As the former Pakistan legend celebrates his 56th birthday, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit five of his greatest spells which the world watched with wide eyes.
Whenever bowlers work their magic on a cricket field, they always give us memories that last for a lifetime. For a generation of fast bowlers to come, Akram’s story is no different. The man had a reputation for taking the responsibility of winning his team important matches and whenever he was on song, nothing seemed impossible. The talismanic Pakistan pacer played 356 ODIs and 104 Tests in which he scalped 502 and 414 wickets respectively.
3/20 against England
Every player dreams of winning a World Cup and this is one stage where every cricketer wants to be at his utmost best. With the World Cup being played in the subcontinent, the Asian teams were considered to be favorites and Akram seized the opportunity as he brought his very best to the grandest stage. Pakistan was playing their maiden World Cup final and was in a lot of trouble before Imran Khan handed over the ball to Wasim. The veteran pacer went on to dismiss Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis on consecutive deliveries and as a result, the boys in green cruised through and won their first-ever world champion title.
5/38 against Sri Lanka
Seeing Akram bowl the way he did, was poetry in motion. Akram claimed his first hat-trick in 1999 during the ongoing Asian Test Championship. Wasim Akram dismissed Romesh Kaluwitharana, Niroshan Bandaratilleke, and Pramodya Wickramasinghe and went on to claim five wickets, the match ended in a draw.
3/33 against Sri Lanka
In his prime, Akram was someone to watch out for. The left-handed pacer who made swing bowling look so easy scalped wickets and hat-tricks for fun. Wasim Akram became the first player in the history of the sport to take two consecutive hat-tricks in Test matches as he dismissed Avishka Gunawardene, Chaminda Vaas, and Mahela Jayawardene during the second innings of the Test which helped Pakistan to win the series by innings and 175 runs.
3/45 against Australia
Akram was someone who put the cricketing world into a frenzy and was claiming hat-tricks for fun. Repeating his antics against the Aussies, Akram claimed his first ODI hat-trick in the final of the Austral-Asia Cup played in Sharjah and guided his team to a 36-run victory against the boys in yellow.
5/38 against West Indies
After displaying his batting prowess, the left-arm pacer stamped his authority over the Caribbeans. Akram claimed a five-wicket haul against the strong-looking Windies batsman. Some of the big wickets that he took included the likes of Jeff Dujon, Malcolm Marshall, and Courtney Walsh and as a result, Pakistan won that match by 11 runs.