The World Cup-winning captain and legendary India National Cricket Team all-rounder, Kapil Dev, recalled the Austral-Asia Cup 1986 final defeat against the Imran Khan-led Pakistan National Cricket Team and said that the defeat in the final crushed the side’s confidence for four years.
The final of the Austral-Asia Cup 1986 was played at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium on 18 April 1986, between India and Pakistan.
The Men In Green had won the toss in the match and invited the Men In Blue to bat first. Team India were able to post 245/7 on the board with the help of amazing batting performances by Sunil Gavaskar (92), Dilip Vengsarkar (50) and Kris Srikkanth (75). From Pakistan, Wasim Akram bagged 3 wickets, Imran Khan picked up 2 wickets and Abdul Qadir picked up one wicket.
Chasing the target, Pakistan lost wickets at regular intervals, but Javed Miandad stood strong at one end and smashed a brilliant century. Pakistan were 235 for seven after 49th over and required 11 runs from the last six balls to win the match.
Kapil Dev had given the last over to Chetan Sharma, who bowled some good deliveries but ended up getting smashed for a six on the last ball of the over and Pakistan won by 1 wicket to lift their first ODI trophy.
When the last over came, we went to Chetan. To this day, I still feel it wasn’t his mistake – Kapil Dev
In a conversation with legendary Pakistan National Cricket Team pacer Wasim Akram during a segment ‘Frenemies’ on Star Sports, the 63-year-old said that giving the last over to Chetan was not a mistake. He added that making a comeback after that defeat against Pakistan was very hard for the Indian team.
“We thought we should have 12-13 runs to defend in the last over of the match. It was a very difficult task, almost impossible in those times. When the last over came, we went to Chetan. To this day, I still feel it wasn’t his mistake. They needed 4 runs on the last ball and we decided that it would be a low-yorker.”
“There was no other alternative. He tried his best, we all tried. It turned out to be a low full-toss. Miandad kept his backfoot intact and connected it. Even when we remember that today, we can’t sleep. That defeat crushed the whole side’s confidence for the next four years. It was very difficult to make a comeback from there,” he added.
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