Wednesday, March 09, 2011

World Cup Match Reviews (Part 3)


Pakistan's WorldCup campaign was shaken to the very foundation when they suffered a heavy 110 run defeat at the hands of the Kiwis at the newly built MMI Stadium. Sloppy fielding, shoddy wicketkeeping, abysmal death bowling and a listless batting performance were a few reasons for Pakistan's downfall as the heroes of yesterday became the zeros of today...

New Zealand: 302/7 (50 overs) --- Ross Taylor 131*, Martin Guptill 57 --- Umar Gul 3-32 
Pakistan: 192/10 (41.4 overs) ---  Abdul Razzaq 62, Umar Akmal 38 --- Tim Southee 3-25

Match Rating: ********** 

Shot of the Match: Taylor's down-on-one-knee six off Razzaq. It was a breath-taking sight; Taylor giving Razzaq a taste of his own medicine. Eerily comfortable with Razzaq's medium pace, Taylor moved around his crease and coerced Razzaq into shifting his line wider of off-stump and once he was sure that Razzaq has taken the bait he shuffled across his stumps, a little shy of the wide mark, got down on his knee and hoisted the full bowl from Razzaq high above the mid-wicket boundary.

Delivery of the Match: Pakistan had both their openers back in the hut now as Pakistan's go-to-man-number-two Younis Khan was taking his guard intently. In comes Kyle Mills - ball one swings away, defended, bowl two swings away, defended. Then comes the touch of genius as Mills lands his third bowl slightly fuller, the seam perfectly presented as Younis shapes up to defend this one again but wait...instead of moving away, this one comes in, creeps through the gap between the bat and pad and smacks into the base of the off-stump, sending it cart-wheeling.

Catch of the Match: Kamran Akmal had a horrendous match. He had dropped the centurion, Taylor, twice at 0 & 8, spilled a Styris nick and was generally very erratic behind the stumps. The only thing that could apparently save his axing was a solid innings with the bat but he came out with no such thing in his mind; playing rash shots and surviving run-out and catch scares before sending down a low catch to Taylor at first slip, hoping against hope that he will return his earlier favors, but not to be, as he took the catch cleanly just inches off the ground.

Innings of the Match: A pretty easy one as there are not many contenders after Ross Taylor's hurricane 131 off 124 balls. He had a real slow and shaky start but thanks to the ineptness of Kamran behind the stumps he was able to stay at the crease, meanwhile making the most of the opportunities Pakistan's abysmal death bowling bestowed on him. He smashed 7 sixes and 8 fours in a sparkling knock that turned the game on its head as New Zealand unbelievingly pilled up a mammoth score they never were to achieve with the start they got.

Bowling Spell of the Match: The only thing a Pakistani is left to remember from this game is a stupendous spell from Pakistan's pace spearhead, Umar Gul. He kept hitting hood lengths at pace and got some good movement from the new ball before coming back again during the later stages of the game and reversing the ball beautifully. His ten overs went for just 32 runs, add to it three important wickets and you are left with the only bowling effort of substance from the entire armada of Pakistani bowlers.

Partnership of the Match: Once again New Zealand take the honors here as the Ross Taylor-Jacob Oram partnership for the 7th comes out on top. The two effectively smacked Pakistan right out of the game as they milked 85 runs from the 3.4 overs they stayed together at the crease at a whopping 23.2 rpo, blitzing Pakistan's super poor death bowling frequently out of the Pakallele for the security guards to fetch. In short, this was the partnership that helped the Kiwis to a target they never looked like achieving during the first 45 overs of their innings. 

Disappointment of the Match: Pakistani bowlers' horrid bowling effort at the end of the Kiwi innings is a real concern for both the team and the fans. New Zealand made off with a hundred runs from the last five overs of their innings and  if the Pakistnai bowlers continue to offer juicy full tosses and dish up sweet half volleys to hard-hitters at the death then in ka khuda he hafiz.

Though after the Match: Why can't we find a replacement for the a**hole Kamran Akmal?

The Match in Photos:   

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