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Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 16:05 GMT

Wasim names favourite scalps

Wasim Akram shows off his 500 wicket plaque Wasim Akram has said taking the wickets of Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis in the 1992 World Cup final were his two most memorable dismissals of his career.

The 36-year-old became the first bowler to take 500 wickets in one-day internationals when he trapped opener Nick Statham lbw for a duck in Pakistan's 97-run victory over the Netherlands in Paarl on Tuesday.

It marked yet another historic landmark for the all-rounder, who took 3-49 in the 1992 World Cup final against England in Melbourne.

England had looked on course for victory until Wasim bowled Lamb and Lewis in successive deliveries, ultimately turning the match in Pakistan's favour.

"Of all my 500 wickets, those two were my best," he told BBC Urdu.

"Winning the World Cup is every sportsman's dream and these two wickets were very crucial.

"They came at the right time and the right stage."

Imran Khan poses with the World Cup

And Wasim acknowledged much of his success has been down to his former captain Imran Khan, the man who discovered his raw talent as an 18-year-old.

"Imran played a very great role in me reaching this milestone," he said. "Fortunately, I met him at the right time when I was at the right age.

"He told me it was impossible to improve unless you put in the really hard work on the cricket field.

"As well as Imran, I was also fortunate to play with players like Javed Miandad and Mudassar Nazar, who taught me how to use my brain."

Imran, in his exclusive column with the BBC, returned the compliment by describing Wasim as the "best left-arm bowler in cricket's history".

But despite Wasim's record-breaking feats, Pakistan have been struggling to find top form in South Africa.

Defeat against England has left them in a precarious position in Group A, making their final two matches against arch-rivals India and Zimbabwe must win games.

"At this stage I am in my career, what matters most is that Pakistan win," said Wasim.

"The fun is in winning, irrespective of whether you take one wicket or all 10 wickets."

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Related to this story:

Wasim reaches 500 wickets (25 Feb 03 |  Photo Galleries )
Wasim pays tribute to fitness (16 Feb 03 |  Pakistan )

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