On this day in 1997: Sourav Ganguly's sublime knock helped India beat Pakistan in Karachi ODI
On September 30, 1997, Sachin Tendulkar-led Team India outclassed arch-rivals Pakistan by 4 wickets to level the three-match opera with a stunning triumph over Saeed Anwar's side at the National Stadium in Karachi. Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly pioneered Inda's triumph on Pakistan soil 22 years ago with his blistering knock to rescue the visitors in the 2nd One Day International (ODI) of the series at the time. Hailed as one of the most intense rivalries in the gentlemen's game, the 1997 tour of Pakistan was set in a similar backdrop of the current scenario which is plagued by tension and hostility.
Stone-throwing by hostile crowd in Karachi
The Indian players were reportedly a victim of stone-throwing at the National Stadium which triggered the then Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar to have a word with umpires regarding the security of his team. Due to crowd disturbance which occurred multiple times in Pakistan's innings, the match was reduced to 47 overs and the hosts ended their innings for 265 for four in 47.2 overs. Tendulkar and Co.were given a revised target of 266 in 47 overs after 19 minutes of the match proceedings were lost due to the hostile crowd.
Ganguly rescued India in must-win clash
Making sure he gives a befitting reply to the trouble makers in the Karachi stadium, Ganguly stepped up on the scene and guided India towards a memorable victory in Pakistan's own backyard. The Prince of Kolkata first stitched a solid 71 run stand with Master Blaster and then wrapped up another 50 plus score against the traditional rivals.
However, Ganguly felt short of bringing up his century and was dismissed for 89 off 96 balls. His match-winning innings was laced with 11 boundaries. Despite losing Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja, India have crossed the finish line with the help of Saba Karim & Robin Singh who jointly contributed 62 to take the visitors past the finish line. Singh remained unbeaten at 31 off 32 balls along with Rajesh Chauhan as India chased down the 266 target with three bowls to spare.