India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2018: 5 nail-biting IND vs PAK clashes of 21st century

India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2018: Two nations will come to a standstill on Wednesday evening as their cricket teams take on each other at Dubai International Stadium, about 400 days after last facing each other in the 50-over format. Emotions will be high when a young Indian side led by Rohit Sharma will play a promising Pakistan team hours after surviving a mighty scare against Hong Kong at the same venue. Undoubtedly, the biggest rivalry in cricket, India-Pakistan matches are watched closely by fans, sponsors and broadcasters, alike.

With Virat Kohli resting at home, the match promises an excellent opportunity to the Pakistan side to get one over their arch-rivals. Both the teams have had an indifferent start to the tournament. While Pakistan had a cakewalk win against Hong Kong, India was made to sweat by the same opposition. Interestingly, this will be the first meeting between the two sides after last year’s Champions Trophy Final where Pakistan trumped India to win the title.

Before the high-voltage Indo-Pak clash, a look at five nail-biting encounters between the two sides –

1. 2003 ICC World Cup – India won by 6 wickets

Leaving behind the wounds of the Kargil War, the two cricketing nations faced each other at the biggest stage of all – World Cup. Saeed Anwar’s classic century and Younis Khan’s late blows helped Pakistan post a strong total of 273/7 in 50 overs. Chasing this down against a bowling attack including Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi was never going to be an easy task.

But, the world witnessed one of the finest knocks from the blade of great Sachin Tendulkar who muscled his way through Pakistan bowling attack to put India in a winning situation before a partnership between Yuvraj Singh and Rahul Dravid sealed the victory. Sachin smashed 98 from just 75 balls before getting out to Akhtar.

2. 2007 T20 World Cup Final – India won by 5 runs

While the world was still trying to comprehend the shortest format of the game, the arch-rivals found themselves in uncharted territory with a chance to win the first ever T20 World Cup. Gautam Gambhir’s 75-run knock helped India to a score of 157 runs in 20 overs.

The game kept swinging towards both the sides and Pakistan found itself inches away from glory with 13 runs needed off the last over and Misbah-ul-Haq at the crease. The former Pakistan captain hit lesser known Joginder Sharma for a six off the second ball of the over. However, he got out with his side still needing six runs, handing India a famous win.

3. 2004 Karachi ODI – India won by 5 runs

The first match of India’s first tour to Pakistan in more than 16 years saw a then world-record 693 runs being scored in 100 overs. Batting first, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar blasted Pakistan’s new ball attack, taking India past 150 in just 15 overs before some excellent bowling brought the hosts back into the game. Despite that, they were asked to chase a hefty total of 350 runs.

After losing a few early wickets, Pakistan was brought back into the match by Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf Youhana with a brilliant partnership of 135 runs in just 20 overs. With 9 runs required off the last over, Ashish Nehra held his nerve and bowled a dream over conceding just 3 runs to hand India the game.

4. 2011 ICC World Cup semi-final – India won by 29 runs

The 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan witnessed one of the ugliest yet effective innings by Sachin Tendulkar. The former opener faced 115 balls for his 85 runs, was dropped three times and survived a close LBW call before getting out. However, his knock helped India to 260 runs – a total that proved too much for Pakistan.

5. 2014 Asia Cup – Pakistan won by 1 wicket

A young side led by Virat Kohli was asked to bat first and added 246 runs with the help of the fifties from Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Ravindra Jadeja. Mohammad Hafeez scored 75 runs from the top to put his side in a winning situation. However, it took something special from Shahid Afridi to take Pakistan home. With 10 runs needed off the final over and just one wicket in hand, Afridi smashed Ashwin for two sixes to clinch a tense win for his side.