World Cup: Can India be fifth time lucky against Pakistan?

first_imgAs India take on Pakistan in the World Cup semifinal on Wednesday at Mohali, it will be interesting to watch if Shahid Afridi’s men can shed the losers’ tag asscociated with them this time. Pakistan have never beaten India in a World Cup match. Both the teams have clashed four times on the World Cup stage with India having an upper hand everytime.India captain Dhoni will look to carry forward the legacy.With Sachin Tendulkar looking ominous, the question on everyone’s lips is if he will slam his 100th international century at Mohali and lead India home. Tendulkar has never failed with the willow against his favourite enemy Pakistan. The last time the two arch-rivals clashed in 2003 at Centurion in South Africa, Tendulkar plundered 18 runs off Shoaib Akhtar’s first over, setting the tone for the match that saw India dumping Pakistan out of the Cup. Tendulkar (98) played one of greatest knocks of One-day cricket against a formidable pace attack that included Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis as Saeed Anwar’s century went in vain.With a team that is improving its performance, Afridi is keen on beating India.Talking of India’s batting line-up, Yuvraj Singh, who has a record four MoM so far in the tournament, looks hungrier than ever for runs, while Sehwag, on his day, can decimate the opposition single handedly. As for the youth brigade, which showed lots of courage during the game against Australia, it would be a litmus test to come good at the big stage even as Afridi-led Pakistan are getting better and better with each game.So, ahead of the mega clash, we take a look at how the two teams have fared against each other:advertisement1992 Benson and Hedges World Cup: Pakistan were bundled out for 173 runs in reply to India’s 216 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, thanks to Sachin’s attacking 54 and a 26-ball 34 from Kapil Dev. India’s 43-run win had also some drama attached to it with keeper Kiran More and Javed Miandad lending a touch of colour to the high-octane encounter.The 1996 World Cup match saw Ajay jadeja score 22 runs off a Waqar Younis over.1996 Wills World Cup: Ajay Jadeja, who looted 22 runs off a Waqar Younis over in a pulsating quarterfinal tie at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, will remain a sore point for Pakistan. India’s 57 runs came off the last four overs as they folded for 287. In the high-voltage match, Venkatesh Prasad sent Aamer Sohail to pavilion soon after the latter indulged in sledging. India won by 39 runs as Pakistan crumbled under pressure. An injured Akram withdrew ahead of the match. His effigies were burnt in Karachi and Lahore by fans who saw something else in his pullout.Pak players celebrate the dismissal of Rahul Dravid in the 1999 World Cup.1999 ICC World Cup: The game, fought in the background of Kargil War, at Old Trafford, Manchester ironically did not see any friction. Venkatesh Prasad stole the show with a five wicket haul as Pakistan’s wickets fell at regular intervals chasing India’s modest target of 228 (Tendulkar’s 45, Azhar’s 59 and Dravid’s 61). India won by 47 runs.Sachin Tendulkar helped India beat Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup.2003 ICC Cricket World Cup: Saeed Anwar’s 101 runs helped Pakistan score an imposing total of 273 runs at the SuperSport Park, Centurion. However, it was Sachin’s day all along. By the time Akhtar claimed Tendulkar, who suffered cramps, it was all over. India won by six wickets.last_img

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