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This day, that year: When Imran Khan-led Pakistan scripted a fairytale comeback to win maiden World

Pakistan win 1992 World Cup
Image Source : GETTY

Pakistan win 1992 World Cup

It was a World Cup of many firsts. First in the Southern Hemisphere with Australia and New Zealand co-hosting the tournament. Coloured jerseys were introduced and so was the white ball and the black sight-screens. Moreover, the entire tournament, again for the first time, was played in the round-robin format. Also, South Africa was included in the tournament for the first time following the apartheid period. But the one that stood was Pakistan’s fairytale ride to a maiden World Cup glory. 

Pakistan, led by the present Prime Minister of the nation Imran Khan, had incurred a poor start to their tournament. They lost three of their first five matches – by 10 wickets to West Indies, by 43 runs to India and by 20 runs to South Africa – with their only win coming against Zimbabwe while the other, against England, was abandoned due to rain. With just three points from five games, Pakistan stood on the verge of elimination and required to lose none of their remaining matches to keep hopes alive.

And scripting an astounding comeback, Pakistan defeated Australia, Sri Lanka and Ndew Zealand in their next three matches to end the group stage as fourth. They were hence pitted against table-toppers New Zealand whom they defeated by 4 wickets in the semifinal before outclassing England in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. 

After winning the toss, Pakistan’s two-most experienced players, Imran and Javed Miandad added 139 runs for the third wicket to help Pakistan amass 249 for six. England incurred a nervy start as Ian Botham was dismissed for a duck by Wasim Khan while Alec Stewart scored 7. A partnership of 71 between Allan Lamb and Neil Fairbrother provided some resistance to England, but Imran’s decision to bring back Wasim into the attack had the results written on the wall. The left-arm pacer quickly dismissed Lamb and Chris Lewis and within moments English hopes crumbled to leave Pakistan with their maiden World Cup title. The glory was in a way a fitting farewell to the captain for whom it as his last ODI.

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