Cricket fans all over the World will agree that India-Pakistan is the most fiercely fought rivalry in cricket. The collision of these two Asian giants inevitably leads to new TRP records. With bilateral confrontations out of the equation due to the political tension, the World Cup encounters between these two have gained enormous importance. The seeds of this great rivalry were sown in the 1992 World Cup where India met Pakistan in a group encounter at Sydney.
4th March 1992. Both the nations were desperate to prevail in this encounter after three disappointing games. India had no wins in their account while their match against Sri Lanka was washed out. Eventual Champions, Pakistan had a solitary win over Zimbabwe before they were flattened by West Indies. Rain saved them in the next match versus England where Pakistan had collapsed to 74 all out. Here at Sydney, Indian Captain Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss and chose to bat first.
Regular strikes peg India back
Ajay Jadeja and K Srikkanth opened the inning for India. Wasim Akram, Aaqib Javed and Imran Khan shared the new ball and kept the run-scoring under check. Javed soon accounted for K Srikkanth who had played an uncharacteristic knock of 5 runs from 39 balls. Captain Azharuddin joined Jadeja at the crease with the score reading 25/1. Legspinner Mushtaq Ahmed dismissed Azhar to break the 61-run partnership for the second wicket. Later, Wasim Haider got rid of Jadeja (46) to reduce India to 106/3. Out walked Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin shines against the arch-rivals
The little master first paired up with his school friend, Vinod Kambli, to help India recover from a difficult position. Mushtaq Ahmed then dismissed both Kambli and Sanjay Manjrekar in succession to again put India under pressure. This time Sachin found an able ally in the veteran Kapil Dev. Jointly the duo carried India’s score past 200. Kapil added a quick-fire 35 from 26 balls whereas Sachin remained unbeaten with 54 from 62 balls. Mushtaq Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers with a three-wicket haul. Pakistan needed 217 runs to win.
Pakistan recovers after early jolts
Defending the low total, Indian bowlers needed to be at their best from the very first ball. Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar began brilliantly and extracted movement to keep Pakistani batsmen under pressure. The chasing side lost Inzamam-ul-Haq and Zahid Fazal early and needed a partnership to salvage the situation. Javed Miandad joined Aamer Sohail at 17/2 and both started dominating the Indian bowling unit.
Golden arm at work – Sachin breaks through
With Sohail and Miandad at the crease, Pakistan raced past the 100-run mark. Sensing the ominous situation, Azhar called Sachin Tendulkar into the action. The master blaster struck right away by dislodging the opener. Aamer Sohail was caught at short midwicket by Srikkanth after a splendid knock of 62 from 95 balls. The big wicket shifted the momentum in India’s favor.
Regular wickets at the other end heaped pressure on Pakistan’s savior, Javed Miandad. Indian wicketkeeper, Kiran More, was constantly in his ears with his behind-the-stumps banter. The continuous chirping got better of the Pakistani batsman as he lost his cool and started hopping on the pitch to mock More. The moment remains one of the most hilarious memories from the World Cup.
India secures a 43-run win
Javagal Srinath cleaned up Javed Miandad with a spectacular yorker to end Pakistan’s hopes of chasing down the total. From 141/7, Indian pace bowlers ensured that Pakistani tail did not wag and skittled them for 173 all out. Sachin Tendulkar earned his maiden World Cup Man of the Match Award for his all-round performance. The 43-run win also initiated India’s glorious six-match long winning streak against Pakistan in the World Cups.