India vs Pakistan: Blast from the past- Part 2
India got the better of the Pakistan in all the World Cup encounters until 2003 and ensured that the trend prevailed in the new decade as well. Almost everything had changed but there was constant, the thorn in Pakistan's flesh and that was Sachin Tendulkar.
1999: ICC Cricket World Cup
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Date: 8th June 1999
Man of the Match: Venkatesh Prasad
With India emerging victorious in the two previous World Cup encounters, history was against Pakistan and speaking of history, the two nations clashed again in the country of their old colonial master and for the backdrop they had the Kargil conflict. The match was somehow a sporting manifestation of the gun-battles fought miles away. Tempers flared and it was pretty clear that whichever side could exercise restrain would eventually take the spoils. Sachin, Dravid and Azharuddin ensured that India ended with a competitive score of 227.
And then began the Karnataka show again, as Venkatesh Prasad, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble stuffed life out of the Pakistani batting order and ensured that they never remain in the chase leave alone overhauling the target. The result as was in the battlefield, was also in the cricket ground where Pakistan simply caved in front of Indian determination.
2003: ICC Cricket World Cup
Venue: Centurion Park, South Africa
Date: 1st March 2003
Man of the Match: Sachin Tendulkar
It was March again and Sachin ensured that Pakistan are once again not allowed to enjoy the bliss of Spring with the comforting thoughts of overpowering India. Pakistan batted well and India bowled good enough to restrict them to 273, nevertheless a tricky chase against the likes of Akram, Waqar and Shoaib. Shoaib Akhtar had recorded the fastest legal delivery ever bowled in Cricket and on the fast and bouncy track was expected to run amok on the Indian batting line-up. But what followed, was a cold-blooded assault from Sachin, that had it been any other bowler he would have ended up in depression.
Sachin led the most brutal onslaught the Pakistan pace battery could have ever faced and ensured that the match never swayed towards the opposition. Had it not been for the cramps Sachin could have ended the match in less than 40 overs. Hampered by injury, he received the best delivery Akhtar has ever bowled and returned for what will forever remain his most famous half-century.
The lingering image of the match will forever be the six which Sachin manufactured of a searing Akhtar delivery.
Ind Vs Pak: Blast from the past - Part 1