Sunday, November 2, 2008

Shoaib Akhtar sends Punjab Packing and Ensures himself a Ticket to Abu Dhabi!

Shoaib Akhtar could not have chosen a better day than today to display an outstanding bowling effort.

Saleem Jaffar, who had kept Shoaib along with many others on a close watch in the on going Pentnagular Cup, had announced that the squad for the 3 ODIs against the West Indies will be selected after a meeting in Islamabad today.

Saleem Jaffar along with Ijaz Ahmed and Intikhab Alam are in Islamabad watching the Federal Areas vs Punjab game.

It was openly known that the selectors and the coach chose to watch this game at the ground to have a look at Shoaib Akhtar.

But no one thought that Shoaib would be able to impress. His fitness was lacking, the stamina wasn't there, the determination was, but that was just not enough.

It was over for Shoaib. Even I thought so last week.

However, as he has done so in the past, he chose the perfect day to lead his team to a probable victory.

As the 3rd day of the match began, Punjab resumed their innings at 33-1, 126 runs ahead of Federal Areas with 9 wickets and 2 days to go in the match.

At the crease were Salman Butt, fresh from his 155 in the first innings, and Umar Akmal.

It didn't take Shoaib Akhtar & co. long to send the Punjab batsmen packing to the dressing room for 144 allowing their batsmen a day and a half to chase 238 for an improbable victory against a strong Punjab team.

Shoaib picked up 4-14 in 10 overs of hostile pace bowling, while Sohail Tanvir and Rao Iftikhar picked up 3 wickets each.

Shoaib was the most impressive out of the lot bowling at extreme pace and picking up the wickets of Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, and Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik.


Shoaib was ecstatic after his performance and this surely would have sealed his spot for the tour to Abu Dhabi.

I honestly did not expect Shoaib to make it but he has.

Saleem Jaffar can surely not deny him after todays performance and I can't wait to watch him in full flow here in Abu Dhabi in just under 10 days.

Make your pitch on this post...

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5 Pitched:

  1. straight point said...

    i somehow feels there is more to SA than meets the eyes...he pops the performance at will and when he sees himself in danger...

    what you think?

  2. Q said...

    Hmm.. I think the determination is there. As is the commitment. When it comes to international matches some players don't perform due to internal politics. Maybe SA is one of those guys...

    The truth is that Shoaib has always been dogged by fitness issues. Whenever he's been in full fitness he has performed. He was on his way to being fully fit and he peaked during this game... and he will probably break down again.

    If only he can take a leaf out of Shane Watson's book and learn more abt his body need.

  3. Anonymous said...

    I have rarely seen Shoaib perform in a domestic match he is always a different beast in International matches, he is making a comeback after a long layoff so his form is indifferent, if he regains his fitness he should be in the team.

  4. Anonymous said...

    The last time Shoaib was anywhere close to fitness was the series against England in Pakistan- can't recall if it was in 2005 or 2006.

  5. Q said...

    Khansahab, that was December 2005.

    Wasim, his fitness has been slowly improving... each spell of his was longer than the previous one.

    This is one of his umpteenth comeback and I won't be surprised if its cut short due to some reason.

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