Shahid Afridi saves Pakistan from embarrassing upset by Canada in ICC World Cup 2011 match

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Shahid Afridi saves Pakistan from embarrassing upset by Canada in ICC World Cup 2011 match
Pakistan’s cricket captain Shahid Afridi has yet again led the team by example by taking five wickets in the match against Canada which was being considered bound to become the second major upset of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2011.
The first major upset was England’s defeat at the hands of minnows
The Pakistan-Canada match was being dubbed a practice match for the mighty Pakistan, but all such thoughts vanished when the game almost cost the team their reputation. As all cricket commentators say – Pakistan are unpredictable whenever they are on the field. The team lived up to the statement once again.
When Pakistan came out to bat against, seemed completely startled by the Canadian bowling attack.
The young openers were completely unimpressive and led fans to believe that there was more hype than reality in reports and comments about the players’ batting sense. Hafeez and Shehzad were out after scoring 11 and 12 runs against the bowlers who could not be termed as among the best in the world.
Kamran Akmal’s turn to ‘de-impress’ followed and he gave away his wicket for just 16 runs.
Middle-order batsman Younus Khan was no good either and was out after scoring just six runs. With this going on, it was time for, and the mild-mannered Misbah-ul-Haq to take charge and put a halt to the Canadian rampage. The two middle order batsmen added 73 runs together which helped Pakistan ultimately reach a total of 184 runs which was not a very big total to defend despite Pakistan’s bowling arsenal.
After Misbah and Umar, the rest of the team was quick to fall without any impressive innings.
Canada smelled victory after they succeeded in bowling the Pakistani team out within 43 overs for a total of less than 200.
When Pakistan came out to field, the message was plain and simple – they had to bowl the Canadians out to win the match. However, if anyone was hoping that the Canadian batsmen would fall easily, they were proven wrong because the Canadians batted quite well. In fact, they were better than anyone had expected and were on 104 runs for the loss of just three wickets. The writing on the wall was quite clear for Canada, they needed to keep wickets in hand and the runs would ultimately come their way.
The match had almost slipped out of Pakistan’s hands when Jimmy Hansra was batting, the batsman scored 43 runs and when all was almost lost for Pakistan, Skipper would have become the butt of a joke for losing to a team that’s no more than an infant in modern-day cricket.
Afridi has so far, been one of the only two players (the other being who have not failed to impress. Afridi has taken 14 wickets in just three matches of the ongoing World Cup.
Pakistan are depending too much on Afridi to deliver the goods. Without a doubt he has performed in the three matches that Pakistan have played in the World Cup, but the rest of the team needs to start shaking up. After all that is what they are paid for. Unfortunately right now, everyone is looking at Afridi to perform with the bat and the ball in every game. This will put further pressure on him that may backfire and he may lose his form. However, for now Afridi is surely the King Khan for his team.



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