Phoenix in green

Well just as i had swept ODI cricket and specially Pak cricket under the rug of ancient “feel good” memories, the first match of the fortune cup in Abu Dhabi between Pak & WI turns out to be a smasher and a half.  Lets face it Pakistan cricket has not seen a lot of errr cricket in the last few months.

First we had a team or two back out from the Champions trophy scheduled to be held in Pakistan, which eventually go delayed and then canceled. We did host a couple of series against the Zims and Bangla but even if we try to be polite we cannot exactly term those challenging. Off course Pakistan cricket being the weird and unpredictable place that it is went through a myriad of changes, Shoaib banned, unbanned (again), PCB chairman Naseem Ashraf resigns, team manager resigns, coach is kicked out everything is suddenly up for grabs from the national selection committee to the academy coaching position and blah blah. In the middle of all this the “boyz” as Alu used to call them are busy playing the pentangular cup (domestic competition) and this to my mind is what made the difference today.

West Indies came into this match slightly over confident due to their recent fame and fortune against England in the 20 20 Stanford cup and a good run of form of late.  Pakistan on the other hand came into the match with a status that is I think permanent now “underdogs” again. When the Windies got off to a flier of a start ala Gayle force what with the speed merchant (pun intended) being “unfit” again I thought it was curtains. However Gul and Tanveer pulled things back nicely to end the Windies innings at 294, sizable yes, unachievable? Well let’s see.

I thought the new opener Khurram Manzoor was deft where Salman Butt was slow, he cut & stroked as Butt labored to get anything to the rope and he as a result made a brilliant 69. Obviously the Pak team had nowhere to go but all out with guns blazing as the RR required was like 8 from the first over. After Misbah disappointed Younis khan and Shoaib Malik gelled well to secure Pakistan into a position of attack. Younis paid the price of being bogged down but not before a good 56 off 62, Afridi came and went like he has for the last bloody year (why is he still here?) and it all went down to some excellent death bowling by Gayle and co to setup 17 runs to get by Pak in 6 balls.

Usually its at this moment that one of our players spears it up in the air and our chins droop but this time a slice came and the damn ball sailed out of the park, not once but TWICE and my mouth was open…staring in surprise at an unimaginable victory. How bad Gayle would be feeling right now for the no ball he bowled Kamran Akmal off in the 2nd last over I do not know. All I know is that Pakistan has proven once more that even though its team is termed as highly doubtful it can never be completely written off!! Even when the fat lady sings, or in this case does the bhangra. We may be starved of cricket folks but we certainly have a full stomach of talent, Moyo you bitch are you reading this?? We won yes, without your sorry ass!!!!

Well done Team Pakistan, you have made me proud today!!!!!


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