Pakistan too strong for New Zealand
23/9/12- Pakistan 177-6 20 overs (Jamshed 56) beat New Zealand 164-9 20 overs (Nicol 37, Ajmal 4-26) by 13 runs @ Pallekele
Pakistan have beaten New Zealand by 13 runs in Pallekele, thanks to an explosive innings with the bat. Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. After Imran Nazir got them off to a good start, it was over to Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed who put together a partnership of 76 for the second wicket, with Jamshed racing to his half century off just 27 balls. His innings included 4 maximums, and he was showing the form he produced in the IPL earlier this year, before he was caught for 56. Cameos from Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi took Pakistan to 177 from their 20 overs, but New Zealand did well to restrict them to that score, with Tim Southee putting in a good shift with 2 wickets.
Kane Williamson and Rob Nicol gave New Zealand a solid start, before they went in successive overs. They then lost Vettori, the centurion from the other day Brendon McCullum and the experienced Jacob Oram in quick succession, as they struggled to keep up with the rate. Franklin and Ross Taylor were still at the crease but the rate was still too high for them, as New Zealand fell 14 runs short of their target, with England’s nemesis of last winter Ajmal picking up 4 wickets.
A very good performance from Pakistan, and they look good to keep up the record of being the only team to reach the Semi Final stage in all ICC World Twenty 20 events. New Zealand will be disappointed with the way they bowled early in the match, and will be hoping Pakistan beat Bangladesh so that they qualify for the Super 8’s.
Man of the Match: Nasir Jamshed for his explosive innings of 56 which set the Pakistan innings alight.
Rohit and Harbhajan help demolish England
23/9/12- India 170-4 20 overs (Sharma 55) beat England 80 all out 14.3 overs (Harbhajan 4-12) by 90 runs @ Colombo
India have battered in England in Colomno, beating them by 90 runs. England won the toss and after batting first against Afghanistan, they elected to field, with Bresnan in for Patel. After losing experimental opener Irfan Pathan early, Gambhir and Kohli put on a dynamic partnership of 57 to put their side in a good position. However, the pick of the batsman was without doubt Rohit Sharma, who smashed an unbeaten 55 from 33 balls to take his side to 170-4 off the 20 overs, with Jade Dernbach going for 17 in the final over, despite picking up the wicket of MS Dhoni.
England got off to a terrible start, with Hales bowled in the first over. We then lost match winner from the other day, Luke Wright, followed by Eoin Morgan, as England fell behind the rate. Bairstow came and went, and the only man who put up some resistance Kieswetter, fell for a well made 35. England couldn’t cope with the spin of Chawla, and former Surrey bowler Harbhajan, as we were finally bowled out for a record low for us of 80, inside 15 overs.
A very poor performance from England all round. They allowed India to get 10-15 too many, and they suffered the same way they always do in the sub-continent with the bat, against the spin. Only Kieswetter put together any sort of an innings. India, though, were superb in all facets of the game and they will be hard to beat as the competition continues.
Man of the Match: Harbhajan Singh for his 4 wickets for 12 runs. A great performance from Bhaji, proving the doubters wrong, as he was totally unplayable.