Published: April 13, 2020 12:28:47 pm
On April 13, 1984, India won the inaugural edition of the Asia Cup against Pakistan in a high-voltage low-scoring affair in Sharjah. Those were the days UAE wanted to get in on the cricketing action and wanted to host cricket matches as they had an audience for it and a future as far as business was concerned. One Day cricket was the way to go for them. Strangely, there were just three games in the tournament including three Asian teams – India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
Practically, India were already the winners of the tournament before the third game of the tournament after a big win over Sri Lanka. Pakistan were yet to win a game as they were beaten comprehensively by Sri Lanka. A win against India would ensure that Pakistan finishes in second place.
India were without the services of Kapil Dev in the tournament whereas Pakistan did not have the dynamic presence of Imran Khan. In Kapil’s absence due to a knee injury, a moustache-clad Sunil Gavaskar won the toss and elected to bat first in the 46-overs per side game.
The wicketkeeper-batsman Surinder Khanna, who made a comeback in the side, became the unlikely hero for India in the tournament. After a splendid half-century against Sri Lanka on April 8, the Delhi batsman scored another against Zaheer Abbas’ Pakistan. He scored 56 runs from 72 deliveries. Ghulam Parkar got run out for a 55-ball 22 after sharing a 54-run stand for the opening wicket. Veteran Dilip Vengasarkar failed to make a mark as he added 14 runs from 44 deliveries. Contributions from Sandeep Patil (50-ball 43) and skipper Gavaskar (55-ball 36) took India to a score of 188/4 in the first innings.
Right from the start of the run-chase, Indian fast bowlers Chetan Sharma and Manoj Prabhakar kept the pressure on with the new ball giving no freebies to Pakistan openers. The pressure led to Saadat Ali going for a quick single which wasn’t there for the taking and ended up losing his wicket.
Then swing-bowler Roger Binny came into the attack. Binny and Madan Lal added to the pressure as Pakistan batsmen started to get anxious. Gavaskar then brought Ravi Shastri into the mix looking for wickets. Shastri did not disappoint as he got the wicket of opener Mohsin Khan (65-ball 35) and Mudassar Nazar (50-ball 18) in the same over. Mohsin got out trying to take an aerial route whereas Nazar was beaten by the flight while advancing down the wicket resulting in getting stumped by Khanna.
Run outs derail run chase
As the run chase became trickier, Saleem Malik (17-ball 15) got run out trying to go for a quick single. Later, Qasim Umar and Abbas brought some calm to the run chase. Pakistan needed to accelerate as they approached the last 10 overs. At 125/4 they were still in the hunt but they needed a few big overs. In search of a big hit, Umar took the risk and that’s when the collapse started.
Binny pitched it up and Umar (30-ball 16) went for the big shot but could not even clear the 30-yard circle and found Prabhakar on the boundary. Shahid Mahmood came in the middle but fell victim to a comical run out as he slipped on the pitch. Abdul Qadir came on to bat but added to Abbas’ woes trying to take a non-existent single and getting run out.
Frustrated by the sudden series of events, Abbas decided to take the aerial route as he tried to flick Binny’s delivery over square leg. But he found Lal in the deep and departed for a 45-ball 27. With eight wickets falling, the game was in India’s grasp. Shastri came back to the attack and got wicketkeeper-batsman Anil Dalpat stumped whereas Sarfraz Nawaz got caught by Patil at long-off trying to hit a maximum.
#OnThisDay India won their first Asia Cup on April 13, 1984 in Sharjah under captaincy of legendary Sunil Gawaskar#asiacup #asiacupfinal #StandWithSindhGovernment #StayHome #StayHomeIndia pic.twitter.com/ESAS1BSVyx
— Sports Amour (@SportsAmour) April 13, 2020
In the end, India registered a comprehensive win by 54 runs as Pakistan lost six wickets for just nine runs and got all out for 134 in 39.4 overs. Khanna was named ‘Man of the match’ for his half-century in a low-scoring affair.
ALSO READ | The day India defied history but inspired a Caribbean tactical revolution
Till date, 14 editions of Asia Cup have been played and India have emerged victoriously on seven occasions. They are also the defending champions after beating Bangladesh in a nail-biter under the leadership of Rohit Sharma.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Sports News, download Indian Express App.
© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd