There are many great overs in ODI cricket history. But this kind of bowling is something special. This kind of game-changing bowling is a dream for the every bowler; but in reality, it is the toughest bowling even to imagine.
The bowler was none other than Shoaib Akhtar, who was famous as the fastest bowler in the world. Akhtar played for Pakistan and one of a furious bowler in the first decade of the 21st century.
The match was between Pakistan and South Africa on 28th March 2000 of the tri-nation series which was also known as Coca-Cola Cup. The tournament was held in Sharjah and India was the other nation in the tournament. The three teams played against each other twice, before playing the final match between the best two teams.
South Africa ensured their place in the final before this match by winning the all 3 matches. Pakistan and India were fighting for the second spot to reach the final, where the both teams earned equal points (2 points for each team) before this game. So, even not playing in this match but India was looking very eagerly into this match.
After winning the toss, Pakistan selected to bat first. South Africa dominated in the 1st innings while they bowled out the Pakistan players in just 168 runs.
In reply, South Africa were chasing that small target comfortably, despite Gary Kirsten retired hurt and unable to bat at further. After the end of 16th over, the Protease were 74/1 and Herschelle Gibbs and Mark Boucher were set and looking very comfortable at the crease. But everything after this unbelievable over of Shoaib Akhtar changed for Pakistan.
In the very first ball of the 17th over, Akhtar put a furious bouncer with around 141 kph to Mark Boucher. Mark Boucher played a hook shot, without adjusting to the pace of the ball, which didn’t connect properly and took the upper edge of the bat. Pakistan wicket-keeper Moin Khan took a good catch. Boucher was departed at just 14 runs.
The next furious ball came in the 4th ball of the same over to the Dale Benkenstein. Benkenstein was beaten with the pace of the ball and then get clean bowled.
In the next ball, Lance Klusener faced around 145 mph ball which he defended it. After that ball, Akhter was troubled with his foot and feeling a little groin pain. On the other side, Klusener changed his bat due to a little crack on the bat.
However, Akhter was ready to ball again and this time he got another wicket. Klusener totally missed it and got bowled. Even pain couldn’t stop to Akhter.
In just one over, Akhter shook South African’s lower batting order from which Protease couldn’t return in the match. South Africa lost by 67 runs and Pakistan secured their spot in the final. Akhtar got the man of the match award for his furious spell.
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