22 years ago, when a Sourav Ganguly masterclass eclipsed Shahid Afridi fireworks
India defeated Pakistan by 4 wickets in 2nd Karachi ODI of the 3-match series. (Getty Images)
- On this day, 22 years ago, India defeated Pakistan in 2nd Karachi ODI
- The match was reduced to 47 overs per side due to crowd disturbance
- Sourav Ganguly smashed 89 runs to help India beat Pakistan by 4 wickets
On this day in 1997, India played Pakistan in the high-intensity 2nd ODI of the 3-match series and defeated their hosts by 4 wickets after being pelted with stones by the crowd at Karachi.
Until their tour in 1997, Team India had not visited Pakistan since 1989-90 because of political tensions between the two countries. The neighbours however continued to play each other in ODIs at neutral venues. However, the Indian cricket team returned to Pakistan for the 3-match ODI series - a tournament that was staged to commemorate 50 years since Pakistan's independence.
The 2nd ODI of the Wills Challenge Series was halted 4 times due to crowd disturbance, including 3 incidents of stone-throwing directed at the Indian fielders. Players were forced to walk out after the 4th interruption that brought an abrupt end to Pakistan's innings in the 48th over and India were set a target of 266 in 47 overs.
Pakistan were looking extremely strong with Inzamam-ul-Haq looking menacing at 74 and Moin Khan batting at 31 before match-referee Ranjan Madugalle agreed to end the first innings owing to the players' safety. Shahid Afridi had already blasted a 56-ball-72 to put Pakistan in a great position.
In reply, Sourav Ganguly, who was also the victim of stone-throwing, smashed 89 while Vinod Kambli, too, hammered a half-century as India achieved the target with 3 balls to spare in the match.
It was the only defeat Pakistan suffered in the series as they won the ODI series 2-1 to avenge their 4-1 defeat to India in the Sahara Cup.
A lot has changed in the last 22 years.
After the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, India have stopped playing bilateral cricket with Pakistan. In recent years, the two arch-rivals have faced off only in ICC or ACC tournaments,
Pakistan had visited India in late 2012 for a short limited-overs series before the two countries met each in the ICC Champions Trophy in England next year.
In 2015, India beat Pakistan in a World Cup game in Adelaide before playing them in the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup - India won on both occasions.
In 2017, India took on Pakistan in their opening game of the Champions Trophy before meeting them again in the final.
India played and won both their matches against Pakistan in the 2018 Asia Cup. In the 2019 World Cup, thanks to a Rohit Sharma classic, India crushed Pakistan in a one-sided game at the World Cup.