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Watch: The Ross Taylor World Cup birthday bash that ended Shoaib Akhtar’s Pakistan career

Ross Taylor v Shoaib Akhtar, 2011 World Cup
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Watch: At Pallekele in a 2011 World Cup match, Ross Taylor launched a furious onslaught on his 27th birthday, bringing curtains down on Shoaib Akhtar’s international career.

Despite Martin Guptill’s 57, Pakistan had reduced New Zealand to 113-4 in the 30th over at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. Taylor had arrived at 55-2. Shoaib could have got him early, off the second ball Taylor faced off him, but the ball took the edge and flew past Kamran Akmal, who assumed that the first slip would catch it.

Taylor got four, and four more off the next ball, but slowed down thereafter, hitting his first six very late. Until then, he had scored 69 off 108 balls.


After 46 overs, New Zealand were 210-6. Umar Gul had taken out Brendon McCullum for a 10-ball 19. There was no warning of what was to follow, for Taylor had batted 111 balls for his 76.

Shoaib’s next over went for four, six, six, dot, four, six – 28 in all, for there were two wides in the mix. At the other end, Abdur Rehman conceded ‘only’ 15.

Now Shahid Afridi replaced Shoaib with Abdul Razzaq: Taylor responded with four, six, six, two, four, six. Razzaq bowled two wides as well, taking the tally to 30.

Jacob Oram joined in the fun too, hitting two sixes before Abdur had him caught. New Zealand finished on 302-7, having amassed 92 in the last four overs. Taylor raced to 131 not out in 124 balls – 55 off the last 13. Shoaib finished with 9-0-70-1, and Pakistan collapsed to 192.

Pakistan left out Shoaib and Umar Akmal from the side for their next match, against Zimbabwe, drafting in Wahab Riaz and Asad Shafiq. In their next match, they ended Australia’s unbeaten run in the tournament that had started in the 1999 edition.

But before that, Shoaib had already informed manager Intikhab Alam that he he would not play for Pakistan again.

Watch Ross Taylor’s 131 here:


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