It’s been quite some time since we last heard something of a happy news from Pakistan cricket, their triumph over Sri Lanka at Abu Dhabi back in May, to be precise. Since then there’s has been nothing but the incidents of disciplinary violations on part of national players, selection controversies, and last but not the least the alluring Indian Crickt League with its monetary jaws wide open to attract the attention of a few national players.
Now, what I’m aiming to write here is about none other than Pakistan’s last night victory over Sri Lanka at the Wanderers in Johanisburg in the ongoing Twenty20 world cup.
In their first encounter of the Super Eight stage, Pakistan eased into a pleasing win over the much hyped Sri Lankans who have shown a class of their own in their recent fixtures at the shortest version of the game. The Sri Lankan went into the game as favorites with the in form hitters like Jayasuria, Jayawardena, Jehan Mubarak and Sangakara while backed up by their battery of pacers like Fernando, Malinga and Vass. However, Pakistan who lost their last match against India to this peculiar rule of bowl out, outclassed the Sri Lankans in all the departments of the game. Struggline on 34 for 3 from 7 overs, Pakistanis resurrected themselves courtesy a dazzling partnership of 101 from 52 balls between Younis Khan and the Captain Shoaib Malik, eventually getting a fighting total of 189 from 20 overs. Both Younas and Shoaib struck splended half centuries where Younas striking the second big six of the tournament. The Sri Lankan didn’t find it easy to chase this rather stiff target, losing their openers in the space of two overs. Asif removed Tharanga while the new comer Sohail Tanvir getting rid of Jayasuria with his first delivery minutes after dropping him of the bowling of Asif. The introduction of spinners tightened the screws on any Sri Lankan comeback and Shahid Afridi took a haul of 3 wickets from his allotted quota of 4 overs. There wasn’t left much when Umer Gul was brought into the attack who tightened it further with a spell of 2 for 14 of 4 overs. At the end Pakistan emerged victorious with a 33 run margin and gave themselves a realistic chance of making it to the semi finals.
All in all it was sort of a performance that might have brought smiles to the Pakistan cricket lovers. The body language, the passion and the visible improvement in the fitness of this young Pakistan side exhibited a glimmer of hope for the future of Pakistan Cricket. Shoaib Malik led from the front with a responsible yet dazzling knock besides marshaling his troops adeptly in the field. And yes, Younas Khan needs a special mention here because of the way he paced his innings even hitting some lustrous sixes and proving himself to be fit for any kind of cricket, whether its Test crick, One day cricket or Twenty20. Keept it up Pakistan! We want some more!