Thursday, June 18, 2009

Live Blogging Pakistan vs. South Africa T20 World Cup Semi Final (Updated Below)

Hello and welcome to Rs.5's coverage of this first semi final in the T20 World Cup between Pakistan and South Africa. As always, all times are local (i.e. Chicago).

11:16 a.m. Team news from the middle. Pakistan are playing the same eleven: Shahzaib, Akmal, Razzaq, Malik, Younis, Misbah, Afridi, Fawad, Gully, Saeed Ajmal and Aamer. South Africa are lining up with: Smith, Kallis, Gibbs, de Villiers, Duminy, Boucher, Morkel, van der Merwe, Parnell, Botha, Steyn.

11:19 a.m. Fuck, it's only when you type those names out that it hits you: this South Africa team is bloody talented. No question about it, man for man, they're a better team than us. But the game's not played on paper, is it?

11:20 a.m. Hey, what's the difference between a restaurant and the South African dressing room? Only one has the Heimlich maneuver poster stuck on their wall because of the law.

11:27 a.m. The weakest link in our team is when Razzaq bowls. I fully expect him to be targeted. But that's a matter for a later time, because Pakistan will be batting first.

11:29 a.m. Nasser Hussain: "Lose, and you go home." Man, I'm pumped.

11:30 a.m. Shahzaib and Akmal to open. I predict an early dismissal for Shahzaib. And Akmal, for that matter.

11:31 a.m. I should tell you I'm going to be in full blown "jinx the opposition" mode today. So if you're looking for positivity, go elsewhere.

11:31 a.m. Dale Steyn, only the world's best quick bowler, to open the bowling.

11:33 a.m. Yeah, Akmal! What a start. Second ball smashed for four. What a cutter/puller Akmal is. After Inzi, our best horizontal bat player left. Steyn follows with a beauty though.

11:35 a.m. Bang! Four more, through the covers. Good start here for Akmal, and very unlike Steyn offering that much width. 8-0 after one, and Pakistan are away.

11:36 a.m. Parnell in from the other end.

11:37 a.m. Well, that didn't take long. Shahzaib plays an ungainly pull, goes straight up, and van der Merwe takes an excellent diving catch running back from mid-on. Sigh. 8-1 after 1.2

11:38 a.m. Afridi in. Bad move.

11:38 a.m. That's how you fucking play the pull, dumbass. Akmal smashes it for four. He's looking up for it, Akmal.

11:39 a.m. Hahahahaha. South Africa pull a Pakistan here, as Akmal drives it, and Smith dives over it. Four more.

11:40 a.m. The crowd is basically split 80-20. Anyway, Afridi on strike. "Anything could happen with this man," Nasser tells us.

11:40 a.m. Bouncer first up, and it's given as a wide. Touch harsh for me.

11:41 a.m. BANG! Hoiked over mid on, bat twisting in his hand and all. 22-1 after two, and we're off to the races.

11:43 a.m. My goodness, me. Stand. Deliver. Akmal, you fucking beauty. Kami basically drives a good length delivery for six.

11:43 a.m. And that's the end of that. Akmal gone pulling AGAIN. It's the third time in the last four games if memory serves. That's really annoying. We had the momentum and everything. Now the pressure's on, what with losing two wickets in the first three overs and everything. Who knows, Fawad might have a real role to play by the end of the day. Anyway, Malik in.

11:45 a.m. Cuts him in half first ball.

11:46 a.m. Hahahaha. Another misfield. Any they were making fun of us. Anyway, it's just a single. Malik off the mark, and Afridi to face Steyn for the first time. I say a bouncer first up. Square leg gone back.

11:47 a.m. And a bouncer it was. 29-2 after three. God, that wicket hurt. Aaaarrghh.

11:48 a.m. Malik edges Parnell, but falls short of slip. Keep it steady guys.

11:49 a.m. Acha, that doesn't mean you go to sleep at the wicket, either. Malik takes a single off the third ball of the over. One off it so far.

11:50 a.m. They're keeping Afridi waiting. They know he has the attention span of a four year old.

11:51 a.m. Miscues a full toss for one. Even singles are eventful with Afridi.

11:52 a.m. Just the three of the over, then. 32-2 after four.

11:52 a.m. Kallis replacing Steyn for some odd reason. Guess he wants to keep him for the end.

11:53 a.m. Malik charges but can't get it through. Single brings Afridi on to strike.

11:55 a.m. South Africa keep bowling it in their half against Afridi. Nothing to drive. Anyway, check out the comments to this post too. There's something about Kallis and eunuchs in there.

11:56 a.m. Short, pull, four. Short, pull, two.

11:57 a.m. Short, hoik, four. Afridi looking good, and by "looking good" I mean he's not out yet. "Boom Boom's firing," Nass says. 43-2 after five.

11:58 a.m. Morkel replacing Parnell from the other end.

11:58 a.m. Oye, Malik, where are you going? Sets off for a suicidal run and thank God Afridi sends him back. If he gets Afridi run out, there will not be enough eggs for Malik's house, let me tell you. Not enough effigies either. Anyway, he charges and gets a single. Afridi back on strike. Nothing stupid now, Lala.

12:00 p.m. Oooh gets away with one, Morkel. Full pitched on the leg side, and Afridi glances but it goes straight to short fine. A couple of yards either way and it was four.

12:01 p.m. Wow, now I've seen everything. Afridi taps and runs to end the power play. 47-2 after six.

12:04 p.m. I'm trying to think of a more unattractive player than Afridi. Failing.

12:05 p.m. "Everything's been short for Shahid Afridi," Manjrekar informs us. Yup.

12:06 p.m Good over for the Saffies. Just the three off it, and one was a wide. They keep bowling short, and our batsmen (at least at present) can't get 'em away. 50-2 after seven.

12:07 p.m. van der Merwe in. I'm just going to call him VDM, thanks.

12:08 p.m Left arm spinner, for those who've never seen him before.

12:09 p.m. Malik charges and gets two. Quietish over to start.

12:10 p.m. Six off it, as Afridi and Malik look to consolidate. 56-2 after eight. We can't completely take our foot off the gas here. Remember, we don't really have a Yuvraj to finish for us, so we have to keep scoring even in the middle overs.

12:11 p.m. Botha in, so we have spin from both ends.

12:13 p.m. I really, really don't want to jinx him, but I'm kinda surprised Afridi hasn't lost his shit here. He seems happy taking ones and twos.

12:14 p.m. Just five from it, and Pakistan slowing down here. 61-2 after nine. Malik looks in terrible touch. Don't think he's middled one yet. We need at least a hundred more. At least.

12:14 p.m. First boundary in a while, as Afridi charges, miscues, and it still beats long on. Single to follow.

12:15 p.m. Ooooh. Malik sweeps across the line and gets hit. Thought it was a good shout, but maybe that's because I want Malik gone. Anyway seven off the over, 68-2 after ten. We've scored just 25 off the last five.

12:18 p.m. Afridi pings it through the covers. Full toss...I mean, that was just asking to be smacked.

12:19 p.m. One more! This one was straighter but still four.

12:19 p.m. And again! Three in a row. Yeah, Afridi. Yeah.

12:20 p.m. Harsha starts talking about "match winning innings" and "hasn't self destructed yet." Shut up, Harsha. I know exactly what you're doing. I INVENTED that. Please stop.

12:21 p.m. Now it's the late cut, and Afridi gets four fours in a row. Good over that, eighteen off it. 86-2 after eleven. By the way, Afridi just changed his bat. Again. Nass and Harsha are really perplexed that a guy who just hit four boundaries in a row is unhappy with his bat.

12:23 p.m. Malik's just going about his way. To be fair, he's played his role well, getting ones and twos regularly. He's moved on to 17. Afridi's nearing his fifty.

12:24 p.m. Amid all the hullabaloo, I forgot to tell you Steyn is back into the attack. My bad.

12:25 p.m Two for Afridi, and he gets to fifty. Well played, Lala. Well played.

12:26 p.m. I've been really, REALLY impressed with Afridi's ability to play sensibly here. Normally, he goes for ludicrous shots on good balls, but here he's giving the bowlers respect when they deserve it. I mean, he could throw it away next ball, but that shouldn't take away from his very cerebral innings here. And yes, I used "cerebral" to describe Afridi.

12:27 p.m. Uh, oops. Sorry guys. That's my fault. Duminy comes in, and Afridi skies one straight up. Can I blame it on the bat-change, a la Saeed Anwar in 99? Ok, ok. I'll put my hand up and accept responsibility for that one. I should just keep my mouth shut.

12:28 p.m. Younis in.

12:30 p.m. Four singles and a wicket off the over. 99-3 after 13.

12:31 p.m. Did Malik lift his foot? Stumping chance, and it's gone to the third umpire.

12:33 p.m. Not out! Alright, come on now, Malik. Just carry on here.

12:34 p.m. Full toss, sweep, four. Yeah, Malik. Yeah.

12:34 p.m. "They've all been positive," says Harsha. Yeah, that's true. Other than Malik's first ten minutes, no one's gotten bogged down.

12:35 p.m. Ten off the over. 109-3 after 14. Strong push to end here, guys. Strong push. We've got batting in the box, so we can step it up.

12:36 p.m. Yeah, Malik. Hits Duminy over cover, opening the face and slapping it for four.

12:37 p.m. Goddamnitt. Waste of a knee length full toss. Anyway, single to follow and Younis on strike.

12:38 p.m. Hahaha. Reverse sweep. Four more. Ten off the over, with one to go. Good going, guys. Keep going.

12:38 p.m. And a legbye to end. 120-3 after fifteen. 175 is the goal now. 175. Anything less, and it's a waste of this start. Though our batting in the last few overs in this tournament has been quite crap, to be fair.

12:39 p.m. Malik's sweeping from seventeen feet outside off stump. Two more.

12:41 p.m. And he holes out to long off. Charging, but didn't get all of it. A well played 34; he kept things ticking when Afridi was going nuts, and played a goodish innings overall. 12-4 after 15.4. Razzaq in.

12:42 p.m. Six and a wicket off the over; 126-4 after sixteen. Push hard, guys. Remember, we need 175.

12:43 p.m Steyn back in. Against Razzaq. Should be a good battle.

12:45 p.m. Two twos and a bouncer in the first three balls. Need a boundary here.

12:46 p.m. Slower ball, dot. Come on Razzaq. Smack that shit into the Channel.

12:46 p.m. This has been a really good over by Steyn, no surprise there. Mixed it up really well. Just the six off it, and it's 132-4.

12:47 p.m. Parnell back in. Target him here. I know he's bowled well in this tournament, but he wouldn't bowled two bigger overs than this in his career. Semi final, death bowling, nineteen year-old. Single to start.

12:49 p.m. Just two runs off the first three balls. They've pulled us back here, the Saffies. Done really well.

12:50 p.m. Just a single, that too of a misfield. Suddenly, 150 is looking out of reach. It changes so quickly in this format, it really does. 137-4 after eighteen. Just 17 runs off the last 3 overs.

12:52 p.m. Two singles to start the over. They're bowling really well. What can you say?

12:53 p.m. Simon Doull tells us it's been four overs since the last boundary. Feels a lot longer, to be honest.

12:55 p.m. And a dot to finish. Seven off another high-class over from Dale Steyn. 144-4 with one to go. These last four or five overs have been really good. I mean, I want to bitch out our guys, but really, that would be unfair. They've just had to face up against some top quality death bowling. Anyway, Parnell to bowl the last over.

12:56 p.m. Razzaq swinging and missing. Maybe, just maybe, Misbah should have been sent it? Or is this just hindsight talking?

12:57 p.m. Bloody hell. Only ones. 148-4. Last ball coming up.

12:58 p.m. And South Africa will require 150 to win this game. We were favorites half an hour ago. We no longer are. Only the Saffies choking will stop them from getting this. About 15 runs too light for me.

1:04 p.m. I'm thinking about the Razzaq vs. Misbah decision, and really, I don't think you can fault the management/decision-making. With four overs to go, with pace on from both ends, with the score 120 odd, Razzaq was the most logical choice. South Africa just bowled brilliantly -- Steyn and Parnell didn't give us ANYTHING. If/when South Africa win this, they will look back on those last few overs, where there wasn't a single boundary scored, and decide that's what won them the game.

1:07 p.m. Star performers of the first twenty overs: Lala, Steyn, Parnell, Malik. In that order.

1:08 p.m. It's not enough. It's not enough. We're going to be smoked. They're going to finish this in sixteen overs. For the loss of one wicket.

1:10 p.m. Razzaq's going to be targeted here. I know it. He's too slow and too innocuous. Anyway, Kallis and Smith to open.

1:11 p.m. Where is Smith going? It goes straight to the fielder and he's running off.

1:12 p.m. Ooooh. Ball comes in, and hits Kallis in front. I appealed, but it was going down leg. Next ball beats him outside off.

1:13 p.m. He really is a nothing bowler, Razzaq. He's just putting it out there. Kallis drives a 70mph good length ball through the covers for four.

1:14 p.m. A single to finish the over. 5-0 after one. Aamer will presumably be in from the other end.

1:15 p.m. Come on, Aamer. Come on.

1:15 p.m. Full, wide, four. Sliced backward off point. Too much room.

1:16 p.m. Edged and four. Younis had just taken the slip out. Oh, dear.

1:18 p.m. Goddamn. Do you know Kallis has averaged 60-plus in this tournament?

1:18 p.m. A two to end. 10 off the over, and South Africa off to a solid start here. 15-0 after two. Smith hasn't faced up yet, though he will now against Razzaq.

1:19 p.m. We're fucked, I tell you. They're winning this in 11 overs.

1:20 p.m. Down the leg side. Fine leg up. Four. Well done, Razzaq. Just beautifully bowled. Chootia.

1:21 p.m. They're doing this easy, the Saffies. Boundary followed by a tap-and-run.

1:21 p.m. The crowd's gone real quiet. They realize it, just as much as I do: we're done. We're smoked. We're out. Best of luck to the Saffies in the final against Sri Lanka.

1:22 p.m. Four byes. I know that moved and all, but I mean, come on. You think they might win by ten wickets?

1:23 p.m. 26-0 after three.

1:24 p.m. This has been a better over from Aamer, but there's just this feeling of flatness out there. Nothing's happening. No one's being bubbly in the field, and we haven't been able to string together some dot balls.

1:28 p.m. Swing and a miss from Smith. Much better over from Aamer. Just the four off it, and South Africa are 30-0 after four. Need a wicket here, guys. Lord knows Razzaq's not going to provide it.

1:30 p.m. Well, then. Smith skies it, and Gully going back, drops a sitter. Made a complete meal of that, and probably hurt himself too by banging his head against the ground. There you go. Our fielding -- oh, our fielding.

1:32 p.m. Can't get over that. Just terrible.

1:33 p.m. By the way, they took two off it too. Quick single to follow. Easy does it for them. They're winning this in a canter.

1:33 p.m. Four more, as Kallis walks across and drives it beautifully to long on for four. They're not even TRYING, the Saffies.

1:34 p.m. 39-0 after five.

1:36 p.m. Afridi: "Yeh jaga hai, Aamer, yeh jaga hai." For the westerners out there: "that's the spot, Aamer, that's the spot." Just a single off the first three of this over. After that nervy start, he's come back well here.

1:38 p.m. YEAH, AAMER!! Quickish short ball, Smith miscues (very similar to what happened ten minute ago), and this time the bowler doesn't trust anyone else to go for it, and gobbles it himself. There's the breakthrough, and it's a pity we can't give Razzaq's last over to Aamer. 40-1 after 5.5

1:40 p.m. And a slower ball to finish. A run and a wicket off the over, and South Africa are 40-1 after six. Will Younis bowl him out, trying to get another wicket? Or will he keep one for the end?

1:41 p.m. Afridi replaces Razzaq, who's basically done everything wrong today.

1:41 p.m. "Right, key phase in this match here," says Harsha. Yup. Afridi really holds the key.

1:42 p.m. Four to start. Razzaq looked like he was going for a mid afternoon stroll here. How much have Dubai/Bombay bookies paid Razzaq?

1:43 p.m. YEAH, AFRIDI. Bowls his slider and Gibbs has no idea, playing for the turn away. Off stump pegged back. 46-2 after seven and whisper it, but we may be back into this game.

1:44 p.m. What a player Lala is. I mean, really.

1:45 p.m. AB in for Gibbs. Ajmal in for Aamer.

1:46 p.m. Crowd's back into it.

1:46 p.m. Younis has a slip in for AB. Nice to have an attacking captain, yes? By the way, Waz keeps calling Herschelle Gibbs "Harsha Gibbs". Anyway, solid start here for Ajmal -- three of his first five balls. Finish strong, man.

1:47 p.m. He does, finishing with a dot. Just the three off the over, and the Saffies are 49-2 after eight. Rate required is inching up to eight and a half.

1:48 p.m. Kallis holds the key, here. Need him. Soon.

1:49 p.m. And Akmal drops it. AB edges it, and Akmal, with his iron gloves, doesn't even look like catching it. How much will we regret that?

1:49 p.m. Uh, not much. AB plays Afridi on off a quicker ball, trying to cut. What a day Afridi is having. Duminy in, and South Africa in a spot of bother here.

1:50 p.m. Harsha tells us that South Africa are 10-3 in the last eighteen deliveries. What a difference it makes when Razzaq is taken out of the attack.

1:52 p.m. Three runs and a wicket off the over. 52-3, and the rate required is pretty much nine.

1:52 p.m. Aaargh. Short ball, and Ajmal releases the pressure. Four off the first ball. Goddamnitt.

1:53 p.m. Slip in for Duminy. Smart from Younis.

1:55 p.m. Our in-circle fielders are too far back to stop the single, even off Duminy. Not a fan of that, to be honest. Anyway, nine off the over, a good for the Saffies. 61-3 after ten. Need Kallis. Need Kallis. Need Kallis.

1:57 p.m. Brilliant bowling from Afridi. I know I've said it before, but the way he mixes it up is a thing of beauty. Just two off the first five balls. Nothing stupid now.

1:58 p.m. Single to end. 64-3 after eleven. Game's in the balance. Both sides will fancy themselves from here.

1:59 p.m. Malik replacing Ajmal. Oh God.

2:00 p.m. If I was South African, I'd be quite miffed at this Duminy chap right now. Not really doing anything. Just the two off the first four balls from Malik.

2:02 p.m. Five off the over, and South Africa are now at 69-3 after twelve. Camera pans to the some Pakistani MILFs in the crowd.

2:03 p.m. Afridi bowling out here.

2:04 p.m. They're just tapping and running. Fielding in the circle sucks balls.

2:04 p.m. Appeal for caught behind, but much ado about nothing. Kallis hit his pads.

2:05 p.m. What an amazing spell of bowling from Afridi. Just the four off the over, and South Africa are 73-3 after thirteen. Need a move on here, as the rate required is above eleven now.

2:06 p.m. Gully in. And this is the game, right here. He bowls well, and we're through. He doesn't, and we're not.

2:07 p.m. Leg side wide, full toss. I suppose he can only get better from here.

2:08 p.m. Oh, dear. Duminy glances fine for four. Gully's had an indifferent start, to put it mildly.

2:09 p.m. Full, straight, pads. That was out. Don't know what the umpire saw there. That was out. That was fucking plumb. Fuck me.

2:10 p.m. Some reverse swing there, as Gully beats Kallis outside off. Wonder what Vettori's thinking right now. Asshole.

2:10 p.m. And beats him again. Gully's come back in this over. Just one ball to go, and six off it.

2:11 p.m. Aarrgh, goddamnitt. Kallis drives it between cover and mid off, which is in the circle. Good over for the Saffies, ten off it. 83-3 after fourteen. 67 needed off 36 balls.

2:12 p.m. Fawad Alam in. Wait, let me use the right punctuation. Fawad Alam in?

2:13 p.m. I guess Younis doesn't want Aamir or Razzaq to bowl again.

2:14 p.m. Kallis miscues, but it runs away for four. Seven off the first four balls.

2:14 p.m. And now a six. You really have to second guess this decision from Younis. I mean, with Ajmal with two left, Gully with three left, and Aamer with one left, that was 36 balls.

2:15 p.m. Two off the last ball. 98-3 off fifteen. Five overs left, 52 to get. That was a really bad decision. If we lose, that's where we lost it. Well that, and the last five overs of our innings.

2:16 p.m. What the fuck is Younis doing? Gully's taken off, and Ajmal back in. I guess Younis thinks taking the pace off is the key, but come on.

2:17 p.m. Waz is pissed. Can't blame him, to be fair.

2:18 p.m. Three off three to start. Come on, Ajmal. Come on.

2:19 p.m. Duminy tries to slog Ajmal, and it lands in no-man's land. At least go for it yaar.

2:19 p.m. And a single to finish. 105-3 after sixteen. 45 needed off 24 balls. Anyone's game, really.

2:21 p.m. Gully back in, and starts with a yorker. That's it bro. That's it.

2:22 p.m Tries to swing him over midwicket, but you can't do it if it's right up there. Kallis back on strike.

2:23 p.m. And another yorker. I hope everyone understands that the Fawad decision means Gully will bowl just three overs.

2:23 p.m. Brilliant stuff. It's been four yorkers in this over for three runs. "Super bowling," Waz gushes.

2:24 p.m. Great fielding at third man. Kallis gets an outside edge, and it flies to the boundary, before Ajmal dives and saves two.

2:25 p.m. And a great end to the over with another yorker. Just six off it, and South Africa need 39 off 18 balls. With Morkel to come, the game is still very much in the balance.

2:26 p.m And he's gone! Kallis holes out to long on off Ajmal. Just held it back there. Beautiful and crafty bowling. Kepler Wessels is distraught in the commentary box. Morkel in.

2:27 p.m. 39 needed off 17. My heart's pumping, and my fingers have lost all feeling.

2:28 p.m. A single to long on. Morkel on strike.

2:29 p.m. Darted in, and a legbye. Waz and Wessels are hilarious -- you'll struggle to find two more biased commentators. Appropriate for this tight match.

2:29 p.m. Duminy smashes Ajmal for four, and then follows it with four leg byes. Wow. What a game this has been. 29 off 13.

2:30 p.m. And a dot ball to finish. 29 needed off two overs. Uh, Mr. Captain: who the FUCK is going to bowl the last over? Do you realize what that Fawad Alam over has done? It basically cost us two overs.

2:32 p.m. Gully to bowl the penultimate over. I'm serious, my fingers have lost feeling. Don't know how I'm typing.

2:33 p.m. Low full toss to start, and it's just a single. 28 off 11.

2:33 p.m. Another yorker, and another leg bye. Gully's bowling yorkers like he's shelling fucking peanuts.

2:33 p.m. Slower ball, leg bye to Akmal. 26 needed off 9. Numbness is extending to my wrists. No dirty jokes, please.

2:34 p.m. Gully's lost his run up twice in a row. Wind's blowing hard, and Waz likes him opting out rather than trying to plow through.

2:35 p.m. And after another false start, another yorker squeezed to long on. Another single. 25 off 8.

2:36 p.m. ANOTHER yorker. This has been unbelievable stuff from Gul. It really has. 24 off 7.

2:37 p.m. Full, straight, drive to long off, one. 23 needed off the last over, to be bowled by Aamer. Has Gully done enough to protect the 17 year-old?

2:38 p.m. Alright, here we go. 6 balls.

2:39 p.m. Both fine leg and third man up in the circle.

2:39 p.m. Swing and a miss from Duminy. They have the wrong man on strike, South Africa. 23 off 5.

2:40 p.m. SIX! Full toss on leg stump, swing over midwicket. 17 off 4. Great shot.

2:41 p.m. Run out! Duminy smacks Aamer down the ground, Morkel tries to come back for two and is well short, as there's been a direct hit from Fawad Alam. Whew. It's all happening, as Bill Lawry would say. 16 needed off 3.

2:42 p.m. Boucher in, but he's at non-striker's end.

2:42 p.m. Two to long off. As long as there are no extras, we're through.

2:43 p.m. Four to midwicket. South Africa need 10 off 1 ball, only slightly less arduous than their 1992 Semi Final requirement.

2:44 p.m. And we've done it! South Africa lose ANOTHER semi final, and Pakistan bring up memories of 1992. We were down and out a week ago. But things can change quickly, and we haven't looked back since the disaster against Sri Lanka.

2:45 p.m. Dil Dil Pakistan is blaring away. Waz is basically coming all over Kepler Wessels' face.

2:46 p.m. Team effort -- everyone played their part, except for Razzaq. But one man stood out: Shahid Khan Afridi. What a player -- stood up when it counted. A fifty and a class spell of bowling. Just an unbelievable effort from everyone.

2:50 p.m. Wow, Nass, way to be sensitive. He flat out asked Grame Smith the choking question. Wow.

2:52 p.m. Younis is bloody hilarious. I love him.

2:53 p.m. Afridi's such a character. Nass: "Which did you enjoy more, the batting or the bowling?" Lala: "Uhh, both." Nass: "Can you win this final?" Lala: (after a pregnant pause) "Inshallah". Classic.

2:54 p.m. Just wrapping up here. My synopsis of the match is basically this: we were about 15 runs too light, mainly due to some excellent bowling from Parnell and Steyn at the end. We looked all over the place in the first six overs of the Saffies' innings, mainly due to Razzaq's non-threatening start. But once the spinners (Ajmal and Afridi) came on, the game changed, an we began to squeeze them. Gully came in, as usual, and other than Younis' Fawad brain fart, we kept our heads in the field and didn't really panic.

So South Africa lose another semi they should have won on paper, but truth be told, they didn't really choke this one away. They just ran into a team hitting its stride at exactly the right time.

With that, I'm calling it a day. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage, and see you for the final at Lords.

UPDATE: Here's an excellent measure of the tension in this game. As I write this update, there are 41 comments to this post. Between 1:53 p.m. (Chicago time) and 2:47 p.m. (Chicago time), there were a grand total of zero comments posted. Basically, once Afridi got Gibbs, you guys went: fuck the blog, I'm watching this and not taking my eyes off the screen.

Anyways, thanks for the comments guys. Somebody mentioned a Cover It Live type scene for the final, but I don't want to over complicate things. As it is, this technology/computer/internet stuff confuses the hell out of me. Let's just keep it simple and as it is. I do read the comments in between overs though (if a little quickly) so rest assured they're not going to waste.

UPDATE II: 14 out of the last 18 Facebook updates on my front page refer in some way to the cricket. You think the Pakistani people are pumped for this? After what we've been through? You bet your ass.


Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Shahid Afridi just murdered the English Language!

karachi khatmal said...

no akmal you idiot... well after smashing steyn past his head i would also go for an audacious pull... sensibility needed now pakistan

Anonymous said...

big mistake sending malik in

karachi khatmal said...

why send afridi this early? already my stomach is in shreds...

Anonymous said...

malik is making me swear goddamn it.

karachi khatmal said...

whatta dhoni shot from lala... whole twirling wrists and all... what's a good score considering both afridi and akmal have looked confident on this pitch

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Malik is seriously out of form. Looks very uncomfortable. He will be playing a test innings today if he doesnt get out....

karachi khatmal said...

my sister's reaction to jacques kallis - allah kitna bhudda hai yeh aadmi... my brother immediately asked if he looked like a chakka, to which she replied yes. what is up with this kallis-eunuch meme?

karachi khatmal said...

16 year old sister gasps at how much kallis reminds her of a woman as afridi slaps him again for an almost six

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

If Pakistan reaches the final, maybe Ahsan could do a 'cover it live'....if there are enough people is a lot of fun....

karachi khatmal said...


karachi khatmal said...

my fiance repeats afridi is a rock star - which troubled rock star would he be?

syd barret, axl rose, the artist formerly known as prince?

karachi khatmal said...

ugliest ever to watch - red haired dhoni

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Prediction: Afridi goes nuts on Merwe. Malik wants to emulate Gavaskar's 36 not out in 75 world cup.

Tazeen said...

Whay happened? Why cant they find gaps?

Tazeen said...

a boundary ... finally

Indophile said...

Go afridi go ..fuck Botha shittiest bowler on the earth

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Who predicted Afridi giving a severe beating to Merwe?

Tazeen said...

4 in a row

karachi khatmal said...

wishing harsha bhogle eats shit and dies - finally succeeded in jinxing lala... asshole

Tazeen said...

and it was too good to last

Anonymous said...

well played afridi!! malik needs to pick up!!

Tazeen said...


Can one actually die after eating shit?

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

A former India president was a prolific pee drinker and he did not die.

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Though he drank his own pee.

Tazeen said...

oh that means KK was just bullshittig

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

What a miserable finish. What are they waiting for?

Indophile said...

Guys this Razzak is shit he is destroying your teams chances . Who sent him before Misbah ?

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

That was pathetic. Ab sub dua maingey key Allah Mian South Africa key batsmen ko andha kardain.

Tazeen said...

If Razzaq fails to take a couple of wickets straight away, they will be burning his effigies in Lahore

Anonymous said...

Now that Afridi has scored a fifty, does that means he will now screw in bowling??

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

Razzaq is playing for South Africa apparently.

Tazeen said...

into the third over and I am depressed already

Indophile said...

GUL man what you have done ? probably scarred by Razzak's deadly eyes straight out of x files

Pagal_Aadmi_for_debauchery said...

And Umar Gul aka the man is not even back in the attack yet! South Africa is praying for Razzaq to bowl more overs.

AB said...

Nice job Ahsan - enjoyable stuff while here at work ;)

Anonymous said...

They won. Woohoo!

Sohaib said...

First, congrats on the victory!

Second, congrats x 2 on the very fabulous live blogging effort. I must say it was a treat to read, and it definitely kicked the bland Cricinfo commentary's butt easily. Very entertaining and great fun, for people at work like myself!

Looking forward to you doing the same in the final.

Omar said...

"Waz is basically coming all over Kepler Wessels' face."


Quote of the week!

somethingrichandstrange said...

man, the glee in waseem bhai's voice... glorious!
and i agree with oba.

Razz said...

I enjoyed reading your post previewing the CL final between Barca and ManYoo. I hope you do a fitting preview of the final the same way ... there are soo many reasons Pak needs to win this final!

wasay said...

"Pakistan's victory came despite what seemed to be an unacceptable intervention by the Australian umpire Steve Davis in the wake of the ball-tampering allegations made by New Zealand against Gul. Davis seemed to tell Pakistan's fielders not to throw the ball into the stumps on the bounce, in an attempt to roughen up the ball more quickly. It was a perfectly legitimate tactic and Davis's admonishment, if so it was, smacked of an attempt to impose arbitrary and unfair restrictions."

karachi khatmal said...

great work ahsan - the best part about live blogs is reading them later - the match literally comes alive once more.

there's nothing to take away from here more than afridi - whatta bloody rock star...

i've showed up to work this morning in an ill-fitting pakistan team jersey - like the team, i have no regrets

zeyd said...

Couple of points of contention:

1) Akmal's a terrible hooker and puller. Out of 5, he'll connect 3 and sky 2. Like Yousuf he should put the shot away and just look to play the glance off the hips/shoulder.

2) Thought you were a bit harsh on Razzaq. Yes he's innocuous and yes he's the weak link but despite that I thought he did a pretty good job. He hit the right length and got a bit of movement off the pitch. His figures of 3 overs for 19 was a solid return and pretty much what we wanted. Spin was always going to win it anyway.

Oh and how ballsy is Aamer eh? Ushering fielders away to make sure they don't fucking drop HIS catch. Bowling the last over in a a massive game and having a nasty sneer on his face while running in. 17 years old man. What a gem.

Afridi was brilliant, a performance never to be forgotten and Gul is a fucking superstar, though to be fair to him, he has been for some time.

Ahsan said...


Disagree on Akmal. I would say his shot SELECTION is bad when it comes to the hook and pull, but his shot making is excellent. I suppose I should have said: Akmal PLAYS the hook/cut/pull better than anyone else in our team, he just makes really bad decisions of when to play it.

Razzaq is damn annoying. I think I would cut him more slack if I ever got the impression he was trying.

Anonymous said...

Furthermore Kamran Akmal has never gotten out this many times to the pull shot before. If you remember his match winning innings in the 2nd test vs. SA in 2007 it was laced with pull shots (and plenty of edges through the slips)

Anonymous said...

Furthermore Kamran Akmal has never gotten out this many times to the pull shot before. If you remember his match winning innings in the 2nd test vs. SA in 2007 it was laced with pull shots (and plenty of edges through the slips)