Sunday, March 9, 2008

Punjab scores 723, Wins by an Innings, BUT Shoaib Malik gets Flak!

Where have you seen a skipper of a side that wins a match by an innings and over a 100 runs garner flak from the authorities?

It can only happen in Pakistan.

After dismissing Baluchistan for 375 in the first innings, Punjab hammered the Baluchi bowlers at over 6 runs an over to score a mazzive 723-4 declared in a mere 114 overs to set up an innings victory in thir Pentangular Cup match up.

Punjab's spectacular innings made the authorities criticize the dead track prepared by the Sialkot groundsmen, who in response told the PCB that they had shaved off the grass at skipper Malik's request. The PCB then gave Malik a sound warning for going against their will of playing the Pentangular matches on lively tracks.

I wonder if the PCB has something against Malik. I say this cause no one warned Misbah when in Malik's absence, Punjab's first match was played on a flat deck against FA and Salman Butt hammered Shoaib Akhtar and Sohail Tanvir for a career best 290. Moreover, as I mentioned before, the PCB also gave Malik flak for not opening with Nasir Jamshed in the previous match, whereas Misbah had done the same and not heard a word from the PCB.

Is it just something against Malik or a liking towards Misbah?

Punjabs's massive total was built around a 251 run 2nd wicket partnership between Salman Butt and Nasir Jamshed. Salman continued his spectacular run with the bat scoring his 3rd century in as many matches - his 160 came at a run a ball and included 25 fours and a six. Nasir has also been in fine form during the competition and smashed 140 with 14 boundaries and 3 sixes.

After their patnership it was Misbah-ul-Haq's turn to come to the party. Misbah hammererd the Baluchi bowlers and scored 208 of only 218 deliveries with 17 hits to the fence and 6 over it. A double century at a strike rate of 95 is truly a remarkable achievement, no matter how bad the bowling and how flat the deck.

Shoaib Malik then ended Punjab's innings in a hurry hitting a quickfire 60 off only 37 deliveries.

Facing a 1st innings deficit of 350 runs, the Baluchi batting folded for only 220 in under 50 overs to hand Punjab an innings win.

The deck didn't look too flat then, which makes me wonder even more - is it PCB against Malik or is someone in the The News running a propaganda against him?

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