Shahid Afridi wins T20 World Cup for Pakistan

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A relatively sensible single into the legsideOut of form and out of practice, Pakistan were playing like a cutlery drawer full of spoons at the start of the tournament but literally improved with every game.

Shahid Afridi played like a grown-up today, which is again missing the point of Shahid Afridi. But being as he won the World Cup for his nation, we aren’t going to be too critical of him for that. Shahid Afridi embracing sense sits uncomfortably, but it’ll never last. The man’s devoted his entire life to pointless risk-taking with the bat. He’s probably got ‘playing the ball on merit’ out of his system already.

Pakistan had the best bowling attack and it’s nice to see that count in Twenty20. Far from being a barrage of sixes, the World Twenty20 was chock full of awkward yorkers and slower balls. It was ace.


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  1. I applaud the chap in the crowd who I saw on telly holding up a placard saying-
    “Be Afridi.
    Be very Afridi.”

  2. Alex, that was a classic sign!

    I’m rather gutted. Very gutted, in fact. After my initial scepticism, I got so caught up in it all that I started treating it like the real thing.

    I ended up watching the game in a pub just north of Rusholme…which meant that me and my mate Si (the “other” Spurs-supporting Sri Lankan in Manchester) were up against the ENTIRE South Manchester Pakistani population.

    This very quickly got rather painful, as each wicket resulted in flag-waving and general taunting.

    They went quiet as Sanga and Mathews eked us towards respectability — they really weren’t singing any more.

    But then, it just got worse and worse. It was even worse than the last 50-over WC final…and that was bad.

    Oh well, at least Messrs Smith and Kallis didn’t get their hands on the silverware!

  3. KC

    your first paragraph –

    very nice simile about the cutlery but then you had to pedestrianize it with a generic ending.

    only 2/5 today. Must try harder.

    and what’s with the”Australia” tag?

  4. If you thought that was bad, Mahinda, you should have tried St Johns Wood.

    My guess is that people are still driving around and around NW8 with their car roofs down waving Pakistan flags – not very NW8 at all.

    I tried to encourage some England Women supporters to do similar but couldn’t find any England supporters sober enough to drive. Typical.

  5. Well done Pakistan and all that. I’m still not entirely convinced, though. I just have this niggling feeling that if we had another 20/20 world cup next week, we’d all still back South Africa to win. In other words, this tournament doesn’t actually tell us anything.

    However, in a magnanimous gesture, I am going to try to like 20/20 from now on. My technique is to treat it like a summer sevens rugby competition – pointless but fun.

    Ashes next, back to what real cricket is all about – tension, pain, anger, ecstacy, pain, fear, pain and pain.

  6. “In other words, this tournament doesn’t actually tell us anything.”

    But the point of any knockout tournament isn’t that it provides you with a logically inescapable winner, or even that it perfectly reflects form. A bit of randomness is the whole purpose of having knockouts. In fact it’s the attempted elimination of any such upsets that makes the 50-over World Cup such a crashing bore. Well, that and the fact that it goes on for eight years.

  7. Steve, we actually thought long and hard about that sentence. We’d written ‘improved with every game’ and thought it sounded lazy.

    We added the ‘literally’ to underline the fact that Pakistan genuinely did improve with every game.

    Reading it back, it’s clear that the word ‘literally’ has been so thoroughly sullied by misuse that it now needs to be expunged from the English language. Literally.

  8. A very fair point, SimonC. Between you and SarahCanterbury and a whole pile of other people here, every logical argument I have for disliking 20/20 has been meticulously deconstructed and torn to shreds.

    The time has come, therefore, to unleash my final argument. This is it, I have nothing more. I am sorry to do this to you all, but you have me backed into a corner.

    You all like 20/20.

    Giles Clarke likes 20/20.

    Therefore, you all share key personality traits with Giles Clarke.

  9. Giles Clarke doesn’t like Twenty20. He likes the money that Twenty20 produces.

    He likes Twenty20 in the same way that he loves an efficient manufacturing process.

    If you look in his eyes when he’s at one of the games, you’ll see that his pupils are shaped like pound signs.

  10. Dame Giles does indeed love money – and success of course, hence his nauseating performance in the Sky Studios when the women had trampled down the Kiwis. I suspect his pupils though, O King, are shaped in a form more sinister than a jolly old pound sign.

  11. My mum came over to watch the match with us and she was so taken with the “be Afridi – very Afridi!” sign that she mentioned it not once, not twice, but THREE times.

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