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Afridi desires to make it third time fortunate

Jun 19th, 2009 7:20:21 pm - Subscribe

Shahid Afridi is desperate not to end up on the losing side for the third time in a row when he turns out for Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2009 final at Lord's on Sunday.

Afridi still remembers the hurt he felt as a teenager 10 years ago when his team was mauled by Steve Waugh's all-conquering Australia in the World Cup final at the same venue in 1999.

The pain returned two years ago when India won the inaugural World Twenty20 title with a five-run win over Pakistan the final in Johannesburg, even though Afridi was named the most valuable player of the tournament.

Afridi is the prodigal cricketer who does the unexpected and is never to be underestimated. Get all the individual T20 world cup 2009 Records in batting, top bowling performance, best fielding performance, most sixes in ICC 20-20, etc on Indyalive.

mood: delicious
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Afridi raise Pakistan into T20 World Cup final

Jun 18th, 2009 7:32:07 pm - Subscribe

It was one of those days for Shahid Afridi. A day where everything he tried, worked. He first regained his touch with the bat and then, continued his fine run with ball. It was Afridi's 51 off 34 balls that set up Pakistan's total of 149/4 in the first semifinal of the T20 World Cup and his two wickets in four balls that put the brakes on South Africa's reply.

Pakistan won the game by seven runs to make their second successive World T20 final. South Africa ended their 20 overs on 142/5. However, while Afridi might have played an all-round hand in stopping the South Africans, the age-old theory of the Proteas choking on the big stage seemed to play a role too.

Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis started off in a vein much similar to Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi, adding 40 in the six powerplay overs. Pakistan had made 47 in the same period. Before Mohammad Aamer held a skier off his own bowling to remove Smith, the SA chase was well on track.

However, once Smith fell for 10, the wheels began coming off the innings. Herschelle Gibbs lost his wicket playing for the turn off a straight, fast Afridi delivery, and then the big fish of the line up, AB de Villiers, dragged Afridi on to his stumps. 40/0 had deteriorated to 50/3 in a matter of 16 deliveries, and the South Africans seemed to be choking again. Get all the individual T20 world cup 2009 Records in batting, top bowling performance, best fielding performance, most sixes in ICC 20-20, etc on Indyalive.
mood: rude
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Four squad and four exciting fiction

Jun 17th, 2009 7:43:10 pm - Subscribe

Four teams, four intriguing tales, and one charge to the top. The battle to the top of the T20 World Cup planet starts at Trent Bridge on Thursday, when South Africa take on Pakistan in the first semifinal, with Sri Lanka try to get past the West Indies at the Oval a day later.

For the players, these semifinals provide an opportunity to bring a smile to their countrymen's faces, an opportunity to be almost part of their country's folklore. Cricket in Pakistan, post Lahore, has been reduced to a distant dream. The country has become the pariah in the international game, with no team keen on touring. While it is not hard to see why teams have adopted this hands-off strategy with Pakistan, the players have been bearing its brunt.

South Africa has always come in to major tournaments as hot favorites, often billed as a team that possesses everything. And yet, somehow, it just doesn't happen for the Proteas. 'Chokers' is a term that has been used liberally with them. It is undoubtedly a mental block, and a win in England would help this bunch, and possibly even the future, to get over it.

The West Indies' tale has a very different take to it. Led by the cool and carefree Chris Gayle, the players have often taken on the WICB over a sponsorship row, even threatening to sit out international games. Not one to be overly bothered after a defeat, after all they happen so regularly, the title of world champions could be the start of another strong period of Caribbean teams. But, then again, that's a long shot. Get all the T20 world cup 2009 Records in batting, top bowling performance, best fielding performance, most sixes in ICC 20-20, etc on Indyalive.
mood: triumphant
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Mendis show the way Sri Lanka into semifinals

Jun 16th, 2009 7:30:03 pm - Subscribe

Ajantha Mendis hardly got a game in the IPL. Left out of most of John Buchanan’s plans, the Sri Lankan spinner was seen warming the Kolkata Knight Riders’ bench.

It, however, has been a different story in the T20 World Cup. He has had the opposition in all sorts of trouble with his unique variations. And he continued on Tuesday, picking up three Kiwi wickets in a 48-run win for Sri Lanka in their last SuperEights game.

With this win, Sangakkara’s side booked their place in the semis, with the West Indies being their likely opponents at the Oval on June 19.

Set a target of 159, New Zealand never looked like being in with a shout. Sri Lanka have one of the best attacks in the tournament, and it was the variety in their attack that stifled the Kiwi chase. New Zealand’s innings folded at 110 in the 17th over.

Mahela Jayawardene, on the other hand, is not your quintessential T20 batsman. More in the classical mould, the former Lanka skipper is often underrated in the shortest version.

On Tuesday, though, he showed just how good players can adapt themselves to every situation, playing some of the most outrageous shots, including one of the back of his bat, in his 29-ball 41. Though Martin Guptill tried his best to get New Zealand to victory, his 43 wasn’t enough.
mood: precious
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India smashes into out of T20 World Cup

Jun 14th, 2009 6:38:46 pm - Subscribe

The champions have worn-out. A three-run loss at Lord's to England on Sunday sealed India's fate in the World T20 and made sure that there will be new T20 world champions come June 21. Chasing 154, they ended their innings on 150/5.

Chasing on a wicket that was helping the fast bowlers, the well-documented inadequacy against the rising ball were exposed by an England attack that showed intent. The West Indies' pacers had shown on Friday just how extra pace and bounce can trouble this much-vaunted Indian line-up, and that seemed to be the English game plan on Sunday.

Opting for the extra pacer in Ryan Sidebottom, Paul Collinwood's team did remarkably well in containing, and removing the Indian batsmen.

The fall started as early as the second over when Rohit Sharma dragged Sidebottom on to his stumps while attempting a pull. Suresh Raina went in identical fashion, though he was caught at deep square leg while pulling.

The Lord's wicket has not been the kindest to the Indians on this T20 World Cup, and it was no different on Sunday.

There was a fighting 58-run stand between MS Dhoni and Yusuf Pathan in the end, perhaps the only period of the game where the Indian batsmen showed real intent, but it wasn't enough. It might have gone down to the last ball, but India was always second best. Get all the individual performance in batting, top bowling performance, best fielding performance, most sixes in ICC 20-20, etc on Indyalive.
mood: ridiculed
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