2013 – A Year in Review

Israr Hashmi
January 1, 2014

January 1: Pakistan Cricket Team is in India for a mini-tour, locking horns for a bilateral series after nearly 5 years. Pakistan is leading the ODI series 1-0 after a drawn T20I series.

Umar Gul clinched the ICC Twenty20 performance of the year award after bowling an outrageous spell of 5/6 from 2.2 overs against Proteas early in 2013.

January 3: Pakistan beat India by 85 runs in the 2nd match of the ODI series and gains a decisive 2-0 lead over India. Nasir Jamshed scored his 3rd consecutive ODI century against India. Misbah-ul-Haq becomes only the 3rd Pakistani captain after Imran Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq to register an ODI series win vs India in India.

January 6: India is bowled-out for 167. Saeed Ajmal takes 5. Pakistani fans are hoping for their first white-wash against India but, Pakistan surrendered from 113-3 to 157 all out. India earns a face-saving win.

February 1: Pakistan start their tour to South Africa with a test match at Johannesburg. In-form Nasir Jamshed makes his Test Debut. SA bat. Mohammad Hafeez’s four bowls out SA on Day 1.

February 2: Pakistan all-out at 49 against Steyn-Gun. Register their lowest ever score in a Test match. SA bat again.

February 4: Pakistan lost the 1st test match in just 10 sessions of play. SA 1-0 Pak.

February 14: Valentine’s Day. Pakistan bat first on the friendliest of the pitches. Hafeez gifts his wicket 2nd time in 3 innings to his valentine Dale Steyn.

February 17: Saeed Ajmal couldn’t stop SA from scoring 182. Extra spinner is badly missed. Abdur Rehman is badly missed. SA wins a lead of 2-0 and the series.

February 22: Pakistan enters Super Sport Park, Centurion in search of a consolation Test win in SA. Nasir Jamshed loses his place to Imran Farhat. Ehsan Adil debuts.

February 24: Just 3 days in the match, Pakistani batsmen shred their shoulders to South African pacemen by an innings and 18 runs. Debutant Kyle Abbott takes 9 wickets. AB de Villiers is declared Man of the Series.

March 1: Pakistan to meet SA in first of the two T20Is. Match abandoned without a ball bowled due to rain.

March 3: 2nd T20I. Pakistan looked a completely different team. Mohammad Hafeez stared with his 86 and 3 wickets. Umar Gul repeated what he did to NZ in 2009 T20 WC, 5/6 in just 14 balls bowled. Pakistan manages an easy win by 95 runs.

March 10: Start of the ODI series. South Africa cruised home with a 125-run win.

March 24: Series is level at 2-2. Pakistan got an awesome chance to be the first Asian team to register an ODI series win in SA. Pakistani batsmen put a bad show and SA easily chased the required 206 runs with 6 wickets in hand. An opportunity lost.

May 17: Pakistan in Scotland. Pakistani batsmen failed again but Misbah-ul-Haq resisted with an 83*. Later Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan were too good for the Scots and they lost by96 runs.

May 19: Pakistan to face Scotland again for an ODI. Match abandoned due to rain.

May 23: Pakistan in Ireland. Pakistanis expected a win with 261 on the board but, an excellent century from Paul Stirling and the late assault by Kevin O’Brien moved Ireland inches to victory. 15 were required off the last six balls. Saeed Ajmal ended up conceding 14, resulting in a tie.

May 25: Last of the two matches against Ireland before the Champions Trophy. A day of mixed emotions for Pakistan but they held their nerves in the latter part to manage a 2 wicket win and take the series.

June 7: Pakistan enters the Champions Trophy with series wins over Scotland and Ireland. Another day but same story! Batting failures.  Misbah again rescued Pakistan with his career-best 96*but 182 wasn’t enough to stop the West Indians from a win.

June 10: Pakistan vs South Africa. A must win game for Pakistan to stay alive in the tournament. Batting failed yet again and South Africa managed an easy 67 run win. In process, threw Pakistan out of the race for the Gold.

June 15: Arch-rivals Pakistan and India meet in rainy Birmingham. Pakistan failed to pass 200 runs for the third consecutive time in the tournament and India managed an easy 8-wicket win. India then moved on to win the final ICC Champions Trophy.

July 14: Pakistan in West Indies for a cut-short tour. Shahid Afridi returned to the national side after being sidelined for the Champions Trophy. Afridi then registered the most remarkable come-back one had ever seen. 76 with the bat and 7/12 with the ball. Best figures a spin-bowler ever had in ODIs.

July 19: Another day, another time. Pakistan yet again failed to defend 15 in the final over. Wahab Riaz the culprit this time and match ended as a tie.

July 24: Pakistan takes the ODI series 3-1 with an easy 4 wicket win at Gros Islet.

July 27 & 28: Pakistan manages easy wins by 2 wickets and 11 runs respectively to take the T20I series as well by 2-0.

August 23 & 24: Pakistan in Zimbabwe for their 7th consecutive away tour. Easy wins again in the T20Is by 25 and 19 runs respectively. Pakistan won their 5th consecutive T20I to take the series 2-0. Ahmed Shehzad scored two 50s including a 98* – highest individual innings by a Pakistani batsmen in T20Is.

August 27: Start of the ODI series vs. Zimbabwe. Pakistan were in high spirits after their win the T20Is but Zimbabwean batsmen did what was least expected, an upset. Zimbabwe turned out to the 1st match y 7 wickets.

August 31: Jolted by a good show by the Zimbabweans in the first ODI, Pakistan then bounced back to win the remainder of 2 matches and take their 4th consecutive ODI series by 2-1.

September 3-7: Zimbabwe surrendered to Younis Khan and Saeed Ajmal in the first test despite taking a first innings lead and ended up losing by 221 runs.

September 10-14: Zimbabwe batted first and got a first innings lead in this match as well to later set a target of 263 runs for Pakistan to win but, no batsman other than Misbah survived a ferocious spell by TL Chatara and Zimbabwe somehow managed to sneak a 24 run win to draw the series 1-1.

October 14-17: South Africa in UAE for a return tour. 1st Test. No Mohammad Hafeez meant Shan Masood was likely to debut. And what a gem of an innings he played on his debut along with Khurram Manzoor. An opening partnership of 135 and centuries by Khurram and Misbah-ul-Haq made sure Pakistan were in lead by the 1st innings. With 39 runs to win in the 2nd innings, Misbah-ul-Haq signed-off the Test match with a SIX and a 7-wicket victory.

October 23-26: South Africa isn’t a team who can let you win easy test matches. Pakistan struggled against the leg-breaks and googlies of Imran Tahir to lose the test match by an innings and 92 runs. Asad Shafiq’s 130 weren’t enough to stop SA levelling the series 1-1.

October 30: Start of the ODI series. Having bowled-out SA for 183, Pakistan were very much in control at 135-3 only to lose the match again to fellow-Pakistani Imran Tahir by just 1 run.

November 8: South Africa is 2-1 up in the series. Pakistan must win this fourth ODI to keep the series alive but Pakistan somehow managed to lose this too by 28 runs.

November 11: 5th and final ODI of the series - a dead rubber. Pakistanis wanted a consolation win but SA was too good to take the series 4-1.

November 13 & 15: T20I series. If Pakistan can dominate SA in any form of cricket, it had to be T20Is but, South Africa repeated the same story like the ODIs – a 2-0 white-wash in PCT’s favourite format.

November 20: Pakistan is back in South Africa for a tiny series to compensate some of the losses SA had to bear because of Team India. Tour kicks-off with a T20. Pakistan is shipping towards victory at 60-2 in chase of 154 and suddenly it starts to rain, only to hand SA a 4 run win by D/L Method.

November 22: Cornered tigers posted a mammoth 176 runs total for SA to chase, courtesy fifties by Umar Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez. This turned out exactly the right amount of runs to rob SA off a victory.

November 24: Debutant duo of Bilawal Bhatti and Anwer Ali performed both with the bat and then with the ball to hand Pakistan a 23 run victory in the first of the three ODIs.

November 27: South Africa has had their piece of luck in the UAE. It was now Pakistan’s turn who managed a last-ball 1-run win to become the first Asian team to win an ODI series vs. SA in SA.

November 30: SA secured a face-saving 4 wicket win in the final ODI to conclude a magnificent tour for Pakistan.

December 8: Pakistan is facing Afghanistan for the first time in T20Is and without any upset managed an easy six-wicket win in the only T20I.

December 11: Sri Lanka tour to Pakistan (in UAE) starts with a T20I. Shahid Afridi won it for Pakistan with a SIX in the final over.

December 13: Kushal Perera and Tilakaratne Dilshan gave a blustering start to the Sri Lankans in the 2nd T20I and took the score above 200. Pakistan later fell 24 runs short of the target to level the series 1-1.

Decemcer 18: Mohammad Hafeez had a very quite year against Dale Steyn. With no Steyn-Gun to trouble, Hafeez scored his 3rd ODI 100 in 2013 to win the 1st ODI.

Decmber 20: Ahmed Shehzad’s 124 helped Pakistan post a target of 281 runs for SL. Contributions by Dilshan, Sangakara, and Chandimal and then by Angelo Mathews saw SL take the match by 2 wickets.

December 25: Pakistan is 2-1 up in the series. It is Do or Die for SL. Umar Gul’s comeback saw SL losing their top 3 batsmen in the 8th over and later Saeed Ajmal SL’s way to post a good total. Pakistan responded well in reply to SL’s 225. Mohammad Hafeez scored yet another century – his 3rd in the series and 5th in 2013. Thus, equalling Mohammad Yousuf’s record of most ODI centuries by a Pakistani in a calendar year. Pakistan takes the match and the series 3-1 by 8 wickets.

December 27: A dead rubber but this was the most exciting and evenly-matched game of the whole series. There were times when both teams looked like the winner but D Chandimal assured that it was SL who should be the winner.

December 31:Pakistan faces Sri Lanka in first of the three Test matches.

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