Cricket World Cup’s Greatest Moments – Prasad Gives Sohail A Not So Sweet Send-off




Venkatesh Prasad

Venkatesh Prasad

One look at the fixtures at the end of the group stages in the 1996 edition, you knew that this was the match to watch out for. India vs. Pakistan at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Two archrivals whose cricketing relations were marred by political issues were fighting for a semifinal berth in the World Cup. The stakes couldn’t get any higher.

Complete ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Schedule

Controversy surrounded the match even before the players stepped onto the field as Pakistani skipper pulled out at the last minute due to an injury. However the match was to go on. Mohammad Azharuddin, the Indian skipper, opted to bat after winning the toss. After a sparkling 90 run opening stand between Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sachin Tendulkar, wickets began to tumble at regular intervals and the Indians were in a spot of bother as the innings was coming to an end. However Ajay Jadeja slammed Waqar Younis for 40 runs in his last two overs as Pakistan were set a highly competitive target of 288. India were on top at the halfway stage.

The Pakistani openers responded in style carting the Indian pacers to all corners of the park. Saeed Anwar and Aamer Sohail, the stand-in skipper, put on 84 runs in the first 10 overs as silence descended upon the whole of Bangalore. Srinath deceived Anwar into skying into the hands of mid-on. However this did not affect Sohail one bit as he continued the onslaught on the Indian bowlers. He brought up his fifty and the match was slowly slipping out of India’s hands.

And then came the moment of the match, of the World Cup, and perhaps the moment that sums up the rivalry between the two nations. Sohail slashed a wide ball from Prasad to the extra cover fence and then taunted him by pointing his bat towards the boundary telling him to fetch the ball. Sohail tried to repeat the slash of the next ball, but this was on the off stump and there was the sound of timber. Sohail was bowled. A charged up Prasad gave Sohail a send-off showing him the way to the pavilion. The tide had turned!

This triggered a collapse and the middle order wasn’t able to cope up with the climbing run rate and India marched into the semifinals while Pakistan were sent packing home. Sohail’s moment of madness cost Pakistan the game and he won’t easily forget the send off he received from Venkatesh Prasad.

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Monish Menon

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Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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