Cricket 2012: How did Pakistan win Asia Cup?
-DR. ABDUL RUFF
Having clinched only their second Asia Cup cricket title in Dhaka on 22 March, Pakistan celebrated a nail-biting victory in the Asia Cup after a two-run win over Bangladesh that was hailed as providing some much-needed relief to the troubled country.
In the finals between Pakistan and Bangladesh, BD won the toss, huge cheers, and have unsurprisingly decided to bowl. And they did as far as possible a fine job of it. And if they win this, it' would be their biggest win in ODIs.
It has been a spirited effort from Bangladesh to restrict Pakistan to a modest total of 236 on a pro-bating track. In fact Pakistan was 202/9 could have collapsed on its own if no run was given but BD wasted too many runs for the last useless wicket- especially 19 runs in the last over which cost them a possible easy win.
The BD bowling and fielding was spot on as they removed Jamshed, Younis and Misbah in a jiffy. Hafeez played himself into a hole and perished trying to get out of it. Azam and Akmal steadied the ship but their dismissals just before the batting PP rocked Pakistan. Afridi was in his elements with a breezy knock but it was a matured knock from Sarfraz which took Pakistan to a fighting total. Afridi was his normal hit-or-depart self, and another promising innings was soon terminated, after a few breathtaking strokes, with a mis-hit to long-off. When Afridi refused to accept his responsibility to stay on , it was Sarfraz ensured Pakistan batted the full 50 overs and Bangladesh finally fell apart in the last one.
Pakistani batboys, baring a few, however, have done well even by making meager a total against the reckless bowlers of Bangladesh. But Pak bowlers were too slow in attacking the BD boys.
Shahadat served up waist-high full tosses, and short and wide deliveries to be carted for 19, and left Pakistan's strength, their bowling, with a decent score to defend.
After a fine bowling, BD began bating well not losing a wicket till 16th over. Then they started losing 2 quick wickets, showing ambiguities. Opener Tamim scored 60 Tamim's departure to Younis Khan's third sharp catch further increased the pressure on the hosts in their first chase in a tournament final. Carrying his nation's hopes once again, Shakib, who offers 6s and eager to hit 6s if opportunity is forthcoming, walked in at 81 for 3 and pulled his first delivery for four. But Afridi and Gul responded with consecutive maiden overs. Shakib got 60 plus and got out but then the fall looked a possibility .
The Asia Cup had finally boiled down to this. 4 runs needed off 1 ball, but BD managed only one run and Pak won the finals and the title. BD had lost their first tournament final by two wickets to Sri Lanka in 2009. The margin is just two runs today.Pakistan was not at a the favorites of the cup this year while Sri Lanka slated to clinch the title as they faulted against India.
Thus, Bangladesh was just one stroke away from the Asia Cup title. But luck smiled to Islamabad and Pakistan came through somehow and prevailed over gutsy Bangladesh.
Bangladesh will be haunted by two particular moments. The final over bowled by Shahadat Hossain in which he conceded 19 runs and their loss in momentum from the bowling power-play. Most of the Bangladeshi players were in tears. It is both pathetic and painful to watch. When the bowlers should have done a neat job.
For Pakistanis the Asia up 2012 was a totally unexpected gift came almost freely due to cricketism efforts by India and Sri Lanka.
1. For a change, Pakistan did not lose all 10 wickets although such has been their practice and hallmark - the fight to retain the last wicket helped Pakistan in a big way as BD leaked too many runs for that wicket.
2. The team that bowls first, restricting the opponents to a small total has enormous advantage to win a match. Bangladesh tried to do that but failed towards the end.
3. Pakistani bowlers did not let the BD batboys to increase run rate to 5 runs per over.
4. Credit to Aizaz Cheema who has somehow done it for Pakistan both with bat first and ball then and Pakistan won the Asia Cup for the second time in their history. Had he wanted to offer 6 or 4 to BD boy, he could have easily done it and commentators would have praised the bot boys his extraordinary" shot.
5. Misbah hinted after the match that it was Bangladesh that has won the match and credit should be shared by both. That could be either his magnanimity or his admission of weaknesses o in Pakistani team.
6. Bangladesh has proved that they are no more the minnows of cricket and are now a strong team and can defeat Pakistan or any other team in the next match whenever it takes place.
7. India, as per hidden agenda to reach the finals along with Pakistan, readily gave 100 plus each to two of Pakistani batboys and got back a big score to win against Pakistan, but it to its own shock failed to reach the finals. Pakistan reached the finals and won it. But in finals BD boys refused to offer even a single 50 plus to Pak boys.
8. Pakistan continues their domination over Bangladesh. Their last defeat against them was in 1999, and 13 years on, they have defeated them in all formats. Dhaka can be regarded their fortress as well. They won their first Asia Cup in 2000 there and they have again won now the Asia Cup also in Dhaka in 2012.
د. عبد راف
Dr. Abdul Ruff, Specialist on State Terrorism; Educationalist;Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA); Independent Analyst;Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements(Palestine,Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc); Anti-Muslimism and anti-Islamism are more dangerous than "terrorism" Anti-Islamic forces & terrorists are using criminal elements for terrorizing the world and they in disguise are harming genuine interests of ordinary Muslims. Global media today, even in Muslim nations, are controlled by CIA & other anti-Islamic agencies. Former university Teacher;/website:abdulruff.wordpress.com/ 91-9961868309/91-9961868309