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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Akram bags 500th ODI wicket

Our Correspondent in Paarl | February 25, 2003 18:05 IST

Scorecard | Analysis

Wasim AkramWasim Akram, possibly the greatest all-round fast bowler to have played cricket, became the first bowler in the game's history to bag 500 wickets in one-day internationals at the Boland Park on Tuesday evening when he snaffled Statham.

Nick Statham b Akram 0 -- the 500th wicket falling in the first ball of Akram's second over, as Statham pushed at a delivery outside off, got the inner edge, and played on.

The left-arm sultan of swing had 499 wickets heading into the Pakistan-Holland "Pool A" match in the World Cup --- Akram's 354th ODI.

He had to wait a while, though, as Roland Lefebvre won the toss and opted to field first.

Akram could have crossed the 500-mark in Pakistan's eminently forgettable match against England at Newlands on Saturday itself, but great artists can choose the moment to leave their stamp on the canvas, and the cricketing world had to wait for three more days to savor the accomplishment.

Before the England-Pakistan match began, Akram's tally stood at 498. Marcus Trescothick quickly became victim number 499, when the left-handed opener nicked the last ball of Akram's third over to Rashid Latif.

Two overs later, Michael Vaughan would have been Akram's 500th victim, as he bravely attempted a pull. But Saqlain Mushtaq's catch at short midwicket was not to be historic, as Akram had overstepped and delivered a no ball.

Akram completed his 10 overs in that game, but that one wicket proved elusive.

Finally, the "honour" of being Akram's prize victim fell on Nick Statham of Holland.

Similar honors have fallen to the lot of:

·        Curtley Ambrose bowled Akram; the bowler's 100th victim in his 74th ODI, versus West Indies on October 14, 1989

·        Brian McMillan LBW Akram; the  200th victim, in match number 142, versus South Africa at Buffalo Park, February 15, 1993

·        Dave Houghton, victim number 300 in match number 208, versus Zimbabwe at the Bugthi Stadium, October 30, 1996

·        Damien Martyn, victim number 400 in match number 285; versus Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, January 19, 2000.

Akram, who made his World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, also became the first bowler to bowl 300 overs in the tournament when he completed his fourth over in the England-Pakistan match.

As of now (this is being written immediately after the Pakistan legend achieved the landmark) Akram in World Cups has an analysis that reads: 307.1-15-1239-53.

His average is 23.83; the economy rate is 4.05 and strike rate 35.31.

On top of his 500 ODI tally, Akram has 414 wickets in 104 Test matches.

Akram is the first bowler in history to bowl over 3,000 overs.

He has taken forty or more wickets in a calendar year thrice (his team-mate and hunting partner Waqar Younis has five); and been named man of the match on 21 occasions in ODIs.

Among contemporary players, his favorite victims have to be Carl Hooper and Sanath Jayasuriya (9 times each); Brian Lara, Marvan Atapattu, Andy Flower and Adam Gilchrist (7 times apiece); Aravinda D'Silva, Hashan Tillekeratne, Saurav Ganguly and Damien Martyn (5 times apiece).

His all time favorite bunny, though, has to be the great Windies opener Desmond Haynes – 14 times.

It goes without saying that the leading nations have contributed the bulk of his victims. Against Australia, he has 67 victims in 49 matches; 32 wickets in 32 games against England; 60 Indians in 47 games; 64 New Zealanders in 38 games; 35 South Africans in 24 games; 92 Sri Lankans in 59 games; 89 West Indians in 64 games and 33 Zimbabweans in 27 games.

An amazing facet of Akram's bowling has been the fact that an inordinate number of his victims have been top order batsman – a true lion, he has scorned the cheaper kills of the tail. Thus, 229 of his 500 victims (45.7 per cent) have been top order batsmen; a further 145 (29.1 per cent) have been from the middle order and only 126 (25.3 per cent) are tail-enders.

Another feature of his bowling is that his kills are predominantly “clean” – in the sense that he gets them bowled or LBW, without assistance from the keeper and fielders.

Thus, he has 175 victims (35.19 per cent) bowled and 91 (18.3 per cent) LBW against 137 caught and 92 caught behind. This ability he shares with team-mate Waqar Younis: 151 bowled, 71 LBW, 112 caught and 76 caught behind.

Compare this with Glenn McGrath: 62 bowled and 31 LBW against 104 caught and 61 caught behind.

And finally, consider this -- Akram, a diabetic, does it all on the strength of insulin injections which he gives himself before and after every game.

Career highlights

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Number of User Comments: 34


Wasim Bhai is the best left arm seamer in the history of cricket.


Sub: Greatest Bowler

I would like to see Akram will continue upto 50 years

Posted by Baivak

Sub: congrats

Congrats for a well deserved 500 wickets and on top of that may god keep u fit and furious in the future as u are ...

Posted by viqar

Sub: Hats Off to u the Greatest

yes he is the greatest of greate's.. his achievement surely inspires the coming young blood all over the world in bowling as well as allrounders... ...

Posted by Hassain sheik

Sub: Sultan of Swing

The amazing thing about Wasim's achievement is the fact that that he is still among the top bowlers in the world, at the tender age ...

Posted by Faisal A Malik


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