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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

“Bangladesh Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad”

cricket world cup, 2011 world cup, world cup 2011, shahid afridi, pakistan world cup, world cup pakistan, pakistan bangladesh fans, pakistan bangladesh, pakistan fans dhaka, pakistan bangladesh sher-e-bangla stadium, bangladesh fans

 Pakistan’s cricket team enjoyed massive crowd support at the Sher-e- Bangla National Stadium Mirpur, Dhaka as it convincingly beat West Indies by 10 wickets in first quarter final of the 2011 World Cup.
Right from the start, the 25,000-capacity stadium was fully charged and supported only one team and it might as well have been a home game for Pakistan. Afridi’s men might face a different prospect as they head for the semis in Mohali, India but for the moment they were thankful to the fans.
“We would really like to thank all the people who came out here to support Pakistan,” Man-of-the-match Mohammad Hafeez said.
Many Bangladeshi youth had painted their faces green and white, waved Pakistani flags with their own and chanted “Bangladesh Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad.”
While Pakistan’s crushing win over the Windies will be a moment of joy for their followers, it will also be sweet revenge for the Bangladeshi fans who had seen Darren Sammy’s side record a thumping win over the Tigers in the group stage of the World Cup.

Win a gift for people back home on Pakistan day: Afridi

MIRPUR: Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi dedicated Wednesday's comprehensive win over the West Indies in the quarterfinals of the World Cup to the people back home on the occasion of the national day.

Pakistan stormed into the World Cup semifinals with a convincing 10-wicket win over the Caribbean side at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium.

"This is a great gift we gave to the nation on Pakistan Day. We tried to stick to our plans and the boys have done a great job doing that. Kamran (Akmal) and (Mohammad) Hafeez did really well," Afridi said after the match.

Afridi yet again impressed with the ball scalping four wickets for just 30 runs.

"Personally I just tried to maintain line and length. These were great conditions for spin if you landed it on the length. We had tried (Abdul) Rehman against New Zealand and Australia and he did well. Today, we backed Hafeez and he pulled it off with the ball," the Pakistan skipper said.

Afridi refused to think about his side's next opponent, which could be either India or Australia, saying, "We think game by game. All we can do is to work hard."

Hafeez was declared the man-of-the-match for his all-round show.

Hafeez first picked up two West Indian wickets giving away just 16 runs from his 10 overs and then the played an unbeaten knock of 61 to guide Pakistan home.

"I really worked hard over the last couple of days and it worked for me. The coach told me a couple of days back that I would bowl with the new ball, and I tried it at the nets. I just kept them on line and length today, and it worked. My batting form came back at the right time and I hope to carry it on," he said

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said his side's flop show with the bat, especially their inability to handle spin cost them dear.

"Definitely not enough runs on the board. We didn't counter the bowling well, and fell well short. We lost wickets in clusters to spin throughout the tournament, and today was no exception," he said.

Sammy, however, said his side would go with a lot of positives from the tournament.

"Some bright spots -- a number of people under the age of 27 - (Kemar) Roach, (Ravi)Rampaul, (Devendra) Bishoo and a few youngsters who should be around for the next World Cup, so we should prepare for that. Bishoo has done excellently for Guyana and is one of the positives," he said.

Pakistan vs West Indies – World Cup 2011 (Pictures)

Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st Quarter-Final, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, match has ended. Pakistan won the match by 11 wickets (with 175 balls remaining) and has stormed its way into the semi-finals. A great “Flawless Victory” on such an important day, 23rd March. Before we stand up for our champions we must stand once for Bangladeshi crowd who encouraged our Heroes maximum and proved brotherhood. Congrats to the Pakistan cricket team. Pakistan Zindabad! View the images from the match below.

Afridi cools expectations

Afridi cools expectationsShahid Afridi refused to be drawn on Pakistan's chance of winning the World Cup after his side's 10-wicket demolition of West Indies.
The first quarter-final clash in Dhaka proved to be extremely one-sided as West Indies were skittled out for just 112 in 43.3 overs.
Such a minimal target proved no problem for Pakistan, with openers Mohammad Hafeez (61 not out) and Kamran Akmal (47no) knocking off the runs required inside 21 overs.
Skipper Afridi, who again led from the front with the ball by taking 4-30, admits expectation levels will now grow back home following the result.


"I'm very happy because before this competition I told my friends and the nation that with this team I wanted to play in the semi-finals," he said.
"There will now be more expectations to go on.
"But I am just thinking game by game. The only thing we can do is give 110 percent.
"Every team from now will come harder and harder. We will just keep making plans for each team and try and stick to those."
Pakistan had already underlined their potential with a 34-run win over Australia in their previous outing, a result that meant they topped Group A.
Afridi, who has now taken a tournament-best 21 wickets so far, puts their success down to planning.
"On each and every game we make plan with the coach (Waqar Younis) and we stick to those plans," he said.
"Everyone has done a great job, especially the bowlers from first game."
Spin issues
West Indies counterpart Darren Sammy admitted an inability to play spin had been a major problem for his team throughout their disappointing campaign.
"We definitely did not get enough runs," he said. "They bowled well at us and we didn't counteract, hence we were bowled out cheaply.
"Throughout tournament we have been losing wickets to spin and today was no exception."
Sammy, though, hopes his youthful side will travel back to the Caribbean having gained some valuable experience.
"We look at our squad have a number of players under the age of 27 which augers well for us," he said. "We have a few youngsters that should be around for next World Cup.
"We didn't play to our full potential at all in this tournament. When we do that we can beat any team on our day."

Mohali tickets selling like hot cakes

 The possibility of a Pakistan-India semifinal on March 30 has come as happy news for Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) as tickets for the match are selling like hot cakes.

There are realistic chances that the Asian giants could meet in Mohali for a place in the World Cup final and according to reports cricket fans are queuing up for tickets at the PCA Stadium.

If Pakistan beat West Indies in Mirpur on Wednesday (today) and India prevail over Australia in the second quarterfinal in Ahmadabad on Thursday (tomorrow) then the two arch-rivals will meet in a dream clash in the last-four stage of the tournament.

A top PCA official said on Tuesday that tickets for the match are selling like hot cakes. “There has been a brisk sale of tickets for the semifinal match. A total of 9920 tickets have been sold on the opening day yesterday at various branches of Central Bank of India including the two gates of PCA stadium, Mohali,” said PCA Joint Secretary, G S Walia, in an interview on Tuesday.

Pakistan cricket fans are also desperate to get hold of the tickets for the second semifinal. “I was in Colombo to support Pakistan against Australia and now I’m in Dhaka for the quarterfinal against the West Indies. But it will be like a dream come true if I’m at Mohali to witness a Pakistan-India World Cup match. I’ll try my best to get a ticket for it,” said Ali, a medical student from Karachi.

Team-mates back Ponting on captaincy

 Ricky Ponting's team-mates have leapt to his defence amid reports he could be stripped of the captaincy ahead of next month's one-day series in Bangladesh. The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday claimed that Cricket Australia would discuss Ponting's future as leader of the side, even if the selectors named him captain for the Bangladesh series.

The paper quoted an unnamed Cricket Australia official as saying that the time was approaching to look to the future, and that "we're waiting for the next thing to blow up". Over the past month, Ponting has created headlines for damaging a TV set in the dressing room, showing his anger at Steven Smith when they collided while going for a catch and for not walking when he got a thick edge to the wicketkeeper against Pakistan. (Also read: Ponting denies retirement reports)

Perhaps more importantly, Ponting has also been struggling for runs and Australia need him to fire during their quarter-final against India in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Michael Hussey said the team was right behind the captain, and that Ponting had not been any different in his approach over the past few weeks.

"Ricky's got our 100% support," Hussey said. "He's such a class player. It's amazing, it seems like he's been copping criticism over very minor things. Things have been blown way out of proportion from our point of view.

"I've been watching Ricky in the nets and the way he has been preparing. It's just amazing sometimes how champions just rise to the occasion at the right time. Against India on Thursday in the World Cup is one of those times where I think we'll see the best of Ricky Ponting."

Ponting is searching for his fourth World Cup title and although he has signalled his intentions to play on in the limited-overs format, at 36 his long-term future in the one-day game must be in doubt. Mitchell Johnson said Ponting had retained his focus ahead of the India clash, in which a loss would mean the end of Australia's 12-year hold on the World Cup.

"He's a very important player in this tournament. He's been in a few World Cups now, so to have his experience is vital for us and he's a guy we all look up to," Johnson said. "He's copped a fair bit [of criticism] lately and he's dealing with it in his own way.

"He has got the experience needed to be able to deal with it. I don't think he's thinking about it too much, he's just worried about this next game. The guys are there to support him, everyone needs support at times and he is getting it from everyone. He is a tough character but he enjoys that support."

Ponting hasn't made an international hundred in 13 months, and his best score at this World Cup has been 36 - against Kenya in Bangalore last week. He has given no signal that he intends to retire in the near future, and last week said that he would be playing in the Bangladesh series, which begins on April 9.
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