India v Pakistan in ODI finals

India’s glorious campaign in the 1985 Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket began and ended with a victory against Pakistan. After a resounding six-wicket win over the Javed Miandad’s men in the first game, India walloped England, New Zealand and Australia to meet its archrival again, in the final. The Indian juggernaut, Pakistan found, was hard to hold off in the title clash as well. After Miandad won the toss and opted to bat, Kapil Dev jolted his men, reducing them for 29 for three. Miandad and Imran Khan arrested the slide with a 68-run stand, which helped Pakistan finish at 176 for nine. But a brilliant 103-run opening stand between Ravi Shastri and Kris Srikkanth helped India win the title with ease. Result: India won by eight wickets. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
There were several things that made this match memorable: the Indian top-order’s solid batting, Pakistan’s lower-order collapse, Javed Miandad’s brilliant second-innings hundred. But what made it iconic was the way it ended: Chetan Sharma’s full-toss, an intended yorker, being dispatched into the mid-wicket stands by Miandad, when Pakistan required four runs off the last ball. That shot erupted the simmering Pakistani fans at the Sharjah Cricket Association stadium and left the Indian supporters scarred. Kris Srikkanth, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar had scored half-centuries to steer India to 245 for seven. Madan Lal, Chetan Sharma and Maninder Singh then took a wicket each to reduce Pakistan to 61 for three before Miandad counter-attacked to get an unforgettable win for his team. Result: Pakistan won by one wicket. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
A mammoth 171-run stand by Pakistan’s third-wicket pair of Zahid Fasal and Saleem Malik boosted Pakistan’s total to 262 for six after India elected to field at the toss. To overhaul a total so big against a bowling attack comprised of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis, was going to be tough anyway. But the Indians wouldn’t have expected to be run over by Aaqib Javed, who picked up his career-best figures of seven for 37 that included a hat-trick. He rapped the pads of Ravi Shastri, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar in his third over to severely dent India’s chase andeer a 72-run win. Result: Pakistan won by 72 runs. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
This was India’s chance to avenge the suckerpunch it received in the ‘86 Australasia Cup final. Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail threatened to take the game away from India with a 96-run opening stand. But Rajesh Chauhan and Javagal Srinath shared six wickets among them to restrict Pakistan to 250 for six. Wasim Akram priced out opener Ajay Jadeja for a duck in his first over, to hamper India’s chase. Sachin Tendulkar and Navjot Sidhu, then, scored briskly to take India to 59 from 11 overs. Pakistan clawed back with three quick wickets before Vinod Kambli and Atul Bedade resurrected the Indian innings with a fifth-wicket partnership of 80. But once the partnership was broken, the Indians spiralled down to a 39-run defeat. Result: Pakistan won by 39 runs. Photo: Hindu Archives
It all boiled down to the final of the three finals after India and Pakistan had outdone each other in the first two. Harvinder Singh, by the 12th over, tried shackling Pakistan with dismissals of Shahid Afridi and Aamir Sohail after Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin had chosen to field. But once Ijaz Ahmed joined Saeed Anwar in the middle, runs were ransacked, the bowling was butchered and Azhar was left helpless, as the duo boosted the total to 315, more than any team had ever made batting second to win an ODI till then. Then, Sachin Tendulkar, with reckless abandon, reduced the enormity of the chase with a 26-ball 41. Then, Sourav Ganguly (124) and Robin Singh (82) rode on the momentum and shared a 179-run stand that paved the way for a record-breaking win. Result: India won by three wickets. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
Pakistan wanted to wipe away the memories of the ‘96 World Cup loss to India at the Chinnaswamy stadium. Shahid Afridi (65) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (91) helped the cause with a third-wicket partnership of 94 runs, which propelled their team to 291. The absence of Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin was sorely felt, as the Pakistani pace attack ran through the Indian batting order and bowled it out for 191. Azhar Mahmood returned a career-best five for 38. Result: Pakistan won by 123 runs. Photo: V. V. KRISHNAN
Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Bengaluru, Sharjah, it didn’t matter. Without Sachin Tendulkar, against Pakistan’s potent pace attack, the Indian batting collapsed as easily as a castle of cards. Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Azhar Mahmood let themselves loose after India elected to bat. Apart from Sourav Ganguly’s struggling 96-ball 50, India managed: three ducks, four single-digit scores, 14, 15, and a 20. Pakistan cruised to the 126-run target in 28 overs, expending just two wickets. Result: Pakistan won by eight wickets.
Salman Butt and Younis Khan scored hundreds to upset the tournament favourite, India, and hand Pakistan its first multi-nation title in five years. From being 75 for one in 20 overs on a sluggish pitch, Pakistan was propelled to 315, largely by Salman and Younis’s 205-run stand. Sohail Tanvir struck the first blow -- a huge one -- in India’s chase, removing Virender Sehwag for two. The rest of the Indian batters couldn’t convert their good starts. A seventh-wicket stand of 60 runs between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan promised to take India home. But Shahid Afridi snuffed out the Indian hopes by dismissing Dhoni in the penultimate over. Result: Pakistan won by 25 runs. Photo: REUTERS