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following the footsteps of 1992
It was early morning in Pakistan in the month of Ramadan- about 6 pm people were on the streets. They were having the time of their lives. Imran had lifted the world cup trophy. There was jubilation all around. People of the nation had been praying for their heroes throughout the tournament and now their cornered tigers had made them proud. As Graham Gooch, England’s captain had lost their third world cup final it was Imran khan’s young Pakistani team who had won their first. This victory deserved every kind of celebration. The reception players witnessed upon their arrival at Lahore was ecstatic.
Knowing that no team has ever won the world cup while chasing the runs Imran khan after winning the toss had decided to bat first. At the start of the innings English bowlers were all over Pakistan. They had reduced Pakistan to 24 for 2. In such crisis Imran’s brave thinking proved to be the ray of light. He promoted himself up the order and steered the innings.
Imran khan with Javed Miandad settled down, to see off the early attacks from English pace battery. Progress was quite slow. Imran was struggling in the initial phase when in 16th over Gooch dropped his catch. On the other end Miandad had to call the runner. Both played responsibly to add 139 runs by the end of 31 overs as Miandad played a reverse sweep and gave away his wicket. Soon Imran playing some hard strokes was removed by Botham. It was time for the young guns of Pakistani team to take up the fight and the job was in the hands of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Wasim Akram
With their aggressive batting Pakistan had posted 153 runs in the last 20 oversPringle had th last laugh as they both were dismissed in the last over.Pakistan finished with 249 in 50 overs and the record Australian crowd that had flocked to the MCG and the millions watching the telecast thought they had a match on their hands.
The start was disastrous for England as Wasim Akram had Ian Botham in the first over of the innings. He was absolutely gutted by the decision. Alec Stewart who was dodging the umpires for quite long finally managed to edge one off Aaqib Javed’s white cherry. Now it was time for the magician Mushtaq Ahmed to hammer the remaining English batsmen with his googlies. He bowled a superb spell of off spin bowling which made the life miserable for English batsmen. He got Graeme Hick with his traditional googly, which was followed by Graham Gooch sweeping the ball straight in the hands of Aaqib Javed who had covered quite some distance to take the catch. It was time for Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother to construct a partnership which they did and rescued their team from the collapse. They had put on a partnership of 72 runs from 14 overs. The match was very much in the balance.
But the Pakistanis bounced back with a bang. Akram was brought back by the witty captain in the 35th over and who can forget those two magic deliveries which changed the course of the match. He bowled the spell of his life. The spell which gave Akram the new identity. It was sheer quality under pressure. First he had Alan lamb, he bowled an absolute peach of a delivery, the ball which swung in and nipped back had lamb all baffled.
An even bigger set back was in line for England as they lost Chris Lewis on the very next delivery. It was an action reply,a huge dipping inswinger went passed through Lewis' defense to clatter the stumps which got the crowd on their feet. There was a huge roar from the massive Melbourne crowd.
Akram had done his job. He had bowled a sensational spell of fast swing bowling. He had given the English bench some Goosebumps to remember for a long time. Only four bowlers had got the man of the match award in 92 world cup. Whole of the MCG was in praise for the sheer pace and swing by the great fast bowler of all time.
Wickets were falling at the regular intervals and Pakistani’s could sense the victory. Imran khan bowled the final delivery which gave Pakistan their first ever cricket world cup. He himself had scored highest in the match and got the final wicket. He dedicated the victory to the people of Pakistan and the cause of cancer hospital. Imran khad said good bye to the cricketing field
Before the world cup Pakistani team had to deal with some major fitness issues as Waqar Younis was sent back home due to stress fracture. Pakistan had early disappointments as they Lost to India and had won only one match out of 5. Imran advised his team to play like cornered tigers and made them believe that they will win the world cup. Pakistan bounced back strongly winning 5 matches on trout and beating the unbeaten side of NZ twice. They dashed their way into the final and marked a new chapter in Pakistan’s cricketing history by winning the 1992 world cup. After the match Graham Gooch English skipper in the post match ceremony had to say “We got beaten fair and square”