to survive. Its almost like playing a specialist fielder who cant bat or bowl. Afridi being the captain needs to take more responsibility in playing sensibly. Yes, he can hit the ball. But whats the point of that if he fails to seriously contribute 9/10 times??

South Africa need to stop pursuing with Albie Morkel. He is dead weight and holding them down. There are great players on the domestic circuit that can really make an impact. Kallis is going to be on his way out soon. Amla is the great replacement as a batsmen but there is no one to fill the void in the bowling department. SA needs to start grooming an all rounder of that capability now.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

I think before making any critisism on players we should also consider the conditionof wicket. the wicket in 3rd ODi b/w pak and SA was not suitable for batsman and in such a difficult condition imran farhat, asad shafiq and fawad alam played very well. but here i must say that Shaihid Afridi is not using his brain and he is misusing Fawad alam.Alam should be sent at #3 because he has ability to save the wicket and play long defensive inning. here we really need kamran akmal because he is very good batsman and can also play as an opener. saeed ajmal has no place in the team and he should be replaced by any batsman because Hafeez is bowling really well. Fawad alam is the best he just need little more confidence that should be given by captain and coach

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 6:51 GMT)

well i think pak must call IMRAN NAZIR back at top of the order, he shld replace fawad alam who is doing nothing he is not good enough in batting. Imran Fields as well as when he kept going then you guys know better what he can do for the opposition.

Posted by SudeepSharma_Nepal on (November 3, 2010, 6:47 GMT)

Amla rocks.It is pleasure watch him play and score tons of run against Pakistan. Pakistan's Batsmen should learn from him.Batting is not all about slaughtering the bowler all the time by swinging bats but u need to have a sound technique and a cool temperament.Pakistanis have set very low standard for batting in the recent past.

Posted by BronToRule on (November 3, 2010, 6:42 GMT)

Pakistan team has lots of politics in the team as well in country too.captain has to be drop for a while and get in Imran Nazir,Mohammed Yousuf,and many talented player are there who only get the chance for a match or too. Most important pakistan need a strong captian like Imran Khan or Izamam-ul-haq they had good hold on team as well on managment too.I only see down fall of pak cricket team after Inzamam left.pakistan need a good current captain like Dohni,Rickypointing.

Posted by RevSA on (November 3, 2010, 6:22 GMT)

I must congratulate SA and Pakistan for their excellent fighting spirit during the last two matches! Both are working out some issues being early in the season! Ajmal, and the rest of Pakistan's tail, I feel for you during those final overs with the pressure building, but SA also felt it and it showed. I love matches like these, everyone wants to win but one-sidedness is really boring! I think the more of these pressure situations SA can get the better, even if we lose a few...It is the no.1 aspect of the game that needs to be improved! Just imagine an SA team that can crack those pressure moments!

Posted by diri on (November 3, 2010, 6:21 GMT)

SA deserved to win on that wicket which was taylor made for pakistan. Morkel bowled really well up front, and that stumping decision???? The worst umpiring i ever saw in my life. It was a joke, almost cost SA a win. Amla is a legend......he is the sachin tendulkar of SA

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

When will South Africa realize that the only way for them to win the series (or any series) is to drop Albie Morkel? While it can be said that Razzaq single handedly won the game for Pakistan with the bat with a bit of help from Afridi in the scond ODI, it can be said in the same breath that Albie Morkel single handedly lost the match for South Africa with the ball, with a bit of help from Langeveldt. It was uninspired captaincy from Botha to have him bowl in the final overs. While they appeared to have learnt from this by not giving the ball to Albie in the 3rd ODI (even if he had bowled one over, we would have had a different winner), his dropping the simplest of catches of Fawad Alam like he did in the last over would have cost the match on any other day. in the recent years, this bloke has shown that he can neither bat, bowl or field, for South Africa or even his IPL team, CSK. Can anybody tell me what he is doing in the side? Probably Albie is Pakistan's 12th man

Posted by cric_lover143 on (November 3, 2010, 5:46 GMT)

For god sake PAK selectors, please.. include Imran Nazir in the squad. he is an aggressive batsman and an electric fielder.. if he cant score runs at least he will save some runs for the team.. and where is Rana Naved.. If he is there in the team, that will only strengthen the team in all departments.. Remember he and Razzaq used to open some innings in ICL. And also Fawad alam should bat at no 3 or 4, if he is in the team. He is not a six hitter ( or four hitter for that matter ) but he is a very good runner and expert in singles and twos.. at least the scoreboard will tickle.. and Afridi should reconsider his game.. He is the captain & he has some responsibilities. & don't take Sehwags way of "its my style".. If he fails for 2 or 3 games doesn't matter for India, because they have got strong batting Line up to hold the innings.. That is Not the case of Pakistan right now.. If Afridi stays in the innings for 10-15 overs, then the whole complexion of the innings will change..

Posted by Mianwali_12chak on (November 3, 2010, 5:46 GMT)

@mazhar,hafeez is one the most sold batsman in recent team,in last 8 matches he is been scoring with avrg of 50,got proper crickting shorts,bowling no doubt is high class and fielding as well,he should remain part of playing eleven.I think now they need to drop saeed ajmal and add one more batsman in place of him,fawad alam is imroving day by day..GOOD LUCK PAK TEAM

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 5:40 GMT)

I think we should bring Kamran Akmal as batsmen though not as a wicket keeper. And i think khuram manzoor and Azhar Ali should be called back. And I am sure there are many more out there just waiting for chance but our fat people at PCB wants to get more fat so i guess no point of whining. I think umar akmal should come back too. bring in the new talents, stop playing with old folks and junks like farahat, hafeez, afridi and younis. Younis has lost his form now and he is aging thanks to PCB he is wasted :). Where as afridi boom boom i seriously feel like beating the crap out people who calling him boom boom, he got no brains simple i wish he had he would have been a fine addition to Pakistan team but ya no brain. I think it would be good time to give ajmal rest so he can prepare for world cup, he just lost his form dont drop him PCB you idiots.

Posted by VipulPatki on (November 3, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

I dont know why people are blaming Fawad. I saw the match and if only Ajmal could have batted a little better. But then Fawad was rather animated during his conversations with Ajmal at the crease. Too many suggestions must have confused Ajmal. That said, I think yesterday's match proved that this is the worst fielding unit of South Africa since 1992. Match would have probably ended a lot sooner if the fielding was better. It was as if Zaheer Khan and Pravin Kumar had exchanged bodies with the South Africans...

Posted by Davec on (November 3, 2010, 5:14 GMT)

I must've been watching a different match.

The one I watched was the one where Theron got hit for 19 runs in an over when he could have easily had 3 wickets.

Also, far from being nervy, in the game I watched, Theron bowled with remarkable control in the death, harsh no-ball notwithstanding.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 5:11 GMT)

Bring back IMRAN NAZIR or open with AFRIDI...this is the only solution.....Pakistan need quick run in first power play...all team are doing so and pakistan is failing since...NAZIR is not in team and AFRIDI is not opening. SHOAIB should have sent earlier then Ajamal...this could have save the match at least. OPEN AFRIDI OPEN THE INNING...and utilize the power have RAZZAQ up in the order...why Pakistan think tank can not open with AFRIDI....they are loosing match in a row and not utilizing the POWER PLAY since ages....BACK NAZIR AND OPEN WITH AFRIDI....

Posted by Ray24 on (November 3, 2010, 5:10 GMT)

For all of you criticizing Fawad Alam, please see how many boundaries were scored in SA's innings - just 12. And Amla hit 9 of those. So Fawad hit as many boundaries as the whole SA team combined minus Amla. ODI is not about all boundaries - when you need 4.6 an over singles will get you through. Fawad's strike rate was close to 90, pretty high in the situation. He read the match better then Afridi, and all the Fawad haters here - he has a brain. Yes he has limitations, but he uses his brains to overcome that. You can score runs without being pretty. In both games he was a reason Pakistan won or got close. Only if Ajmal had taken 3 more singles instead of trying to hit the ball out of the park, the result would have been different. Pak cricket is in this shape because the players and fans have no clue on how to build innings. Its all about boundaries for them.

Posted by Khanbacha on (November 3, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

Hey guys, we don need to critisize the young players, fawad has done a very good job in the 2nd ODI against SA. in fact he was the one who stayed on a wicket and support afridi and than razzaq, whatever flaws we have seen in the team is totally due to coach, there is no sense of having two bowling coaches with a team but have no batting coach. Pakistan always lost due to their pathetic batting performances even the most senior players of the team are playing so childish strokes and gifted their wickets while if they play a good innings after 10 to 15 innings, its totally to save their position in the team. akmal brothers are good players but it seems that we have lost them. the way umar batting at the moment is totally different from the way he batted in his initial innings. PCB should work to furnish the players and make them bat, bowl and field sensibly.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:59 GMT)

Well to my opinion Fawad Alam is better than others, who keeps one end secure & at the end his strike rate was almost 100%, plus he is scoring in almost every game. Although he does not have much shots to play but still he steal singles & doubles. One cannot play 50 overs on T20 format. So you need to have players like Fawad Alam in your squad.

You cannot blame Saeed Ajmal, first of all he is not a batsman & on the bowling front he makes hard for batsmen to get runs. Not performing in 1 game, cannot shadow his previous performances.

We need Kamran Akmal at the top, as an opener with Asad Shafiq & Afridi shud put some sense into his batting. Pak will do better in next game (InshAllah)

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:53 GMT)

Well to my opinion Fawad Alam is better than others, who keeps one end secure & at the end his strike rate was almost 100%, plus he is scoring in almost every game. Although he does not have much shots to play but still he steal singles & doubles & occassional boudaries. One cannot play 50 overs game on 20 over game pattern. So you need batsmen like Fawad in your squad.

You cannot blame Saeed Ajmal, first of all he is not a batsman & on the bowling front he makes hard for batsmen to get runs. Not performing in 1 game, cannot shadow his previous performances.

We need Kamran Akmal at the top, as an opener with Asad Shafiq & Afridi shud put some sense into his batting. Pak will do better in next game (InshAllah)

Posted by Alam_Khan on (November 3, 2010, 4:44 GMT)

Imran Farhat played a very selfish inning, he is responsible the higher runrate required in the last overs and made the whole team under pressure and the runrate was creeping up and when the time came to play big shorts he was out and left alot of rubbish behind himself for other players 48 like him can scored bu any player any means like Saeed Ajmal Zulqarnain any one can made such 48 runs play for himself not for the team. Fawad Alam is a good player for Pakistan A team he has not have the ability to play some bid shorts he is not even able to play 4 or 6 like Wahab Riaz did as he is a pinch hitter if plaued for a over or 2 more we can easliy won the match. We need Yousaf Younis as permanent middle order batsman and need someone who can really open the match with confidence like Kamran Akmal who can make strokes and also a good hitter of the ball, otherwise we will be loosing like that or some time once in a blue moon Razzaq or Afridi will play like they played in a second oneday.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:34 GMT)

excellent stuff by little man Alam....Definitely he is good replacement at no.4. Great come back into form by pakistan..

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:32 GMT)

I hope this was Imran Farhat's last chance, when opner gives such lousy&lazy, start,that puts the pressure on all the batsman coming after him.10 overs without the boundry, that is not a one day cricket.

Posted by ROLAYH on (November 3, 2010, 4:29 GMT)

It was good to see Pakistani team fighting back like this... the belief and fighting spirit was there... As mentioned in the article it was Morne Morkel and Amla's exceptional inning that was the difference...

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

What an atrocious stumping decision by third umpire Zameer Haider? This should be his last game as an umpire.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 4:09 GMT)

Zulqarnain cant bat in ODI's simple as that ... put umar akaml behind the stumps ... i think we were just a batsman short ad tat was kamran akmal... and may try shahazaib with one last chance opeing inings in place of farhat

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 3:57 GMT)

I think pakistan wicket keeper is sucks he can't batt at all. and he is not a good wicket keepter too. Kamran akmal is a great battsman and wicket keeper.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 3:49 GMT)

I agree with you Ali. they should have sent Shoaib Akhter instead of Ajmal, anyways i don't like Fawad Alam's batting at all through the tournament . I would like to see Umar Akamal back to the team at least he makes run a ball. good luck Pakistan in the next two remaining game.

Posted by shovwar on (November 3, 2010, 3:24 GMT)

Very unsatisfied by SA performance....they let Pakistan back into the contest should have been over long before 47 overs.....3 regular dismissals were brought down...When Pak was 8 down....the only bowler who knows how to bowl at the death is Theron...The fielders put him down though....The captain should stick with Theron even though if he gets a few hits cuz he can bowl those yorkers and get back in the next overs. Pakistan played better in the 2nd game n deserved the victory...but in this game it was the SA bowlers slip up...They should not play around with their young team experiments no more....they should bring back Smith and Steyn now...Tsotsobe is good but not Steyn...he was clueless at the death overs and Colin Ingram should be reserved for future...let him mature....he is good but few bad results might harm his future....I dont even see the reason for keeping 2 hitters (albie n miller) 1 hitter is enough they should keep a genuin batsmen instead....But enjoyed the pak fyt bak

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 3:22 GMT)

if Imran farhat is getting so much chances without doing anything than taufeeq umar and faisal iqbal also deserve some. Mohammad Hafeez is no good with the bat . He always seems to succeed on the domestic circuit and fail on the international arena.

there is so much technical flaws with the batsman that i must say that this current team is going no where. they simply will not be able to compete substantially, only through individual brilliance here and there will be victory. The solutions is under 19 players should be inducted in the team with good coach coaching them

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 2:55 GMT)

So Dale Steyn is not there? So thats the reason Pakistan are having a relatively easier tournament!

Posted by kazam_razaq on (November 3, 2010, 2:53 GMT)

yes pakistan lost this match due to saeed ajmal.he should try to score single of every ball.saeed ajmal is not bowling well also so drop him for a match or two and bring in umer gul or abdur rehman and also they will have to sort out the problem at the top bcoz they need people at the top who should score b/w 4or 5 runs per over to match the teams in WC as ICC is in no mood to let BUTT,AAMER and ASIF play in the WC as now this is a problem now with HAROON LORGAT's ego

Posted by wushzolan on (November 3, 2010, 2:46 GMT)

Fawad played really well and should be promoted up the order as a # 4 batsman. He has the ability to play a longer innings and seems like he has the brains to play and the ability to perform at that number.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 2:02 GMT)

fawad.. its all because of him they went into this situation .. guy cant hit boundaries

Posted by pakspin on (November 3, 2010, 1:51 GMT)

How can you win when you opener is Imran FArhat? I mean the opener is supposed to be the best batsman, and good help pakistan if he is our best batsman

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 1:47 GMT)

If Hashim Amla keeps up this form he will be on his way to becoming the Best ODI player in history, his Stats are absolute INSANE and amazing. Averaging over 61 runs is very impressive

Posted by Karthik_1982 on (November 3, 2010, 1:29 GMT)

If at all Pak came so close in the match it was becoz of Alam, without him Pak would have lost by big margin, so before taking abt someone's brain first use urs to understand the situation and then comment.

Posted by Karthik_1982 on (November 3, 2010, 1:26 GMT)

Now you will have everyone start blaming Alam & Ajmal; as if the rest batsmen did their job. Before expecting Ajmal to use his brain; first ask his captain whether he has one such thing called brain. The start given by their openers; in this era will be considered slow even in the Test format. You will continue to see Pak losing the series and all the forth coming series. I dont see anyone give any thought on how to plan the chasel having wicket at the end is one but wanting too many run at the end with all the wickets is also not a good option.

I dont think what the so called think-tank does here. Their Boom Boom needs to be removed from the team, even Ajmal faces more balls than their captain. I think Afridi unnecessarily occupies the place where a good talent could be tried.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 1:01 GMT)

I really feel sorry for Fawad Alam he fought tooth and nail for a pakistan win the rest of batsmen need to seriously step up their batting and play more sensibly espeacially the likes of afridi and younis khan the bowling and fielding has been good though and i must say this team has a lot of guts and fight in them which is required by all great teams however as a team they need to play with more with more common sense and purpose rather than the unnnecesary recklessness displayed not only today but also in recrent games

Posted by Farhanau on (November 3, 2010, 1:01 GMT)

Pakistan is suffering from so many reasons that leads them to lose matches. First: Their top order batsmen are wasting too many balls.(but if they play test cricket they can't even last that long)example:in this match FARHAT=47(83) and ASAD= 43(74). only 2 or 3 less balls used by them would have made Pakistan win. Second: They should now look for any other spinner than AJMAL(not capable of doing any good anymore, batsman can score whatever they want from him). Third: For each drop catch 50% of the match fee should be deducted by the board. Fourth: When you play cricket for a such a long time, a belief or self confidence grows within. This is called temperament. ALAM, not at all have any match wining capabilities, otherwise how can he even think of taking a single in that moment. Believe me guys, I have been in this situation in many of my domestic cricket matches. Its just a feelings of "I need to do that". And this feeling of "I" is so sweet that win you matches in situations.

Posted by evenflow_1990 on (November 3, 2010, 0:46 GMT)

i'm sri lankan. i have no idea whats with pakistan's top order, especially imran farhat. even salman butt is a pretty useless batsman. they need to find someone better. with a population above 150 million, i'm convinced there's two kids better than them for the opening position.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 0:28 GMT)

I agree the match was in Pakistan's Pocket with 20 run in 18 balls but we lost the match due to Ajmal who scored 2 runs in 8 balls.I think they should give him the rest since he is not bowling well and play extra batsman because Hafeez is balling quite better then Ajmal.

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 0:10 GMT)

Razzaq showed in the last match if give more time in the middle he can be very vital. Pakistan seem to ignore that all the time. I have no clue why would you use your test no 9 batsman "Imran farhat" in an ODI. Asad Shafiq, good batsman. Hafeez again does not make any sense in the line up. We have better players, Khurram manzoor did a good job opening the inning he is not even included in the line up. Clearly Paksitan batsmen require batting training. They need someone like Inzamam, Yousuf, some recent batsmen with good technique to come and fix these batsmen. As they need to learn Defence. Although it seems all they are doing is defence, we are being deceived. its called " Well Left". Same two words i would say for the 3rd ODI "Well Left". Imran farhat selfish inning, pitch well left in the end to the run out. Asad, Afridi - Razaq, and the in the best well left by ALam, take a single to bring Ajmal "the Destroyer" on strike.

I love Pakistan Cricket. :)

Posted by   on (November 3, 2010, 0:07 GMT)


Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 23:57 GMT)

I dont know if much people would agree with me but if Razzaq was given more overs game could have been different as his economy was better than captains and ajmal and despite being hit for runs afridi gave ball to ajmal. Hows that fare?

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (November 2, 2010, 23:43 GMT)

Even if it's the top order, specially Hafiz and Younis who should be criticised but I think Razaq should not have tried to play a bouncer in the manner he did. Even if had connected that ball, he was destined to be caught some where. Razzaq do need to adjust a few things in his batting. Said Ajmal is a much better batsman than what we saw today. Had he taken it calmly, I am sure he had connected a few of them. I still think Razaq needs to come up in the order so he can play without pressure of scoring at a higher rate and can have enough time to build his innings by leaving a few dot balls of the sort he lost his wicket to. Pakistans biggest problem is that they are always 5 down for 120 or so and if the lower order of Fawad, Afridi and Razzaq do not fire then they tend to fall for less than 200. Fawad has his limitations but he must be admired for his consistancy. Good luck next match.

Posted by naeem-butt on (November 2, 2010, 23:29 GMT)

Another game has been lost.Top 4 of the batting order played 30.2 overs and made only 94 runs which shows you pak players and team think tank had no game plan so it was absolutely obvious that they are not going any where.such a shame for pak team management coach and captain.Pakistan needs a complete overhaul in team management and in the board otherwise pakistan cricket will be just like pakistan hockey.Just take a look at west indies.The greatest team of cricket is now at the bottom.Pakistan is doing exactly same in their domestic structure,cricket board and in team managing affairs i hope they realize before its too late

Posted by longhit60 on (November 2, 2010, 23:25 GMT)

next match pakistan play with this player shahzib hassan hafeez afridi younis umar akmal misbah razzaq zulqar umar gul wahab shoaib

ajmal is not good enough also asad shafiq.

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (November 2, 2010, 23:11 GMT)

@Ali Zafar: You just criticised one of the few Pakistani batsmen to keep his innings together whilst under pressure. Fawad is one of the few who'll actually fight to the end before he gives his wicket away, even though he has far less ability than most in the Pakistan team. As for why Ajmal bats higher than Akhtar, maybe you hadn't realised but Ajmal has actually played some very decent innings in tests and ODI's over the past year. Unfortunately he tried too hard to hit the ball far. Akhtar wouldn't have even bothered keeping his wicket.

Posted by nekokara on (November 2, 2010, 23:07 GMT)

Saeed Ajmal is too panicky , i agree Fawad should not have taken the single. Wahab batted well and looks promising. What is Imran Farhat unto playing so slowly..playing for his place only? If Shahzeb can open why not try Omar Akmal as an opener?

Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 22:51 GMT)

yea we missed both the akmal brothers today....if they were there it could be a different story :(.....

Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 22:37 GMT)

Agree with Ali.....Fawad Alam should not have taken the single on the 4th ball of the over...He had 2 balls left and it was not that hard to score 4 runs, its common sense but he played well....I couldn't figure out the reason of sending Ajmal before Shoaib:/

Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 22:23 GMT)

Amla has just been a revelation in the ODIs with minimal fuss - if anything though - Shoaib's spell deserved to win it for Pakistan. He's still got the aroows in his quiver ..

Posted by   on (November 2, 2010, 21:53 GMT)

Fawad alam not good enough, should have never taken the single on the 3rd last delivery and i dont understand how the heck Ajmal bats higher up than shoaib akhtar coz ajmal has no cricketing brain and is pathetic with the bat, he is the reason Pakistan lost this match

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Osman SamiuddinClose
Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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