Sunday, June 30, 2019

Imad Wasim and Wahab Riaz take Pakistan through in a Nerve Wrecker!

It is an infant rivalry, but it is a rivalry nonetheless.

It is not the same as India vs Pakistan, but the Afghanis play their matches against Pakistan with more passion than any other game they play.

There are a number of reasons for the birth of this rivalry, but none bigger than the Pakistani connection of the Afghani cricketers - they learnt their cricket in Pakistan, they played domestic cricket in Pakistan, they have homes in Pakistan.

The last two international games between the sides - in the Asia Cup in 2018 and now in the World Cup 2019 - were last over finishes, with Pakistan just scraping through.

That is how hard Afghanistan fought each time. 

In the Asia Cup it was Shoaib Malik, and last night it was Imad Wasim who took Pakistan through.

Imad initially looked clueless against the spin of Rashid and Mujeeb and played them out cautiously. He timed his inning to perfection and took charge when the pacer came on leading Pakistan to a narrow 3 wicket win.

Imad is a very under rated cricketer. He is a very good bowler, keeps the runs in check, and picks up wickets too. His economy rate in ODIs is 4.83, which in modern times is gold!

NOTE: Bowlers from the 10 World Cup Participants

In fact, Imad has the 7th best economy rate among all bowlers who have bowled at least 300 overs in the past 4 years, since Imad's debut.

The list is topped by the Afghani spin trio, which is largely due to Afghanistan playing majority of their cricket against the weaker teams.

Imad's batting average in ODIs is 42.7 and strike rate is 107.5, which is magnificent for someone who bats at number 7 or 8.

He is fast becoming Pakistan's finisher.

That average is inflated because of the number of not outs he has, 16 out of 37 innings, but each one of those not outs is a decent knock at better than run a ball at the end of an innings. His strike rate in the final 10 overs of an ODI is 150+.

He is a very valuable cricketer for Pakistan.

Wahab Riaz is also responsible for taking Pakistan over the finish line last night. He is more of an allrounder than Faheem Ashraf ever was. Wahab almost did it for Pakistan against Australia earlier in the World Cup, but last night he smashed a boundary and a six at just the right time.

Every World Cup, Wahab raises his game to another level altogether, and he showed that again last night.

What a champion he is. Especially considering that he was playing with a fractured finger.

It should have been an easy chase against Afghanistan. It was a top notch bowling effort that kept them down to 227.

But we all know that with Pakistan nothing comes easy, more so when you expect it to be.

The victories against South Africa and New Zealand were straight forward and quite easy, so anyone would expect that Pakistan would canter to a win against Afghanistan chasing down a target of 228.

But Afghanistan's spinners, Pakistan's batsmen, and Pakistan's running made life very difficult!

Having lost Fakhar without a score on the board and the top 6 batsmen for 156, Pakistan required 72 runs of 78 balls with 4 wickets in hand.

It looked really tough for Pakistan, but that is when Imad took over and ensured Pakistan got home in the final over of the match.

It was a nerve wrecker of a game, and I don't know any other team that provides the kind of drama that Pakistan provides on the cricket field.

The fightback from Pakistan after the losses to Australia and India has been remarkable and now we are 1 win away from reaching the semi finals, provided that India do us the favor of beating England today!

Every day is a nerve wrecker for the Pakistan cricket fan.

Make your pitch on this post...



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6 Pitched:

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  2. Jammy K cric said...
     

    Hi,

    India won against the England and India Already Reached to Semi's as i am writing this comment on 4th -July-19. England in already won against Kiwis.
    Now its all depend on Pakistan Vs Bangladesh Cricket Match.
    I wish to see Pakistan on WCC 2019 but it seems difficult this time.
    BTW have you noticed one thing , Green color Puma Cricket Stud shoes of Pakistan Cricket Team.
    Don't you think it looks weird .

    Just kidding .... But well tried by Team.

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