The NewsFuror

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

India beat Pakistan in the Final of Twenty20 World Cup

THE bowler was Sharma. It was the last over of a final. A six would have done it. The echoes of history thundered through the souls of every spectator aware of the annals of Pakistan-India matches.

Alas, for Misbah-ul-Haq it was not to be. No Miandad moment for him. Pakistan’s premier batsman in the tournament almost saved his team from a self-inflicted disaster, yet he will regret forever his decision to chip a slowish delivery over fine leg. On such moments are heroes made, fortunes lost, and hearts broken.

After a year that brought Pakistan cricket face to face with every controversy possible, Shoaib Malik’s young team came eyeball to eyeball with rivals India in a World Cup final.

That it was only Twenty20, the Zinger Burger of international cricket, mattered for nothing. What mattered was that Pakistan and India, the best-followed nations in the world, had recovered from their Caribbean limbo dance. Cricket in the two countries had never stooped lower but in Johannesburg it reached a height that nobody could have imagined. When this form of cricket was conceived it seemed ideal for Pakistan’s mentality, particularly the batsmen who often play as if 20 overs are too long. But it is Pakistan’s bowlers who have been the stars of this tournament.

This harks back to Pakistan’s best era in world cricket when its bowlers were always capable of keeping the team in any match. The last few years have seen an unsettled bowling attack, unable to adhere to the basics of top-class bowling. With Geoff Lawson’s arrival the bowlers have rediscovered their radar and ensured Pakistan reached the final and created a winning position.

Once again, Umar Gul was the pick of the bowlers, a mature stallion able to york and bounce the batsmen at will. These are the ancient arts of fast bowling and Gul has mastered them. He won what was supposed to be the key contest of the final, Pakistan’s tussle with Yuvraj Singh, the best batsman in the tournament undone by the best bowler.

The target was straightforward in ideal batting conditions, and Pakistan must have thought the match was won at half-time. But India fought back with tight if unspectacular bowling and Pakistan’s batsmen lost the battle of minds.

Two vital decisions turned the innings in India’s favour. First was Younis Khan’s call for a quick single immediately after Imran Nazir’s request for a runner had been rightly turned down. Nazir was run out, limping a quick single. The second misjudgement was to hold Shahid Afridi back until the pressure was too great for his brain to control the mental explosion.

There is no shame in this defeat even though it might be at the hands of Pakistan’s biggest rivals. Malik and Lawson have revived Pakistan as a force in world cricket. It is an era begun with energy, passion, discipline and much excitement.

Government counsel assaulted

ISLAMABAD, Sept 24: The lawyers’ political battle took an unpleasant turn outside the courtroom on Monday when a lawyer sprayed black paint in the face of a government counsel while he was entering the Supreme Court premises.

Advocate Ahmed Raza Qasuri was encountered by Khurshid Khan, former assistant advocate general of the NWFP, who sprayed the paint apparently to avenge his outburst against Supreme Court Bar Association president Munir A. Malik and Aitzaz Ahsan in a television talk show.

Mr Qasuri is reported to have used derogatory language against Munir Malik in the television programme on Sunday.

After the incident, Mr Qasuri rushed to the courtroom and complained about the attack. He accused the leadership of lawyers’ community of hatching a conspiracy and “rendering him blind with dangerous chemicals”.

In a pitched voice he informed the court about the incident and accused two or three associates of Aitzaz Ahsan and Munir A. Malik of attacking him.

“This is the level of tolerance of those who call themselves custodians of the law,” he deplored, adding: “From their attitude, act and conduct they wanted to cause grave injuries and harm to me by rendering me blind.

This happened within the premises of the Supreme Court where people come with dignity and confidence.”He requested the court to take strong action against the lawyer.Justice Rana Bhagwandas, heading a nine-member bench seized with a set of identical petitions against President Pervez Musharraf holding two offices, sympathised with the counsel and deprecated the incident with the observation that whosoever had done this had done a wrong thing.

He, however, ignored the request for action.“Please be seated and do these things outside the court,” Justice Bhagwandas observed when the counsel insisted that the court should take cognizance of the incident.“I am officer of this court and when the Supreme Court takes suo motu notice on applications of Allah Ditta and Chiragh Din (all and sundry), it should also take action of the incident,” Mr Qasuri said.Later in a complaint he submitted to the Registrar of the Supreme Court and the SHO of the Secretariat Police Station, Mr Qasuri accused Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir A. Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Tariq Mehmud of having conspired against him.

The motive of the attack, he said, was his objection to the appointment of Aitzaz Ahsan as amicus curiae on the ground that he was not a neutral person and his stance against President Musharraf was widely known.He said he had also said that the so-called movement of the lawyers had been launched “at the behest of foreign governments”.

“Today’s attack is a reaction to that bold stand taken by me against delinquent lawyers who are bringing bad name to the noble profession of law by taking law into their hands.”Tariq Mehmood condemned the incident but said that one should take care of his own dignity and respect.

Munawer Azeem adds: The Secretariat Police Station on Monday registered a case against prominent lawyers, including Aitzaz Ahsan, on the complaint of Ahmed Raza Qasuri under PPC 337-L (injuring persons during a brawl) and PPC 109 (abetting in a crime).The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Secretariat Circle, Gulfam Nasir, confirmed that Khursheed Khan, Aitzaz Ahsan, Munir A. Malik, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Tariq Mehmood had been nominated in the FIR.