KheloPakistan » Articles for June 2012 Year
Pakistani sensation Aisam ul Haq along with his
partner Jean Julien Rojer have clinched the Gerry
Weber Open doubles event title after defeating
T Huey and S Lipsky 6-3 and 6-4 in the final.
Aisam ul Haq managed to successfully defend
the title which he had won last year with his
former parter Rohan Bopanna. "This win proves
that I’m good enough. Both Rojer and
I have continued the momentum we started in
Estoril, then to the French open and now in Halle."
said Aisam. "I’m sure I’ll be able to improve my
rankings by the time the US Open starts."
Qureshi and Rojer have played 13 tournaments
together so far and are ranked ninth iin the ATP
doubles team rankings.
Just when you think things are pretty straightforward; Pakistan have had a knack of pulling of an incredible feat. Today was no different; though in different senses. A Thisara Parera led Sri Lanka triggered a collapse that the Pakistan dream attack of the 90's would have been proud of. From 166-2 needed barely a run a ball, Pakistan pulled it off to get to 179-9. The third wicket to fall was the captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. With Pakistan set he tried to go over the top on a length ball from Lasith Malinga but only managed to find Nuwan Kulasekra at Mid-On. He got out for a timely 57 and helped Azhar bat along with him.
Fourth ODI at Premedasa Cricket Stadium commenced with sun shining bright and came to the aid of empty-bellied weather-miffed cricket viewers. Jayawardene won the toss for Sri Lanka and put Misbah’s men in green to bowl. Umar Gul started the proceedings for Pakistan and claimed the wicket of Tharanga (4) just in the third over of the match, who handed over a sharp catch to the alert hands of Younis Khan at second slip.
Sohail Tanvir anchored the innings at the other end with Gul and made scoring difficult for Sangakara and Dilshan. Sangakara escaped a close call in the sixth over off a Tanvir slower bowl. Tanvir and Gul's opening bursts kept Sri Lanka to 35 for 1 after 10 overs.
Shahid Afridi was the first of the three spinners to be introduced as a bowling change followed by Younis Khan’s seam-up bowling at the other end--this being the 19th time YK bowled in an ODI.
Shahid Afridi began his stint with two poor deliveries; second one being cut by Dilshan for four and the scoring picked up with the batsmen appearing slightly more comfortable against spin. Just when Dilshan looked settled and set for a big score, Hafeez came into the attack straight after the drinks break and trapped Dilshan (24) with his genius, right in front of the wicket. Hafeez and Ajmal tightened the screws and conceded only 10 runs in the bowling power play from overs 16 to 20, teasing Sangakara and Chandimal.
Change of ends for Hafeez proved crucial, with him claiming yet another victim, Chandimal(18) in the 26th over who could only manage two boundaries in his short knock.
Meanwhile, clouds continued flirting and testing the nerves of not only the spectators but also the players, resulting in an hour of rain interruption. No overs were lost and play resumed at 91/3 with some beautiful, deceptive loop-angled turn bowling by Afridi and nagging off-spinners and little skitters by Hafeez.
Only 6.2 overs were possible in todays play after Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first. Though one thing was very evident was Pakistan's slow progress in making a petty 12 runs for the loss of two wickets.
This is not a Pakistan problem of just today but of recent times. They seem to be stuck in the 80's and early 90's where keeping wicket's in hands was the key to an onslaught in the latter overs. A perfect example of such a innings was the 1992 World Cup final, where Javed Miandad and Imran Khan batted at snails pace but gave Inzamam and Wasim Akram the launchpad to go after the English attack.
With batsman like Saeed Anwar and Amir Sohail for Pakistan along with Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana it all changed in the mid 90's. Batsman took on the bowling upfront and scores in access of 300 were a regular occurrence.
The King of Clay Rafa Nadal verified his title at the Roland Garros 2012 when he won his seventh Roland Garros title and achieved a feat that had never ever been imagined before by becoming the only player in the history of tennis to have seven French Open titles to his name.Nadal won the 11th Grandslam of his career and is now tied with greats like Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver for the number of grandslam titles won on all time list. Rafa, who looked in imperial form throughout the clay-court season, show-cased the exact same performance in the final of Roland Garros 2012 and absolutely tore Djokovic apart in a rather strange match that was twice suspended because of rain and had quite exciting momentum shifts.But ultimately, it was the Spanish Matador who came out on top in deserving fashion to seal his victory and wrote his name in the history books as the greatest player ever to step foot on clay-court.
Back again at the Palekelle International Cricket Stadium, Sri Lanka came back with the perfect performance in reply to Pakistan's clinical win in the first ODI and easily won the second one to level the series. The stand-out performers for Sri Lanka were Tillakaratne Dilshan whose century took Sri Lanka to a healthy total of 280 and Thisara Perera who tore apart the Pakistani batting line up and took 6 wickets while giving away 44 runs.
Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first. The opening partnership between Upul Tharanga and Dilshan last for 37 runs before Tharanga was caught behind off Sohail Tanvir's bowling for 18 runs. In came Sangakkara and Hafeez got him caught and bowled off 18 runs as well. Chandimal and Dilshan looked well settled until Chandimal got trapped LBW by Shahid Afridi for 32 runs. Mahela Jayawardane and Dilshan formed a formidable partnership of 86 runs during which Dilshan got to his 14th hundred and the second against Pakistan which included 14 fours and a six. Jayawardane was cleaned up by Ajmal but Dilshan remained not out at 119 while Perera's 24 run cameo kept him not out off just 22 runs. Sri Lanka finished their innings at 280-4, setting a big challenge for an already struggling Pakistani batting line up.
Mahela Jayawardene won the toss on an overcast and cloudy day, hoping to follow the same pattern as the T20Is; set with a target on the
board which was defendable in the evening. Pakistan put into bowl, were outstanding with the new ball as the seamers, led by Umar Gul, took quick wickets and key moments in the game to leave SL at 6-56. Rain halted the Sri Lankan innings several times making the contest into a 42 over one, but Middle Order Batsman, Lahiru Thiramanne shined through the dismay, scoring an unbeaten 42 to scratch Sri Lanka up to a paltry total of 135.
All of the bowlers were helped in useful conditions and several shined in a generally low quality batting display from the Lankans. Mohammad Sami who was making a comeback after 5 years absent from the ODI scene, took three wickets to further press his case for selection in the Test team as well as a ticket back to Sri Lanka for the Twenty20 World Cup in September. Sohail Tanvir bowled well, getting the new and old ball to swing and cause problems for the home team especially the right handers who found his action hard to pick. However he was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket and ended with figures of 0-30 off his 8 overs. Mohammad Hafeez Bowled his full quota of 10 overs picking up two wickets and only conceding 20 runs in his 3rd most economical bowling performance in his career.
After the very exciting action that took place at the stadia of Roland Garros on day-10, everyone was expecting day-11 to host some thrilling encounters as well and guess what ; it did exactly the same.With some big matches scheduled for day-11 ,it was being thought of as an action-packed day even before it had begun.
First up on Court Philippe Chatrier, it was Rafa Nadal's turn to face off against his fellow country-man Nicolas Almagro. Both men hadn't dropped a single set en route the quarter-finals.But heading into the match, it was Rafa who clearly had the edge because of having a perfect 7-0 record against Nicolas in their previous meetings.So , here's how the match unfolded. In the first set , both men had to dig it out deep and the set went to a tie-break, where Rafa once again stuck to his usual way of denying his opponents to win a set against him and thus clinched the first set 7-6. The second set saw a rather one-sided effort as Nadal was the one who clearly toyed with him and wrapped up the 2nd set in 45 minutes 6-2.In the third set, Nico once again found that fighting-till-the-end spirit and it seemed clear that he was definitely not going down without a fight. But Nadal, who is eyeing a record 7th Roland Garros crown, closed all doors for Alamgro's come back and secured his berth in the semi-final of Roland Garros 2012 by sealing victory in three sets 7-6(4) 6-2 6-3.