AustralAsia Cup final, Sharjah, 1986

The lone hand - Salim Malik takes the game away

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Saleem Malik could take the game away without the opposition knowing it © Getty Images
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Electrifying passages revisits ten great passages of play that exemplify the intensity and passion of the rivalry between India and Pakistan ...

At Kolkata in 1987, India breathed a sigh of relief when they dismissed Miandad cheaply during another Pakistan run-chase. But like a bolt from the blue came Salim Malik, who smashed 72 from 36 balls from No. 7 and shepherded the tailenders past the target.

Chandrakant Pandit



Malik came in with around eight overs remaining and the asking-rate at around eight an over. To add to it, he lost Imran soon, and there weren't many others left to lend him a hand.

Maninder Singh had enough overs left and was bowling to Malik on middle and leg, trying to make him play to the on side, and not give away many runs. But Malik started sweeping it very fine and got quite a few runs that way.

Ravi Shastri and Lalchand Rajput were operating from the other end, and Malik was middling everything he faced from them. He was so calculating, nicely picking gaps for his singles, hitting boundaries mainly between square leg and midwicket, and taking last-ball singles to retain the strike.

Eden Gardens was reverberating with nervous energy. India were on top most of the time, but slowly, without our knowing it, Malik had taken the game away. We knew he was the danger man, but we couldn't keep him off strike. Maninder was trying to get him out by trying to beat him in the flight. But Malik picked everything so well that he easily pierced the five-man leg-side field.

Unfortunately for Maninder, I missed stumping Malik when he had made 30-odd. It was an armer and Malik, going for the on-drive went onto the front foot and missed. The ball went off my gloves, and he got his foot back in time. You could say we lost the match there.

Pandit made 6 not out in India's innings, batting at No. 8. Interviewed by Nagraj Gollapudi.

Rameez Raja



When Malik came in at 161 for 5, we didn't really think we had a chance - we needed about 80 runs still and there were no batsmen left apart from him. In those days, that sort of run-rate was considered impossible to achieve - we needed six an over at the start, which was high, and then when he came in, it was about eight or nine.

We only thought we were in with a chance with about four overs to go, and in particular after Malik blasted Kapil for five fours in an over. He square-drove him, hit him over fine leg, and through third man. Their field placings were just following the ball after that. Those boundaries were part of seven he hit in a row.

All India needed to do was control the boundaries; they had a fairly decent attack with Maninder and Roger Binny. But they couldn't. Malik seemed in complete control of the situation. And he did it single-handed.

He won it with another drive, typically wristy, through cover-point for another boundary. Amazing.

Rameez made 58 opening the innings for Pakistan. Interviewed by Osman Samiuddin.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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