On this day in 1998: Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant all-around effort helps India beat Pakistan

Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant all-around effort helped India to a stunning win over Pakistan in the first Independence Cup final in Dhaka in 1998

On this day in 1998: Sachin Tendulkar's brilliant all-around effort helps India beat Pakistan

Hasi Kamanger
Editor

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On this day in 1998: India played against Pakistan in the first final of the 1998 Independence Cup in Dhaka. Mohammad Azharuddin was the captain of India while Pakistan was captained by Rashid Latif.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first. Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi gave them a good start, adding 45 for the opening wicket before the outsider right-hander was sacked by Harvinder Singh. Anwar continued the pace and had taken the score to 73 with Aamer Sohail before Mohanty defeated the latter on 10.
Sairaj Bahatule got the big wicket by Anwar on the 24th. Pakistan reduced to 95 for 3. Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq took control before man with the golden arm for India Sachin Tendulkar saw the backs of the middle-ranked two big hitters for Pakistan in back-to-back overs. This was a huge blow to Pakistan and the turning point of the game.
The innings lost whatever momentum they had built up and were completely derailed. Azhar Mahmood chipped in at 30 before being cleaned out by Javagal Srinath. Pakistan collapsed, only able to field 212 for 8 in their allotted 46 overs.
Tendulkar had turned the match upside down and came back with 3 wickets. Robin Singh was the most frugal Indian bowler, conceding just 26 runs in his 9 overs. Srinath also sacked two wickets.
India fired from all guns with their star openers, Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly putting together a match-winning partnership of 159 runs in just 25 overs. The rest of the game was just a formality. Ganguly was dismissed for 68 of 87 deliveries while Tendulkar topped his day with a great 95 of 78 deliveries with 6 fours and 5 sixes.
He shredded the Pakistani bowlers they were pounding all over the park in Dhaka. Tendulkar was at his peak in all formats between 1996 and 1999 - Pakistan were unfortunate enough to face his wrath when he was at his best!
Skipper Mohammad Azharuddin went unbeaten on 30 deliveries from 38 as India chased the target in the 38th over with 8 wickets in hand. It was a crushing defeat for Pakistan. India's batting lineup was too strong against a strong Pakistani bowling unit that included world-class spinners like Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq.
Tendulkar's brilliant all-around effort earned him the Player of the Match award. He had won India the game with the ball and the bat. India took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three final.