It is festivity (make no bones about it) as India and Pakistan are set for the second riveting encounter in this month. Pakistan and India is an age old and the most sought rivalry on the cricket field (you would have read this line thousand times) yet each clash is as new as sunshine after rains. March is the month and March it was, India and Pakistan have stared upon each other quite a copious amount of times in the spring season’s first month. From bilateral series to World Cups, March has billeted it all and is here again to enthral us with another Friday night blockbuster as India take on Pakistan in World T20. We bring to you certain of limited over contests held in the month of March between the aforementioned cricketing giants
10th March 1985, Benson & Hedges World Championship: India and Pakistan were up against each other in the finals of this championship. Sunil Gavaskar and Javed Miandad led their respective sides. Pakistan won the toss and set India a measly target of 177 runs in 50 overs which India went on to complete in 48th over with the loss of two wickets only. Kris Srikkanth powered India to a win with his Man of the Match effort of 67 runs at the top.
4th March 1992, World Cup: Mohammad Azharuddin led India won the toss and elected to bat in this league match. India finished their innings on 216/7; Sachin Tendulkar was top scorer for India with his unbeaten 54. Pakistan in response was bundled out for 173 and gave India a 43 run victory. Pakistan went on to win the World Cup.
9th March 1996, World Cup: M.Chinnaswamy Stadium of Bangalore was the venue for this world cup fixture. As always pitch at Chinnaswamy proved to be a batting paradise as India after winning the toss set Pakistan a target of 288 runs, Navjot Singh Sidhu played a gutsy 93 run knock. Pakistan after a good opening start lost its way and was eventually restricted to 248 runs. This match is also famous for Venkatesh Prasad – Aamir Sohail bout.
1st March 2003, World Cup: Super spot park, Centurion was the battlefield. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat. Courtesy Saeed Anwar’s century Pakistan managed to get the total of 273/7 in 50 overs. India came to bat with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag opening. The pair tore apart Pakistan fast bowling which boasted the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. India completed the chase in 46th over. Tendulkar’s 98 off 75 balls earned him Man of the Match award.
30th March 2011, World Cup: India and Pakistan were up against each other after a long time and had played no bilateral series in the recent past. Mohali was turned into fortress for this high profile World Cup semi-final. India won the toss and batted first. India kept loosing wickets at one end and at the other end Sachin Tendulkar was enjoying his luck as Pakistan fielder looked in no mood to hold on to the chances Master Blaster provided them. With the help of Tendulkar’s 85 India managed a tricky total of 260. Pakistan started their chase cautiously but soon the world famous collapse occurred which triggered Pakistan loss and India won by 29 runs. India then went on to lift the world cup.
18th March 2012, Asia Cup: Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat first at Mirpur Dhaka. Pakistan openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed scored century each in their mammoth opening stand of 224 runs. Pakistan finished with 329 runs on board. Despite losing opener Gautam Ghambir in the very first over, India went on to win the match thanks to Virat Kohli’s terrific knock of 183 runs.
1ST March 2014, Asia Cup: Mirpur Dhaka was once again the venue for this recent epic Asia cup clash. In MS Dhoni’s absence Virat Kohli was leading India. Pakistan won the toss and offered India batting. In allotted 50 overs India managed only 248 runs. Pakistan responded well and was cruising along nicely; too many wickets fell towards the end which saw Pakistan winning in the last over with Shahid Afridi hitting two sixes off R Ashwin.
India have won majority of the matches that were played in month of March and their World Cup record against Pakistan is unbeaten. Can Pakistan manage to get past India? Or will India have the last laugh? Whatever the result will be the match promises to be nothing less than a runaway entertainer for the masses.