Six great Pakistan-India clashes in white-ball cricket

By: AFP      Published: 09:18 AM, 22 Oct, 2021
Six great Pakistan-India clashes in white-ball cricket
File photo.

Virat Kohli's India begin the Twenty20 World Cup as one of the favourites and take on arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.

AFP Sport looks back at six memorable limited-overs matches between the Asian cricket giants ahead of their latest clash:

Last-ball six (April 18, 1986 - Sharjah)

Javed Miandad's last-ball six at the desert venue still rankles in the memory of most Indian fans who were left heartbroken with Pakistan's one-wicket win in a dramatic final.

Pakistan needed 246 to win and Miandad walked in at 61-3 to hit an unbeaten 116 off 114 balls.

With four needed off the final delivery, Indian fast bowler Chetan Sharma bowled a full toss and Miandad got the ball sailing into the crowd to trigger celebrations among the Pakistan fans.

Tendulkar rules (March 1, 2003 - Centurion)

Sachin Tendulkar has won many matches for India but his 98 against Pakistan at the 50-over World Cup remains special due his duel with speedster Shoaib Akhtar.

Tendulkar stood tall in his 75-ball knock that guided India in their chase of 274 against a Pakistan bowling line-up boasting Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Akhtar.

The Master Blaster uppercut one of Akhtar's express deliveries to a delightful six over third man - a shot that became iconic in Tendulkar's career. 

Akhtar later got his revenge with Tendulkar's wicket but the damage had been done.

Bowl-out drama (September 14, 2007 - Durban)

The two rivals played out a thriller in the inaugural T20 World Cup as their group match ended in a tie. Pakistan ended on the same score - 141 - as India.

But India prevailed in an interesting bowl-out with five players on each side trying to hit the stumps at the other end while bowling.

Captain M.S. Dhoni chose his part time slow bowlers for the act and they hit their target everytime while Pakistan's pace bowlers misfired.

The bowl-out was later discontinued for a super-over decider in case of tied finishes in the limited-overs format.

Misbah heartbreak (September 24, 2007 - Johannesburg)

The teams again met in the final 10 days later for a heart-stopping finish at a packed stadium.

Pakistan faltered in their chase of 158 and slipped to 77-6 before Misbah-ul-Haq raised their hopes with a fighting knock that took the match into the final over.

Needing 13 off the final over off Joginder Sharma, Misbah hit a six on the second ball and then tried an audacious scoop shot that went high up and down into the hands of Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at short fine leg to break Pakistan hearts.

Professor act (December 25, 2012 - Bangalore)

Pakistan's only T20 victory against India came with a special effort from captain Mohammad Hafeez in the opener of a two-match series.

Chasing 143 for victory, Pakistan were in trouble at 12-3 when Umar Akmal departed for nought off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Hafeez, who is called 'professor' for his understanding of the game, then put on 106 runs with Shoaib Malik, who hit 57, as Pakistan won with two balls to spare.

India enjoy a head-to-head T20 count of 7-1 against Pakistan.

Zaman classic (June 18, 2017 - London)

Coming in as underdogs in the Champions Trophy final, Pakistan brought their A game to the table with Fakhar Zaman taking the game by storm with a sparling century.

Zaman's 114 off 106 balls and a 128-run opening stand with Azhar Ali guided Pakistan to a mammoth 338 for four and deflated Virat Kohli's team at the Oval.

The left-hander clobbered the Indian attack, including Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, hitting 12 fours and three sixes.

Pakistan's bowlers then came firing and dismissed India for just 158.

England put T20 World Cup pursuit on bucket list

England's bowlers have opted for a decidedly low-tech approach to winning the T20 World Cup by training with a humble bucket to counter the crushing humidity of the Gulf.

Seamer David Willey said England players are soaking their hands in buckets of water during training sessions in order to replicate the feeling of using a ball saturated by evening dew, with four of their five Super 12 games taking place at night. 

"The biggest thing for the seamers, towards the back end when you're sweating the most, is being confident about bowling yorkers," explained Willey, the son of former England batsman and Test umpire Peter Willey, on Thursday.

"The margin for error when you're doing that is so small... You can become a little bit more nervous about bowling no-balls and flat ones when that ball is wet.

"All you can do is practice. Even if it's just dunking balls in buckets and catching, fielding and bowling with these wet balls."

Meanwhile, Willey said he treats every England appearance as "if it's my last" following his heartbreaking exit from the victorious 2019 World Cup squad.

Having been a regular in the 50-over format, the paceman was left out on the eve of the tournament as England opted for international novice Jofra Archer instead before triumphing on home soil.

The 31-year-old, however, has fought back to regain his place in an England squad now without the injured Archer and the left-armer could now feature in the team's T20 World Cup opener against the West Indies in Dubai on Saturday.

But the painful memories of two years ago remain vivid for Willey. 

"I don't think anything that happens in my cricketing career will ever be as bad or disappointing as that," he said. 

"But I think the personal growth from me thereon, and probably just refocusing on enjoying my cricket, has been massive for me.

"It's probably why I'm sat here today, back playing for England. I'm playing every game as if it's my last and really savouring the moment of pulling on that England shirt."