India vs Pakistan: Reliving the top 5 thrilling ODI encounters 

India vs. Pakistan

The Indo-Pak cricket rivalry is the ultimate rivalry in the cricket world, rated higher than Ashes and Kangaroo and Kiwi rivalry. It is a clash of the titans, the matches played by real men fighting for the national glory. The intense competition brings the best out of both nations.

India vs. Pakistan

The Indo- Pak gets the maximum television coverage across both the nation spreading their presence to the Indian diaspora. More than 83 million people watch the Indo-Pak encounter across the world. The partition pain is visible on the ground too, all tricks of the trade are used to win the game at any cost. A stellar performance against the arch-rival came to make you a national hero in the country.

Here is a list of top 5 thrilling Indo-Pak ODI encounters, where two superpowers collided like a blazing beam and tried to their mettle over each other.

#1. India vs Pakistan Champions Trophy final 2017

Ind vs Pak

It was the first occasion when Pakistan played the mini World Cup as an underdog. No one expected them to even reach the quarter-finals. It was also the first time when 2 times World Cup winner had to qualify for the Champions Trophy.

They never looked like a reckoned force throughout the tournament. India easily defeated them during the group stages by a margin of 124 runs to maintain their 100% win record in the ICC tournaments. After the slump performance in the group stages, the team rose to the occasion during the quarterfinals and semifinals. It was a dream finale for the Men in green against the men in blue India.

Pakistan saved their trump card in the form of Fakar Zaman, the surprise package for India. India expected the opposition to go hard at them but weren’t aware of the openers. The Pakistani team adjusted to the conditions and played astonishingly well with the first-wicket partnership for 128 runs.

Akbar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez too scored 50+ score with a strike rate of 100+ taking the team total to 338 in 50 overs. The defending champion India didn’t start well and lost Rohit Sharma the opener on a duck.  The team fell like a pack of cards and was 61-6 in the first 15 overs.

Only Hardik Pandya blistering 76 was the shining performance in the innings. The team was booked on 158 runs in 30 overs. Just before the tournament, Indian batting wizard Virender Sehwag mocked Pakistan cricket team giving a slogan “Beta beta hi hota hai aur baap bapp” and was trolled by the Pakistani fans after India’s loss.

#2. India vs. Pakistan, World Cup 2003

India vs. Pakistan, World Cup 2003

In 2003, Pakistan was seen as an arch-nemesis in India after bitter fought Kargil war. The political relations were strained, winning a game against Pakistan was like winning a World Cup for India. No team was in a mood to lose. Amidst all tension, both the team geared up to play a World Cup group match in Centurion.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat. Saeed Anwar was in peerless form and milked the Indian pacers, easily picking the gaps. They got the required start, but couldn’t capitalize and the wickets kept falling at regular intervals.

Only Younis Khan showed some intent and determination to occupy the crease and score runs at a brisk pace. The Indian pacers hunted the Pakistani batsmen like a pack of wolves and restricted to a chasable total of 273 runs.

The liberated team decided to play cautiously the likes of Akram, Younis and Akhtar and play big shots when settled. Sachin Tendulkar didn’t eat breakfast and only had ice cream before the match.  Usually, Virender Sehwag faced the first ball, but this time it was Sachin.

He looked in sublime form from the ball one and hit Akram through the covers for four, disclosing his aggressive intentions. In the second over, he derailed the Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar hitting him for the world-famous six, followed by two back to back fours.

He was in no mood to spare any bowler and dispatched them to all parts of the ground consistently. By the end of 15th overs, the game was already slipped from the Pakistan hands. Sachin got out on 98 missing the magical three-digit figure. Although, his knock didn’t go in vain and the other batsman capitalized the start, reaching the target in just 45. 4 overs.

It is still considered the best World Cup match till date by the ardent cricket fans.

#3. India vs. Pakistan Match Benson and Hedges World Cup 1992

India vs. Pakistan Match World Cup 1992

By the nineties, both India and Pakistan were the formidable forces of the world cricket. Where India had World Cup and World Cup championship trophy under their kitty, Pakistan threatened the batsmen globally through their lethal bowling attack. The two superpowers of the Indian subcontinent were all set to tussle in World Cup 1992.

It was the first World Cup for young Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam Ul Haq and the last encounter of Imran Khan, the captain. Inzamam was the emerging star, whereas Sachin Tendulkar was already an established player in the international arena.

India won the toss and chose to bat. Ajay Jadeja and Krishnamachari Srikkanth opened the innings and gave a slow, but steady start. The team played well in bits and pieces, most of the players reached the double figures collectively taking the team total to 216. Sachin was the only player to have scored a fifty in the match, which later proved to be a match-winning knock. The team was all out in the 49th over of the match.

It was a small target to chase and Pakistan made it like a juicy win. Although, they two crucial wickets of Inzamam Ul Faq and Zahid Fazal early, kept scoring at a rapid pace. Eventually, the team couldn’t handle the butterflies in the stomach and was booked on 173 in the 49th over of the match.

The match was known for Javed Miandad monkey jump at the crease mimicking Kiran More to tease him. According to the legend, Kiran More was appealing, almost at every delivery. Javed got agitated and mimicked him to release the frustration.

It was the first World Cup match played between the India and Pakistan.

#4. India vs. Pakistan- Austral Asia Cup final at Sharjah in 1986

India vs. Pakistan- Austral Asia Cup final at Sharjah in 1986

Who could forget the Austral Asia Cup final in Sharjah in 1986, when Javed Miandad hit the six at the last ball of the match and winning the trophy for his team. Chetna Sharma was the bowler, who was hit for the six. Before anyone judges Chetan Sharma as a mediocre bowler, he was the first Indian bowler to take a hat trick in the one-day internationals. The six ended his international career forever. He is still mocked and cursed by the Indians.

Let’s rewind the match highlights. Indian innings started fashionably, both the openers (Sunil Gavaskar & Kris Srikkanth) were in sublime form. Both the batsmen reached their fifties in a spanking fashion and were involved in a 100+ run partnership for the first wicket. Sunil became the nervous nineties victim and lost his wicket at the score of 92.

After the departure of Dileep Vengasarkar, the team lost the rest seven wickets within 19 runs shifting the momentum towards the Pakistan team. The Indian pacers dismissed both the openers cheaply giving the breakthrough to the team. When wickets were falling at the other hand, Javed Miandad stood his ground and kept smashing the Indian bowlers to every corner of the park.

The match went down the wire and six runs were needed off the last ball and Javed Miandad was on strike. It was a block hole ball, but Miandad made it a full toss to get the elevation required for a six. Javed Miandad was later declared the Man of the Match for his outstanding performance.

#5. India vs Pakistan – Asia Cup 2010

India vs Pakistan – Asia Cup 2010

Indian cricket reached its peak between the period from 2007-2011, the team won every tournament, including the Asia Cup and World Cup. For the first time, the Indian team reached the first rank in the test matches. They were invincible, whereas Pakistan was at the decline, with almost no cricket at home. The team had to satisfy its cravings by playing bilateral series in UAE.

Although, you can never Pakistan team out of the game for long, if the opposition in India. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat to exploit the batting conditions. Salman Butt gave a breathtaking start to India, taking the team to 100 within 20 overs. Every Pakistani batsman got the start, but couldn’t capitalize. Only Kamran Akmal converted the start into a fifty, taking the team total to 267 runs in 49.3 overs.

India was in revenge mode. Both the team last met in the 2009 Champions Trophy, where team India was blown away by Mohammad Amir. India was out of the competition. This time it was the other way around. Despite losing Virender Sehwag early, Gautam Gambhir left no stones unturned in thrashing the Pakistanis. He kept rotating the strike and hit a boundary on the loose deliveries. India was steadily reaching the target, but at a low run rate. It was Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh partnership, which diffused the Pakistani bowling bomb during the crunch situations.

Harbhajan Singh showed no mercy and clobbered both Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Amir for a six each. The match went down the wire and was won by India in the second last ball of the match. Harbhajan Singh took no six and hit skyrocketing through the midwicket, taking his team to one of the famous victories in recent times.

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