I am a sportsman and like gentleman game “cricket”. Cricket is also the most popular game of the Asia. Everyone loves cricket in Asia and support their teams when they play against any team of the world. Last year, I, along with two of my friends went to see the final match of the Sahara cup between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Although, Sri Lankan team has friendly relations with Pakistani team however, both the teams are professional and competent. Several international awards/ records are held with both teams.
Avenue of Match
The venue, Feroze Shah Kotla grounds, was jam-packed with enthusiastic fans. The match was scheduled to start at 9 AM. Pakistani team captain Amir Sohail win the toss against Sri Lankan team and elected to bat first. Pakistan got to a fine start with Saeed Anwar and Amir Sohail scoring runs with ease. With fans cheering from all the sides, Pakistan reached 100 in just 10 overs. Saeed Anwar has showed his talent and hit some technical shots.
Start of Match
In the meanwhile, Sri Lankan team come back in the game and take best two wickets of Saeed Anwar and Amir Sohail in no time. Both the openers were run out simultaneously, however, they contributed in high run rate. Next, was the turn of Younas Khan who fought responsible and contributed in huge score. The middle order batsman Younas Khan and Moeen Khan took the score to 280. After Younas Khan was clean bowled by Muralidharn, three more batsmen lost their wickets to some truly remarkable bowling by Sri Lankans. The saving grace was a marvelous 53 by Shahid Afridi. Pakistan ended the innings at 333 runs. During the lunch break, almost everybody could be heard guessing about the outcome of the match because it was a batsman supported pitch.
Sri Lankan Bating
Sri Lanka started with ace batsman Sanath Jayasurya and Arvinda De Silva hitting boundaries one after the other. But soon, the Sri Lankan batsman fell to some excellent bowling by Waseem Akram and Waqar Younsa who again claimed the show by taking 4 wickets by giving only 25 runs. Shahid Afridi also supported the team with his unique bowling style and took two additional wickets of Sri Lankan team. Pakistani bowlers showed their talent in the game. The innings ended at 282 with the entire batsman out and 10 balls to spare. This match was very important for Waseem Akram because he completed 300 wickets in his one-day international career.
Pakistan won the match and received the shining trophy of Sahar Cup. Waseem Akram was deserving man of the match but Shahid Afridi declared for his outstanding all-round performance. Waseem Akram declared as man of the series being most wicket taker bowler. It was very special match because Pakistan won two trophies.
The ecstatic crowd rushed to the ground to congratulate the Pakistani teams. The police had to resort to light lathi charge to disperse the crowd but in vain.
I came back home with the everlasting memories of the memorable match that I am sure to remember for many years to come.