Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Zealand make their presence felt

Well needless to be said, New Zealand beat Pakistan yesterday by 110 runs which was their first victory in world cups since 1992 (the world cup since which I have been following). I still remember New Zealand losing two games to Pakistan in the 1992 world cup, one in the league stages and the other in the semi finals which saw their fans leave the stadium in tears. Since then, New Zealand have been losing to Pakistan in 5 occasions, two each in the 1992 and 1999 editions and 1 in 1996. Since then the two teams have never met in world cups at all.

For two world cups since 1999, Pakistan have never been able to cross the first round of the world cup and the teams had been grouped in such a way that Pakistan had no chance of meeting New Zealand in the league stages of the world cup. Of course, the teams have met in the T20 world cup in all three editions with Pakistan winning two and New Zealand one. Coming to the ICC champions trophy, which is also a world cup tournament, Pakistan and New Zealand have met thrice with New Zealand winning all three in 2000, 2006 and 2009.

Yesterday, Pakistan just paid the price for not being so alert on the field when they dropped the catch of none other than Ross Taylor who was instrumental in New Zealand's 92 runs off the last four overs that laid the platform for their victory. On the other hand, New Zealand's fielding was exactly the opposite of their Pakistani counterpart. There was a warning in that game against Sri Lanka when ones turned out to be twos, easy catches were dropped and run outs were missed. Finally, Pakistan had to settle with a 11 run win which should have been 50 runs or so.

A bowler who could take three consecutive 4+ wicket hauls and claim his best favorite shot to be "anywhere for six" could only take one gifted wicket of Guptill and score 17 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 188. It is just unfortunate for Pakistan to have such an inspirational captain who can hardly take responsibility when the situations demands a captain's knock similar to that of Steve Waugh. Afridi was one among the two six hitters from Pakistan but which was hardly of any use to his team. By winning the game against Pakistan, New Zealand made their presence felt after they had lost to Australia and were likely to lose yesterday as well.

1 comment:

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