Pakistan achieved their third win of the World Cup in seven matches with 5 balls to spare as they ended New Zealand’s unbeaten run in the tournament.
The year was 1992. 27 years later, it’s deja vu!
At the 2019 ICC World Cup, Pakistan beat an undefeated New Zealand to claim their third victory of the World Cup in their seventh game with five balls to spare. Who writes the script for Pakistan?
Well there’s more to it.
Pakistan’s results in the ongoing World Cup so far have followed the exact same order as that of the 1992 World Cup that Pakistan went on to win by beating England in the final. It seems ridiculous to suggest it will happen again, but would you bet against Pakistan?
And there’s more! This ESPNCricinfo story makes things spooky. In 1992, the two previous winners of the World Cup were India and Australia. In 2019, that is exactly the case.
In 1992, Asif Ali Zardari, a former president of Pakistan was in jail. In 2019, Asif Ali Zardari again is in jail.
In 1992, Aladdin was released as an animated musical film. In 2019, an Aladdin film, a live-action adaptation of the 1992 film was launched.
Even in cricketing context, two new white balls were used in the 1992 World Cup, one at each end. The same pattern is been followed in 2019.
And if you dig deep you’ll find more.
Although skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed played down parallels with the 1992 triumph. He said, “When the World Cup starts, people think that way. But we’re not thinking like that. Our focus is the next match. We are very confident and hopefully we’ll do well.”
However, it has not stopped fans from getting excited by the prospect of a repeat performance by the team.
Babar Azam and Haris Sohail steered Pakistan to a comfortable victory over New Zealand and take them within one point of fourth-placed England. The men in green face Afghanistan and Bangladesh in their remaining two games and are in a great position to pounce if England continue to falter.
Pakistan have gone from strugglers to contenders in space of ten days, just like they did in 1992 and also in 2017 when they won the ICC Champions Trophy. Can anyone stop Pakistan now? Only brave men would think otherwise.