Asian Sports News

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.

India Get Their World Cup Off To A Flyer After Defeating Pakistan

Virat Kohli scored a brilliant hundred which helped India crush Pakistan by 76 runs.

Virat Kohli scored a brilliant hundred which helped India crush Pakistan by 76 runs.


India and Pakistan renewed their intense rival as they started their World Cup campaign on Sunday with a win against arch rivals Pakistan . In a match that was reportedly watched by 1 million it’s India who dominated this one, the defeat for Pakistan meant that they still haven’t beat their arch rivals in World Cup cricket.

After winning the toss defending world champions India decided to bat first. When the normally explosive Rohit Sharma fell for just 15, one might have been forgiven for asking if batting first was the right choice. Sharma’s dismissal meant that Virat Kohli was next into bat which is always a very ominous sign for the opposition . The vice captain Kohli who does have a good record against the arch enemy, improved his record here with a brilliant and well composed hundred.

Kohli and Shikar Dawan enabled a India recovery as the second wicket pair out on a stand of 129 which enabled India to rebuild. Shikar Dawan who reigned his attacking instincts for the team was the next wicket to fall via a Misbah Ul Haq run out.

Such is the strength of India’s top order that when a team gets rid one quality a player another quality player follows. The next man in was Suresh Raina, Raina a 28 year old batsmen who is very destructive at his best, was in destructive form here.

As he is known for over the years the Chennai Super Kings player likes to settle into the crease and play his way in, and Raina didn’t change his method here. Pakistan who were using spinners at this stage got that tactic wrong as Suresh Raina is some one who is well known to have a weakness of the short ball.

The unusual tactic by Pakistan captain Misbah- Ul Haq, allowed Suresh Raina to get settled and that lead a typical Suresh Raina like innings. Raina and India’s vice captain put on 110 for the third wicket. The third wicket partnership was broken when Virat Kohli was caught behind from a wide ball which he shouldn’t have hit – but the 25 year old Kohli must have been understandably tired after hitting another century, this latest century was the 22nd in a career which the Delhi man keeps breaking records.

This century which as we know was Kohli’s 22nd, meant that the RCB captain has got 22 centuries quicker than anyone else in the history of the game. When Kohli was out from the bowling of Sohail Khan that’s where India seemed to lose their way in this one.

A middle order collapse ensued their after. Suresh Raina who played beautifully for his 74 of 56 balls was the next man to go, closely followed by Ravi Jadeja, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane. In fact three Indian wickets fell with out a run being scored as Pakistan got a team hat trick if you will.

At one stage India were probably thinking 300-325 is a score they would want to set, in the end the two time world champions had to settle for a scorecard which read 300-7. The main reason for that score was due to the brilliant death bowling of Wahab Riaz and Sohail Khan who with his variations of pace took five wickets for 55 runs.

Ideally India would have wanted more – but 300 was still a good score to defend never the less.

Pakistan went out to bat knowing that despite conceding a high total, it was crucial that they didn’t be to aggressive from the start. The 1992 world champions opted for a different opening partnership by promoting Younus Khan to be Ahmed Shazhad’s opening partner.

That move backfired however as Pakistan got off to the start they were dreading. Khan a World T20 winning captain got a unwanted glove on a very well directed bouncer by Mohammed Shami to depart for just six. With that early set back, Pakistan opted to promote all-rounder Harris Sohail up the order. The 26 year old player from Sialkot didn’t disappoint either as he and Ahmed Shehzhad went about rebuilding the run chase.

To their credit both players went about their task well and for the opening overs of Pakistan’s chase they were actually near enough equal to India’s score at the same stage of their innings. Patient and intelligent cricket by Sohail and Shehzhad kept Pakistan in the hunt – but when Sohail fell to the spin of Ashwin, Pakistan’s chase spiralled out of control.

After being 100-2 at one stage, Pakistan lost three wickets and were soon wobbling at 103-5. Maqsood, Sehzhad and Umar Akmal in controversial circumstances all departed cheaply. The Pakistani’s would have felt aggrieved to see Akmal given out and for their referral to be ignored, even when TV replays didn’t conclusively show contact.

To cling on to that moment as turning point though -to be fair would be a bit desperate as Pakistan collapsed quite spectacularly. Not even a cameo from Shahid Afridi could help Pakistan. The Pakistani’s despite a battling 76 from skipper Misbah Ul-Haq feel well short in this run chase and crumbled to 224 all out in 47 overs.

Although this defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow against their arch rivals, Pakistan shouldn’t actually feel to disheartened. The 1992 champions can take some positives out of this game such as their death bowling – and the performances of Ahmed Shehzhad, Harris Sohail and of course the captain Misbah Ul-Haq.

Pakistan face West Indies next which won’t be easy – but is most definitely winnable. As for the winners of this match India, they can take some positives – but they will be hoping their captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can find some form with the bat. The defending champions next face South Africa so it’s crucial that India’s star players maintain their good form.

New Zealand’s ‘Mr Anderson’ Proves To Be ‘The One’ For New Zealand As The Kiwis Win In Style

New Zealand's Corey Anderson hit a brilliant 75 off 40 balls which set up a convinving 98 run win.

New Zealand’s Corey Anderson hit a brilliant 75 off 40 balls which set up a convincing 98 run win.

New Zealand carried on their recent impressive form with another emphatic win over Sri Lanka to get their World Cup campaign off to the best possible start. The Kiwis dominated from the off against their Asian opponents, as Sri Lanka’s miserable form against the Black Caps continued.

It was the visitors Sri Lanka who won the toss and they decided to field, which possible could be argued turned out to be a very bad decision.

The co-hosts couldn’t have made a better start and the opening pair of Martin Guptil and captain Brendan McCullum cashed in on some very charitable bowling. The first wicket would actually put on 100 for the first wicket ,it actually came as a surprise when the first wicket did fall. Brendan McCullum who tore into the Sri Lankan was the first wicket to fall, the captain was caught by Jeevan Mendis off the bowling of Rangana Herath.

After the departure of their captain New Zealand’s scoring slowed dramatically at that point. Martin Guptill and the new batsmen Kane Williamson in particular were having issues with Sri Lanka’s tight bowling. The pressure further intensified when Martin Guptil, who played a brilliant anchor role to McCullum, departed for 49.

The Black caps who enjoyed a 4-2 series success before the start of the World Cup were in danger of letting a position of utter dominance slip through their fingers. A third wicket which was worth 57 looked to have rebuilt the innings – but when two wickets fell with out a run being scored, New Zealand were back under pressure.

A 65 run fifth wicket partnership allowed New Zealand to steady a rocking ship. First Grant Elliott (29 off 34 balls) and the normally attacking Luke Ronchi (29 off 32 balls) reigned in attacking instincts to allow Corey Anderson (75 off 46 balls) to go on a boundary hitting spree which included 8 fours and 2 sixes.

Those contributions allowed the Black Caps to regain a stranglehold on this match. The co-hosts ended up racking 331-6. Considering New Zealand at one stage were 193-4, you have got to say that’s a pretty decent effort.

For Sri Lanka it was definitely a case of what could have been. Lasith Malinga who has just come back from a long injury layoff understandably looked rusty and wasn’t his usual ‘slinger’ self. Malinga’s opening bowling partner Nuwan Kulasekra was just as disappointing. Such was the struggles of Sri Lanka’s opening bowling attack that nearly half of New Zealand’s runs came of Malinga and Kulasekra’s bowling.

The 1996 World champions were already up against it even before their innings commenced. One might not blame Sri Lanka for thinking “here we go again”. To the visitors credit however they did get their run chase off in solid if not spectacular style. The opening pair of Lahiru Thirimanne and Tilkeratne Dilshan went about their task well.

However when Dilshan was first out, ‘the wheels’ soon came off Sri Lanka’s already very difficult run chase – but with the next batsmen being Kumar Sangakarra, the Asian side must have felt reassured that their chase won’t falter just yet. The Sri Lankan pair of Thirmanne and Sangakarra were starting to frustrate the co hosts – but when the Sri Lankan vice captain Thirimanne was dismissed off the bowling of Trent Boult for a well played 67, many dismissed Sri Lanka’s chances.

Those sceptics were to be proved right as five more wickets fell before the score reaching 200. A valiant 46 from Angelo Matthews couldn’t save Sri Lanka – and there doomed run chase ended on 233.

A great start then from the co-hosts New Zealand who look like they have most definitely picked up from where they have left off. As for Sri Lanka its another disappointing defeat and although this defeat is disappointing it’s not ‘the end of the world’ just yet. A game Afghanistan next Saturday would be a good game for the Sri Lankan’s – but even they won’t be easy.

As for New Zealand they face Scotland in a game what could strengthen their position in the World Cup.

England, Pakistan And Sri Lanka Announce Their Squads For The Cricket World Cup

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England's 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

Moeen Ali who has been selcted in England’s 15 man squad, will be a crucial player for the three Lions if they want to succeed at the world cup in Australia.

England who were runners up in the 1992 world cup, announced their cricket world cup squad on Wednesday 7th January and there was very few surprises. Former captain Alistair Cook was publicly dropped and was replaced as captain by Eoin Morgan as sports fan will know, Gary Balance is the man to take the England test captains place.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes is another player to miss out after disappointing in recent games for England – but as is the way with disappointments the 23 year old Stokes blasted an impressive 77 off just 37 balls for his new Australian club side the Melbourne Renegades the day he got omitted from England’s world cup side.

As for Pakistan (the side who beat England in that 1992 final) , the announcement of their cricket world cup squad brought a few surprises , the absence of experienced paceman Umar Gul, will no doubt raise eyebrows.Another experienced bowler, off spinner Saed Ajmal already was announced as an absentee for Pakistan’s world cup squad as the 34 year old already declared his unavailability on 28th November. The talented Akmal brothers both miss out – but Kamran Akmal’s inconsistency with his wicketkeeping has ultimately lead the Pakistani selectors to keep faith in current custodian of the wicketkeeping gloves Sarfraz Ahmed. Ahmed’s performances with the bat in recent months does justify the Pakistani’s decision to stick with the 27 year old wicket- keeper batsmen.

Sri Lanka who won the world cup in 1996 announced their squad which included the least surprises. Paceman Lasith Malinga who has recurring knee problems is included – but subject to fitness. The Asian side will be captained by Angelo Matthews as usual with Lahiru Thirimanne as vice-captain.Veterans Kumar Sangakarra and Mahela Jaywardena are included in what will most likely be their last world cup, and both will no doubt be wanting to go out on a high.

England’s 15 man cricket world cup squad :

Eoin Morgan (capt),Jos Buttler (wk) , Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad,, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan,), Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

Pakistan’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Ehsan Adil, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan,, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan,Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal,Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Younus Khan.

Sri Lanka’s 15 man cricket world cup squad:

Angelo Mathews (capt), Chandimal (wk), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Dimuth Karunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga (subject to fitness), Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Sachithra Senanayake, Lahiru Thirimanne.

India Cricket World Cup Squad Announced

India one day captain will be hoping to lead India to a succesfull defence of their World cup trophy.

India one day captain will be hoping to lead India to a succesfull defence of their World cup trophy.

Defending World cup champions India announced their 15 man squad on Tuesday 5th January with the Asian side look to bounce back from a difficult test series with Australia by successfully defending their world cup crown in February. Ravindra Jadeja who is carrying a knock and Ishant Sharma who also have a niggle, are both included – but Yuvraj Singh who was the star of the last World Cup and been in good form this year domestically, is overlooked. Record breaker Rohit Sharma who scored a superb 264 last month against Sri Lanka is included in the squad which doesn’t include many surprises.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni who retired from test matches last month captains the side with Virat Kohli his deputy.

India World cup squad:
MS Dhoni (capt & wk)Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan,, Ravindra Jadeja,, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Akshar Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

Sport Comes Out On Top After A Difficult Week For Pakistan

In a brilliant gesture, New Zealand captain is said to have donated his match fee to the victims of the Peshawar massacre.

In a brilliant gesture, New Zealand captain is said to have donated his match fee to the victims of the Peshawar massacre.

It was something that could only happen in nightmares we thought – but sadly for the people of Pakistan and more particularly of Peshawar, (a city in the North West of the country) they were victim to one of the most violent terrorist attacks in recent history.

Some 128 people, mostly children had their lives cruelly taken away by the Taliban terrorists who attacked an army school in Peshawar. In an attack which shocked the country and the world, not many would have thought that sport would have a starring role in showing the terrorists that people can unite in such a tragedy.

Sport though has provide one way of bringing families some comfort. New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson is rumoured to have given all of his match fee from all the five games that he played in the recent series win over Pakistan to the stricken families of Peshawar.

In another act of kindness British born boxer Amir Khan who is of Asian origin is to donate his shorts which are rumoured to be valued at £30,000, to the victims of the atrocity in Peshawar. The Bolton born fighter on top of that act of kindness, Khan is out in Pakistan currently – and has vowed that he will do all he can to help the grief stricken people of Peshawar by physically being on the ground in aid of the victims.

Sport is very powerful in the way it promotes social values, such as racial equality and equality in general. Not every one maybe a fan of sports or sports people – but one thing you can’t away from sports and sports stars is that they unite really well in times of tragedy. The team at Asian Sunday very much offers it prays and thoughts to the families of Peshawar at a difficult time no doubt.

Pakistan Vs New Zealand Second T20 Match Report

A crucial 32 from captain Kane Williamson helped New Zealand square the T20 series 1-1

A crucial 32 from captain Kane Williamson helped New Zealand square the T20 series 1-1

Pakistan went into this second match of the T20 series looking to win – to secure a 2-0 lead which would win them the series. The Asian side drew the test series last month and were looking to go one better against the Kiwis this time round.

Former world champions Pakistan came into this match making one change, Awais Zia was replaced with test opener Ahmed Shehzhad. Daniel Vettori came in to the side for New Zealand Adam Milne and Mitch McCleneaghan made way for Kyle Mills. Pakistan won the toss, just as they did in the first game – and were looking to restrict the Black Caps to a total which they would be able to chase down.

New Zealand opening pair Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson who is captain of the T20 side helped their side put on a good stand for the opening wicket. In fact the New Zealander’s put on 49 for the first wicket. The Kiwi pair were looking solid, it was bit of a surprise when the first wicket did fall – Devcich the man out, bowled Mohammed Hafeez for 21.

The dismissal of Anton Devcich sparked a mini collapse for New Zealand who lost another three wickets for 29 runs. Just like in the first game the Black caps were in serious danger of not having enough runs on the board to defend their total.

A fifth wicket stand however of 38 helped settle the nerves – but when Tom Latham was fifth man out with the score on only 116, New Zealand didn’t look like they had enough on the board. Another three wickets fell for 20 as New Zealand scraped to 144-8.

Pakistan needed 145 to win the second match which didn’t seem enough considering the batsmen they have at their disposal. Cricket though is a funny old game – just when you think you know what’s going to happen usually the exact opposite happens.

The Pakistani’s got their reply off to a nightmare start. Friday’s hero Sarfraz Ahmed who scored an unbeaten 76 was first out, the wicketkeeper only managed a single before being dismissed. It didn’t get any better for Pakistan who lost wickets at regular intervals. Six Pakistan wickets were down before the score reached 100, when the seventh wicket fell with 104 on the board, Pakistan must have known the game was up.

A late cameo by captain Shahid Afridi made the game closer as a contest – but Afridi’s 28 off just 21 balls was ultimately to little to late. New Zealand closed the match out and dismissed the hosts for 127 which meant the series was all square at 1-1, the one day international series starts on Monday.

Mo Of The Same Please

Moeen Ali has been one of the highlights of the current tour of Sri Lanka, and on current for he could really make the opening batting slot his own.

Moeen Ali has been one of the highlights of the current tour of Sri Lanka, and on current for he could really make the opening batting slot his own.

England’s one day side has been struggling for some time – but one of the highlights in the current Sri Lanka tour has been Moeen Ali. Ali has also excelled in the test arena – and thankfully England the 27 year old has taken his test form to the one day arena.

When captain Alistair Cook inherited the captaincy from predecessor Andrew Strauss, the 29 year old Cook had initially enjoyed success in the role. England even enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the one day international rankings – but since those highs England have only suffered lows. Kevin Pieterson making claim after claim in his book about team morale and to actually find a KP replacement have been some factors which have seen seen England struggle in recent months.

The most underlining problem for England though however has been their opening partnership, for the best part of a year England have struggled to find the right combination- until now. Several players have been tried in the opening position to accompany Alistair Cook – Kevin Pieterson and Ian Bell who are more middle order batsmen were placed as openers -such was the difficulty England were facing in the opening batsmen department.

Opening batsmen Alex Hales has been included to try and solve this issue – but one thing which might have dissuaded the England’s selectors to select Hales in the long term is the 25 year old’s tendencies to have a bit of ill discipline.

When the one day international squad was announced however it was a surprise to see Alex Hales dropped for Moeen Ali who is also middle order batsmen by trade. Much to the surprise of many myself included- but Ali has been nothing sort of sensational.

The Worcestershire all-rounder is the leading run scorer for England in this five match series, Ali has scored a century and a very entertaining half-century already in this five match series – so it’s no surprise that Moeen Ali has the most runs.

It’s the 27 year old’s aggressive approach makes him suited the role. For so many months the outcry from many has been for England to be more aggressive, with Moeen Ali at the top of the order they can now do that. The maturity that Moeen Ali plays with is very admirable and I feel it’s what makes him a very good opener at one day international level. Where as Alex Hales tries to play to many agressive shots at times Ali however has managed to balance attacking instinct with sensisble batting.

Although it’s to early judge Moeen fairly as he has not played a world cup yet, the early signs look very promising. England look like they just might have found the right player to partner Alistair Cook at the top of the order,with a player many didn’t expect.

Where many players have failed over the years Moeen Ali has so far exceeded, some senior players could do with taking a leaf out of the Worcestershire all-rounders book.

Pakistan Vs New Zealand T20 Match Report

Sarfraz Ahmed's quite brilliant 76 off just 64 balls helped Pakistan win the first game of this T20 series.

Sarfraz Ahmed’s quite brilliant 76 off just 64 balls helped Pakistan win the first game of this T20 series.

Pakistan and New Zealand after the drawn test series went into this game looking to build some momentum ahead of the 50 over world cup which is due to start in February,both teams made several changes as both were looking to build some momentum before February’s world cup.

Pakistan had newly re-appointed captain Shahid Afridi back in their side, as well as the inexperienced Harris Sohail, Saad Nasim and Anwar Ali. Pakistan in all made nine changes to their side, only Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammed Hafeez were retained from the test squad.

As for New Zealand their squad showed several changes as well. The Kiwi’s gave starts to Anton Devcich, Matt Henry and Adam Milne, the rest of the New Zealand side did show other changes as well, with most notably Brendan McCullum not being in the side. There was a starting berth for Brendan’s brother Nathan McCullum however and a recall for Martin Guptil.

It was Pakistan who won the toss in this match and they decided to field – and their decision seemed justified as New Zealand slumped to 61-4. Martin Guptil, new boy Anton devcich, Ross Taylor and skipper Kane Williamson were all back in the pavilion.

A brief rally from New Zealand saw the Black Caps put on 51 for the sixth wicket – but when Corey Anderson was out for a very entertaining 48 off just 37 balls, the game seemed up for the Kiwi’s. The score at that point was 112-5, sadly for New Zealand their innings didn’t get any better. The New Zealander’s in the end stuttered to 135-7.

Corey Anderson’s brilliant 48 was off just 37 balls and included four maximums, looked to be in a losing cause. Anderson did have support from Luke Ronchi, the New Zealand wicketkeeper scored an attacking 33 off just 28 balls.

There was also a good contribution at the top of the order from Martin Guptil who scored a near run ball 32 – but other than that the New Zealand scored card contained to many low scoring contributions- and this is what left New Zealand potentially 15- 20 runs short.

Pakistan went into this run chase with the knowledge that they have some very good T20 batsmen in their side. The Pakistani batting line up included Umar Akmal, Awais Zia who is seen as the ‘new boom boom’ and of course the original ‘boom boom’ himself Shahid Afridi.

With such an impressive batting line up, Pakistan would have been confident of their chances of winning this game. Pakistan started their run chase with the opening pairing of Sarfraz Ahmed and Awais Zia. The Pakistani opening pair put on 51 for the first wicket.

The opening stand was broken by a run out by Anton Devcich, at that point Pakistan seemed to be in control – but after another run out, this time Mohammed Hafeez being run out by Luke Ronchi – Pakistan looked like they were stuttering a little bit in this run chase.

A 37 run third wicket stand however did manage to take the sting out of the game it seemed – but when new boy Harris Sohail was out caught by Nathan McCullum off the bowling of Mitchell McClenaghan, it looked there was another twist in the tale.

A fourth wicket stand of 43 between Umar Akmal and Sarfraz Ahmed, who hit a quite brilliant 76 off just 64 balls, which included eight 4’s and two 6’s ended the game as a contest as Pakistan won by seven wickets. Pakistan lead the two match T20 series 1-0, the second game is on Friday.

Pakistan And New Zealand Play Out Stalemate

Ross Taylor played a key part in helping New Zealand to save the seconmd test.

Ross Taylor played a key part in helping New Zealand to save the seconmd test.

Pakistan’s cricketers who have been in impressive form of late, were looking to carry on their good form against New Zealand in the second test. The ‘hosts’ outplayed the Kiwis in the first game as Pakistan won by 248 runs. New Zealand were looking to get revenge in this one.

The New Zealanders batted first and got their innings off to a solid start. Brendan McCullum and Tom Latham put on 77 for the first wicket – but the opening partnership was ended by debutant Ehsan Adil, Adil had New Zealand captain McCullum caught for an attractive looking 43. The former wicket keeper hit four 4’s and two sixes in his knock.

Pakistan were sensing ‘blood’ after breaking the first wicket partnership – but Kane Williamson and Latham had other ideas. The pair put on a handy 76 run stand as New Zealand were looking to regroup after the loss of their captain. Zulfiquar Babar had other ideas – and bowled Williamson for 32.

Frustratingly for the Pakistani’s New Zealand were starting to take control of this match with some useful partnerships. Another 70 run stand the Kiwis lead them 200 for the loss of just three wickets. Pakistan at this point were probably looking to restrict New Zealand to a total they could get close to when their time comes to bat.

A mini collapse for the Black caps saw Tom Latham and Corey Anderson both return to the pavilion with the score stuck on 245. At this point Pakistan must have been ‘licking’ their lips as most of New Zealand’s top order was back in the pavilion. New Zealand in this game though seemed to be ‘up for the fight’ .

After being 278-6 at one stage many might have expected New Zealand to crumble – especially after the first game. To the Black caps’ credit they battled to a respectable 403 all out, Pakistan have a battle on their hands all over a sudden.

The Pakistani’s new they needed a ‘special effort’ just to stay in this game, they couldn’t have got off to the worst possible start as the new opening pair of Taufeeq Umar and Maqsood were both dismissed cheaply.

New Zealand at this point must have thought that they have got Pakistan right where they want them – but a third wicket stand of 113 halted the Kiwis’ charge. Misbah Ul-Haq the Pakistani captain was next and made an attractive looking 28 before being caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling Trent Boult. At that point they were 195-4

Pakistan were slowly getting there way back into this game – but the problem was they were losing to many wickets for their own liking. The 1992 world champions had a slight ‘wobble’ and slipped to 287-8 – but thankfully for Pakistan they can call on the services of wicket-keeper batsmen Sarfraz Ahmed – and hundred for Ahmed helped Pakistan to 393 all out, which left them just 10 behind New Zealand’s first innings score.

The second innings wasn’t as good for New Zealand as the first and the Kiwi’s lost four wickets before the score even got to 100. The New Zealander’s with a 46 run fifth wicket stand and a 60 run sixth wicket stand managed to get a lead of over 200 at that point (236 to be precise). The eight wicket fell two runs later and when the ninth wicket fell with the score at 250, New Zealand opted to declare.

With a lead of 260 which was in large thanks to Ross Taylor’s century ,was a testing score – especially for a fourth and innings and for a pitch like Dubai.
To cap a disappointing match Taufeeq Umar in Pakistan’s second innings was dismissed cheaply. With Pakistan looking to save the game – the Pakistani’s couldn’t have got off to a worst possible start. A second wicket stand of 62 looked to have taken the sting out of the game – but another two wickets fell with only three more runs scored.

Pakistan were wobbling and a New Zealand win seemed a distinct possibility. Out came ‘Pakistan’s Mr Reliable’ Younus Khan and talk of a New Zealand win seemed to have gone – but when Khan was out caught by Ross Taylor off the bowling of Mark Craig, New Zealand’s hopes of a win were renewed with that wicket.

Sadly for New Zealand there was to be no more drama as a sixth wicket stand of 43 between Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed ensured that Pakistan drew the ,match and still have there 1-0 series lead intact.

The third and final test starts on Wednesday.