Inzamam-ul-Haq, the then 22-year-old youngster, did not want to play the 1992 World Cup final against favourites New Zealand. But then ended up becoming the highest run-scorer for Pakistan in the match and silencing the Auckland crowd.
New Zealand were the favourites to win the match in front of their home crowd. They had won seven matches on the trot. Although Pakistan were the only team to beat them in the group stage.
New Zealand saw a morale victory at the toss. They won it to ask Pakistan to field. Captain Martin Crowe missed out on a century by nine runs while Ken Rutheford scored a half-century to help New Zealand post 262 runs on board. On those days, it was frightening target to chase!
Top-order batsmen Rameez Raja and Imran Khan set the tone for Pakistan. The duo scored identical 44 runs each for the side before Javed Miandad took over the reigns and played an unbeaten knock of 57 runs.
But amid, all the half-centurions, Inzamam-ul-Haq’s knock stood out. He played a quick-fire knock of 60 runs off 37 balls and was adjudged the player-of-the match. His knock was laced with seven boundaries and one hit over the fence. It was that innings which brought him to the limelight.
Inzamam-ul-Haq for Pakistan
‘Inzy bhai’ as he was called by his teammates played 378 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Pakistan. In this course, he kept his average close to 40, while facing some of the finest fast bowlers in the international circuit.
He had hit 10 centuries and 83 half-centuries in the format and will always been remembered as one of the greatest player to have donned the Pakistan jersey.
His giant stature made him play shot off his legs easily and he could hit the ball around the park.