Born: 6 September 1968, Karachi
Major Teams: Pakistan
Batting Style: Left Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Slow Left Arm Orthodox
Chasing a modest 195 for victory, Saeed Anwar was all class
as he helped himself to an unbeaten century and settled the contest in Pakistan's favour. The veteran was far too experienced to miss out and made full use of a good batting strip.
Opening the innings in the company of youngster Imran Nazir, Anwar guided
Pakistan from strength to strength. The Sri Lankan bowling attack
comprising Chaminda Vaas, Nuwan Zoysa and the prodigious spinner Muthiah
Muralitharan could do little to stop Anwar.
Although Saeed Anwar did not go at the bowling with his famous
aggressiveness, he was never troubled in his stay at the wicket. Using the
sweep to good effect against the spinners, Saeed Anwar gave a classic
display on the art of pacing an innings. After he lost his opening partner
to a run out, Saeed Anwar continued the good work in the company of the
sensible Yousuf Youhana.
By his high standards, Saeed Anwar brought up his half century in sedate
fashion, off 71 balls. Although he struck six fours on the way there, he
did not take the aerial route and attempt to clear the ropes. When he
finally did notch up his first six, it was a dramatic one. Moving from 99,
a point where many batsmen become nervous, to 105 in one clean hit that
cleared long on, Saeed Anwar enthralled his many fans at the Nairobi
Gymkhana. What made his century extra special was the fact that this was
his eighteenth, and with it he overtook Desmond Haynes for the maximum
number of centuries scored in limited over internationals. This makes him
second in the list, behind another batting legend - Sachin Tendulkar.
After accepting the man of the match award Saeed Anwar said he was glad to
have scored this century, his first in about ten months. He added that he
was recovering from a knee injury and that he was now back to full fitness.
That bodes well for Pakistan. Other teams better watch out. An in-form,
fully fit Saeed Anwar is as dangerous as anyone in international cricket.