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Faras Ghani in Faisalabad
January 30, 2008
Firsts for two
There were wonderful firsts for a couple of Karachi youngsters when Elton Chigumbura was stumped by Sarfraz Ahmed off Fawad Alam. It was Alam's maiden ODI wicket in his third match, while Sarfraz made his first stumping in his second game. (He took two catches on debut.) Both Fawad and Sarfraz were members of Pakistan's U-19 World Cup winning squads, in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
Pace isn't everything
There was plenty of talk of Sohail Khan's pace prior to the match, and he didn't take long to prove a point. Bending his back, he complemented pace with bounce and Tatenda Taibu was left flashing at a rising delivery as Sohail's exaggerated followthrough took him right next to the batsman. However, the debutant was delivered a telling lesson off the very next ball as a similar delivery was ferociously cut past point for a four. No one moved bar Sohail, who quickly retreated to his bowling mark.
Speed gun under the scanner
Players and umpires are known to have bad days, but today the speed gun - under constant watch due to Sohail's debut - had a day to forget. Sohail was firing it in with grunts audible all over the stadium, but the speed gun obviously wasn't impressed. And as a lethal yorker went through Ray Price's defences for Sohail's maiden ODI wicket, a mere 119kph flashed on the screens.
Watching it all from the dressing room was a rather unlucky Vusi Sibanda. Given out leg-before with a big stride forward to a Kamran Hussain in-cutter, Sibanda's walk back to the pavilion depicted his disappointment aptly. A poor start for Asoka de Silva, the umpire, became worse when Gary Brent was given marching orders despite replays showing Shahid Afridi's delayed reaction might have reprieved Brent. de Silva, however, decided against using replays and Zimbabwe's faltering innings suffered another setback.
Planning for success
Nasir Jamshed's heroics in the first two ODIs have been encouraging for Pakistan. However, his predictable strokeplay - with lofted drives over mid-on - prompted Hamilton Masakadza to place a long-on right from the start. Due to the fielding restrictions, fine leg had to come inside the circle, and the move paid off. Chigumbura pitched on the shorter side and the flick was taken inches off the ground at short fine leg.