Home > Features > Moments in history >

When Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his arrival with a sensational innings

When Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his arrival with a sensational innings
Inzamam-ul-Haq on the rampage on his way to a 37-ball 60 that changed the course of Pakistan’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand © Getty Images

March 21 1992, that’s exactly 20 years back, a young Inzamam-ul-Haq announced his arrival on the cricketing scene with a blistering 37 ball 60 in the Benson and Hedges World Cup semi-final. Arunabha Sengupta looks back on the scintillating innings.

For all intents and purposes, the match at Auckland seemed well and truly lost. The New Zealand formula of small grounds with short square boundaries cleared easily by the brutal slashes of Mark Greatbatch, the solidity of Martin Crowe in the middle, opening the bowling with Dipak Patel and an assortment of dibbly-dobbly medium-pacers seemed to have performed to perfection.

Imran Khan, an ageing icon who had still remained larger than life, had boldly strode in at No 3, but had taken 93 balls over 44. And when Gavin Larsen’s innocuous and irritating line and length dismissed Saleem Malik for one, the Kiwis were already thinking of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

At the other end, the old wily Javed Miandad was still at the crease, but with 123 runs required from 15 overs and the master middle-order man nowhere near his hard hitting best, Pakistan was looking up the barrel.

And then an unknown, and somewhat ungainly, figure of Inzamam-ul-Haq ambled to the crease. All of a sudden, the sedate pace of the match changed into a blitzkrieg. The ball started flying to all corners of the ground and beyond, struck cleanly by a lazy, unhurried elegance that left John Wright, captaining the side with Crowe nursing a hamstring injury, wondering what had hit him.

Dipak Patel, with figures of 8-1-28-1 against his name, was brought back but was taken for 22 in the last two overs. The string of medium-pacers, especially Chris Harris, suffered mercilessly from an unhurried sword of a bat. All the while, the young man at the crease hardly raised a sweat. There was indeed a hint of ‘killing me softly’ in which the carnage was performed. A new star was born and celebrated with fireworks from his willow, racing to 50 in just 31 deliveries as a shell-shocked fielding team and a silent stunned crowd watched helplessly as the game was whisked away from them.

When Inzamam left, succumbing to the first of his long list of celebrated run out dismissals, he had plundered 60 off 37 balls. With Miandad he had put on 87 in 10 overs, and the remaining 36 runs were cruised through with one over to spare, Moin Khan finishing it off with a 11-ball 20.

Imran rushed into the field to congratulate his players, with a smile on his face worth travelling miles to witness. And the memories of Inzamam’s feats on the ground could not be washed away by the unrestrained tears that streamed down Rod Latham’s cheeks.

(Arunabha Sengupta is trained from Indian Statistical Institute as a Statistician. He works as a Process Consultant, but purifies the soul through writing and cricket, often mixing the two into a cleansing cocktail. The author of three novels, he currently resides in the incredibly beautiful, but sadly cricket-ignorant, country of Switzerland. You can know more about him from his author site, his cricket blogs and by following him on Twitter)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and other uncapped players who impressed in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15

Karnataka’s team spirit is their secret to phenomenal success in recent times

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

Mohammad Aamer’s return to Pakistan team not final as yet, says PCB chief

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI at Dhaka

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI at Dhaka: Live scorecard

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal and other uncapped players who impressed in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s greed ruins Praneet Bhat’s opportunity to meet his girlfriend

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Indian-American Singer Dixi Patel’s Journey with Music Helps her Excel in Life

Revealed — number of calories in different types of milk

ISL 2014: Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone could attend Indian Super League semi-final if Atletico de Kolkata qualify

What was Abhishek Bachchan’s T-shirt doing on Priyamani’s bed?

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 27 of your pregnancy

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here