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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP 2019

Can Pakistan break their World Cup duck against India?

Can Pakistan break their World Cup duck against India? © Cricbuzz

March 4, 1992: India tame Imran's tigers in first World Cup meeting

It took 17 years at the World Cups for India and Pakistan to come face to face against each other. In 1987, favorites India and Pakistan bowed out in the semis losing to England and Australia respectively. The wait was pushed forward to 1992 and with the format forcing every team to play each other at least once, the Indo-Pak affair was inevitable.

India batted first at the SCG with the game reduced to 49 over a side contest after Pakistan were tardy in their overrate. The Indian innings was about two partnerships, one was a consolidation act between Ajay Jadeja and Mohammad Azharuddin for the second wicket worth 61 runs. And after a middle-order wobble triggered by leggie Mushtaq Ahmed, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev took charge. The quick 60-run partnership for the 6th wicket gave India something to play with. Sachin Tendulkar remained unbeaten on a fine 54 as India finished with 216 on the board.

Pakistan also had a big partnership for the third wicket after a sloppy start. But once India broke through the Aamer Sohail-Javed Miandad partnership, they kept chipping away with wickets to push Pakistan out of the contest. Sachin Tendulkar could do no wrong that day and provided the crucial breakthrough of Aamer Sohail who top-scored with 62. An all-round performance by the little master allowed India to gather a comfortable win by 43 runs. Tendulkar won the Man of the Match award which was going to be the first of his three Man of the Match awards in Indo-Pak clashes at the World Cups. Pakistan on their part dusted off their loses and went on a winning spree which saw them winning the cup.

March 09, 1996: When Prasad gave Sohail a send-off for the ages

Venkatesh Prasad had leaked plenty of runs already and it seemed Aamer Sohail had his number. So furious was Aamer that he gestured Prasad that he will hit the last ball of the over as well for a four and that too through covers. The way he was hitting 'em that evening, he could have had a walking stick and still scored. But the pacer had the last laugh as Sohail's timbers went cartwheeling. Prasad proceeded with a send-off. Perhaps the only time ever that the lanky pacer showed any emotion. But Aamer's wicket brought about a slow down and the chase of 289 hit a massive road block. Pakistan's middle order never really did enough to clear it away.

India batted first in arguably one of the biggest battles of that decade. Up against the defending champions, Navjot Sidhu and Sachin Tendulkar added 90 runs for the first wicket. For a change, Sachin was the subdued partner. Sachin, Sanjay Manjrekar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Vinod Kambli got off to starts but never converted them into anything substantial. Sidhu also missed out on his ton. A final flourish looked out of reach before Ajay Jadeja launched his counter-attack. His brute onslaught against Waqar Younis towards the end of the innings is another memory fresh in the annals of the Chinnaswamy.

Pakistan also replied fire with fire. Anwar and Sohail were off to a breezy start. 84 runs for the first wicket and that too in no time. But once the pair was separated, the pace of the game got altered and India sucked out all the momentum that was garnered by the Pakistanis. Venkatesh Prasad and Anil Kumble were the wreckers-in-chief as they scalped three wickets apiece. India entered the semis at the expense of the defending champions and till 2007 World T20, it remained as the biggest platform where the arch rivals had met.

June 08, 1999: Prasad's heroics keep India alive

You can't keep Venkatesh Prasad out of the India Pakistan documentation for too long. If he pulled the trigger in 1996, 1999 saw him being the gun himself. A fifer against Pakistan in a low scoring game ensured that the Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin was congratulated by the Indian army, who were fighting the Kargil war then against their neighbours. An Indo-Pak clash never had such hype.

On a slightly windy day at Manchester, India decided to bite the bullet first and batted. Sadagoppan Ramesh and Sachin Tendulkar started off slowly. And once Ramesh fell, Rahul Dravid dropped anchor to take India forward along with Sachin. But Azhar Mahmood had Sachin caught at long-off as he charged the Pakistani all-rounder. Dravid was joined by skipper Mohammad Azharuddin and both of them scored half-centuries. The latter applied the finishing touches and took India to 227 for 6.

The Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi pair started off on a quick note but it lasted only for 2.3 overs as Srinath removed Afridi, caught at gully. Srinath struck again and removed Ijaz Ahmed to have Pakistan two down before the 10-over mark. And then arrived Venkatesh Prasad - who delivered the crucial breakthroughs of Saleem Malik, Saeed Anwar, Moin Khan and Inzamam-ul-Haq to seal the deal. He also applied the final touch by picking up Wasim Akram and finished with a fifer. India had won the game by 47 runs.

A huge defeat at the hands of Australia earlier in the tourney at the Super Six stage had all but derailed their chances of further progress but a win against Pakistan was a huge moment to rejoice for plenty of Indians. Pakistan went on to enter the finals before losing to Australia.

March 01, 2003: Tendulkar leaves Pakistan gasping

It won't be wrong to say that the World witnessed the best 98 ever scored by a batsman. The little master was at it on that day at the Centurion. An ice cream during the innings break for the master and he ensured there was a meltdown in the Pakistani bowling camp. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar faced the ire of India's demi god. He cut, pulled, drove and flicked as if trying to personify the MCC batting manual.

One imperious shot was followed by another. Indian flags at the ground and the Indian hearts everywhere belonged to Sachin. But then came the massive lull as a snorter of a bouncer removed a hobbling Sachin, who by then was gobbled up by a bout of cramps. India were still 97 adrift as their favorite son limped off. But Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh ensured there were no further hiccups and it was smooth sailing for the Indian team.

This after a Saeed Anwar ton had given Pakistan 273 runs to play with. Anwar's knock might not have been in the same class as of Sachin's but the laborious ton certainly was instrumental in putting a lot of pressure on the Indians. He played well within himself and managed to keep the scorecard ticking over. Younis Khan and Rashid Latif also got a few quick runs to help Pakistan get a par total.

But arguably the biggest moment in the game when Sachin was dropped of Wasim Akram at mid-off by Abdul Razzaq. The little master didn't look back post that and just sauntered along. India though did have a little blip when Waqar Younis removed both Sehwag and Ganguly off back-to-back balls. But Mohammad Kaif was promoted and he dropped anchor to ride a partnership along with Sachin.

March 30, 2011: India vs Pakistan, WC semi-finals:

Shoaib Akhtar dropped. The Pindi Express's chains were pulled. India didn't mind. But his replacement for the game - Wahab Riaz ensured Pakistan didn't miss him much either. His five-fer had some rip roaring deliveries wiping out India's top guns. One of them was Yuvraj Singh, who went on to win the Man of the Series award later.

India though again had Sachin Tendulkar rescuing them with a chancy 85. He survived close to 5 chances that day and made the most of it to help India get closer to a par total. Of course even DRS that day wanted Sachin to carry on! India mustered 260. Mostly due to a cameo from Suresh Raina towards the end.

261 was gettable but Pakistan blinked. India got wickets thanks to some incisive bowling and poor shots. All the five Indian bowlers ended with a symmetric tally of wickets as all of them had two wickets to show in the extreme right column. An all-round bowling show meant a major part of the chase didn't really have Pakistan going for the game. Misbah hung in there but he had too much to do and was eventually out burdened. India had made it 5-0 at the quadrennial event.

India's win at Mohali had given them the psychological boost and Sri Lanka in the finale were swatted away as well to end the wait of 28 years. This WC meeting between India and Pakistan though was one of the most viewed spectacles on TV.

February 15, 2015: Audacious Kohli leads India to a big win

Pakistan went into another World Cup game against India thinking they can open their account. But alas their hopes were dashed once again. India triumphed at Adelaide and made it 6-0 against their arch-rivals in World Cups. India had come into the World Cup on the back of a morale shattering performance in a tri-series featuring Australia and England. But the opponents in Pakistan spark off a different kind of an adrenaline rush.

Opting to bat first, Rohit Sharma got out in the 8th over and it was the pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who wrested the control in India's corner with a fine 129-run partnership for the second wicket. Dhawan missed his ton but Kohli didn't. His imperious ton was his second in World Cups and was the perfect platform for India to launch an excellent campaign. Suresh Raina also played a blitzy knock of 74 off 56 balls to ensure India ended with 300 on the board, despite Pakistan fighting back in the last five overs of the innings.

Pakistan lost Younis Khan early in the chase as he had no answers to a steamy bouncer from Mohammad Shami. Ahmed Shehzad and Haris Sohail toiled hard for a 68-run 2nd wicket partnership but their separation meant Pakistan never again stitched a meaningful partnership. Twin strikes of Umesh and Jadeja's removal of Umar Akmal had Pakistan reeling at 103 for 5. Misbah-ul-Haq tried to wage a lone battle but had a lot to do at the end. India opened their campaign, in style, with a massive 76-run victory. The tournament opener set India on a roll which lasted till their semi-final loss against eventual champions Australia.

© Cricbuzz

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