The Pakistani batsman hammered a fantastic 136 off only 105 balls with 19 fours and one six, while his partner pounded the English from the other end and scored 113 off 110 balls with 12 fours. But wait! These aren’t your regular stars of international cricket; one of them is without his left foot and the other without the right hand. Pretty amazing! Isn’t it?
Outstanding Athleticism Despite Overwhelming Odds
Trying to figure out who these stars are? Ever heard of Matloob Qureshi and Hasnain Alam? These guys and their team made history in the first International Physical Disability Series recently held at the International Cricket Council Global Cricket Academy Oval ground in Dubai.
“The teams have opened our eyes by displaying the skill, talent and passion they have over the past two weeks and the players deserve credit for playing the game in the spirit in which they have,” said Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive of the ICC.
The Pakistani team outclassed the English team by winning the T20 series 2-0 and one-day series 2-1.
Right from the start, the Pakistani team seemed determined to win it all. Pakistan won the opening T20 match by 14 runs scoring 120 for eight, after winning the toss and electing to bat and then restricting England to 106. The second match wasn’t very different from the first; Pakistan took to stumps first and scored 136 for the loss of seven wickets. England just could not manage to make the series even and were all out for 116 in 18.5 overs.
Another Brilliant Show at The 3-One Day Match Series
Armed with the confidence gained from outstanding performance in the T20 matches, Pakistan started the three-match one-day series in a fashion similar to the T20 series.
The first match of the series had all the elements of an epic battle and it set the stage for the series. After losing the first wicket for only four runs, Matloob Qureshi and Hasnain Alam dug into the pitch and hammered the English bowlers with a volley of boundaries. When the dust settled, they had added 233 for the second wicket partnership. Their partnership helped Pakistan finish the innings for a massive 285 for 5.
The English team fought tooth and nail to start the series off with a win. They gave it all and made the match a memorable treat. The openers Gordan Laidlaw and Callum Flynn gave a solid start by putting on 72 runs for the opening partnership but afterward England lost 2 wickets very quickly. The resistance continued till the seventh wicket partnership between Mathew Askin and Liam Thomas, who added 47 runs to the scoreboard. However, this was the end of the fight as England finished at 206 for 6.
The second match, however, was England’s time to level the series 1-1. The match was restricted to 20 overs due to bad weather. The English team batted first and finished 137 for the loss of eight wickets. In response, Pakistan could not manage to achieve the target and lost by a very narrow margin of 4 runs by scoring 133 for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted overs.
The final match sealed the series for Pakistan. England got the chance to bat first but could not put on a good show and managed to score only 75 runs before losing all the wickets in 30 overs. Pakistan, in response effortlessly cleared the hurdle for the loss of only one wicket.
Although the series didn’t go well for England, the English captain James Williamson is hopeful for the future, “Pakistan had one or two very good players,” he said. “We didn’t bat well but we matched them with the ball and were far advanced in the field.” He further added, “If we play Pakistan again then we know what we are up against. We all put a lot of effort in over the last fortnight and we’ve learnt a lot since arriving here.”
(Image Courtesy of Dawn.com)