Jun 182017
 
Preview: Resurgent Pakistan chase title dream in blockbuster finale against India

LONDON: The sporting world’s biggest clash, the game that always ‘stops two nations’ unfurls on Sunday when a resurgent Pakistan face title holders India in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval.And the question millions of cricket fans around the world, possibly even a billion, are all asking is ´which Pakistan will turn up?´Rising from the ashes after a 124-run thrashing by arch-rivals India at Edgbaston on June 4, where some often thoughtless bowling and timid batting, along with woeful fielding, led to coach Mickey Arthur labelling the performance as “shambolic”, Pakistan went on to defeat top-ranked South Africa and knocked out Sri Lanka as well as hosts and favourites England to burst into the finale, shocking all those who had written them off. geo_embedgallery So which Pakistan will turn up? Will it be the slick, skilled side who hammered England by eight wickets in the semi-finals, with Hasan Ali, the competition´s leading wicket-taker, spearheading a brilliant bowling effort as the previously unbeaten tournament hosts were dismissed for just 211 before the likes of Azhar Ali and Fakhar Zaman helped knock off the runs in dashing style?When it comes to assessing most teams, the temptation is to look at their most recent result as a form guide.But not only have Pakistan, the lowest ranked team in a tournament featuring the world´s top eight one-day international sides, long been regarded as world cricket´s most “unpredictable” outfit, they have lost all three of their previous knockout matches against India at ICC tournaments.´History [Read More…]

Jun 172017
 
Clash of the titans: ?Pakistan-India Takra? ? what the experts say?

The biggest battle of the cricketing world is set to take place on Sunday when arch-rivals Pakistan and India face each other in the Champions Trophy final at the Oval.A resurgent Pakistan and defending champions India look to outclass and outplay their opponent – with both teams eyeing the trophy. The highly anticipated thriller will showcase Pakistan’s formidable bowling and India’s firm batting. Can the ‘predictably unpredictable’ turn the tables and make history? Our experts will share their opinion with you.A joint-production of Geo News (Pakistan) and Aaj Tak (India), Takra, hosted by Shahzaib Khanzada and Vikrant Gupta will feature Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Yousuf, Ramiz Raja and Sikandar Bakht from Pakistan and Saurav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin from India. Click for detailed story

Jun 172017
 
ICC places murals on CT finalist teams route

LONDON: Ahead of the high voltage ICC Champions Trophy final between Pakistan and India, the ICC has placed murals at The Oval, explaining the journey of both the teams to the final of tournament.The murals are spray-painted to create various caricatures of players from both the team. Captains from both the teams – Sarfaraz Ahmed of Pakistan and Virat Kohli of India – signed the wall which depicted their caricatures with the tournament’s trophy.“Will India claim their third ICC Champions Trophy?Can Pakistan provide yet another upset?Now is time for Heroes to become Champions” reads the wall. These murals placed at the Lords also carry a caricatural story of Pakistan and India’s road to the final.“Pakistani bowlers have propelled their side to the final. And the batsmen have played their part too with a series of vital knocks,” reads the caption on one of the caricature.“After a shaky start, Pakistan have rallied. Their fast bowlers are on song, inspired by the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed,” reads another caption.These murals are part of ICC’s initiative to engage fans in event-related activities to add some off the field colours to an already colourful event of the most followed sport in sub-continent. Click for detailed story

Jun 172017
 
Have prepared game plan based on team's strength: Mickey Arthur

LONDON: Pakistan coach Mikey Arthur said on Saturday that a game plan based on the team’s strength has been prepared for the crucial clash against India in the Champions Trophy final.In an exclusive interview to geo.tv, the Pakistan head coach said: “It is important that we play to our strengths, we gave too many chances to India in the earlier game.” He added that India’s performance was analysed after the earlier game and the team will concentrate on what it can do well.Arthur said the players have changed their cricketing behaviour and have worked hard at expanding their game.“We will look towards scoring in the 300 range rather than 260 to 270,” said the coach and added that strike rotation has improved.The coach was all praise for captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and said that “he is fantastic, positive and has an attacking mindset”.Referring to the earlier win against England, Arthur said the team believed in its ability and were aware of the brand of cricket that had to be played.“Players had clarity over their roles and were superb,” added the coach.He also expressed his pleasure over the young additions to the team, and said they “came in the side and have played with fear and are a breath of fresh air”.“Very happy that we have found a core group of players who we can take forward and can work with in the 2019 World Cup,” stated Arthur.Arthur expressed his satisfaction at the team’s performance in the middle overs of the game and [Read More…]

Jun 172017
 
The curious case of the fervent Pakistani fans

Not very long ago, in a popular satire show on one of the cable channels, the father of political satire in Pakistan, Anwar Maqsood questions the late Moin Akhter, dressed as a Bangladeshi cricketer, as to why Bangladesh have stopped winning games against Pakistan?The amusing reply, scripted by the great writer and rendered to perfection by the best comedian produced by Pakistan, is one that leaves one in fits of laughter. The late Moin Akhter (as a Bangladeshi cricketer) explains that when Pakistan lose a game they are grilled with all sorts of allegations from match fixing to foul play. “In our country, the river hits a reverse flow; if we win, everyone is shocked. We are taken into custody, kept awake during the night and questioned hard as how on Earth did we win, what did we do to get such results? We ultimately decided not to win onwards.”Interestingly, Pakistani fans have similar cautious feelings at the moment. Although they are pumped up, joyous, ready for revenge and right behind their team. But take them aside and ask them to put their hands on their hearts and give an honest reply – and a healthy majority will open up to the fact that all this is too good to be true. For many it’s like coming up to a temporary oasis, an artificial surrounding – but one they are happy to believe and live in till at least this Sunday. Pakistan vs India final, that too in the Champions [Read More…]

Jun 162017
 
The final

In the semi-final, Pakistan played brilliantly. The stunning performance of the cricket team enabled it to qualify for the final match. Both the bowlers and batsmen deserve credit for the victory. The team had a bumpy start of the tournament, but it worked hard to improve its performance. Now Pakistan will play the final match against India. The team should not take any pressure. It has come this far and it can easily defeat its arch rival. The nation hopes and prays that the country will defeat India. Shanza Ali Karachi Click for detailed story

Jun 162017
 
Pakistan has been masterful in squeezing teams

An India v Pakistan final is about as big an occasion as the ICC could have hoped for, but few would have foreseen Pakistan going the distance in the tournament given the nature of its defeat to its greatest rivals earlier in the tournament.Pakistan’s shock defeat of the in-form host England has set up what’s undoubtedly the most important meeting of the two sides in recent memory.When recapping the game at Lord’s between South Africa and England before the tournament, I made a point of pointing out that the best sides, despite sticking to their method wherever possible, analyse conditions well. On that occasion, England was the creator of its own downfall in playing some loose cricket shots, without doing the ‘hard yards’ that even the modern-day batsmen must be prepared to put in every now and again.This was another example of some poor game management from Eoin Morgan’s side. Having seen Pakistan’s record at this tournament, England should have re-evaluated its plans, looking to put a score of around 270-280 on the board, which would have allowed the bowlers the opportunity to go about creating pressure. I truly believe that it would have been able to defend a score in that region, but the way it played suggested to me that it was going to try and bat Pakistan completely out of the game.I see a missing cog in the England batting machine, in that if the pitch hasn’t played to its initial game plan, as a team, it [Read More…]

Jun 152017
 
Jadhav case: ICJ rejects India's request for six-month time to submit response

Jadhav case The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected India's request to delay proceedings for Kubhushan Jadhav's case until December and ordered India to submit a response by September 13, Attorney General (AG) Ashtar Ausaf Ali said on Thursday.Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, Ali said that the court's registrar had informed Pakistan through its consulate in Netherlands of the development."The ICJ has written a letter to Pakistan informing us of their decision," the attorney general said.India had asked the ICJ to offer them time till December to file pleadings in the Jadhav case, however, "the court has dismissed their request," the AG added."India had adopted the stance that the matter was one of life and death, but Pakistan had stated that the ICJ is not a court of appeals."The attorney general further pointed out that the world tribunal was supposed to decide on giving the convicted spy consular access. "The ICJ is supposed to conclude whether or not Jadhav can receive consular access, for which a time period of two to three months is more than enough to file a response."Sources privy to the information noted that Pakistan will submit its response to the ICJ in December, while the court proceedings will begin in January 2018.In a hearing of the case on May 18, a 10-member bench at The Hague restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav, who India claims is a retired naval officer.Jadhav case The UN's top court had announced its ruling on May 18 regarding an urgent bid [Read More…]

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