Scott Styris and Umar Akmal, the superb late middle-order batsmen
The 24th match of Cricket World Cup 2011 is going to take place between Pakistan and New Zealand at Pallekele Stadium. Men in Green, with 2 wins under their belt, have almost
made their place in the quarter-finals confirmed. New Zealand routed Zimbabwe and Kenya in their matches but lost to Aussies and this what, they do not want to repeat in game against Cornered Tigers. Black Caps are heavily depending on Scott Styris while Umar
Akmal is a vital part of Pakistani late middle-order.
Umar Akmal, young brother of Kamran Akmal, scored a Test hundred on debut, against New Zealand in 2009. He is a young talented cricketer with an ability to play aggressive but in dependable
manner. The 20-yeald old player, playing his first World Cup, has played 33 ODIs in which he scored 1007 runs at an average of a bit under 35. He is a brave player with an exceptionally clear mind and approach to shot-making.
According to Rashid Latif, former Pakistani captain, “He is simply one of the best batsmen in the side, if not the best. But they are messing with him by punishing him if he attacks too
much or plays a careless shot.” One of biggest flaw in little Akmal’s batting is that sometimes he becomes too aggressive and loses his wicket in a hurry.
The runs didn’t cease to flow for Umar Akmal; he is a natural stroke maker with an attacking intent. Along with his sharp fielding, he has the ability to hit the wickets directly. In World
Cup, Umar was the most successful batsman in match against Canada where he scored 48 while stunning innings of 71 against Kenya was also fun to watch, but both times, Umar could not convert his innings into big scores. Umar’s record against has not been very
good as he averages only 21 in 9 matches, played against Kiwis.
On the other side, Black Caps have veteran Scott Styris in their late middle order who was the highest run scorer in World Cup 2007 after Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Mahela Jayawardene.
His fighting instinct is one of his most valuable qualities and his slow-mediums could still be handy if the sub-continental pitches are slow. Styris has the ability of playing cautiously or attacking as the situation demands.
Styris did not get much chance to bat in this World Cup as New Zealand won their two games without losing a wicket and the only time, he came to crease in this mega event was against Australia
where he got out on a duck. Styris is also facing a few fitness issues; he is a very important player for his side and Black Caps need him fit and performing in the next matches.
Danny Morrison, former New Zealand bowler stated, “He’s lost a bit of weight and got fitter, and credit to him for that. In recent times, he’s needed to make the opposition hurt a bit
more and score more runs – as simple as that.” Styris has scored 4341 runs in his 183 one-day internationals at an average of 35. Against Pakistan, the 35-years old player has played 24 games in which he scored 587 runs at an average of 36 with one century.
He has also 23 wickets to his credit against Men in Green.
Umar’s attacking batting is a valuable asset for his side while Styris’s experience is unmatched in the World Cup. Fans are expecting a good play from these two players due to their ability
of winning the match single handedly. Everyone would have a competitive and entertaining contest to watch if these two perform well.