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England, the weakest of the four sides involved, won the fourth Sharjah Cup by virtue of their superior run-rate after Pakistan had chosen to put national pride before the £18,750 first prize in the final match of the round-robin tournament. Whereas India, their opponents, would have won the Cup had they maintained their unbeaten record in the competition, Pakistan's task was more complicated. To head the table, they had not only to win but also to beat England's run-rate of 4.46 per over. In the event, with India scoring 183 for eight in their 50 overs - a total insufficient to threaten England's run-rate if they lost - Pakistan had to score the 184 required in only 32.4 overs. Such is the rivalry between the neighbouring countries that Pakistan's early-order batsmen, fearing a possible collapse, refused to take the risks needed. And although an unbeaten partnership of 93 between Salim Malik and Javed Miandad won the match with eight wickets to spare, 41.4 overs were used in overtaking India's total. The match, billed as the final and sold out well in advance, was watched by a crowd of some 18,000 Indian and Pakistani expatriates living in the United Arab Emirates.
The performance of his batsmen was later criticised by Imran Khan, Pakistan's captain, but it was welcomed by an England side which, missing five of the top six batsmen from their tour to Australia, had begun the tournament 10-1 outsiders. They had lost their opening match to India by three wickets, but while Pakistan and India were recording victories over a disappointing Australian side which, apart from the injured Dean Jones, was virtually of Test strength, England's players found their touch by dint of hard work in the nets. A cultured 83 from Tim Robinson sent Pakistan crashing to a five-wicket defeat and Graham Gooch made 86 as Australia were beaten by 11 runs.
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