Ind Pak cricket classics | On this day in 1985: Imran Khan-inspired Pakistan bowled out India for 125, only to lose low-scoring thriller
On this day in 1985: Imran Khan-inspired Pakistan bowled out India for 125, only to lose low-scoring thriller by 38 runs | Photo: ICC Twitter
- Kapil Dev-led Team India locked horns with Javed Miandad’s Pakistan in the Four-Nations Cup
- The high-voltage clash between arch-rivals was played on March 22nd,1985 at the famous Sharjah Cricket Stadium
- Kapil Dev’s India registered a stunning win over Pakistan in the low-scoring thriller to enter the final of the Four-Nations Cup at the time
Since the inception of international cricket, arch-rivals India and Pakistan have played several humdingers across all formats of the gentlemen’s game. On this day in 1985, Team India led by legendary Kapil Dev met Imran Khan-starrer Pakistan in the first eliminator of the 1984–85 Four-Nations Cup at the monumental Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Fresh from winning the famous Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket in Australia, India under the leadership of Kapil travelled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to face bitter-rivals Pakistan in the Four-Nations Cup.
Even though Team India boasted a formidable batting lineup against Pakistan, the one-time World Champions were blown away by pace ace Imran who managed to run rings around Team India batsmen at the time. While Ravi Shastri aka the hero of the World Series Cup was handed a golden duck, legendary Sunil Gavaskar received his marching order at a paltry individual score of 2 off 9 balls by speedster Imran.
Staging a top-order collapse almost single-handedly with the leather, Imran conquered the likes of Kris Srikkanth, Dilip Vengsarkar Mohinder Amarnath, and Madan Lal to bag a memorable six-wicket haul against arch-rivals India. A young Mohammad Azharuddin still batted like a dream and scored a match-changing 47 off 93 balls. Captain Kapil chipped in with a crucial 44-ball 30 and propelled India to a scanty total of 125 in 42.4 overs.
While many pundits and followers of the game expected the Javed Miandad-led side to romp past Team India and finish the tie inside the first 20 overs, the Green Army suffered an early blow as opener Mohsin Khan was removed by Roger Binny for cheap. Mudassar Nazar and Ramiz Raja then steadied Pakistan’s ship and the Miandad-led side even crossed the 30-run mark with a loss of a solitary wicket.
At a time when Raja’s watchful knock was on the cusp of becoming the catalyst for the Asian giants, Pakistan lost Nazar via a tragic runout and Shastri then handed Miandad a 15-ball duck to shift the momentum in India’s favour. Spin wizard Laxman Sivaramakrishnan then made sure Ashraf Ali and Pakistan’s golden boy Imran followed Miandad’s footsteps in the contest as all three-star batsman failed to open their accounts in the high-voltage clash at the time.
Saleem Malik’s patient knock of 17 also failed to rescue Miandad’s men as Pakistan’s tail was wrapped up Kapil and Shastri’s brace of wickets in the low-scoring thriller. As they say, fortune favours the brave, India’s never say die attitude paved the way for the World Champions to stun their bitter-rivals in yet another humdinger of a contest.
The Imran-inspired Pakistan side bowled out India for 125 but the Green Army ended up losing the low-scoring thriller by 38 runs. Imran (6/14) was honoured with the Man of the Match award despite Pakistan finishing behind India at Sharjah.