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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Watch India Vs West Indies Live Cricket

Friday, 26 Jun 2009
West Indies flag India flag West Indies Vs India

Venue :1st ODI, Sabina Park, Kingston
Live action starts from: 14:30 GMT (20:00 IST) ODI India Tour of West Indies 2009 One Day International Match

Short stuff may not work this time - Holding

India in West Indies 2009

Short stuff may not work this time - Holding

June 24, 2009

Michael Holding talks with Daren Powell (left) and Jerome Taylor, Headingley, May 24, 2007
Michael Holding: "Fidel can intimidate and will be crucial to use the bouncers as a strategy. Without him, though, it would be tough to bowl that kind of short-pitched intimidatory bowling."

West Indies may have beaten India in the ICC World Twenty20 by using the short-pitched strategy against the batsmen but former fast bowler Michael Holding believes the absence of Fidel Edwards will make it difficult for the hosts to successfully deploy the plan again during the upcoming four-ODI series. Edwards' lower back injury, sustained during the tournament in England, kept him out of the 13-man squad for the first two one-dayers in Jamaica.

"Everyone realises that Fidel is the quickest," Holding told Cricinfo. "He can intimidate and will be crucial to use bouncers as a strategy. Without him, though, it will be tough to bowl that kind of short-pitched intimidatory bowling. Jerome Taylor has not been all that fit in recent times. Since the first Test against England in Jamaica, he has not been 100%."

India succeeded against the weaker attacks of Ireland and Bangladesh during the group stages of the tournament in England, but were startlingly inept against the volley of short balls bowled by the West Indies and England fast bowlers during the Super Eights matches at Lord's. India's susceptibility to the short delivery was no secret but it was the extent of their inability to counter that line of attack which was surprising. Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, the two rising stars going by their performances in the subcontinent and in the IPL, struggled to play the rising ball. Gautam Gambhir, too, was cramped for room while Ravindra Jadeja simply looked out of his depth.

Holding also said he didn't expect Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy to be dropped for the first two matches against India. "There aren't too many bowlers in the Caribbean to say that they should be in the team," Holding said. "But I have been surprised by the exclusion of Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy. They are two young promising cricketers who I thought could be given more opportunities.

"Lendl didn't have a bad tour of England. He is a young cricketer and should be encouraged and nurtured. I can't see any reason why he has been left out especially when I see there are players in the team who didn't play a game in England and have been in the squad for quite some time. ODIs are not something you can predict easily. West Indies have been doing well in the shorter format and I hope they do well against India."

Monday, June 22, 2009

ICC World T20 Image Gallery

Shahid Afridi's knock proved crucial in Pakistan's win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shahid Afridi is mobbed by his team-mates after he guided Pakistan to an eight-wicket win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Pakistan are crowned World Twenty20 champions, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shahid Afridi launches into one, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shahid Afridi gives Shoaib Malik a hug after sealing the win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shoaib Malik supported Shahid Afridi well with his unbeaten 24 , Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

A Pakistan fan cheers her side on, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik celebrate the win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

The Pakistan team is ecstatic after winning the final , Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Intikhab Alam holds aloft the World Twenty20 trophy, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Fawad Alam relishes holding the ICC World Twenty20 trophy, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Shahid Afridi celebrates after hitting the winning run, as Lasith Malinga looks on, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009

Sri Lankan fans can't hide their disappointment, Sri Lanka, June 21, 2009

Afridi fifty seals title for Pakistan

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's

Afridi fifty seals title for Pakistan

June 21, 2009

Pakistan 139 for 2 (Afridi 54*, Akmal 37) beat Sri Lanka 138 for 6 (Sangakkara 64*, Mathews 35*, Razzaq 3-20) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shahid Afridi's knock proved crucial in Pakistan's win, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's, June 21, 2009
Shahid Afridi stood tall with a mature 54 to guide Pakistan home

It wasn't the edge-of-the-seat final that would have signed off the ICC World Twenty20 in style, but that won't matter to Pakistan who gave their nation a something to savour amid troubled times. From the moment Tillakaratne Dilshan, the tournament's top-scorer, fell in the opening over Pakistan had a grip on the match. Shahid Afridi, who emerged as their trump card, guided his team home in the 19th over with an unbeaten 54, and it was left to Younis Khan to raise the trophy in what he later announced would be his final Twenty20 international, in front of a sea of delirious Pakistan supporters.

Pakistan won't be playing at home for the foreseeable future, but the following they have had at this event has reinforced the notion that England can be a surrogate home. The masses were cheering from early on as Abdul Razzaq - a great individual comeback-story among the team's resurgence - claimed three key wickets in his opening burst to leave Sri Lanka on 32 for 4. They never looked back despite the best efforts of Kumar Sangakkara.

Occasionally the tension rose as the required rate climbed, but each time Afridi was on hand with one of his most mature innings. He hit consecutive balls from Muttiah Muralitharan for six and four in the 14th over, a calculated assault against a key bowler. The destination of the trophy was sealed when he swung a huge six over midwicket off Isuru Udana in the 18th over - the moment when Sangakkara gambled on one of his weaker bowling links - and followed that with another boundary off a high full toss.

Shoaib Malik played his part with 24 off 22 balls in a match-winning stand of 76 after Kamran Akmal had given early impetus to the top-order. The batsmen knew they didn't have to take many risks and played Ajantha Mendis better than any other team as he went for his most expensive spell of the tournament.

Pakistan's rise from rank outsiders to champions is an extraordinary display for a team that had to beat Netherlands by a significant margin to even stay in the event during the group stages. However, they have peaked at the right time and couldn't have produced a more complete performance for a final. They fell five runs short two years ago at Johannesburg, but this time there was no mistake.

Top Curve
Prime Numbers

  • 22

    Number of dot balls Pakistan bowled in the first six overs.
  • 53 for 1

    Sri Lanka's average score in the Powerplay overs, before this match. Here, they were reduced to 34 for 4 after six.
  • 129

    The number of runs Shahid Afridi has scored in his last three innings, since moving up to No.3, at a strike rate of 148.27. This run also includes his first two half-centuries in Twenty20 internationals, in successive games.
  • 13

    The number of wickets for Umar Gul in the tournament, exactly as many as in the 2007 edition. In 2007 he averaged 11.92 at an economy rate of 5.60. Here his average was 12.15 at an economy rate of 6.44.
  • 64

    Kumar Sangakkara's score, his second half-century and his highest score in Twenty20 internationals.
  • 3 for 20

    Abdul Razzaq's bowling figures, his best in Twenty20 internationals, and his second three-wicket haul in six matches.
Bottom Curve

Sri Lanka, who have been the model of consistency, were caught off guard by aggressive tactics. In a stirring atmosphere, Pakistan were on top of their game from the start as 17-year-old Mohammad Aamer belied his inexperience with a tone-setting opening over. In a clear plan he bowled short at Dilshan who was distinctly discomforted by the approach. Against the fifth ball Dilshan tried to take the initiative with a scoop over short fine-leg, but only managed to pick out the man on the edge of the circle. He had middled virtually all his attempts at the shot during the tournament and what a time for it to go wrong.

With the tournament's leading run-scorer heading off Pakistan were buoyed and Sri Lanka shaken. Jehan Mubarak was promoted to No. 3, but he couldn't survive the second over when he came down the pitch and got a leading edge into the covers to give Razzaq his first.

Sri Lanka briefly rallied as Sanath Jaysuriya suggested he could marshal a turnaround. Favouring the leg side he swung Razzaq for six with a forceful short-arm pull and collected four more next ball, but it was a short-lived response when an inside edge crashed into the stumps. Razzaq was flat on his face at the moment of dismissal after slipping in his follow-through but it was Sri Lanka who were feeling unsteady.

Younis Khan went on the attack and his decision to post a wide slip paid rich dividends when Mahela Jayawardene steered the ball straight to Misbah-ul-Haq at ankle height. Razzaq was playing his cricket with a new lease of life after being giving another crack at international level. He wasn't part of the original squad, but Yasir Arafat's injury that prompted the switch now looked like a stroke of fortune.

Four wickets inside the Powerplay meant Sri Lanka had little choice but to play it safe as Younis turned to his spinners. Sangakkara was calmness personified amid Sri Lanka's problems aware that the hopes of a decent total rested on his shoulders. He paced his innings expertly, reaching fifty off 44 balls despite the problems that surrounded him, but only found support when joined by Angelo Mathews.

The final five overs brought 59 runs and if any attack could make a game out of 138 it was Sri Lanka's. However, early wickets were key and they didn't materialise as Akmal and Shahzaid Hasan played sensibly. The wizardry of Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan and the accuracy of Lasith Malinga have provided wonderful entertainment over the last weeks, but on this occasion couldn't conjure the magic spell that was needed.

As Afridi and Malik embraced mid-pitch after the winning moment the emotion showed what this victory means for Pakistan. They needed this success most and perhaps that drive was the deciding factor. The country faces a difficult few years of rebuilding, but this victory will have brought great joy and, hopefully, belief of a brighter future.

Cornered tigers roar once again

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's

Cornered tigers roar once again

June 21, 2009

Pakistan fans back home after their team's win, Islamabad, June 21, 2009
Pakistan's victory brought joy in the streets of Islamabad and the scenes will be repeated all over the country

A Pakistan with momentum is a beast that cannot be contained. England discovered that fact to their cost in 1992 at Melbourne, when Imran Khan's cornered tigers sprung at their throats to seize the country's first major global title. And now, a generation later but in a campaign of distinct and glorious parallels, Sri Lanka have also sampled the unstoppable alchemy that occurs when cricket's most emotional and temperamental participants find a way to meld their ambitions to their deeds.

It doesn't always end up this way. Two years ago against India, in the inaugural World Twenty20 final in Johannesburg, Pakistan blew their chance for glory when Misbah-ul-Haq choked on his emotions at the end of a stunning match-turning counterattack, and chose the wrong ball to flick over fine leg. And then, of course, there was Pakistan's last appearance in the 50-over World Cup final, against Australia right here at Lord's in 1999, when the conviction in the performance and the margin in the result - eight wickets - exactly mirrored today's effect and upshot.

In fact, it is a decade and a day since Pakistan's demolition at the hands of Australia, and only two players remain from that match. Abdul Razzaq bowled two overs that day for 13, having limped to 17 from 51 balls while batting at No. 3; Shahid Afridi flogged two fours in 16 balls, and wasn't called upon to put his legspin into practice. Ten years and a thousand memories later, Razzaq and Afridi rose to the needs of the hour and turned themselves into the game's critical performers. Like the identities of the teams in this poignant final, it was a detail that can only have been scripted by the fates.

"Me, Shahid and Razzaq, we were chatting with the guys: 'Please this time we will hold our nerves and make our final touch'," said Younis, who added how surprised he had been by the maturity of Afridi's batting. "He took singles," he said in admiration of a man who added calculation to his aggression, and paced the chase to perfection. Two lusty swipes into the stands thrilled a packed Lord's, but not half as much as the scruffy leg-bye with which the title was sealed. Rare is the Pakistan team that puts substance over style, but when it occurs, the overall effect is electrifying.

As for Razzaq, he had his own reasons to impress - his omission from the last World Twenty20 in South Africa was the catalyst for his defection to the ICL, which in turn led to his two-year exile from international cricket. He cut through the red tape last month, but only returned as a replacement for the injured Yasir Arafat last week. Nevertheless, he slipped effortlessly into his time-honoured utility role, this time as an under-rated old hand to balance the youthful aggression of Wasim Akram's acolyte, Mohammad Aamer. After nine deliveries of the final, old and young had claimed a pair of ducks between them. And those lead weights of expectation had been alchemised into gold.

Both the captain and his Man of the Match hail from the troubled North West Frontier Province, and Afridi himself from the Khyber Agency, the symbolic frontline of Pakistan's War on Terror. Chaos can seem at times to be embedded in the Pakistani DNA, but as both men showed in their performances in this tournament, it does not have to be this way

Younis has now stepped aside from Twenty20 cricket, much as Imran Khan bowed out on a high in 1992. For all his quiet insistence that this competition lacks the prestige of the 50-over World Cup, he knows that he and his players have achieved something wonderful, and every bit as lasting as the memories forged by Imran, Miandad, Wasim and Mushtaq, way back in the mists of time.

"I'm the second Khan winning a World Cup for Pakistan, so I'm very proud of my Khans," said Younis. "This is my dream. I dreamed all the time of lifting the World Cup. My thinking in all my career is that I will be remembered for a team like 1992. I was not in the Imran Khan team, and this is a dream come true. I'm really happy. Though this World Cup is Twenty20, at least we won our second World Cup. This is a gift to our whole nation."

He is not wrong. To get a sense of how much Pakistan needed this victory, you have to look beyond the bedlam in the stands at Lord's where a shimmer of bouncing green shirts gave a surface-level glimpse of the euphoria, and instead burrow deep into the parks and gullies of Karachi, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Peshawar, where a nation starved of joy has been given the timeliest succour. It is arguable, in fact, that there has been no more timely sporting victory since a newly unified South Africa won the Rugby World Cup back in 1995.

Where Francois Pienaar's Springboks drew a newly unified nation ever more tightly together, the achievement of Younis's men has been to help slow the fragmentation of a state that is rapidly being considered by the world at large to have failed. Both the captain and his Man of the Match hail from the troubled North West Frontier Province, and Afridi himself from the Khyber Agency, the symbolic frontline of Pakistan's War on Terror. Chaos can seem at times to be embedded in the Pakistani DNA, but as both men showed in their performances in this tournament, it does not have to be this way.

"If you see the whole nation, where law and order is not good, we are from them," said Younis. "How can we be consistent? With these kind of things going for us, if you see our cricket it is all the time suffering from a lot of things. After that we are still winning the World Cup. It is a great achievement for us. I am requesting to all of the countries you must come to Pakistan. Everybody knows law and order is not good but it is not our fault."

For the moment, any prospect of cricket resuming in Pakistan is futile, despite the joy of this occasion and the hope for the future that it generates. But in the shorter term, what we witnessed at Lord's today was the will of a troubled nation to pull in the same direction. From the fight within the team to the reaction around the stands, it was clear how much the notion of Pakistan still means. Next summer, the prospect exists of England hosting their "home" Test series against Australia. Today was a taster of the euphoria that would bring. It must be allowed to happen.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ICC World T20 Live

Sunday, 21 Jun 2009
Pakistan flag Sri Lanka flag Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :Lord"s, London
Live action starts from: 14:00 GMT (19:30 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 2009, Final

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 2009, final, Lord's

Journey a triumph of human spirit

June 20, 2009

Match facts

Sunday June 21

Start time 1500 local (1400 GMT)

Kumar Sangakkara and Younis Khan stand alongside each other for the national anthems, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Lord's, June 12, 2009
Sport's great gift for reinvention has delivered a contest that flicks two fingers at the perpetrators of the Lahore atrocity

Big Picture

On the morning of March 3 in Lahore, the world of cricket was shaken to the core. The horrific attack on the Sri Lankan team bus, as it pulled into the Gadaffi Stadium ahead of the third day of the second Test against Pakistan, was the moment a thousand preconceptions were destroyed. Cricket's presumptions to diplomatic immunity had been mocked by the forces of evil, and as Pakistan spiralled into sporting exile and Sri Lanka's traumatised players rushed home to the bosom of their families, the obvious reaction was to wonder "what now?" for the great game.

Three and a half months later, and sport's great gift for reinvention has delivered a contest that flicks two fingers at the perpetrators of the Lahore atrocity, and proves that - without wishing to overload the sentiment - the human spirit cannot be crushed by cold calculation. Pakistan and Sri Lanka will take center stage at Lord's on Sunday for the final of the most joyful international tournament the game has arranged in years. Twenty20 may be cricket for hedonists, but after everything these two teams and their respective nations have been through of late, the need to lay on a party suddenly feels like the only serious obligation.

"It is a fitting reward for the courage of the team in the way they have played the tournament," said Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's statesmanlike captain. "All the players have got through Lahore, but what it brought home to us is that we are just the same as everyone else. Sometimes it is nice to be reminded of your mortality, especially when the press and everyone else blows you up to be more than that in this sporting culture. But we've shown no fear and we've gone to play cricket, and it's a fitting reward for that attitude."

If Sri Lanka enter the final as favourites, it is only by dint of their exceptional consistency throughout the tournament. Unlike South Africa, the one-dimensional steamrollers who were spectacularly upstaged by the mercurial Pakistanis at Trent Bridge, Sri Lanka's unbeaten run owes itself, if you like, to a Barcelona-style carousel system, in which the identity of the day's gamebreaker is impossible to call until the damage has already been done. One day, Ajantha Mendis will sweep through the midfield, the next it's Lasith Malinga, while Muttiah Muralitharan's enduring class allows no liberties to be taken against his four overs. And then, every once in a while, up will pop a totally random destroyer, such as Angelo Mathews, the three-wicket wrecking ball against West Indies on Friday.

And yet, Pakistan have developed some serious momentum in the latter stages of the tournament. Their captain, Younis Khan, laughed in the face of their group-stage trouncing against England, dismissing Twenty20 cricket as "fun", and later likened it to WWF wrestling as well. His comments caused consternation at the time, particularly for the thousands of passionate Pakistan fans whose presence and exuberance at all matches have been among the highlights of the competition. But internally, his words had a soothing effect on a side that had lacked meaningful match practice since a low-key one-day series in UAE. As soon as they hit their stride with a walloping of New Zealand at Lord's, Younis' impassioned defence of his star bowler, Umar Gul, in the face of ball-tampering insinuations, left no-one in any doubt as to the galvanised nature of their campaign.

Gul's peerless death bowling remains one reason why Pakistan have the potential to go one step better than in 2007, when Misbah-ul-Haq's traumatic aberration delivered India a five-run victory and instigated a Twenty20 revolution. Shahid Afridi's big-game mentality and bamboozling legspin is another. Set against their wiles is the sensational form and innovative eye of Tillakaratne Dilshan, who produced his most orthodox innings of the tournament on Friday and still came within ten yards of posting the second century in Twenty20 international history.

But whatever happens, it's all about to come down to 40 overs of fiesta cricket in front of a packed house at Lord's, and on this occasion, the old adage "to the victors, the spoils" somehow doesn't seem fitting. Sunday's final is not merely a celebration of cricket, it is a celebration of life. And that's a very serious reason to abandon any lingering hang-ups about the place of 20-over cricket in the grander scheme of the game, and simply get on with the important business of letting the hair down. Joie de vivre has carried these two teams into the final, and it will sustain them in victory or defeat.

Tournament record

(most recent first)

Pakistan WWWLWL

Sri Lanka WWWWWW

Watch out for...

Tillakaratne Dilshan plays the scoop, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Lord's, June 12, 2009
Dilshan has been in outstanding form, and has played the "Dilscoop" to great effect

Tillakaratne Dilshan has been the tournament's outstanding run-maker, and one of the format's great innovators as well, with his so-called "Dilscoop" turning back-of-a-length dot-balls into undefendable boundaries over the keeper's head. His tally of 317 runs - almost double the number of any other player in the final - have come at an average of 63.40 and a strike rate of nearly three runs every two balls, but his magnificent 96 not out in the semi-final victory over West Indies was especially notable for its normality. He simply middled every shot he attempted, and with 14 boundaries to 15 dot-balls, it reeked of a serious batsman in princely form.

Umar Gul

Daniel Vettori was so bewildered by Gul's mastery of line, length and late swing during New Zealand's Super Eight derailment that after the game he (unwittingly or otherwise) called into question the honesty of the methods employed. Younis' reaction was apoplectic, as he demanded an end to the suspicions that habitually surround Pakistani success, and instead called for an acknowledgment of a bowler at the absolute peak of his powers. Gul's figures that day of 5 for 6 may prove to be Laker-esque in their endurance in the record-books, but subsequent performances have shown it was no one-off. His appearance, invariably in the second ten overs of an innings, can bring all momentum to a shuddering halt.

Team news

Both teams may want to retain their winning line-ups.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Kamran Akmal (wk), 2 Shahzaid Hasan, 3 Shahid Afridi, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Younis Khan (capt), 6 Misbah-ul-Haq, 7 Abdul Razzaq, 8 Fawad Alam, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammad Aamer.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Jehan Mubarak, 7 Angelo Mathews, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, 11 Ajantha Mendis.

Stats and Trivia

  • Pakistan and Sri Lanka have both contested two 50-over World Cup finals in the past, with one victory and one defeat apiece. Pakistan beat England in the final at Melbourne in 1992, then lost to Australia at Lord's in 1999. Sri Lanka beat Australia at Lahore in 1996, then lost to the Aussies at Bridgetown in 2007.

  • Pakistan, of course, contested the inaugural World Twenty20 final as well, when they lost by 5 runs against India at Johannesburg.

  • All five of the tournament's leading wicket-takers will be on display in the final. Mendis, Gul, Malinga and Ajmal have all taken 12 wickets, Afridi is tucked in behind them on 10.

    Click here for more stats.


    "Sanath is always a big-match player. He's won a lot of matches for us in the past, and I think he's going to win a lot more in the next few years as well. As long as he's fit and is performing, we are happy to have him in the side. I think he'll do something special in the final."

    Sri Lanka's captain Kumar Sangakkara talks up the form and focus of Sanath Jayasuriya, who was off-colour during the semi-final victory over West Indies.

    "I used to think of myself as a batsman three to four years ago because that is how everyone started to think of me. But I was moved around so much the order that I just went back to concentrating on bowling. I told Younis I wanted to bat up the order and it worked."

    Shahid Afridi concedes that bowling is his strongest suit these days, despite his destructive batting against South Africa at Trent Bridge.

Top-order batting gives Sri Lanka an edge

Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 final, Lord's

Top-order batting gives Sri Lanka an edge

Cricinfo looks at the important numbers ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 final

June 20, 2009

The path to the final has been quite a contrast for the two teams, with Sri Lanka winning six in a row and Pakistan losing two along the way, but none of that will matter when the two teams clash for the title in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 final at Lord's on Sunday. Cricinfo looks at the important numbers ahead of that final.

The overall numbers

Sri Lanka have been consistency personified in the tournament so far, winning all six games, and are only another victory away from equalling South Africa's record of seven wins in a row. Standing in their way, though, is a resurgent Pakistan outfit, who have shrugged off two defeats early in the tournament, and were particularly impressive in their semi-final win against South Africa.

The form book still favours Sri Lanka, but not by much. They have been the better team with the bat so far, with a higher average and run rate, while there's little to choose between the bowling efforts of the two teams. Sri Lanka have taken 50 wickets so far - the highest by any team in the tournament - while Pakistan are second-best with 46, but there's hardly any difference between the bowling averages and the economy rates of the two teams.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the tournament so far
TeamBat averageRun rateBowl averageEcon rateDiff in aveDiff in R rate
Sri Lanka27.488.0816.267.0911.220.99

The first six overs

Thanks largely to Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka are clearly the better batting team at the start of the innings, scoring plenty of runs, and doing so without losing too many wickets. Dilshan has scored 317 runs so far - the highest in the tournament - of which 156 have come in the first six overs. He has only been dismissed once during this period, which gives him a fantastic average of 156, at a strike rate of 9.73 runs per over during the Powerplay overs. In comparison, Sanath Jayasuriya has a strike rate of 6.70 in the first six. Dilshan has hammered 25 fours in the 90 balls he has faced in the Powerplays, and how Pakistan control him early in the innings could have a huge bearing on Sunday's result.

Pakistan, on the other hand, have been sluggish at the start, averaging only 7.38 runs per over in the first six, which is less than the rate at which they have conceded runs during this period. As the table below indicates, Sri Lanka have generally taken the initiative at the start, while Pakistan have relied on fightbacks in the later overs to make up for lost ground in the early part of the innings.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the first six overs
TeamBat averageRun rateBowl averageEcon rateDiff in aveDiff in r rate
Sri Lanka63.208.7723.727.2539.481.52

The middle eight overs (7-14)

This is where Pakistan have generally begun their fightback. The batting has been solid, while the bowlers have taken 18 wickets, the highest by any team during the middle overs. Sri Lanka's bowlers have been effective too, with 15 wickets at an excellent economy rate, but their batsmen have tended to lose the momentum of the early overs, averaging less than seven runs per over.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the middle eight overs
TeamBat averageRun rateBowl averageEcon rateDiff in aveDiff in r rate
Sri Lanka27.756.9319.266.028.490.91

The last six overs

Pakistan have been outstanding with the ball during this period, taking 20 wickets at an exceptional economy rate of less than seven runs per over. Sri Lanka have taken more wickets during this period - 24 - but they've also gone at more than eight-and-a-half per over. Both teams have had exceptional bowlers to handle the final overs: Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Lasith Malinga have all taken eight wickets at sub-ten averages and excellent economy rates (5.25 for Ajmal, 5.55 for Gul, and 7.44 for Malinga).

Sri Lanka have been the better team, though, averaging almost one run more per over (8.94 to 7.96).

Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the last six overs
TeamBat averageRun rateBowl averageEcon rateDiff in aveDiff in r rate
Sri Lanka17.388.9410.958.576.430.37

Partnership stats

The table below again illustrates how important the opening partnership has been for Sri Lanka: they've scored 300 runs at an average of 50 and a rate of 8.57 per over, which is far superior to Pakistan's effort at the top of the order. Pakistan's best efforts have been for the second and fourth wickets, while Sri Lanka have slipped up slightly during these periods. Overall, though, Sri Lanka have had far more meaningful partnerships than Pakistan - seven half-century and one century stand for the Lankans, compared to just three fifty partnerships for Pakistan.

Wicket-wise partnerships for Pakistan and Sri Lanka
WicketPak - ave standRun rate100s/ 50sSL - ave standRun rate100s/ 50s
First22.167.180/ 050.008.571/ 2
Second31.668.440/ 021.507.160/ 1
Third18.336.600/ 132.007.430/ 2
Fourth39.167.870/ 227.838.350/ 2
Fifth24.007.020/ 020.008.450/ 0
Sixth22.007.540/ 028.009.330/ 0

Run-scoring patterns

Contrary to what one might expect, Pakistan have played out fewer dot balls, taken more singles, twos and threes, and hit fewer boundaries. Sri Lanka have struck 107 fours to 69 for Pakistan, though Pakistan are slightly ahead in the sixes tally (17 to 14). Dilshan alone has smashed 46 fours, the highest in the tournament - Jacques Kallis, in second place, has 28.

How Pakistan and Sri Lanka have scored their runs
TeamDot ballsPercentage1s, 2s, 3sPercentage4s & 6sPercentage
Sri Lanka27238.0932144.9612116.95

Sri Lanka have also bowled more dot balls at their opponents, though Pakistan have been more stingy in terms of conceding boundaries.

How Pakistan and Sri Lanka have conceded their runs
TeamDot ballsPercentage1s, 2s, 3sPercentage4s & 6sPercentage
Sri Lanka30544.3329142.309113.23

The extras factor

Pakistan have bowled eight no-balls to just three by Sri Lanka, with Gul and Sohail Tanvir each contributing three. Sri Lanka have been guilty of conceding more wides, though - 28, to 24 by Pakistan. Malinga leads the tally with 12, while Isuru Udana and Gul have bowled seven each.

Bat first or field first?

Both teams have shown a clear preference for batting first and then putting the pressure on the opposition with their incisive bowling attacks. Five out of Sri Lanka's six wins have come when batting first (the only exception was against Australia, when they chased down 160), while Pakistan have won every time they have batted first. Of the three occasions when they have batted second, they have lost twice, with the only win coming against New Zealand. Given that it'll be a high-pressure game on Sunday, it's almost certain the team winning the toss will choose to bat first.


Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played each other four times in Twenty20 internationals, and each team has won twice. This includes a meeting in a final, of a four-nation tournament in Canada, which Sri Lanka won by five wickets.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watch ICC World T20 1st Semi Final Live

Pakistan v South Africa at Nottingham
Jun 18 (17:30 local, 16:30 GMT)

Pakistan v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, 1st semi-final, Trent Bridge

Science v art in clash of cultures

June 17, 2009

Match facts

Thursday June 18
Start time 1730 local (1630 GMT)

Shoaib Malik made 28, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, Lord's, June 12, 2009
The batting needs the likes of Shoaib Malik to really get his show going © Getty Images

Big Picture

It's first a clash of ethos, of philosophies and even of time, more than a semi-final. Here is truly man against machine, the art of cricket against the science of it, cricket's future and cricket's past. South Africa's progress to this point has been smooth, well-planned, calculated and inevitable, as if their players were born to do this. Pakistan have got here in shambles - losing games, winning some, treating it all as a bit of fun - and the players not so much born to do this are struggling to discover why they are doing it at all.

South Africa lack nowhere and nothing. If Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith are the efficient drones at the top, there is heart in the middle, with the ever-frail skills of Herschelle Gibbs and the creativity of AB de Villiers. Even Albie Morkel, in whom there are glimpses of Zulu, thankfully smiles more. They've always had pace, but now they even have spinners, who are not batsmen forced to bowl. Sure, they are a little one-dimensional (watching videos of Umar Gul's yorkers?), but they are spinners - South African and successful; how often have we said that in the past?

The whole machinery is intimidating, determined to iron out all kinks, the mission pre-programmed; with seven consecutive wins in this format, they have apparently also taken the inherent unpredictability of this format out of the equation. They are well-trained, well-oiled, and their psychologist talks about 120 contests and of processes over outcomes and how choking is not really an issue anymore. They win even warm-up matches and the dead games because every game counts. They are cricket's future.

Pakistan are the past. They are wholly dysfunctional, but just about getting along, though unsure where they are going. They don't control their extras, they don't run the singles hard and they field as if it were still the 60s. They are least bothered about erasing the flaws because any win will be in spite of them. They did hire a psychologist though, and you can only imagine what those sessions were like and how much they actually talked about sport and cricket. There are permanent mutterings of serious rifts. They may not bat, bowl or field well all the time, but sometimes, they do what can only be described as a 'Pakistan': that is, they bowl, bat or field spectacularly, briefly, to change the outcome of matches. You cannot plan or account for this as an opponent because Pakistan themselves don't plan or account for it.

It can come from any person, any discipline, but on evidence, it is likelier to come from the bowling. The batting needs Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq to really get their show going. A piece of fielding brilliance cannot be discounted, but generally both Pakistan and West Indies have happily disproved the dictum that in T20 cricket you have to be Jonty Rhodes to get anywhere. Heroes will likely be found among the Umar Guls, the spinners and maybe even Mohammad Aamer, who is a throwback to the late 80s and early 90s, when Pakistani fast bowlers were born ready to play international cricket.

The pressure on South Africa however, will be greater. They are expected to win this and anyway they will always have the whole 'chokers' tag to deal with until the day they actually lift a big trophy. It doesn't help that they look as good as they did during the 1999 World Cup, though they are easier on the eye. Pakistan, as Younis Khan said before leaving for England, won't much mind a semi-final spot; Kamran Abbasi rightly noted that they may have had an easier ride to the semis than most but no country has had a rougher two years. Clearly they'd love to win it, but they have already achieved more than many thought and a loss wouldn't be the end of the world. But importantly, as the only side to make it to the last four in 2007 and 2009, they have underscored their significance in this brave new, T20 world, a world in which they absolutely cannot be ignored.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Pakistan WWLWL

South Africa WWWWW

Watch out for...

Roelof van der Merwe celebrates Brendon McCullum's dismissal with Herschelle Gibbs, New Zealand v South Africa, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's, June 9, 2009
The whole South African machinery is intimidating - determined to iron out all kinks, the mission pre-programmed

Albie Morkel has been a quiet, steady ever-present through South Africa's tournament. But he is capable of bigger, more explosive things especially with the bat and this match - and potentially the next - are the best platforms for it.

Shahid Afridi's moment turned the tournament for Pakistan, an outstanding catch hastening New Zealand's collapse, and possibly himself - at least with the bat. Since then he has batted with rare sense, as everyone has wished him to, and at little expense to his strike rate. He will be a factor with the ball anyway, but if he gets going with the bat, then South Africa will panic.

Team news

Pakistan have finally settled upon what they feel is their best line-up, more by chance than design. Barring injury, there are unlikely to be any changes.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Shahzaib Hassan, 2 Kamran Akmal (wk), 3 Shoaib Malik, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq, 5 Younis Khan (capt), 6 Abdul Razzaq, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Fawad Alam, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Mohammad Aamer, 11 Saeed Ajmal

Jacques Kallis will come back in for Morne Morkel after being rested for the dead game against India.

South Africa: (probable) 1 Graeme Smith, 2 Jacques Kallis, 3 Herschelle Gibbs, 4 AB de Villiers, 5 JP Duminy, 6 A Morkel, 7 M Boucher, 8 Johan Botha, 9 Roelof van der Merwe, 10 Wayne Parnell, 11 Dale Steyn

Pitch and conditions

The surface for this match is two along from the one that turned square for the South Africa-India match and is expected to be harder and offer less help for the spinners. However, the slow bowlers have had an impact throughout so are still likely to be key. Steady rain arrived in Nottingham on the practice day, but is due to clear overnight and the forecast for Thursday is fine.

Stats and Trivia

  • Pakistan and South Africa have six bowlers in the top 10 wicket-takers of the tournament, though Pakistanis occupy the top two spots.

  • Three of the top 10 run-scorers of the tournament are from South Africa and Pakistan, with AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis at numbers two and three.


    "Our bowling has been great and all of them are now bowling in rhythm. The batsmen have to support the bowlers if we are to win this cup."

    Younis Khan points out the areas of improvement.

    ""I think we've come past that. This team has come a long way and I think we've proven that. Hopefully we can show that on Thursday, that's what is exciting about it. "

    Graeme Smith dismisses talk of being 'chokers'.

    "It's great to be in a position where you can rock up to a ground, look at the wicket and know you have all the bases covered. We aren't really worried what the wicket will be."

    Mark Boucher believes South Africa can cope with any conditions that are thrown at them.

Watch Live Cricket Matches On Friday, 19 Jun 2009 (ICC T20)

Friday, 19 Jun 2009

South Africa flag Pakistan flag South Africa Vs Pakistan

Venue :Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Live action starts from: 16:30 GMT (22:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Sri Lanka flag West Indies flag Sri Lanka Vs West Indies

Venue :Kennington Oval, London
Live action starts from: 16:30 GMT (22:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Monday, June 15, 2009

ICC Twenty20 Live matches On Tuesday 16 June 2009

Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009
South Africa flag India flag South Africa Vs India

Venue :Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Live action starts from: 16:30 GMT (22:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

New Zealand flag Sri Lanka flag New Zealand Vs Sri Lanka

Venue :Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Forewarned means forearmed

England v India, ICC World Twenty20, Lord's

Forewarned means forearmed

June 13, 2009

Match facts

Sunday, June 14
Start time 1730 local (1630 GMT)

Big Picture

Yuvraj Singh gets stuck into one, Bangladesh v India, ICC World Twenty20, Trent Bridge, June 6, 2009
England will remember Yuvraj Singh's assault when the two teams meet at Lord's

Well, that's livened things up a bit. West Indies' stunning seven-wicket win over India on Friday has transformed the dynamics of Group E, and left the holders facing what is, in effect, an elimination show-down with the hosts. On paper it ought not even to be close - when England and India last faced each other in a limited-overs contest, in India in November, a unprecedented 7-0 whitewash was only averted by the abandonment of the tour due to the Mumbai terror attacks.

Nothing that England have done in this tournament to date gives much reason to believe they have a prayer of progressing any further. A laughable defeat against the Dutch was followed by a competent dismissal of a distracted Pakistan, but their humbling against South Africa on Thursday was a truer reflection of their standing. Quite simply, they were outclassed, rolled over for 111 - the lowest total of the competition so far - and routed by Jacques Kallis on cruise control.

India, by contrast, were progressing pretty serenely (give or take the odd testy press conference) until their surprise derailment at the hands of Dwayne Bravo. They qualified comfortably from a weak group made up of Bangladesh and Ireland, and it's possible they were caught unawares by the sudden step-up in class that West Indies presented.

Whatever the reasons, forewarned means forearmed. The last time these two sides met in the World Twenty20, in Durban in September 2007, Yuvraj Singh strode into history with his brutalising of a young Stuart Broad, and India marched into the final stages as England skulked home early from yet another global tournament. Little we've witnessed thus far in 2009 suggests the story will be any different. But then again, shocks are part and parcel of this format, and any side containing an in-form Kevin Pietersen cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Semi-final chances

A win for either team will obviously boost their chances of making it to the semis, but India have far more riding on this game than England. If India lose on Sunday, they are definitely out, since the winner of the England-West Indies game on Monday will join South Africa on two wins and knock India out even if they win their last game.

If England lose, however, there is still a chance for them if they beat West Indies, and if South Africa beat India. In that case, South Africa will finish with three wins, while England, India and West Indies will all have one each, bringing net run rates into play.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
England: LWLLW
Up and down, up and down. England's yo-yo performances demonstrate just how inexact their science is when it comes to Twenty20. Paul Collingwood said his team would carry on attacking despite their defeat against South Africa, but the best sides are able to adapt on the hoof.

India: LWWLL
A brace of defeats in New Zealand earlier this year dented India's overall record, but they have still won nine of their 15 T20Is dating back to December 2006.

Watch out for...

Yuvraj Singh's astounding feat under the Durban floodlights was the unequivocal highlight of the last World Twenty20, as he battered Broad for six consecutive sixes. There has been mutual antipathy between Yuvraj and England ever since, compounded by the success his left-arm spin has enjoyed against Pietersen. With 67 from 43 balls in the West Indies defeat, he's certainly in form ahead of the rematch.

Ravi Bopara has been tipped by Sachin Tendulkar, no less, as a very "special" talent, and Indian audiences already know what he's about, after he produced one of the finest innings of the IPL - 84 from 59 balls for King's XI Punjab against Royal Challengers Bangalore. After two consecutive failures against Pakistan and South Africa, he's due a return to form.

Team news

After a false start against Netherlands, England seem to have settled upon their best eleven for this format, with Adil Rashid impressing as the second spinner, and Dimitri Mascarenhas taking the pace off the new ball. Despite crashing horribly at Trent Bridge, it's hard to see how they can improve the team, short of shooing in Graham Napier for his international debut.

England: (probable) 1 Ravi Bopara, 2 Luke Wright, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood (capt), 6 Dimitri Mascarenhas, 7 James Foster (wk), 8 Graeme Swann, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 James Anderson.

The loss of Virender Sehwag was a blow to their big-hitting aspirations, but India still possess oodles of potent thwackers all the way down the order, even as far as Harbhajan Singh at No. 8. It's unlikely they'll be altering what was, up until Friday, a winning formula.

India: (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha

Stats and Trivia

  • England and India have only played in one Twenty20 international to date - Yuvraj's match in Durban, which finished up as 18-run win for India.

  • Despite their habitual lack of success (seven victories in 18 matches) seven of the England players who contested that match are likely starters this time around.

  • Six different Indian batsmen have struck 13 sixes between them so far in the tournament. England's tally is eight.


"We were able to raise the required run rate close to 10 runs per over, we were good at that, but he took the game away from us."
India's captain, MS Dhoni, rues the impact that Dwayne Bravo had on their last match at Lord's.

"We're not going to win by sitting back. Twenty20 cricket is about putting the opposition under pressure from ball one. We've got to make sure we have the attitude of 'keep going for it'. We're not going to get anywhere by being conservative ."
England's captain Paul Collingwood promises a full-frontal assault for the remainder of the tournament.

Charismatic Pakistan live to fight

New Zealand v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20, The Oval

Charismatic Pakistan live to fight

June 13, 2009

Pakistan 100 for 4 (Shahzaib 35, Afridi 29*, Vettori 2-20) beat New Zealand 99 (Gul 5-6, Razzaq 2-17) by six wickets

How they were out

Umar Gul gets a hug from Shahzaib Hasan after getting Peter McGlashan's wicket, New Zealand v Pakistan, ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, The Oval, June 13, 2009
New Zealand batsmen were clueless against the accuracy and late swing of Umar Gul

Pakistan have bitten another bullet, in style. At the toss Younis Khan seemed relieved, almost trying to suppress laughter, when he called this a do-or-die match. It was as if he liked that there was no choice left, and his team showed they relished being in such a situation. By the end of the night, Pakistan had done, and left dying for another time. Abdul Razzaq, formerly a pariah and now making a comeback to official cricket after two years, struck with the fourth ball he bowled, and then in his third over to skittle the New Zealand top order, which was followed by Umar Gul's destruction. Gul was on a hat-trick twice and also became the first bowler to take a five-for in Twenty20 internationals.

Those two spells sandwiched a period when the spinners choked the life out of the middle order as a weakened New Zealand, missing Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor, stumbled to a meagre total on a belter of a pitch at The Oval. Debutant opener Shahzaib Hasan threatened to finish the match in a hurry, but the New Zealand spinners did well to delay the end of the match, and make sure Pakistan didn't run away with a hefty net run-rate, which will come handy in case New Zealand beat Sri Lanka.

How Pakistan would want to thank BCCI for the "amnesty" it accorded the ICL players. For Pakistan had bowled yet another ordinary first over; the first and last balls, from Mohammad Aamer, were boundaries, in between there was poor fielding and no dot balls. Had even Razzaq got off to a poor start, Pakistan would have had to bring Gul on early, which is not their original game plan. But Razzaq got Brendon McCullum before he could cause severe damage, and then Martin Guptill with a trademark straight delivery that the batsman missed. He exulted with arms aloft, more of a reaction than you can usually draw from Razzaq. Welcome back, Pakistan cricket was poorer without Razzaq.

Razzaq's first wicket was the first dot ball of the innings, but by the time Aamer and Razzaq were done with their three-over spells, New Zealand had barely doubled their score at 1.3 overs. Time, then, for spinners to come on. For the first time with the medium-pacers having put them in a favourable position. Time also it was for the fielders to raise their game, which they did. Diving saves, hustling fielders, and accurate bowling meant that Scott Styris and Jacob Oram struggled even to rotate the strike.

When it got too much for Oram, he stepped out to Shahid Afridi, in the 10th over, and skied a faster delivery. At the end of that over, Afridi's figures read 2-0-3-1. And because the opening bowlers did their job, Younis had Gul saved up for the last eight overs. At 72 for 4 after 12 overs, New Zealand had their task cut out, facing the yorkers from Gul and trying to accelerate.

Styris tried to put Gul off his rhythm right in his first over, and all he managed was a top edge to long-on. But this was Afridi's moment. He ran from mid-on, his eye on the ball falling over his head, his hands stretching out at the right moment and finishing the catch metres inside the boundary. Pakistan fielding had come a long way from being the laughing stocks of the tournament.

Following that dismissal, it was all Gul, his accuracy and his late swing. Peter McGlashan tried to paddle him next ball, but was undone by the in-dipper. James Franklin saved the hat-trick, but couldn't deny the irresistible Gul for long. With a change of ends, he cleaned up Nathan McCullum and Franklin with straight and fast bowling. Kyle Mills, though, fell to a slower one, giving Gul the five-for and another chance for a hat-trick. The hat-trick didn't come, but New Zealand managed just 27 since Gul's introduction to the attack. Once the euphoria of this performance dies, Pakistan will want to thank the man returning to international cricket for allowing them to go ahead with their preferred bowling strategy.

It was the best environment for a 19-year-old making his debut. Shahzaib was eased into the chase, Kamran Akmal facing the first 12 balls of the innings. Turned out Shahzaib didn't need any shielding. He got off the mark with a free-hit, but showed glimpses of his potential in the subsequent overs, lofting Daniel Vettori for a six down the ground, and cutting and pulling with aplomb during his quick 35.

With Afridi batting responsibly, Vettori's guile and athletic fielding only fought the inevitable.

Live Cricket Matches On Monday, 15 Jun 2009

Monday, 15 Jun 2009
England flag West Indies flag England Vs West Indies

Venue :Kennington Oval, London
Live action starts from: 16:30 GMT (22:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match

Pakistan flag Ireland flag Pakistan Vs Ireland

Venue :Kennington Oval, London
Live action starts from: 12:30 GMT (18:00 IST) T20 ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2009 Twenty20 International Match