India versus Pakistan on the cricket field is always a very special occasion for fans on both sides of the border and on this day, 15 years ago, the two heavyweights of the gentleman’s game collided on the biggest stage of them all - ICC World Cup 2003.
The two arch-rivals were locking horns against each other after a gap of three years on the international arena and SuperSport Park had braced itself for yet another titanic clash between the two giants of the game.
Pakistan were looking to register their first win against India in the World Cup, while the ‘Men in Blue’ were eyeing progression onto the next stage and therefore, both teams had plenty to play for. However, more than the result itself, the match is best remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s blazing 98 which paved way for India’s emphatic win.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first and with the help of a century from opener Saeed Anwar, they put on a competitive total of 273/7 in their designated 50 overs. Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra scalped two wickets each for the team India.
India openers Sachin and Virender Sehwag got off to the perfect start they needed and the ‘Master Blaster’ announced his intentions by hitting a majestic six off the bowling of Shoaib Akhtar in as early as the second over of the chase.
Akhtar bowled short and wide and Sachin cut the ball over the third man fielder with immaculate timing — little did he know that this particular shot will become symbolic to this match in the future.
Sachin was dismissed two run short of what would have been a well-deserved ton and his 75-ball innings included 12 fours and that iconic six. Mohammed Kaif (35), Rahul Dravid (44*) and Yuvraj Singh (50*) ensured India got over the line with 26 balls to spare.