On This Day: October 31, 2010 - Abdul Razzaq stuns South Africa with epic 109*

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Scorecard: http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-south-africa-2010/engine/match/461567.html

There are match-winning centuries and there are Match-winning Centuries. You will travel far and wide, maybe even go back in time, but you will struggle to find a more remarkable game-stealing hundred than the one the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi saw tonight. An outrageous 72-ball 109 from Abdul Razzaq dragged Pakistan to a series-levelling target of 287 against South Africa, one ball and one wicket left.

It was scarcely-scriptable and only when Razzaq hit his tenth six in the last over, slogging Albie Morkel over midwicket to climax an unimaginable orgy of power-hitting, was a Pakistan win even worth contemplating; until then he had played to a backdrop of impending, imminent doom. To even get to that point needing 14 was a feat because for 99 overs Pakistan looked a distant second best; a solid, now-to-be-forgotten century from Colin Ingram, hands from Hashim Amla and JP Duminy and the continuing refusal of Pakistan's top order to turn up, the distinct story till then.

Shahid Afridi and Fawad Alam had tried gamely to make something of the disaster of 70 for 4 in the 19th over. The spinners were on, Afridi was around so inevitably some fun was had. When Afridi went in the 30th, the score at 136, still the best they could hope for was an honourable scrap.

Razzaq began quietly, expressive as a stone, and even a dance-down six off Robin Peterson four overs after Afridi left felt decorative. Alam, meanwhile, was getting bogged down by his own inability to clear a field. But South Africa relaxed, the pair stuck at it. Alam suddenly got going and Razzaq smoked a couple more sixes. By the 40th over, at 200 for 5, theoretically it looked possible - in this age of Twenty20 at least - even if, in reality, it didn't feel gettable.

But for once, Pakistan timed their Powerplay right and when Johan Botha was taken for 11 in the very first, a little tension crept in. Only a little though, for Alam went soon, Morne Morkel bowled two fine overs, there was the inevitable run-out and even though Razzaq had reached his fifty, it was done and dusted.

The 47th over, bowled poorly by Charles Langeveldt, was pivotal. Razzaq launched a sequence of length balls for three sixes in his favourite areas - flat-batted over extra cover, high over long-on and down the ground. Eighteen runs but no expression. Wahab Riaz's run-out off the last ball was merely collateral damage as 53 from 24 became 33 from 18.

Razzaq had decided at the fall of Alam that if the match was to be won, it would be by him alone, so with the tail in, several singles were turned down. With 25 needed from 12, Langeveldt was lofted down the ground and then pulled with cartoonish violence to midwicket. By the time Razzaq had taken the 14 needed off the last over he had scored 63 of the last 65, effectively from the 45th over onwards. Six sixes came in the last four overs, and only at the very end, after crashing a drive through point, did he let his emotions out, dropping his bat and trying to run but not knowing where to go.


Stats

  • Abdul Razzaq's ten sixes in the innings moved him into joint third position among batsmen to hit the most sixes in an ODI innings behind Xavier Marshall (12), and Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi (both 11).
  • Razzaq finished with a strike rate of 151.38, which is the second-highest among 100-plus scores in ODIs against South Africa, next only to Ricky Ponting's 164 off 105 balls in Johannesburg in 2006 (strike rate 156.19).
  • The 12 sixes in Pakistan's innings were the second highest number in an innings while chasing.
  • This was the fifth occasion that Pakistan have won a match by one wicket. All five wins have come against a different opposition.
  • This was the fourth highest total chased successfully against South Africa in ODIs and the tenth highest by Pakistan
  • This was Razzaq's first 50-plus ODI score in more than four years, and his first century since September 2004.
 
Remember watching this vividly, as Afridi had departed, so did my hopes of the match however Razzaq exhibited just sheer extremity, it was ridiculous, almost as spectacular as yesterday's match, he literally grasped triumph from the deathly abyss of defeat.
 
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What I enamour about Razzaq sixes is that they are more mechanical and expected, in that although their distances are varied, the assuredness of each isn't but the same.
 
The best odi innings I have ever seen. Simple. My God it was good. Its so sad that Razzaq has been wasted for the last few years.
 
That was as match winning as an individual innings can be.
 
I remember that game so well. It was my cousins birthday that day (also my brothers but were only celebrating my cousins that day, so it was their birthday today then too) and we went cinema then pizza hut then streamed it back at my cousins house and we were screaming when we won then we went trick or treating and then I had school the next day:(
 
We we need something similar from Afridi in current match :13:
 
One of greatest inns ever by a pakistani batsmen, sadly due to poor consistancy of the ODI team its always been individual performances like this which wins us game nowadays.
 
best limited overs innings by a pak player, and one of the best ever. Its way underappreciated
 
One of the best match winning ODI innings I ever saw! And the best by Pakistani
 
Unbelievable knock. Can remember watching it live. Always thought whilst he was at the crease we would find a way to win
 
When AR was in this mode he was always great to watch, this was probably his best inns. A smiliar effort away to NZ where we just missed out on chasing over 300, to me was his 2nd best inns. Probably one of pakistans best strikers of a cricket ball in ODIs.
 
I remember when Afridi departed I was disappointed and went to bed and after an hour or so my cousine came to me and said that we have won it. I could not believe and went back to turn on the TV to see if it is true or not.
When AR is in that mood you know he will win you the match.
Best ODI innings ever by Pak player.
 
The kind of player Pakistan would do anything to have in the current team.
 
Razaq made into the World Cup squad due to this one freaking innings and was a passenger throughout the world cup. An innings which brought more harm to Pakistan.
 
Certainly spooked South Africa on Halloween. Brilliant hitting on a slow pitch and big boundaries. Not to forget he had to do everything to retain the strike as well because for large periods he was batting with a number 11, with the team having just one wicket in hand.
 
Arguably the greatest ODI knock in history, remember watching this live and Razzaq produced his best innings ever. He has been involved in some truly magical moments and this may be the most special of all
 
remember this match... was watching it alone... and when he hit the winning runs, in xcitment tried a self-hi-five lol and hit the wall bad ...

one of the best innings by Razzler.. amazing
 
Razaq made into the World Cup squad due to this one freaking innings and was a passenger throughout the world cup. An innings which brought more harm to Pakistan.

Agreed this was a one off innings as he was at the back end of his career and as it always happes with these sort of crickets who relies on power and reflexes alone they tend to lose their touch similar to Dhoni. The only difference Dhoni knew his powers has waned and tried to play more conservatively.
 
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