Monday, February 28, 2011

World Cup 2011 - Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Verdict

The trumpets blared, the horns bellowed and the whistles rang all night in a packed out Premadasa stadium. It was a cauldron like atmosphere in which an energetic and determined Pakistan out-gunned the Sri Lankans, a mighty effort.

If they turn up with this much enthusiasm every time, they can take down any opponent. The match see-sawed constantly but you always felt that Sri Lanka were one step behind, the Pakistanis batted with purpose and bowled with menace.

Except for one guy.

Kamran Akmal, take a bow. © Getty Images

How this man manages to become a first choice keeper-batsman is mystifying. His record on paper is passable, but papers do not show the moments of sheer lunacy he can produce. This match was a great example of it, sample on these excerpts from the equally frustrated Cricinfo commentator:

Herath to Kamran Akmal, OUT, Well, Pakistan have lost three wickets. Kamran has taken more than any of the Sri Lankan bowlers - two. After sending Hafeez back with his wily running, he's now accounted for himself with an inexplicable unremarkable charge down the track. He seemed to have decided long back that, no matter what, this had to go over long on. And so he proceeded - to run down the track like a bull that had seen a red rag. Herath just stuck to his guns, landed it on middle and got it to turn away, past Kamran's mad, mad swipe. Miss. He doesn't have much time to turn back. Sanga does the rest. He didn't even turn back. Just kept walking. Good idea too. Vintage Kamran.
Kamran Akmal st †Sangakkara b Herath 39 (68m 48b 5x4 0x6) SR: 81.25

Abdur Rehman to Sangakkara, 5 wides, Kamran fluffs a stumping, all is well with the world, Rehman beat Sanga with some flight, and angling it down the leg side, he got some extra bounce again, which beat Kamran totally, Sanga was in no position to get back

Abdur Rehman to Sangakkara, 1 wide, Kamran, oh Kamran. Another fluffed stumping. Same as before, Sanga jumps out a mile looking to flick. Rehman sees him and fires it wide, Sanga misses and is halfway down the track. Kamran whips the bails off. Find the missing link - yes, Kamran did not collect. I now know the only weak link in Pakistan's side. It is behind the stumps.

What if Sangakkara went on to win the match?
This man can cost you a world cup. Be warned Pakistan.

Ah the memories of Sydney. © Getty Images

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