Back in July, I wrote an article discussing the top 5 games which illustrated the mercurial nature of the Pakistan cricket team. Needless to say, there were a lot of omissions in the list. Many readers were quick to point out famous victories of the team that weren’t mentioned. Therefore, due to the overwhelming response, here is a look at five more famous matches where the Pakistani team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and proved; it is indeed the most unpredictable team in sports.
1. The Razzaq storm in Abu Dhabi
2010 was a turbulent year for Pakistan cricket. Amidst the spot fixing scandal, the team was in the rebuilding process and was desperate for victories. The poor form continued during South Africa’s tour to UAE. After losing the T20 series and the first match of the ODI series, the pressure was now on Pakistan to deliver. However, with a first innings score of 288, South Africa was clearly ahead in the second game of the series. Add to the fact that Pakistan lost its top 4 batsmen with just 70 runs on the board in the second innings, meant that most fans had given up hope. Despite a quick fire 49 from Afridi and some resilience from Fawad Alam, the game was still in South Africa’s favor when Abdul Razzaq walked in at the score of 136-5. Razzaq started slowly but soon made his intentions clear after smashing Robin Peterson for six. He then went on to establish a strong partnership with Fawad Alam to take the team to 200 for 5 in forty overs. What followed, can only be described as sensational. Despite losing Alam and other tail-enders, Abdul Razzaq demolished the South African bowling line up. He went on to score 109 runs off just 72 balls, smashing 10 sixes and 7 fours. Only after hitting the winning runs did he celebrate one of the greatest ODI innings by a Pakistani batsman. What was supposed to be a humiliating defeat; turned into a memorable victory. Yet again, Pakistan showed the world how games can be won from impossible situations.
2. Anwar Ali joins the party
Chasing isn’t Pakistan’s strongest suit. On various occasions, the Pakistani batsmen have fallen trap to nerves and failed to deliver in a run chase situation. The second T20 against Sri Lanka in 2015 was no different. Despite leading the series by 1-0, Pakistan was in trouble at 40 for 5, chasing a target of 173. Despite a brilliant 45 from Shahid Afridi, the team still required 66 runs off 35 balls when he got out. That is when Anwar Ali came to the party and brought the chase to life with two sixes and a four off the bowling of Shehan Jayasuriya. He then went on to take apart Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga to completely change the balance of the game. Ali eventually managed to get 46 runs off just 17 balls before Malinga stalled his heroics. Things took an ugly turn for Pakistan after Anwer Ali and Sohail Tanvir were dismissed in the space of two balls. The men in green still required six runs off the final over. A first ball single from Mohammed Irfan brought Immad Waseem on strike who then belted the next ball over long on to seal the game in Pakistan’s favor.
3. The brilliance of Inzamam in Multan
It was during the Multan test where Inzamam Ul Haq rediscovered, his batting spark. After Pakistan’s disastrous campaign of the 2003 world cup, a lot of senior cricketers, including Inzamam Ul Haq, lost their place in the side. Eventually, Inzamam was recalled for the series against Bangladesh. Despite Pakistan’s superiority and a 2-0 lead in the series, the Bengali Tigers were in a commanding position during the third test in Multan. With the help of a first innings lead of 106, Bangladesh set a target of 261 for Pakistan to chase. In reply, Pakistan was in deep trouble at 164 for 7. An out of form Inzamam was the last hope the team had. Despite numerous questions over his place in the side, Inzamam silenced his critics and scored his most famous century to date. Batting with the tale, Inzamam remained calm at all times, denying Bangladesh the team’s first test victory in the process. The brilliance of Inzamam yet again brought Pakistan’s unpredictability into play which has for year’s troubled oppositions.
4. The Gul Dozer
Pakistan did a phenomenal job of restricting South Africa to 133 for 6 during the fifteenth match of the 2012 T20 world cup. However, the batsman struggled to get going. At 7 for 76, it seemed like South Africa had a firm grip on the game. In walked Umar Gul. Normally known for his perfect Yorkers, the Gul Dozer showed the world his batting talent. He smashed the South African bowlers to all parts of the ground and helped Pakistan get closer to the target. Despite getting out in the nineteenth over, Gul’s innings gave Pakistan the confidence it required. In the end, Umar Akmal and Saeed Ajmal took nine runs off the final over to help Pakistan win the game.
5. The infamous Lord’s test in 1992
The 1992 England tour was the pinnacle of the two W’s. The English batsmen were completely bamboozled by the reverse swing. Not only Wasim and Waqar were the two strike bowlers of the team, they also made important contribution with the bat during the Lord’s test. After a superb performance with the ball, Pakistan had to chase a target of just 138. Things took an ugly turn during the fourth innings after Pakistan lost 8 wickets for 95 runs. It was the two W’s who rescued the team from certain defeat with the bat in hand. A 45 runs innings from Wasim and a 20 runs inning from Waqar helped Pakistan topple the English lions at the home of cricket. Once again the unpredictability factor prevented Pakistan from cruising towards an easy win.
So that concludes our second part of the article. Make sure you leave your opinion in the comments below and keep following GenY.