Friday, July 30, 2010

Match Box (A victory that took 15 years in the making)

Scenario; Pakistan is taking on Australia in a test match away from home. What happens? What comes to your mind? Yup, "OMG! Another loss?!"...Such is the dominance of Australia over Pakistan in recent times that almost every Pakistani cricket fan links Australia to being unbeatable, especially when we are not playing on the dead plasticine pitches of Pakistan.

So here switch on the TV and hear the news channels bustling about a rare victory, you sit bolt upright "No, It cannot be...", you stammer. Eyes wide open. You pinch yourself to make sure it is not a dream and it isn't!!! Pakistan have finally overcome the fifteen year old jinx of not winning a test match away or at home against the mighty Aussies!!! July the 24th 2010 remember the date!!

And Ah! If you had been one of those ardent supporter of the Pakistani team like me, you should have been sitting before th TV screen an hour before the match was scheduled to begin! Alas, you never witness such spectacles everyday [the last time Pakistan beat the Aussies in a test match was when I was three =P]. So you have a bag of popcorns at hand, ready to relish a distinguished battle being won! But being a Pakistani cricket team fan is a pain of its own, requiring just 40 runs with 7 wickets in the bank you assume quite wrongly that it would be an easy win...

The two overnight batsmen walk in, Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal..apparently oozing with confidence..

First ball, full toss, whacked for four, you toss a handful of popcorns into your mouth. "This gonna be a piece of cake", you say to anyone within earshot and you haven't taken down the first batch of popcorns and pop goes Azhar Ali back to the hut. Your mouth hangs open in apparent dispair, half-chewed popcorns streaming down your chin and into your lap..."Oh God! Not again!!", you mutter inaudibly.

And out comes the husband of Sania Mirza...associating this guy with cricket is a shame,you remember a news piece, and you call out disgustfully "Pagal kahee ka, team meeting chor ke Sania ko London dekhata phrta hai!!". You sigh and settle in again. Block: Block: Swing and a miss: Block: Appeal: Left Alone: Block. You start getting nervy and you demand from the on-screen Umar Akmal "yar chake choke laga! ye kia khel rha hai?" And even before your painful plea is fully out of your mouth...Umar Akmal is snared by Hilfenhaus...and the ghost of the Sydney test suddenly becomes active in the core of your poor little heart... adrenaline starts rampaging through your blood stream...your heart starts beating like a sledgehammer against your heaving chest!

You go up with every lbw appeal, every swing-and-miss and every ball that just about kisses the blade through to the keeper or the slip squadron. Finally some Malik clips a ball off his pads...and then....EDGES but it drops just wide of the diving Clarke at 3rd get all the more nervy..."Ai allah madad farmana!!"...

Then Malik in the next over tried all his very best to lob the ball to North at short extra-cover and finally succeeds in doing so off the ultimate ball of the over, you get crude, abuses start spewing out of your mouth, popcorns rain down to the carpeted floor as you shake and writhe with a mixture of anger and agony.

In walks see his confident face and suddenly you get a bit after balm is applied on chapped lips..."He scored 70-odd in that Kiwi match", you whisper huskily to the sibling near you,"He can bat!"...he gets beaten first shiver...then solidly defends the next few balls and some of your faith in him returns...

Four! Kamran drives, the spectators nearly fall of your seat..."Alhamdullilah", you call in your heart. And then all of a sudden you realize that Kamran is Pakistan's only hope and you start phooking kalam at the on-screen Akmal in a frenzy...

Well your phooking had some good effect on Akmal who cracks two fours in Hilfenhaus's next over...bringing Pakistan start to look like an archetype of utter bliss...

And oh no! Kamran slashes at a wide delivery and Hussey pouches it at gully....your hearts sinks, your eyes become watery and you cry out Noooooo--- but your cry is interrupted midway as the truth dawns upon you...the 3rd Umpire has been called in...Kamran doesn't look happy...He and you staunchly believe that it hasn't carried....and you start a gardan of "Nhe hua, Nhee hua, Nhee hua!"...the TV grabs are all hazy and you pray that the benefit goes to the batsman and it does! You roar as the rafters are brought down by the Pakistani contingent at Headingley!!!

Aamer vs Hilfenhaus..."Please ye over kisi tarah nikal le", you call out! And oh! Aamer has edged this one past third slip for Four!!!! HOHOOOOOOO you are just a run away now...bouncers follow but it doesn't matter...we have won or have we...

In the next over Akmal goes after a Johnson half volley only to have a thick edge and this time it is a clean take by a diving Hussey who looks toward Akmal and the Umpire with both the question and the answer in his eyes...and you cannot believe near yet so far comes Gul....

The tension builds up, Johnson steams in, bowls the effort bowl, and it is his lackluster wide half volley, Gul goes after it, connects, it stays in the air but beyond the diving short cover and to the boundary...Gul leaps, you leap...."Yesss---", you scream in mid-air, but before you have hit the ground you pass into a coma...

[Social Eye] USA the real enemy?

A majority of Pakistanis view the United States as an enemy, oppose the US-led war in Afghanistan and are less concerned about the Taliban and Al-Qaeda than a year ago, a Pew Research poll said Thursday.
Despite billions of dollars in economic and military aid received from Washington, the United States' image in Pakistan was the lowest among the 22 nations included in the 2010 Pew Global Attitudes Survey of 2,000 Pakistanis taken between April 13-28.
Fifty-nine percent of the respondents described the United States an enemy, with 17 percent having a favorable view and only 11 percent considering it a partner, the poll said.
Only eight percent trusted US President Barack Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, the lowest rating of the 22-nation survey, and only 20 percent had a favorable view of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, down from 64 percent two years ago.
Most Pakistanis also oppose US involvement in neighboring Afghanistan, with 65 percent saying US and NATO troops should be withdrawn as soon as possible, and relatively few believe the Taliban and Al-Qaeda pose a serious threat to their country.
Only 25 percent thought it would be bad for Pakistan if the Taliban were to again take over Afghanistan, while 18 percent thought it would be a good thing and 57 percent said it did not matter or had no opinion.
The respondents were less concerned about either group getting the upper hand in Pakistan: the Taliban was rated as a serious threat by 54 percent, against 73 percent last year, and Al-Qaeda's threat perception fell to 38 percent, from 61 percent.
Nevertheless, Pew noted, both groups still had an overall negative image in Pakistan with the Taliban getting a 65 percent unfavorable rating and Al-Qaeda 53 percent.
When asked which was the bigger threat, Taliban, Al-Qaeda or India, 53 percent chose neighboring India over 23 percent for the Taliban and only three percent for Al-Qaeda.
Despite Washington's poor rating, most Pakistanis (64 percent) believe it is important to improve relations with their powerful ally, up from 53 percent last year, Pew Research said.
And about their own country, 84 percent of the Pakistanis surveyed by Pew were dissatisfied with the state of their nation; only 14 percent were satisfied.
Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
So as far as drawing a conclusion is concerned, USA is seen far from being an ally of Pakistan, the general public, in reality abhors the States and its constant nose-poking in their country's matters. Not to mention the punctuating Do More(s)!. The USA's has tarnished its image in the eyes of a conventional Pakistani, probably to an unrepairable state, so much so that the terrorists get the back seat in the aforementioned poll results.
Moreover the current position of Pakistan is not a likable one, power-cuts, climbing inflation rates, increased expenditure on services and the dark cloud of terrorism that looms over every Pakistani. Therefore understandably, a normal person won't like his/her government when the living conditions take such a shape, couple it with the reports of corruption, the tug-of-war between the judiciary and the government and the general insensitivity of the politicians to their peoples' woes and you have a recipe for a loathsome government.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Match Box [Pakistan vs. England First Test]

MATCH INFO CENTRAL >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
  • Match: Pakistan vs. England, nPower Test Series 2010.
  • Date: July 29, 2010 - August 2, 2010
  • Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham [Also Known as Trent Bridge Ground (TBG)]
  • Type: International Test Match
  • Series-at-a-Glance: The four match series will initiate from this match. 
  • Time: 03:00 pm PST, 11:00 am local, 10:00 am GMT, 03:30 IST, 1:00 pm MEST
  • Live Telecasters: CricOne, Geo Super, Super Sport 2, Star Cricket, Sky Sports HD, Sky Sports 1
  • Live Scores: Cricinfo, CricBuzzCricket365
  • Live Streaming: WebCric CricPK, HQLive
  • Highlights: MyCricketHighlights, Cricket-Online 
  • Radio Coverage: City FM 93
  • Live Views:

Established in 1899 as a ground to fulfill the needs of the Nottinghmashire Cricket County and the Notts Football Club. In the early 20th century though the two home teams took their own different routes and it became solely a cricket ground. In 2008 the ground mangement installed floodlights and it started hosting day and night fixtures as well.
Australia vs. England, limited overs series, Trent Bridge, 2009.
Trent Bridge wicket is fast and pacy and the bowl comes to bat very nicely. The outfield is also quick and lush. The seam and swing movement in Nottingham is pretty limited and you don't see any drastic changes in it unless moisture and overcast conditions fulfill their roles.
The highest total put up by any team here is 658/8 [England against Australia, 1938] and the lowest score is 88/10 [South Africa against England, 1960].
Radcliffe Road End at Trent Bridge
As far as my opinion is concerned, win the toss, bat first, put up a good score of around 300-400 and you will have a good chance of winning the game.

Pakistan: Pakistan have not one a game here. Of the three matches they played at this ground, they lost two and have drawn one.

England: England have played 54 fixtures here and winning 17of them and drawing a further 21 of them. Their win percentage at the Premadas statium is 31.48.

Day 1: Partly Cloudy.
Day 2: Partly Cloudy
Day 3: Mostly Cloudy.
Day 4: Partly Cloudy.
Day 5: Party Cloudy.

Precipitation Chances remains 10% throughout. 


Pakistan: Salman Butt (c), Kamran Akmal (vc/wk), Umar Akmal (rhb), Umar Amin (lhb), Azhar Ali (rhb), Yasir Hameed (rhb), Shoaib Malik (rhb), Imran Farhat (lhb), Zulqernain Haider (wk), Tanvir Ahmad (rfm), Mohammad Asif (rfm), Umar Gul (rfm), Wahab Riaz (lfm), Mohammad Aamer (lfm), Danish Kanera (lbb), Saeed Ajmal (obb).

England: Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook (lhb), Jonathan Trott (rhb), Paul Collingwood (all), Eoin Morgan (rhb), Matt Prior (wk), Kevin Pietersen (rhb), Steven Finn (rfm), Stuart Broad (rfm), Ajmal Shahzad (rfm) [injured], James Andersen (rfm), Graeme Swann (obb), Tim Bresnan (rfm).
Stats Source:
Weather Forecast: 
Photos: WikiCommons.

Head---to---Head [Pakistan vs. England Test Series]

Both Captains of their respective sides and both top-class left-handed openers although after becoming the captain of his side Strauss has been in sublime touch and has been very difficult to see the back of. On the other hand Butt will try to take the confidence from the win against Australia into this series and will try to keep up his performance.
Andrew Strauss avges. 43.91
Salman Butt avges. 32.64
Advantage England

Both are gifted and talented left-hand openers but technque-wise Cook and Farhat are miles apart. Cook has been the firt choice opener for England since the retirement of Marcus Trescothick and so far have seen no challengers. Farhat has also been the automatic choice for opening slot for Paksitan in recent time but has yet to find consistency.
Alastair Cook avges. 44.97
Imran Farhat avges. 33.98
Advantage England

Both batsmen play at a very crucial and pivotal position in the game, one-down, although experience and the amount of runs holds them apart but patience and compact technique is a common between the two...
Jonathan Trott avges. 50.06
Azhar Ali avges. 34.75
Advantage England

One a sublime cricketer and the other a new arrival in the international arena, comparison doesn't look fair, but still....
Kevin Pietersen avges. 49.20
Umar Amin avges. 14.75
Advantage England

Both players oozing with talent and are the anchor-points of their respective sides, atleast in the limited format of the game. But they are yet to clearly prove their skills in the classic format. Umar Akmal didn't have a very good test series against the Aussies and will be looking to set it straight this time, Morgan on the other hand will be trying to cement his role in the side, keeping in view that Bell's untimely injury has provided him with a great oppertunity.
Eoin Morgan avges. 40.06
Umar Akmal avges. 39.62
Considering that Morgan is yet to claim an international test fifty, let alone hundred...
Advantage Pakistan

Both players are around for a very long time but the Englishman is a clear winner in batting prowess, another factor that tells them apart is the Pakistani's controversial career and difficulty in performing with the bat in recent past...the Blocker in Chief clearly comes out the winner here...
Paul Collingwood avges. 43.62
Shoaib Malik avges. 35.29
Advantage England

Both wicket-keepers are outrageously gifted when it comes to glove-work but the consistency in their batting separates them, Akmal may have been fumbling with the gloves and throwing his wicket away at crucial stages, but then still he is the first choice wicketkeeper for Pakistan. Conversely, Prior has faced a lot of competition around him which has helped him to mature as one fo the finest wicketkeeper-batsman in the test format of the game.
Matt Prior avges. 40.53
Kamran Akmal avges. 32.80
Advantage England

Both players are right-arm offbreak bowlers but Ajmal has an additional nick in his armoury, the lethal doosra, that can bamboozle anyone and everyone at a given time. Swann on the other hand owes his success to his adeptness at using the drift, that comes about due to his quick and angled action, to his advantage. And although Ajmal has played 1/4th the tests Swann has played but he still comes out the winner due to his possession of the wrong 'un despite Swann being particularly handy with the bat.
Graeme Swann's S/R: 60.1
Saeed Ajmal's S/R: 90.2
Advantage Pakistan

Both are eerily similar in a way, batting with the left hand and throwing seemingly gentle medium pacers with the right. But consistency and accuracy tell them apart. Asif has an envious control over line and length, most often residing in the corridor of uncertainty, apart from him being Pakistan's premier test bowler for the last year or so and the world number two. On the other hand Broad has been consistently inconsistent despite having a bucket-full of talent but when he ignites he can be a match winner.
Stuart Broad's S/R: 67.3
Mohammad Asif's S/R: 46.3
Advantage Pakistan

Both players are raw in the international arena but have turned loads of heads during their short careers so far. One is a lanky and towering 6ft 7in fast bowler and the other is dubbed as the mirror image of the great Wasim Akram. Strike rate and averages certainly swing the balance in favour of Finn but it should be noted that his performances have come against a lowly Bangladesh but Aamer has proven his guile from the likes Ponting and Vettori. Although Finn's extra bounce will sure test the best of the best but at the moment current performances favour Aamer.
Steven Finn's S/R: 37.2
Mohammad Aamer's S/R: 64.6
Advantage Pakistan

Both are aggressive bowlers but when it comes to slingy and strappy swing Anderson is a clear winner. Debuting in 2002 he has so far been quite impressive with the new ball and when conditions favour he can be one nerve-wrecking bowler. Gul on the other hand relies more on seam movement and reverse swing later on and would be itching to remove that 'limited overs' tag he has been wearing for the last few years. While Anderson will sure prove a handful for the rickety batting line up of Pakistan.
James Anderson's S/R: 60.2
Umar Gul's S/R: 57.6
Advantage England

So the final score-line reads ENGLAND 7 - 4 PAKISTAN.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

[Relegatedz Rankings] 10 Businessmen Who Made Billions By Simple Ideas

Businessmen are mostly though of as people having no special brains but lots of money to invest! And this 'definition' of businessmen is correct to some extent as the following list will prove, 10 Billionaires who started off with the most simples of ideas...

10. "Chocolate Spread, Anyone?"
Monaco-based Michelle Ferrero owns one of the biggest chocolate companies in Europe, Ferrero, loves church and chocolate and has a total fortune of $11 billion. But his real hit-the-jackpot-moment came when he thought about inducting chocolate spread in our daily breakfast routine and thus Nutella was born, which is single-handedly responsible for a big jump in Ferrero's revenues.
An advice, keep this stuff away from your babies...or else...

9. Clogged Vacuum Cleaners
James Dyson is basically a UK-based guy who has a degree in design and engineering...but additionally owns $1.6 billion! How? Well his hit-the-jackpot-moment showed up when he though about constructing a vacuum cleaner that is upright and sucks dirt without the hassle of clogged filters. 5124 prototypes and a perfect G-Force was ready. No need to mention that it was an instant hit with the masses!!

8. Simple Candies are Obsolete
Hans and Paul Reigal are German brothers who have a craving for creating the most weird of candies, chewy, fruity and savory candies in all sorts of shapes. According to an interview, the 85-year-old elder Reigal gets his sweety ideas from reading comics and watching kid's movies! According to reasonable estimates, their confectionery Haribo, has got sales of around $2.2 billion, so much for oddly-shaped candies!

7. "Wanna Locker?"
Brad Hughes is an happy ol' man, having $3.6 billion in his pocket and everything he desired for (except for a Kentucky Derby win!). Brad's hit-the-jackpot-moment came whilst on a road trip, he stopped at a warehouse and found it full, got home and set up a bunch of lockers off a highway, effectively kicking off his storage business Private Storage. But with this sort of a name he drove off a lot of customers so he opted for a more friendly Public Storage and people started coming in hordes. He also bought his biggest rival Shurguard in 2005. The ol' man doesn't like competition, it seems, well no businessman does!

6. "I am a BookWorm!"
Although he looks more like a stand-up comedian but you gotta respect this guy! He gave you! Jeff Bezos initially got an inspiration from the woes of thousands of book lovers who have to make countless trips to the book stores. He wanted to curtail this hassle and offered at-your-doorstep book provision upon online order. His solely booked went online in 1997 and now has emerged as a one-stop-shop for all our needs! And yes $8.3 billion is this guy's total fortune!

5. E-Market!
Pierre Omidyar is a French computer programmer who had his hit-the-jackpot-moment when he thought about creating a website that would provide the world with an online portal for buyers and sellers to converge upon and so was born! Since 1995 it has become a primary or secondary source of income for over two million people around the globe and in the meantime has generated average revenues of $7.7 billion!
One complaint, the logo of ebay looks more like a title of a hip-hop album...

4. Everybody Loves Cuties
Ty Warner, a salesman's son who dropped out of of college and didn't give the tiniest notion that he would be a billionaire one day. His hit-the-jackpot-moment showed up when he though about selling stuffed bean bags shaped like cartoon characters with cute names. Beanie Babies hit the shelves in mid-1993 and stirred up a collecting craze that would bless him with $4.1 billion as fortune. He has expanded his business with the Ty Dolls line and a bunch of seasonal resorts. Well ask me, I don't know why people wanna cuddle with purple-eyed doggies?

3. I have got Wiiiiiings!
Chaleo Yoovidhya and Dietrich Mateschitz may be from nations far apart but they had their mutual hit-the-jackpot-moment when they thought about concocting an energy drink that is heavily caffeinated and super-concentrated with B-vitamins, Redbull was born. Easily the most sold energy beverage of our times. Caffeine seems to keep you up when you have drank a pitcher of Coke or Pepsi,well...these guys knew it (who doesn't?) and concentrated that amount of caffeine in a good, 'ol, handy can, popping in some steroids and vitamins as they sealed the can. No need to mention that caffeine in itself is addictive as the two are pretty well off with average sales of $4.4 billion...

2. Simple Polo Shirts? Duh!
Ralph Lauren can be considered as one of the most prestigious apparel designers in the world. No fashion fiesta touches the barrier of completion without him (at least the organizers say so =P). He launched his Ralph Lauren apparel company in 1967 which has pretty much crept into everything, from perfumes to house-paints.
But his money-making success initiated from the moment he thought about grabbing a polo shirt, adding a horse decal and pricing it at $50... and b00m! His sales rocketed, so much for that little horse and its tiny golf-club bearing rider which would have cost Lauren less than a dollar on its own! $4.2 billion are what he has got...

1. Smelly Feet...Yikes!
Mario Moretti is this Italians' name, who had his hit-the-jackpot moment when, repulsed from smelly feet (foot fetishism any one?), he thought about adding tiny holes to the bottom of shoes to release sweat thereby eliminating that nasty stink that is enough to rid anesthesia from a general hospital! Initially he wanted to sell this idea to Nike, but Nike had standards this guy didn't know, so they turned him down and with it a multi-million dollar yanking advertisement proclaiming the pope to be their customer! Therefore Moretti started off his own shoe company Geox which has helped him to get a fortune worth $2.9 billions, just by selling shoes with holes at their soles...hell I could do that..just hand me over a pair of compasses!! And apparently this guy loves smelling his creations...