This India vs Pakistan ODI was a classic T20 played in Kolkata

The India vs Pakistan match had all the ingredients of a classic - a heroic century by Srikkanth, Azhar coming late in the order to blast 49 as the Kolkata crowd smelled victory.

World champions India vs Pakistan

It was a potboiler between India and Pakistan played in 1987 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata with India being the world champions under Kapil Dev.

The match had all the ingredients of a classic - a heroic century by Srikkanth(123) in just 103 balls with a strike rate of 119, Azhar coming late in the order to blast 49 as the Kolkata crowd smelled victory.

The match was played amid heightened India-Pakistan tensions in the era of "cricket diplomacy" with General Zia in control of Pakistan.

(Photograph:AFP)

Srikkanth hits Sehwag-like ton

Indian opener Kris Srikkanth proved to be India's wall as he hit a century at "T20" pace hitting 123 in just 103 balls studded with 14 boundaries and one six.

Srikkanth always preferred to attack from the first ball much like Sehwag and T20 stalwarts of later years but in this match, the former selector was in a different zone as he put Imran's attack to the sword.

Although India lost Lalchand Rajput(0) early with the scoreboard at 1-3 as captain Imran struck and Lamba too was lapped up by the Pakistan captain but Srikkanth never let India's momentum slip.

(Photograph:AFP)

Azhar, Srikkanth pull India ahead

India wobbled as Vengsarkar exited after scoring just 12 but the young Azharuddin entered his favourite arena at the Eden Garden and together with Srikkanth stitched a 145-run partnership to put India in the driver's seat.

A confident India put 238/6 on the board in 40 overs setting a stiff target for Pakistan.

Pakistan did not hold back as they made a confident start with Ramiz Raja and Younis Ahmed putting together 106 runs for the first wicket but India was still in the game as Indian bowlers were keeping a steady line.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Miandad falls

After Ramiz Raja fell, Pakistan's innings began to fall apart as Miandad was unable to thwart the Indian attack falling  Maninder Singh.

Imran then made a surprising change sending in Abdul Qadir as a pinch hitter but the gamble failed as Shastri accounted for his wicket with Pakistan reduced to 150-4.

After the dangerous Manzoor Elahi departed, captain Imran was expected to carry the burden but Kapil picked up him as the Kolkata crowd erupted.

As Pakistan was reduced to 174/6, India had the match in the bag, well almost because what happened after that stunned the crowd and left India shell shocked.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Saleem Malik's show

Saleem Malik was at the other end when Imran fell as Pakistan needed an impossible 78 runs still to win with just 8 over remaining. The target was stiff even by T20 standards.

However, the young Malik was not overawed. He started a late assault on the Indian bowling attack which left everyone dazed.

(Photograph:AFP)

Salim Malik powers Pak

Malik began spotting boundaries all over the ground as the Indian attack began to wilt. Kapil Dev who had bowled a steady line till was treated with disdain by Malik. India's spin spearhead Maninder Singh gave away 70 runs in 10 overs.

Malik and Wasim put on a 50-run partnership, however, such was Malik's dominance that Wasim had actually scored just 3 runs off 3 balls.

(Photograph:AFP)

Kapil's gamble

The tide once again shifted in India's favour as wicketkeeper Saleem Yousuf was run out for a duck. However, what looked like a bad idea earlier as Imran had sent in Qadir up the order turned out to be a masterstroke as Mudassar Nazar walked into bat as the No-10 batsman.

The crowd was on the edge of their seats with India needing 2 wickets to win and Pakistan staring at victory with seven runs needed to register an unlikely victory.

Kapil had run out of bowling options as Shastri who was India's best bowler having scalped 4 wickets had bowled his quota of overs giving away just 38 runs.

Roger Binny had given away 21 in just 2 overs and Madan Lal was plundered for 33 in 5 overs, so Lalchand Rajput was to bowl but he failed to give India a breakthrough.

(Photograph:AFP)

India-Pak classic

Kapil bowled the last over with Pakistan needing 4 runs to win. Malik ended the match hitting a boundary off Kapil's third ball as he amassed an unbeaten 72 in just 36 balls with 11 boundaries and a six pulling off a 2-wicket victory with 3 balls to spare in true T-20 fashion. Malik was declared the man of the match for his swashbuckling knock.

It was an innings that would make any modern-day T20 player proud. The classic India-Pakistan ODI may have faded in memory but it remains one of the best one-day innings played by any batsman in an impossible situation and another chapter was added to India and Pakistan's historic cricket rivalry.

(Photograph:AFP)

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