Australia v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, St Lucia

Fielding the key for Pakistan - Afridi

Cricinfo staff

May 13, 2010

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Shahid Afridi at a press conference on the eve of Pakistan's semi-final against Australia, ICC World Twenty20 2010, St Lucia, May 13, 2010
Dropped catches have proved costly for Pakistan this World Twenty20 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Shahid Afridi
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Pakistan

Shahid Afridi, the Pakistan captain, has singled out his team's fielding as the major worry ahead of the semi-final against Australia in St Lucia. Pakistan dropped two catches in the defeat to Australia followed by three more against England in the Super Eights which took them to the brink of elimination, before they fought back against South Africa to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

"We are playing well overall but we are missing opportunities by dropping catches. In any format, it is the fielding that wins you the matches," Afridi said. "The opening partnership is very important and so is the fielding. The first six overs while batting as well as bowling are very important."

Afridi acknowledged Australia had improved significantly in the Twenty20 format, but said his team was confident on a track that has been of assistance to spinners and added he also had plans for Australia's prolific opening pair of David Warner and Shane Watson. "We have three regular spinners, and Abdur Rehman is bowling very well," he said. "There are a few areas where Watson and Warner go for the big runs, like midwicket and mid-on, and we've made plans against them as to where to bowl."

When asked whether Hammad Azam, the allrounder who is yet to get an international break, would play against Australia, Afridi said it was unlikely. "Azam is young, and he's played some of the practice matches. He's not very confident now, but we hope that if he tours more he can develop into a mature cricketer."

There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since the Lahore attacks in March last year, and Afridi said victory in the tournament would be a massive boost for fans back home. He also called on India and Sri Lanka to come to Pakistan's support in these trying times, and reciprocate for Pakistan touring their countries when the situation there, as Afridi believed, was "not very good."

"We are here to play good cricket and win this competition because there's no cricket in Pakistan," Afridi said. "The situation in India was not very good around five to six years ago and Pakistan played there as well as in Sri Lanka. Pakistan was the only team to play there. This is how we should continue our cricketing relationship."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:17 GMT)

does any body know about pakistai time of match begonningn

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 15:15 GMT)

may pakisatn win match by defeating australia

Posted by M_JAFFER_IBRAHIM on (May 14, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

I donot have much expectations from Pakistani team but only can pray for this team

Posted by Khawaja.Adnan on (May 14, 2010, 14:40 GMT)

Though Australia is strong, but I have feeling we have got our killer instinct back just at right time InshaAllah, the one which makes us the most un-predictable as well as dangerous side in cricket, and today it is going to work for us.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 14:21 GMT)

Pakistan will defeat Australia Inshallah

Posted by mothanvi on (May 14, 2010, 14:00 GMT)

Indeed!Fielding holds key and against Aussies it is much costly to drop a catch;memories of 1999 World Cup have not faded away when Herschelle Gibbs dopped the worthy catch of Steven deprived them of the final.Lets hope that Pakistan deliver their best

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:56 GMT)

Pakistan is a unpredictable team many matches have changed from the oponents to Pakistan And Insha Allah the same will happen today and in the final And We Will Stay The Champions

Posted by ShahzanHaiderBukhari on (May 14, 2010, 13:52 GMT)

All the Pakistani nation prays for your success. Prove your talent man and lead the team impressively. Boost up their morale as every body knows when Pakistanis are once get excited and spirited, no one can beat them. My Pastoon brother we are with you. Show the Aussie your talent and you have been showing against Sri Lanka and especially against India where you score a hundred out of 37 and 45 balls respectively. May God bless you!!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

come on pak u can do it afridi needs to be on fire just like last year

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:44 GMT)

Come On PAk !!!!! WE WILL WIN (INSHALLAH) !!!!!!! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD !!!!!!!!!

Posted by aa61761 on (May 14, 2010, 13:29 GMT)

Fielding is the key for Pakistan. If Pakistan performs well in field, then they can contain Australia under 150, which is get able for Pakistan batting. Good luck Pakistan.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

wish you good luck .. regardless of win or lose, i am happy to see the way afridi working hard as player and captian, we should give him more time and chance to prove his passion and lead the team.

Posted by RC2042 on (May 14, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

I love Pakistan, but i am a realist. Australia has been the more consistent team over the tournament. While Pakistan is a good team I dont see them winning this game. Unless something extra ordinary happens. I would say the Chances of a Australia win are much higher.

Posted by kaanaismyfriend on (May 14, 2010, 12:56 GMT)

I think it is Afridi's day today in the field.If they perform up to their limits they can beat the red hot Australians.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 12:55 GMT)

if boom boom fires ther is no one in the world of cricket 2 stop pakistan from loosing....he should follow his gut feelings and plays naturally like he did in 09...victroy ll be theres

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:52 GMT)

GO pAk GO BoOm BOoM No worries u lose or u won plz fight like tigers

Posted by badaryousuf on (May 14, 2010, 11:47 GMT)

Go Pakistan... We believe that there will be a repeat of 1992 world cup.. show the aussies that they may have improved but they still arent better than us in this format of the game and especially in crunch games...

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:44 GMT)

go go go Pakistan, you can do it

Posted by rimafr on (May 14, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

pakistan is the wining team today inshALLAh .... every day is a new day ... so pakistan is win today ... inshALLAh ... our prayer is with you Afridi.... I love u .....

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:32 GMT)

C'mon Mr. Afridi, don compare current situation in Pakistan with situations in India and Sri Lanka in the past. No terrorist, in any part of the world, attacked a cricketer in the whole history of cricket... So Pakistan's situation is unique in every aspect. Imagine yourself in the Sri lankan cricketer's shoes for once, then you will never set foot on that country again.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 11:23 GMT)

"Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death."

Yeah ... i mean al the world has adjudged Aussies as Fav. but to there is a mere 5-10% performance difference in PAK & AUS. so i believe that no one should under estimate PAK and they (AUS.) should keep in mind that they are playing against a "CRICKET PLAYING NATION"...!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 10:39 GMT)

Pakistan Came to Semi by luck. So Don't worry in 3years you wear inter to Semi Finals. This time is Australia only. Please don't disturb them.

Posted by rahul_studd on (May 14, 2010, 9:52 GMT)

i believe despite pakistani captain focusing on his fielding, pakistan will create upset in semis by beating australia because pakistanis are young and talented side which can knock down any team on in crunch game and will again come in finals for 3rd consecutive years, i pray to god insh allah pakistan will win in grand style go boom boom afridi all support you have from asia continent

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:36 GMT)

We will Win ........ Inshallah .....

Posted by mayurv on (May 14, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

This is what Pakistan team is all about and how it plays. They are the most unprdictable team in the cricketing world. From nowhere they come up like a Champions from underdogs. And today also, we expect them to deliver the same. Go Shahidbhai and crush the aussies we all fans are with you! Show them we are the best!!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

True Guys , It's a mirror of 1992 WorldCup where Australia beat WI to clear way for pakistan to the Semi's , and Pakistan beat Nz who were in the TOP Form all around the world cup ..with key perforamce coming from Inzi , Wasim n Moin .. even though the target was quite high ... And we meet England in the Final.. so the situation now is very mich the same , England is in the Final , we are playing one of the best teams of the tour ... and we need Kamal Bro , Afridi , and Aamir to shine.. Best of luck Pakistan..

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 9:19 GMT)

i had hope in pakistan till afridi leads it...so be confident and improve the fielding side and opener and win the match against australai.............

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:58 GMT)

yeah .. fielding is the most important !! we make so many chances but just dont take them !!

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:54 GMT)

australia strong.no doubt about it.but pakistan can win this match if they don't miss catches.best of luck pakistan.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:40 GMT)

Afridi & Co. play your natural game with full confidence. Aussies will test with some short bowling, Salman Butt while anchoring one end must go for odd boundary, Kamran Akmal fire all guns, if Kamran is out early Afridi send a lower order pinch hitter. Play positve Afridi, Umar, Misbah & Abd-Razzaq. Aamir give Aussies taste of their own medicine, length bowling with variation. Ajmal its just another day at office. All players show team spirit, lift fielding standards & win yet another T20 World Cup.

Posted by hashir86 on (May 14, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

I think this is the best wicket to beat australia, otherwise they are going to win the World T20

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:29 GMT)

INSHALLAH! PAKISTAN WILL WIN SEMI FINAL & FINAL TO.SO THIS TIME INSHALLAH! THEY WILL GIVE US SOME GOOD MEMORIES LIKE 1992 & 2009....BUT! THE MAIN THING IS PAKISTAN SHOULD NO DROP THE CATCHES BECAUSE THIS IS THE MAIN TURNING POINT FOR ANY MATCH.SO PAKI'S SHOW YOUR BEST EFFORT'S AND WIN THIS CUP......OUR ALL PRAY AND DUA WITH YOU.....GO AND BLAST & BRING THE ANOTHER CUP TO OUR HOME...VERY BEST OF LUCK! PAKISTAN ZINDABAD...... & ONE MORE THING I WANT TO GIVE MY OPINION PAKISTAN SHOULD SEND UMAR AKMAL & RAZZAQ TO OPEN THE INNING'S........................

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 8:07 GMT)

I agree with Afridi fielding is the major worry for Pakistan but our batsmen are also not firing in this tournament. Especially the big-hitters like Razzaq & Afridi haven't shown their true colors. So we the Pakistani fans hope that our team will perform good enough to beat the Aussies.

Posted by LeoSaqib on (May 14, 2010, 7:57 GMT)

Shahid is right.This match will be decided in first six overs for both teams.If Pakistan can handle Aussie pace battery in these overs without loosing too many wickets, or gets out both opener in this period, without giving too much runs, they will be in with excellent chance.Afridi's own contribution with bat and ball will also be decisive.Afridi is underestimating Hammad, he is more cool headed and immensely talented with both bat and ball, than many so called Superstar of this team.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 7:44 GMT)

Dont worry shahid InshALlah we will win

Posted by COOLKASHIF on (May 14, 2010, 7:44 GMT)

AFRIDI GO AND WIN AND WHEN U ENTER TO GROUND DONT THINK ABOUT LOSING ALWAYS THINk POSITIVE AND OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH PAKISTAN INSHALLAH 92 WORLD CUP HISTORY WILL REWIND

Posted by SampathCFO on (May 14, 2010, 7:40 GMT)

"The situation in India was not very good around five to six years ago and Pakistan played there as well as in Sri Lanka. Pakistan was the only team to play there. ".. What period iis Afridi referring to - I honestly could not understand? There has never been a time in history when India was a dangerous country to visit.. Seriously, Afridi proving again what a Joker he is!! Sensational proclamation...

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 7:32 GMT)

I dont think aussi will win against pak

Posted by cyborg2k8 on (May 14, 2010, 7:18 GMT)

Aussies should beat Pakis ......cos Pakis don't deserve to play in the finals with England.....Pakis do not hve an inspirational leader like Imran...Afridi is a waste...thus the most deserving teams should make the finals....& it will be a cracker ..a prelude to the ASHES 2011.....go aussie, aussie, aussie

Posted by clicktoshoaib on (May 14, 2010, 6:56 GMT)

Allah pak definitely helps us

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

We are there for your support Afridi...dont lose hope InshAllah Victory will be ours..just concentrate on the fielding and batting...and just be confident...Rest is on Allah :)..All the best!!!!

Posted by raza14 on (May 14, 2010, 5:57 GMT)

I'm not a traitor to my homeland, but where the reality lies? For last couple of days every one on print and electronic media is portraying the team the best ever in world, Even knowing that we haven't done well at all, and as for Australia they have beaten us in all ten contests we had with them,

What we can do is to wish them luck, not expecting a lot. That will definitely be helpful for the team to avoid inquiries, bans and match fixing allegations in case our wishes not come true. As an extremist nation we expect extreme and react extreme in either case.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 5:29 GMT)

Afridi & Co. as always mentioned, are the most talented and mercurial team in world cricket but the lack of discipline has always been there main course of worry along with the unproffesionalism of their Board. My prayers for Afridi and his boyz are go out positive with one goal,the killing instict infused in every player to destroy Aussies. Yes today is your day Afridi and show what you are capable of.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:53 GMT)

Please work hard & played with passion all PAKISTANIS are prey for your vicory

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:36 GMT)

I wish Pakistan kicks Aussies butts. If nothing shocking happens then score will be Pak: 125 in 20, Aus: 126 in 17 or Aus: 165 in 20, Pak: 115 in 18

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 4:26 GMT)

Afridi is spot on Pakistan need to be top notch in the field, we have the ability to beat any given team on any given day. Our Boys have done well in the tournament regardless of tommorow's result we are proud of our players. IA we will win.

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 3:05 GMT)

Short balls would still be key for aussies, if pak. could handle those balls no doubt they will rock. n yeh feilding is so crucial . if pakistan manage to 160- 170 pak attack is more capable to defend that total. Pakistan Zinbabad

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 3:02 GMT)

We proud that we are from Cricket Nation. We do play Cricket and told everybody we are from Pakistan Afridi this is another Chance for you to prove that you are the best captain this time let us proud more and more to be a Pakistani

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 2:37 GMT)

May Allah cause Pakistan to win Australia Insha-Allah,I do hope Pakistan will play very good and win Insha-Allah,

Posted by   on (May 14, 2010, 2:27 GMT)

We will win Inshallah!

Posted by begamir on (May 14, 2010, 1:57 GMT)

I agree with Shahid Afridi. Pakistan biggest diappintment was fielding. But I hope in the Semi Final they will field well. Also my suggestion is if 1 Salman and 2 Hafeez come as opener and Razzaq as 3 will help Pakistan batting, because 4 Afridi 5 & 6 Akmal Bro. 7 Misbah and then 8 Azam/Alam. Rest will be the bowlers Amir, Ajmal, Rehman. I hope it will be a good winning combination. Inshallah

Posted by AleemLatif on (May 14, 2010, 1:51 GMT)

Only change which is required is - give Hammad Azam a chance instead of Khalid Latif - who has been miserable all through since OZ tour. No need of Sami here OZs are too good on Fast Bowling. Players should be BLUNT with each other on the field - this is the best key to get the BEST out of each player - bloody hell guys we need the best out of you and we know that you are talented but we do'nt want the lazy bastards. Every bowler should bowl wicket to wicket - absolutely straight bowling - no width. Spin is the KEY for Pak but don't give Hafeez any overs against OZ openers. Start with Razzaq and give him 2-3 overs in the beginning if he does well. Batting first is the way to go if you win the toss - Pak batsmen wont sustain the pressure of chasing against the hostile OZ attack. Play attacking cricket and always think of taking OZ wickets irrespective of run rate - which would come down anyway after fall of wickets on regular interval. Conclusion - play out of your skins.

Posted by naeem-butt on (May 14, 2010, 0:32 GMT)

Be kind rewind.we have done that in past when NZ were unstopable and playing very good cricket in 92. we played as a team and we won the world cup if team pakistan play good cricket we all hope to see another final with england.go team pakistam go

Posted by salmankhan1234 on (May 14, 2010, 0:10 GMT)

Hello Afridi Bhayya you got this one. when our prayers are with you than no worries, doesn't matter who you play against and after all they all humans so don't be scared , I wanna see a world cup again.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 23:50 GMT)

The only way we can beat them is do something different like open with Razzaq...or something which Aus is not thinking about..

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 23:39 GMT)

Afridi absolutely right as 'catches win the matches' and its a critical for every single member of pakistani team to improve their fielding specially against Australia who are hungry to take the 1st 20/20 world cup. I hope & pray that pakistan beat these Australia and also hope that pakistan would play like tigers as they played in 1992 world cup.

Posted by hank on (May 13, 2010, 23:31 GMT)

After seeing what happen to India and SriLanka ,it is clear with grumpy fans back home waiting on them etc, there should be a TriAngular series between the three countries ( INDIA, PAKISTAN,SRILANKA)to keep things positive as well , the IPL should reduce the number of games ,so the players can play for their respective countries with same intensity as they do for IPL ,and not use the amount of cricket they play is distracting them Excuse...Anyways I hope Pakistan does well tomorrow , but the Aussies are really looking rock solid to have an upset , Thanks...

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 23:21 GMT)

As Sangakara said after losing to Pakistan in 2009, its hard to beat Pakistan when they are at their best. So let's hope everything goes their way, and there will be some joy again for the People of Pakistan who desperately needs something to be proud of again, Good Luck Team Pakistan, and hope you make us proud.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 23:01 GMT)

Being a pakistani, it is a dream to once again see the beloved team lift the t20 title. But yeah Aussies are no doubt the most powerful side in all departments and to outclass them would be a difficult task. We all know that, but impossible is nothing. I would love to see kamran, salman, umer(if he plays as he has got a back pain), most importantly shahid afridi and razzaq play a sensible cricket. These are the main batsmen and even if they make some contributions to the partnerships between them, they can set a better target against aussies.. I must say afridi show your aggression against aussies as you showed in the previous t20 event.. Afridi rocks..

Posted by TheRealRockNRolla on (May 13, 2010, 22:49 GMT)

Good media talk from Afridi, he's calling a spade, a spade and India above all, has to reciprocate (tour Pakistan) - As far as the playing Australians, just win toss, bat crazy and bowl properly -- which means this:

to Watson, Watson and Warner - bowl full (Sami - pls bring out your yorkers now!!!) to Clarke and Hussey brothers (bowl doosras for spinners and bowl short for fast bowlers) Smith, Mitchell, Nannes, Tait make them play and they will miss and short pitch stuff is good medicine for them too.

Pakistan side, select 11 and the batting order....

Butt and Kamran - open Fawad Alam Afridi Umer Misbah Abdul Razzaq OR Hammad Azam Sami Aamer Ajmal Rehman

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 22:46 GMT)

afridi you are right... hammad azam is a youngster n cant handle the pressure of semi-final in his debut... exactly 1st five overs are very important specially for PAKISTANI batting point of view. i think if PAK field well... then PAK will easily win the semi-final and also the final... INSHA_ALLAH... there is no space for dropping even a single catch... i think misbah or khalid latif will be one of the key players of semi-final... afridi please give misbah a responsibility at one down...

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 22:19 GMT)

Australia vs Pakistan is like Wolves vs Lambs.Come on Lambs! Show the same grit and determination as against SA. You have to excel in all the departments of the game .You have to play with the SELF BELIEF that you can BEAT THE BEST.GOOD LUCK! The whole nation is praying for your victory!

Posted by marcash on (May 13, 2010, 22:16 GMT)

afridi, please wake up, and give hammad chance, what worse can happen, drop hafeez and drop misbah , replace with sami..... also lead from front and bat at no.3 no. 4 umar and razzak should be no.5. see england and australia, they goes with hard hitting from start to build run and that is what pakistan should do... is there anyone please guide afridi and waqar to do this..... please... inshallah pakistan will win...... go pakistan go......

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

Inshallah pakistan will win it.

Posted by cricket_fan_1980 on (May 13, 2010, 21:29 GMT)

come on boys ... lets do this !!! you guys have it in you and we ALL believe in you !!! GOOD LUCK

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 20:56 GMT)

Surely the odds are stacked against Pakistan winning the semi final. The only hope they can have is to manage close to 140+ batting first and then apply pressure on the openers and middle order through their spin trio. This can be done as demonstrated by Bangladesh. Think positive and play positive and more importantly rely on prayers to go through!

Posted by TahaXI on (May 13, 2010, 20:55 GMT)

I hope the unpredictable Pakistan steps in to play Australia. As much as the fans get angry when Pakistan loses in a pathetic way, at the same time we enjoy the charm when we "shock" the opponents against all odds. Fielding is crucial. Can we see a 92 world cup final again? Re-wind.

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 20:48 GMT)

I really hope Pak team wins although aussies seem hard to beat... :(

Posted by   on (May 13, 2010, 20:26 GMT)

Go Afridi Go and dont forget to wear Imran Khan's Cornered Tiger shirt...All nation is praying for you....InshAllah Pakistan will produce another spectacular performance like 92 and 09........Go Pakistan Go

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