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Super 100: India v Pakistan Top 10!
by Gulu Ezekiel
Apr 14, 2005
Imran Khan: 6 for 14
Rothman’s Four-Nation tournament, Sharjah, 1985


The wicket was still damp when Imran Khan won the toss and put India in. The giant took full advantage of the conditions with a devastating display of swing and speed.

Only Mohammed Azharuddin managed to stand up to his pace and fire with a patient 47 from 93 balls while Kapil Dev chipped in with 30.

The rest of the mighty Indian batting just folded up with Shastri, Srikkanth, Vengsarkar, Gavaskar and Mohinder Amarnath all failing to reach double figures, falling victim to Imran who also picked up Madan Lal’s wicket.

In the end, the brilliant spell was in vain. Pakistan were in turn shot out for 87.

Sunil Gavaskar: Four catches
Rothman’s Four-Nation tournament, Sharjah, 1985

Catches win matches, and it was a cliche come true at Sharjah. This was one of those rare matches in the sub-continent — a low-scoring game that was a thriller all the way.

With Imran Khan firing on all cylinders, India were shot out for a miserable 125 and it seemed all over bar the shouting. It was India’s fielding that won the day and leading the way was veteran opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar.

Pakistan were all out for 87.  Gavaskar’s four brilliant catches at slip would stand as a world record till it was broken by Jonty Rhodes in 1993.

Javed Miandad: 116 not out 
AustralAsia Cup Final, Sharjah, 1986

It was the shot that traumatised Indian cricket for 20 years.
India reached 245 for 7 batting first. Pakistan slid to 181 for 5 and the pendulum had swung in India’s favour.

But Javed Miandad refused to give up and as long as he was at the crease, the Indians knew they could not breathe easy.

It was left to Chetan Sharma to bowl the final over of the match with Pakistan. Amid scenes of chaos, Azharuddin just failed to run out last man Tauseef Ahmed and that left Pakistan needing four off the final ball for victory.

Miandad swung a full toss over the ropes and Pakistan had won by one wicket.

Salim Malik: 72 not out
Calcutta; 1987


It was the first ever ODI at the Eden Gardens and over 90,000 packed in to watch two dazzling innings. The first of these by K Srikkanth (123) saw India reach 238 for 6 from 40 overs.

After an opening stand worth 106, Pakistan rapidly lost wickets to be 174 for 6 when Malik came in.

After being missed on 30, he raced to his 50 from 23 balls and smashed 11 fours and a six in his 72 from 36 balls. Pakistan won with three balls to spare with Malik hitting the winning boundary. He had also smashed five from one over from Kapil Dev.

Aaqib Javed: 7-37 including hat-trick  
Wills Trophy final, Sharjah, 1991


India peaked early in the tournament while Pakistan barely scraped through to the final. But it was a tournament full of controversies and led the Board to withdraw from Sharjah in protest for the next few years.

In front of a hostile crowd (Indians complained they had been denied tickets), India were up against a formidable attack.

But it was not Imran Khan or the two W’s, Waqar and Wasim who provided the knockout punch.

Instead it was another Imran ‘find’ who finished with the then-best ODI bowling figures of 7 for 37 including a hat-trick of lbws.

Pakistan had rattled up 262 for 6 and the Indian innings was rocked early on from which it never recovered.

After Sidhu fell to Aaqib for 21, came the triple blow — Shastri out for 21 and Azharuddin and Tendulkar trapped in front for first ball ducks.

India never had a chance after that.

Ajay Jadeja: Quickfire 45
World Cup Quarter-final, Bangalore, 1996

Though numerically insignificant, Ajay Jadeja’s smashing 45 swung the match away from Pak in this tension-packed knockout match.

Coming in for the slog, Jadeja was particularly severe on Waqar whose first eight overs had cost 47 runs. The next two went for 18 and 22 with Jadeja smashing four 4s and two 6s off a mere 26 balls.

That took India to a formidable 287 for 8 which proved too much for Pakistan.

Sourav Ganguly: All-round display
Sahara Friendship series, Toronto, 1997


Back in 1997 Sourav Ganguly dominated a series with both bat and ball like no cricketer has before or since. He almost single-handedly guided India to a 4-1 rout of Pakistan.

A total of 222 runs, 15 wickets and three catches in the six games (the third was abandoned after 31.5 overs) was a dazzling performance and earned Ganguly the Man of the Series award.

Ganguly started quietly with two wickets and 17 runs in the first game. In the second he again took two wickets and scored 32.

He took two of three wickets to fall in the washed out third game and then routed Pakistan in the fourth with figures of 5 for 16 to make it three wins in a row.

The fifth saw him shine with the bat — 75 not out plus two wickets and then in the sixth and final — the only defeat for India-he top scored with 96 and picked up another two wickets. It was virtually Ganguly vs Pakistan.

Saeed Anwar: 194
Independence Cup, Chennai, 1997


It was the world record for the highest score in ODIs. It also marked the first time in India-Pak encounters that a partisan crowd greeted a rival player’s effort with a standing ovation.

The Chennai crowd rose as one when the formidable left-handed opener Saeed Anwar crossed Viv Richards’s earlier record score of 189.

In the intense late May heat of Chepauk, Anwar was hit by cramps and his request for a runner was granted by Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar.

The fleet-footed Shahid Afridi did almost all the running for his teammate.

Though India lost, the goodwill on the part of the crowd and the captain no doubt carried over seven years later when India toured Pakistan in 2004!

Sachin Tendulkar: 98
Centurion, World Cup, 2003


It is one of the ironies of cricket that despite his tons of centuries in ODIs, Tendulkar’s most momentous innings was one that fell two short of the mark.

But this one was worth more than almost all his centuries for it wiped out a psychological scare that had haunted Indian cricket since Javed Miandad’s last ball six at Sharjah in 1986.

From the very start of India’s reply to Pakistan’s 273, the full house were treated to a dazzling exhibition.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar had been talking up a storm and Tendulkar went about his bowling with a vengeance.

In his very first over he was carted for a six and two fours and the fight went out of the Pakistan camp as Tendulkar and the rest raced to victory.

Sachin Tendulkar: 141
Rawalpindi, 2004


It was the first ODI century on Pakistan soil by an Indian batsman in 26 years of trying.

But just as his fantastic 123 failed to prevent victory for Pakistan in the fourth ODI at Ahmedabad the other day, it was a similar story a year back at Rawalpindi.

Having narrowly won the first match at Karachi after topping 300, it was now the turn of India to fail in the chase while going after Pakistan’s 329 for 6.

It was Tendulkar’s highest ODI score against Pakistan at more than a run a ball and was full of glorious shots which brought him 17 fours and a six.

But once he fell to Shoaib Akhtar, the innings began to crumble. India fell short by 12 but the Man of the Match award went to Tendulkar.

It was his 37th ODI hundred and during the innings he crossed 13,000 runs.

 
More Views by Gulu Ezekiel
  Book Review - My Journey to the World Cup: The Sky is the Limit
  When Pietersen played in Duleep Trophy
  Foul language on the field of play
  Sachin Tendulkar was the one great unifier that brought the nation together
  The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption and the Turbulent Rise of Modern India
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