It was on this day, 20 years ago, that Akhtar produced his best spell in ODIs as he ran through New Zealand’s batting by picking up 6 wickets for just 16 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi.
The 1990s was an exciting time to be a cricket fan. It was a time of great change in the sport as limited overs cricket was slowly becoming the most cherished fodder for the fans. Cricket under lights was the broadcasters’ primary choice and it took the viewing experience several notches up. But one thing that didn’t change in the sport was the adrenaline rush that erupted on seeing a fast bowler tear through a batting line up.
The 90s saw several top fast bowlers come into their own and put fear in the hearts of the finest batters. The West Indian duo of Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose continued to the great Caribbean tradition of pace, while the like of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis took Imran Khan’s legacy ahead.
But when it to express pace, the names that come to mind are South Africa’s Alan Donald, Australia’s Brett Lee and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar. Akhtar in fact was considered by many as the fastest modern day bowler and he built his reputation by bowling some deadly spells the the late 90s and the 2000’s.
It was on this day, 20 years ago, that Akhtar produced his best spell in ODIs as he ran through New Zealand’s batting by picking up 6 wickets for just 16 runs at the National Stadium in Karachi. The Pakistan Cricket Board shared a throwback video of that spell on Instagram.
Akhtar retired from international cricket with 178 wickets in 46 Test matches and 247 wickets in 163 matches. His career numbers might not be the best but his presence on a cricket field was enough to make even the best of batters jittery when he was at his prime.