Posted: 04 November 2007 at 4:21am
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India v Pakistan ODIs - Ten of the best
Down to the wire
November 4, 2007
Pakistan and India have a habit of scripting thrilling encounters, more often than not resulting in nail-biters as either side try their hardest to emerge victorious. Cricinfo looks at ten of the most exhilarating duels between these two countries that will be remembered not only for the close finishes, but also the excitement and entertainment factor that accompanied.
Javed Miandad's last-ball six in Sharjah in 1986 scarred the opposition for years to come Getty Images
1st match, Four-nation Cup 1985, Sharjah
India 125 beat Pakistan 87 by 38 runs
A formidable Indian batting line-up was left in tatters by the pace and swing of Imran Khan. Dismissing Ravi Shastri leg-before off the first ball of the match, Imran had three of his victims caught behind, proof enough of his unplayable bowling. A target of 126 was always within Pakistan's reach, even though they lost their first wicket at 13. However, a double collapse saw them go from 35 for 1 to 41 for 5 and then from 85 for 6 to 87 all out. Kapil Dev, after scoring a dogged 30, proved Pakistan's nemesis with the ball as well and captured 3 for 17. Sunil Gavaskar too, chipped in with four catches, three of them breathtaking.
Final, Australasia Cup 1986, Sharjah
Pakistan 248 for 9 beat India 245 for 7 by 1 wicket
Perhaps the greatest of all ODIs between the two countries, if only because it is the one that first comes to the mind of fans of either country. It will forever be remembered for the last ball of the match with everything preceding it - Kris Srikkanth's aggression, Gavaskar's 92, late wickets by Wasim Akram and Imran to restrict India and even an unbeaten century by Javed Miandad - all swept aside. Chetan Sharma did manage three wickets in the match, but his last delivery - off which Pakistan needed four to win the tournament - was pulled mightily over midwicket and over the boundary by Miandad to spark wild celebrations after an unlikely last-wicket victory.
2nd ODI, Pakistan in India 1987, Kolkatta
Pakistan 241 for 8 beat India 238 for 6 by 2 wickets
A Srikkanth century inspired the home side to a respectable score and as Pakistan collapsed to 174 for 6 after a 106-run opening partnership, they needed to score at almost 10 runs an over. Saleem Malik, batting at No.7, tore through the Indian bowling attack, sharing a 50-run partnership with Akram in which the bowler scored only 3. Smashing 11 fours and a six, including five fours in an over off Kapil, Malik's 36-ball 72 carried Pakistan home with only three balls left.
Quarter-final, World Cup 1996, Bangalore
India 287 for 8 beat Pakistan 248 for 9 by 39 runs
A charged-up encounter with a semi-final spot for the taking received a jolt as Akram, Pakistan's captain, pulled out minutes before the toss. With Ajay Jadeja smashing a 25-ball 45 - Waqar Younis hammered for 40 off his last two overs - and Navjot Sidhu lumbering his way to 93, the balance had shifted in the favour of the Indians even before the reply began. Although Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail flayed the Indian attack to start off, Sohail's loss of temper and temperament as he tried to assert his authority over Venkatesh Prasad, combined with the batsmen's lack of application forced them to succumb to pressure. Anil Kumble and Prasad grabbed three each as Pakistan perished failing to put together reasonable partnerships.
India's historic tour of Pakistan in 2003-04 began with a cliffhanger in Karachi, with the visitors sneaking home by five runs AFP
Sahara Cup 1996, Toronto
Pakistan 266 for 8 beat India 264 for 6 by 2 wickets
Pakistan's decision to field first, based on their strong bowling line-up, backfired as Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Azharuddin added 161 for the third wicket. Akram and Waqar Younis went wicketless while Jadeja once again smashed a few towards the end. Although Anwar scored a 78-ball 80, wickets kept tumbling regularly and, at 221 for 8, India looked all set to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Malik (70*) and Saqlain Mushtaq (11*), however, added 44 as Pakistan scrambled home off the penultimate ball of the match as Malik cut Sunil Joshi past point with a twisted ankle.
Sahara Cup 1997, Toronto
India 182 for 6 beat Pakistan 148 by 34 runs
A disastrous start to the innings saw India slump to 23 for 3 in seaming conditions against a less-than threatening Pakistan attack. A brief recovery by Azharuddin and Co. made for a more respectable 182, which should have been a comfortable target for Pakistan's strong batting line-up. At 103 for 3 it seemed just that until the introduction of Sourav Ganguly's medium pace. Utilising the conditions, and Pakistan's frailty against the moving ball, Ganguly snapped up five wickets - all caught - as the last seven wickets went down for the addition of only 43 runs.
India's tour of Pakistan, 1997, Karachi
India 266 for 6 beat Pakistan 265 for 4 by 4 wickets
Karachi lived up to its expectation of being a batsman's paradise as attacking 70s by Shahid Afridi and Inzamam-ul-Haq enabled Pakistan to post a competitive score (though the innings was cut short due to crowd trouble). India looked set for an easy victory until panic struck, resulting in the loss four wickets for only 26 runs, two of them run-outs. Saba Karim and Robin Singh consolidated and when Saqlain, economical thus far, went for 33 in three overs, a win seemed in sight. As the ball was changed yet again in the final over, Saqlain was hit for a six by Rajesh Chauhan and India sealed victory.
3rd Final, Independence Cup 1998, Dhaka
India 316 for 7 beat Pakistan 314 for 5 by 3 wickets
Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed scored blistering centuries and Saqlain grabbed three wickets but India still managed to lift the Independence Cup courtesy a Ganguly century and supporting knocks from Sachin Tendulkar and Robin Singh. However, victory was not as easy as it seemed at 250 for 2. Saqlain inspired a brief collapse as India slumped to 281 for 5, followed by two more quick wickets. In the end, it was left to Hrishikesh Kanitkar to strike a boundary in fading light off the penultimate ball of the match to seal the win.
1st ODI, India's tour of Pakistan, 2004, Karachi
India 349 for 7 beat Pakistan 344 for 8 by 5 runs
A strong batting display, especially by India's top order, constituted a mammoth 349 - with first 200 of those coming in only 25 overs. However, a brave fightback by Pakistan, after losing their openers cheaply, took the game right down to the wire. Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam and Younis Khan all played their part but Inzamam's dismissal left Pakistan requiring 72 off eight overs. The lower order failed at the last hurdle to keep up with the required rate and Moin Khan was unable to do a 'Miandad' off the last delivery.
4th ODI, Pakistan's tour of India, 2005, Ahmedabad
Pakistan 319 for 7 beat India 315 for 6 by 3 wickets
Another strong batting display from India on the back of a Tendulkar 123 and a late cameo from Yuvraj Singh led them to a 300-plus score as Pakistan bowlers toiled in batting-friendly conditions. However, a blistering opening partnership between Salman Butt and Shahid Afridi laid the foundations of a strong reply but with wickets falling regularly, India were still in with a good chance. Inzamam, however, provided a calm figure in the middle as others perished around him. With three needed off the last over, Inzamam blocked the first five deliveries before slashing the last one for a four to round off a remarkable chase.