Benson & Hedges World Cup 1991-92, first semi-final


Toss: New Zealand.

Pakistan reached their first World Cup final by defeating the previously invincible New Zealanders twice in four days. This win seemed unlikely when they needed 123 from 15 overs at 8.2. But the match was transformed by Inzamam-ul-Haq, whose aggressive hitting gave him 60 from 37 balls (one six, seven fours, 50 in 31) and a partnership of 87 in ten overs with Javed Miandad. When Inzamam was run out the target was 36 from five, which was passed with ease thanks to Wasim Akram, Moin Khan (20 not out in 11 balls) and Miandad, who chivvied his partners along for two hours and came in unbeaten on 57. Imran Khan ran out to welcome him as his opposite number, Crowe, limped on for New Zealand's lap of honour. He had sat out Pakistan's innings with a pulled hamstring, and Wright led in the field.

Yet Crowe's day had begun happily enough: he was named Man of the Series for his batting and captaincy to date; he won the toss, and going in he re-emphasised his class with an accomplished 91 in 83 balls including three sixes. When he arrived New Zealand were tangled in Mushtaq Ahmed's leg-spin after Greatbatch's usual explosion (sixes off Wasim and Aqib Javed). Crowe accelerated smoothly, adding 107 in 113 balls with Rutherford. But when Rutherford skied the ball to Moin, the batsmen crossed and Crowe's hamstring went. He continued with Greatbatch as his runner, until this supposed aide ran him out. Still, Smith and the tail hurried on to 262. It was an imposing target, especially in mid-innings when Imran seemed bogged down. But against Inzamam's dynamism, New Zealand's successful stratagems of the past month had no power. Even their surprise weapon, Patel, whose opening eight overs of off-breaks garnered one for 28, yielded 22 when he returned for his last two.

Man of the Match: Inzamam-ul-Haq. Attendance: 32,439.

© John Wisden & Co