Pakistan have for a period time been cricket refugee’s having to travel to places of no home advantage, most notable was a series of matches played in Dubai that had less in attendance than some County Championship grounds on a Wednesday. It seems a wise move to be playing more matches in England in the future, as the sound and noise over the radio and TV would have had you thinking Edgbaston had turned into a Karchi dust pit. With a sea of green and yellow stars and the ground dotted with “Boom Boom” banners in reference the sometimes seemingly mystical leader Afridi. It is the passion shown in Pakistan that has been missing in recent times, especially during a recent winless tour of Australia where in-fighting had scarred the tour before it even began. It is this cricketing passion I think that stood Pakistan well against Australia a team of strength and strong history of winning and winning well, but it was Pakistan that showed the pleasure of the game with high-fives and running around the ground to celebrate wickets that just infused the “home” support to within a brink of spilling onto the pitch. Of course none of this would have mattered without the cricket its self.
And the 2nd match of series went very much according to plan again for Pakistan with Aamer the beginning of the passion making late runs and then removed Australia's openers, but Pakistan had useful contributions from all their key men. Shahid Afridi made a quick 18 and grabbed two wickets, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt and Umar Akmal all chipped in at the top of the order, and Shoaib Akhtar and Saeed Ajmal were hard to get away.
Aamer immediately apologised and the men exchanged a friendly pat on the arm, but Clarke was frustrated with himself for failing to push on, and maybe now is feeling the same pressure felt from Ricky Ponting as he too struggled to play the shortest form of the game. Pakistan will be taking this small battle of Edgbaston as a opportunity to shake up the Australians before the 1st Test. The questions still remain of Pakistan over 5 Days and with Australia confident enough to rest some key players it obvious that they are looking to use this series as an opportunity to fine tune prior to an Australian summer. With Pakistan on such a high and Mohammed Aamer showing so much promise and the return of Afridi to the test side any tickets that have been struggling to move in Leeds should be snapped up quick and the bacon ties at Lords shall have much to mull about as this Green Excitement Machine heads to London.