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Tuesday, 25 February, 2003, 14:33 GMT

Wasim hits 500

A breakdown of Wasim Akram's 500 one-day international wickets By Matt Majendie
BBC Sport

Nick Statham may not be the most prized scalp in world cricket but there was no disguising Wasim Akram's delight at claiming his wicket.

With just seven runs under his belt in one-day internationals, the Dutch opener could hardly have relished the task of facing Wasim and Shoaib Akhtar with a new ball in their hands.

And he had not added to his overall tally when he became Wasim's 500th one-day victim.

The way the landmark arrived was probably not how Wasim had envisaged it, as Statham edged the ball onto his pads before watching it roll back into his leg stump.

It came 16 years after Wasim began his collection of wickets by dismissing Australian Robbie Kerr.

Wasim's path to 500 wickets

Former West Indian opener Desmond Haynes has suffered most from Wasim's mix of pace, late swing and pure cunning, having been removed 12 times by him.

Windies captain Carl Hooper and Sri Lankan counterpart Sanath Jayasuriya have fared little better - sent back to the pavilion by the 36-year-old on nine occasions.

But none of that trio rank among his most prized victims - Javed Miandad, Martin Crowe and Viv Richards head the list.

Wasim said: "These were the geniuses of one-day cricket and they knew how to play reverse swing. I consider Viv the best one-day batsmen of all time."

As for the record, he added: "It is something special to achieve 500 but it matters more that the team achieve some crucial wins in the World Cup."

Despite being into the twilight of his career, Wasim remains arguably the game's greatest exponent of reverse swing and still produces unsettling pace from a relatively short run-up.

His one-day debut was hardly an indicator of such great things to come, when he failed to take a single New Zealand wicket in Faisalabad.

Wasim factfile

But he achieved international recognition when his five for 21 runs shocked Australia in only his fourth match.

His love affair with the World Cup - he is the only player to take more than 50 wickets in the tournament's history - began back in 1987.

But for him the pinnacle of his career came at the tournament five years later when three vital wickets and 33 runs off 19 balls helped Pakistan beat England in the final.

The 500 mark, coming in his 354th one-day game for Pakistan, leaves him well clear of his closest rivals. Only Muttiah Muralitharan and Anil Kumble have passed 300.

His records are seemingly limitless. To add to 414 Test wickets, he is also the only person to take hat-tricks in both Test and one-day cricket.

With ageing limbs and increasing injury problems, Wasim has moved his focus solely to the one-day game.

But, with 36 World Cup appearances now under his belt, his competitive instinct shows no sign of dimming.

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Related to this story:

Hants play down Wasim link (24 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )
Wasim shatters Namibia (17 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )
Wasim sets Cup record (16 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )
Have Your Say on Pakistan (04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say )

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