Thursday, March 31, 2011

Did India win or Pakistan lose?

This was one threat that Pakistan would have been facing with the semi-finals being held at an Indian venue. Pakistan, though would have been physically fit to face their arch-rivals, are not so mentally. The Pakistan players might have well prepared themselves for their assault of Indian players on the field but not with the crowd off the same. Afridi and co can only send the ball rolling across the ropes or above the heads but not bottles and paper rockets. Stopping the Indian batsmen consisting of Sachin and co would be much easier than to stop water bottles from striking the deep fielders.

Verbal abuses from say Sreesanth can be stopped by the match officials but not from spectators who'd be waiting for a Pakistani batsman to step out of the dressing room. I wish Andrew Symonds would be the right person to tell you what happened in the finals ODI against India in the seven match one day series in 2007 when viewers got him out for a duck. Sri Lankan team led by Arjuna Ranatunga in 1996 semi-finals would be the right person to convince Afridi as to what to do in India and what not to do. All these if Pakistan is on the verge of victory.

This was the 2nd time a world cup semi-final was held in Mohali after Australia played West Indies in 1996. With that being a secondary issue, coming to the point, though India won their 5th world cup match against Pakistan, explanation regarding dropping of 6 catches is still not satisfactory. No foolish fielder on earth would ever drop Sachin Tendulkar four times and that too in a world cup semi-final match. Pakistani players did everything to see their team lose without giving anybody a chance to point their fingers towards their performance on the field. Afridi's cleverness deserves a lot of applause.

Big partnerships between Hafeez & Shafiq, and Misbah & Umar Akmal stay live and get broken when the situation demanded. A total of 261 can be chased down by India against Australia in quarter-finals but not by Pakistan in semi-finals. There would be a 5 wicket-taker from Pakistan and all Indian bowlers end up with no more than two wickets. That was a rare match where spinner stuns a sub-continent nation with 4 wickets and 1 over maiden. But at the end, the situation is better than what would have happened had India toured Pakistan for any match let alone the semi-finals of a world tournament.

The match might have bought both health and wealth for Afridi with them traveling back safely to Pakistan.

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