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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Chris Cairns vs Abdul Razzaq

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Cairns and Razzaq lock horns today in our weekly edition

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - Chris Cairns vs Abdul Razzaq

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Harshit Anand

01/15/2021

Two of the greatest all-rounders from their countries, Chris Cairns and Abdul Razzaq were unstoppable forces in their heydays - two stars could change the complexion of the game. They had the maverick ability to enthrall the spectators as such was with their ability to play blockbuster cricket.

In ODI cricket, there have only been a handful of all-rounders who don't fall in the bits-and-pieces category. Both Cairns and Razzaq were explosive with the bat and could wreck havoc in opposition camps and turn into a one-man army to win games with the willow in hand while at the same time, they were more than handy with the ball as they could strike and make the white ball talk when needed. The duo not only possessed prodigal abilities but also translated them into match-winning performances over the course of their illustrious ODI career. 

Today, the two heavyweights of their era will clash with each other in the ring with the one and only aim of destroying the other, pretty much like they did to bowling attacks. So, let's get the ball rolling:

ROUND 1 -> BATTING AVERAGE: Razzaq has the first laugh 

You would imagine the bulky Kiwi cricketer Chris Cairns to take Abdul Razzaq by storm. And that's what Cairns with 29.46 was expecting too but little did he know that Razzaq with 29.71 is no muck with the bat as the latter uses his feet well, goes round and punches Cairns to ground. 'Get up and smell the coffee, Mr. Cairns,' Razzaq chirps wittingly. 

Cairns 9-10 Razzaq

ROUND 2 -> BOWLING AVERAGE: Before Mr. Cairns could even wake up, boom, he goes down again 

Abdul Razzaq was just like that as a bowler. You never thought he could jolt you as such was his pace but talk about accuracy and he knew what to do masterfully. Cairns, the big man, again lethargic on his feet, with an average of 32.81, is punched to the ground by a rampant Razzaq, who with 31.84 delivers a rapid uppercut with an impeccable accuracy to down Cairns. 

Cairns 9-10 Razzaq

ROUND 3 -> WICKETS PER INNINGS: Never ever count me out, roars Cairns

The big man is finally away. You can't control a storm for too long as Cairns who had good pace in his bowling and a bag of tricks up his sleeve with 1.08 wickets per innings uses all his might and makes Razzaq see stars in daylight, with the latter taking only 1.05 wicket on an average. 'Never challenge the ego of a wounded LION,' roars Cairns after winning his first round.

Cairns 10-9 Razzaq

ROUND 4 -> BATTING STRIKE RATE: CHRIS HARD-HITTING CAIRNS

You never commit the mistake of giving a sniff to a lion. Cairns turns into a reptile who by now has got the taste of the blood as he smashes Razzaq's nose as hard as he used to hammer the white cherry with the middle of his bat. With 84.27, the Kiwi batter leaves Razzaq, who scored 81.2 runs per 100 balls, stunned.

Cairns 10-9 Razzaq

ROUND 5 -> ECONOMY RATE: Razzaq might be down but not out 

When an attacking fighter meets a defending one, not always the latter loses as not all the time the man on the attack connects his punches. Razzaq, who was known for his invariable consistency with the ball, takes a backpedal as Cairns is on the attack yet again but this time the Pakistani with 4.7, makes full use of an imbalanced fighter on the attack as it's akin to bowling straight to a batsman playing across the line. And so with an ER of 4.84, the Kiwi great is bowled as Razzaq unleashes an immaculate hook.

Cairns 9-10 Razzaq

ROUND 6 -> FREQUENCY OF FIFTY-PLUS SCORES: This is Cairns-STORM

Now, this is turning out to be a thriller. You just can't predict what's going to happen next. Just as we feel that Razzaq, like a seasoned fighter, will carry on the momentum, he displays the unpredictability that defines Pakistan cricket. Cairns also proves that one should count out the Kiwi team or its player at their own peril. The Kiwi, making full use of a broad frame with a fifty-plus score every 6.43 innings, hits a RIB-CAGER to show Razzaq the gateway to hell as he has a rather poor 8.76. After six rounds, the bout stands at three-all.

Cairns 10-8 Razzaq

ROUND 7 -> Bowling average in WCs: Razzaq is at it again 

How to stop biting nails? These two gentlemen want us to go into the weekend with nothing much on our fingers. How freaking unbelievable is this contest? Have these two men been inspired by the India-Australia Test series? What a see-saw and classic this fight is turning into. Cairns tries to ride on his momentum with numbers of 41.94, but Razzaq knocks him down with an average of 31.16. This is serious, is this it? Will Cairns rise after this one helluva round where he was hammered with punches left-right-center? Let's find out in the next round. 

Cairns 8-10 Razzaq

ROUND 8 -> BOWLING AVERAGE AWAY FROM HOME: Razzaq rides the momentum 

Okay, so somehow Cairns saves himself from a massive embarrassment as he gets up after the last round's loss, showcasing character, grit and resilience. But he's bleeding. The heart of Cairns' fans is pounding as he's in such a bad spot right now. But he's not ready to give up. He barely stands with an average of 34.38 and it takes all but five seconds for Razzaq with numbers of 29.67 to jab a wounded Cairns as he takes a lead of 5-3 after eight rounds. He's just one round away from a win, with defeat staring the Kiwi player right into his eyes.

Cairns 8-10 Razzaq

ROUND 9 -> NO. OF BALLS BOWLED PER GAME: Razzaq does a Mushfiqur Rahim

Complacency is the biggest enemy of athletes, be it any sport. And who knew Razzaq was a fan of Bangladeshi keeper Mushfiqur Rahim. He's mocking Cairns from a distance, has already started waving his hand to the crowd as if the match is over. The Pakistani with 43.07 balls per innings moves quickly to punch Cairns but he slips, and that gives an opening to Cairns, who just has to punch his opponent which he does with 43.91 balls per game to survive the bout. The fight ain’t over yet, folks!

Cairns 10-9 Razzaq

ROUND 10 -> BATTING AVERAGE AWAY FROM HOME: Cairns and the art of counterattack 

The whole crowd is buzzing, they are up on their feet and cheering loudly for Cairns as they could see a hope of a comeback or of a miraculous win, which was nowhere in the picture in the last round. The best things come to those who have the patience to wait for it. And after surviving a belligerent Razzaq, now it's Cairns time. Razzaq, with 27.37, tries to target Cairns' rib-cage like the Kiwi had done earlier, but instead he's welcomed with a cross by Cairns, who averages 32.01 and draws level as the bout is going to the final round. Tighten up your seatbelts.

Cairns 10-7 Razzaq

ROUND 11-> Batting Average in WCs: COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE CHAMPION!

Now, it all boils down to this final round. No matter how much hard you have worked earlier, how much you have endured, how well you have attacked, a slip-up here and all the good work goes down the drain. And this is about the biggest stage in ODI cricket possible, the World Cups. And from being 3-5 down, Cairns with an average of 33.24 knocks down Razzaq with an average of 21.94, with a fast paced uppercut as the Kiwi proves too handle for the Pakistan all-rounder. And with this, Carins carves a special legacy in the folklore of Friday Fights. 

Cairns 10-7 Razzaq

WINNER - Chris Cairns 

FINAL SCORE: Cairns 104-100 Razzaq

By the looks of it, not many would have imagined Razzaq giving such a close fight to Cairns, who looked like a better hitter and wicket-taker during his playing days. But, as they say, the credentials of a player may well be great on paper, but it has to translate into performance on the field as it's beyond stats and more about heart, courage, grit, fight and temperament. 

Razzaq not only gave Cairns a tough fight but he, at one stage, was even on the brink of a win. But the game isn't over till the final ball and final bout in cricket and boxing are done with. And that's what we saw today as Cairns scripted a memorable comeback and his triumph over Razzaq will remain a breath of fresh for time immemorial. Come back to us for the next edition of another classic bout next week, the same day. Till then, goodbye.

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