Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pakistan Break Dutch Hearts. Into the Super 8s!

On any given day, one would bet on Pakistan beating the Dutch by 25 runs or more, but considering their performance in the World T20 so far (including the warm ups), not many were confident they could do it.

But they did! and how!

They crushed the poor Dutch.

So what worked for them?

1. For starters they got their XI right

Makes me wonder why they didn't pick this team before.

The team that played was the one everyone was talking about. I was, other bloggers were, media was, then what kept the team management from doing it?

I guess we will never know how the Pakistani cricket team functions.

2. They got their batting order spot on

Again this was something I and many others had mentioned, but the team management didn't implement it till today.

Akmal opened and it allowed Malik, Younis, and Misbah to bat at higher positions.

Malik and Younis slowed things down again; in their defence however, they were trying to set things up for the big hitting of Misbah and Afridi.

That six of Nannes will do Afridi a lot of good.

3. The bowling attack looked impressive

Thank heavens Yasir Arafat did not play, and hence did not take the new ball.

Sohail Tanvir swung it around and kept the Dutch in check. He seemed a bit unfit though; why didn't he go off the field after his spell?

Aamer took some stick but its heartening to watch a quick 17 year old bursting into the scene.

So far he's managed a wicket in his first over in both the games he's played. He's a genuine quick and should be persisted with.

The spinners were at their usual best; the Dutch were always going to have trouble against Afridi and Ajmal.

Figures of 4-11 will do a world of good to Afridi. It was top stuff from him and he delivered when it was required.

Boom boomed with the ball!

He needs to be at his best with the ball for the Super 8s.

Despite all this, there are still a lot of concerns, which need to be addressed before taking on the tougher opposition in the Super 8s.

Salman Butt is the biggest problem.

He needs to learn that he's not alone out there when batting; he has partners with him. Push the ball into the gaps and run, you are not a stroke player!

Butt also needs a one-on-one fielding coach. But that the whole team needs really.

Pakistan's fielding will have to be a lot sharper against the likes of Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

And don't forget, they'll be playing IRELAND as well!

Intikhab Alam will have some sleepless nights leading up to that game.

Misbah is another concern that I have. He has come out to bat in the last 5-7 overs of the matches. He is a great striker of the ball, but he needs some time to settle down to be completely effective.

I reckon he should be batting ahead of Younis. Or maybe Younis at 3 followed by Misbah and Malik.

If these things stand corrected, we have a good chance to get into the semi finals.

For now though, lets cherish this victory and thank heavens that we are not joining Australia on the way out.

Make your pitch on this post...

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34 Pitched:

  1. khansahab said...

    Akmal was brilliant in the field and I think his MOM award is justified. He batted well and gave Pakistan a good platform.

    Afridi in form after a while and that sixer off Nannes did him good. Maybe he should have been joint MOM with Akmal? He set the momentum for Pakistan when he took his first wicket on his first ball.

    Terrible and largely biased commentary by Wasim Akram.

    Shoaib Malik had a bad game, played defensively and then misjudged a simple catch. His body language and selfish batting should be tolerated no more and he should be dropped.

  2. raj said...

    Well, Pakistan are going to win this cup now, arent they?
    Maybe England vs Pakistan in finals? Two teams pilloried after one loss cocking a snook at detractors? How romantic would that be?

  3. farooq syed said...

    the batting is still not convincing, we struggled aginst the middle overs against a pretty straight forward dutch attack, but nevertheless we have save our selves from embarrasment
    Releived more than happy !

  4. maza786 said...

    Netherlands were clueless against the mystery and guile of Ajmal and Afridi as Pakistan piled up the runs and won convincingly to enter the super eights. Kamran Akmal played superbly with the bat and kept well behind the stumps for a thoroughly deserved MOM award.

    Consequently Pakistan enters an easier group for the next stage of the tournament and there shan’t be any excuses for why they don’t reach the semi-finals from here. Certainly with the ball spin shall hold the key to compliment the potency of Umar Gul’s Yorkers. Hats off to Pakistan for this victory as we LOL at poor Australia.

  5. maza786 said...

    My Semi Finalists Predictions:

    Group E ( too close to call)


    Group F

    Sri Lanka

    INDIA VS PAK = India win
    Srilanka vs RSA= RSA win


    BTW , t20 is an unpredictable thriller so who knows what will happen.

  6. P Henderson said...


    I predicted exactly the same as you on my blog. I am ever so agree with you! Good effort by Pakistanis although I was behind the Dutch.

  7. LiB said...


    Pakistan team did lose the plot between 9th and the 15th over and agree with you about Misbah, i too would like to see him bat higher than Younas & Malik.

    i dont want to go a lot into the negatives from the game, for today ill just enjoy being in the super8.


    Khansahab how and at which point exactly was Wasim Akram's commentry terrible and baised??

  8. Indophile said...

    Well your look and feel has changed so you have gone extra mile for that
    botox injection. But in office I was not able to see anything throughout the day except the grass ? About the match first thing I saw that was Butt dropping a sitter but thankfully Holland have never seen any spinner I guess !!!Very happy to have your side hopefully we will play each other in semis. Whoever was shouting for Tanvir he is not fit guys give him some rest

  9. Indophile said...

    Well I agree with the Akram's commentary part though 'Great fielding effort' I heard somewhere in between from him it was everything but not great fielding effort. Gul was pretty quick it was good to see him bowling like that

  10. Wasim said...


    I liked the old look better. But then again it's just my opinion.

  11. Rayden said...

    Wow, what a comprehensive victory. I have a feeling Pak is going to go all the way now in the World T20 Tournament.

  12. Wasim said...

    Finally the team management decided to make some changes although Fawad's inclusion didn't made any difference but this move enabled Kamran Akmal to open which in reality made the real difference.

    Malik and Younis played it safe and set the platform for a big total.

    In the next stage, I want them to keep Afridi or Sohail Tanvir at a floater position so that if Akmal gets out quickly they can still take full advantage of the first six overs.

    It seems Pakistan will face Newzealand, Srilanka and Ireland in the next round chances look bright for Pakistan to reach the semis.

  13. khansahab said...

    Fawad Alam should replace Malik. He should be batting in Malik's position. I don't understand why Malik has batted so selfishly in both games? Younis Khan is too dumb to realise it.

    Shazaib Hasan should replace Butt. At least Hasan will get out in a few balls if he can't bat.

    The best team going forward is:


    Arafat can play as a pinch hitting batsman. He will do a better job than Malik. Sorry Q I know Malik is your friend but I think my criticism is jusfitied following Malik's selfish batting.

  14. khansahab said...


    His commentary is terrible because his English is terrible and I feel embarrassed when I hear him speak.

    His commentary is biased because he has certain favourite players whom he will favour above other players.

  15. Q said...


    I think Afridi deserved it as much as Akmal did.. was a close call. If it was me I would have given to Afridi but at the end it doesn't matter.

    Importantly, we looked like a team and all did well.

    Malik is not my friend :-)

    I agree that him and Younis slowed the scoring down in the middle, but to be fair the Dutch bowling was really good at that time and Malik got out trying to hit out and Younis made up for it by hitting those 3 sixes.

    I don't think dropping Malik is the option here.. Maybe changing the batting order with Younis at 3, Misbah at 4, and Malik at 5.

    I'm all for getting Shahzaib in place of Butt.. but Arafat in place of a batsman wud not make sense.

    I would have Alam at 6 and Afridi at 7.

  16. Q said...


    Well the route to the semis looks easy and once someone's there, strange things can happen.

    Still it will be tough getting past the Lankans and the Kiwis..

    And the Irish!

    England & Pakistan wud be repeating 1992!

  17. Q said...


    I believe relief is the sentiment at large.

    But I really don't think the batting struggled. The Dutch really did bowl well in the middle overs. But that we have to improve goes without saying.

    Fielding and catching most importantly.

  18. Q said...


    The spinners were always going to be key against the Dutch, and they were picking up 8 wickets between them.

  19. Q said...


    I'll say this much though.. I don't understand why Younis gives Malik the ball..

  20. Q said...

    Maza, P Henderson,

    I don't think SA will make it to the semi finals.

    P Henderson, Welcome to Well Pitched. Whats ur blog url?

  21. Q said...


    I really think the Dutch bowled well and Malik and Younis were setting it up for Misbah and Afridi.. 100 in 13 overs when Malik got out.. another 7 overs and the likes of Misbah, Afridi, Alam, Tanvir should be able to get u to 180...

  22. Q said...


    Thanks :-) ..

    The grass was giving many some trouble so it has been shaved off for now.. we may bring it back if we can figure out wat the issue was.

    Butt is useless, needs to be dropped.

    Semis? I hope its the final rather!

  23. Q said...


    You will get used to this new look :-)

  24. Q said...


    It was just Netherlands.. against stronger teams it would be tough to beat them so comprehensively.. Pakistan has to pick its game up a lot more to challenge Lanka and NZ.

  25. Q said...


    Yep the team mgmt finally made sense.

    I don't agree abt the floater's position.. if we lose 2-3 quick wickets it will put us under pressure.. Afridi and Tanvir are better off lower down..

  26. Wasim said...


    That was the formula employed by Rajasthan Royals last year and Lahore Badshahs in ICL.

    It doesn't matter whether they get out early or later but if they click it will make a world of difference in the run rate.

  27. Q said...


    "if they click".. thats the key phrase..

    What if they don't?

    I think higher odds are that Afridi or Tanvir will not click up the order.

  28. Wasim said...


    If they don't it won't make much of a difference as they will be treated as expendables.

    Tanvir doesn't get a chance to bat.
    Afridi will score in his usual manner but with the field restrictions the probability of him scoring a bit more is much higher.

  29. Wasim said...

    I would not have suggested this if we had Imran Nazir and Nasir Jamshed as openers. In a T20 game the top three batsmen set the tempo unfortunately our openers barring Kamran are not suitable for this format and our lower order batsmen take their sweet time before opening up so it is essential to have a pinch hitter at the floater position.

  30. Jonty said...

    Q im just overjoyed with the win for now....not thinking about the super 8s rite now....but i have to reflect back to your fb status update of earlier yesterday...where you mentioned that the last time australia were knocked out of a world cup in the group stages pakistan went onto win.....i hope your right so I can refer to you as a genious!!!!!!!

  31. Q said...

    But Wasim, if they say waste a few deliveries, like Afridi did against England, then that gives less time to the likes of Younis and Misbah to get set..

    Its too much of a risk in my opinion.

    I know wat ur saying abt attacking in the first 6 overs but if u take a look at the 2007 20-20 WC, we used to recover from the same positions of 30-3 and 40-4.. Misbah and Malik took us through in almost every game...

  32. Q said...


    Congrats buddy! We all are overjoyed!

    If it does come true.. then u can call me a genius ;-)

  33. Stani Army said...

    The selection was good apart from Butt. Fine for Tests...even 50 overs but not T20.

  34. Q said...

    I agree Stani.. I would actually like to see Shahzaib Hasan get a go.

    I know he fell for a duck against Ind.. and he has a lot of 1st over ducks in the little domestic crkt he has played.. but when he has fired he has taken attacks apart..

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