Shadab Khan

Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan (Credits: Twitter)
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Pakistan Announce Squad For West Indies ODIs, Shadab Khan Returns

Pakistan, on Monday (May 23), announced their squad for the upcoming rescheduled ODI series against West Indies. The entire series will take place in Rawalpindi from June 8 to 12. The Pakistan Cricket Board has also kept Multan as a backup venue.

The hosts have pruned their squad to 16 from the 21 named for the Australia series given the upcoming games will not be played in a Managed Event Environment. The players who have been left out of the squad are Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Haider Ali and Usman Qadir. Saud Shakeel was not considered as he is scheduled to undergo a surgery for sinusitis.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Credits: Twitter)

Leg-spinner Shadab Khan has returned to the squad after missing the series against Australia due to an injury. Babar Azam will lead the side while Shadab has returned to the teams as the former’s deputy.

“As the ODIs against the West Indies are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, we have decided to give best chance to our side to collect maximum points and strengthen our chances of progressing directly for the pinnacle 50-over tournament. We have retained the same core of players so they further establish themselves in the format. I hope this bunch will continue the form they gained from the Australia series,” chief selector Muhammad Wasim said.

The Pakistan squad will assemble in Rawalpindi on 1 June for a training camp. The likes of Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Shadab Khan, who are currently busy playing in the English County Championship, will join the squad in the first week of June.

Haris Rauf
Haris Rauf (Credits: Twitter)

Rescheduled series:

The series was to take place last year when West Indies visited Pakistan for three T20Is and as many ODIs. Both the teams managed to complete the T20I series before a series of Covid-19 cases in the West Indies’ camp led to the cancellation of the ODI series. Before the cancellation, Pakistan had whitewashed the West Indies in the T20Is.

Pakistan squad for West Indies ODIs:

Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper/batter), Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Pakistan Tried To Give Best But Luck Wasn’t On Our Side In The 2nd 2021 T20I World Cup Semifinal Against Australia: Shaheen Shah Afridi

Shaheen Shah Afridi set the World Cup on fire when he got rid of top players like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul with the new ball in Pakistan’s big match against India and even in the semifinal sent back Australian captain Aaron Finch in the first over, but Pakistan went on to lose the semis against Australia.
Hasan Ali’s 18th over went for 15 and he dropped Matthew Wade in the 19th before he unfurled a hat-trick of sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi. The young pacer conceded three back to back sixes off Matthew Wade who guided eventual champions Australia to the finals.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Shaheen Shah Afridi Opens Up On Losing Semifinal Of 2021 T20I WC To Australia

After the dropped catch by Hasan Ali in the penultimate over, Australian keeper Matthew Wade subsequently smacked Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for three consecutive sixes as Australia won with an over to spare.

“It was… (difficult). Luck wasn’t on our side, we can say that. We tried to give our best. Shadab bowled so well, Fakhar batted so well. But overall, the tournament and the entire year was very good for Pakistan. You must have seen, a lot of ICC awards have all come to one place.

“As a team, we have high hopes for this year too. There’s a lot of games coming up… Tests, Asia Cup, World Cup. We are ready for it,” said Shaheen Shah Afridi on the semifinal loss against Australia.

Australia's Matthew Wade and Australia's Marcus Stoinis celebrate after the match. Credit: Reuters Photo
Australia’s Matthew Wade and Australia’s Marcus Stoinis celebrate after the match. Credit: Reuters Photo

Matthew Wade returned unbeaten on 41 off just 17 deliveries as the Aussies were through to the finals with a five-wicket win. However, days after Australia’s first-ever T20I World Cup triumph, Matthew Wade disclosed that he played the high-octane final against runners-up New Zealand on November 14 with a grade 2 side strain.

Matthew Wade (41 not out off 17) and Marcus Stoinis (40 off 31) shared an unbeaten 81-run stand for the sixth wicket to pull off a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the 2nd semi-final.

Shadab Khan’s 4 Wicket Haul Went In Vain As Australia Won The Semis

Pakistan set Australia a target of 177 in 20 overs in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. In response, Australia lost their skipper Aaron Finch on a golden duck as Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped him LBW in the first over. Then, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh rebuilt, stitching a half-century stand.

However, the joy was short-lived as Shadab Khan sent Mitchell Marsh packing on 28 to leave Australia on 57/2 after 7 overs. Then, Steve Smith fell cheaply on five as Shadab Khan’s twin strike rocked Australia.

Shaheen Shah Afridi AFP/Getty Images
Shaheen Shah Afridi AFP/Getty Images

But David Warner continued on his merry way, smashing 49 before being sent packing by Shadab Khan. Australia reached 95/4 after 12 overs. Glenn Maxwell didn’t last long either as Shadab Khan bagged the fourth scalp, and Australia reached 127/5 in 16 overs. Marcus Stoinis along with Matthew Wade, put on 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6.3 overs to take their side over the line.

Shaheen Shah Afridi, the young pacer took one wicket while conceding 35 runs in his quota of four overs.  In the same game, Shadab Khan picked four wickets for Pakistan and Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman had half-centuries to their credit.

Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
Shaheen Shah Afridi. File
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Shaheen Shah Afridi Nominated In 5 Categories For PCB Awards 2021

Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s pacer has been shortlisted in five categories for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Awards 2021. According to their nation’s cricket board PCB, the winners will be announced in a virtual digital show, on Thursday (6th January 2022).

The 21-year-old left-arm fast bowler has been nominated in several categories-Impactful Performance of the Year, T20I Cricketer of the Year, ODI Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year categories to be decided by an independent 10-member jury.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)
Shaheen Shah Afridi (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shaheen Shah Afridi Had An Exceptional 2021 Across All Formats

Shaheen Shah Afridi had a stellar 2021 across all formats. In nine Tests, he took 47 wickets and backed up with eight wickets in six ODIs and 23 wickets in 21 T20Is. His three for 31 against India in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 has made him one of the four candidates for the Impactful Performance of the Year award.

Run-machine Mohammad Rizwan(most runs in T20Is in 2021) and fast bowler Hasan Ali also had a year to celebrate, which is now reflected in their nominations. While Mohammad Rizwan has earned nominations for the Impactful Performance of the Year, T20I Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year, Hasan Ali has been shortlisted for the Impactful Performance of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, and Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year awards.

Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mohammad Rizwan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, and Haris Rauf have been shortlisted in two categories each. Babar Azam, who won the Most Valuable Cricketer of 2020, has once again been nominated in this category, while his other nomination is in the ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Fawad Alam Also Nominated In Test Cricketer And Impactful Performance Of 2021

Batsman Fawad Alam also makes a second successive entry in the Impactful Performance of the Year, while his second nomination is in the Test Cricketer of the Year. Pacer Haris Rauf has been shortlisted in the T20I and ODI Cricketer of the Year categories. For the Emerging Cricketer of the Year, Arshad Iqbal, Azam Khan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, and Shahnawaz Dahani have been shortlisted.

Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)
Fawad Alam (Photo-Twitter)

“Players born on or after 1 August 1998 or have made international debuts in this calendar year or have played in a minimum of 15 matches in the Cricket Association events and HBL PSL in this calendar year are eligible. Player(s) once nominated in this category, cannot be re-nominated,” PCB said in a statement.

“This means Haider Ali and Mohammad Huraira, despite impressive performances, were not considered as they had been shortlisted last year,” it added.

Star cricketers Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fawad Alam have been selected in multiple categories for the PCB Awards 2021. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday revealed the nominations and categories for the annual awards to acknowledge the national cricketers and officials for their performances in the previous year.

Domestic Cricketer of the Year

  • Asif Afridi (59 wickets in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Iftikhar Ahmed (1,456 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Mohammad Huraira (986 runs in his debut Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Sahibzada Farhan (1869 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy)
  • Tayyab Tahir (1,670 runs in Pakistan Cup, National T20 and Quaid-e-Azam Trophy

Emerging Cricketer of the Year

  • Arshad Iqbal
  • Azam Khan
  • Mohammad Wasim Jnr
  • Shahnawaz Dahani

Women’s Cricketer of the Year

  • Aliya Riaz (11 ODIs, 382 runs; 6 T20Is, 94 runs; 364 runs in Pakistan Women’s Cup)
  • Anam Amin (9 ODIs, 15 wickets; 6 T20Is, 7 wickets)
  • Fatima Sana (13 ODIs, 20 wickets; 3 T20Is, 4 wickets; 6 wickets in Pakistan Women’s Cup)
  • Nida Dar (10 ODIs, 363 runs and 6 wickets; 6 T20Is, 95 runs and 7 wickets; 146 runs and 14 wickets in Pakistan Women’s Cup)

Impactful performance of the year

  • Fawad Alam (109 v SA, 1st Test)
  • Hasan Ali (10-114 v SA, 2nd Test)
  • M Rizwan (79* v Ind, T20 World Cup)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (3-31 v Ind, T20 World Cup)

T20I Cricketer of the Year

  • Haris Rauf (23 T20Is, 25 wickets)
  • M Rizwan (29 T20Is, 1,326 runs)
  • Shadab Khan (18 T20Is, 20 wickets, Eco. 6.64)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (21 T20Is, 23 wickets. Eco. 7.86)

ODI Cricketer of the Year

  • Babar Azam (6 ODIs, 405 runs)
  • Fakhar Zaman (6 ODIs, 365 runs)
  • Haris Rauf (6 ODIs, 13 wickets)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (6 ODIs, 8 wickets)

Test Cricketer of the Year

  • Abid Ali (9 Tests, 695 runs)
  • Fawad Alam (9 Tests, 571 runs)
  • Hasan Ali (9 Tests, 41 wickets)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (9 tests, 47 wickets)

Most Valuable Cricketer of the Year

  • Babar Azam (8 Tests, 416 runs; 6 ODIs, 405 runs; 29 T20Is, 939 runs)
  • Hasan Ali (8 tests, 41 wickets; 4 ODIs, 7 wickets; 18 T20Is, 25 wickets)
  • M Rizwan (9 Tests, 455 runs; 6 ODIs, 134 runs; 29 T20Is, 1,326 runs; total dismissal 56)
  • Shaheen Shah Afridi (9 Tests, 47 wickets; 6 ODIs, 8 wickets; 21 T20Is, 23 wickets)
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Slams Bangladesh For Its Unsuccessful Overseas Record

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistani skipper, has come down hard on the Bangladesh cricket team over their unsuccessful results away from home.

The 51-year old has opined that Bangladesh’s away performances are still similar to what they used to be 15 years ago. Inzamam-ul-Haq feels Bangladesh has harmed its own chances of competing abroad by making slow pitches in its own turf in Bangladesh.

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Bangladesh’s Away Performances Are Like 15 Years Back

Following Pakistan’s win against Bangladesh in the first T20I, he posted a video on his official YouTube channel, ‘Inzamam-ul-Haq The Match Winner’.  In his video, Inzamam-ul-Haq slammed Bangladesh and lamented that they haven’t learned much from their poor T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. He feels that apart from winning an odd ODI away from home, the Bangladeshi team has not done well on foreign turf.

“I thought Bangladesh would’ve learnt something from their poor World Cup performances. That maybe they will make better pitches or play better cricket. They’ve been playing cricket for the last 15-20 years and their away performances are just like it used to be 15 years back. It’s like winning an odd ODI once in a blue moon and nothing else,” said Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Bangladesh shocked the cricketing world by defeating Australia 4-1 and New Zealand 3-2 prior to the 2021 T20I World Cup, but it came on their own turf, but overseas, they have only beaten minnows Zimbabwe, Ireland, and inconsistent West Indies in the T20I bilateral series.

Bangladesh (AFP Photo)
Bangladesh (AFP Photo)

The Tigers were one of the poorest teams during the recent T20 World Cup in the UAE, losing all their matches in the Super 12s. Low bounce and sluggish surfaces have become synonymous with Bangladeshi pitches. Teams like Australia and New Zealand have found it extremely difficult to survive on these kinds of surfaces.

Inzamam-ul-Haq: As Soon As Bangladesh Plays Outside They Seem Desolated

In his review, the former Pakistani cricketer pointed out that they seem’ desolated’ whenever Bangladesh plays outside their country. He added that by making ‘pathetic pitches’, they are preventing the development of their own cricketers.

Inzamam-ul-Haq said: “It was a typical match (1st T20I between Bangladesh and Pakistan) in Bangladeshi conditions. We’ve seen this over the years. Teams like Australia and other found it extremely difficult to win in Bangladesh. But as soon as Bangladesh plays outside of their country, they seem desolated.”

“They were nowhere to be seen in the recent World Cup. And this is because they make absolutely pathetic pitches in their country. They don’t even give their players a chance to groom and feel satisfied just by winning matches in Bangladesh. I’m extremely disappointed to see this,” Inzamam concluded.

After winning the first T20I by four wickets, Pakistan will look to clinch the series when the two teams meet in Dhaka for the second T20I later today (November 20).

Bangladesh will have a lot to ponder about after the loss in the first game but do not have too much time as they face Pakistan less than 24 hours after the first game. With several new faces in the squad after the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Bangladesh put up a tremendous fight but will be ruing the missed opportunity, having had Pakistan’s backs against the walls at 24/4 chasing 128.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, and Mahedi Hasan were the only three batters to reach double figures, with the latter two providing some late impetus to put a target of 128 for Pakistan to chase down. Hasan Ali put the disappointing World Cup semi-final showing behind him and returned with figures of 3/22 in four overs.

Like Bangladesh, Pakistan too faltered early, losing four wickets in the fielding restrictions. However, Fakhar Zaman and Khushdil Shah, who scored 34 each, strung together a game-changing 56-run partnership before Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz put on a show for the crowd in Dhaka with an unbeaten 36-run stand in just 15 balls to take Pakistan home and give them a 1-0 series lead.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad once again chose to bat first after winning the toss against Pakistan, in the second T20I in Dhaka. The home side didn’t make any changes, while Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi replaced Hasan Ali.

Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
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Aakash Chopra Calls David Warner The Soul Of Australian Body After The Opener Scores 49 In 2nd Semi Final

Aakash Chopra has called David Warner the soul of Australia’s T20I team. He added that the Aussies lose half their strength when the dashing opener is not at the top of his game. Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. Marcus Stoinis (40*) & Matthew Wade (41*) took the team over the line in a pulsating finish.

David Warner smashed a 30-ball 49 during Australia’s record 177-run chase in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan. His knock, along with the efforts of Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, helped the Kangaroos book a berth in the final of the global event against New Zealand.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: If David Warner Doesn’t Play, Australia Becomes Half

While reflecting on Australia’s chase in a video shared on his YouTube channel, former opener turned commentator Aakash Chopra put David Warner on a high pedestal.

He elaborated: “If the Australian T20 team is a body, David Warner is its soul. If he doesn’t play, the team becomes half. But when he plays, we say form is temporary, David Warner is permanent and he is class when we talk about this format.”

David Warner plays a shot during his innings of 49 for Australia against Pakistan
David Warner plays a shot during his innings of 49, which launched Australia on their way to victory. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

While lauding David Warner’s knock, the former India cricketer was slightly critical of the six the Aussie opener hit off Mohammad Hafeez’s bowling.

Aakash Chopra observed: “He has been very very good. He played an amazing counter-attacking knock. He was just keeping Australia in the game. There was one moment though which broke my heart. The ball slipped out of Hafeez’s hands, who hits like that, I have never seen anyone do that even in Ranji Trophy but he hit a six.”

David Warner smashed a six into the stands off a Mohammed Hafeez delivery that bounced twice after it slipped out of the Pakistan off-spinner hand.

Aakash Chopra: Hasan Ali Dropped ‘Trophy’ As His Dropped Catch Cost The Match  Which Was In The Balance Till Then

Aakash Chopra pointed out that Shadab Khan had almost sealed the match in Pakistan’s favour with a four-wicket haul.  Shadab Khan managed to dismiss the dangerous David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, and Mitchell Marsh. From his four overs, the “electric leggie” managed to finish with figures of 4/26.

“After that Shadab took four wickets – it was game, set, match and all of that, in which Maxwell, Smith and Warner also got out. What else do you want? But after that Wade was there with Stoinis.”

Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The reputed commentator concluded by stating that a couple of indifferent overs by the Pakistan pacers Hasan Ali and Haris Rauf and Matthew Wade being let off by Hasan Ali cost the Babar Azam-led side a spot in the final.

Aakash Chopra explained: “The game was in the balance there as well because Wade was going at run-a-ball, Stoinis was hitting but Wade was keeping Pakistan in the game. And that is when the Hasan Ali over which also had a no-ball. After that, a Haris Rauf over and then there was a catch dropped by Hasan Ali, the heart was broken, it was not a white-colored ball but probably the trophy. Then three sixes, it was incredible hitting.”

Matthew Wade was dropped by Hasan Ali at deep midwicket on the third ball of the 19th over bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi. The Australian wicketkeeper-batter hit the next three deliveries for sixes to knock Pakistan out of the tournament. Marcus Stoinis, along with Matthew Wade, put on 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6.3 overs to take their side over the line.

Marcus Stoinis smashed 40 not-out, while Matthew Wade hit 41* off 17 balls. 22 runs were needed in the last 12 balls, and Matthew Wade took Australia home with 6 balls to spare. Shaheen Shah Afridi got hammered for three sixes in a row in the penultimate over.

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Babar Azam Boosts Morale Of Pakistan Teammates Following 5-Wicket Loss To Australia In Dubai

Babar Azam, the Pakistan skipper, boosted its team’s morale following a stunning five-wicket loss to Australia in the 2021 T20 World Cup semifinals. After the game, Babar Azam spoke in the dressing room, requesting his teammates learn from this defeat and stick by one another.

Australia registered a come-from-behind victory in Dubai on Thursday as Australian lower middle-order batsmen Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis threaded an unbroken 81-run stand. Pakistan had the game well within their grasp; however, their lacklustre fielding cost them.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)

Babar Azam Requests Not To Blame Individuals For Losing Semi-Final To Australia

In a video uploaded by Pakistan cricket’s official Twitter handle, Babar Azam addressed his side and said he understands their pain. However, Babar Azam requested everyone to maintain unity, not to play the blame game, and take lessons from this.

“We are all in pain and grieved by where we went wrong and where we could’ve done better. No one will tell us as we already know it. But we have to learn from it and we can’t let this loss break us as a unit. I’m requesting not to blame individuals and we as a team, didn’t perform well.”

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade (PA AAP)

He added: “We did lose, but we will learn from this and bounce back. We have to ensure we don’t repeat these mistakes moving forward and let’s maintain this bond amongst ourselves because this is a result of our hard work.”

The 27-year old praised his teammates for playing magnificently throughout the group stage, where they were undefeated and won all 5 games.

“It is difficult to create such a connection; hence, let’s get through this defeat together. As captain, I back every player and I’m thankful to all of you for responding well to me and fostering a good dressing room atmosphere. Everyone has given their everything and taken responsibility and it’s what is required from a team. Efforts are within our control and we will put it; however, results are not in our hands. Results will follow if a side gives its maximum effort.”

Besides, dropping a catch off Matthew Wade, right-arm seamer Hasan Ali came into the firing line for his wicketless four overs. Wade subsequently smacked Shaheen Shah Afridi for three sixes as Australia won with an over to spare.

Babar Azam Urges Not To Talk About Anyone Negatively And Forge A Positive Environment By Backing Each Other

Babar Azam stressed about reflecting on their mistakes; however, wanted the side to maintain that positivity by supporting each other and overcoming this loss. Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai after New Zealand had defeated England in the 1st semi-final.

“Hence, please don’t drop your shoulders and I know everyone is grieving. It’s only a matter of time and think about where we could’ve gone better. Please support each other and these are times where everyone must pick each other up. I urge you not to talk about anyone negatively and forge a positive environment by backing one another and enjoying. Let’s learn from this and the more quickly we move on from this loss, the better.”

Marcus Stoinis (40*) & Matthew Wade (41*) took the team over the line in a pulsating finish. Pakistan set Australia a target of 177 in 20 overs in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. In response, Australia lost their skipper Aaron Finch on a golden duck as Shaheen Shah Afridi trapped him LBW in the first over.

 Then, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh rebuilt, stitching half-century stand. However, the joy was short-lived as Shadab Khan sent Mitchell Marsh packing on 28 to leave Australia on 57/2 after 7 overs. Then, Steve Smith fell cheaply on five as Shadab Khan’s twin strike rocked Australia.

Dubai: Pakistan's Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia's David Warner (PHOTO: SUMAN CHATTOPADHYAY/IANS)
Dubai: Pakistan’s Shadab Khan celebrates the dismissal of Australia’s David Warner (PHOTO: SUMAN CHATTOPADHYAY/IANS)

But David Warner continued on his merry way, smashing 49 before being sent packing by Shadab Khan. Australia reached 95/4 after 12 overs. Glenn Maxwell didn’t last long either as Shadab Khan bagged the fourth scalp, and Australia reached 127/5 in 16 overs. 22 runs were needed in the last 12 balls, and Matthew Wade took Australia home with 6 balls to spare. Shaheen Shah Afridi got hammered for three sixes in a row in the penultimate over.

Sunday’s 2021 T20I World Cup final in Dubai will see Australia and New Zealand lock horns as both sides aim to lift their first T20 World Cup.

Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting
Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting
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Gautam Gambhir Questions Shane Warne And Ricky Ponting Over Silence On David Warner’s ‘Unsportsmanlike Act’ In T20I World Cup Semi-Final Against Pakistan

Gautam Gambhir has questioned former Australian cricket legends Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting over their silence on opener David Warner’s unsportsmanlike act in the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final against Pakistan. Gautam Gambhir has even branded the incident ‘shameful’ and ‘pathetic’.

Cricket, like every game, is supposed to be played by the rulebook, but certain grey areas continue to be debated about. While Mankading has been one subject that has divided cricket lovers for a long time, an act by David Warner in the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final against Pakistan has seen the Australian opener being branded ‘unsportsmanlike’.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir Questioned Shane Warne And Ricky Ponting For Their Silence On David Warner’s ‘Shameful’ Act Of Hitting A Six Off A Mohammad Hafeez Ball Which Slipped Out Of His Hands

Gautam Gambhir — a former opening batsman, full-time politician, and part-time pundit — has been quite vocal about the day-to-day cricketing affairs. Having seen Australian opener David Warner exploit a two-bouncer delivery by Mohammed Hafeez after the ball slipped out of his hands in the match on Thursday, Gautam Gambhir didn’t just take a swipe at the Aussie southpaw but also targeted spin legend, Shane Warne.

On the set of Star Sports, Gautam Gambhir targeted Shane Warne asking why hasn’t the iconic cricketer commented on the incident that saw David Warner hitting a six against Mohammed Hafeez despite knowing that the ball had slipped out of the Pakistani all-rounder’s hand.

“Shane Warne comments and tweets on everything. Even Ricky Ponting makes big, big claims about the spirit of the game. What have they got to say about this?” said Gautam Gambhir while speaking on the broadcaster’s post-match show after the Pakistan vs Australia match.

 David Warner hit a six after the ball slipped out of Mohammad Hafeez's hand and pitched twice (AP Photo)
David Warner hit a six after the ball slipped out of Mohammad Hafeez’s hand and pitched twice (AP Photo)

“When Ashwin does Mankad, they come up with big comments. Today, what has Shane Warne got to say about David Warner? Because it’s easy to criticize someone but extremely difficult to criticize your own players,” Gautam Gambhir added.

Gambhir had also taken to Twitter to brand Warner’s act ‘absolutely pathetic’ and ‘shameful. “What an absolutely pathetic display of spirit of the game by Warner! #Shameful What say @ashwinravi99?”, Gautam Gambhir had written.

David Warner scored a quickfire 49 off 30 balls, taking the attack to the Pakistani bowlers before being dismissed by spinner Shadab Khan. In fact, his dismissal was also a curious one. The left-hander hadn’t quite edged the delivery into the hands of wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, yet he decided to walk off.

Later, even the UltraEdge showed that there was a huge gap between David Warner’s bat and ball. But, with the non-striker Glenn Maxwell also acknowledging that there was a noise when the ball went past David Warner’s blade, a review wasn’t taken.

Matthew Wade And Marcus Stoinis’ Cameos Takes Australia Over The Line In A Pulsating Finish

Australia beat Pakistan by five wickets in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. Marcus Stoinis (40*) & Matthew Wade (41*) took the team over the line in a pulsating finish.

Pakistan set Australia a target of 177 in 20 overs in the 2nd semi-final in Dubai. In response, Australia lost their skipper Aaron Finch on a golden duck as Shaheen Afridi trapped him LBW in the first over. Then, David Warner and Mitchell Marsh rebuilt, stitching half-century stand. However, the joy was short-lived as Shadab Khan sent Mitchell Marsh packing on 28 to leave Australia on 57/2 after 7 overs. Then, Steve Smith fell cheaply on five as Shadab Khan’s twin strike rocked Australia.

But David Warner continued on his merry way, smashing 49 before being sent packing by Shadab Khan. Australia reached 95/4 after 12 overs. Glenn Maxwell didn’t last long either as Shadab Khan bagged the fourth scalp, and Australia reached 127/5 in 16 overs.

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade (PA AAP)

All eyes were on their key man, Marcus Stoinis. He, along with Matthew Wade, put on 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6.3 overs to take their side over the line.

Marcus Stoinis smashed 40 not-out, while Matthew Wade hit 41* off 17 balls. 22 runs were needed in the last 12 balls, and Matthew Wade took Australia home with 6 balls to spare. Shaheen Shah Afridi got hammered for three sixes in a row in the penultimate over.

Shadab Khan and Asif Ali. Pic: t20worldcup.com
Shadab Khan and Asif Ali. Pic: t20worldcup.com
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Shadab Khan Isn’t Surprised With Finisher Asif Ali’s Batting Prowess In T20I WC 2021

Shadab Khan, Pakistan’s vice-captain, has stated that he is least surprised with Asif Ali’s success as a late-order hitter in the T20 World Cup 2021. According to the leg-spinner Shadab Khan, he has seen Asif Ali achieve similar feats in domestic and franchise cricket, so he was always aware of the batter’s striking potential.

Asif Ali smashed an unbeaten 27 off 12 balls against New Zealand and followed it up with 25* off 7 against Afghanistan, which included four sixes in an over. In both matches, the 30-year-old lifted Pakistan to victory from tense circumstances.

Asif Ali.
Asif Ali. File Photo.

Shadab Khan: Confident And In Form Asif Ali Can Play Like That

Shadab Khan, who was at the non-striker’s end when Asif Ali clobbered Afghanistan pacer Karim Janat for four sixes, said he was a bit angry at his partner when he refused a single during the closing stages of the match.

However, speaking to t20worldcup.com, the leggie Shadab Khan admitted: “I knew he has more power than me. He’s done it so many times in domestic cricket also. I have seen him play for Islamabad United. When he is in good form and has the confidence, he can play like that. He is a great player and now, thank God, he is performing at the international level as well. He has done so much hard work, and now it’s paying off.”

Shadab Khan (File Photo)
Shadab Khan (File Photo)

Asif Ali Never Stopped Working Hard, And His Dream Is To Win The 2021 T20I WC

30-year-old Asif Ali has not been a constant fixture in the Pakistan team, and nothing extraordinary was expected of him when he was chosen in the T20 World Cup 2021 squad.

Asked how he prepared for the tournament, the big-hitting batter explained: “I never stopped working hard. I played domestic tournaments and many leagues. There is nothing extra special about me or my talent.”

Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)
Asif Ali. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

On the four sixes he hit against Afghanistan, he asserted that he had the confidence to pull it off.

Asif Ali said: “I had planned with Shoaib (Malik) that we would attack in the next over. I felt I could finish the game and I did the same. There was a single on offer but I refused it.”

Asif Ali signed off saying that he wants already qualified Pakistan to win the World Cup to give the fans some joy.

He concluded: “The performances have been very good because we have been playing as a unit. My dream is to win the World Cup and give more joy to our fans back home.”

Having already qualified for the semi-finals, Pakistan will take on Scotland in their last Super 12 encounter in Sharjah on Sunday. Big-hitting Asif Ali was nominated along with David Wiese and Shakib Al Hasan in ICC Player Of The Month Award.

Pakistan recently played four intense T20 matches and emerged victorious against teams that put up a great fight. Two of those wins, against New Zealand and Afghanistan, were credited to the stellar performance of Asif Ali in the final overs.

The undefeated team has now pledged to dedicate their possible T20 World Cup win to Asif Ali’s late daughter, Noor Fatima.  The cricketer lost his 18-month-old daughter to blood cancer back in 2019. The child passed away after a prolonged fight against fourth-stage cancer while Asif Ali was on a month-long tour with the team in England.

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Pakistan Fans Astonished To See Consistent Pakistan In T20I World Cup 2021, Says Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar believes Pakistani fans might have felt astonished by their team’s consistent performance in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

Prior to the tournament, not many would’ve anticipated that Pakistan would be one of the best units in the T20 World Cup for its inconsistency. But that has been the case for Babar Azam-led Pakistan. They have so far won all of their matches in Group 2 in the Super 12s.

Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics
Sanjay Manjrekar | Sportzpics

Sanjay Manjrekar: Pakistan Is On A Golden Run As Their Fans Are Shocked To See A Consistent Pakistan In Group Stage Of 2021 T20I World Cup

Reviewing the clash between Pakistan and Namibia, Sanjay Manjrekar posted a video on his official Instagram account. In his video, the 56-year old pointed out Pakistan’s dream run of form in the tournament.

“Pakistan is on a golden run. Who would’ve thought that. Their fans would be somewhat shellshocked to see their team being so consistent. There have been a couple of nervy chases, though not against India. They’re obviously favorites against Namibia.”

Though the Matthew Hayden-coached side Pakistan’s 45-run win over Namibia confirmed their final-four spot, Scotland remains the only team in their path to a 100% group-stage win rate. Pakistan opted to bat first and defended the score of 189 with ease against Namibia.

Imad Wasim
Imad Wasim (Image Credit: Twitter)

The former cricketer-turned-expert lauded the duo of Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan and elucidated that they have ‘street smart’ skills in the T20s While stating that the duo knows how to survive in the shortest format of the game, Sanjay Manjrekar said that they are not highly skilled but knows where to pitch the ball.

“Pakistan’s bowling is also looking fantastic. Their spinners in Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan are capable spinners. And that is the thing about Pakistan, they are not very highly skilled or have classical actions, but they are very street smart bowlers. They know where to put the ball and don’t get hit. They know how to survive in this kind of a format.”

Pakistan played the same XI as their first three games, and Babar Azam said that was because the Namibia contest was their first in Abu Dhabi. Although Pakistan’s bowlers could take only five wickets in Namibia’s chase, they did well to restrict their opponents to 144. Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali went at economies of less than six.

After the skipper’s 70, Mohammad Rizwan exploded to finish 79 not out and lifted Pakistan to 189 with Mohammad Hafeez’s cameo. Mohammad Hafeez batted at No. 4, and he began with an assault that saw him make 32 in 16 balls, including five fours.

Sanjay Manjrekar: Hasan Ali’s Form A Concern While Shaheen Shah Afridi Is The Best Pacer Of The 2021 T20I World Cup

Sanjay Manjrekar also discussed Hasan Ali’s form as a possible concern to the Pakistani team. The 56-year old opined that the Pakistani right-arm pacer looked “rattled” when he gets hit for runs. Sanjay Manjrekar said Shaheen Shah Afridi is the best pacer of the tournament so far.

“Shaheen Afridi is right up there. He’s currently the best fast bowler of the tournament. Hasan Ali could be a concern for Pakistan. Not only because he has gone for runs and hasn’t made the desired impression, but he looks rattled when he gets hit.”

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

The former Indian batsman drew comparisons between Hasan Ali and former Pakistani pacer Mohammad Sami. He stated that like Mohammad Sami, Hasan Ali is also a hit the deck bowler and cannot afford to miss his line while bowling. However, Sanjay Manjrekar suggested Hasan Ali attack the stumps and should not vary too much.

“He’s (Hasan Ali) a bit like when we had someone like Mohammad Sami from Pakistan, in the late 90s and early 2000s ..Bowls fast and hits the deck. And these are the kind of bowlers who cannot afford to get off the line.

“Because the moment they go slightly off line, they go for runs. So maybe Hasan Ali can do that and just attack the stumps. He shouldn’t look to vary too much and hit the deck, keep it straight and he’ll be fine,” Manjrekar concluded.

Pakistan faced Namibia in Match 31 of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021 in Abu Dhabi on November 2. Hasan Ali proved Pakistan’s best bowler against Namibia, finishing with figures of 4-0-22-1, as he somewhat returned to form after poor outings in the last few matches. However, Hasan Ali had not been able to deliver his best in the first three games and conceded runs at an economy of 9.81 while picking three wickets.

Pakistan 189 for 2 (Rizwan 79*, Babar 70) beat Namibia 144 for 5 (Wiese 43, Williams 40, Imad 1-13, Hasan 1-22) by 45 runs

Namibia (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
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Pakistan Team Cricketers And An Official Went To Namibia’s Dressing Room To Applaud Competitiveness In 2021 T20I WC

Pakistan’s cricket team displayed a heartwarming gesture towards minnows Namibia after the former’s convincing win in the 2021 T20 World Cup clash. PCB’s official Twitter handle shared a clip where their cricketers and a team official went to the Namibian side’s dressing room to applaud their competitiveness.

The likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Hasan Ali, Fakhar Zaman, and Shadab Khan were amongst the players. Team officials shared some encouraging words about Namibia’s efforts, followed by everyone embracing after a competitive game on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan team visited Namibia dressing room to congratulate them on their journey in the T20 World Cup
Pakistan team visited Namibia dressing room to congratulate them on their journey in the T20 World Cup Image Source: Google.

Pakistan Beat Namibia By 45 Runs To Advance To Semi-finals

Although Namibia lost by 45 runs, they fought till the end and didn’t allow Pakistan to walk over them. However, the target of 190 proved a bridge too far against a high-quality bowling unit. As a result, Babar Azam and co. Became the first team to book a semi-final spot in this year’s event.

Pakistan opted to bat first and defended the score of 189 with ease. Pakistan’s 45-run win over Namibia has now confirmed their final-four spot, leaving only Scotland in their path to a 100% group-stage win rate. It was the first time the Asian team won a game while batting first in this tournament. The only box Pakistan did not tick was in testing their bench strength.
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby
Pakistan AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

The men in green also maintained their unbeaten run that started by beating India in their opening match. They continued by overcoming New Zealand and Afghanistan in hard-fought games. On Tuesday against Namibia, skipper Babar Azam sent the opposition into fielding for the first time in the competition.

Pakistan played the same XI as their first three games, and Babar Azam said that was because the Namibia contest was their first in Abu Dhabi. Although Pakistan’s bowlers could take only five wickets in Namibia’s chase, they did well to restrict their opponents to 144, with Imad Wasim and Hasan Ali going at economies of less than six.

Babar Azam’s 70 And Mohammad Rizwan’s Unbeaten 79 Saw Pakistan Score 189

The decision, meant to challenge themselves, proved fruitful as the pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan shared a 113-run opening stand. Babar Azam’s 70 took them to their fifth T20I century stand – the most by any pair in the format’s history – before the first wicket fell in the 15th over.

After the skipper’s 70, Mohammad Rizwan exploded to finish 79 not out and lifted Pakistan to 189 with Mohammad Hafeez’s cameo. Mohammad Hafeez batted at No. 4, and he began with an assault that saw him make 32 in 16 balls that included five fours.

Hasan Ali proved their best bowler, finishing with figures of 4-0-22-1 as David Wiese top-scored with 43*. David Wiese did the best he could to ignore the match situation and entertained the crowds with his two sixes and three fours to finish unbeaten on a 31-ball 45.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

For Namibia, their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals look unlikely. The team currently stands fourth in the points table and have fixtures coming up against India and New Zealand. Namibia’s only victory in the Super 12 stage came against Scotland; however, wins in the remaining matches look improbable. Nevertheless, they could take heart from their competitiveness. Pakistan will now lock horns with Scotland in their final Super 12 clash.

 

Pakistan 189 for 2 (Rizwan 79*, Babar 70) beat Namibia 144 for 5 (Wiese 43, Williams 40, Imad 1-13, Hasan 1-22) by 45 runs

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