India take on Pakistan in Manchester on Sunday in what is one of the most highly anticipated clashes of this year’s World Cup. This will be the seventh time in history that the arch-rivals will be facing each other in the marquee 50-over event.
Virat Kohli and his men enter the contest as firm favourites after being undefeated in the tournament so far. The 1983 and 2011 champions got the better of South Africa and Australia in their first two games, before sitting through a wash-out against New Zealand.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have had a topsy-turvy journey through the course of their first four matches. The 1992 winners started their campaign with a heavy loss against the West Indies, before stunning hosts England and sharing a point with Sri Lanka after a wash-out. In their last encounter, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Co wasted several opportunities in their defeat to defending champions Australia.
A win on Sunday is more crucial for Pakistan as they have just three points from four games at the moment. India are sitting comfortably on the table with five points from three matches.
The two teams have had a long-standing rivalry in World Cup cricket, having played each other six times in the past. Although India have emerged victorious on each of those occasions, the excitement around this contest is always sky-high due to the history the two neighbouring countries share.
India-Pakistan matches in World Cups have never gone down to the wire but they’ve had their fair share of drama. There have been some brilliant performances on the field that will never be forgotten by fans, along with a few heated moments between players that have gone on to become iconic. As we head towards the seventh installment of this great World Cup match-up, now is a good time to look back at the previous six encounters between the two nations.
Here’s a recap of all six India-Pakistan World Cup matches:
1992 – India won by 43 runs
Batting first after skipper Mohammad Azharuddin won the toss, India posted a meager total of 216/7 in 49 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Sachin Tendulkar was the top-scorer with an unbeaten 54 off 62. Mushtaq Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan with figures of 3/59 from 10 overs.
In reply, Imran Khan and his men, the eventual champions, looked set to go over the line with opener Aamir Sohail crafting his way to a half-century. They crossed hundred runs with eight wickets in hand before player of the match Tendulkar dismissed Sohail for 62 and triggered a collapse.
From that point on, Pakistan struggled to build partnerships and were eventually bowled out for 173 in 48.1 overs. Fast-bowlers Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar and Javagal Srinath picked three wickets apiece to derail the chase. This was the same match in which Javed Miandad held his bat high and jumped in the air to mock Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More.
1996 – India won by 39 runs
This is the encounter in which Venkatesh Prasad gave Sohail that epic send-off. In this match too, Azharuddin won the toss and elected to bat first. India got the start they wanted as Navjot Singh Sidhu [93 off 115] and Tendulkar [31 off 59] added 90 runs for the first wicket. Player of the match Sidhu took Pakistan’s bowlers to task, smashing 11 boundaries to delight the crowd at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
This match is also famous for Ajay Jadeja’s demolition of Waqar Younis. Batting at No 6, the right-hander blazed his way to a 25-ball 45 and powered his team to a solid total of 287/6 in 50 overs. Younis with 2/67 and Ahmed with 2/56 were the most successful Pakistani bowlers.
Sohail top-scored for his team once again with 55 off 46, but his unforgettable dismissal by Prasad proved to be the turning point of the match. Four Pakistani batsmen – Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Saleem Malik and Miandad – had 30-plus scores but none of them could convert it into a big one. Prasad and Anil Kumble got three wickets each to restrict their opposition to 248/9 in 49 overs.
1999 – India won by 47 runs
This match saw Azharuddin captain India in a third successive World Cup match against Pakistan, win the toss, and elect to bat first. The game was played at the same venue in which the two teams will clash on Sunday.
It was Azharuddin’s 59 off 77 and Rahul Dravid’s 61 off 89 that helped India get to a respectable score of 227/6 in 50 overs. They were looking good to get a much bigger total till Tendulkar was at the crease, but the opener’s dismissal for 45 off 65 balls turned the tide.
Skipper Wasim Akram, with 2/27 from his 10 overs, was the standout bowler for Pakistan. His bowling mates were disciplined with the ball overall and did well to set up what looked like a straightforward chase.
However, as was the case the previous two times Pakistan faced India in the World Cup, they succumbed to the pressure this time around as well. A big reason for that was the sensational spell bowled by player of the match Prasad. The right-arm pacer ran through the Pakistan batting order and returned with figures of 5/27 from 9.3 overs. Inzamam-ul-Haq top-scored with 41 off 93 as Pakistan were bowled out for just 180 in 45.3 overs.
2003 – India won by six wickets with 26 balls remaining
Pakistan finally got the opportunity to bat first in a World Cup match against India after skipper Younis won the toss at the SuperSport Park in Centurion. However, despite opener Anwar’s classy 101 off 126, they couldn’t post a huge total and were restricted to 273/7 in 50 overs. Zaheer Khan with 2/46 from 10 overs was the best bowler for India.
From there on, Tendulkar decided to make the game his own. The player of the match made his intentions clear with that iconic upper-cut six off Shoaib Akhtar. India, though, were in a serious spot of bother when opener Virender Sehwag and captain Sourav Ganguly were dismissed off successive deliveries by Younis with just 53 on the board. But Tendulkar was not going to be denied.
Aided by a reprieve from Abdul Razzaq, the right-handed batsman tore into the Pakistani bowlers en route his 75-ball 98. He may have missed out on a richly-deserved century but Dravid [44 not out off 76] and Yuvraj Singh [50 not out off 53] ensured his efforts didn’t go in vain. India, who ended the tournament as runners-up, finished with 276/4 in 45.4 overs to earn a memorable win.
2011 – India won by 29 runs
This was the first time the two teams played each other in a knockout match of the World Cup. And the semi-final clash at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali lived up to its billing. Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first and it was a Tendulkar show yet again.
The right-handed opener, aided by as many as five dropped catches, punished the Pakistanis with 11 boundaries in his 115-ball 85. However, India, the eventual champions, could manage just 260/9 in 50 overs thanks to Wahab Riaz’s brilliant spell of 5/46 from 10 overs.
With the ball in hand, it was a complete team performance by India. All their five bowlers – Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh – picked two wickets each to bowl Pakistan out for 231 in 49.5 overs. Misbah-ul-Haq was the highest scorer with 56 off 76. Tendulkar was adjudged the player of the match for the third time in an India-Pakistan World Cup match.
2015 – India won by 76 runs
For the fifth time in six meetings, India won the toss and opted to bat first against Pakistan in the World Cup. Skipper Kohli led the way with a discipline 107 off 126. He was ably supported by Shikhar Dhawan [73 off 76] and Suresh Raina [74 off 56] as the defending champions posted 300/7 in 50 overs at the Adelaide Oval.
Right-arm pacer Sohail Khan had a memorable outing with the ball as he returned with figures of 5/55 from 10 overs. In this match as well, it was Misbah-ul-Haq, captaining the team this time around, who top-scored for Pakistan with 76 off 84. But none of the other batsmen managed to even get a fifty as they were bowled out for 227 in 47 overs.
Mohammed Shami got 4/35 from nine overs to star with the ball for India. The right-arm fast-bowler’s effort helped India register their biggest victory, in terms of margin of runs, over Pakistan. Kohli was given the player of the match award for his match-winning century.