Cricket World Cup 2011
Fans vent at bungling Akmal
Under fire: Kamran Akmal. (AFP)
Pallekele - Emotional cricket fans went berserk on Twitter and Facebook, venting their frustration at fumbling wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, and demanding he be dropped from the team.
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Kamran gave century-maker Ross Taylor two astonishing let-offs during Pakistan's 110-run defeat against New Zealand on Tuesday, missing two regulation chances when the batsman was on nought and eight.
Taylor went on to hit an unbeaten career-best 131, lifting New Zealand to an imposing 302-7 in the World Cup Group A clash at Pallekele stadium before Pakistan were restricted to 192 all out.
The defeat sparked a furious reaction from fans, who demanded Kamran be kicked out.
"Has Kamran applied for political asylum in Sri Lanka?" tweeted Farhan Saya, referring to former wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider, who fled Pakistan's team hotel in Dubai last year and sought asylum in Britain.
One fan said on Twitter: "Has Shahid Afridi told Kamran that he has dropped the World Cup with two catches?".
Others listed Akmal's home address in Lahore, for fans to express their anger.
Zafar Iqbal posted a message on Facebook: "World's greatest birthday gift declared by Guinness - Kamran Akmal for Ross Taylor." Taylor celebrated his 27th birthday on Tuesday.
Another Twitter message said: "Kamran thinks being a wicket-keeper means letting the batsman keep his wicket."
Another fan, Mohammad Parekh, asked: "What do Kamran and Michael Jackson have in common? They both wear gloves for no reason."
Angry reactions from die-hard fans are common in the sub-continent. The most recent came when the West Indies team bus was stoned after they defeated co-hosts Bangladesh, in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram received death threats after his team lost the 1996 World Cup quarter-final against India, while angry fans attacked the houses of Indian players following their first round exit from the 2007 World Cup.