Independence Cup final, Dhaka, 1998

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 13:37 hrs

Partab Ramchand

The Independence Cup in Dhaka also featured Bangladesh as the third team, but it was always going to be India and Pakistan who were going to clash for the title.

With the teams level after two finals, India and Pakistan came to the third and decisive contest with the tension and excitement palpable.

And the packed stadium and the predictable worldwide TV audience saw a match that was in the best India-Pakistan traditions.

At the halfway mark, Pakistan appeared to have the match firmly in their grasp by running up a total of 314 for five in 48 overs.

Centuries by Saeed Anwar (140 off 132 deliveries) and Ijaz Ahmed (117 off 112) were the highlights and India faced a Herculean task, for never before had such a formidable total been overhauled in an ODI and the required run rate was a daunting 6.6 an over.

Openers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar gave India a flying start putting on 71 runs in 8.2 overs.

Full Scorecard

Surprisingly, Robin Singh came in at No 3, but it was his partnership with Ganguly that saw India mount a serious challenge.

The two put on 179 runs off 30 overs and by the time Robin was out for 82, the innings was into the 39th over.

Ganguly lasted another four more overs before he became the fourth Indian batsman to fall after a brilliant 124.

Wickets thereafter fell at regular intervals as a mad rush to the target ensued.

India began to get nearer and nearer, but the overs were running out fast.

Saqlain Mushtaq, the wily off spinner who had already taken three wickets, started the final over, and with three wickets in hand, the target came down to three runs from two deliveries.

There was a haze all over the stadium and it was difficult to spot the ball, but left-handed Hrishikesh Kanitkar playing in only his third ODI latched on to a delivery well pitched up and sent the ball soaring to the boundary to seal a famous, sensational triumph with one ball to spare.

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