Omair Alavi|Sports|December 29, 2019
Innings that Pakistan cricket fans would love to watch again and again
Cricket in Pakistan has enjoyed great innings in the last 10 years; they have won a couple of international events, attained the top position in the ICC Test Championship and saw the return of Test cricket at home. However, a few instances will always be highlighted when Pakistan cricket fans talk about this decade, and how Pakistan fared during the ten-year period. Read on:
When Abdur Razzaq went kaboom in the desert!
Venue: Abu Dhabi
Date: 31st October 2010
Opposition: South Africa
It was a match that was very much in South Africa’s grip; chasing 287 runs to win in 50 overs, Pakistan lost its top four at 70. Shahid Afridi played a cameo but after a 40-ball 49, he too joined his teammates in the pavilion. An 81-run sixth wicket stand between Fawad Alam and Abdur Razzaq created some hope. Fawad played the steady hand, Razzaq the fiery one. When the former was gone at 217, Pakistan still needed 70 runs in the last eight overs. These eight overs proved to be too many for Abdur Razzaq who took the South Africans to the cleaners. He remained unbeaten at 109 runs that came off just 72 balls and included 10 huge sixes, and seven fours. Pakistan won the match by one wicket, with one ball to spare and Abdur Razzaq proved his worth!
When Shahid Afridi showed the world how it was done
Date: March 2014
Opposition: India, Bangladesh
It was a rare occurrence in world cricket — Shahid Afridi winning back-to-back matches for Pakistan, with the bat. Pakistan needed 10 runs off the last over with R Ashwin bowling, and Saeed Ajmal batting. The batsman got out off the first ball and Junaid Khan joined Shahid Afridi at the center. Junaid cheekily took a single and brought Afridi on strike, who had great memories while playing against India. Needing 9 runs to win off 4 balls, Shahid Afridi hit the ball for two consecutive sixes, making Indian fans hide their faces because victory was snatched from them, again. In the very next match, he again denied hosts Bangladesh a win against Pakistan, scoring 59 runs off 34 balls that included seven sixes and a couple of fours. Chasing 327 to win, Pakistan seemed out of the match till Shahid Afridi joined Fawad Alam at the crease, and while the former was dismissed in the 47th over, Fawad Alam steered Pakistan to victory with one ball left. It wouldn’t have been possible without Shahid Afridi’s cameo.
When Misbah ul Haq became boom boom From tuk tuk
Venue: Abu Dhabi
Date: October-November 2014
He was known as Tuk Tuk for his slow batting; it was considered the only reason why he couldn’t make an ODI century ever. However, Misbah ul Haq had other ideas on this particular day when he went out in the mindset of Shahid Afridi. From the very first ball, Misbah ul Haq, who had scored a century in the previous innings, took the Australian attack apart, hitting boundaries as if they were singles. In an attempt to increase the scoring, he hit five sixes and 11 fours to register the fastest Test century by a Pakistani, and the joint-fastest with the one and only Sir Viv Richards. Pakistan won the match and the series, with Misbah ul Haq removing Tuk Tuk from his name, forever.
When Younis Khan finally listened to his idol
Venue: The Oval
Date: 11-14 August 2016
Every batsman in the Pakistan side was scoring runs in England during the 2016 series, except for Younis Khan who was getting dismissed cheaply. He wasn’t just one of the leading scorers for Pakistan but also the one who ended up with the most runs and tons. However, people called for his ouster so that a youngster would be able to perform well in English conditions, as Younis clearly had no clue. But the master batsman had other ideas as he not only batted well in the fourth and final Test, but helped Pakistan draw the series with a double ton. It was only after the match that the former captain disclosed that some advice from former Indian captain Azharuddin did the trick for him. The Indian legend asked Younis to use the crease and told him to first practise that in the nets, then in the match. Younis did exactly that and the rest is history; on a tour where he wasn’t even scoring a fifty, he ended up with 218 off just 308 balls and won the match for Pakistan.
When Fakhar Zaman made the most of a no-ball
Venue: The Oval
Date: 18th June, 2017
It was the grand finale of ICC Champions Trophy; a tournament India had won before and Pakistan hadn’t. India was the unbeaten side. Pakistan were the underdogs, making a comeback in the tournament after losing to India. The final was expected to be a one-sided affair but newcomer Fakhar Zaman had other ideas. He was declared out earlier in his innings but the TV umpire found out that Jasprit Bumrah’s foot had crossed the line. Fakhar Zaman made the most of this reprieve and scored a match-winning 114 that helped Pakistan post 338 runs for the loss of four wickets on the scoreboard. Chasing 339 to win the tournament, India managed just 158, with Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir taking three wickets each, on legitimate deliveries.