Friday, March 7, 2014

Shahid Afridi's Milestones & Misbah's Run Outs

Pakistan owe their position in the Asia Cup Final to their hero, Shahid Afridi. If it wasn't for his match winning strikes against India and Bangladesh, Pakistan would probably not be playing the final tomorrow.

In Sri Lanka, Pakistan will meet a familiar opponent in the final. Even though Sri Lanka has been the more dominant team in the tournament, Pakistan should fancy their chances against them.

Head to Head, Overall

Pakistan won the last ODI series between the two teams 3-2, and their overall record against them is also better, which reads Pakistan 80, Sri Lanka 53, Tie 1. Even though there is not such a huge difference in the record in more recent years, Pakistan still leads the head to head 10-8 in matches since 2010.

Head to Head, Tournament Finals

The head to head in Tournament Finals however is even closer. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played 12 finals with each team winning 6. The last time the two teams met in an ODI final was in 2004 in the final of the Paktel Cup in Lahore. Sri Lanka won that by 119 runs. The last time the two teams met in an Asia Cup Final was in 2000 in Dhaka, which is where tomorrow's final will also be played. In 2000, Pakistan won the final by 39 runs.

Shahid Afridi's Milestones

Shahid Afridi's batting form has been key to Pakistan's success in the Asia Cup and if he proves to be the difference between the two sides once again in the final tomorrow, he may reach some new personal milestones.

1. Afridi is one man of the match award away from over taking Kallis and Ponting to become the sole third highest man of the match winner in ODIs.

2. Afridi needs 3 wickets to over take Brett Lee and 4 wickets to over take Glen McGrath to become the 6th highest wicket taker in ODIs.

3. Afridi needs 60 more runs to go past Inzamam Ul Haq to become the highest run scorer for Pakistan in Asia Cup matches.

If Afridi is at the top of his game tomorrow, he will probably reach one of these milestones, if not more.

Sri Lankan Milestones

Shahid Afridi is not the only who might reach some milestones. If Sri Lanka's best batsman in the tournament, Kumar Sangakkara, and their best bowler, Ajantha Mendis, are in top form then they could become the all time highest run scorer and highest wicket taker in Asia Cup matches respectively.

1. Sangakkara is 145 runs away from Sanath Jayasuriya's record of 1,220 runs in Asia Cup matches.

2. Mendis is 5 wicket away from Muralitharan's record of 30 wickets in Asia Cup matches.

If either of those milestones are achieved, then Sri Lanka will surely be looking at lifting their 5th Asia Cup title.

Misbah's Milestones

Misbah has been a prolific scorer for Pakistan in ODIs since taking over the team. He has bailed the team out on many occasions and on others has set up victories as well. In this Asia Cup, however, it has been a different story.

Misbah scored 73 in Pakistan's opening game against Sri Lanka, yet Pakistan lost the match. Pakistan won their next 3 games against Afghanistan, India, and Bangladesh and Misbah's contribution in those games was 0, 1, and 4.

In two of those games, Misbah was run out.

What is interesting is that Misbah has been run out 7 times in his ODI career, and Pakistan has not lost any of those 7 ODIs - 6 were won, and 1 was tied, with 3 of the wins against Sri Lanka.

So it is not only Afridi's form with the bat that is key to Pakistan's success, Misbah running himself out is too!

Pakistan are the defending Asia Cup champions, and if they manage to win tomorrow Misbah will add another feather to his cap by becoming the only Pakistan captain to win two Asia Cup titles.

Interesting Pakistani Milestones

1. Moin Khan was the Pakistan captain in 2000 when Pakistan won the Asia Cup for the first time. It will be an interesting feat for him if Pakistan win tomorrow, giving him two Asia Cup titles - 1 as captain and 1 as coach.

2. Mohammad Akram will also be a part of a similar feat if Pakistan win. He was part of the team in the Asia Cup in 2000 and is currently with the team as bowling coach.

3. Misbah, Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Afridi, Gul, and Ajmal were part of the victorious Asia Cup campaign in 2012 as well. All of them will become the only Pakistan players to be a part of two victorious Asia Cup campaigns if Pakistan win tomorrow.

4. If Pakistan win tomorrow, Shahid Afridi will become the only Pakistani player to win the Asia Cup three times.

This Asia Cup has provided thrilling matches and one can look forward to the same tomorrow. Here's hoping for a cracking game and Pakistan achieving all these milestones!

Make your pitch on this post...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

1 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...

    Come on Pakistan!!!

Post a Comment