Return from wilderness: Cricket the winner as Pakistan All Stars beat international team

Published: October 21, 2012
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Fans cheer for their teams at the National Stadium. PHOTO: APP

Fans cheer for their teams at the National Stadium. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: 

Roaring crowds, drum rolls, a flurry of sixes and the new innovation – the Gangnam style dance – the first Twenty20 fixture between the International World XI and Pakistan All Stars XI had it all, as it brought back the National Stadium Karachi to life on Saturday.

Captained by the mercurial Shahid Afridi, Pakistan All Stars XI claimed an 84-run win, after a fiery bowling spell from Tabish Khan and half-centuries from Shahzaib Hasan and Umar Akmal.

The opening of the two back-to-back matches proved to be a huge success, as 34,000 spectators packed the stadium to soak up the return of international cricket to the country for the first time since 2009, when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore.

Batting first, the home-side scored a mammoth 222 runs in 20 overs, before reducing the visitors to 138-8. Hasan exploited three dropped catches to strike a 24-ball 54, including six boundaries and four sixes.

Akmal hit an unbeaten 67 as Pakistan All Stars XI compiled an intimidating score in front of the capacity crowd. Afridi played a brief cameo, scoring 18 off seven deliveries, including two sixes. Thandi Tshabalala took three wickets, while Afghan bowler Shaproon Zadran claimed a brace.

In response, the International World XI got off to a shaky start, from which they could not recover, with Zadran top scoring with 42 runs. Captain Sanath Jayasuriya and his men failed with the bat. Meanwhile, West Indies legend Alvin Kallicharan who is the coach of visiting team declared cricket as ‘eventual winner’.

An inspired Tabish Khan claimed a hat-trick to register figures of 3-25, while Wahab Riaz claimed a brace.

Former West Indies Test cricketer Adam Sanford, who is a part of the visiting team, told The Express Tribune that, “I feel as safe here as I do at my home. The security arrangements are fine and I am enjoying cricket in front of this enthusiastic crowd.”

West Indies legend Alvin Kallicharan, coach of the visiting team, declared cricket as the ‘eventual winner’. “I am very happy to see such a response,” Kallicharan added. “I hope these matches will help the revival of international cricket in the country. The people here are hungry for cricket and deserve international cricket action.”

Fans welcome stars

Meanwhile, avid fans were delighted to see top cricket stars in action on their home soil once more.

“It is a great moment for us. These matches hold a lot of importance for us as it is the first step towards revival [of international cricket in Pakistan],” said Mohammad Ali, holding the national flag.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • DevilHunterX
    Oct 21, 2012 - 2:15PM

    The World does not have a goldfish memory!

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  • Aviator
    Oct 21, 2012 - 4:04PM

    Great to see international cricket back in Pakistan!

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  • Khan (Ex-PTI)
    Oct 21, 2012 - 4:10PM

    Yes, we are peaceful nation. But, we can’t see peace in our neighboring countries. Truth, isn’t it?

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  • Adnan
    Oct 21, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Smell of burning coming from across the border……….

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  • PaKhtoon
    Oct 21, 2012 - 6:44PM

    @Khan (Ex-PTI): We are a peaceful nation and want peace in the whole world. Understand Mr. Kumar or Mr. Raj or whatever ???????

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  • Sid
    Oct 21, 2012 - 9:25PM

    @adnan…lol only somebody as silly as a Pakistani will say something like this…we hosted a World Cup…and see what you are reduced to hosting ? It’s not a comparison,infant it’s pathateic

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  • Anonymous Indian
    Oct 22, 2012 - 12:06AM

    “We are a peaceful nation.” Yes, yes, that is very much evident by the events taking place daily in the land of the unadulterated and land of the pure. But I think there is a spelling mistake in the word “peaceful.” It should be “pieceful.”

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  • Schabboo Khan
    Oct 22, 2012 - 12:55AM

    @PaKhtoon:
    Your comment and the ones from @Khan(Ex-PTI) and @Adnan prove that even though we say we are peaceful we do not know how to be peaceful or how to behave like a peaceful nation. Constant baiting of Indians, Afghans, and Westerners accompanied by chest thumping is not a sign of a peaceful nation. Instead it shows an attitude of “aa bayl mujhe maar”.

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  • Bala
    Oct 22, 2012 - 1:16PM

    If what we see is just peaceful Pakistan, just imagine how violent Pakistan will look like?

    But good show, Pakistan in hosting this cricket match with success , its a small step …several such small stops are need before international cricket can come back.

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