Low skill, high pressure at India-Pakistan cricket: Pakistani dailyMarch 31st, 2011 - 11:58 am ICT by IANS
Islamabad, March 31 (IANS) The India-Pakistan World Cup match “was an affair of low skill and high pressure”, a leading Pakistani daily said, blaming its batsmen for “rash stroke play”. It, however, praised the team for reaching the semifinal that “restored some much-needed pride to an embattled nation”.
An article in the Dawn Thursday said: “The biggest game in the history of World Cup cricket sent India to a home final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai and Pakistan home to an inquisition.”
India beat Pakistan by 29 runs at the match held in Mohali which was witnessed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. The meeting between Gilani and Manmohan Singh has been dubbed cricket diplomacy.
India will now play against Sri Lanka in Mumbai Saturday in the finals.
The article titled “Cricket mania evaporates after anti-climax” observed that when Umar Akmal was bowled out by Harbhajan Singh in the 34th over, “Pakistan’s World Cup dreams looked all but finished, leaving Misbah-ul Haq to supervise an excruciating run chase that was ill-paced and ill-conceived”.
“It wasn’t the glorious final stand that Pakistanis had imagined.”
The article said that the Mohali match “was an affair of low skill and high pressure”.
“India prevailed because they succumbed less to the tension than their visitors. But they felt it too, as ably demonstrated by Sachin Tendulkar’s scratchy and fortunate innings, which bizarrely earned him the man-of-the-match award.”
Describing pacy left-armer Wahab Riaz as Pakistan’s hero, it said that he halted India’s momentum with five dismissals, including the prize wickets of Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh.
“His place had been in question with Shoaib Akhtar lurking for final hurrah, but the young man bowled Pakistan into a match-winning position.”
It, however, lamented that the Pakistani batsmen were unable to capitalise, “even on solid starts that were thrown away with rash stroke play”.
“Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan - Pakistan’s top four - were all culpable.”
Observing that at the halfway point Pakistan had the match in its grasp, it said: “At 100 for 2, they were within sight of a famous triumph, but it was not to be. The pressure of a World Cup run chase was too much for this Pakistan team…”
The article, however, had a word of praise for the Pakistani team.
“Backed by an inadequate and accident-prone administration, Pakistan cricket had reached its lowest ever ebb by the end of last year. By the start of the World Cup, despite some reasonable one-day form and a hint of resilience in the face of adversity, Pakistan were dismissed as also-rans and no-hopers for the world title.
“Instead, the team of (Shahid) Afridi and Waqar Younis thrilled the world at this tournament. They won the hearts of viewers all over the globe, reminded the world of the skill and the audacity of Pakistanis - a people of immense potential battling to overcome the most destructive of circumstances.”
It wrapped up saying the very fact that Pakistan became serious contenders for the title “is a measure of the success that the team achieved”.
“Yes, there is sadness and heartbreak at defeat. Yes, Pakistan cricket is a flawed and disappointing enterprise. But the cricketers of Pakistan restored some much-needed pride to an embattled nation…As well as pride, they also brought much joy. For that alone, Pakistan’s cricketers deserve our gratitude.”
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- World Cup for India is Asia's win too: Pakistani daily - Apr 03, 2011
- Manmohan invites Zardari, Gilani for cricket -- and peace (Intro Roundup) - Mar 25, 2011
- Manmohan, Zardari, Gilani to watch cricket -- for peace (Roundup) - Mar 25, 2011
- India pin hopes on batsmen, Pakistan on bowlers (Roundup) - Mar 29, 2011
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- At half-way stage, Tendulkar half ton takes India to 141 for four - Mar 30, 2011
- Team jubilant after beating Pakistan: Harbhajan - Mar 31, 2011
- Mohali, the nearest Pakistan can play from home (Lead) - Mar 29, 2011
- 'Hosts' India will be under more pressure than Pak in World Cup semi-final: Imran - Mar 27, 2011
- 230 km from Lahore, the nearest Pakistan can hope to play from home - Mar 29, 2011
Tags: cup dreams, dismissals, gilani, haq, harbhajan singh, india pakistan cricket, indian counterpart, inquisition, islamabad, manmohan, manmohan singh, mohali, pakistanis, riaz, sachin tendulkar, virender sehwag, wickets, world cup cricket, yousuf, yuvraj singh