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Pakistan beats India winning first One day series of 2013

Great start to year 🙂

india vs pakistan

Pakistan outclassed India in virtually every area of the game – from the batting of Nasir Jamshed, who scored his second century in as many matches, to the pace bowling of Junaid Khan and Umar Gul, and the wily spin of Saeed Ajmal.

India must now beat Pakistan in the third and final match in Delhi on Sunday to avoid what would be a humiliating whitewash. A victory would restore a small measure of pride after Thursday’s thrashing, but there’s no denying that Indian cricket is going through a rough patch – in all formats.

The ODI defeat is the latest in a run of results that have pushed Indian cricket fans to despair. The World Cup triumph of 2011 and number one Test ranking are now distant memories.

This tour by Pakistan followed a heavy Test series defeat to a touring England side. That was the first time the English had won a Test series here since 1985, and capped off a poor year that started with a Test whitewash in Australia. Wins at home over New Zealand and, in late 2011, the West Indies, barely papered over the cracks. The failure to get to the late stages in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka showed all was not well in the shortest format too.

Established players such as Rahul Dravid stepped down last year, leaving a gaping hole in the Test team. Even Sachin Tendulkar could be on his last legs, announcing his retirement from ODI cricket just ahead of this Pakistan tour. But it’s unlikely that the Little Master, who remains available for the Test team, would have rescued India in Kolkata given his troubled form.

The only man showing any real fight for India, at least in this ODI series against Pakistan, is the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who scored a battling 54 not out Thursday.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in CRICKET

 

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Pakistan Starts in Style …ICC World Cup 2012

Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed cashed in on a below-par performance from New Zealand in the field, putting together an impressive partnership during which their timing and apparent effortlessness in building on an aggressive opening stand stood out. The depth and variety in Pakistan’s bowling, Hafeez’s miserly spell and New Zealand’s questionable tactics in the chase combined to put a target of 178 beyond reach, producing a winning start to Pakistan’s tournament.

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New Zealand had their chances. Hafeez decided to give his inconsistent batting the first go under sunny skies but in conditions where bowlers had assistance. Kyle Mills found early swing and should have had an initially-tentative Hafeez third ball, but Ross Taylor fluffed a straightforward chance at slip. Having dropped his Pakistan counterpart, the New Zealand captain was left flapping his lips when Hafeez launched Daniel Vettori for a six over long-on the next over.

Imran Nazir looked the more assured of the openers, using the depth of the crease well to dispatch Mills’ two short deliveries for boundaries on either side of the ground, and continuing the treatment against Jacob Oram’s half-trackers. Nazir fell in the last over of the Powerplay, caught and bowled by Tim Southee, but by then Hafeez had got into his groove with a couple of flowing drives and was about to be joined by a partner who wasted no time in keeping the momentum intact.

Tall, well-built and powerful, Jamshed was nowhere near brutal in his style of play. He didn’t have to rely on sheer power to achieve what timing, placement and a sound technique did. Against Nathan McCullum‘s round-the-wicket line, he drove inside out, lofting the ball in the vacant space behind extra cover and clearing the ropes twice. He was equally wristy, clipping the ball square and through midwicket and slicing Mills over point for four. Mills was again unlucky, as a perfectly-positioned Rob Nicol at deep square leg spilled a chance off Jamshed, making matters worse by palming the ball for six when the batsman was on 42.

As Jamshed attacked at one end, Hafeez was content to rotate the strike, collecting runs down the ground, jabbing, steering and nudging the ball around for singles and even bludgeoning Nathan McCullum for six over midwicket. He was bowled trying to pull James Franklin in his first over but the 76-run stand with Jamshed had set an excellent launching pad.

New Zealand, though, pulled things back, dismissing Kamran Akmal and Jamshed in successive overs that yielded just 10. But Umar Akmal and the rest counterattacked in the last four. Even though Southee conceded just three in the 18th over, with third man and fine leg inside the circle, a generous dose of length, and misdirected, deliveries helped Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik score 42 in the last four.

New Zealand opened with Kane Williamson, a solid but less-attacking option, and played Vettori, busy, accumulative but not renowned as a big hitter, at No.3. The batting order suggested a strategy that relied heavily on the ammunition in the middle order to lead the surge in the late overs. Though that surge did come, and gave Pakistan plenty of anxious moments, it arrived at a time when the required-rate had reached 14 an over and, in hindsight, a touch too late.

Williamson made 15 in 13 but he had a fluent Rob Nicol at the other end. Nicol showed early intent, charging out to Sohail Tanvir and smacking him over long-on, and going over the top against Yasir Arafat with mid-off inside the circle. Pakistan bowled just one over of spin – from Hafeez, who conceded just 15 in his four-over spell – inside the Powerplay, and their slow bowlers stifled the innings once the field spread out.

Afridi mixed it up well and even found turn but Nicol was dislodged while attempting to cut one that went on straight. Williamson was run out shortly after, and the five overs after the Powerplay produced just 26 runs, with Vettori and Brendon McCullum at the crease. Saeed Ajmal’s first over ended the deadlock with Brendon McCullum, who reverse-swept, stepped out and also cut well, picking him for boundaries. But with the asking rate climbing, the wickets came, Ajmal dismissing Vettori for 18 off 16 and Umar Gul yorking Brendon McCullum, who left his team with 70 needed off 29 balls. By then, Hafeez had completed his spell, with his first three overs only going for five runs.

It was too much to get in the end, despite Oram and Franklin’s quick cameos and Taylor’s assault of three fours in a row against Gul that brought down the equation to 22 off 9 balls. He was run-out brilliantly, courtesy a flat throw to the striker’s end from the deep from Umar Akmal next ball, and the biggest threat in Pakistan’s way, at that point, was eliminated.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2012 in CRICKET

 

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Aussies Bamboozled by Doosra

Ajmal has troubled the Aussies on the spin-friendly wickets in the United Arab Emirates and could lead Pakistan to a series victory in Sharjah on Monday.
The off-spinner claimed 4-32 as Pakistan levelled the series with a seven-wicket win in Abu Dhabi.
Ajmal has been a constant threat against Michael Clarke‘s men, taking seven wickets at a stunning average of 8.85 and an economy rate of 3.10 runs per over.
Pakistan legend Wasim Akram believes the Australians have been unable to pick Ajmal’s doosra and veteran Michael Hussey said the 34-year-old had been the key in the series so far.
“The more you face him, the more you can read him,” Hussey said.
“We’ve got to try to play him better because he’s certainly the one who’s been the difference so far in the two teams.”
The Hussey brothers – Michael and David – have been dismissed by Ajmal in both matches, while Glenn Maxwell has also fallen to the spinner twice.
Clarke has continued to be Australia’s most impressive batsman, scoring 103 runs in the series with a top score of 66 in the opening game.
But the captain remains without a century in his past seven ODI innings despite passing 50 on three occasions.
David Warner averages 35.6 in ODIs this year but has scored just 29 runs in the opening two matches, while opening partner Matthew Wade has managed just 17 this series.
Wade remains without a ton in his 23 innings at ODI level and has three single digit scores in his past six, leaving plenty of room for improvement.
Pakistan have also had their issues with the bat but had Nasir Jamshed (97 in game two) stand up when they needed him to in Abu Dhabi.
Australia have enjoyed strong displays from pace duo Mitchell Starc (five wickets at 17) and James Pattinson (four at 16.25), but Starc is under an injury cloud after complaining of a side/chest injury during the second ODI.
While Clarke’s bowlers have done a solid job, the batsmen must improve and being able to deal with Ajmal would go a long way towards sealing a series win.
 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in CRICKET

 

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