Captain Courageous and his Firing Team
by D. Giridhar

Ground:Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Scorecard:Pakistan v West Indies
Event:ICC World Cup 2010/11

DateLine: 25th March 2011


It was a scintillating performance by Shahid Afiridi's team which rattled the West Indies and emerged as the first team to book a place in the World Cup Semifinals. This ten-wicket victory by Pakistan brought lots of cheer to Pakistan's coach, Waqar Younis.


The West Indies batsmen had no answer to the magical bowling spells by Umar Gul, Ajmal and the one and only Afiridi who lead from the front by claiming four wickets and is the leading wicket taker in this World Cup 2011. Earlier, Umar Gul took out Chris Gayle with his great bowling as he hit an off drive to the skipper Afiridi who held a stunner although the ball was moving like a bullet but did not escape his safe hands.


Afiridi has to be complimented for his quick bowling changes and he brought in Hafeez who claimed two vital wickets, accounting for Smith and Darren Bravo. One must not forget the contribution of Saeed Ajmal who caught the West Indies Captain Sammy, rooted at his crease with his guile, bowling the doosra' for a LBW decision in his favour.


It was a rousing delight among the Pakistan fans and well wishers who derived tremendous pleasure at every dismissal.


Kamran Akmal and Mohammed Hafeez notched up the winning runs with ease. Afiridi was instrumental for knitting the team as a cohesive unit despite the fact he was appointed only 10 days before the World Cup and Pakistan had lost two fast bowlers bowlers in the infamous spot fixing controversy.


Another example of Afiridi marshalling his resources well with able support from Umar Gul, Razzaq and other players was when they helped stun Aussies with a dramatic victory which ended Australia's amazing unbeaten run in World Cups. He kept his word when he said before this match "We will Win and We will win for sure. Jeethengey Ji, Bilkul Jeethengey", said the charming Pathan.


Kudos To Waqar Younis and his support staff for bringing flavour in this young Pakistan team with confidence to face any opponent.


I conclude saying I would be happy and delighted and pray the almighty Allah along with all Pakistan well wishers and supporters to bring back the World Cup back to Pakistan. Afiridi reminds me of the legendary Imran Khan who led from the front and all players had utmost respect for this great leader who achieved the goal and gave Pakistan its first World Cup in 1992.

(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2011 D. Giridhar)