Wills World Cup, quarter-final


Toss: India.

This encounter inspired high passions which boiled over back in Pakistan after India won. One fan reportedly shot his television and then himself, while captain Wasim Akram was burned in effigy. Wasim was not even playing, having ruptured his side muscles, but conspiracy theorists, fuelled by the previous year's allegations of bribery, speculated that he might have withdrawn deliberately, a charge he indignantly denied. In fact, the game looked keenly contested and turned into a thriller. India chose to bat but, though the bowlers made no gains until the 22nd over, their top batsmen never quite took control either. Tendulkar's 31 was a trifle by his standards. Sidhu, seven short of his century when Mushtaq Ahmed's flipper deceived him, steered India to an impressive-sounding 168 for two, but the scoring-rate was barely four and a half an over. It was Jadeja who played the decisive role, scoring 45 from 25 balls (four fours and two sixes), coupled with a tremendous onslaught from the tail. They smashed 51 off the last three overs. Waqar bowled two of those overs for 40 runs, after his first eight had cost just 27; when he got Jadeja he became the fourth player to take 200 wickets in one-day internationals. Meanwhile, a slow over-rate was punished by the deduction of an over from Pakistan's reply, the only such penalty in the tournament. Even so, their openers seized the initiative. Saeed Anwar had scored 48 from 32 balls, including two sixes, when he skied to Kumble; stand-in captain Aamir Sohail was 55 from 46, with one six, when he slashed wildly at Prasad. Pakistan made 113 for two from the vital first 15 overs, putting them way ahead of India. But Prasad grabbed two more wickets and, gradually, the scoring-rate faltered. Rashid Latif, with two big sixes in a run-a-ball 26, kept Pakistan going, but his stumping sparked a collapse to Kumble. The run-out of Javed Miandad signalled the end of Pakistan's reign as one-day champions and, apparently, of a career spanning three decades. With characteristic rancour, he used the announcement of his retirement to denounce the team management for ignoring his batting and strategic expertise.

Man of the Match: N. S. Sidhu.

© John Wisden & Co