Classics: Imran Khan swings it Pakistan’s way

Shukriya Pakistan

20th February 1990. Imran Khan-led Pakistan met the mighty Australians during the 12th match of the Benson & Hedges World Series in Sydney.

Pakistan, batting first, posted 220 for eight in their allotted 49 overs. Saleem Malik and captain Imran lead Pakistan’s charge by scoring 67 and 56 runs respectively.

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A score of 220 was not enough to hold back Australia’s batsmen, and so it turned out to be. Building on Tom Moody’s 74, Australia were eyeing victory with just four runs required of the final over and three wickets in hand.

But it was Pakistan captain Imran who took the ball. He was clam. It looked as if he knew what Australia’s batsmen were thinking to do.

And so he delivered.

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Imran tricked Simon O’Donnell, who was looking set on 39, into mistiming a shot and claiming a clean leg before. In the same over, he bowled out Carl Rackemann to put the pressure back on Australia.

Imran only took two wickets in the match, and both of them came in the final over.

But it was his understanding of the game that he held his nerves to bowl a sensational final over, sealing victory for Pakistan.