SuperOver thriller: Pakistan vs Australia
It is unbelievable how a few hours of cricket can thrill this nation to unison, all differences forgotten.
Roars erupted within crowds on the streets and mixed emotions of tension and excitement filled the air in my room just as the last over of yesterday’s hair-raising match began. With Razzaq picking up the ball and looking at it, the nation knew that they were in for something truly special.
Pakistan had won the toss and elected to bat in this super over of the 2nd T20 against Australia. After scoring 151 for four, they handed it to Australia who managed 142 runs by the 19th over.
They needed, thus, 1o runs to win in six balls.
Just as Razzaq began to run-up the pitch, the hearts of millions of Pakistanis started beating in sync with his footsteps, the crowd stood up and as he got closer, the roars turned into pure pandemonium. Lips moving fervently in prayers and fist clenched tight, they watched with mixed emotions of trepidation and excitement; a crack was heard and Razzaq takes a wicket; the crowd, no doubt, goes wild, but it isn’t over yet. With four balls still to go,anything can happen. The next three balls brought around three singles, but when the fifth ball of the over brought around a six, the crowd went silent.
We were now tied and Australia needed just one run to win. Perhaps it would be appropriate to say that by this point, Pakistanis were not hopeful anymore and had prepared themselves for defeat.
With just one run needed, the team gathered, to plan and re-think their strategy while the crowd looked on visibly dismayed, foreheads creased with sweat beads, holding their breath.
Razzaq lined up again and ram... It felt as though time had stopped. It seemed like it took him a lifetime to reach the wicket and deliver the ball but when he delivered it, Pat Cummins hit it and Imran Nazir caught it!
Joy filled the air, a sense of victory dawned, the crowd danced – and once again, we are all tied together!
Confusion took over and people everywhere had one question on their lips,
A SuperOver was going to decide the match!
My heart started banging against my chest; I could have sworn that it would pound all the way out and explode any minute! My mind could not believe what my eyes were witnessing!
Within the space of a few moments, the Australian players took up the pitch, making total of 12 runs.
Pakistan then took the pitch with Umar Akmal and Razzaq representing the team.
All hopes are raised and tied to these two batsmen. We had six balls to depend on, six balls to victory or defeat.
Cummins ran up the pitch, and delivered his first ball; hearts stopped. Umar Akmal missed the first ball. Groan*
"It’s alright, I am sure Umar Akmal can do it," I reassured myself.
Cummins ran up again, he delivered and there was contact! Time stopped and for those few milliseconds everything went quiet and then a deafening roar exploded through the stadium - a boundary! It was a four! Like dying men in need for a drop of water the crowd suddenly brightened! All hopes resurrected, but hearts continued to thud faster and faster.
Facing the third ball, Umar Akmal made another attempt for the boundary, but only managed a single.
Razzaq then came on strike and Cummins made his way for his fourth delivery. A true attest to his skill, Razzaq managed to score a much-needed boundary for Pakistan. Now, with two balls remaining, we just needed three runs. The next ball brought a single. So now, two from one ball.
Some sat with their eyes closed tightly clenching their hands together in prayer once again, while others hid their eyes behind their hands for fear of what was to come. For those few seconds, nobody cared about what was happening around the world; for those few moments it was just Pakistan against Australia.
Cummins was now under pressure; not sure what to do, he delivered a very tall, wide ball. We had just knocked one run off what we needed to win and were now tied again! With the very next ball came a very quick single and Umar Akmal, not being able to control his delight just kept running to the stands. He had won it for us!
What a moment of joy and glee this was for the entire nation. Our very well deserved victory lifted Pakistan up for just a moment. How badly we needed this.
Like many others, I sighed a long breath of relief, and humbled postrated before the Almighty as a gesture of thanks. It is unbelievable how a few hours of cricket can thrill this very nation to unison and for those few moments, erase our differences.
When it comes to cricket, we are not Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Balochistan anymore; we are not Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan or Zardari any more - we are one; we are Pakistan.
Well done, boys!
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