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)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here