Watch cricket highlights - New Zealand vs Pakistan from the Super 8s of the 2009 T20 Cricket World Cup.
Scoreline: NZ 99 all out Scott Styris 22 - Umar Gul 3-6-5, Abdul Razzaq 3.3-1-17-2, Afridi 4-17-1
Pakistan take 13.1 overs: Shahzaib Hasan 35 (28), Shahid Afridi 29 n.o. - Vettori 4-20-2
So Razzaq walks into the team, doesn’t impact the game the way Shoaib Akhtar did in the IPL, but gets a wicket in his very 1st over - all those nipping-back deliveries that have troubled the best were spot on from ball 1, and though his team may have been charged up for the occasion anyway, his arrival has already stirred things up. The day however belonged to Umar Gul with ridiculous figures of 5 for 6 in just 3 overs - similar in impact to what his colleague Tanvir did in the IPL. Tanvir’s WC campaign unfortunately seems over - that horrible 1st over in the game vs SL overshadowing some seriously good deliveries whenever a legal delivery was bowled. He also looked to be having some fitness issues midway through the game vs Netherlands. Deserved spell for Gul who for some time now has been Pakistan’s most consistent and dependable bowler.
Hasan played the warm-up vs India and looked a tad nervous, but today, yet another young attacking opener from Pakistan seems to have emerged. It’s too early I suppose to judge his future considering the long list of seriously talented players who’ve kind of faded away - Imran Nazir, the Farhat brothers, Basit Ali, Yasir Hameed.
Shahid Afridi had a super day out first with the ball and then just when NZ found a way to open up a flurry of wickets, Afridi donned the calming role, nudging singles and twos. Who’d have thought.
Pregame: All buzz is about the proposed reentry of Razzaq into international cricket. Easily one of the Top 3 allrounders of his era when he was around, how cricket-friendly he is at the moment is not sure. As many have commented on the site, Imran Nazir too would have been a welcome member along perhaps with the Farhat brothers. For NZ, the Cup is just a few games away (in my world), if. If at least Taylor can return as soon as possible. But yeah, the loss of Ryder and absence of Vettori has made it a little harder. But McCullum is pretty due.
Just to rant on a little longer about Razzaq, the last time a stunning reentry to cricket happened was when Shawbshank Redemption occurred. However, the circumstances were a little different. The management was filmi, Akhtar is that sort of a guy and Ganguly was captain. How wanted Razzaq is made to feel will be the key as Younis doesn’t seem an Imran Khan by any stretch of imagination. But considering how Razzaq has always come across as an aloof sort of character, maybe all he needs is Abdul talking to him. So yeah, the most unpredictable moment of this tournament looms right ahead of us.
Saturday, June 13, 2009