2003 India vs Pakistan: Masterclass can only be upstaged by the Master, Sachin did just that

  • Amit Sinha
  • Updated: Feb 07, 2015 03:00 IST

The one contest I will never forget in my life is the India-Pakistan match played in the 2003 World Cup.

India-Pakistan matches always get top billing in World Cups and the stage was set at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

Clearly it was a match between the famed Indian batting line-up and the lethal Pakistani bowling attack.

But the tone was set by a Saeed Anwar masterclass. The man who had pummelled India and plundered 194 in an ODI in 1997 was haunting the Men in Blue again.

A masterclass can only be upstaged by a Master, and Sachin Tendulkar did just that.

The target was by no means easy and the bowling attack was a dream ensemble with Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis.

But 5 overs into the Indian innings, some mountain-high reputations crashed to the ground as the Sachin-Sehwag duo pummelled Pakistan into submission.

Tendulkar broke free like there was to be no tomorrow. Before Pakistan could even realise what had struck them, Tendulkar, battling cramps and a hostile bowling attack, raced to 98.

Although Akhtar denied him a century, there was no questioning who came out on top in the much awaited Sachin-Shoaib contest.

Although the win was one in the sequence of the eight-match-win dream run, and Sachin scored numerous 98+ scores after that innings, that stage and occasion makes it for me his best innings, and definitely the best seen in a World Cup.

(The writer is currently studying Political Science in Delhi University's Ramjas College. The views expressed by him are personal. If you want to share your thoughts on the game, mail your write-ups to perspectives@hindustantimes.com)

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