India vs Pakistan, ICC Champions Trophy Final: 5 most memorable clashes
Virat Kohli-led India will take on Pakistan in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at The Oval. Here is a look at the list of the most memorable India vs Pakistan encountersicc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 17, 2017 14:43 IST
The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy has reached its final leg and there couldn’t be an exciting game for fans across the globe than one between the teams that have reached the finals. On paper, it’s the defending champions taking on the World No. 8 side. Away from it, it’s India versus Pakistan. If there are three words in the Indian sub-continent that can turn anyone’s attention at one go, it’s bound to be this.
From children feigning sickness to bunking schools to office-goers taking a break from work, cricket has unified several sections of the society over a number of generations towards a common goal. The countries have fought three wars, there’s tension on the border, a few generations have grown up watching movies that portrayed the other in poor light and thus, this has become a fixture that no one wants to miss.
The tension and rivalry has often brought the best out of the teams as well. HT looks at such top five encounters:
1. That last ball six (April 18, 1986)
It was the final of the Austral-Asia Cup in Sharjah and India, the defending world champions then, had put up a formidable total after being put in to bat. Half-centuries from Krishnamachari Srikkanth (75), Sunil Gavaskar (92) and Dilip Vengsarkar (50) had given India a solid start before Wasim Akram and Imran Khan’s fiery spells restricted them to 245/7 after being 216/2 at one point.
In reply, Pakistan were on the mat right from the very start but a heroic knock from Javed Miandad (116* off 114 balls), the only player to cross the 35-run mark, took the fight to the wire with four runs required for victory off the final delivery. It was the last wicket and all three results were possible but Miandad did the unthinkable by lofting Chetan Sharma for a six, carving out the yorker as a full toss to launch it into the stands.
2. The sledging that went wrong (March 9, 1996)
This was the second time that the two sides met in the World Cup with India having won the previous tie in 1992. Pakistan, the then defending world champions, were on the backfoot at the innings break as India raced to 287 after batting first with Navjot Singh Sidhu (93) leading the charge while Ajay Jadeja (25-ball 45) put on a late onslaught. They, however, went to a flying start as Saeed Anwar (48) and Aamir Sohail (55) went all guns blazing right away.
Having hammered Venkatesh Prasad for a boundary, Sohail seemed to gesture the direction in which the ball went as to “There’s where I’m going to hit you for boundaries” to Prasad. Usually a calm and composed person, Prasad drudged back to his starting line-up but had Sohail’s timber shaken with the very next delivery. It was a game-changing moment and India then started picking up wickets at regular intervals to win the game by 39 runs.
3. Six short of double hundred (May 21, 1997)
The knock was so classy that it almost seemed evident once Saeed Anwar crossed 150. The Indian bowling attack, barring Abhay Kuruvilla and Robin Singh, had been going at over six runs an over with left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi getting plundered for 36 runs off his four overs. The knock, studded with 22 fours and five sixes, had taken the world by storm as word spread on the evening that Anwar was heading towards the unthinkable double hundred in an ODI.
However, on 194, he mistimed Sachin Tendulkar while trying to sweep him over the fine leg boundary and Sourav Ganguly took a fantastic catch running behind to complete the dismissal. The Indian crowd couldn’t help but admire the knock and gave a standing ovation to Anwar as he walked back. India had a centurion of their own as well during the chase, but Rahul Dravid (107) and Vinod Kambli (65) couldn’t help their side scale the 328-run target and fell short by 35 runs.
4. Tendulkar torments Pakistan (March 1, 2003)
With Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar all in their peak form, this was perhaps the best Pakistan side to take on India in a World Cup since they first met in 1992. Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Pakistan put up 273 for the loss of seven wickets thanks to a valiant 101 from Saeed Anwar.
In reply, India lost Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly in consecutive deliveries before Abdur Razzaq dropped Sachin Tendulkar just four balls later. India could have been three down for 57 but instead, Tendulkar ripped apart the Pakistan bowling attack and scored 98 off 75 deliveries before heading back to the pavilion. Rahul Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) then guided India to complete the iconic victory and help keep their record intact against Pakistan.
5. “In any case, Javed Miandad wasn’t batting” (March 13, 2004)
It was the first of the five-match ODI series in Pakistan and India put up 349 after batting first; an all-round effort from the batsmen coupled with 38 runs coming through extras. Half-centuries from Rahul Dravid (99) and Virender Sehwag (79) had helped India’s cause while Sourav Ganguly (45) and Mohammad Kaif (46) provided them the perfect support in the middle-order. Pakistan, however, weren’t unnerved by the asking rate and steered their ship well after losing both their openers for just 32 runs.
Inzamam-ul-Haq played a captain’s knock en route to his 122 and found a perfect partner in Yousuf Youhana who struck 73. They had almost taken their side over the line but a brilliant final over from Nehra meant the hosts required six off the last ball to win the tie. However, there was no drama this time around and Nehra had Moin Khan caught at covers to seal the victory by five runs. On being asked at the post-match conference if memories of the Miandad saga had flashed during the last ball, Ganguly had remarked: “In any case, Javed Miandad wasn’t batting!”