Posts Tagged ‘abdul razzaq’

After the Test series, Sri Lanka’s first home series win against Pakistan, the two sides move on to ODIs with the tourists looking for revenge. In trying to get their own back, Pakistan will be boosted by the return of ICL exiles Naved-ul-Hasan and Imran Nazir (as well as Abdul Razzaq,back after sitting out the Tests).

After the relative success of both sides in the World Twenty20, the focus shifts to preparation for the World Cup in 2011, but both sides have chosen to focus on experience – whilst Pakistan welcome back their ICL players, Sri Lanka bring back the likes of Thilan Samaraweera. The hosts also enjoy the return of Lasith Malinga (although Dilhara Fernando is available as cover in case the slinger picks up an injury. Meanwhile, the pressure on Mendis to deliver against Pakistan, a side who have played him pretty well, continues to mount amid suggestions that his magic has worn off.

Pakistan will hope that their new opening partnership of Nazir and Kamran Akmal (or whatever other partnership they go for – the squad is as strong as it has been for ages) can deliver, whilst their bowling attack – led by Umar Gul – looks strong as usual. If Shahid Afridi can take his World Twenty20 form into the (slightly) longer form then the tourists have a real chance of victory, but inconsistency (as ever) may prove the largest obstacle to success for Pakistan.

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After all that Pakistani cricket fans have been through recently, there is no set of supporters that deserves something to celebrate as much as they do. With that in mind, congratulations to the side which has just won the World Twenty20 finalShahid Afridi shone again with the bat after Abdul Razzaq had taken 3-20 (continuing the strong impact that he’s had since returning from the ICL) as Sri Lanka fought their way back from 70-6 to set Pakistan 139 to win.

Uncharacteristically, the eventual victors didn’t even put their fans through any last-minute anguish with a collapse, or stumble across the line. At times, there was even a worrying outbreak of sensible batting from Afridi, but luckily he shook that off with a couple of massive sixes to get the party started.

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The tie is the rarest of cricket results, but when there is one, drama is guaranteed. From Asif Mujtaba’s last ball six to South Africa throwing away a place in the World Cup final, cricket ties are far more exciting than their sartorial namesakes.

Sometimes a tie can involve a team coming back from a seemingly impossible situation, such as Abdul Razzaq’s heroics for Pakistan against Sri Lanka, or England’s recent fightback against New Zealand. Sometimes, though, two sides are just well matched, like Zimbabwe and Ireland at the 2007 World Cup.

All of these are better than draws, which are often dull.

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