On a sultry afternoon in Chennai, Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar smashed a 146-ball 194 to completely push India out of the game in the Independence Cup contest on May 21, 1997 – exactly 24 years ago.
India toiled hard with Rahul Dravid scoring his maiden ODI hundred but the target of 328 looked too steep after losing star openers Sourav Ganguly (33 off 28) and Sachin Tendulkar (4 off 7) inside the first 15 overs.
Anwar broke Viv Richards’ record — 189 against England in Manchester in 1984 — by five runs to become the batsman with the highest individual score in ODI cricket. The stylish left-hander hit 22 fours and five sixes, three of which came in one Anil Kumble over.
Anwar could have easily scored a double hundred but a misjudged sweep brought an end to his 206-minute stay on the wicket. He was dismissed by Tendulkar, caught by Ganguly at fine leg, with three overs to spare.
Ijaz Ahmed (39) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (39) scored crucial runs in the death overs to guide Pakistan to 327 for the loss of five wickets.
Tendulkar (2/61) was the pick of the bowlers.
During those days, Dravid was just a year old in international cricket. But he had scored a string of fifties against Pakistan, West Indies, Australia and South Africa. His century (107 off 116) kept India in the game but he ran out of partners to cross the finish line. Vinod Kambli (65 off 80) was the only other batsman to score a fifty as India stopped at 292.
Anwar was adjudged the Player of the Match for his record-breaking innings.
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