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India v Pakistan: 1998-99 Test Series

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The two match series ended in draw 1-1.

India: M.Azharuddin, Pakistan: Wasim Akram

Summary of Results:
# DatesIndiaPakistanVenueResult
128-31 January 1999254 & 258*238 & 286MadrasPakistan won by 12 runs
24-7 February 1999*252 & 339172 & 207DelhiIndia won by 212 runs
316-20 February 1999223 & 232*185 & 316CalcuttaPakistan won by 46 runs
The third Test was played as a part of Asian Test Championship
* denotes batted first

Summary: Matches - 2, India 1, Pakistan 1.

Highlights :

Pakistan made their first visit to India for a Test series since 1986, and the first contest in a two-match rubber proved to be most exciting. The visitors were dismissed for 238 on the first day, but India could only gain a first-innings lead of 16. Pakistan looked to be building a formidable advantage as Shahid Afridi reached his maiden Test 100 and became the second youngest player to score a Test 100 on Indian soil. But Pakistan lost their last six second innings wickets for 11 as Venkatesh Prasad enjoyed an inspired spell of five for nought on the way to career best figures. The home side needed 271 to win, and were lifted from 82 for five by a partnership of 136 from Tendulkar who scored his 18th Test 100, his first against Pakistan, and Nayan Mongia. The partnership was broken when Mongia tried to hit Wasim Akram out of the ground and was taken by Waqar Younis. Tendulkar, however, took India to the threshold of victory, but with just 17 more runs required, he tried an inside-out shot to a Saqlain delivery that pitched on the leg-stump and gave a tame catch to Wasim Akram at Mid-off. The tail had no answer to the off-spinner who claimed 10 wickets in a match for the first time in his Test career to give his side victory by 12 runs.

India drew level thanks to one of the great individual performances from leg-spinner Anil Kumble who claimed all ten Pakistan second innings wickets to match the achievement of England's Jim Laker against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956. India looked to have wasted the advantage of batting first when they were dismissed for 252 in their first innings, Saqlain Mushtaq taking five wickets in an innings for the third successive time, but Pakistan struggled against Kumble and Harbhajan who improved his best Test figures, and were bowled out 80 runs behind. The home side were taken to a winning position by new opener Ramesh, who missed out on a maiden Test 100 by just four runs, and an eighth-wicket partnership of 100 from Ganguly and Srinath. Although Saqlain claimed another five wickets and his second 10-wicket haul of the series, Pakistan needed 420 runs to win, but thoughts of an unlikely win were builiding when Saeed Anwar and Shahid Afridi shared a century opening partnership. Kumble was reading from a different script as he dismissed Afridi and Ijaz Ahmed in successive balls and never looked back. Wasim Akram, the second man in the innings to survive a hat-trick ball, became Kumble's tenth victim by pushing a catch to short leg. History had been made, and India had gained their first Test win over Pakistan for 19 years.

This Test was played as a part of the Asian Test Championship that featured Sri Lanka as the third team, but was seen as the "deciding" Test of the series by many- most notably by Javed Miandad. Pakistan were reeling at 26 for six in their first innings,but made a remarkable comeback to leave the home team stunned.

Venkatesh Prasad and Javagal Srinath caused havoc in Pakistan's camp with an exceptional show of swing and seam bowling, but the visitors managed to reach somewhat respectable total of 185 thanks to a gutsy innings of 70 by Moin Khan.

Shoaib Akhtar announced his arrival with two terrific deliveries in the first innings. Having dismissed Rahul Dravid with an in-swinging yorker that took his leg-stump, Shoaib produced a beauty to give Tendulkar his first golden-duck at home soil. All his four dismissals in the innings were bowled. Srinath continued his devastating form with the ball picking up 8 for 86. Only Saeed Anwar, who became third Pakistan batsman to carry his bat after Nazar Mohammad and Mudassar Nazar - all doing so against India, was able to stand against him. Anwar made an unbeaten 188 out of Pakistan's second innings total of 316 - a contribution of 59.49%.

Chasing a victory target of 279, India were given a promising opening start of 108 by Ramesh and Laxman. But the controversial run-out of Tendulkar brought Pakistan back into the game. Having flicked a ball to deep mid-wicket, Tendulkar collided while attempting third run with Shoaib Akhtar who ran in from cover to collect the throw from substitute fielder Nadeem Khan which was direct, with batsman just short of his crease. Tendulkar's dismissal initiated a riot among the spectators, who thought Shoaib blocked him deliberately. Play resumed only after a reluctant Tendulkar appealed to the spectators. But worse was to follow on the final morning.

The Eden Gardens crowd expected Sourav Ganguly to put up a fight, but his quick dismissal and that of Anil Kumble brought the game to a halt again as the angry crowd started pelting of stones and bottles. In an unprecedented decision, the police forcibly expelled the spectators and play was resumed with less than 1000 people, mostly security personnel in the stands. Pakistan took only 11 balls to wrap up the match.Match referee Cammie Smith gave the MoM award jointly to Saeed Anwar and Javagal Srinath.

Compiled by Rajneesh Gupta


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