Razzaq does not belong to the "bits and pieces" category any more. In this series, he has been revealing his extraordinary abilities as a match-winning all-rounder. He bats with courage and conviction. And most of the time, he excels with the bat when the chips are down for his team. Then, he bowls the middle overs with imagination.
Akram, Akhtar, Waqar and Saqlain are the giants in the Pakistan attack. In that elite company, Razzaq performs with great understanding and intelligence. He must be rated as the best "fifth bowler" in the modern ODI world.
The Indian bowlers performed to a plan and seemed to have justified Sachin Tendulkar's decision to field first. Pakistan, despite a 60-run second wicket stand between Saeed Anwar (43) and Ijaz Ahmed (67), was struggling at 112 for 3 in 30 overs. But Razzaq changed the complexion of the game through some hectic hitting. In the last 20 overs, Pakistan amassed 150 runs losing four more wickets in the process (262 for 7 in 50 overs).
Yousuf Youhana was yet another batting hero. He made 45 off 52 balls and added 67 runs in only10 overs with Razzaq for the sixth wicket. Ganguly, India's fifth bowler, did well to remove Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq in quick succession (96 for 3 in 25.2). Then Venkatesh Prasad stunned Ijaz Ahmed and Moin Khan off successive balls (156 for 5 in 36.5). But then Razzaq and Youhana flayed the attack and Pakistan raced to a commanding total. Razzaq's unbeaten knock contained four fours and two sixes.
India's famous opening wicket pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly began the chase on a glittering note. Maintaining a five-run-per-over rate, the two promised a lot and at 99 in 18.2 overs it appeared that India would make the most of this firm foundation.
But it was Razzaq again who had a shattering impact on India's dreams. He began with a beautiful ball that forced Ganguly to miscue the ball into the waiting hands of Afridi at covers.
VVS Laxman was promoted to number three and he left his skipper at 111, being foxed by Razzaq. He snicked the ball into the hands of wicket-keeper Moin Khan. Rahul Dravid flattered to deceive. He looked all set to provide the needed support to Tendulkar who was in great form on Friday. But wily Wasim Akram trapped him leg before (156 for 3 in 30).
With only 18 overs left, India's chances depended on the abilities of the remaining batsmen to get inspired by Tendulkar. But Razzaq exposed the limitations of Indian batting line-up.
India took a little longer time to bowl its quota of 50 overs. Thus it got only 48 overs to chase. Razzaq shocked Tendulkar to make it 177 for four in 35.1 overs. It was a superbly directed leg-cutter that seemed to have blinded Tendulkar for a moment. The ball hit the top of the off stump. Thereafter, India could not do anything noteworthy and was all out for 231 in 46.4 overs. Razzaq's figures read 10-0-48-5 and he emerged the undisputed 'Man of the Match'.