Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Lala Hamara Hero Hai


I have already written so much about this cricketer, that one must feel what else is there to say. But seriously, any praise given to Afridi for Pakistan's victories over India and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup is not enough.

He deserves all that and more.

No other Pakistan cricketer is criticized as much as Afridi is. But the opposite is also true. He surely is the most loved cricketer in Pakistan.

No one ever thought that Javed Miandad's last ball heroics against India in 1986 will ever be repeated. Asif Mujtaba tied a game with a last ball six once. Waqar Younis won a game for Pakistan by 1 run with a last ball wicket. Abdul Razzaq demolished South Africa by chasing an improbable target by going at more than 10 an over for more than 10 overs.

Yet, what Shahid Afridi did to India on Sunday will go down in history as one of the best wins ever for Pakistan. Forget about repeating what Javed Miandad did, Pakistan and India recreated the match from 1986.

The number of similarities between the two games are so many that the phrase "history repeats itself" doesn't fit any other instance more than it does to the Asia Cup match between Pakistan and India.

And who else besides Shahid Afridi to orchestrate it.

Majority of Afridi's critics resorted to claims like "don't expect anything from him for another year", "that's it Afridi for another 20 innings" and so on and so forth.

Yet the moment came again in today's match between Pakistan and Bangladesh.

A record breaking chase, a record breaking win, and who was the man that made it possible - Shahid Khan Afridi!

What a champion!

It had been said all over that Pakistan has not chased over 250 under Misbah's captaincy. Forget about chasing 300, or for that matter 326, a score that Pakistan had never chased in the history of their ODI cricket.

Ahmed Shehzad played a perfectly timed innings. He controlled the chase till the 40th over. Fawad Alam batted beautifully doing what he does best - nudging the ball for singles and doubles and scoring at run a ball without taking any risk. Mohammad Hafeez set it up magnificently with a brisk knock at the top.

But despite all that, the win would not have been possible without Shahid Afridi.

When he walked out to bat, Pakistan required 102 runs off 8.4 overs.

When he left the field, Pakistan were left with only 33 to get off 3.1 overs.

No other man in world cricket would have made this chase successful from that position besides Shahid Afridi.

What he brings to the Pakistan team, no other cricketer does to any team.

He has been doing it for 18 years now, and despite his many critics, today he stands tall as the biggest match winner Pakistan cricket has seen.

Today Afridi got his 32nd man of the match award. He had broken Pakistan's record a while ago, and now with 32 awards he sits level with Jacques Kallis and Ricky Ponting, and only behind Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar.

Afridi wins Pakistan 1 out every 10 matches, if you go by his man of the match awards.

What Afridi has achieved is the stuff of legends. Sure his fastest 100 record is gone, but no one's name appears more times in the list of fastest 100s than Afridi's.

The same goes for fastest 50s. Today was Afridi's 6th fifty that he has scored in 20 deliveries or less. No other cricketer comes even close. McCullum has done that twice, and no one else has done it more than once.

Whatever I say about Shahid Afridi is not enough. Whatever praise you give him is not enough.

Shahid Afridi is a living legend, a true Pakistani hero, the biggest match winner Pakistan has seen in limited overs cricket.

A post was long over due. I had not written anything in 2014, and it is only apt the first post of 2014 on Well Pitched is of our greatest hero - Shahid Khan Afridi!

Ek aur baar bolo, baar baar bolo - Lala Lala bahut aala !!!

Make your pitch on this post...

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1 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...

    Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi Afridi
    Always a hero and legend for me!!!

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