Ahmed Shehzad

Pak To Their Best?

Pakistan's Sarfraz Ahmed raise his bat aloft after helping Pakistan to a seven wicket win. over Ireland. The win against Ireland means they will now play hosts Australia in the quarter final.

Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed raise his bat aloft after helping Pakistan to a seven wicket win. over Ireland. The win against Ireland means they will now play hosts Australia in the quarter final.

1992 World Champions Pakistan overcame the brave challenge of Ireland to earn the right to face Australia in next weeks quarter final with a seven wicket win over the associate nation.

In a highly anticipated game which would have seen the winner progress to the quarter final stage – and the loser eliminated, it was Ireland who won the toss in this crucial match and opted to bat first.

The Irish came into this with all their key players available ( Both Openers and the explosive Kevin O’Brien). As for Pakistan who triumphed in 1992 when the tournament was last in Australia their team showed two changes, Harris Sohail returns after injury in place of Younus Khan and Ehsan Adil replaces Mohammed Irfan to make his first appearance of this world cup.

Ireland who can say they have beaten Pakistan in the past, would have every right to have been optimistic here- but the initial optimism decreased as Paul Stirling was dismissed by Adil with just 11 on the board. The worst possible start for the associate nation who knew that there was a lot riding on this game.

That early dismissal brought former England batsmen Ed Joyce to the crease – and at first it looked like the Sussex captain and Ireland’s captain William Porterfield had helped their side recover from the initial loss of Sterling. Sadly though Joyce was second out after being caught by Umar Akmal who would go on to take four catches in the game.

Through out Ireland’s innings players made ‘starts’ but could never truly cash in. Despite Portefield’s brilliant hundred which was the highest score by an associate nation’s captain, Ireland were all out for 237. After the Irish skippers heroics the next highest scorer was wicketkeeper Gary Wilson who scored 29. Ireland were at least 30 runs short we felt – but Pakistan’s disciplined attack never allowed Ireland’s score to get out of their control.

With the 1992 world champions just needing 237 to win to secure their place in the quarter finals, the Pakistan openers combined to put on their best opening stand in this tournament, by some distance. Ahmed Shehzhad and Sarfraz Ahmed who hit a superb 49 against South Africa, put on 120 for the first wicket. Even when Shehzhad was dismissed off the bowling of Stuart Thompson for a well played 63, Pakistan always seemed in control of this one.

However there was time for some late drama, or so Ireland thought.The recalled Harris Sohail was dismissed six runs later after a horrible mix up with Sarfraz Ahmed which lead to the run out of Sohail. If Ireland thought that dismissal was a chance for them to seize a potential advantage, sadly they were mistaken. Pakistan captain Misbah Ul-Haq was in next – and that was just what Pakistan needed as their captain effectively ended this one as a contest with a breezy 39 0ff just 46 balls which included two big sixes.

When Misbah was out for 39 after treading on his stumps, there was only 30 runs needed, so it was fair to say the game was effectively over. Pakistan eventually did secure the win with a four down the ground from Umar Akmal.

So Pakistan secured their place in the quarter finals after winning this game by seven wickets. The main reason for this win was a well disciplined bowling display and a very patient maiden century from wicket keeper batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed who anchored the run chase. Although Pakistan only closed the game out in the 47th over, they were never really troubled in this one.

Pakistan will now face Australia in the quarter final which will be on Friday 13th March. As for Ireland although they are eliminated they can go home proud of their achievements.

Pakistan Thrash New Zealand To Win First Test

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 176 which laid the foundations for Pakistan's emphatic win.

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 176 which laid the foundations for Pakistan’s emphatic win.

The ‘steam train’ that is Pakistan, stream rolled another opponent, this time it was New Zealand on the receiving end. The 1992 world champions were again very impressive as the Asian sides bowlers and batmen contributed in what turned out to be a big win in the end.

On the back of a first series win over the Australian’s in the last series, Pakistan played New Zealand with confidence evidently high after after the series win of a few weeks ago. The Kiwis who boast of a batting line up of Brendan McCullum, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and wicket keeper BJ Watling, would put a better performance than what Australia did.

Pakistan batted first, as is the way with the Pakistani’s way these days. Pakistan couldn’t have got to a better start, Pakistan’s openers really putting New Zealand’s bowlers to the sword. The opening pair of Mohammed Hafeez and Ahmed Shehzhad, potentially took the game from new Zealand with an impressive opening stand 178.

New Zealand didn’t look like they were going to take a wicket any time soon as the Kiwis toiled, even former wicket keeper Brendan McCullum bowled a few overs. It was over real surprise almost when the first wicket stand was broken with the score on 178. Mohammed Hafeez was the first wicket to fall, the veteran all-rounder falling just on what would have been a very well deserved 100, Hafeez was caught and bowled for 96.

The Kiwis must have thought this would ‘open up the flood gates’ sadly though for New Zealand a second wicket stand of 169, only strengthened Pakistan’s position. A third wicket fell soon after the second wicket fell- but for New Zealand it was becoming a case of damaged limitation. If two century partnerships weren’t enough, Pakistan put on another century stand- this time it was for 187. Veterans Misbah Ul-Haq and Younus Khan both hit unbeaten centuries. Ahmed Shehzhad’s quite brilliant 176 also deserves a mention.

Pakistan spared New Zealand more misery, declared on 566-3. New Zealand got their innings off to a bad start, three wickets were down before the 50 was up. Despite a century for Tom Latham, only Corey Anderson and Ish Sodhi scored any kind of runs.

With a batting line up of the quality of New Zealand’s, to be all out for 262 is very disappointing. Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Jimmy Neesham – between them scored some 14 runs between them. For players of that quality those stats make depressing reading.

Pakistan with a 304 lead after the first innings looked to press their advantage home- and they duly did. The Pakistani’s somewhat spared New Zealand’s bowlers this time, Pakistan declared on 175-2- looking to force a victory. Mohammed Hafeez did manage to score a 100 in that time which came off only 130 balls.

Chasing a mammoth 479 to win, New Zealand would have been no doubt first and foremost looking to save the game. To compound a disappointing game for Brendan McCullum’s high standards, the skipper was out for 39 in the second innings, Yasir Shah having the New Zealand skipper trapped lbw.

McCullum’s opening partner Latham was first out with the score on 57, falling 4 runs before the fall of the second wicket. In comparison to the first innings, New Zealand were doing comparatively worse it could be argued- as seven wickets had fallen before 150 were on the board for New Zealand.

Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling and kane Williamson , to name some New Zealand batsmen – were all back in the pavilion. If New Zealand were to have any chance of saving this game, ideally they needed someone with the ‘technical ability’ of Kane Williamson.

With the score at 138-8, the Pakistani’s must have sensed that a victory was almost imminent- but ironically New Zealand’s low order showed the top- order how it’s done. A battling 9 wicket stand of 39, halted what many could argue was ‘the inevitable’ . When Mark Craig was bowled by Yasir Shah for 28, Pakistan must have thought finally the victory was theirs.

What was panning out to be a ‘great escape’ seemed more possible as Ish Sodhi who scored a reputable 25 in the first innings, scored a fifty in this innings. Accompanied by number 11 Trent Boult who scored 19, the last wicket pair put on a stubborn last wicket stand of 50 . This Kiwi pair looked to do the near impossible and save a match that they have been for long periods out played in.

Sadly though for New Zealand fans, a fairytale ending to this match wasn’t on the cards. Imran khan finally ending the match by trapping Ish Sodhi for a battling 63. New Zealand will be hoping to bounce back in the next test which starts on Monday 17th November.

Pakistan Vs New Zealand Day 1 Review

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 126 and was unbeaten at the close of play.

Ahmed Shehzad scored a brilliant 126 and was unbeaten at the close of play.

Pakistan maintained there brilliant form of late with a commanding first day against New Zealand. Pakistan’s opening pair did most of the damage with an impressive stand of 178, that stand was eventually broken however with Corey Anderson having Mohammed Hafeez caught and bowled for 96.

Pakistan didn’t allow that setback to affect them and the 2nd wicket pairing of Azhar Ali and Ahmed Shehzad put un an unbroken stand of 91. Sadly for New Zealand the one wicket was as good as it got for them as they toiled in the field.

Despite being the only Kiwi to get a wicket, Anderson’s seven overs went for 31 runs. Although there is still a lot of cricket to be played in this match, the Kiwis will be desperate to make some early inroads tomorrow so they go further behind in this match.

With a batting line up of Younus khan, Misbah Ul-Haq and Sarfraz Ahmed to come, New Zealand will know that they will need to gain the ascendancy in this game – if they don’t this game could be out of their grasp before they know it.