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Col (Retd) Rafi Nasim
August 20, 2000
The heavy overnight rain that engulfed Singapore rendered the Kallang Cricket Ground unplayable for the game without proper drying. The match was therefore delayed to start at 2:10 p.m. local time. The game was reduced to 25 overs each, obviously promising adventurous cum thrilling cricket.
It ended in a highly exciting manner. In a close finish Pakistan defeated New Zealand by 12 runs.
Batting first Pakistan lost opener Imran Nazir early in the innings while Shahid Afridi took his score to an exciting 33 before he was out. With a useful contribution of 22 by Saeed Anwar, Pakistan lost 3 wickets for 82 runs. Yousuf Youhana and Ijaz Ahmed then got into a strong partnership playing exciting cricket and raising Pakistan's score to a formidable 191 for 6. Both of them were, however, unlucky to miss their half centuries, which they very much deserved. While Youhana was out for 46, Ijaz took his bat to 49. Pakistan offered a challenging target of 191 runs to the Kiwis to be scored in 25 overs.
Although the target was not an easy one, the New Zealanders took it in good spirit, fully determined to achieve it. They started the innings as adventurously as Pakistan scoring 71 for 3 in the first 10 overs. Roger Twose (35) and Chris Harris (40) were the batsmen who posed a danger to Pakistan. They played a highly enterprising innings hitting fours and sixes all over the field.
In 20 overs New Zealand was 142 for 5. The game was almost in the hands of tail-enders. The target was achievable only if the Kiwis had not resorted to blind hitting and losing wickets one after the other. By hitting two exciting sixers Scott Styris brought his team close to the target but the Pakistani bowlers did not allow them to take liberties.
It was, however, a heroic battle that the New Zealanders lost only by 12 runs. They were all out for 179. Arshad Khan took 3 wickets for 45 while the rest were shared. The most significant feature of the match was that Waqar Younis won the match in a grand style. He did not only clean bowled the last man Geoff Allott but also broke his leg stumps into two pieces. The game was so exciting that it must have given the spectators their money's worth.
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