Wa­hab Riaz grabs chance to shine

The Financial Daily - - MARKET SUMMARY -

MO­HALI: Pak­istan fast bowler Wa­hab Riaz emerged from the shad­ows with a ca­reer-best five for 46 in Wed­nes­day's World Cup semi­fi­nal as In­dia made 260 for nine.

The 25-year-old left-armer, who comes from the Pak­istan side of the bor­der state of Pun­jab, has of­ten only played when oth­ers were in­jured, and all eyes fo­cused on the likes of re­verse-swing spe­cial­ist Umar Gul and ex­press quick Shoaib Akhtar.

How­ever, Pak­istan's de­ci­sion to keep the 35-year-old Akhtar on the side­lines put Riaz in the spot­light, es­pe­cially as he would have been the man dropped if the 'Rawalpindi Ex­press' had been re­called.

The pres­sure on Riaz was in­ten­si­fied fur­ther when the nor­mally re­li­able Gul saw 21 runs struck off his sec­ond over dur­ing a flurry of bound­aries from Viren­der Se­hwag.

Riaz, on as first change, stopped the rot when with only his fifth ball he had the dan­ger­ous Se­hwag lbw.

The pace­man, who made his de­but three years ago and whose pre­vi­ous best was three for 22 against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2008, later struck twice in two balls to get rid of Vi­rat Kohli and dan­ger­man Yu­vraj Singh.

When he bowled Yu­vraj, man-of-the-match in In­dia's quar­ter-fi­nal win over cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia, for a first ball nought, an elated Riaz sprinted away from the pitch in a semi-cir­cle of de­light.

And his joy was there for all in a ca­pac­ity crowd to see again when he kissed the pitch af­ter hav­ing Za­heer Khan caught be­hind to com­plete his maiden five-wicket haul. -APP

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