The one ICC trophy lacking from Pakistan’s cupboard is that of the Champions Trophy. In seven makes an attempt, the most effective that Pakistan has managed is making it to the semi-finals. Nobody – least of all of the ICC – is certain concerning the event’s actual place in cricket’s index of necessary trophies however profitable silverware can by no means be dangerous.
As Sarfaraz Ahmed’s group tries to win glory for Pakistan, right here is Pakistan’s journey within the ICC Champions Trophy via the years:
A month after main Pakistan to a Sahara Cup victory over arch-rivals India, Aamer Sohail led his workforce to what was then often known as the Wills Worldwide Cup. This was not a very nice time for the Pakistan workforce, coping with intrigues and, extra importantly, fixing allegations. Sohail, who was appointed captain earlier that yr, was solely a month away from dropping the captaincy.
Pakistan’s opening recreation – 1 / 4 remaining in a knockout event – was towards the West Indies. Led by Brian Lara, the Windies batted first after profitable the toss.
Proper-handed opener Philo Wallace struck considered one of his two fifties in a 33-match profession on a Dhaka monitor that was placid sufficient for him to bat and not using a helmet towards Wasim Akram and Azhar Mahmood. He ended with a profession common of 21.24 however did sufficient on this match to blunt the Pakistani bowlers. A fifty eight-ball seventy nine from Wallace on the prime handed Pakistan a psychological defeat in the course of the first innings they usually might by no means actually catch up from there.
Pakistan went to Nairobi beneath wicket-keeper batsman Moin Khan, who was returning to steer the aspect after lacking out on the previous tour of Singapore on account of damage.
Pakistan gained the opening recreation towards Sri Lanka with relative ease. The bowlers, led by Wasim Akram, restricted Sri Lanka to 194. Saeed Anwar scored an unbeaten a hundred and five, giving Pakistan a wholesome 9-wicket win.
Pakistan’s subsequent recreation was a semi-ultimate towards New Zealand. Anwar’s purple patch continued as he hit one other century. The center order, nevertheless, failed on this recreation and Pakistan ended up posting 252 in 50 overs. One other Pakistan cricket story of what might have been.
New Zealand obtained house with one over to spare and ended because the event winners, defeating India within the ultimate.
This was the yr Pakistan cricket offered us with the highs and lows that they’re so well-known for. Earlier within the yr, they gained a collection towards Australia in Australia. Later that yr, they did not qualify for the ultimate of a tri-collection involving Sri Lanka and South Africa. A primary-spherical exit within the Champions Trophy was one other indicator that the solar had set on Pakistan’s growing older aspect. Months later, a primary-spherical exit within the 2003 World Cup was the ultimate nail within the coffin.
Pakistan selected to bat of their opening recreation towards Sri Lanka and by no means recovered from dropping three wickets for 17 runs. They managed to attain 200, because of a fifty from Saeed Anwar and a few late resistance from a younger Misbah ul Haq.
Shoaib Malik turned the primary batsman to be given LBW on a 3rd-umpire referral.
The rating, in fact, proved to be a stroll within the park for Sri Lanka they usually ended up profitable this recreation by eight wickets.
Pakistan’s subsequent recreation – a comfort win over the Netherlands – is remembered for Shahid Afridi’s then joint second-quickest fifty off 18 balls.
Pakistan’s spotlight on this version of the Champions Trophy was defeating India at Birmingham ─ the venue for this yr’s conflict between the 2 archrivals.
Pakistan embarrassed Kenya with a 7-wicket win of their first recreation earlier than squaring up towards India for a tense win of their second group recreation. The quick bowlers led Pakistan’s cost, with Rana Naved and Shoaib Akhtar choosing up 4 wickets every. Mohammad Yousuf performed the anchor position within the chase, battling cramps to attain a match-profitable knock of eighty one runs. A late-order show of fearless hitting from Afridi eased the nerves of Pakistani followers just a bit, just for Afridi to get out with 14 wanted.
Six years after they first knocked Pakistan out of the Champions Trophy beneath Brian Lara, the West Indies despatched Pakistan packing once more. Having gained the toss within the knockout recreation, Pakistan’s self-induced implosion resulted within the lack of 7 wickets for 31 runs. A goal of 132 runs was by no means going to check the Windies regardless of a fiercely aggressive spell of bowling from Shoaib Akhtar that resulted in an damage to Lara.
Inzamam was suspended after the Oval fiasco so Younis Khan was set to captain within the Champions Trophy. Then Younis Khan resigned and Mohammad Yousuf turned captain. The chairman resigned subsequent. The brand new chairman appointed Younis Khan captain. Pakistan’s two main pacers – Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif – have been suspended for doping violations days earlier than Pakistan’s opening recreation.
When Razzaq and Malik led Pakistan to a profitable run chase of their first recreation towards Sri Lanka, it seemed like Pakistan have been going to be robust to beat. However they ran out of fuel, dropping the subsequent two video games towards New Zealand and South Africa to make an early exit.
By the point they performed their final recreation towards South Africa, the workforce seemed jaded and out of types. From decreasing South Africa to forty two for five within the first 15 overs, Pakistan managed to lose by 124 runs.
This time, Younis Khan was captain by default. Having led Pakistan to the ICC World T20 title earlier within the yr, Khan was now starting to lose management over the workforce with studies of infighting and intrigue. He sat out the primary match because of damage when Shahid Afridi captained the aspect to a tense win on a testing pitch towards a second-string West Indian XI.
This was Umar Akmal’s breakaway yr – a seemingly various actuality in the event you take a look at how his profession panned out – and he batted admirably to see Pakistan residence towards hostile West Indian tempo bowling.
Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf agree on little or no off the sector however the duo got here collectively for a 206-run partnership to offer Pakistan victory towards India at Centurion. This was additionally younger Mohammad Amir’s first recreation towards India – one which he’ll keep in mind for selecting up Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket.
4 days later, Pakistan and Australia met on the similar floor. For nearly eighty overs, it appeared like one other a type of dominant Australian performances. Then Pakistan occurred. From a relatively snug one hundred forty for two, Australia discovered themselves 187 for eight.
Replay this video for an additional reminder of why Mohammad Asif was a genius with the ball.
Australia scraped via to a win off the final ball, a lot to the dismay of Indian followers – a Pakistan win might have given India a ticket to the subsequent spherical.
Pakistan made a semi-remaining exit this yr, dropping to New Zealand by 5 wickets.
A younger and in-type Umar Akmal was batting on fifty five with 10 overs to go. He tried to paddle a Daniel Vettori ball and missed it. Simon Taufel raised his finger when replays ought to Akmal received an edge to that ball.
At across the similar mark throughout New Zealand’s chase, Grant Elliot chipped the ball to Younis Khan at brief cowl. Khan, who was enjoying with additional padding on his finger due to an damage, dropped a sitter. Elliot completed with a match-profitable seventy five.
Who is aware of what may need occurred had both of these two gone in Pakistan’s favor?
Misbah ul Haq survived a number of scares in his captaincy and three losses on the Champions Trophy was undoubtedly one among them. In hindsight, it seems to be like Pakistan by no means confirmed up for this event.
The primary recreation towards the West Indies proved to be a batting catastrophe as Pakistan folded for one hundred seventy. Nasir Jamshed, 50, and Misbah ul Haq, ninety six, have been the one two batsmen to get into double figures. This was a impolite awakening for newly employed batting advisor Trent Woodhill.
The bowlers, led by a fired up Wahab Riaz, simply didn’t have sufficient to defend with one hundred seventy on the board.
Losses towards South Africa and India adopted, as a disastrous marketing campaign got here to an finish.
Imran A. Khan is a contract journalist based mostly in New York. He’s a graduate of the Columbia Journalism Faculty and labored as a Advertising, Media and PR supervisor for Pakistan Tremendous League and Pakistan Cricket Board. Say hiya @imranahmadkh
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