Thursday, 24 February 2011

An apple pie for Pakistan

Well, this is one such match where either all players gear up to show their talent and prove a point or else make a mess of them by underestimating the opposition. Earlier in the tournament, England and India went through all sorts of struggle in their games against Holland and Bangladesh respectively and on the other hand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka defeated Canada and Kenya by a margin in excess of 200 runs respectively. In such games, every player wants to make his name to the record books no matter what their performance has to say in serious games like Australia.

Pakistan is yet to win a game against India in world cups and have now beaten Kenya by 205 runs. In the previous world cup at West Indies, though India failed to make it to the super-eight stage, they made headlines to have scored the highest team total in world cups and the highest margin of victory in one day internationals when they scored 413 runs against Bermuda and won the match by 257 runs surpassing the 398 set by Sri Lanka in 1996 against Kenya and the 256 run win of Australia over Namibia in 2003. Of course, had Pakistan lost yesterday, it would have made headlines.

There were four batsmen from Pakistan who notched up half centuries and a bowler who took five wickets. This was the second time Shahid Afridi has taken a 5 wicket haul against Kenya when he had figures of 5/11 in the ICC champions trophy 2004. If not for some initial hiccups, things went on very smoothly for Pakistan when the middle order took decent charge of the Pakistani innings. Confusion lied in giving the man of the match award when there were four Pakistani batsmen who had scored half centuries and Shahid Afridi who had returned with figures of 5/16.

Even well known bowlers like Zaheer Khan and James Anderson cannot boast of a bowling figure as good as this. Afridi gave away runs at just less than 3 runs an over when he bowled 6 overs. Despite his experience in international cricket Sachin Tendulkar rarely comes out with such a splendid performance with the ball though he has so far had two five wicket hauls. So, as you might have already guessed by now, my man of the match is no one but Shahid Afridi. However, it is not a matter of concern who was awarded the man of the match when there was such a good team work.

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