World T20 Day 7
PAK - ENG [scorecard]
NZ - SA [scorecard]
You would think that if Pakistan can't win a match on their own they would at least be able to lose one! Nope. Despite their most desperate efforts to drop anything that remotely looked like a catch they still needed Kevin Pietersen to achieve a proper defeat. This might be the first and last time ever that I write something positive about him, so please enjoy (or don't be mad at me, depending on your viewpoint). The K-Pie's amount of guts increased with every catch the Pakistanis put down, and in the end humble Morgan sneaked off the field with the intention not to disturb the K-Pie show. Despite all the comedy in the field the Purple Bat has to get pinned to the chest of Afridi for his 15-sec-stay at the crease: "I came, saw, and walked".
Pakistan had a good start with Kakmal peppering a few ones to and across the rope, and Butt (34) having another fine day. The other batsmen did their best but except for Ukmal (30) got taken out early by the mediocre English bowling. Nine extras are something! The undisputed ruler in this field was the UnTim Bresnan with 4 wides and a no ball at an econ of 9.00. England allowed PAK to gather 147, a defendable but also chaseable total. A handful of quick wickets could have turned England's chase into a horror show.
0.6 Ajmal drops Kieswetter off Razzaq at the boundary, as he attempts to celebrate his catch! *facepalm*
3.1 - 3.6 Lumb and Kies whack Asif for 19. Asif generally seemed to adopt the role of the victim in this match. We might not see him again.
4.2. Ajmal drops Lumb off Aamer! White foam appears at Afridi's mouth.
5.4 Ajmal gets Lumb out, stumped. Poor Saeed bags a wicket. The K-Pie enters, Pakistan do not know yet that now they have lost the match.
8.1 Razzaq gets Kies! Ukmal takes a nice catch here, good boy. Colly enters. Hasn't had the best tournament so far.
10.2 Razzaq drops the K-Pie, couldn't hold on to a return catch. KP keeps living, cruises nicely along, the occasional boundary spices up his singles and keeps the lid on the asking rate.
15.6 Afridi gets Collers! Again it is Ukmal who takes the catch. Pakistan's little prince has practised hard in the fielding camp! Eoin Morgan, the man with the second coolest first name (after Shafiul Islam) enters.
17.6 Ajmal kills Sir Eoin! Bad boy Saeed! Bad!!! But at an asking rate of 4.00 England are not willing to grant Pakistan the joy of a last minute sensation.
18.1 Aamer to Pietersen, the superb fielding would have run KP out, but Kakmal fails to take the bails off, D'oh!!!!!!
Afridi has plenty to think about, if Pakistan want to celebrate a victory over New Zealand. I would not put it past them but according to the Morgan formula Butt will have a bad day, and without him Pakistan might find it hard to get a decent total. Aamer and Ajmal are the most precious gems in Afridi's jewellery collection.
New Zealand got spanked with cattle hooves, what a bloodletting. Smith batted first, served up some big juicy cow pats but succumbed to Timmy on 14. That must have made him fume so much that he sent his Army Of Immorkals against Tum and had him crush like a fly on the wall. Don't get me wrong, I'm still proud to be the only person in the world to find Smith sort of cool, and I like it when he barks his orders across the field, but not at the expense of my favourite Oceanic bowler!
Okay that was the introductory rant. SA played with a slightly different line-up, the unlucky Loots Bosman had to miss out for Hersch and Johan Botha came in for van der Merve. I am still waiting for my maiden Theron viewing.
The horror commences. Kallis and Smith are rhinocerossing through the opening deliveries with a runrate between 8 and 10. Tum and Guptill hunt down the leading bull, the herd calms down a little and Oram removes Kallis, aided by a stunner of a diving catch by Timmy. Nonetheless SA are trampling through the innings with at least one six or four in each over and Gibbs is quickly on 30 before he bleeds his life out in the arms of McNullum.
He should have never died. The Immorkal strides in, terror dwelling in his gleeming red eyes and doom billowing from his inflated nostrils. The massacre begins. Vettori, Southee, Bond, names with no meaning, Morkel crushes, kills, desecrates; his bloodlust culminates in the penultimate over when he belts Tummy for 21 with three cracks from the cat o' six runs. With crimson ink the figures "40 off 18" will be chronicled in the Black Book Of Cricket. Needless to say that he finds a compliant partner in crime in the false de Villiers; the wolf in cow's clothing happily feasts upon the remains of the New Zealandish bowlers as he almost sneakily top-scores with 47 off 39.
According to the comment NZ had bowled 33 (!!!) dot balls, that's more than a fourth of the innings, yet SA milked them for 170 runs. The Kiwis never looked like chasing this down especially after Jesse Ryder had to walk on 33. Despite some partially sloppy bowling the ruminants controlled the Kiwis well and took wickets at regular intervals, which made it impossible for NZ to start hitting.
I am confident that the Sheep can win against Pakistan now, but I see danger against England. No predictions from me concerning the England - Saffa match. Saffas might have a slight advantage here due to the better attack. And if they can repeat the stampede against NZ England will have to get prepared for havoc.