Just witnessed a Semi-Final where Professionals lost out to the Passionates !
What a Win !…A few minutes ago Pakistan shocked favourites South Africa in the semi final of the ICC Cricket T-20 World Cup…They will now feature in the Finals at Lords on Sunday…their second consecutive Final in Two World Cups
Pakistan won the toss and Younus Khan elected to Bat….Fearlessly Aggressive from the first Over itself,Pakistan posted 149-4 with one down Afridi powering a superb 51 in 34 balls…he hit Spinner, Botha for four consecutive Fours in one over…It was the 11th Over of the Innings and went for 18 runs and that was a clinching over on hindsight
The way Pakistan was batting with opener Kamran scoring a brisk 23 in 13 balls and Afridi firing all guns,a score of 170 looked on the cards…both threw their wickets miscuing Lofted shots…and South African bowlers came back and in the last 5 overs merely 29 runs were scored
Surprising Umer Gul came in only in the 13th Over and infact did not complete his quota of 4 overs…But Afridi bowled brilliantly taking 2 for 16 in his 4 overs…To my mind this was the turning point of the match…he bowled,both the star and in form and match winner potential batsmen,Gibbs and De Villeirs…Then Umer Gul bowled a fantastic 17th over…gave just six runs…Abe Morkel,the hard hitting South African Batsman,came in just too late with just a few overs left…that’s because Duminy and Kallis were just not getting out and run a ball was not enough !
Losing by just 7 runs looks close…but Pakistan was always on top with Kallis’ 64 of 54 going in vain as South Africa scored 142-5
Man of the Match.Afridi revealed that he had asked the captain and coach to let him Open the Batting or go One down and they kept their faith in him
This Win is more than just Sunshine for Pakistan…The country needed this inspiring and uplifting win….. Pakistan as a country is experiencing a lot of turmoil and no Cricketing Nation is willing to play on it’s shores after the Terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan Team…. even the ICC has ruled that no 50 Overs World Cup Game will be played in Pakistan when it is held in the sub continent
In the inaugural T-20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa,India lifted the Trophy by beating Pakistan in a pulsating Final….Pakistan played inspired cricket today to earn a second chance now to Lift the Trophy
One more observation…..did anyone notice that the Women’s Semi-Finals precede the Men’s Semi-Finals on the same ground and on the same day in their respective T 20 World Cups…and that the four Women Semi-Final teams are India,New Zealand,England and Australia while the four Men Semi Final teams are totally different…. Pakistan,South Africa,West Indies and Sri Lanka ! Uncanny !…no One Country has qualified for the Semi-Finals in both, the Womens and the Mens Events !
If Sri Lanka prevail over West Indies in tomorrow’s second Semi-Final, the Men’s Event Title will definitely remain in the sub continent as they would face Pakistan
With India capitulating v/s New Zealand today, the Womens Title is not going to be in the sub continent as New Zealand plays the Final against the winners of the England v/s Australia Semi-Final tomorrow