Specials – India v Pakistan ODI finals over the years

  Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to face each other in the final of the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy at the Oval today. Though this will be the first time that these two sides will contest an ICC ODI tournament final, they have often met in summit clashes over the years. Let us go back in time and revisit the instances of India and Pakistan squaring off in an ODI tournament final.

Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket, 1984-85

  In what was the final of a one-of-a-kind tournament featuring all seven Test nations, World Cup champions India posted a convincing eight-wicket win under lights at Melbourne. Kapil Dev (3/23) and L. Sivaramakrishnan (3/35) limited Pakistan to 176/9, which was chased down with 17 balls to spare, thanks to openers Kris Srikkanth (67) and ‘champion of champions’ Ravi Shastri (63*).

Austral-Asia Cup, 1986

  The final of the inaugural Austral-Asia Cup at Sharjah produced a classic that is etched in cricketing folklore. Sunil Gavaskar’s 92 guided India, who were inserted in, to 245/7. In reply, an equation of 90 from ten overs did not bother Javed Miandad (116*). With four needed off the last ball, the ‘Karachi streetfighter’ famously hit Chetan Sharma for six to seal Pakistan’s one-wicket win.

    With four needed off the last ball, Javed Miandad hit a six to ensure a famous win for Pakistan in the 1985-86 Austral-Asia Cup final 

Wills Trophy, 1991-92

  India and Pakistan pipped the West Indies to set up the final of this triangular series in Sharjah. Zahid Fazal (98*) and Saleem Malik (87) put on 171 for the third wicket before the former retired hurt, helping Pakistan to a sturdy 262/6. In the chase, India’s batsmen succumbed to paceman Aaqib Javed, who grabbed record figures of 7/37, including a hat-trick, as his team triumphed by 72 runs.

Austral-Asia Cup, 1993-94

  Pakistan won their third successive Austral-Asia Cup after beating India in the final. Aamer Sohail top-scored with 69 while Basit Ali hit a breezy 57 in Pakistan’s total of 250/6; off-spinner Rajesh Chauhan impressed with 3/29. India then fell apart from 163/4 to be dismissed for 211 in the 48th over, a fifth-wicket stand of 80 between Vinod Kambli and Atul Bedade going in vain.

Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, 1997-98

  This tri-series was played in Dhaka to mark 25 years of Bangladesh’s independence. India and Pakistan locked horns in the best-of-three finals after the hosts bowed out. The first final, a 46-over affair, ended in India’s favour with 53 balls and eight wickets to spare after openers Sachin Tendulkar (95) and Sourav Ganguly (68) put on 159 to shut Pakistan, who managed 212/8, out of the game.

  Pakistan turned the tables in the second final with a fine bowling display, spearheaded by left-arm spinner Mohammad Hussain (4/33). Only captain Mohammad Azharuddin (66) stood tall in a total of 189. Pakistan, buoyed by an attacking 51 from Saeed Anwar, galloped to a six-wicket win in 31.3 overs. The batsmen treated leggie Sairaj Bahutule with disdain, taking 53 off his five overs.

     Sourav Ganguly scored 124 to inspire India to a record-breaking win in the third final of the Independence Cup in 1997-98 (source – wisdenindia.com)

  The decider was a 48-over thriller that saw a new record for the highest successful chase. Pakistan amassed 314/5, with Anwar (140) and Ijaz Ahmed (117) adding 230 for the third wicket. Sourav Ganguly (124) and Robin Singh (82) took India to 250/1 in 38 overs, but the game went down to the wire – with three needed in two balls, Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit a four to give India a three-wicket win.

Pepsi Cup, 1998-99

  Pakistan had notched easy wins in their two league matches against India, and it was no different in the final of this tri-series (also involving Sri Lanka) at Bangalore. Inzamam-ul Haq (91) and Shahid Afridi (65) powered Pakistan to 291/8, which was too big a total for the hosts as they were undone by man of the match Azhar Mahmood, who took 5/38 to star in a 123-run victory.

Coca-Cola Cup, 1998-99

  India’s travails against Pakistan continued in the final of yet another tri-series, with England being the knocked-out team this time. The venue was Sharjah, Pakistan’s home away from home, and the bowlers rose to the occasion to skittle India out for 125 in 45 overs, with only Ganguly (50) showing some fight. The minuscule target was chased down in 28 overs with eight wickets still in the bag.

Kitply Cup, 2008

  India had thumped Pakistan by 140 runs in the league stage of this short tri-series in Dhaka, also featuring hosts Bangladesh, but the men in green raised their game in the final, winning by 25 runs. A second-wicket stand of 209 between Salman Butt (129) and Younis Khan (108) was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s 315/3. Despite fifties by M.S Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, India folded for 290 in 48.2 overs.

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Record Book – Pakistan’s favourite venue in England

  If history is any indication, Pakistan have reason to feel optimistic as they gear up for the fourth and final Test against England today. Having suffered back-to-back defeats at Old Trafford and Edgbaston, the concluding tussle at the Oval becomes a must-win for the visitors to level the series.

  While there is no denying that England will have the momentum when the captains walk out for the toss at the oldest Test centre in the country, Misbah-ul-Haq’s men would do well to gain inspiration from the fact that Pakistan have not suffered an outright defeat at The Oval for a good 49 years.

  Pakistan have over the years grown to develop a liking for The Oval, ever since they recorded a historic 24-run win there to level their very first series in England in 1954. In what was a low-scoring thriller (the highest total was 164), pace ace Fazal Mahmood etched his name in history with a remarkable haul of 12/99.

  The feat of 1954 could not be repeated in Pakistan’s next two tours of England. In 1962, the Oval Test saw Pakistan tumble to a heavy ten-wicket defeat in what was the final match of a series thoroughly dominated by the hosts. The result in 1967 was little different, with a tame surrender by eight wickets.

  The 1974 series ended in 0-0 stalemate after the third and final Test at The Oval petered to a high-scoring draw. The highlight was Zaheer Abbas’ stroke-filled 240 – his second double century in England after his 274 at Edgbaston in 1971. Pakistan’s next date with the venue was only in 1987, when they fielded one of their strongest sides.

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      Pakistan have four wins in nine Tests at the Oval, and have not lost outright at the ground since 1967 (source – bt.com) 

  Needing only a draw to secure their first series win in England, Pakistan shut the hosts out of the contest by piling up their then highest total of 708 with Javed Miandad’s 260 leading the run glut. Following on 474 in arrears, England salvaged a draw thanks to a century from Mike Gatting, but it was enough for Pakistan to seal the rubber.

  The 1992 series was locked at 1-1 when the two teams met in the decider at The Oval, Miandad now captain of Pakistan. What followed was a stellar performance from the deadly duo of Wasim Akram (6/67 in the first innings) and Waqar Younis (5/52 in the second) as Pakistan cruised to a ten-wicket win before lunch on the fourth day.

  A third consecutive series win was completed in 1996 and The Oval was again the scene of the denouement as Pakistan took the three-Test series by 2-0 with a nine-wicket victory. Saeed Anwar’s free-flowing 176 gave the visitors a healthy lead, before figures of 6/78 from Mushtaq Ahmed put the writing on the wall for England.

  A decade passed before Pakistan returned to the venue, for what was one of the most acrimonious Test matches ever played. Pakistan had already lost the series after defeats in the second and third Tests, but looked good for a consolation win when controversy struck after tea on the fourth day.

 

  Impressive bowling by the Pakistani pacemen and a stylish 128 from Mohammad Yousuf had given Pakistan a massive lead of 331 runs. England were 298/4 in their second dig when Australian umpire Darrell Hair awarded five penalty runs to the total as he charged Pakistan with ball tampering. 

  When play was about to resume after a break due to bad light, there was no sign of the Pakistani players. It soon dawned upon the full house that captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and his team had decided not to take the field in protest of Hair’s actions. A few hours later, it was confirmed that the umpires had awarded the game to England – the first ever instance of a forfeit in Test history.

  Four years later in 2010, a graver scandal – the spot-fixing incident at Lord’s – was to dog Pakistan’s tour. However, before that, the visitors rekindled their affection for The Oval. Down 2-0 in the four-Test series, they achieved a tense four-wicket win in the third Test to stay alive. 

  Match-winning spells of 5/63 from Wahab Riaz and 5/52 from Mohammad Amir in the first and second innings respectively were complemented by an unbeaten 92 from Azhar Ali, which ensured that Pakistan’s target was limited to 148. Pakistan’s record at The Oval now read four wins and three defeats (including the forfeit) in nine Tests.

  In what promises to be an exciting finish to the 2016 series, Pakistan will be up against an uplifted English side while the hosts will look to avoid a fifth outright defeat to Pakistan at The Oval. It remains to be seen what transpires on the hallowed turf of the iconic ground that hosted the inaugural Test in England back in 1880.

SPECIALS – Best of India-Pakistan ODIs

  Starting today, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will contest a bilateral series after 5 years. It will be a short series, consisting of only two T20’s and 3 ODIs, but significant nonetheless, as matches between the two nations have been a rarity in recent times – they have played only 4 one-day matches against each other in the last 4 years. In this Specials edition, we look at the five most exciting India-Pakistan one-day matches played, in chronological order:-

1) Rothmans Four-Nation Cup Semifinal, Sharjah 1984-85

  This low-scoring match was played when Sharjah was just starting to become a regular ODI venue. Imran Khan was at his deadliest, as he took 6/14 to help bundle India out for just 125 in 42.4 overs. Only Mohammed Azharuddin (47) and captain Kapil Dev (30) crossed 11, the duo adding 46 for the 6th wicket after India were reeling at 34/5 (Imran taking all). In reply, Pakistan had motored along to 35/1 before suddenly disaster struck – all the bowlers kept up the pressure by taking regular wickets, as Pakistan slumped to 41/5, including Javed Miandad and Imran for ducks. Pakistan were still in the hunt at 85/6 with Rameez Raja batting, but his dismissal for 29 signalled the end for his team, as they were rolled over for 87 in the 33rd over. Imran was named Man of the Match, but his teammates let him down hugely. India won the tournament, beating Australia in the final. 

2) Austral-Asia Cup Final, Sharjah 1985-86

  The two teams were back at Sharjah the next season  this time contesting the Austral-Asia Cup final. After electing to field, Pakistan bore the brunt of the Indian top order. Kris Srikkanth (75) and Sunil Gavaskar (92) shared a 117-run opening stand, before Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar (50) added another 99 for the 2nd wicket. Vengsarkar’s fall brought about a glut of wickets, as Pakistan fought back to restrict India to 245/7, Wasim Akram taking 3/42.

  Pakistan’s reply was scratchy, but Javed Miandad batted on undeterred. He shared a 71 run 5th wicket stand with Salim Malik to rescue Pakistan from 110/4. But India continued to be in command, and the last over, to be bowled by Chetan Sharma, began at 235/7. Two more wickets fell, and finally four runs were needed off the final ball. Sharma bowled a full toss, and Miandad coolly dispatched it for a six to give his team the title and leaving the Indians shell-shocked. Even today, memories of this famous match fills Pakistanis with pride and Indians with regret. 

93267     Javed Miandad (left) celebrates Pakistan’s win after hitting the last ball for six in the Austral-Asia Cup final in 185-86 (source – espncricinfo.com)

3) Independence Cup Final, Dhaka 1997-98

  This was the final of a tri-nation tournament (including Bangladesh) to commemorate the home nation’s silver jubilee of independence. The match was a 48-over affair due to bad light. Pakistan, after being put in by India, rode on an attacking 230 run stand for the 3rd wicket between Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed, who cracked 140 and 117 respectively. Pakistan amassed 314/5 and were favourites to win the trophy at the interval.

  But India began their reply at a blistering pace, with openers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar putting on 71 in just 8.2 overs before the latter was out for a quick 41. Robin Singh was promoted to No.3, and the move worked wonders – he scored 82 and added 179 for the 2nd wicket with Ganguly. India then lost 6 for 56, including Ganguly for 124, and began the last over (bowled by Saqlain Mushtaq) at 306/7, needing 9 for a record win. It boiled down to 3 off 2 balls, when Hrishikesh Kanitkar managed to sneak a boundary to ensure India’s victory – it was the highest successful run-chase in ODI’s at that time.

40292D24B8D38EACDAD2754546DEA   Sourav Ganguly in full flow during his match-winning 124 in the 1997-98 Independence Cup final (source – msn.com)

4) India in Pakistan 1st ODI, Karachi 2003-04

  This was the first match of a historic bilateral series – cricketing ties had resumed between the countries for the first time since 1999. The match was one of the most awaited in recent times, and it lived up to the expectations. Pakistan elected to field, and began to rue the decision as India were placed at a mind-boggling 139/1 in 14 overs, thanks to Virender Sehwag’s assault and the Pakistan bowlers’ tendency to give away extras. Sehwag creamed 79 off 57 balls. The run rate slowed a bit, but Rahul Dravid (99) ensured that the momentum did not slip away, putting on 118 for the 5th wicket with Mohammed Kaif. India ended at a huge score of 349/7.

  Pakistan lost its openers early to be 34/2, but the seasoned pros Mohammed Yousuf (then Yousuf Youhana) (73) and captain Inzamam ul-Haq shared a 135 run stand for the 3rd wicket. Inzamam kept up with the scoring rate, putting on 109 for the 4th wicket with Younis Khan. At 278/3 in 42 overs, Pakistan were in with a serious chance of a great win. The target was calmly whittled down, and 9 were needed of the last over. Ashish Nehra bowled beautifully under pressure, and with 6 needed off the last ball, Moin Khan was caught while going for the big one, giving India a thrilling 5 run victory. Inzamam was named Man of the Match for his superb 122 off 102 balls.

5) Asia Cup League Stage, Dambulla 2010

  Another thrilling match, another Indian win. Pakistan had to win this match to qualify for the final. Salman Butt’s 74 anchored Pakistan’s innings, which was punctuated by regular wickets by the Indians. They finally were bowled out for a competitive 267 in 49.3 overs after an impetus through Kamran Akmal’s rapid 51. Gautam Gambhir led the way for India in the chase, until he was third out for 83 with the score at 180 in the 36th over. After his dismissal, the asking rate began to rise, and India needed 49 off the last 5 overs with 5 wickets left. Suresh Raina took up the challenge, and the equation changed to 16 off the last two overs, and then 7 off the last. Raina was run out off the second ball of the last over for a quick 34, and India needed 6 off 4. With 3 needed off 2, Harbhajan Singh went for the glory shot, dispatching the bowler Mohammed Amir for six to ensure a 3-wicket win for India. India went on to win the tournament  beating hosts Sri Lanka in the final.