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Inzamam's final farewell
There was plenty of emotion, but no fairytale ending for Inzamam ul-Haq.
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2007 17:22 GMT
Inzamam-ul-Haq gives his final farewell [AFP]
The stage was set for Inzamam-ul-Haq to make a record-breaking farewell to international cricket when he walked to the crease on the last day of the Pakistan-South Africa second test.
 
the 37 year old needed just six runs to break Javed Miandad's Pakistan record of 8,832 test runs, and his team were eyeing a world-record fourth innings run chase.
But just five minutes later the record attempt and run chase were over as looked for a draw in a series loss to the tourists.
 
It may not have been as dramatic as Don Bradman's duck in his final innings in 1948 that cost him a test average of 100, but the player was just as disappointed.

"I wanted to play a memorable knock, but sadly that was not the case
today," Inzamam said.

"I wanted to play aggressively and maybe I could have won the match for Pakistan."

Inzamam's last test innings lasted only two balls before Mark Boucher
stumped the former Pakistan captain for three runs off left-arm spinner Paul Harris, leaving him three runs short of the record.

"It's difficult for me to describe how I felt when I walked in, it was
full of emotions," Inzamam said of his brief stay in the middle.

Harris beat the burly former captain in flight and Inzamam completely misjudged the line of the ball.

"I've hit a number of deliveries like this one for sixes, but today in
the battle of batsman and bowler, the bowler won," he said.

Inzamam was given a memorable send off at the end of the match.

All the Pakistan players lined up in a guard of honor and and Inzamam walked through their raised bats for the presentation ceremony.

"It was like yesterday when I began my one-day international career from this very ground (Gaddafi Stadium) in 1991," Inzamam said.

"Today I am satisfied that I am leaving from the same venue."

A brief presentation included Inzamam's glorious moments in 16 years of
international cricket, including the 1992 World Cup win, were shown to
5,000 spectators on a big screen.

Inzamam embraced all his teammates and Shoaib Malik was even seen in tears when he met his former captain for the last time on a cricket field.

"Please don't ask me, it was quite emotional, I will again start
crying," an emotional Malik said.

Inzamam, who scored 25 centuries in test matches with 17 coming in matches that Pakistan won, rated former West Indian batsman Sir Vivian Richards, New Zealand's Martin Crowe and current Australian captain Ricky Ponting as the three best batsmen he had seen.

"I am inspired the way these three batted," he said.

Among bowlers, Inzamam rated Australia's legspinner Shane Warne as the top bowler that he faced during his illustrious career beside naming Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka), Glenn McGrath (Australia), Courtney Walsh (West Indies) and Shaun Pollock (South Africa).

"Today I guess it was Paul Harris," Inzamam joked as the curtain came down on his illustrious career.

Source:
Agencies
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