Younis gets off the mark
June 14, 2008
Appeals of the day
Shahid Afridi's delivery beat Yuvraj Singh's attempted sweep and struck him low on the pad in front of the stumps. He began the appeal confidently and was incredulous when he realised Nadir Shah's finger wasn't going up. That ball may have pitched outside leg but it was a tight call. A couple of deliveries later, Yusuf Pathan was struck on the pad as he pushed forward; once again Afridi roared an appeal and looked dumbfounded as Shah gave it as runs. In his next over, Afridi hit Suresh Raina plumb in front after he missed an attempted sweep. This time the ball had pitched in line but Shah remained unmoved.
Pakistan began their innings slowly and, in the tenth over, Kamran Akmal decided to improvise against Irfan Pathan. He walked across his stumps and created the line to hoist a short ball to the midwicket boundary. When he attempted to do it again the next delivery, Irfan altered his length and bowled it full. Akmal played across the line and the outside edge was held by Dhoni.
Younis finds his mojo
Younis Khan's tournament went from bad in the first match - out without facing a ball - to worse in the second - two dropped catches and a first-ball duck. Walking out to bat after Pakistan had made a quiet start in the final, Younis punched his first ball, off Irfan, elegantly through extra cover for four. He raised his bat to the crowd in good-humoured celebration of his first runs of the tournament. He would celebrate again, many overs later, on reaching a century which spurred Pakistan to a formidable total.
Caught the other day, dropped today
Rohit Sharma, fielding at a short cover point, had pulled off a sharp one-handed catch low to his left to dismiss Salman Butt in the league match against Pakistan. He was stationed in the same position in the final and once again Butt cut the ball low but this time to Rohit's right. He attempted it with one hand but was off balance and couldn't hold on.
A disciplined display
India did not concede a single extra in the first 16 overs of Pakistan's innings. The first leg bye came in the 17th over when Ishant Sharma hit Younis on the pad. Ishant also bowled the first wide, at the start of the 36th over, when he sprayed it outside Butt's off stump.
c Pathan b Pathan
It nearly happened in the 41st over when Younis skied Irfan towards long-on. Yusuf Pathan came sprinting in off the boundary and dived forward, barely getting his hands under the ball before it spilled out.
Substitute with safe hands
Nasir Jamshed hasn't had much to do in the Kitply Cup but today he had to field after Butt cramped up towards the end of his innings. Stationed at deep-backward square leg, Jamshed watched Rohit play a half-chip half-pull and as the top edge swirled towards him, he settled under it comfortably and took the catch to end India's promising second-wicket partnership. Minutes later, now at deep point for the left-hand Gambhir, Jamshed judged a skied cut to perfection to dismiss India's in-form batsman. He also pouched the title-clinching catch at the same position.
The doctor joins in
Nasim Ashraf, the chairman of the PCB, had written a letter to the Pakistan team blasting their performance during the league-match defeat against India. He flew into Dhaka and had meetings with the team ahead of the final. Whether it had an effect or not, Pakistan's batsmen flourished and Ashraf was seen sitting with the players towards the final overs of Pakistan's innings, applauding the boundaries.
George Binoy is a staff writer at Cricinfo