Essay No. 16:
A Cricket Match: At present cricket needs not any introduction. Everybody knows about cricket very well. Now it has become the most favourite game all over the world. Last summer I happened to see a cricket match in Lahore. The match was played between Pakistan Cricket Team and the Zimbabwe Cricket Team. The match was played at Qadaffi Stadium Lahore.
Cricket is quite an interesting game. Every game has its plus points. It fosters discipline, duty, team spirit, cooperation and a sportsman’s spirit. Some of the Pakistani players are players of international repute. Pakistani players have introduced the country all over the world and they have brought good name to it.
Cricket is played between two teams of 11 members each. It is played on flat, smooth and clean ground. Cricket requires two sets of stumps, wickets and a ball. The distance between the two sets of wickets is 22 yards. The bowlers take their turns after six balls. In this game, much depends upon the quality of bowling. Good fielding is also necessary for victory.
Before the game starts, there is the toss. It is the whim of the toss winning captain to first go for batting or fielding. The fielding party puts three fieldsmen on the one side, six on the offside, while one is posted for guarding the wicket and one for the bowling. The game is generally played for six hours a day. The umpire is the final judge. He is the man who declares the players out whether they are run out, bowled out, caught out and stumped out or leg-before-wicket.
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Everybody accepts the decision of the umpire. The match, whom I witnessed, was really very interesting. There was huge gathering at Qadaffi Stadium Lahore. Pakistan’s leading cricketers were playing in the match. I saw the fine game of Muhammad Hafeez. He hit many boundaries, while Azhar Ali was very careful not to make a single stroke. But soon Muhammad Hafeez was out. Then he was replaced by Shoaib Malik. He made 112 runs in 124 minutes whole and Azhar Ali made 79 runs in 117 minutes. After sometime Azhar Ali was out and was replaced by Haris Sohail. Shoaib Malik and Haris Sohail contributed and Pakistani team made 375 runs for three wickets before lunch.
Then the Zimbabwe players started batting after lunch. V Sibanda, Sikandar Raza and H Masakadza played very fast and scored 23, 36 and 73 respectively. Soon E-Chigumbura came and hit the boundaries. There was a tremendous cheer from the spectators. There was great excitement among the spectators as well as players. Everyone was in high spirits. E-Chigumbura played very well and scored over a century in 138 minutes. After that, he was out. Next three players contributed their best and Zimbabwe team made 334 runs at the end and unfortunately, Zimbabwe team lost the match. Then the umpire gave a long whistled and the match ended for the day.
The spectators dispersed. Some of the cricket fans were patting Shoaib Malik for his brilliant performance. Soon the crowd fizzled out and I came to my house. It was a thrilling match for me. I enjoyed it very much.