The latest episode of India-Pakistan Cricketing rivalry is here, weather permitting, and Pakistan will be looking to register their first ever win over India in the game’s premier tournament. After losing their matches to West Indies and Australia, and a washout against Sri Lanka, Pakistan need a win to rekindle their hopes in the tournament. India on the other hand, is sitting comfortably in the table despite the washout against New Zealand, and a win here will almost guarantee their spot in the semi-finals.
While the World Cup matches between the 2 sides have been mostly one-sided, they have produced some really memorable events that stick long into the memory.
- Miandad mocking More
The very first World Cup encounter between the 2 sides was in Australia during the 1992 World Cup. Batting first, India had posted 216/7 thanks to a half century from Sachin Tendulkar and useful contributions from Ajay Jadeja and Kapil Dev. In response, Pakistan lost their first 2 wickets early but then Aamir Sohail and Javed Miandad combined for a long albeit slow partnership. The tension was mounting during that partnership and with the score at 85/2, we got to see one of the most comical moments on a cricketing field. Miandad was unhappy with Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More’s frequent and very exuberant appealing, even going to complain to umpires about it, but to no avail. Then at the end of a Sachin Tendulkar over, Miandad gave us one of the most iconic images from the 92 World Cup with him jumping up and down to mimic More, with his bat held above his head. More wasn’t too impressed about the whole thing and Miandad was eventually dismissed for a painstaking 40 with India winning comfortably by 43 runs in the end.
- Ajay Jadeja’s assault on Waqar Younis
The second World Cup encounter between the two teams, in the Quarter Final of the 1996 World Cup was played in front of a packed stadium in Bengaluru. India rode on a 93 from opening batsman Navjot Sidhu to reach 200/4 by the 42nd over. A good platform was set but it needed a big finish to take the total beyond Pakistan, it arrived and how! India scored 48 runs in last 3 overs, and 2 of them were bowled by one of the deadliest fast bowlers in the world, Waqar Younis. It was started by Anil Kumble, who took 2 boundaries off Waqar, and then Jadeja took over for one of the most memorable cameos in Indian cricket history. Sixes over wide Long On and Long Off, slapping the ball past covers and point, it was short, it was beautiful, and it was match-changing. He was eventually dismissed by Waqar in the final over but by that time, Ajay Jadeja had cemented his place in Indian cricket folklore.
- Aamir Sohail bowled Venkatesh Prasad
Indians were sitting pretty after the Ajay Jadeja assault in Bengaluru but then the Pakistani opening pair of Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar started at a cracking pace. The runs were flowing from both ends and even after Saeed Anwar’s dismissal by Srinath, Pakistan looked in control of the chase with Sohail firing on all cylinders. In the 15th over, with Prasad back for his second spell, Sohail continued to toy with his bowling, advancing down the track and smashing Prasad to the cover boundary for yet another four. He followed it up with a lot of chatter, telling Prasad where he will hit him for a boundary, and he set himself up very nicely for the next ball. Prasad bowled it lot fuller than the previous ball, Sohail swung, the ball took out the off stump and Prasad shut Sohail up in the best possible way.
- Sachin-Sehwag in 2003
First time in a World Cup, Pakistan was batting first against India and they did very well. Riding on the last international century from India’s long-term nemesis Saeed Anwar, Pakistan posted 273/7. With a bowling attack boasting of Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib Akhtar, they would have fancied their chances. However, Pakistani hopes were extinguished in the first 5 overs itself with a sensational start from the 2 Indian openers. Backfoot punches, square cuts, drives, and an upper cut for 6 later, Indian openers had put on 50 runs from the first 5 overs. The required rate was already below 5 and Pakistani team was shell shocked. Waqar Younis did pick up 2 wickets in the 6th over to try and mount a fight back, but the start gave enough cushion to the Indian batsmen to just bat sensibly and finish the chase well within their 50 overs.
- Sehwag vs Umar Gul in 2011
The most high-profile World Cup encounter between the two sides, the Semi-Final of 2011 World Cup. India won the toss and elected to bat first. After a sedate start in the first 2 overs, Sehwag burst into life in the 3rd, Umar Gul’s second. First ball, on leg stump, sent to the mid-wicket boundary, 2nd ball, again on leg stump, again sent to the mid-wicket boundary, a little squarer this time. 3rd ball, miraculously a dot ball but the 4th one, again down the leg side and Sehwag helping it to the square leg boundary. 5th ball, Gul over compensated and gave a short wide one to Sehwag to cut it to the point boundary, another four. Next ball, Gul oversteps and Sehwag creams it through the covers for 5 boundaries off 5 legitimate balls. The innings was suddenly off to a flier, Pakistan’s premier fast bowler was hammered. Sehwag collected 2 more boundaries off Umar Gul’s next over before being dismissed for 38.