India and Pakistan, two neighbouring nations who are similar in so many aspects, yet they are as diverse as two ends of the world. The two neighbours have been arch rivals on the cricket field; add to that the political tension and the matches become even more interesting. Over past so many decades India and Pakistan have produced some exciting and most memorable cricket matches. Though the two nations do not play each other much in bilateral series, they are almost always deliberately set for an encounter in the ICC tournaments. While India clearly has the upper hand over Pakistan in ICC tournaments, Pakistan boasts of better numbers over all.
Tomorrow the two arch rivals will again meet on the cricketing field in what is expected to be an exciting final and possibly the most viewed cricket match in the recent time. But before that, allow us to add some nostalgia to your excitement by recalling five most memorable India-Pakistan ODI matches.
1992 ICC Cricket World Cup
The first time these two sides faced each other in a world cup was in 1992. It was at SCG in Sydney that these two arch rivals from the Indian Subcontinent locked horns for the first time in a World Cup. The match had become memorable and is still remembered for a funny on field spat between the chirpy Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More and Pakistan batsman Javed Miandad. More had been constantly chirping behind the stumps distracting and sledging Miandad. While More didn’t let the umpire notice his crime, Miandad was frustrated by the Indian keepers antiques. When he couldn’t take it anymore Miandad mocked more by jumping in a funny manner.
As far as the cricket involved goes, India won the toss and batting first put up a fighting 216 on board. The total came at the back of some solid contributions from Ajay Jadeja (46) and Sachin Tendulkar (56*). Though the target set wasn’t too big Pakistan couldn’t succeed in chasing it. Amir Sohail did try leading the fight (62) but there was no support from the other end as Pakistan loss their last eight wickets for a meagre 68. Pakistan fell short by 43 runs.
ICC Champions Trophy 2004
It isn’t a very well known fact but Champions Trophy is the only ICC tournament where Pakistan had an upper hand, which now has been levelled by India. It was back in 2004 in the Champions Trophy that Pakistan won against India in a ICC tournament.
India, Pakistan and Kenya had been clubbed into the same group. Both the Asian teams managed a victory over Kenya. The two arch rivals were then set to face each other at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The high voltage clash turned out to be a low scoring contest. The Indian batting line up was rattled by some great bowling by Pakistan. Batting first India were reduced to 73-5, but India’s wall Rahul Dravid along with Ajit Agarkar joined hands in the rescue act contributing 67 and 47 respectively, pulling India to a total of 200. In their reply Pakistan Stumbled early on having been reduced to a score of 27-3. However, Yousuf Youhana’s 81, Inzamam- ul- Haq’s 41 and a 12 ball 25 from Shahid Afridi meant Pakistan chased down the target comfortably.
2003 ICC Cricket World Cup
The story of India-Pakistan World cup affairs continued here too. 2003 was one of India’s most successful World Cup campaigns. A team studded with legendary players, India cruised through the group stage losing only once to the mighty Australians. India’s last group stage encounter was against Pakistan set to be played at Super Sport Park, Centurion. The match is still remembered for Shoaib Akhtar’s banter pushing Tendulkar to smash him for a six. The master did oblige but Akhtar received 2 replies for his act of sledging one from Tendulkar with the bat and another verbal one from Virender Sehwag who was at the non-strikers end.
Winning the toss India asked Pakistan to bat first, on the back of Saeed Anwar’s brilliance Pakistan recorded a formidable total of 273 in their 50 overs. But soon after Pakistan hit a road block called Sachin Tendulkar who took on the mighty Pakistani Pacers to score a heroic 98. The Job that was initiated by Tendulkar was given a final touch by Rahul Dravid’s sublime 50* and southpaw Yuvraj Singh’s 44*. India thumped Pakistan by 6 wickets with 26 balls to spare and thus, keeping their record intact.
ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
It was the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, an important game for the two arch rivals. A high Voltage clash was set, with billions of people glued to their TV sets and some big names and political figures present to witness the match. The match was slated to be played in Mohali. Winning the toss India elected to bat first. Sachin Tendulkar lived a cat’s life having been dropped four times, he scored 85 runs. The contribution proved to be invaluable as India ended their quota of 50 overs with a260/9 on board. The Indian bowlers bowled with a lot of discipline and never allowed their opponents to settle. Though Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul-Haq played with a lot of heart Pakistan lost the game by 29 runs keeping their record of defeats against India in World Cups intact.
ICC Champions Trophy 2013
India finally broke the jinx of being unable to defeat Pakistan in the Champions Trophy. It was a rain marred game played at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Some very accurate and disciplined bowling by India coupled with electrifying fielding meant Pakistan were bundled up for 165 in 39.4 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, R. Ashwin and R. Jadeja each had two wickets to their credits while the tail-enders were runout.
India got of to a flying start Thanks to Shikhar Dhawan (48). Rain interrupted India’s innings twice, this meant Duckworth Lewis had to come into play revising their target to a 102. The formalities were completed by Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik in the 20th over of the match.
And the list goes on and on, and we hope more such matches keep coming. Do visit this corner again for the high Voltage India-Pakistan Final!