Pakistan’s unwavering ability of making dead chases exciting

Misbah-ul-Haq is congratulated by Younis Khan on reaching his half-century © Getty Images

It was really a battle of fluctuating fortunes. It had all the tastes of a prefect ODI. Wickets falling at the wrong times for the batting sides, boundaries coming at the wrong times for the bowling side. In the end, Pakistan came out victorious but only just. The match could have be won without much fuss had it not been for the Pakistan’s unwavering ability  for making dead matches interesting.

The match rested on see-saw bridge until the 99th over of the match, in which Sohail Tanvir finished it off in style.New Zealand started with a boom. Reaching 40-0 inside the first 6-overs, it looked like a rollicking start and revealed much about the flatness of the pitch. The pitch could easily be compared with playing on a road, extremely hard and without any grass. But suddenly the fortunes turned and New Zealand were down to 44-3 in 10th

Misbah scored career best 93 not out and was richly awarded Man Of the Match copyright © PCB

over, thanks to some lackluster batting from the Kiwis. Styris and Williamson came and went and it looked all doom and gloom for New Zealand. Pakistan might have been thinking the same thing instead of the thinking about their strategy and suddenly Franklin and McCullum brothers were ruling the show. B.McCullum contributed quick fire 37 with both Franklin and N.McCullum making half centuries. They were helped significantly by the Green Shirts indiscipline with the ball, giving away 33 extras including 19 wides and two No-balls, thus balling 3 and a half additional overs. The total of 262-7 was not much threatening on one of the flattest pitches in the world but was something worth fighting for New Zealand, who at one time looked unlikely to reach even 170.

Pakistan came out to bat with a bang. With young rising star Ahmad Shehzad smacking Southee for boundaries, The young man looked confident and seems to have a very bright future ahead of him. The start was promising until Hafeez got out with the score standing at 43. However, the case of panic came in when Kamran got out leaving Pakistan 84-3 in the 18th over. In came the senior pair of Misbah and Younis and the calm set in. Both played brilliantly and maturely, picking up gaps and rotating strike. All of a sudden, Vettori was under pressure searching for wickets as the run rate touching 6 and under the batsman’s control with plenty of wickets in the bag for Pakistan. Younis fell in the 38th over with the score at 173. It was an embarrassing slip from Younis. However many thought that he has done his job and the late order should takeover from here. But Pakistan used their ability of making match interesting and in walked out of sorts Umar Akmal. He didn’t have any plan of his own and just nudged and poked without much success leaving Misbah to absorb all the pressure, Atlast a nervous Pakistan took the batting powerplay in the 43rd over. Vettori showed how much he has matured as a captain, and took it upon himself to ball the first over during powerplay with extraordinary results. He took Umar out as well as the nervous Afridi, and suddenly Pakitan were 6 down with run rate slowly creeping up. Misbah held the other end with some delightful display of temperament. Abdul Razzaq came and it seemed the match is finally over with Pakistan 238 in the 47th over.  Then Abdul Razzaq went followed by Wahab Riaz after an over leaving Paksitan 250-8 at the end of 48th over. All the while Misbah kept on going and defied his  critics with a brilliantly paced innings of 93 off 91 balls.  He scripted the win but it was Sohail Tanvir who finished it off in the end, smacking 14 of Southee’s final  over but their were some nerves there too.

Man of the Match without any doubt was Misbah ul Haq for his brilliant display of Techic, Temperament and Application.

Overall a great match to watch, and nail biting finish in the end. Both Captain’s showed deep and sound strategic thinking during fielding. So, now Pakistan go in to the 5th ODI with a 2-1 lead while Vettori battling with a Hamstring injury looking on for changed fortunes in the next match to keep the series alive.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. salman1508
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 15:32:42

    Great Job and quiet nicely written, keep up the good work. Well Done….

    Reply

  2. Hasan
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 22:20:39

    Very well written, containing the right amount of detail and extremely well analyzed. Well done bro. However as a critic, I found one point missing; the number of extra PK conceded (33). You should have also throwm some light on it. Other than that, job well done!

    Reply

  3. Ibrahim Faquir
    Feb 02, 2011 @ 21:32:06

    Awesome!

    Reply

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