On Matters That Matter

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones

The Pakistan Factor

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As a team and as an opponent no one comes anywhere close to being as unpredictable as Pakistan. They have done it so consistently that it is near impossible to position them anywhere in the spectrum; they can be hopeless when they are favourites and can emerge winners when no one is giving them even an outside chance.

They have done it again in the T20 World Cup. South Africa were the clear favourites and the team that had all bases covered; won all their previous matches and having pace, spin, a reliable batting line-up and the best fielding unit. History has shown that on some days no team can prepare for Pakistan because even Pakistan does not prepare for such days. Pakistan’s other big win, the World Cup in 1992 also came out of the blue.

In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan had lost to West Indies, India, and South Africa and then gained some momentum towards the latter matches. New Zealand on the other hand had won each and every match before running into Pakistan, they were on top of the table and would have remained on top regardless of the outcome of their last game.

Pakistan needed the result in its favour to qualify as the fourth semi-finalist, and had the Kiwis lost the match they would have had to line up again against the only team that had beaten them before the semi-final in Auckland. The formidable and in-form New Zealand batting collapsed for the first time in Christchurch; Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed the wreckers-in-chief. Pakistan chased down the 167 needed with seven wickets to spare with Rameez Raja accounting for 119 of them. …

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Written by Deepan Joshi

June 21, 2009 at 7:36 am

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