Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq was a class batsman and went on to become a genius with the willow. He not only rose as one of the most talented batsmen but also drew everyone’s attention with his inspiring captaincy skills. The Multan-born dominated in Test cricket with his exceptional batting, scoring as many as 8830 runs at a brilliant average of 54.02. Inzi also smashed 25 tons and 46 fifties in his career.
Amongst many records that Inzamam holds, one achievement is pretty special, and that is when he played a splendid knock of 329 runs against New Zealand in Lahore in 2002. He etched his name in record books as the second-highest ever individual scorer in Test cricket from his country.
Recalling the great innings, Inzamam said he missed out on the opportunity of scoring a quadruple century in that game and needed to bat just one more hour to breach the 400-run mark.
On Sunday, in a YouTube video, Inzamam reminisced that day and said Imran Nazir had scored a century and when he reached 300, by then New Zealand players got exhausted. The batting phenom said he could have reached 400 if he batted one more hour.
“329 was very memorable innings for me, my biggest innings in all of cricket. The special thing about that day was that it was extremely hot. Imran Nazir also made a hundred then, and we were on top. As I built my innings, the poor Kiwi players were getting very tired. When I passed 300, their body language told me that you could score as much as you want, just let us go,” said Inzamam.
The former Pakistani also stated that if he had batsmen with him on the crease, he might have created a history that day.
“If I had batsmen alongside me and we were 5-6 down, I think I had the opportunity to make a world record. There was no time factor and the runs were also coming fast. Maybe I could have gone on to make more than 400 runs. I just needed one more hour to get to that mark,” the 50-year-old added.
Speaking about the game, then it started when Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. The hosts lost opener Shahid Afridi early on a duck, and soon Younis Khan was dismissed cheaply on 27 off 41 balls. However, then opener Imran Nazir stitched a crucial partnership with Inzamam, to take the game away from the visitors. Nazir played a fine 127 off 203 balls knock, while Inzamam kept his wicket until the end and ended up scoring his highest ever score in Test cricket.
Inzamam’s unbelievable display of temperament and dedication took him to 329 runs with 38 fours and nine sixes, before Kiwi leg-spinner Brooke Walker wrapped up the Pakistan innings for 643 by sending Inzi back to the hut.
In response, New Zealand were bundled out for just 73 in the first innings, thanks to Shoaib Akhtar who completely demolished the tourists by grabbing six wickets for 11 in 8.2 overs. During the follow-on, the Black Caps got trapped in the spin magic of Danish Kaneria and were all-out for 246. Kaneria bagged a five-wicket haul and Pakistan won by an innings and 324 runs.