Thursday, 31 March 2011

Drop catches and the tournament will drop your team

Well one can imagine the drop catch of the Kiwi big-hitting batsman Ross Taylor in the league stages of the tournament in the match between Pakistan and New Zealand at an unimportant venue. Ross Taylor was solely responsible in bringing up a total in excess of 300 when he blasted 92 runs of the last 4 overs at a rate of over 20 runs an over. That was the first defeat that Pakistan had in this tournament but was hard to come to terms with whatsoever. That was Pakistan's first defeat to New Zealand since 1979 world cup in world cups.

And then I can cite the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka where top batsmen were repeatedly dropped by poor Pakistani fielders which though didn't stop Pakistan from emerging victorious but reduced the margin to victory restricting the same to just ten runs. Many claim that to be a close encounter for Sri Lanka that could have gone anybody's way. But, anybody who would have watched the match ball-by-ball would conclude that it was Pakistan's drop chances that reduced the margin of victory to ten instead of 50. Thse two games never bothered Pakistan for those were league stage games.

There was always a chance for Pakistan to come back into the tournament when all was not lost. They had won the match against Sri Lanka and later on in the world cup tournament beat Australia which saw them top the charts in group A ahead of Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia. Then in the quarter-finals, beating West Indies was not a tough task for anyone. But, the real test for Pakistan would be in the match against India where they have been ousted for the third time by their arch-rivals India. I'm not citing their 5-0 loss to India in world cups.

India knocked out Pakistan in the 1996 world cup when they registered a 39 run win despite a 113 run 1st wicket partnership between Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar in 13 overs. Then came the match in 2003 which was famous for a drop catch of Sachin Tendulkar off a Wasim Akram delivery by Abdul Razzaq which spoiled their hopes of entering the super-sixes. Yesterday, another series of drop catches was observed when Sachin Tendulkar himself was dropped four times with Sehwag being given a chance. With all these, chasing 261 should not have been difficult for Pakistan. May be Pakistan wanted to go home early.

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