As India and Pakistan square up on yet another World cup clash on what has been a huge domination by India over Pakistan accross World cups with a 6-0 head to head result in India’s favour since their 1st faceoff in 1992 World Cup at Sydney , we look back at the match which started India’s domination over Pakistan.
It was the very first Indo-Pak clash in World cup history, and it was held at Sydney , Australia which has mostly been a happy hunting ground for Indian cricket, since the Sydney pitch is comparatively slower and assists turn. Azharuddin won the toss and knowing that the pitch grips as the match progresses at Sydney, chose to bat first rightly.
India started slowly losing an out of touch Srikkant for 5 off 39 balls. However Ajay Jadeja held the innings together at the start with a steady 46 off 77 balls, as skipper Azharuddin(32) and Kambi (24) could not build on their steady starts and Manjrekar went 1st ball as India kept losing wickets without building a sizeable stand. Ultimately it was left to the 17 year old prodigy Sachin Tendulkar to build a good partnership with Kapil Dev. With tidy bowling by Pakistan ,boundaries were few and far in between. However both ran their singles hard and Kapil hit the lone 6 of the match by hoisting Musthaq Ahmed before being dismissed for 35 off 26 balls. Tendulkar, who batted at number 5 stayed till end scoring 54 off 62 balls with 3 fours as India ended at 216/7 in 49 overs as Pakistan failed to complete 50 overs in their allotted time period. For Pakistan Aaqib Javed (2/28) was most successful as Mushtaq Ahmed though got 3/59, was slightly more expensive. Wasim and Imran went wicketless.
In reply Pakistan was jolted in initial overs as Kapil got young Inzaman ul Haq lbw with a deft incutter and Prabhakar had Zahid Fazal caught behind. Amir Sohail who was batting fluently and looking in good touch was joined by stalwart Javed Miandad in a long 88 run stand which had Pakistan seemingly cruising. Miandad well known for his gamesmanship, also had an altercation with Indian keeper Kiran More adding some fuel to the contest and the umpires had to intervene .
However the Indian bowlers including the spinners were keeping it tight while fielding was top class and hence no easy overs were allowed. Finally Amir Sohail (62) in trying to take advantage of Tendulkar’s bowling stepped out and popped up an easy catch to Srikkant at midwicket who accepted gleefully and India finally got the big breakthrough at 115/3. Soon Manoj Prabhakar came back for 2nd spell and had the aggressive looking Salim Malik (12 off 9 balls) caught behind which opened the floodgates for the very impressive Indian bowling on a slowish pitch where the ball was not coming onto the bat. Skipper Imran came in and was soon runout through a poor misunderstanding with his deputy as he hesitated to take a quick single as the Indian bowlers by now had a firm grip on the game. Soon a dangerous Akram was stumped off Raju .Wickets kept falling but Miandad ,who had been India’s nemesis during his career ,was holding up one end grimly. Finally Srinath came in for his final spell and bowled a yorker to Miandad who was bowled trying to force the pace losing his patience as asking rate was going up. Miandad’s dismissal brought smiles to Indian team and fans alike. Soon the India bowling wrapped up the remaining few tailenders wickets and Pakistan were all out for 173 giving India a convincing 43 run win. For India it was a great bowling team effort with Kapil(2/30), Prabhakar (2/22) and Srinath (2/41) taking 2 wickets each and spinners 1 each. Sachin Tendulkar ,who was later going to play a major winning part in future India vs Pakistan World cup clashes, got his first of many World cup man of the match awards which must have given him huge satisfaction since it came in a winning cause vs Pakistan. In this game ,he scored a vital unbeaten 54 and got the valuable wicket of Amir Sohail, Pakistan’s top scorer , bowling his full quota of 10 overs giving away only 37 runs.
Thus started India’s successful onward journey vs Pakistan in World Cups and fittingly the biggest contributions in this win came from the two greatest ever cricketers India ever produced: Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar.
Brief Scores: India 216/7 . Pakistan 173