|The largest Cricket stadium in world|
Its a night of 24th March, spring season at its best, every Pakistani has crossed his fingers and waiting for the sun to rise when Pakistan's tigers will take on England in final of World Cup at world's largest Cricket stadium. Most of us are doleful for not being at Melbourne Cricket Ground yet feeling good, as we can at least cheer from our homes. Its the month of Ramazan as well and everyone is praying for success of Pakistan. This is all we can do here from Pakistan but whats going on there in Melbourne?
Imran is making strategies with his lads, they are all ears to their commander." We were nearly on the bottom of table yet we are in final today, we have rains with us, we have beaten twice the unbeatable team(i.e New Zealand) of the tournament, who could have even imagined that we will chase the target of 250+ in Semi-Final, we have world's finest fast bowler in form of Wasim Akram, Inzamam's little cameos can turn the tables at any instant, Javed's anchoring innings in the middle can frustrate any opposition, Mushtaq's googlies can disarray batsmen, is there any reason which keeps us away from becoming World Champions?", asks Imran. "No, sir!" is the answer to Imran's question.
|Inzamam's cameo lifts to 249.|
Aamir Sohail and Ramiz Raja enter the ground in front of nearly 90,000 crowd at MCG. Start is not good for Pakistan, Pringle takes out Pakistan's openers with his out-swings. Its time for Imran to join Javed Miandad and put the anchor in the storm. Its world cup final but Imran is as cool as cucumber, he takes his time to settle, he has all the time in world. Javed on the other hand is no-different, making progress with his singles and doubles. Imran and Javed fight with stand of 139, but now Javed has to go with his far-famed reverse sweep. Inzamam and later Wasim Akram join the party and put their little cameos of 42 and 33 respectively. Pakistan sets 250 for England to win the World Cup.
Imran has bad shoulder so he puts his all trust on Wasim and Aaqib and gives them new-ball. Wasim Akram bowls to Ian Botham, and what a superb swinging delivery it is, the ball angles away from Botham, Botham nicks it back and Moin pouches the ball and Botham leaves with anger, oh you beauty Wasim. Wasim's swing just shocked Botham and he had no answer to it, It was an absolute Jaffa. [After 18 years to this incident, Botham has still not accepted that he nicked that ball].
Neil Fairbrother and Allan Lamb put some fight and make a stand of 72. Now a discussion arises in Pakistan's think-tank, Imran scratches his chin for a while and then asks his sole spearhead(i.e Wasim Akram) to bowl. Wasim has to find some thing marvelous, he has the opportunity to win heart of all the nation.
Here comes Wasim Akram, round the wicket, to Allan Lamb. Crosses the Umpire, bowls to lamb, Oh my words! Wasim's delivery has scythe through Lamb and stumps are nudged, Wasim has chopped the Lamb to relish Pakistan, Wasim runs forward and hugs Moin. Thats the most incredible delivery we have ever seen from Wasim. In fact its the best ever delivery bowled by a Pakistani. Lamb, the danger man goes back.
Now Lewis is the next batsman, and Wasim is ready to bowl him. Wasim comes in, bowls a bit fuller, ball pitches and darts in towards stumps, Lewis is bowled by Wasim Arkam. He has to depart, first ball duck for Lewis. Wasim, you beauty! Are you going to bowl all Jaffas today?
Wasim Akram played for 11 years more after this match but he never bettered this performance - Crowd has started to roar, Pakistanis have smelled the victory. The moments are electrifying at MCG. 90,000 crowd is up on its feet. Pakistan is on top of the world.
|Wasim, you beauty! Are you going to bowl all Jaffas today? [Wasim Akram played for 11 years more after this match but he never bettered this performance]|
Written by, editor of this website, Mazher Arshad on 25/03/2010