Saturday, June 13, 2009

Live Blogging Pakistan Vs. New Zealand

Sorry for the late start, I just got home. As always, all times are local.

11:42 a.m. NZ are 21-1 in 2.4 overs. This is a must-win for Pakistan, not necessarily so for NZ. So basically, I fully expect them to play harder than us.

11:45 a.m. Razzaq opening the attack? Lovely. Gets picked up over mid on for four. Wasim: "He's not very sharp." No shit. Maybe it's the lack of spinach?

11:46 a.m. Historically, Pakistan have always smashed NZ. All of our players have had career days against them: Miandad, Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib, hell even Sami had a great spell against them once. Anyway, Razzaq gets picked up for four more over mid off, as NZ move on to 33-1 off four.

11:49 a.m. So I go to the bathroom and NZ lose a wicket. Awesome. I'm happy they lost one, but couldn't they have waited 45 seconds? Anyway, this Redmond fellow lobbed an Aamir full toss to mid on, and NZ are 33-2 in four and a bit overs. Anything above 120 will be beyond our batting, mind.

11:54 a.m. Gone! I saw this one! Razzaq angles one in to this Guptill (?) chap, who swings, misses, and is caught plumb in front. Classic Razzaq dismissal, and NZ in a spot of bother here. 37-3 in 5.3 What a comeback by Popeye! Two years it's been. Jacob Oram in, whose nickname is apparently "Big Jake".

11:57 a.m Beats him straight away outside off, with a bit of nibble off the pitch. It's all happening, as Bill Lawry would say.

11:58 a.m. Great over. I don't believe I'm applauding Razzaq, but there you go.

11:59 a.m. Interesting move here -- Ajmal into the attack before Umar Gul.

12:01 p.m. Afridi slides over the ball. Just a single though. By the way, do you think Pakistan will EVER be a good fielding side? I mean, say it's the year 2100, and Pakistan is still a viable nation state and cricket still exists. Do you think our fielding will still suck?

12:03 p.m. Afridi in from the other end. Will Gully bowl his four on the trot toward the end? Anyway, NZ have slowed down a bit here -- quite natural with the fall of wickets and the spinners on. 42-3 in 7.2.

12:04 p.m. Direct hit would have had Styris, as he set off after playing a scoop. Of course, we're Pakistani, so Akmal has to collect. They're playing the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" tick-tock in the back, as the third umpire figures things out. Not out.

12:06 p.m. Great over, two off it. NZ 43-3 after eight.

12:07 p.m. Styris advances and launches Ajmal for six over long on. For a second, it looked like it would end up in Gul's hands at long on, but just went over. No worries, he's bowled well.

12:09 p.m. Oyee. Ajmal gets Styris' edge with the doosra, but no slip in. A single to short third. Good over for NZ, as they move on to 54-3 in nine.

12:11 p.m. Take care, Big Jake. Tries to smash Afridi over the top, gets beaten in flight, and Misbah takes a harder-than-it-looks catch running back from extra cover toward long off, over his shoulder. Some McGlashan fellow is in. I'm just going to call him McG for convenience if that's ok with you.

12:13 p.m. This is great bowling from Afridi, giving Styris all sorts of problems: Manjrekar says "this is almost artistic from Afridi". Not quite, but I see what he's saying. His variations are very clever and well-thought out.

12:14 p.m. Shoaib Malik into the attack. With the ball stopping on the pitch, this is smart from Younis, making the NZ batsmen come up with the pace off the ball.

12:15 p.m. A couple of tap-and-runs. We're terrible in the circle. No bloody direct hits. Anyway, Malik bowls a full toss to McG who times it away through to wide long off for four. NZ on to 64-4 off 11.

12:18 p.m. Oooooh. Quicker one from Afridi, and McG looked very confused there. 80 mph. "Goodness" says Ian Bishop.

12:19 p.m. As Faisal Iqbal would say, "Oyyye. Gully!". Saves three at short third as Afridi got reverse swept, and Gully dives full-length. What a player.

12:20 p.m. More good fielding, as Ajmal saves a boundary and keeps it to three. "They can blow hot and cold" Ian Bishop tells us. "They're blowing hot right now." Is Ian Bishop actually engaging in dirty talk? Anyway, Gully into the attack from the other end, and will probably bowl out from here. NZ at 72-2 after 12.

12:24 p.m. WHAT A CATCH! AFRIDI, YOU FUCKING BEAUTY!! Styris skies one over mid on, Afridi sprints back, full tilt, and takes it coming over his head. Without a doubt, the toughest type of catch in cricket. Please watch the Youtube of that later. Unbelievable. The celebration was kickass too, with the arms spread out and the fingers pointing out. Afridi's so fucking badass.

12:26 p.m. NZ are 73-5 in 12.3, and in real trouble.

12:27 p.m. Make that 73-6. McG tries to, uh, sweep Gully after coming down, and is hit plumb in front of a fullish delivery. Simon Doull is doubtful. I'm doubtful Doull knows what the hell he's talking about. Gully on a hat trick. James Franklin in.

12:28 p.m. Oooooh. Full and swinging in, but just going down the legside. My heart's pumping right now, and the W is giving me strange looks.

12:29 p.m. Gully is moving it all over the place. In and out, bounce and swing. NZ 74-6 after 13.

12:30 p.m. Ah, that's the Pakistan we know and hate. Afridi bowls a quicker one and is glanced straight to short fine, who of course lets it go straight through his legs for four.

12:32 p.m. Afridi finishes a brilliant spell: 1-17 off four, and it really should have been 1-13. Awesome bowling.

12:33 p.m. NZ 80-6 after 14. There's no doubt about it, we're up for this. There's great energy out there.

12:34 p.m. Ajmal back in, replacing Gully after one (two-wicket) over. In Younis We Trust.

12:35 p.m. Decent over, four off it. Five overs to go, and NZ are 84-6.

12:36 p.m. Gully in from Afridi's end.

12:39 p.m. And McCullum (the other one) is gone too, losing his off stump to a full-pitched delivery from Gul. His figures? 3-4 in 1.4 overs. NZ are 88-7 and as Sanjay Manjrekar says, "in all kinds of trouble." Vettori in.

12:40 p.m. Net run rate is going to count for a lot in this group, if NZ manage to beat Sri Lanka. So it's really imperative that we chase hard, even if the total (as it seems now) will be quite low. I want to win this in fewer than 15 overs.

12:42 p.m. Simon Doull interviewing Salman Butt. Given his perspective on the game and his ability to speak English, I think we should make him our designated interviewee. Fuck me, he's good for nothing else, is he? Anyway, Salman basically just said that Pakistanis only try hard when it's a do-or-die situation. Appreciate the honesty bro.

12:45 p.m. "An unquenchable thirst for batsmen's toes," says Simon Doull. So, yeah, Gully is bowling.

12:46 p.m. My goodness. Gully gets another, bowling a leg-stump yorker and Franklin has no answer. Too good. Gully's figures are currently 4-4. NZ 93-8.

12:47 p.m. Kyle Mills' nickname is Andy Murray. Manjrekar: "Is it because he looks like him?" No yaar.

12:48 p.m. I'll have to put my sarcasm away for a second, because Gul is on yet another hat trick. Andy Murray gets an outside edge as he tries to work a Gully leg cutter through the leg side, and gives a dolly to cover. Gully has 5 wickets. For four runs. Ian Butler in.

12:50 p.m. The atmosphere is electric. It really is.

12:51 p.m. By the way, it's only fair that Gully has his day in the sun against NZ. He wouldn't be a Pakistani quick bowler if that wasn't the case.

12:52 p.m. This is T20 cricket's first five-wicket haul.

12:53 p.m. Razzaq back in, and Vettori greets him with a slog over midwicket for four. 99-9 off 18.1.

12:54 p.m. And a run out to finish the innings, which really confirms it's our day. Younis dives, saves four, and runs out Vettori too boot. 100 to win, and I can't emphasize this enough: we need to do this in 12 overs or less.

12:57 p.m. Wow. I really need to catch my breath here. Even allowing for our enigmatic unpredictability, I was not expecting that. By the way, not to ruin the fun or anything, but would it really surprise you to see us lose?

1:06 p.m. Chase hard, you madarchods. Chase hard. Net run rate. Net run rate. Net run rate.

1:06 p.m. Pakistan off to a great start here. We haven't started batting yet, but Salman Butt isn't walking out.

1:08 p.m. Andy Murray to open the bowling against Kamran Akmal. Shahzaib at the other end.

1:10 p.m. First runs on the board, as Akmal works off Andy Murray off his hip for two down to deep square. Bit of a misfield there too.

1:11 p.m. And that's a five! Brilliant. Easy single, and a direct hits deflects from the stumps all the way to the boundary. Great start, 7-0 after the first over.

1:13 p.m. Just found out that people from the W's family read my blog. Maybe I should stop saying stuff like "madarchod"?

1:15 p.m. Franklin's had a tidy first over so far.

1:15 p.m. Though Akmal ends up with a streaky cover drive. 13-0 after 2 overs. Remember, kids. 12 overs or fewer. 12 overs or fewer. Net run rate. Net run rate. Net run rate.

1:16 p.m. Bloody hell, this Shahzaib dude is tall. Never seen him before. By the way, that was his first ball.

1:18 p.m. No ball, free hit, four. 18-0 in 2.2.

1:20 p.m. 19-0 in three overs. and Vettori in real early. Come on Akmal. Destroy him. Fucking destroy him.

1:21 p.m. The two men out are deep backward square and deep midwicket. Destroy him, Akmal. Destroy him.

1:22 p.m. Shahzaib tries to destroy him, but gets it higher than further, and gets two over mid off.

1:23 p.m. Yikes, that was ungainly. Two more, over mid on this time.

1:23 p.m. He got this one though. Smacks him for six over long off. Tall guy, with good reach this Shahzaib fellow.

1:25 p.m. Quiet end to the over. 30-0 after four.

1:26 p.m. Beautiful. Akmal on drives Murray for six. Full face, and keeps the position for the photographers. Just stands there. "Dangerous team, Pakistan" Ian Bishop says.

1:27 p.m. And he's gone. Well done. Pulls Andy Murray straight to deep square. Goodish knock (given it's T20), but man, Akmal needs to carry on his good starts one of these days. Razzaq in.

1:28 p.m. Off the mark straight away, with a backfoot cover drive for three.

1:29 p.m. Quick question. Kyle Mills has been around since 2000 or so, right? And Andy Murray only recently came on to the scene, like three years ago? So what was Kyle Mills' nickname before Murray surfaced? And more to the point, shouldn't that be his nickname, rather than this more recent incarnation?

1:31 p.m. 40-1 after five by the way.

1:32 p.m. Shahzaib swivels and pulls Ian Butler, who just came into the attack, for four.

1:33 p.m. Now he pulls a Sehwag, slashing a widish delivery for six over backward point/third man.

1:34 p.m. And now four through midwicket. Butler's really serving them up here...get it? Hahahahaha. I'm so funny.

1:34 p.m. I am so not missing Salman Butt right now. Anyway, 54-1 after six.

1:38 p.m. First impressions of Shahzaib, as he hits another pull for four: better back foot player than front foot, great bat speed, will struggle against anyone who seams it.

1:39 p.m. 59-1 after seven.

1:42 p.m. And Razzaq edges Vettori to the keeper. Man, he sucks against spin. Whatever, I'm not going to complain during this performance. 61-2 after eight.

1:44 p.m. Awesome. Two in two balls, as Shahzaib decides to run down the track, gets sent back, and is short by an inch or two. God, we're a dumb team. Well played, young man. 35 off 28, and Pakistan drop to 61-3.

1:46 p.m. Interesting move here, as Afridi joins Shoaib Malik. Favorite shot? "Anywhere for six". Starts with a paddle sweep four.

1:48 p.m. And Malik gets his own sweep for four. 70-3 after nine.

1:50 p.m. Beautiful bowling from Vettori -- beats Malik in the flight, and a soft dismissal in the end as cover safely pouches it. That was great bowling. 71-4 in 9.2, and Younis Khan in.

1:53 p.m. Ten gone. 73-4.

1:55 p.m. Wow, Afridi's actually playing quite sensibly here. Even Manjrekar notes this fact: "He's playing a strange innings."

1:58 p.m. Long hop + Afridi = smashed for four. 83-4 after 11. Nice little discussion there between Bishop and Manjrekar on what Pakistan bring to the international cricket table when they're playing well. They settle on "flair".

2:01 p.m. Quiet over from Vettori. 12 gone, and it's 85-4. Come on, guys. Let's finish this in the next two overs. Net run rate. Net run rate. Net run rate.

2:04 p.m. Goddamn, Afridi hits the ball hard. Couple of twos.

2:04 p.m. And now a four. Why can't he play like this all the time? Seriously. He clearly has the ability.

2:05 p.m. Manjrekar makes the good point that he plays like an idiot when he's nervous. When he's confident and relaxed, he's less likely to play stupidly. Sort of the reverse for most people.

2:06 p.m. This crowd is really rabid. Just electric, really. Anyway, great running to end the over -- made a two a three, and a one a two to finish. Two to win. Afridi on strike for the next over.

2:08 p.m. It's a spinner. Any guess what Afridi's going to do?

2:09 p.m. Attempted big hit, edge, straight up, falls between three fielders, there's a collision as two of them went for the catch, and the game's over. What a dominating performance: win by six wickets with seven overs to go.

2:10 p.m. Listen up, rest of the tournament: we've arrived. Proceed with caution.


JDèé said...

What a catch! Afridi rocks! So what if it's not with the bat!

Nabil said...

To quote Russell Peters, I have been mindblasted.

Tazeen said...

Razzaq is in and I noticed that he is still 29!!!!
He has been playing since i was in school and that was like last century (literally).God, these guys are worse than out actresses.

NAA said...

Umar Gul has three of the top ten bowling figures in T20 Internationals. 1st, 3rd, and 7th...and that too against the likes of NZ, AUS, and SL.

And has the lowest economy rate in that list as well. 3 overs 6 runs today, and 4 overs 8 runs against AUS.

FJ said...

holy fucking smackaroos you madarchod beauties! love you when you play like this ... touch wood! muuaah!!

Nabil said...

"Listen up, rest of the tournament: we've arrived."

Hell Yeah. Everything went perfectly today.

*Shahzaib looks good, if only for the 20/20 tournament.
*Razzaq's bowling is in form(somehow).
*Umar Gul..
*Afridis Bowling..and he played a decent knock.
*Overall fielding was good save one misfield.

I think we've finally got a team that doesn't need to be changed..

Ahsan said...

One problem remains and that's what the hell to do with Fawad Alam. He's really being wasted where he's batting, but where else can you put him? Malik has historically been our best T20 player (most versatile) and Younis is in excellent form. One idea might be to open with him and put Akmal down the order, but I seriously doubt they're going to do that. But yeah, other than that, I think we have our combination down now.

humairahumaira said...

12:01 p.m. that was mean

AKS said...

From Guardian's live blog of the India v England game:

""What are the odds on Pakistan winning the tournament?" wonders Jeremy Theobald. "Yes, they're out of practice and have beaten some minnows but they are ever improving..." Indeed they are. I'm desperately trying to type this sentence without using the word 'mercurial'. I can't. I reckon in order of probability, the likeliest winners of this tournament are: South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Kenya, the UAE, East Africa, Canada, Holland, Zimbabwe, Wales, Rhodesia, Ceylon, Me, England."

That's a bit harsh.

R Malik said...

1:38 p.m. First impressions of Shahzaib, as he hits another pull for four: better back foot player than front foot, great bat speed, will struggle against anyone who seams it.

I salute your observation. This is exactly what happened to him against India in the pre-tournament 'friendly'. He got bowled by a decent legcutter by generic Indian medium pacer (I honestly don't remember his name):

For the record I was at that match and if Pak v New Zealand was electric, (as you point out on more than one occasion), then I don't even know what words to use to describe the atmosphere that day. Nuclear?!


A few points:

Why aren't they bowling Fawad Alam? From the little I've seen of his slow left arm I've been impressed. He really rips it, and I think he should be given a chance. (I do however fully acknowledge Ajmal and Afridi are doing a more than useful job and that technically there would be no need for him but I think give Malik's next overs and see what he does)

I think you mentioned Aamir reminds you of Mohammed Sami. Same here but hes got more control than Sami and comes off a much better pedigree as far as his youth team and first class (10 first class matches, 56 wickets at about 15!) endeavours are concerned.
Also, he's from Gujjar Khan, which is probably in the top five of Brit-Pak ilaakas and not far from Kallar Syedan and yours trulys ancestral village. I also live in Milton Keynes which is basically mini Gujjar Khan and people from there have been proudly exclaiming 'hes one of our boys' etc etc AND that hes related to Raja Pervez Ashraf..... Any truth in that? And what do you make of it? Personally, I think hes in their on talent alone and so far hes given a decent enough showing of himself.

What do you make of Qadir's resignation? And of the fact that he wanted to drop Shoaib Malik? I mean, he's no Saleem Malik, but hes experienced, is probably our joint best fielder with Afridi, and his offspin is just below the 'partnership breaking' category. I thought Qadir's untimely revelations would signal a humiliating defeat and exit at the hands of the Kiwis but the opposite happened....

Shahab Riazi said...

I noticed something strange here. If England wins against WI and NZ get through with Pakistan, the semis would look a lot like the 92 world cup with Eng, SA, Pak and NZ in the semis. Now if Pakistan's net run rate is better than NZ after the games on Monday and Tuesday, then Pak will probably end up playing Eng and SA will probably line up against NZ. My preditiction is still SA for the winner and Pak for bridesmade yet again in case we make it to the finals where SA are guaranteed a spot. This is all assuming Pak will whip the Irish boys which I will only believe after seeing the game for myself.

Ahsan said...


Haha. Come on man. I've been much meaner. 1:06 p.m. for instance.


Yes, it is. In this format, more than ever, you just never know. The fact that England beat India today speaks volumes. Though you get the feeling with them that if you get Pietersen early, there's really no one else who can really hurt you.

R Malik:

Fawad doesn't need to bowl, but he does need to bat. As I said in a comment above, I might consider giving him the opening slot, and moving Akmal down the order where we need some big hitting firepower. But I don't think the management is going to do that.

And FYI, I never said Aamer reminds me of Sami. I think if he's handled well, he has a great future. The biggest thing with him is the bounce/hitting-the-bat-hard factor. But he can't be fucked with...our selectors/management really need to get behind him and not put too much pressure on him.

As far as AQ's resignation is concerned, it's par for the course. This shit really doesn't surprise/bother me anymore. As long as the XI out there on the field are a decent unit, I'll take my chances.


Just a hunch, but I think the Windies seal that second semi spot in the other group.

karachi khatmal said...

didn't it feel great to troll indian blogs after they lost? not the nice indian fellas, but those bjp types. hahahahahaha...

jokes aside, i am and will continue to curse pakistan forever more for first having made holland, and now ireland teams against which i am nervously awaiting the outcome. but then again, as a paksitani fan what else did i expect?