1st November 1989 was the day of the finale for the Nehru Cup or the MRF World Series in Kolkata. This was one of the many multi-nation tournaments during the 80’s and 90’s and was planned as the part of the birth centenary for India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Six of the seven Test-playing nations at that point took part in the tournament barring New Zealand who was not invited. India, Pakistan, England, and West Indies qualified for the semi-finals and although Pakistan could beat England for a spot in the Final, India failed to beat West Indies. Eventually the final was between Imran Khan’s Pakistan and Viv Richards’ West Indies.
Kolkata’s Eden Gardens was hosting their second big final match after the 1987 World Cup and the crowd did not disappoint. Despite the Indian team’s absence, the ground was full and the crowds appreciated the close battle between Pakistan and West Indies, arguably the two strongest teams in that tournament.
West Indies won the toss and batted first. All the top-order batsmen got starts and as Desmond Haynes anchored from one end the others played their shots from the other end. Haynes was unbeaten after 50 overs with 137-ball 107 to his credit. Phil Simmons scored 40 and there were contributions from Jeff Dujon with 28, Richie Richardson with 27 and Richards who scored 21.
There were 26 extras conceded by Pakistan for whom Imran Khan took 3 wickets for 47 runs in his nine overs. During the chase, after the early wicket of Aamer Malik, Rameez Raja and Ijaz Ahmed added 60 runs. There were small partnerships between Ijaz and Javed Miandad, and then Ijaz and Salim Malik. But when Ijaz was dismissed for 56 with team total on 133/4 the match was evenly balanced. Two-year back Salim Malik played an explosive inning during the first-ever ODI at
Eden Gardens. He continued that form and scored another 62-ball 71 to turn the match in Pakistan’s favor. He was supported by Imran and they added 93 runs for the fifth wicket.
However, when Malik was dismissed by Ambrose they still needed close to 50 runs and Imran continued to battle as he added 44 runs with Akram Raja. The partnership was broken in the last over and finally, it was three required off two balls. Richards was bowling as all his fast bowlers completed the quota and the new batsman Wasim Akram hit his first ball over the mid-wicket. The boundary for a six to win the thrilling match for Pakistan.
Read More: Nehru Cup Final Highlights 1989