India and Pakistan have provided extraordinary cricket rivalry over the years. One can’t be sure of a result until the last ball is bowled when these two sides are involved. With the ODI series beginning this Xmas, let’s take a look at some intriguing moments from the past.
Sachin Tendulkar’s match-winning 98 at Centurion in 2003 World Cup: Everyone wrote India off when Pakistan – boasting a strong bowling line-up consisting of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq – posted 273 for 7. However, the great India batsman had other ideas. He took on an aggressive approach and it was the Pakistani bowlers’ funeral that day. The little man scored 98 off 75 balls with 12 fours and a six to put India on course. Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid did the rest as India won by six wickets with 26 balls to go.
Javed Miandad mocking Kiran More in 1992 World Cup: Miandad was a great batsman and played several match-winning innings against India, but him mocking More remains one of the most indelible impressions to date. The Indian wicketkeeper kept appealing against the batsman, hopping at the same time like a kangaroo. Miandad, who kept his cool for a considerable period as Pakistan were in trouble for the most part of their chase of 216, finally gave it back and amused all and one with his histrionics. Sadly for him, Pakistan lost the match despite his valiant 40.
Javed Miandad hits Chetan Sharma for a six off the last ball: It was the Austral-Asia Cup final on April 18, 1986 at Sharjah. India made 245 for 7 thanks to fifties from Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth and Dilip Vengsarkar. Pakisan began their chase terribly but Miandad put it back on track and they needed a boundary off the last ball to close out the match. Sharma, who had bowled brilliantly until then, after a lot of discussion with captain Kapil Dev decided to go for a yorker. Alas, he failed to execute his plans properly as Miandad hit a low fulltoss over the boundary line at deep midwicket.
Aamer Sohail’s skirmish with Venkatesh Prasad in 1996 World Cup: In pursuit of 288 in the quarterfinal at Bangalore, Sohail and Saeed Anwar ran amok with blistering batting. After Anwar’s departure, Sohail continued his assault. Drama unfolded in the 15th over when he disdainfully hit Prasad for a couple of fours to reach his fifty. He then appeared to ridicule the Indian medium pacer showing his bat in the direction of the boundary. A meek Prasad didn’t say anything but off the last ball he released all the pent-up steam with a delivery that rattled Sohail’s offstump. Prasad won the battle and India the match.
India defeat Pakistan to reach 2011 final: India went on to win the final against Sri Lanka, and that made the semi-final all the more memorable. Also the match happened amid a backdrop of political tensions between the countries with Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh present in the audience extending goodwill to each other. In such a charged atmosphere in Mohali, India made 260 thanks to Sachin Tendulakr’s 85, an innings during which he got several reprieves. In their chase the visitors came off badly and lost by 29 runs.
Saeed Anwar’s 194 at Chennai in 1997: The left-hander was in imperious form that day. During his innings he went past Gary Kirsten’s 188 to set a new world record for individual score in 0DIs. Anwar played 146 balls and hit 22 boundaries and five sixes. India lost the match despite Rahul Dravid’s valiant ton.
Aaqib Javed’s controversial hat-trick in Sharjah: The swing bowler ran through the Indian batting with figures of 7 for 37. Javed’s hat-trick included the scalps of Ravi Shashtri, Mohd Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar as India, in pursuit of 263, lost the Wills Trophy final by 72 runs. Replays showed Javed was lucky to have got some of those decisions in his favour. 19 at that time, he remains the youngest player to have taken an ODI hat-trick.