Well played Misbah-ul-Haq – not to be blamed for Pakistan’s defeat by India in the semi-final

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  • Well played Misbah-ul-Haq – not to be blamed for Pakistan’s defeat by India in the semi-final

Well played Misbah-ul-Haq – not to be blamed for Pakistan’s defeat by India in the semi-final

Pakistan lost the semi-final match against India in the ICC World Cup 2011 and everyone blamed Misbah-Ul-Haq for his slow batting in the innings. The Pakistani and Indian cricket lovers become very sentimental when their teams play against each other. The attention is totally diverted to cricket then while media creates hype. One can imagine the scene when the two teams clash in the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup.

The second semi-final match ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 took place between India and Pakistan on 30 March, 2011 at Mohali, India. That match was played between the two rivals after quite a long time and caught eyes of the world. Everyone was anxious about the outcome of the game and there was a lot of tension amongst the players of the both sides as well. That match was just one topic of discussion from the day both teams qualified for the knock out stage. People forgot about politics, and all social and economical issues.

India scored 260 runs in the allotted 50 overs when they had lost nine wickets. At one stage they looked like posting 300 plus runs but the devastating spell of bowling by the Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz, who grabbed five wickets, restricted them below their mark. The target seemed achievable as the openers gave a solid start of 44 runs for the first wicket and the second wicket fell at 70 runs in 15.3 overs. Younis Khan was the next batsman to enter followed by Misbah- Ul-Haq who joined in after the fall of Asad Shafiq and was the last man to be dismissed by India when they started the victory celebrations.

Every Pakistani was concerned about the way the two senior batsmen, Younis and Misbah performed in the match. it was a common presumption that Misbah would be able to see them achieve victory easily. But he could score only 56 runs off 76 balls.  The whole team was bundled out for 231 runs in 49.5 overs and India won the match by 29 runs.

In spite of all this, the Pakistan team was welcomed cheerfully when they returned back and their efforts in the tournament were appreciated. The National team will be heading for West Indies soon and the Captain Shahid Afridi suggested that few senior cricketers should take rest for the tour and make way for the players who have performed well in the last couple of years in domestic cricket.

A post World Cup analysis programme was broadcasted in a local TV channel where Misbah was also contacted on the phone. He made his position clear by commenting that he was asked to play the way he executed in the match. It was the plan crafted by the team management that the two senior batsmen will stay out till last. They will take the score to around 180 till the 40th over and the rest 80 runs could be achieved in the last ten overs.

Pakistan lost their sixth wicket at the total of 150 runs when Abdul Razzaq was gone after contributing just three runs in nine balls in 36.2 overs. Afridi was next to go once they had accumulated 184 runs in 41.5 overs. Hence, the plan was being followed by Misbah but the wickets kept on tumbling at the other end which resulted in the setback for Pakistan.

The ill planning by the team management for chasing an achievable target of 260 runs was exposed by Misbah who was reckoned guilty by the cricket fans and experts earlier. He has played many useful innings earlier for Pakistan in the just concluded World Cup and is the backbone of the team’s batting. He was the top scoring batsman of Pakistan in the tournament with 248 runs at a healthy average of 49.60 runs. Considering all this, he should not be blamed for the defeat.

The other experts and critics on the TV show suggested that Misbah should not be blamed for the debacle. Pakistan should have gone ahead with better attacking mode, better team planning and better captaincy.

The Power play should have been taken on time when Razzaq or Afridi were at the crease, whereby the result of the game could have been different!