Shamik Das


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Emotional Inzy exits stage centre

A tearful Inzamam-ul-Haq leaves the pitch to a hero's acclaim following his final innings as captain

Jamaica, World Cup, Group D: Zimbabwe 99 (19.1 overs; max 20) lost to Pakistan 349 (49.5 overs) by 93 runs (D/L method)

Fifteen years to the day since blasting Pakistan into the 1992 World Cup final in only his 15th ODI innings Inzamam-ul-Haq hung up his boots amidst tearful scenes at a sombre Sabina Park this afternoon.

A decade and a half on from his 37 ball 60 against New Zealand - followed by 42 against England to win the World Cup - Inzamam played a typically destructive knock in his last innings as captain, hitting three sixes and two fours before getting caught by Sean Williams for 37.

Once dismissed Inzy was congratulated by each and every Zimbabwean fielder before being given a guard of honour by his teammates as he left the field after his final one-day innings, struggling to hold it all together, choking back the tears.

Pakistan's players observe a minute's silence in memory of former coach Bob Woolmer, whose image looks down from the giant screen    A Pakistan fan pays his respects to Bob Woolmer

Later Inzamam dedicated Pakistan's triumph to fallen coach Bob Woolmer. "We dedicate this game to Bob because he was a wonderful person and every Pakistani and every cricket lover is sad about his death," he said.

Inzy's deputy Younis Khan joined in the tributes. "This performance is for Bob and his family," added Khan. "It was very difficult for us, like playing without our father, he was like that for us.

"It has been a bad two days. Everybody is hurting and nobody knows what's happening next."

On the pitch Imran Nazir top scored for the winners - smashing eight sixes and 14 fours in his 121 ball 160 - and in the field Umar Gul (2-10), Danish Kaneria (2-48) and the returning Shahid Afridi (3-20) were the main wicket takers.

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