Fans point fingers at Misbah-ul-Haq for Pakistan defeat
India beat Pakistan by 29 runs in a tense encounter in Mohali on March 30. Asked to score 261 runs to win and book a place in the finals of the ICC 2011 World Cup, the Pakistani batsmen lost wickets at regular intervals but still had a chance when Afridi and Misbah were building a partnership.
But cricket fans, gutted after Pakistani exited the World Cup, say that Misbah is to be blamed.
“We lost because of Misbah, as he did not score well when it was most required,” angry fan Awais Shakir told news agency AFP on Islamabad’s main Jinnah Avenue as thousands of disappointed viewers were leaving screenings of the match.
“He just wasted time on the pitch.”
In other cities too, fans lambasted Misbah, who took his own sweet time while scoring 56 from 76 deliveries. Misbah could easily have taken the power play, and he and Afridi could have taken advantage of the power play. Instead, his slow scoring rate pushed Pakistan to self-destruct.
In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, engineer Mohammad Ali said: “It was a great contest all along and the day belonged to India. However Misbah and Younis Khan were very lazy,” reported Pakistani newspaper Dawn.
Cricket fans were all the more disappointed as the government had announced March 30 as a half-day holiday in offices and schools so that cricket-crazy followers of the game could enjoy the semi final of the 2011 ICC cricket World Cup.
People also offered special prayers in mosques, and by the time the Indian inning ended, all major roads in many cities in Pakistan were packed like sardines to go back and watch the second inning. They were soon to be let down after Pakistani batsmen started falling like nine pins, and Misbah added to the misery with his slow batting.
Such was the reaction during and after the match that by the time the India-Pakistan ICC 2011 cricket World Cup semi final ended 30 people had been admitted to hospitals in Karachi after being injured by stray bullets fired in festivities everytime Pakistani fans celebrated.