Great CWC Matches - Sachin Tendulkar's incredible 98 and an India-Pakistan classic

Published on: Sep 05, 2023

Pakistan have never beaten India in an ODI World Cup match. The record remained intact in the 2003 WC, and does till date.

Whenever India and Pakistan face each other on the cricket field, there's always a lot of drama surrounding the event. When it's a World Cup match, the interest goes through the roof altogether.

Before venturing back intime to this classic India- Pakistan encounter, check out all the latest cricket world cup betting for this year’s tournament.

In the 36th match of the 2003 ICC ODI World Cup played at SuperSport Park in Centurion, the two teams came up against each other once again. Contrary to recent times when India boast of a better head to head record against their rivals, Pakistan were hard to beat towards the end of the last century and the beginning of this century.

However, call it a stroke of luck or destiny, Pakistan have never managed to beat India in an ODI World Cup to date. And a similar result transpired in 2003 as well.

The teams were quite closely matched at the time. While India had Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Javagal Srinath and Ashish Nehra in their ranks, Pakistan boasted of a very strong side with Saeed Anwar, Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar part of the team.

Saeed Anwar holds an excellent record against India and has always done well against the opposition. He lived up to the expectation and slammed a brilliant century in this clash as well. No other Pakistan batter went past 35 but Anwar batted for the first 40 overs and the other batters chipped around him to take Pakistan to more than a respectable total of 273/7.

It is to be noted here that Pakistan boasted of a very strong bowling line up, as has been the case through most of their history. It was their batting which let them down more often than not when they lost. Once, the Men in Green posted a total in excess of 250 in a high-pressure match, it was now India's turn to do something extraordinary.

It was beyond doubt that chasing 274 won't be easy against a Pakistan bowling attack comprising Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar.

Arguably the best batter to have ever donned the Indian jersey, Sachin Tendulkar stood up to the plate. Tendulkar, along with Sehwag, got India to a breezy start with the team racing past the 50-run mark in the 6th over itself.

The Master Blaster was blazing away at a strike rate of over 130, which was something at the time, in the 50-over format, and that too in a crunch match in the World Cup, and against a gun bowling line-up.

It finally needed something special from Shoaib Akhtar to dislodge Tendulkar as the Rawalpindi Express bowled a searing bouncer, with Sachin caught fending by Younis Khan. The century which was eagerly anticipated by a billion Indian fans did not come as the batter was dismissed on 98 off 75 balls.

The six that Tendulkar hit off Akhtar over point against a ball in excess of 150 kph still lives on in the memories of millions of Indian fans, and is only comparable to the six which MS Dhoni hit to seal the 2011 ODI World Cup for India.

There was no collapse for India with each of Mohammad Kaif, Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh chipping in, following a first-ball duck by Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, as they took the match by 6 wickets with 26 balls remaining.