At Rawalpindi, March 16, 2004 (day/night). Pakistan won by 12 runs. Toss: Pakistan. One-day international debut: R. R. Powar.
Once again, the hunters fell tantalisingly short in a high-scoring thriller, with India just failing after needing 16 off the last two overs. Shahid Afridi, out of the Pakistan team for a year since the World Cup, made a glorious comeback, spanking 80 from 58 balls and rattling up 138 in 19 overs with Yasir Hameed. And late hitting by Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik saw 50 runs flow from the final five overs. In between, Nehra braved a swollen ankle to take two in two balls to slow the tempo, then split the webbing of his fingers and had to be sent home. On a pitch that he said became progressively slower, Tendulkar scored a superb century, India's first in a one-day international in Pakistan, and became the first player to reach 13,000 one-day runs. But his dismissal, sweeping to deep mid-wicket in the 39th over, galvanised the bowling; seven overs later India slumped to 284 for eight when Shoaib Akhtar fired out two in two. The valiant hitting of Balaji and debutant Ramesh Powar won the heart of Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, who took tea with the Indians next day. It also kept India in the game until the penultimate over, when Sami theatrically defeated last man Nehra's uncalculated swipe.
Man of the Match: S. R. Tendulkar.
Rahul Bhattacharya is contributing editor of Cricinfo Magazine and author of Pundits from Pakistan