Published: 14th March, 2019
There are many ways to win a cricket match. Perhaps the most entertaining or nerve-wracking, depending on your viewpoint, is to hit a six off the final ball.
That’s exactly what all-rounder and Pakistan international Azhar Mahmood did to defeat Gloucestershire in front of a bumper Kia Oval crowd in 2015.
Chasing 154 and still five runs behind their Bristol-based visitors, it was down to Mahmood to do what he could to win the match. As you can see from the video below, he had the right answer.
Spinners Gareth Batty (1/20) and Zafar Ansari (1/27) had been the stars with the ball while seamers Matt Dunn (2/15), Tom Curran (1/41), Sam Curran (0/15) & Mahmood (0/32) also contributed to keep Gloucestershire to 154/5. Australian Peter Handscomb (39) and former England wicket keeper Geraint Jones (37) were the two top scorers for the visitors.
Surrey’s response began with usual opener Jason Roy joined by pinch hitter Tom Curran. TC was run out for 10 and then Surrey’s two most recognisable batting names in Roy and Sangakkara were together. Roy made 33 and Sangakkara 34 before they were both dismissed.
Surrey continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and Mahmood saw both Sangakkara and Ansari depart leaving him to face the final ball as brand new batsman James Burke stood at the non-striker’s end. With the entire crowd on the edge of their seats, Mahmood pulled a shorter delivery over the head of deep square leg to spark special, memorable celebrations.