Pakistan XI v World XI, Charity Match, Lahore October 16, 2003

Akram's farewell match ends in victory

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Pakistan XI 260 for 8 (Misbah 77, Hameed 52) beat World XI 216 for 7 (Robin 58*) by 44 runs

Wasim Akram chats with Sanath Jayasuriya after the charity match
(c) AFP

Wasim Akram got a rousing send-off in his farewell match as a Pakistan XI team, of which he was the captain, beat a World XI line-up by 44 runs in a charity game at Lahore. In a 40-over day-night match, Pakistan XI made 260, and then restricted the World XI to just 216. Akram contributed a 11-ball 18, and then took one wicket in three overs, but the statistics were only of academic interest as 15,000 fans at the Gaddafi Stadium cheered his every move.

The Pakistan XI innings was dominated by Misbah-ul-Haq (77) and Yasir Hameed (52), who continued the good form he has shown all season. Akram batted at No. 6 and blitzed four fours in his innings, before Steve Tikolo ended the fun, having him stumped by Romesh Kaluwitharana.

Akram then derailed the World XI reply early, trapping Sanath Jayasuriya in front for a fourth-ball duck. Robin Singh (58 not out) and Tikolo (43) propped up the run-chase for a while, but the World team were never in the hunt.

Akram was visibly moved by the opportunity to have a last fling on the cricket field. "When I retired I received a lot of telephone calls and e-mails from fans that I should have done so in a match on home soil and I have fulfilled their demands," he said. "I owe it all to my fans, whether they live in Pakistan, England or anywhere in the world - no cricketer can become a great player until he is motivated by fans. It's a great feeling, I led my country with distinction and this one last chance brought it all back."