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Flashback to India vs Pakistan 1996 Cricket World Cup Quarterfinal

Nilanjan Sen
ANALYST
Feature
759   //    10 Aug 2018, 10:37 IST

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India-Pakistan matches have always been fiercely competitive, with either team not wanting to lose to the other. And this fierceness reaches a new level when it comes to a World Cup match.

These matches have led to some of the most iconic moments in the world of cricket like Javed Miandad mimicking Kiran More in the 1992 World Cup or Sachin Tendulkar destroying Shoaib Akhtar in the 2003 World Cup. But as most will agree, the most famous moment that one ever saw between these two countries in a World Cup is that between Venkatesh Prasad & Aamir Sohail in 1996. It is this incident that we take a look at in this article.

The date was 9th March 1996, the venue Bengaluru (then known as Bangalore) and the match was a Quarter-final of the 1996 Cricket World Cup. India had won the toss and had elected to bat first.

The match saw a good start by the Indians with openers Navjot Singh Sidhu & Sachin Tendulkar raising quick 90 runs before the latter was dismissed by Ata-Ur-Rehman for 31. Sidhu went on to score 93, that being the highest Individual score in the match.

India ended the innings with 287 runs from their allotted 50 overs. One person who deserved credit for the score reaching 287 was Ajay Jadeja who scored 45 off 25 deliveries, that included hitting a bowler of the caliber of Waqar Younis for 18 & 22 runs in his consecutive overs. There was a feeling within some of the Indian fans that we had already won the match as 287 in those days was considered to be a match-winning total.

This feeling was further strengthened by the fact that Pakistan had been fined one over due to their slow over rate, they now needed score 288 in 49 overs.

But everyone was in for a surprise. Pakistan came all guns blazing as Aamir Sohail & Saeed Anwar began dispatching the ball to all corners of the ground. Suddenly 287 was not looking like a good total. Even after Anwar got out on 48 with Pakistan on 84, Sohail kept the charge going, kept on hitting the Indian bowlers all across the ground and easily reached his half-century.

The way he was going looked like the unthinkable was about to happen…Pakistan beating India in a World Cup. Then came the moment of madness from Aamir Sohail or a moment of brilliance by Venkatesh Prasad. After hitting Prasad for a boundary, Sohail pointed the bat towards Prasad and then towards the boundary as if to say “Go fetch that” or “that’s where I will hit you the next ball”.


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But we all know what happened next, overconfidence got the better of Sohail and his stumps were rattled the very next ball. Prasad, understandably, fired up by the incident gave him an extremely aggressive verbal send off.

After this, Saleem Malik (38 runs), Javed Miandad (38 runs) & Rashid Latif (26 runs) did try to get Pakistan home, but it was not enough as they ended their innings with 248 runs in 49 overs.

This was also Javed Miandad’s last match, as he retired from the game after serving for three decades as a player.

Sidhu was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 93. But for a lot of people that day, the Man of the Match was Venkatesh Prasad.

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Nilanjan Sen
ANALYST
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