|Scorecard:||India v Pakistan|
|Event:||ICC Twenty20 World Championship 2007/08|
DateLine: 25th September 2007
Final disappointment for Pakistan but Shoaib Malik’s men hold heads high
As partial compensation for his side losing in the final in Johannesburg, Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi was last night confirmed as player of the tournament for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20.
The 27-year-old did not feature much in the thrilling finale to the event, which India won by five runs, as he bowled his four overs wicketless for 30 and failed with the bat, but he still had a remarkable tournament.
Despite being known more as a big-hitting batsman who can also bowl useful leg-spinners, it was Afridi’s bowling that took centre stage and he finished as one of the stars of Pakistan’s wonderful display with the ball. In seven matches he took 12 wickets, just one fewer than team-mate Umar Gul, who topped the overall list of wicket-takers.
In all, Afridi averaged just 15.66 with the ball and boasted a more-than-competitive economy rate of 6.71.
With the bat, he was not as prolific as the world knows he can be, scoring a total of 91 runs, but he still managed to play some important cameo innings for his country and he certainly didn’t waste many deliveries as his strike-rate of almost 200 proves.
Afridi picked up his award from ICC President Ray Mali shortly after his side agonisingly went down to arch-rivals India at a packed Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
It was a very close-run thing for the player of the tournament award with Afridi finishing just one point ahead of Australia fast bowler Stuart Clark, Sri Lanka all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya, South Africa pacer Morné Morkel and Yuvraj Singh of India, who famously hit six sixes in one amazing over against England at Durban.
One point further back were Australia’s Matthew Hayden and Brett Lee, New Zealand blaster Craig McMillan and Pakistan duo Misbah-ul-Haq and Yunus Khan.
It is interesting to note that despite Twenty20 cricket being hailed as a batsman’s game, there are six specialist bowlers who got four or more points in the player of the tournament competition, as well as two others – Afridi and Jayasuriya – who are classed as genuine all-rounders.
That’s eight of the top 14 players who have shone with the ball during the last two weeks of exciting cricket. They have proved that if bowlers mix their pace and length cleverly they can still do some damage in this format of the game.
The player of the tournament was decided by the commentators for the host broadcaster, ESPN STAR Sports.
They nominated the player of the match for each game on a 3, 2, 1 basis, with three points for the top performer, two for next best and one point for the third choice. Those points were then added together to produce the player of the tournament standings.
All matches, including the final, counted towards those standings.
Final Player of the Tournament Standings
Shahid Afridi (Pak) 7
Stuart Clark (Aus) 6
Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) 6
Morné Morkel (SA) 6
Yuvraj Singh ( Ind ) 6
Matthew Hayden (Aus) 5
Brett Lee (Aus) 5
Craig McMillan (NZ) 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (Pak) 5
Yunus Khan (Pak) 5
Umar Gul (Pak) 4
Nathan Bracken (Aus) 4
Dilhara Fernando (SL) 4
Shoaib Malik (Pak) 4