In summer of 2009, England was the setup for the 2nd Twenty 20 world cup. The venues were The Oval and Lord’s in London and the beautiful Trent Bridge ground in Nottingham. Since 1992 the Pakistan team had not won any further world cups.
Let’s take another trip down the memory lane to chart their progression in this 2009 international tournament.
The squad consisted of Younis Khan (Capt), Ahmed Shehzad, Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Misbah ul Haq, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Amir, Sohail Tanvir, Shahzaib Hasan, Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq.
7.6.2009 Pakistan vs England The Oval
England batted first making 185/5. In reply Pakistan made 137/7. England won comfortably by 48 runs. Younis Khan scored 46 not out.
9.6.2009 Pakistan vs Netherlands Lord’s
As Netherlands had some how beaten England, and Pakistan had lost their opening match. Pakistan needed to win this match by a large margin to qualify for the next stage. Pakistan batting first made 175/5, Kamran Akmal contributing 41. In reply Netherlands crumbled to 93 all out. Shahid Afridi 4/11, Saeed Ajmal 3/20. The win by 82 runs got Pakistan into the Super Eights.
12.6.2009 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Lord’s
Sri Lanka batting first made 150/7. Pakistan in reply fell sort by 19 runs, at 131/9. Younis Khan made 50.
13.6.2009 Pakistan vs New Zealand The Oval
New Zealand batting first were skittled out for 99. This was the match in which the impressive Umar Gul bowled 3 overs, gave away only 6 runs and took an amazing 5 wickets! One of these was an unbelievable catch on the boundary by Shahid Afridi which gave extra momentum to the team. In reply Pakistan made 100/4, winning easily. This match turned the fortunes for Pakistan and especially Shahid Afridi.
15.6.2009 Pakistan vs Ireland The Oval
Pakistan batting first made 159/5. Kamran Akmal 57. Ireland in reply made 120/9. Saeed Ajmal 4/19. Another easy win for Pakistan. This meant Pakistan were through to the semi finals.
18.6.2009 Pakistan vs South Africa Trent Bridge
Pakistan batted first, Shahzaib Hassan got out for 0. Kamran Akmal made a swift 23 off 12 balls. Shahid Afridi continued his excellent form with 51 off 34 balls. Pakistan’s total was 149/4. The unbeaten, in form South Africa team struggled in response with regular wickets falling. They reached 142/5, Shahid Afridi taking 2/16. Pakistan had won by 7 runs and got to the finals. I was fortunate enough to be present at this match, the atmosphere was incredible. The noisy crowd was full of spectators waving green Pakistan flags. It must have felt like a home game for the Pakistani players. Equally the South Africans must have thought they were in Lahore!
21.6.2009 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka The Lord’s
On a glorious sunny day, in front of full house of 28 000 spectators at Lord’s, two Asian teams faced each other in the final. Sri Lanka won the toss and batted first. On the 5th ball of the first over Mohammad Amir’s short pitched delivery was misjudged by Dilshan (who was the leading run scorer in the tournament) and scooped up a catch. In the next over Abdul Razzaq removed Mubarak, the score was 2/2. Wickets frequently fell after that. Sangakkara 64 not out and Mathews 35 not out fought back to reach a respectable total of 138/6. Abdul Razzaq finished with figures of 3/20. But this was Pakistan’s day. In response the openers Kamran Akmal and Shahzaib Hasan made an excellent start with a partnership of 48. To finish the game off there was an unbeaten partnership of 76 between Shahid Afridi (54 not out) and Shoaib Malik (24 not out), total 139/2. Pakistan won by 8 wickets. It was appropriate that Shahid Afridi hit the winning runs as this was his tournament. He excelled with the bat, ball and in the field. He was named man of the match.
Pakistan had secured the 2009 Twenty 20 world cup under the excellent guidance of captain Younis Khan. After 17 years Pakistan had claimed its second cricket world cup, indeed yet another historic moment. As in 1992 the Pakistan team started slowly and built momentum towards the end. Other highlights included the discovery of a world class, 17 year old left arm fast bowling sensation, Mohammad Amir. Umar Gul’s ‘death’ bowling was a lesson to all the world. The realisation that when Shahid Afridi is in form, anything is achievable!
We wish Pakistan team all the best for next month’s 2015 Cricket World Cup.