Pakistan cricket team has always been popular because of its bowling. Over the years Pakistani bowlers have helped the team to win a lot of matches. However, there have been a number of occasions when the Pakistani batsmen stepped up to the task and took the team home with their brilliant performances. A lot of times the green team managed to surprise their opposition with their batting rather than their bowling. So join us to today as we take a look at the top 5 times Pakistani batsmen snatched the game away from the opposition.
- Inzamam ul Haq 60 of 37 vs. New Zealand
In the semifinal of the 1992 world cup against New Zealand, Inzamam ul Haq cemented his legacy as one of the best batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Chasing a difficult target of 262, Pakistan got off to a slow start and needed 123 runs in the final 15 overs. In came Inzamam who scripted a fairytale finish for the men in green. The hard-hitting batsman went on to score 60 runs in just 37 balls completely shifting the momentum of the match in Pakistan’s favor. Even though, Pakistan still needed 36 runs when Inzamam got run out, Javed Miandad and Moin Khan ensured that Pakistan played it’s first ever world cup final. The victory not only gave the team a boost in confidence but also reinvigorated fans belief that their team could lift the world cup. Ironically, a day before the match Inzamam was not fit to play, however, on the insistence of Imran Khan the former captain played and was eventually declared the player of the match.
- Abdul Razzaq 109 of 72 vs. South Africa
Chasing a target of 287, Pakistan was reeling at 136 for 5, in the second ODI against South Africa in the 2010 series. Most fans were expecting the Proteas to win comfortably taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Abdul Razzaq had other ideas, however, as he went on to play the best innings of his career. He scored 109 of 72 balls hitting 10 sixes and 7 fours, guiding Pakistan to memorable last over victory in the process. Abdul Razzaq was declared the man of the match because he single handedly helped Pakistan to level the series. It is sad that Abdul Razzaq was never utilized by Pakistan to his utmost potential. Performances like these clearly indicate that he was one of the best all-rounders the country has ever seen.
- Younis Khan 171 of 271 vs. Sri Lanka
Younis khan was having a pretty lean series up till the fourth innings of the 3 test match, when Sri Lanka set a monstrous target of 382 for Pakistan. The series was leveled at 1-1 and the betting odds were clearly in the favor of the Sri Lankans. That is when Younis Khan stepped up and proved why he is one of the best test batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. The resilient batsman saved his best for the series-deciding moment. He scored 171 runs and remained not out, helping Pakistan to claim a memorable series-clinching victory. Pakistan chased down their highest fourth innings total and defeated Sri Lanka on their home soil after 8 years. For his outstanding performance, Younis Khan was declared the player of the match.
- Shahid Afridi 59 of 25 vs. Bangladesh
Pakistan was backed into a corner when Bangladesh set a mammoth total of 327 for them to chase. Despite a hundred from Ahmed Shehzad, Pakistan was struggling at 225-5 and still needed 102 runs from just 52 balls, at a required run rate of 11.77. In came Shahid Afridi, as soon as the “Boom Boom” walked in that day, he went on a rampage attacking the Bangladeshi spinners from the very first ball. Afridi hit 7 sixes and 2 fours in an innings of 59 of just 25 balls. At one point when his catch was dropped the Dhaka crowd was visibly, teary eyed. Unfortunately, he also picked up an injury because of which he got run out. However, by that point he had already shifted the momentum of the game as Pakistan required only 33 runs off 20 balls, a task that was easily accomplished by Fawad Alam and Umar Akmal. Fans from around the world knew they had just witnessed a magical innings furthermore, Shahid Afridi showed the world exactly how he can steal the game away from the opposition in a heartbeat.
- Saeed Anwer 194 of 146 balls vs. India
Undoubtedly, Saeed Anwer is the best opener Pakistan has ever produced. Not only he is one of the best openers, one can also argue he is one of the best ODI batsmen in the history of this country. The proof of this claim can be easily found in his innings of 194 against India in Chennai, in the sixth match of the Pepsi independence cup. With this innings, Saeed Anwer broke the record of the highest individual ODI score of Viv Richards at the time. On that day he completely destroyed the Indians, hitting 22 fours and 5 sixes especially taking on the former Indian test captain Anil Kumble. Despite being in enemy territory, the crowd gave Saeed Anwer a standing ovation and the little master Sachin Tendulkar himself praised the Pakistani opener by saying that his innings was the best he had ever seen. Saeed Anwer went on to hold the record for the highest individual ODI score for the next thirteen years until it was broken by none other than Sachin Tendulkar, when he scored the first ever ODI double century against South Africa in 2010.
All these innings show that a lot of times Pakistani batsmen helped the team to achieve some crucial victories. The list clearly highlights the fact that Pakistan has won matches because of their batting. The only reason why our batting is considered a weak link is because of lack of consistent performances by the batsmen when compared to the bowlers. Which of the innings is your favorite? Leave your opinion in the comments below plus also mention some of the times you remember where the Pakistani batting helped the team to get over the line.