Spills & thrills of semis

  • Anand Vasu, Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
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  • Updated: Oct 04, 2009 23:42 IST
Had he wanted to, Grant Elliott could have given Younis Khan the Steve Waugh treatment, and told him, “you just dropped the Champions Trophy, mate”.

But Elliott is hardly the kind to stir any kind of trouble. When he had just 42 to his name, and the team was on 165, Elliott offered the simplest of chances to Younis at short cover, and incredibly, the chance was not taken.

Younis explained subsequently that it was worry about the hairline finger fracture that caused him to fluff the offering.

“I was saving the finger,” said Younis. “The dropped catch was very crucial — it was a simple one but I just dropped it.

“Maybe if I had taken it, things would've changed. It's the broken finger, more than anything, but I am not worried about dropping that catch.”

Both the batting and the bowling came under pressure for Pakistan, and the result was there for all to see.

 “In semis and finals, you need some luck — a good catch, a good run out, an umpiring thing. We didn't get any, so we lost.

“Overall, we fought as a team, but in both batting Power Plays, we lost out. We didn't bat well or bowl well during that period. As for no-balls, they get magnified because we lost. In pressure situations, your foot goes over a little bit. Maybe, we didn't handle the pressure.”

Pakistan, who only managed 233 after choosing to bat, did their own chances no good.

“We didn’t bat well, especially in the Power Play. A couple of guys got off to starts but didn't cash in. Umar Akmal and Yousuf had a good partnership. If they had stayed till the Power Play, we could've got 250-260,” said Younis.

“New Zealand cannot be taken lightly and that is why they are in the final.

“Overall, it has been a good experience for us — we finished in the top four. Our youngsters — Umar, Aamer and Ajmal — did well and that means the future is bright. It would’ve been good to be in the top two, but to be in the top four out of eight teams is not bad,” said Younis.


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