Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lucky Pakistan

Well as usual, South Africa have always been at the receiving end of the bad luck, ill fate or mis fortune - whichever you call. But, this time in addition to the Proteas being unlucky, the opposition namely Pakistan were found to be lucky when they made it to the semi finals of the world T20 tournament despite losing two matches in the super eights of the mega tournament. Luck struck Pakistan twice on the same single day, first when they won the game against South Africa and second when England beat New Zealand by 3 wickets (the margin of victory or loss being of little importance here).

Though South Africa were considered as favorites before heading to the match against Pakistan, there is no reason as to why the Pakistanis should not beat them. In fact, Pakistan stood a better chance of wining the game than the South Africans not only for beating them in the previous world cup last year but also owing to the fact that Pakistan stand a better position when it comes to big hitting compared to the Proteas. This is evident from the fact that South Africa still rely upon the age old Jacques Kallis who no doubt falls short when it comes to making the crease while stealing a single.

Though there are the likes of A B Devilliars and Graeme Smith in the South African team, they can make contact with the ball only once in every bluemoon. No doubt that Devilliars is gifted with the ability to hit big shot out of the ground but with the condition that the bat makes contact with the ball which is a rarity in Devilliars' case. Scorecard suggests that Devilliars hit 2 sixes enroute to his 53 which eventually proved to be the highest individual score in the South African innings. But, rather than calling it a decent contribution, it can be referred to as a result of a blind swing of the bat by Devilliars.

Of course, the Pakistani hard hitting batsman Shahid Afridi also belongs to the same category and more than that can be considered as the daddy of them all. But, the other side of the coin also suggests that Shahid Afridi has the ability to spin the ball equivalently like any genuine spinner like say Saqlain Mushtaq or Harbhajan Singh. As a matter of statistics, this is the first time that in a T20 world cup South Africa are eliminated from the world cup not for losing their first match. One can remember the way the Proteas crashed out of the tournament earlier when they lost to India in 2007 and Pakistan in 2009, both of which were their 1st losses in the series.

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