Thursday, May 08, 2008

More of the 1996 Indo-Pak QF

While on that 1996 World Cup QF match, check out at 06:35 min of that same clip referred to in previous post for that memorable altercation between a gallant captain who lost his temper before losing his wicket and a calm but competitive bowler who turned a slipping win into a grand memory for himself and Indians with a great spell of one-day bowling.

One of the memories of that match was the Aamir Sohail-Saeed Anwar opening partnership. While the Indians rode Tendulkar-Sidhu's steady opening stand and Jadeja's famous Waqar-bashing 25 ball 45 to set the old foes a rather big target of 288 (in those days) , that advantage was nullified barely forty five minutes into the Pakistan innings (*). Faced with a big ask, the Pakistan duo took their team score to 84/0 after 10 overs. Saeed Anwar got out in the 11th over to Srinath after scoring the classiest 32 ball 48 you will ever see anyone score under pressure (barring a 32 ball fifty scored by a Sri Lankan number four some days later against the same opponents). Thereafter the QF match gradually turned in India's favour.

A little over an hour and a half later, when 38 year old Miandad's slowing legs ran out of steam and failed to respond to that quick single pioneered by the great man atop them, the cricket world saw the last of Javed Miandad on that 9th evening of March 1996 as Pakistan were eliminated. It was his 6th World Cup spanning 21 years.

You can get a glimpse of the euphoria created by the match in this report.

How sadly incorrect the 2nd para of that report turned out to be four days later. Most Indian cricket fans remember the pain of that tragic semi final encounter with Sri Lanka more than the joy of this memorable win. I, having been a spectator in the Eden stands on March 13, am no exception.

(*) - Here we need to rack our brains and recall that in 50 over games 45 minutes used to constitute roughly 20 percent of the innings instead of 60 percent.

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