Emotional Inzy Bows Out


Inzamam-ul-Haq's final ODI ended in a 93-run victory over Zimbabwe, a result that seals Ireland's place in the Super Eight.

Inzamam-ul-Haq made a tearful exit from one-day international cricket in Kingston, Jamaica, as Pakistan saved their best for last with a rout of Zimbabwe.
Imran Nazir hit a career-best 160 and Inzamam a quick-fire 37 on his farewell appearance to help Pakistan to a 93-run win in a rain-affected match to provide the perfect tribute to the late Bob Woolmer.
The result also means that Ireland go through with West Indies to the World Cup Super Eight stage, with Zimbabwe condemned to bottom spot in Group D.
Pakistan's return to form has come too late to save them from an early exit but did enough to enable them to salvage their pride after that shock defeat by Ireland.
Inzamam had pledged to dedicate his side's last match of the 2007 World Cup and the 378th and final ODI of his own career to the team's coach Woolmer, whose sudden death at the weekend is being treated by police as suspicious.
And the retiring captain was as good as his word, blasting three sixes in a 35-ball second-top score to help Pakistan to reach a formidable 349.
Inzamam dominated a 70-run stand with Nazir for the third wicket and reached 11,739 runs in one-day international cricket, leaving him second behind India's Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time list, when he was caught in the deep by Sean Williams off Tawanda Mupariwa.
The Zimbabwe fielders immediately rushed to shake the hands of the veteran Pakistani and he burst into tears as left the field through a guard of honour formed by his own team-mates.
Inzamam then took two slip catches to help reduce their opponents to 30 for three off 10.2 overs before the weather intervened.
Earlier, Pakistan were dismissed two balls short of their 50 overs after passing their previous best World Cup score of 338 for five against Sri Lanka in 1983.
They were determined to bow out of the competition on a high and their batsmen, who wore black armbands out of respect for their late coach, put themselves in an invincible position.
Nazir hit 14 fours and eight sixes in his 121-ball innings of 160, which was the highest score ever made in the Caribbean, beating the 152 by Desmond Haynes, and the eighth-highest score in World Cup history.
He was eventually caught brilliantly by Stuart Matsikenyeri off Chris Mpofu trying to lift another one out of the ground as Pakistan suffered a late collapse.
But the match will best be remembered for an emotional farewell for Inzamam, 37, who announced his retirement from the one-day game in the wake of Pakistan's shock defeat by Ireland last Saturday.
His bright and breezy knock was in sharp contrast to the eerie and sombre atmosphere at Sabina Park as the teams held a minute's silence in memory of the 58-year-old Woolmer.
Nazir and Shoaib Malik put on 50 for the second wicket and Inzamam increased the momentum with a 35-ball knock that included three towering sixes.
Gary Brent, who conceded 26 runs off his first three overs, took three for 68 as Pakistan lost their last five wickets for 64.
Zimbabwe made the worst possible start in reply, with Vusi Sibanda taken at point by Nazir off Umar Gul's second ball of the innings without scoring.
And when Inzamam took slip catches in successive overs to help dismiss Justice Chibhabha and Friday Kasteni, taking his total of catches in one-day internationals to 112, Zimbabwe were a disastrous 14 for three after 5.3 overs.
Gul took two for 10 off his first five overs before rain stopped play and it was a hopeless task as Zimbabwe were set a revised target of 193 in 20 overs.
Matsikenyeri and Brendan Taylor put on 31 in six overs before they went in successive balls and Elton Chigumbura provided some late resistance, striking four sixes – three of them in succession off Danesh Kaneria – until becoming Shahid Afridi's 199th victim in one-day internationals.
And Afridi went past the 200-mark by snapping up Brent and Mupariwa but fittingly Inzamam wrapped up the win with a third catch of the winnings to provide Mohammad Yousuf with his first international wicket as Zimbabwe were all out for 99.