On This Day: Akram Picked His 2nd ODI Hat-trick to take Pak to Austral-Asia Cup Title Win in 1990

On May 4, 1990, the ‘swing king’ of Pakistan aka Wasim Akram picked his second hat-trick in ODI cricket and guided Pakistan to a 36-run win against Australia at Sharjah in the final of Austral-Asia Cup. Interestingly, Akram had bagged his first hat-trick in ODI just six months ago against Australia on this very same venue in the Champions Trophy.

Akram had a forgettable outing in Austral-Asia Cup, until the final. The ace Pakistan seamer was fielded in just two games before the summit clash and scalped three wickets. Akram finished the event with six wickets under his belt in 3 innings at an impressive average of 14.83.

However, he was a player of big occasions and there is no better time to show your class than in a final against the mighty Australians. Under the leadership of Allan Border, Australians were playing some exceptional cricket that summer, winning all their ten games. The Aussies were also favourites to win the trophy. However, what happened in the match was something no one could have foreseen.

Batting first on the flat deck of Sharjah, Pakistan posted 266 runs for the loss of seven wickets in their stipulated 50 overs. For Pakistan, Saeed Anwar (40), Saleem Malik (87) and Akram (49) starred with the bat. In response, the fifties from Mark Taylor (52), Steve Waugh (64) and some valuable contribution from Simon O’Donnell (28-ball 33) took Australia to 207 for 7.

However, in his ninth over, Akram removed the last three Oz batters for just three runs to bundle out Australia for 230 in 46.5 overs. His first victim was Merv Hughes (9), before the legendry Pakistan pacer removed Carl Rackemann and Terry Alderman for a duck on back-to-back deliveries.

Other than Akram, Mushtaq Ahmed and Waqar Younis also starred with the bowl for Pakistan, picking up three and two wickets respectively. Akram was awarded ‘Man of the Match’ for his all-round performance.

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