SK Flashback: When India made it 3-0 against Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup
India had a disappointing start to their 1999 World Cup campaign as they were beaten by South Africa in their opening match which was followed by the team suffering a huge blow prior to their second game as their talisman Sachin Tendulkar had to go back home due to the death of his father.
In Tendulkar’s absence, India lost their second match against Zimbabwe by an agonising margin of three runs. The little master came back to the team and was a much-needed boost to the Indians as they won their next three games against Kenya, Sri Lanka, and England to qualify for the Super 6s.
However, the scenario wasn’t looking good for India as the other teams that had qualified with them for the Super 6s were South Africa and Zimbabwe, both of whom had defeated the men in blue (the group record against the qualified teams was considered while ranking the teams during the Super 6s). Hence, in order to qualify, India had to win at least two of their Super 6 matches.
In their first Super 6 match, India were comprehensively beaten by Australia by 77 runs. In their second group game, they were up against Pakistan at Old Trafford. Pakistan were in a good position in the Super 6s as they had beaten both qualified teams in the group stage but had lost their first Super 6 match against South Africa.
This was India’s third World Cup match against Pakistan and they had a cent percent win ratio having won their previous two encounters in 1992 (when Pakistan won the tournament) and 1996.
Fifties from Dravid and Azharuddin take India to 227/6
The match took place on this very day. India won the toss and captain Mohammad Azharuddin opted to bat first. Sachin Tendulkar and Sadagoppan Ramesh added 37 runs for the opening wicket before the latter was bowled for 20 by Abdul Razzaq. Then, Rahul Dravid joined Tendulkar at the crease and the duo played steadily, adding 58 runs from 57 deliveries for the second wicket before Tendulkar was dismissed for 45 by Azhar Mahmood.
Ajay Jadeja soon followed Sachin into the pavilion and he was replaced by skipper Mohammad Azharuddin. The duo added 51 runs for the fourth wicket and Dravid reached his fifty. He eventually perished on 61 from 89 deliveries after being dismissed by Wasim Akram.
Azharuddin and Robin Singh played steadily during the slog overs, adding 60 for the fifth wicket, with the former reaching his half-century before being dismissed for 59 by Wasim Akram. India eventually ended their innings at 227/6 from their 50 overs.
Prasad, Srinath, and Kumble sink Pakistan
In reply, Pakistan lost Shahid Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed early, both being dismissed by Javagal Srinath but Saeed Anwar was batting calmly and looked a threat to India in the long run. At that point, Venkatesh Prasad took centre-stage and dismissed Anwar along with Saleem Malik to reduce Pakistan to 65/4.
After Anil Kumble dismissed Azhar Mahmood, the Men in Green found some hope as Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan began to build a partnership, the latter being the aggressor. The duo added 46 for the sixth wicket before Prasad got the key wicket of Khan.
Abdul Razzaq came in and hit a six before being bowled by Srinath. Pakistan’s hopes of winning the match came to an end after Prasad trapped Inzy lbw to reduce Pakistan to 175/8.
Anil Kumble dismissed Saqlain Mushtaq before Venkatesh Prasad achieved a five-wicket haul by dismissing Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram to win the match for India. Moments after Kumble took the catch to dismiss Wasim Akram, the crowd began to invade the field and it wasn’t easy for all the cricketers to safely go back to the dressing room.
Nevertheless, India achieved their third consecutive victory over Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup and it gave them some hope of qualifying for the semi-finals. Venkatesh Prasad was adjudged the Man of the Match for his career-best ODI spell of 5/27.