In ICC World Cup fixtures, India has held the upper hand over arch-rivals Pakistan. The rivalry between the two neighbouring countries makes the contest even more exciting for fans. With a lack of bilateral clashes, the World Cup matches tend to draw big crowds at the stadiums while millions switch to their TV sets in anticipation of what’s to come. India have won the ODI World Cup twice and Pakistan have got their hands on the trophy once but the latter has not found a way to beat their neighbours since their first clash 28 years ago.
With no live cricket being due to the spread of novel virus COVID-19, let’s take a stroll down the memory lane and relive the epic clashes between the arch-rivals:
1992 World Cup
India and Pakistan met for the first time at the world event in 1992. Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat first at Sydney Cricket Ground. Opener Ajay Jadeja’s 46, Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten half-century and Kapil Dev’s cameo of 35 later in the innings helped India post a total of 216/7.
When Pakistan came to bat, Indian bowlers kept the pressure on right from the start. New-ball bowlers Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar got one wicket each in the powerplay overs. Opener Aamer Sohail was leading the run chase but the required run-rate kept climbing up. In the 31st over Sachin Tendulkar got the breakthrough by dismissing Sohail for 62. Javed Miandad succumbed to the pressure and scored 40 runs after playing as many as 110 balls before losing his wicket. In the end, Pakistan were all out for 173 in the final over losing the match by 43 runs. The Master Blaster was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his all-round performance.
1996 World Cup
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were co-hosts for the sixth edition of the mega event. Once again, India won the toss and elected to bat first at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Opener Navjot Singh Sidhu led from the front and shared a 90-run stand with Tendulkar. Sidhu scored a 93-run knock before losing his wicket to spinner Mushtaq Ahmed. Later in the innings, Jadeja helped India get to the total of 287/8 with his 25-ball 45 cameo.
Skipper Sohail and Saeed Anwar were taking Indian fast bowlers to the cleaners silencing the Bengaluru crowd. Both shared a 84-run stand for the first wicket before Anwar got out for a 32-ball 48. The run chase was going well for Pakistan until Sohail made the mistake of sledging Venkatesh Prasad after hitting a boundary through covers in the 12th over. Fired-up Prasad clean-bowled Sohail and gave him a send-off to remember. That’s when the run chase went downhill for Pakistan.
Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Prasad and Anil Kumble picked three wickets each as Pakistan could manage to score 248/9 in the end. The 1996 World Cup clash is remembered for the match-up between Sohail and Prasad.
1999 World Cup
For the third time in a row, Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat first at Old Trafford, Manchester. Tendulkar got India off to a good start but missed his half-century by five runs. Rahul Dravid and Azharuddin’s half-centuries helped India post a modest total of 227/6 on a wicket that favoured the fast bowlers.
Defending the target, India’s new-ball bowlers wreaked havoc on the Pakistani batsmen. Prasad and Srinath broke the back of Pakistan batting lineup sending their five-top batsmen back to the pavilion. It was too much of an ask for the lower order batsmen and the tailenders to keep the run chase alive. Prasad came back into the attack and completed his five-wicket haul. Srinath took three wickets whereas Kumble took two as Pakistan were all out for 180 losing the match by 47 runs.
2003 World Cup
Once again, the stakes were high as India met Pakistan in the quarter-final. This time Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. It was an Anwar show in the first innings as he hit a century helping his team post a fighting 273/7, a good score in knockout games when the pressure is always high. Indian openers Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag had their work cut out, to put the pressure back on the bowlers.
India got off to the best start possible. Sehwag matched almost every shot of Tendulkar’s in the first five overs. The shot over the offside field off the short ball. But Sehwag’s cameo was ended by Waqar followed by the wicket of skipper Ganguly for a golden duck in the sixth over.
Despite the double blow, there was no stopping Tendulkar who dominated Waqar, Wasim Akram, and Shoaib Akhtar. He lost his wicket to Akhtar in the 22nd over after struggling with the hamstring but not before ensuring that there is a smooth sail ahead for India. He scored 98 runs off 75 deliveries including 12 fours and one six. Dravid and Yuvraj Singh carried on the run chase finishing it in the 46th over. Dravid scored 44 whereas Yuvraj scored a half-century as India won the match by six wickets.
2011 World Cup:
It was Tendulkar’s day yet again. He was dropped four times during his knock of 85. India posted a total of 260/9 on a tricky Mohali wicket. To this day, spinner Saeed Ajmal feels that the DRS call to save Tendulkar from getting out lbw was dodgy. He even mentioned it in his retirement speech. However, it was Wahab Riaz who picked up a five-wicket haul in that clash.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored a half-century but it was not enough to chase down 261. Indian bowlers kept taking wickets whenever Pakistan had a chance to dominate. All of the five Indian bowlers picked up two wickets each as Pakistan were all out on the penultimate over of the innings for 231, losing the match by 29 runs.
2015 World Cup:
The 2015 version of the clash in Adelaide saw total dominance by India in all departments of the game. Indian skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. After Rohit Sharma’s wicket in the powerplay overs, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli’s partnership frustrated Pakistan bowlers. Dhawan, unfortunately, got run out for 73 but Kohli carried on and went on to score a century. Suresh Raina played a blinder of an innings scoring 74 runs from 56 balls. But too many wickets in the death overs restricted to a score of 300. Sohail Khan picked up a five-wicket haul in that game.
Chasing a total of 301, Pakistan never looked in control and struggled while playing the catching up game. Ahmed Shehzad missed his half-century by just three runs. Misbah-ul-Haq tried to revive the run chase but did not have ample support. Shoaib Maqsood and Umar Akmal got out for ducks as Pakistan got all out for 224 in 47 overs, losing the game comprehensively by 76 runs.
2019 World Cup:
2019 saw another one-sided affair between India and Pakistan. Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to field first as he preferred chasing on a day where Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method was likely to come in play. Rohit and KL Rahul shared a 136-run stand for the opening wicket in absence of injured Dhawan. Rohit played a big inning sharing a 98-run partnership with skipper Kohli. The “Hitman” scored 140 runs from 113 balls with the help of 14 fours and three sixes including an imitation of Tendulkar-Sehwag’s 2003 World Cup six. Kohli’s knock of 77 added to the pressure and helped India post a daunting total of 340 on the board.
Pakistan did not get off to a good start losing Imam-ul-Haq early. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam kept Pakistan in the game but a beauty of a delivery from chinaman Kuldeep Yadav got rid of the latter. After Azam’s wicket, Zaman got out to Kuldeep in the next over for a score of 62. Pakistan could not recover and the rain interruption led to the required run rate getting out of reach. In the end, it was a 40-over affair and Pakistan fell short of the target by 89 runs (DLS method).
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