Pakistanis are sports loving people. This is clear from the larger number of cricket and hockey fans who turn up to watch the matches or keep up their T.Vs’ on late in the night. Our Hockey, Cricket and Squash teams and players are famous all over the world. They have won great laurels in these games and brought honor for the country.
I am very fond of playing cricket and seldom miss any cricket match shown on Television. In the second week of April, I watched the last one-day match between Pakistan and West-Indies It was played on Delton Stadium at Cuba. The match was directly telecast on PTV. It lasted late in the night. Pakistan skipper Waseem Akram won the toss and elected to bat. The weather was fine and sea breezes were blowing. Some sea-gulls also descended on the ground, as if to watch the match.
Pakistan’s opening batsmen Rameez Raja and Amir Sohail batted with confidence and gave a good lead to Pakistan. Amir hit 8 fours and scored his third continuous fifty in the one-day matches. Arrival of Sajid and Inzamam-ul-Haq pulled up the score to 150 runs for 6th Wicket Partnership. We witnessed some very fine cricket. The whole team was out for a total of 240 runs. It was a reasonable score. The Blackies fast bowlers shared four wickets each.
After lunch, the West Indies took up the crease. As usual, they played a windy game. After the fall of their opening pair, Richi Richardson pulled up the score to 150. He was clean bowled by Waqar Yunus. The tempo of the game slowed down. They were 172 for seven wickets. Unexpectedly their tailenders wagged the tail, and the last pair put up 230. Eleven runs were needed for victory. They had to score 11 runs in the last over. The unruly crowd that behaved badly, entered the ground and hindered the finish. Still two runs were needed in the last ball. It was most unsportive and was done to save their face from defeat.
The umpires gave their verdict in favor of the West Indies team. In fact they were all out for 239 and the last two runs were due to the public intrusion. Pakistan Manager protested against the wrong decision of the Umpires. They had to revise their decision. Waqar and Waseem took five and four wickets respectively. One was run out.
The match ended in a draw; but Pakistan was robbed of it a two-one victory. The Umpiring was fairly good; but the spectators, as usual, behaved against the spirit of the game. One the whole it was good cricket.