June 17, 2001

Waqar and Razzaq steer Pakistan to a fabulous victory

Waqar Younis
A man can fly after taking 7 wickets in a One Day International - Waqar Younis at Leeds
Photo © CricInfo
Pakistan achieved its 3rd splendid win over England at Headingley when they defeated the hosts by an impressive margin of 6 wickets. The victory was a delight for Pakistan but marred by an unruly pitch invasion and humiliating for England, their 10th ODI defeat in a row.

Pakistan overwhelmed England from the word `go'. With a magical record haul of 7 wickets for 36 runs Waqar Younis brought England to ruin. At a miserable 58 for 7 England was down in the dumps when Ben Hollioake playing a heroic innings of 53 lifted his side to a respectable 156.

Despite a slow but steady start, Pakistan secured victory through an unusual concession by Alec Stewart, the England skipper. When the score was 153 for 4, the crowd invasion made further play impossible and the match was conceded. While Abdur Razzaq played a sparkling innings of 75, Saeed Anwar and Yousuf Youhana contributed useful 24 runs each.

Trescothick bowled first ball
Photo © CricInfo
Earlier, Waqar sent England in to bat on a pitch likely to seam. England did not appear to have come out of the ghost of defeats suffered earlier in the tournament. Their shaky start was evident from the manner Waqar Younis shattered Marcus Trescothick's stumps on the very first ball of the day, a full ball that went between bat and pad.

It was Waqar's day to strike like lightening and demolish England with his magnificent spell of bowling. He made short work of Nick Knight (9) prompting him to offer a catch to Shahid Afridi at point. Michael Vaughan, caught by Younis Khan in the slips was the next to depart. England was 30 for 3.

Continuing with his devastating spell he caused a procession of England's batting clinching 4 more wickets in a row. The victims were Owais Shah (3), Paul Collingwood (0), Alec Stewart (18) and Dominic Cork (4). England seemed sunk at 58 for 7.

An interesting event that deserves mention was, before Inzamam finally caught Owais Shah in the slips, the umpire disallowed a confident lbw appeal. `It was plumb in front of the wicket' remarked the commentators. More surprising was that the electronic indicators were not brought in action to show passage of the ball. One wonders if these devices are designed to act only when the ball is missing the stumps?

Latif and Waqar
Keeper Latif catches Cork off Waqar Younis
Photo © CricInfo
With his magical haul of 7 for 36 Waqar joins the galaxy of stars at the second spot after Muralitharan and followed by Aaqib Javed, and Winston Davis, sharing the world record of 7 wickets in a one day internationals.

Luckily for England, Ben Hollioake and Darren Gough stemmed the rot raising the score to 100 in 27 overs. After a partnership of 67 runs, Hollioake was bowled by Afridi after a defiant innings of 53. England was now at a better looking 125 for 8.

The tail-enders having saved the side from disgrace, England was all out for a respectable total of 156 in 45 overs. Darren Gough remained not out after playing a courageous innings of 40. With a record tally of 7 for 36 Waqar Younis who proved the chief tormentor, was virtually unplayable and had bowled unchanged. Shahid Afridi and Azhar Mahmood claimed one wicket each while new comer Fazal-e-Akbar bowled a tidy spell beating the bat on many occasions.

Abdur Razzaq
Abdur Razzaq turns a ball from Cork down to fine leg
Photo © CricInfo
Chasing an apparently easy target, Pakistan's start was not very promising either. Unable to resist the temptation of flashing his bat, Shahid Afridi (2) snicked one from Darren Gough into the safe hands of Alec Stewart. Gough struck again when he got Saeed Anwar out exactly in the same manner after he had scored a useful 24. Pakistan was 2 down for only 34 runs on the board.

With 50 of the innings coming in the 20th over it was a depressing start, especially when regular batsmen like Yousuf Youhana and Abdur Razzaq were at the crease. Playing with the strategy of keeping wickets intact they opened up later hoisting the 100 in 30 overs.

Feeling secure and confident of a win they started playing brisk shots. In the process, Razzaq even punished Alan Mullally for a straight six. Youhana was out after scoring 24 useful runs and Pakistan at 128 for 3 was striding fast towards the target. Hitting all round the wicket, Razzaq was in total command of the game.

While only 10 runs short of the victory target, Razzaq threw away his wicket chasing a ball from Cork well outside off stump, smartly caught by Alec Stewart, after playing a fine innings of 75.

On the fifth ball of the 40th over with the score at 149, Azhar Mahmood flicked one to long leg and the crowd ran on thinking mistakenly it was all over. After the melee England conceded victory and the stroke was recorded as a four.

Pakistan achieved victory by 6 wickets. For his masterly bowling, Waqar Younis was declared `Man of the Match'. With this 10th successive defeat, England is perhaps in dire need of brushing up skills in one-day cricket.