• ICC investigating after cases were flagged up in past two months • Up to seven live investigations into current match-fixing attemptsThe International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption unit is understood to be conducting up to seven live investigatio…
Category: Pakistan Cricket
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/dec/05/icc-anti-corruption-unit-seven-fixing-cricket
The country has been a no-go zone for most foreign teams since the Lahore attack of 2009 but the presence of Andy Flower’s star-studded visitors for a T20 series has given hope of a brighter future
Pakistan may have taken its biggest step yet towards full restoration of cricket at home by staging the first of three Twenty20 internationals against the World XI, a team from seven nations assembled by coach Andy Flower on behalf of the Pakistan Task Team that was formed by International Cricket Council in 2010 to revive cricket in Pakistan. After the horrific militant attack on the touring Sri Lankans in Lahore in 2009, the country had become a no-go zone for the foreign teams with Zimbabwe being the only team to tour Pakistan for an international series in 2015.
On a glorious night in Lahore, cricket took the centre stage with about 20,000 people turning up to watch the players they perhaps had seen only on television screens before. Such was the pull of the event that every news channel had made ample room for cricket in the bulletins. While the prices of the tickets were on the higher side – the maximum being 8,000 Rupees (£55), the car-for-hire app Uber announced it would take spectators to the stadium at a flat rate of 111 Rupees (£0.80).
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/12/pakistan-world-xi-lahore-andy-flower-t20
The South Africa captain – who ‘can’t imagine being a youngster and not seeing my heroes play in person’ – will lead a World XI as the ICC brings back international cricket to Pakistan amid tight security
Within the space of a year Faf du Plessis has gone from being punished by the International Cricket Council for dabbing some minty saliva on a ball in a Test match to leading out their World XI as the governing body brings back top-level cricket to Pakistan.
Since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009, where two civilians and six police officers were killed, only Zimbabwe have visited the country out of the 10 Test playing nations, leaving one of cricket’s most wondrous crucibles of talent without live action at home while the national team plays either away or at neutral venues.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/11/faf-du-plessis-me-and-players-playing-for-something-bigger-than-us-world-xi-pakistan
• Third Test at Trent Bridge will start on a Saturday
• Other Tests at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Ageas Bowl and The Oval
England’s five-Test series against world No1-ranked India in 2018 will include a Saturday start in the third match at Trent Bridge.
India, who will be taking part in a five-match Test series in England for only the second time since 1959, will begin their tour in July with a three-match Twenty20 series, followed by three one-day internationals and the Test matches at Edgbaston, Lord’s, Trent Bridge, the Ageas Bowl and The Oval.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/sep/05/england-five-test-series-home-india-2018
• 14-man squad captained by Faf du Plessis and includes Morkel and Amla
• Three-match T20 series due to start on 12 September
The former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood has been named in a World XI squad to face Pakistan in Lahore next month. The side will be led by the South Africa captain, Faf du Plessis, and coached by Andy Flower.
Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla will also play in a team that contains players from seven international sides – England, Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and West Indies. Darren Sammy, the former West Indies captain, is included, having played in the Pakistan Super League Final in Lahore in February alongside England’s Dawid Malan and Chris Jordan.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/24/paul-collingwood-world-xi-pakistan-lahore-faf-du-plessis
• T20 series in September sees international cricket return to Pakistan
• Military style security in place for return eight years after Lahore attack
Paul Collingwood is in line to be the English representative in a World XI coached by Andy Flower that will play a three-match series in Pakistan next month as the International Cricket Council brings top level cricket back to the country.
The Guardian understands that Collingwood, England’s World Twenty-20-winning captain, has made himself available for the three Twenty20s in Lahore on 12, 13 and 15 September with the squad, which has previously been tipped to include South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir, due to be named in the coming days.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/aug/21/paul-collingwood-world-xi-pakistan-cricket
With their win over India at the Oval on Sunday, the Pakistan cricket team wrote another chapter in their long, twisting story
For a story to successfully attach itself to a sports team over a number of decades while players and personnel change, while the game itself changes, while the world changes, it has to be flexible as well as meaningful and distinct. In the case of cricket, no team has a more oft-invoked story than the Pakistan national side. In the three decades I’ve been pinning my emotional wellbeing to the fortunes of the Pakistan cricket team, they have always been a group of men about whom you say: “They can win this, but it’s quite likely they won’t,” and equally: “They can’t win this, but it’s possible they will.” The Unpredictables. The Mercurials. The Never-Count-Them-Outs. But although this story has been shaping itself since the 80s, it became cast in stone 25 years ago, when Imran Khan’s team started their World Cup campaign in the most startlingly dismal manner, relying on a win against cricket-minnows Zimbabwe and a rain-enforced draw with England to get them past the initial stages of the tournament, and then went on to win five matches in a row and lift the cup.
That victory has been much invoked since Pakistan won the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Sunday, after starting the tournament being so crushed by India that they walked off the field looking more like pulp than men. But parallels only go so far. The 1992 Pakistan team was expected to perform well; the real surprise was that they stumbled so badly before picking themselves up and showing their well-recognised worth, and then some. The Pakistan team of 2017 couldn’t have looked more dissimilar. They entered the tournament ranked eighth out of eight; the captain was newly appointed; most of the players young and unknown. And then there were the players who weren’t in the squad because they were being investigated for corruption; and the hugely talented bowler Mohammad Amir, who was trying to find redemption after having been found guilty of spot-fixing and banned for five years, but whose team-mates had been consistently dropping catches off his bowling since his return to the international game; and the largest and most heartbreaking story of all, which is the team’s inability to play any games in Pakistan since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, which has deprived the players of the emotional and psychological strength that comes from playing on home ground. Things were so bad that all the Pakistan supporters I spoke to had lost faith in the story. Before the opening match, Pakistan supporters weren’t praying for victory; that was too outlandish a prospect. Instead, they were praying for rain.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/19/hail-the-unbelievables-how-pakistan-found-cricketing-redemption
Pakistan thrashed bitter rivals India by 180 runs in the final of the Champions Trophy on Saturday to win the title for the first time. Helped by 114 runs from Fakhar Zaman, Pakistan put up a total of 338 at the Oval. India were immediately under press…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2017/jun/18/pakistan-thrash-india-champions-trophy-final-video-highlights
• Kohli claims group-stage thrashing of Pakistan is irrelevant to the final
• ‘Everyone is aware of the talent they have – they can beat any side in the world’
Virat Kohli said India will be neither intimidated nor arrogant when they face Pakistan in Sunday’s Champions Trophy final despite the widely held expectation his players will be the ones donning the International Cricket Council’s natty white blazers come the end of the blockbuster encounter. Kohli’s defending champions are the world’s No1 one-day team in waiting – victory here would knock South Africa off top spot – and after a nine-wicket demolition of Bangladesh in Thursday’s second semi-final face the side they so comprehensively outplayed when their campaign got off to a flyer a fortnight ago.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/17/virat-kohli-india-pakistan-champions-trophy-final-the-oval
India thrashed Pakistan in the Champions Trophy group stages but the pace attack of Junaid, Hasan and Amir can deliver a much-needed tight finishNo matter where they meet, a cricket match between India and Pakistan brings parts of the globe to a stands…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/17/pakistan-india-champions-trophy-final-oval
Sarfraz Ahmed’s Pakistan have the look of destiny’s children before Sunday’s Champions Trophy final against a Virat Kohli-inspired India
Back in the intensely hot summer of 2005, India and Pakistan played a six-match ODI series that wound its way from Kochi in the deep south to Jamshedpur in the east, before finishing in New Delhi via the western outpost of Ahmedabad. With India 2-0 up in the series, Osman Samiuddin, whose The Unquiet Ones is the definitive work on Pakistan’s cricket history, and I took the train from Visakhapatnam to Jamshedpur.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/17/cricket-champions-trophy-pakistan-miandad-sharma-india
There will be a temptation to paint England’s semi-final defeat by Pakistan as a failure but that would be unfair on many levels
Oh, England. Plus ça change, plus c’est the same bleeding thing all over again. Engines revving, back seat loaded with buccaneering white-ball heroes, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s grand, musical Champions Trophy carnival float stalled decisively in Cardiff, undone by some familiar foes. For all the talk of adrenal new eras and white-hot modernity it was the old uncertainty batting first against nagging bowling on a grippy pitch that derailed England’s campaign against a Pakistan team who produced a wonderful all‑round performance in victory by eight wickets.
In one sense we have been here before, most notably four years ago at Edgbaston in the final of the previous edition of this competition. That defeat came on a pitch that might have been airlifted in from the subcontinent, just as the slow grip of Cardiff might have been prepared as a tribute to the desert tracks of the Emirates on which Pakistan have occasionally thrived in recent years.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/14/england-pakistan-champions-trophy-ecb-dream
• England 211; Pakistan 215-2
• Pakistan win by eight wickets with 77 balls to spare
England checked out of the Champions Trophy with an embarrassing whimper in an eight-wicket semi-final trouncing at the hands of Pakistan in Cardiff.
Eoin Morgan’s men returned to Wales on the back of an unblemished group-stage campaign with their eye on a third successive home final in this tournament, and an ongoing statement of their intent for the 2019 World Cup on home soil.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/14/england-pakistan-champions-trophy-semi-final-match-report
• Yorkshireman to replace Jason Roy as opener in only change
• Jonny’s best attribute has been his relentless attitude, says Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan has tipped the “relentless attitude” of Jonny Bairstow to come to the fore on Wednesday as England make one change to their batting lineup for the Champions Trophy semi-final with Pakistan in Cardiff.
The England captain stopped short of naming his XI before a toss he admitted he hopes to lose – a reused pitch at Sophia Gardens is behind that – but could do little to play down the fact Jason Roy has been dropped after the misfiring opener played a minimal part in a training session and Bairstow was the first batsman in the nets.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/13/england-jonny-bairstow-pakistan-champions-trophy-eoin-morgan-cricket
- Pakistan win rain-affected Group B game at Edgbaston
- South Africa fall short as Pakistan keep nerve to triumph by 19 runs (DLS)
That’s all from me. Back with you for the first innings of India-Sri Lanka tomorrow!
REPORT: Ali Martin breaks down an against-the-odds win at Edgbaston
This result leaves Group B fascinatingly poised. India, South Africa and Pakistan are all on two points. India, though, have a game in hand, which they’ll play tomorrow against Sri Lanka, who lost their opening match convincingly to South Africa. Hopefully weather won’t have a hand in that one – the forecast around the Oval looks decent (ish).
Water way to end a grim run
Pakistan’s last seven matches at Champions Trophy:
Oh sweet relief! The match has been called by the umpires and Pakistan, 119-2 after 27 overs, are the winners. The DLS par was 100 and, well, they’re comfortably above that.
The match has been abandoned, and Pakistan have won by 19 runs (DLS).
Strong suggestion. I’ve never not thought about this when at a match affected by rain.
Slip and slide competition on the covers. Players compete 1v1 in batting order with the captains last. Furthest wins each round.
“Rain Spoiling Matches!” You got that right, Syed Ameen. “Do you think the venues can be changed depending on weather for semi finals and final?” Afraid not, for planning, policing and many other reasons, too.Also, it’ll be pointless – it’s raining all over England! Should be fine tomorrow for India-Sri Lanka at the Oval. Unless I’ve now jinxed that.
An update that not only comes from the ground but PACKED with “local knowledge”
still raining. very close to end now, you’d think.
Zohra wants skin-on-skin combat
@Vitu_E Mudwrestling to decide a washout – ample resources, and sure chance of Sarfraz leading Pakistan to victory there?
“Do you think play will resume or not?” asks Sunveer Hariparsad. Looking unlikely I’m afraid. Though there does seem to be a concerted effort to mop up. Which, given “local knowledge” must mean they think there’s a gap big enough between now and the 10:26pm cut-off time to get some worthwhile play. Will keep you all posted.
I’d like to add this to my suggestion of Fives. Mainly because I think I could give any current international cricketer a run for their money on the top three:
Quote-off. Player nominated. Coin toss to choose from:
– The Office
– Arrested Development
– Peep Show
– Something rubbish like Mighty Boosh
Could get on board with this:
Frinkiac-off. Each team nominates a player to choose a Simpsons quote. Funniest one goes through.
Neesham v Hales would be a great battle
The boring answer (i.e. the correct one)
Team that won its group qualifies
Re washouts and what to do about a result, don’t we just ask the BCCI @Vitu_E?
“A bowl off is a bit too sterile,” writes Google’s Adam Collins. “The options are endless. A game of darts, but on the condition they have a fag in their mouth for it. That’ll sort out the cricketers from the athletes. If Australia are in it, perhaps who can throw a kettle over a pub? We have Finchy in the XI, after all. Bloody good rep.” Best arrower I know, definitely the best arrower you know.
Email up, this one from Thomas Jenkins: “Vish, do you know what the procedure is if any of the knockout games are washouts? I mean I’m assuming the home team gets a bye in that event. obviously, but what would happen to the other semi? Do they just pick up where they left-off the next day?”
Unfortunately, there aren’t actually any reserve days for the semi-finals, only the final. So I’m not really sure what they’ll do.
“They should turn the Brum floodlights up to 11 to dry the pitch out.” I think they have, Ian Copestake:
Such a shame about the rain but Birmingham skyline looking rather lovely in a pink-studded, glowering sort of way. pic.twitter.com/rGPVkV6uX2
“Old school couples on TV?” starts an email from Damian Clarke on Ebz and Daggers. “I wonder, was she thinking Terry and June or more George and Mildred?” I’m clueless on both couples – is one worse than the other? Always seen them as more of a Philip and Gordon the Gopher pairing.
Something to pass the time: OBO-er and razor sharp broadcaster Adam Collins spent some of his most recent TMS session Googling England and Surrey’s Ebony Rainford-Brent. I’ll let him pick up the story:
*sad emoji* *annoyed emoji* *Pakistan 19 ahead of the DLS par score after 27 overs emoji*
The noises from Edgbaston aren’t promising for South Africa. The covers have been “nailed” down and quite a few have already left. The ground staff are out there moping up, which is one crumb of comfort. It is still raining through…
For those of you wondering about DLS – this video from Cricinfo does well to explain the intricacies of all three letters.
To confirm, Pakistan are 19 ahead of the calculated par score after 27 overs, which is 100.
Mizzle settling in here. Cut-off time for the game to end is 10.26pm #PAKvSA
While you’re here and while it rains – don’t forget to vote tomorrow!
Off for a brew to get me through these Pakistan blessed rains.
For balance, here’s Toto
27th over: Pakistan 119-3 (Azam 31, Malik 16) The over starts with Pakistan 17 ahead of the DLS par and the rain starting to hold firm. A nervous Mickey Arthur watches on from the Pakistan dressing room as an equally nervous Rabada oversteps! Free hit is signalled as the majority of the 18,000 in the stands chant “We want six!” Azam scuffs the full ball into the ground, straight to midwicket. They get nothing, but they don’t seem to care. Azam turns the volume up some more to close out the over with a punched on-drive that races across the sodden turf for four.
AND THEY’RE OFF! PAKISTAN ARE 19 RUNS AHEAD OF THE DLS PAR…
26th over: Pakistan 113-3 (Azam 27, Mailk 15) Morkel to Mailk brings an extra point fielder. But extra bounce and width means Malik can do as he did in the previous over: rock back and throw his hands through the ball. And now Babar Azam has done the same! The crowd are back where they began – right behind Pakistan.
25th over: Pakistan 104-3 (Azam 23, Malik 10) Big over as a rusty Rabada comes back into the attack and is lashed over point and edged down to third man for consecutive fours. Three figures up for the Chasers in Green (a reminder that South Africa are in their yellow away kit, so as not to clash with the opposition, despite the fact that game has been played in whites since Abraham was giving Isaac throwdowns.
24th over: Pakistan 95-3 (Azam 23, Malik 1) The perfect change, the perfect result. Morkel has his third, bringing Shoaib Malik to the crease. Last ball is digged into the ribs but Malik gets away with a single to midwicket.
#CT17 intriguingly,it seems to be Du Plessis calling most of the shots out in the middle. With input from AB.
Morkel, back into the attack. Second ball – success. Hafeez commits half-heartedly to a pull and top edges it into the night sky. Imran Tahir, chugging in from fine leg, takes a brilliant diving catch.
23rd over: Pakistan 93-2 (Azam 23, Hafeez 26) Only wickets will win this for South Africa. Parnell is just offering width. Surely, the value play for AB de Villiers, is Morkel back on. Fourth ball, another short ball, but this time Azam waits a touch so he can punch it through point for four. It brings up the duos fifty from 91 balls. What started as a farcical partnership has morphed into “match-winning”.
22nd over: Pakistan 86-2 (Azam 14, Hafeez 24) Oh hello… Tahir flights one up to Hafeez and the right-hander goes downtown for a glorious six! Tahir scratches his head, AB consults his lines again. Daylight (12 runs) between Pakistan and the DLS par score…
21st over: Pakistan 78-2 (Azam 17, Hafeez 17) Wane Parnell, whose first two overs brought no threat and 16 runs, is back into the attack and running into the wind. Hafeez drives into extra cover for two, then dots up the rest of the over. A few play and misses keep things interesting, as AB de Villiers urges his fielders to move things along as quick as possible as he consults his own personal DLS sheet.
20th over: Pakistan 76-2 (Azam 17, Hafeez 15) DRAMA! Tahir hits the pad of Babar Azam. Umpire Ravi says not out but South Africa review… it’s definitely pad first… it’s hitting in line… but it’s going over the top! Amazing! Has ball-tracker been set to “PERTH”? Relief for Pakistan. Four runs from the 20th over. We now have a game.
19th over: Pakistan 72-2 (Azam 16, Hafeez 13) Something different here as Azam goes up over the in-field on the leg side: almost like a rugby up-and-under in terms of height and distance, as it plugs not far away from the fielders but does allow Azam to nip back for a second. Now Hafeez is playing along – FINALLY! The right-hander gives himself room to punch through cover point. Boundary… no! Brilliant work from Imran Tahir, who palms the ball back in play to save a run and even jumps to his feet to throw into the keeper. The groundstaff are hovering… and Babar hits a four! Short from Morris and Azam helps it on his way over his shoulder. If Pakistan don’t lose a wicket in the next over, they’re officially ahead of the game…
18th over: Pakistan 62-2 (Azam 9, Hafeez 10) Stunted appeal for caught behind from Tahir and de Kock. They think Azam has nicked off. He hasn’t – he’s just taken a divot out of the pitch with the toe of his bat. Umpire Ravi, ears like a bat, is unmoved. So, seemingly, is the Pakistan score.
17th over: Pakistan 61-2 (Azam 8, Hafeez 10) Morris first ball finds the edge, but the lack of intent from Pakistan means Azam’s soft hands ensure it doesn’t carry to Amla at first slip. Another slipper in now. Nothing for him to sniff at. Yet.
Weather update from a man who is normally used to seeing the rain fall mainly on the plain
Just started in Droitwich Spa! Should just about get a game in.
16th over: Pakistan 60-2 (Azam 7, Hafeez 10) A feeler from Tahir. Some with a bit of a flight, a couple showing a bit of turn. Three singles taken. And drinks.
15th over: Pakistan 57-2 (Azam 5, Hafeez 9) Another strong over for South Africa, this time Morris is the bowler. Two runs conceded. Oh and Imran Tahir is on next…
14th over: Pakistan 55-2 (Azam 4, Hafeez 8) Another quality over from Morkel concedes a single to the man out on the leg side fence and a leg bye. He’s currently 2-7 from five overs. Pakistan need 15 runs in the next six overs…
13th over: Pakistan 53-2 (Azam 3, Hafeez 8) Two more dots for Hafeez… and now a four! “Glorious cover drive?” I’m sure you’re wondering. “A cut? Perhaps even a front foot whip through midwicket?” Edged, I’m afraid, just out of the reach of first slip. Runs are runs, though. Just ask the Pakistan fans who have just wildly applauded a wide from Morris that brings up the team fifty. Pakistan need to be 70-2 when 20 overs are up if they are to be ahead on DLS…
12th over: Pakistan 44-2 (Azam 2, Hafeez 1) Finally, after 20 balls, Azam drops one down to third man for a single. Sarcasting cheers fill the Birmingham air and are soon replaced by a smattering of boos. And a leg bye to end the over. Stop it Pakistan, you’re spoiling us with these four runs from the last five overs…
11th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Azam 1, Hafeez 1) Change in the bowling as Chris Morris, another seamer with long legs and longer arms, takes over from Rabada. And that’s three maidens on the bounce. No run scored off the last 19 balls. From enthralling to embarrassing for Pakistan and this innings is only 11 overs old. Hafeez has faced 12 of those 19, by the way…
Today’s DLS calculations. Worth keeping tabs on this…
10th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Morkel on a roll. Azam plays and misses at a ball that angles in and leaves him, whispering salty nothings in his ear on the way through to Quinton de Kock. Finishes with a similar effort. Azam’s all over the place. Two maidens in a row…
AS IT STANDS
oh computer pic.twitter.com/cFjZbELf37
9th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Nerves from the middle has transferred to the crowd, who are now silent aside from the murmurs of “oh, not again” from those in lighter green. Maiden for Rabada.
8th over: Pakistan 42-2 (Babar 1, Hafeez 1) Morne Morkel digs one in short, Fakhar top edges it into his helmet. Laughs. Can I vote for him on tomorrow? Maybe hold fire. Both he and Azhar are out in the space of two balls. Two new batsmen to the crease, in fading light on a pitch that South Africa are just starting to read well. Oh and this…
Now behind on DLS… #ct17
Bone-headed from Azhar Ali, who should no better. Morkel digs one in short, Azhar ramps with no real conviction, to Imran Tahir who takes a simple catch. Tumble thrown in for dramatic effect.
Oh boo to that. But brilliantly done by Morkel: off-cutter from around the wicket messes with Fakhar’s footwork and timing. Naively, he follows the bounce and edges cleanly to Hashim Amla at first slip.
7th over: Pakistan 40-0 (Azhar 9, Fakhar 31) Azhar’s got his eye in. Exhibit A: Rabada, digging one short from around the wicket, rolls his wrists to hit through square leg, all along the floor, for his first boundary.
6th over: Pakistan 35-0 (Azhar 5, Fakhar 31) Morne Morkel back into the attack to drag things back for South Africa and he concedes just three. Azhar gets a couple after seemingly an age.
Question has to be asked- where has this FAKHAR been hiding? Great start Pakistan!!
5th over: Pakistan 32-0 (Azhar 3, Fakhar 29) This kid. This 27-year-old kid. Rabada gives him length, Fakhar gets under it. Really under it. High and away to long on for four. Next ball, Rabada goes fuller and the leftie punches him through cover. And another tip and run. That’s the most impressive element of Fakhar Zaman so far: he’s keen to rotate the strike with the right-hander. Something Pakistan have seemingly ignored in the past.
4th over: Pakistan 23-0 (Fakhar 20, Azhar 3) Get around this Fakhar. First two balls of the over, pings Wayne Parnell twice through cover point. Last ball, he runs the ball down to third man and thinks he can get two. Azhar Ali says no, Fakhar just about hears him in time and dives back into his crease as a throw comes in.
3rd over: Pakistan 12-0 (Fakhar 10, Azhar 2) Eeeeeesh… naughty bumper from Rabada has Fakhar flailing. Luckily, the opener’s feet aren’t planeted when the full ball comes later, which he’s able to punch down the ground for four. However, problem for South Africa… fresh from his maiden ODI golden duck, AB de Villiers is struggling badly with what looks to be a right hamstring injury. He was running after that boundary with all the heart of the bloke from that Alt J video…
2nd over: Pakistan 7-0 (Azhar 2, Fakhar 5) Second ball of Fakhar’s ODI career is lashed behind point for four. Easy game. Parnell’s short and wide, but his following delivery – just as short but a lot straighter – gets big and threatens the knuckles and throat. Tip and run to cover gets Fakhar off strike. Couple of unwelcome umbrellas up in the crowd…
1st over: Pakistan 2-0 (Azhar 2, Fakhar 0) Kagiso Rabada opens the bowling to Azhar Ali, but the man we’re concerned with right now is standing at the nonstriker’s end. Fakhar Zaman, a 27-year-old left-handed batsman, is making his ODI debut. Six List A hundreds to his name and an average of 50, too. He featured in the warm-up matches against Bangladesh and Australia but didn’t get a bat because of, yep, weather. Rabada’s start is spicy: one delivery jumps on Azhar and takes a bit of glove. Two around the corner gets Azhar and Pakistan off the mark. It’ll be Wayne Parnell to Fakhar…
One eye to the Sky, the players have made their way out to the middle. Pakistan just need to go at 4.4-an-over from their 50 overs. I’ll keep you abreast of any DLS targets as and when I get them…
Evening, evening. Vish here. Hope you’re all dandy. Helluva second innings in prospect at Edgbaston. There’s a bit of shape through the air, a bit of movement off the deck and belief in Pakistani eyes. Finally, the Champions Trophy has its first quality pitch and a competitive matc… sorry, one second – Tom Bryant has just stopped by for a quick chat… [off mic] “Ermm… no… that Gladiators lunchbox was here when I sat down. Well don’t throw it away! I’ll hand it in to Lost Property on my way out… definitely… Sorry? It’s going to tip it down at 6pm? Seriously?! Oh for [PROFANITY WE’D PRINT IN FULL BUT CENSOR ON LIVE TEXT] sake!”
Presumably you heard all of that? Here’s your radar. It looks grim. In other news, Hasan Ali – dead ringer for comically unlucky ne’er-do-well Ziggy Sobotka from The Wire – made amends for his horror show against India with 3-24 from his eight overs and a decent catch to get shot of Kagiso Rabada.
So South Africa set Pakistan 220 to win. That was superb from Sarfraz’s side, who were on top throughout and should be pleased with themselves, even if at one point they may have hoped to restrict South Africa to fewer than 200. Still, you wouldn’t be all that surprised if Pakistan fail to chase this down – one thing is likely: there’ll be drama. Join Vithushan Ehantharajah in a few minutes for all the action.
50th over: South Africa 219-8 (Miller 75, Morkel 0) Miller is on strike, having smartly sent Rabada back as the ball swirled in the air before that catch was taken at the end of the last over. He pulls the third ball hard for two but he doesn’t want singles so he ignores a couple of chances to bring Morkel onto the strike. Two runs from the first four balls then … make that two from five. The last is clunked through the covers for four.
49th over: South Africa 213-8 (Miller 68, Morkel 0) And that’s over. Hasan Ali, having taken that catch, will bowl the final over.
Miller hammers Junaid over the top of long off for a huge six. It was barely a half volley but it flew into the stands. Junaid follows up with a bouncer that’s called wide. The batsmen swing a couple of singles away before Rabada top edges a pull for four more. But a top edge from the last steeples into the off side and Hasan takes a tricky tumbling catch.
48th over: South Africa 199-7 (Miller 61, Rabada 21) I’ve given you duff information because sumz are hard – this is Amir’s last over so Hassan (in all probability) will be needed for one. Rabada pulls powerfully here for the first boundary since the 39th over and then smartly digs out a yorker. This is a very good over for South Africa in the end – 11 from it. Rabada is the only man to go at better than a run-a-ball this innings.
47th over: South Africa 188-7 (Miller 59, Rabada 12) Rabada – who has looked composed and organised since coming to the crease, though not likely to take the game away from anyone – chips a slower ball halfway to cow corner for one and Miller takes a single to move to 59 – 41 of those runs have come in singles.
46th over: South Africa 182-7 (Miller 57, Rabada 8) Amir once more. Single, single, single, then Miller does well do dig out at reverse-swinging yorker for two. Runs off every ball, in fact, but still no boundaries.
45th over: South Africa 175-7 (Miller 53, Rabada 5) Junaid continues. Four singles from the over: this innings has been a bit England circa 1975-2015.
44th over: South Africa 171-7 (Miller 51, Rabada 3) In stat news, there have been just six boundaries in this South Africa innings, four of those from the openers. Amir and Junaid have the overs left to take Pakistan all the way to the end of the innings here. Amir keeps the batsmen to four runs – in singles – on this occasion.
43rd over: South Africa 167-7 (Miller 50, Rabada 1) Miller brings up his 50, his slowest in ODIs, from his 83rd ball. Rabada’s awkward shovel shot from his first ball drops a yard or two short of mid on but he digs out a yorker next up to get off the mark. Junaid is convinced the ball hit the batsman’s foot before the bat and convinces his captain to review … then avoid’s Sarfraz’s gaze as the replay show the ball thunking into the middle of the bat.
This was coming. Morris has a big heave at Junaid and can only sky the ball towards long off. Hassan takes a calm catch.
Sums up the transformation in Pakistan’s fielding – Hasan Ali put down Yuvraj Singh in almost that exact same spot on Sunday
42nd over: South Africa 163-6 (Miller 48, Morris 27) Amir sends down a superb over of full stuff at Chris Morris and South Africa squeeze out just three runs to add to the tally.
“From your list, looks like 7th June attracts low ODI scores,” writes Jeremy Nash. “A couple of crackers from the first world cup this day 1975 including Sunny Gavaskar’s infamous 36* in the full 60 overs.”
41st over: South Africa 160-6 (Miller 48, Morris 24) Junaid Khan returns to the attack. And he’s bowled him! But it’s a no ball! Morris was clean bowled but Junaid had overstepped by an inch or two. Morris, like his batting partner, gets a reprieve. He digs out the free hit for a single. Junaid then beats Miller’s inside edge with a beauty.
40th over: South Africa 156-6 (Miller 47, Morris 22) It says much for the fragility of this Pakistan side that I’m already fretting about their ability to chase down what’s sure to be a modest total even if these two batsmen stick around for a while. Amir continues and from the last knocks Miller of his feet with a yorker that crashes into the pad. Up goes the appeal and up goes the finger but Miller reviews immediately. Well, immediately after picking himself up. This could be sliding down the leg-side … and it is (by quite a distance). Miller gets a reprieve.
39th over: South Africa 153-6 (Miller 47, Morris 19) BOOM! Chris Morris gets down on one knee and hammers Shadab down to cow corner for four. Fine shot. And if either of these batsmen has a bit of freedom to attack it’s him. Miller joins him in a sweep but picks up just a single as he egdes towards his half-century.
38th over: South Africa 143-6 (Miller 45, Morris 11) Amir returns to the fray as Pakistan hunt for that one wicket that would get them into the tail. Five runs from it as South Africa continue to play it safe.
37th over: South Africa 140-6 (Miller 43, Morris 10) Imad returns to the attack. Just a couple of singles again.
“I’m following the match by OBO and, apart from being truly astounded by the different teams fielded by Pakistan today and against India (so many players with the same name, yet universes apart in ability and commitment), I find myself wondering what are the lowest totals scored in international tournaments by sides that used up all their allotted 50 overs,” writes Chris Fowler. “ I don’t mean the minnows in a World Cup, I mean this sort of contest, between two habitually able sides. South Africa would seem to trying to book themselves a place of honour in that list, the way they’re going up to now (over 35).”
36th over: South Africa 138-6 (Miller 42, Morris 9) Shadab continues and drags one down but Miller can only pick out the man on the midwicket boundary. Five from the over.
“I’m not sure if I’m referencing Freud or Star Wars, but I can’t help feeling that Pakistan is somehow a reification of all of South Africa’s darkest fears,” writes Peter Salmon. “A team that wins when it should lose (which is the opposite of South Africa), wilful, mercurial, and which operates entirely by emotion (the Bizarro Kallis). A serpent, wrapped around the very being of the Proteas, but whose existence the victim somehow willed, and without whom it ceases to be … As Nietzsche said, ‘when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares into you’. The Proteas should have that on their team whiteboard on days like this.”
35th over: South Africa 133-6 (Miller 40, Morris 6) After drinks – tea, milk, no sugar, thanks – the excellent Hassan continues. Miller, the key for South Africa if they are to post any kind of competitive total, pushes to the extra cover boundary for two then drives more forcefully for a single. Five in total from the over.
34th over: South Africa 128-6 (Miller 37, Morris 4) Morris has a nice big footwork-free heave at Shadab, who watches the ball rip past the swishing outside edge. Two from the over and South Africa going nowhere fast.
33rd over: South Africa 126-6 (Miller 36, Morris 3) Morris again struggles to pierce the field as Hassan charges in once more. Eventually he flicks to deep square leg for a single. Three from the over.
32nd over: South Africa 123-6 (Miller 34, Morris 2) Shadab gets the chance to bowl at Morris, who is a terrific striker of the ball but perhaps not the greatest manipulator of the strike. He struggles to get the leggie away and there’s just two singles from the over.
Is there a more thrilling thing in cricket/sport than Pakistan bowlers with their tails up?
31st over: South Africa 121-6 (Miller 33, Morris 1) Hassan’s hat-trick ball is an attempted yorker that Miller does well to dig out. The bowler collects and throws down the stumps for good measure. Miller got his back foot back just in time. A brilliant stop from Hafeez at extra cover keeps the volume cranked up to 11. Pakistan are crackling with energy and enthusiasm. A superb maiden from Hassan.
30th over: South Africa 121-6 (Miller 33, Morris 1) The 18-year-old leg-spinner Shadab Khan comes into the attack for the first time. He sends down two dots at Miller then has his utterly flummoxed and beats him past the outside edge with one that goes straight on. Morris gets off the mark with a top edge that drops safe. Three from the over. Hat-trick ball to come …
29th over: South Africa 118-6 (Miller 31, Morris 0) Brilliant stuff from the seamer, who has figures of 4-0-10-3. That last ball was a jaffa, angled in from round the wicker and just seeming away a touch to crash into off-stump. Glorious.
That wicket puts Pakistan in among the all rounders. And … OOF! This one has off stump cartwheeling out of the ground. Parnell goes first ball and Hassan will start his next over on a hat-trick.
Cracking catch this. Hassan has bowled beautifully and has his second wicket. Duminy edges a full one to slip and Babar takes a brilliant diving catch low to his right.
28th over: South Africa 114-4 (Miller 29, Duminy 6) Hafeez is going to bowl his full 10-over allotment in one spell. Two runs from the first five balls then Miller charges down the track and launches him over long on for six. Hafeez finishes with figures of 10-0-51-1, which don’t really reflect how well he’s bowled.
27th over: South Africa 106-4 (Miller 22, Duminy 5) Hassan sends down five dots at Miller, the penultimate of which is a well directed short ball that has the batsman flailing. The first maiden of the innings … no, Miller carves a drive through extra cover for a single from the last.
26th over: South Africa 105-4 (Miller 21, Duminy 5) Hafeez into his ninth over on the bounce. CLONK! Miller heaves him into the stands wide of long on for six! Fine shot, and one that eases the pressure a touch.
25th over: South Africa 97-4 (Miller 14, Duminy 4) Hassan continues and Miller continues to struggle to get the ball away. Three dots then a push for a single. Duminy shovels a pull out to square leg for another, then a quick Hassan bouncer flies through to Sarfraz. Just those two from the over.
24th over: South Africa 95-4 (Miller 13, Duminy 3) JP Duminy has immediately looked at ease out there – three balls faced, three singles scored. A fine stop from Shadab at short extra cover denies Miller a boundary but he cuts away for a single from the next. Just two runs from Hafeez’s latest.
23rd over: South Africa 93-4 (Miller 12, Duminy 2) These two now have a rescue job on their hands. They’re more than capable of doing it obviously, but Pakistan are in inspired mood.
Hassan Ali into the attack. And Faf du Plessis out! The South Africa No3 drags Hassan’s second ball back onto his stumps and he’s gone for a 44-ball 26.
22nd over: South Africa 90-3 (Du Plessis 26, Miller 11) Beautiful shot from Du Plessis, who lap-sweeps Hafeez to fine leg for four. That’s his first boundary, from his 41st ball.
A bit of extra info on that AB stat from earlier from Ali Martin: “AB has in fact now completed the set – a golden duck in ODI (today), Twenty20 (last year v Australia in Durban) and Test cricket (2012 v New Zealand in Dunedin). Also signed off from his Test career, perhaps, with a pair against England in Centurion …”
21st over: South Africa 83-3 (Du Plessis 20, Miller 10) South Africa churn out the singles like a late 90s Indie band (Mansun had five – five! – from Attack of the Grey Lantern). And, like Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern, there are five singles from this Imad over.
20th over: South Africa 78-3 (Du Plessis 17, Miller 8) “It’s great to watch this fight shown by Pakistan,” writes Ian Copestake. “Nasser Hussain got a bit of a strop on when one fielder applauded a Pakistan miss at the stumps when he should have hit them, but it missed the point of the togetherness the team is showing after what was an utter collective brain fart of a performance against India.”
Runs from this Hafeez over, seven of them, all in ones and (Roger) twos.
19th over: South Africa 71-3 (Du Plessis 13, Miller 5) Every dot is being cheered from the stands and the Pakistan players seem to be feeding on that energy. There are three for the fans to celebrate here and just three singles from another excellent Imad over.
18th over: South Africa 68-3 (Du Plessis 11, Miller 4) Three wickets for the spinners but I don’t think we’ve seen a ball turn yet. It’s just been good, accurate wicket-to-wicket stuff. There’s even a spot of good fielding in the covers here: who are you and what have you done with Pakistan? Two singles from this Hafeez over.
17th over: South Africa 66-3 (Du Plessis 10, Miller 3) We have apparently just seen AB de Villiers’ first ever golden duck. Though I think we should really add “in professional cricket” to that – there has to have been a golden in the back garden or down the park at some point.
A brief break for drinks then Imad continues. Just two singles from the over once again.
16th over: South Africa 64-3 (Du Plessis 9, Miller 2) Hafeez continues. The batsmen nudge and nurdle a single each. The Pakistan spinners have been excellent – their combined figures: 8-0-25-3.
15th over: South Africa 62-3 (Du Plessis 8, Miller 1) Well, well, well. “Who’s going to be the first to use the word ‘choke’?” Behave yourself, John Starbuck. This has become a wonderful start for Pakistan. Imad has two for eight from his four overs.
De Kock’s 33 came off a 49 balls. Sedate by his standards. Imad (2-0-6-1) continues. And he has De Villiers first ball! Edgbaston goes bananas! The South Africa captain played a loose cut and picked out the man at backward point. Hafeez takes the catch to spark some early-afternoon pandemonium.
14th over: South Africa 60-2 (Du Plessis 7, De Villiers 0) Another important wicket for Pakistan, who are right in the game at the moment. De Kock goes in similar circumstances to Amla, trapped lbw by a spinner just as he looked to break the shackles.
De Kock skips down the wicket to Hafeez and launches him down to cow corner for a one-bounce four. Lovely shot. But two balls later he’s gone! Hafeez should’ve had him last over but this time the finger goes up as De Kock misses a slog sweep.
13th over: South Africa 55-1 (De Kock 29, Du Plessis 6) On commentary Rameez Raja reckons that failure to review was down to a “lack of positive intent” but that seems a little harsh – it was definitely one of those that you expect to see clipping leg stump but going with the umpire’s call. Imad rattles through another tidy over – just a single from it.
12th over: South Africa 54-1 (De Kock 29, Du Plessis 5) Chalk up another misfield – Farkad makes a mess of a simple collect in the deep. To be fair, the outfield is one of those that stokes fear of horrible knee injuries, though neither of the misfields so far were due to an unwillingness to dive. There’s a big shout from the last as Hafeez slaps De Kock on the pad. Umpire Illingworth reckons it’s going down and Pakistan opt not to review. Hawkeye shows it would’ve have been overturned on review.
11th over: South Africa 50-1 (De Kock 26, Du Plessis 4) A misfield at extra cover – Shahzad, on as 12th man – allows Du Plessis a single that should not have been. Still, just three from another tidy Imad over.
10th over: South Africa 47-1 (De Kock 24, Du Plessis 3) Mohammad Hafeez into the attack at the Birmingham End. De Kock drills one wide of midwicket and Junaid has a long chase to the boundary – the batsmen run three. Six from the over.
9th over: South Africa 41-1 (De Kock 20, Du Plessis 1) A huge breakthrough for Pakistan just as Amla looked to be going through the gears. There’s no respite in this South Africa batting lineup, though. Faf du Plessis nudges himself off the mark.
Left-armer spinner Imad Wasim comes into the attack and he immediately makes the breakthrough. Amla goes back and looks to turn through the leg-side, misses, and is caught plumb.
8th over: South Africa 39-0 (De Kock 19, Amla 16) Signs that these two are, like a wedding guest after the five-drink mark, beginning to find their rhythm. Amla flicks Junaid off his hip for four and there’s nine from the over.
7th over: South Africa 30-0 (De Kock 17, Amla 9) Two more dots, then De Kock nudges Amir for a single. That’s the only run from the first five balls but from the last Amla steps to the off and heaves a short one out to the midwicket boundary for four.
6th over: South Africa 25-0 (De Kock 16, Amla 5) That bus gets around. How does one bus get all the big gigs? There must be other buses that could do the job. It’s the Michael Buffer of buses. The Bill Nighy of buses.
Junaid continues. De Kock picks the slower ball from the last and nudges through the on-side but again the ball slows up on the outfield. Three runs, five from the over. When was the last time South Africa scored only one boundary in the first six overs of an ODI?
5th over: South Africa 20-0 (De Kock 11, Amla 5) Amir goes short to Amla and gets called for a couple of wides, with Amla having a bit of a flap at the second. Neither batsman has really settled so far. Six from the over in ones and wides.
Told by a police officer outside Edgbaston that the Pakistan team bus is formerly Boris Johnson’s “£350m back to the NHS” Brexit bus…
4th over: South Africa 14-0 (De Kock 9, Amla 4) The ball is just nipping around a touch and it’s Junaid’s turn to find the inside edge. This time the pad comes to De Kock’s rescue. But the pad is the offending party next up, with Junaid yelping an lbw appeal – it was a bit high and going down (but other than that etc and so forth). And a third reprieve for De Kock – a forcing drive, a thick edge … and four runs through the vacant third slip area.
3rd over: South Africa 10-0 (De Kock 5, Amla 4) Amir is a whisker away from doing for De Kock, jagging one back and finding the inside edge. The ball, though, misses the stumps and drops a yard or two short of Sarfraz. Three dots later Malik has the chance for a run out but misses the stumps from mid on – De Kock was well short. That was an opportunity to turn a solid start for Pakistan into a very good one.
2nd over: South Africa 7-0 (De Kock 4, Amla 2) It’s Junaid Khan at the other end. De Kock thick edges to third man for a single and Amla gets off the mark with a push through the covers for a couple – on a quick outfield that might have made the boundary but the surface looks a little slow. Amla looks to take that out of the occasion with a huge waft at the next but he connects only with Edgbaston air and the ball zips through to Sarfraz.
1st over: South Africa 4-0 (De Kock 3, Amla 0) Mohammad Amir starts off with the ball for Pakistan and starts off with a wide. A couple of dots later he offers De Kock a little too much width and he carves away through backward point for three.
“Away kits? Has cricket finally gone stark staring mad?” rages Richard O’Hagan. “Why in the name of Kerry Packer’s wallet does any team need an away kit?” To be fair, I think, strictly speaking, it’s their T20 kit rather than a bespoke change kit. AndIthinkIquitelikeitthereIsaidit.
Out come the teams. Pakistan in their traditional green; South Africa in their away kit of eye-wateringly bright yellow.
South Africa: De Kock, Amla, Du Plessis, De Villiers, Miller, Duminy, Morris, Parnell, Rabada, Morkel, Tahir.
Pakistan: Azhar, Fakhar, Babar, Hafeez, Malik, Sarfraz, Imad, Amir, Shadab, Hassan, Junaid.
South Africa win the toss and they’re going to have a bat. “We feel getting a big total is going to be important,” says AB de Villiers. No changes to the Saffers side.
Sarfraz says he would’ve preferred to bat first. Two changes for Pakistan: Junaid Khan and Fakhar Zaman come in.
This should also be on your pre-match reading/viewing list:
A couple of bits of cricket news you may have missed. Adil Rashid is a happy chap:
Hello all. It’s slightly unfortunate that on matchdays in this tournament so far thoughts immediately turn to the weather and today there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the forecast for Edgbaston is dry until around 6ish, at which point the bad news kicks in, with rain more likely as the evening goes on. We should squeeze a game in with a bit of luck. Fingers crossed.
With that unpleasant business out of the way, on to the cricket. This looks like a mismatch on paper – a somewhat shambolic Pakistan began their Champions Trophy campaign with a comprehensive 124-run defeat against India, while world No1s South Africa battered Sri Lanka by 96 runs – but there is hope for the underdogs. Pakistan have won three of the last four ODI meetings between these sides, including their most recent fixture at the 2015 World Cup.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2017/jun/07/pakistan-v-south-africa-icc-champions-trophy-live
• South Africa 219-8, Pakistan 119–3 after 27 overs
• Pakistan won by 19 runs (DLS)
Pakistan lived up to every well-worn trope about the mercurial nature of their cricket, delivering a resurgent, prediction-defying performance in the field followed by a tense run chase that felled South Africa via Duckworth-Lewis and kept their Champions Trophy campaign alive.
Sarfraz Ahmed’s side had been written off as no-hopers after their lamentable defeat to India here on Sunday. But as the rain fell in Birmingham and forced the players off at 7.38pm, his batsmen were 119 for three from 27 overs, chasing 220 to win, and 19 runs above the par score of 100. Victory was theirs when the match was called off at 9.44pm.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/07/south-africa-pakistan-champions-trophy-group-b-match-report