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When A Threat Went Wrong

The 1996 World cup quarterfinal match between India and Pakistan is still remembered for the intensity with which the teams played the game

Last updated: 09.03.2019
Aamer Sohail threatening Venkatesh Prasad during the 1996 World cup quarterfinal match

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“I will hit you there again!” The memory of Aamer Sohail walking with swag and moving his bat to show that he will again hit the ball to that cover boundary is a permanent memory for any cricket fan from India and Pakistan. What happened next was ecstasy for Indian fans and disaster for Pakistani fans as Venkatesh Prasad uprooted the stump and showed Sohail where he needed to walk back!

It was an intense India-Pakistan cricket match in Bangalore, a World Cup quarter-final no less, played on 9th March 1996. India already had a 1-0 lead in the World Cups thanks to their win in 1992. The match was full of fire and great moments.

When Sohail came to toss instead of regular captain Wasim Akram there were lots of question in the media. Akram sustained an injury and had to remove himself from the team list at the last moment. A decision which Pakistani fans did not like and once Pakistan lost this one they made him the villain and attacked his house with stones and rotten eggs.


India started strongly and it was Navjot Singh Sidhu and not Sachin Tendulkar who took the early initiatives. Tendulkar was subdued, probably he wanted to anchor the innings and wanted to bat deep. But with India on 90 he was bowled by Ata-ur-Rehman.

There was contribution from the entire middle order but the key innings came from Ajay Jadeja. Jadeja who made his debut during 1992 World Cup and took a sensational catch on his debut match was known for his good looks and boyish charm. But performance wise he still did not deliver much despite playing as both opener and a middle order batter. But Jadeja picked the day to make his name; especially he chose one of the greats, Waqar Younis as his target.

Waqar gave just 27 runs in his first eight overs. Thanks to Jadeja his last two went for 40. Jadeja played some audacious shots including a back foot six over long-on. His 25-ball 45 helped India to add 51 runs in last 4 overs and took a good score to a massive score with respect to those days. India finished with 287.

Pakistan had a great start. They added 84 in first 10 overs and managed to make the whole ground calm. But the Prasad came to bowl and took wickets off Anwar and Sohail. Yes, Sohail and Prasad had that argument in between. Finally, India were well and truly back in the game. Pakistan lost regular wickets and the responsibility was ultimately placed on 38-year old Javed Miandad. But an aged Javed batting at number six could not show his old magic and finally got run out with 49 more runs to get. This turned out to be his last One Day innings. India finally won by 39 runs.

There were three local boys in Indian bowling line up in Srinath, Prasad and Kumble who took seven wickets among themselves. India moved to the Semifinal in Eden Gardens which did not finish well for them. But that night in Chinnaswamy stadium was a sparkling night etched in the memory of all the Indian cricket fans.

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