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Pakistan’s Silent Superstar

November 1, 2010

It’s said that Chuck Norris has no fear. Fear has Chuck Norris”. Funny, but that’s mythical. Real fear comes from Pakistan’s all rounder Abdul Razzaq, a silent Cricketing stalwart whose rightly deemed the “Danger Man’. Without Shahid Afridi’s brazenness, Shoaib Ahktar’s offensive aggression, or Inzamam’s star power, Razzaq has quietly, and consistently wrecked havoc on world class teams. Suffice to say his dangerousness runs deep, but it could only have been concealed for so long. Trending on Twitter since yesterday, he stunned the cricket world in what a BBC Sports Blogger tweeted: 109 not out off 72 balls with 10 sixes, Razzaq pulls off one of the great heists in ODI history” J

Heist is right. Because Razzaq robbed South Africa blind in yesterday’s ODI. Just as South Africa’s victory seemed inevitable with Pakistan 5 wickets down for 136 in the 30th over chasing a massive total, the Danger Man serenely stepped to the pitch. Without flinching at only 20 over’s with which to make 250 runs requiring a massive 7.5 run rate, Danger Man began his attack.

Devising not a slogging onslaught, but a strategic, carefully developed batting ambush only Razzaq could execute,

he began with the support of rookie batsman Fawaad Alam. They maintained a steady run rate of 6.5 bringing them to a respectable partnership of 88. But in comes rookie middle order batsman/wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider. There’s gotta be better players to choose from in Pakistan than this guy who gets run out for a score of 6. Nonetheless, Razzaq calmly takes the setback in stride and with only tail enders left, he remains the last batsman standing to chase 60 runs in 6 overs. But he anticipated that.

With a half century under his belt, he picks up the pace: smashing 26 runs in the next 3 overs. But just before he tries to get the strike back at the end of the 46th over, bowler Wahaab Riaz is run out, and 3 balls later, another man falls. Nine wickets down, one more out and the game is over. South Africa’s crushing triumph over Pakistan in this series seems inevitable. Razzaq is the only man standing with 2.3 over’s remaining and 29 required for victory.

Classic Pakistan. And Razzaq knows it. He anticipated it the moment he began to bat, thus taking the match into his own hands, and becoming Danger Man.

Well aware that Shoaib Akhtar is the Worlds Fastest bowler,  not the greatest batsman, Razzaq undertakes full responsibility. In the last 2 overs, he safely but skillfully hits 4-5 balls into the gap when Akhtar reasonably began to run for the single’s & doubles. But Razzaq confidently instructed otherwise. Now that’s scary. If I was South Africa, I’d fear a man needing near 30 runs to save any face in a series with less than 3 overs left yet still tells his partner not to run. That’s intrepid. Razzaq was sending a message to everyone: “Stay. I got this”

Pakistan's Danger Man - Abdul Razzaq Conquers South Africa in Abu Dhabi 2010

Pakistan's Danger Man - Abdul Razzaq Conquers South Africa in Abu Dhabi 2010

Talk about presence. Fearing why he’s NOT scrambling to make these last runs, South Africa had to wonder what the heck this guy had up his sleeve and tremble at his audacity.

In preventing Akhtar from risking a wicket to take seemingly critical runs, Razzaq upped his own responsibility, demonstrating tremendous leadership, strategic thinking, confidence and damn powerful cricket. For me this command and control was the highlight of the game. He took the colossal task of rescuing Pakistan from humiliation in the series solely upon his own shoulders.

He maintained confidence, composure and leadership in seeing the ball well, skillfully directing the ball, and meticulously assessing the match at each interval. Knowing how to make everything go off the middle of the bat, he was conquering South Africa despite their weighty total and floundering Pakistani batting.

In fact, come the last three overs Akhtar only sees 1 of those 12 balls, because Razzaq just didn’t let him take strike. Taking complete responsibility upon himself rather than risk loss, he allowed Akhtar to run once for a single just before the last over. Shoaib dot balled it, returning strike to Razzaq.

Decisive final over. Pakistan needs 14 runs off 6 balls.

After smashing another six, Danger Man is at 99 runs and doesn’t flinch. Just smashes another one one for 6. Catapulting him to 105. There’s no celebration: he simply raises his bat, promptly brings it back and focuses on his strategy and the larger task at hand.

Then there’s a dot ball. 2 runs needed off the last 3 balls. And that’s when the South African skipper worries. The fact that Danger Man didn’t celebrate 105 off of 70 balls again had to leave them wondering who the heck this guy is and what he’s going to pull next. South Africa unsuccesfully appeals on a caught behind for Razzaq. But Danger Man unfazed with just two runs required won’t even need to run: he hits the next ball for a boundary and jumps up and tosses his bat in the air.

With two sixes to seal a win in the last over, it marked his his 10th six in the game. Danger Man scored 63 of the whole teams last 65 runs to overcome the weighty chase. It was all Abdul Razzaq. Not even a wide or no ball to help him, South Africa cut him no slack and he single handedly achieved the Pakistan victory in this series.

He’s always been my favorite. It’s this Danger Man that should forever instill fear in anyone who plays against Pakistan with him in the lineup. No win is certain so long as Abdul Razzaq’s around 😉

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5 comments

  1. Pakistan Zindabaad
    Razzaq Zindabaad

    thats why, I always advocating razzaq … he is very silent man but his performance is asking about his skills. I LOVE Razzaq … but i would love to say that pakistan need Rana Naveed too … the both dynamic all-rounders can destroy any side in this world they both have better skills then Afridi and Umar Akmal. LONG LIVE RAZZAQ

    Like


  2. Well written, Razzak is underrated and overlooked by Pakistan selectors, yet he time and again has shown to all his class and caliber. He also in my records may be a very humble and an honest individual and that may be the reason for his non-selection

    Like


  3. daring batsman, powerful shots, eloquently described. felt like one was watching the match.

    Like


  4. Excellent post, seems like I was watching Razzaq’s sixers live

    Like


  5. the silent hero is now on indian battle fields … yet he had not shown his class as baby kenya was failed to bowled out all pakistan team … hope today he will shine in dark weather

    Like



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