Inzamam-Ul-Haq played his first ODI against West Indies in Pakistan. He made 48 runs in his first international innings. Though Pakistan lost the match but Inzamam proved himself for international cricket. After that he was a permanent member of team. He completed his first thousand runs in one and half year only.
Though Inzamam was performing very well and was in-form batsman but when time for team selection for World Cup came, his inclusion in Squad was opposed by some senior players and analysts on the basis of having very little experience of pressure game of a big tournament. They were afraid that Inzamam may not be able to play at fast tracks of Australia. Inzi was a lucky person because Imran Khan had confidence in his abilities. Imran had decided to have Inzi with him at any cost and as a result Inzamam was sent to Australia with team.
Imran Khan and Javed Miandad were leading the team as captain and vice captain respectively. Initial matches of the tournament were not good for Pakistan but with the efforts of Imran and Miandad, players worked hard and fought as a team. On some occasions luck also favored Pakistan. In a match against England Pakistan were all out for 74 but whether favored Pakistan and it rained heavily.
Pakistanis took advantage of suck pieces of luck and selected for semifinal against New Zealand after beating Srilanka and Australia. In earlier matches, performance of Inzamam was very poor. He got run out in 5 matches out of 10, he played. He was called as the laziest and dull player by commentators and spectators. But Imran tried to give him confidence and advised him to forget about any thing that happened in past and look forward to the upcoming match.
Every player was feeling pressure of the match a night before the semifinal match. Intekhab Alam, the team manager instructed every one to sleep early so that all of the players are fresh in the morning.
Inzamam-Ul-Haq had the problem with his sleep that he was unable to sleep early and Intekhab Alam knew it. He gave Inzi a tablet with a glass of milk. After taking tablet Inzamam slept easily. At about 2′ o clock, tablet started to react. Inzamam woke up and started vomiting. Moin Khan was his roommate. He woke up and wanted to call Intekhab Alam but Inzi stopped him. Inzamam didn’t want to disturb other players and requested Moin to sleep as well. But it was impossible for Moin to leave his friend in trouble. Inzi was feeling severe pain in his tummy. He was also feeling weakness after vomiting for many times.
In the Morning, when Inzamam and Moin went for breakfast, Miandad was worried on seeing them and asked, didn’t you slept for the whole night? Moin told him about Inzamam’s problem. Inzamam told the whole story to Imran Khan. Imran said, It’s strange, I am astonished why Intekhab had given you tablet with milk. I hope you will get very soon. You have to play the match anyway. All the players were surprised on Imran’s decision.
A doctor was called then for Inzamam. Inzi was still feeling pain in his tummy again. Doctor tried for half an hour with a machine to vanish the tummy pain of Inzi but to no avail. When doctor wanted to give him medicine, Imran stopped him saying “He will sleep by taking medicine and I don’t want my lion to sleep”. The way Imran said above words gave Inzamam a lot of energy and his eyes sparkled with determination.
When match started Moin Khan told Inzamam that his name is included in the team. Wasim backed him by saying that such matches can build your carrier so try to compose yourself.
Inzamam-Ul-Haq fielded for some time in the ground. Then Imran sent him back to dressing room to relax. Commentary box suggested that it looks like Inzamam is now hopeless. Only Pakistani team was aware of the problems with Inzamam at that time. Inzamam vomited again as he came back to dressing room and then he slept.
New Zealand scored 262 runs. It was not impossible but a difficult target for Pakistan. Top order of Pakistan collapsed at 139 and all responsibility was on the shoulders of Inzamam Pakistan needed 123 more runs to win with a required run rate of 8.50 runs per over. Imran Khan encouraged him saying “Inzamam! Just play your natural game.”
When Inzi was slowly walking to crease, spectators started laughing on seeing him. Analysts from commentary box were wondering that what an out-of-form boy can do for his team at such a crucial. On the other hand when his father and other family members saw his tired and pale face on TV, they got distressed. His father ordered everyone to pray for Inzi and started offering prayers in the other room.
Inzamam had only one thing in his mind that he is sent to play, only to play for his team, for his country and he has to deliver now. Inzamam-Ul-Haq started playing very positively. On the very second ball delivered to him he hooked powerfully for a quick boundary. It was his first boundary. A commentator, after watching his facial expressions, said, “This is not that Inzamam we have seen in the previous matches. He can do something today.” No doubt his analysis was right.
Inzamam-Ul-Haq punished Kiwis very cruelly with his bat hitting fours and sixes. He scored 66 runs on 37 balls only and then got run out as usual. But when he came back to pavilion Pakistan needed only 30 runs with a run rate of 5.50 runs per over. Inzamam had boosted the morale of other team players and they played very sensibly to win the match over New Zealand. This high morale helped Pakistan in final match also. Though Inzamam has played many wonderful and responsible innings but this inning of Semi Final 92 is of special importance. It was carrier making innings for Inzamam-Ul-Haq.