July 27, 2018
Imran Khan’s finest hour as a politician has arrived. The former cricketer, who clean bowled all his opponents in the just-concluded polls, will soon be sworn in as Pakistan’s prime minister.
But as a cricketer, his finest hour arguably came in March 1987 in Bengaluru, when Pakistan won their first-ever home series in India after snatching a memorable victory in a match that will also be remembered for atrocious umpiring.
After four high scoring draws, Pakistan captain Imran Khan elected to bat on a snake pit in Bengaluru. The decision boomeranged as the visitors were bowled out for a paltry 116, with India’s Maninder Singh capturing 7 wickets. Saleem Malik top scored with 33.
Kapil Dev-led India suffered the same fate and was bowled out for just 145. The chief tormentors were Pakistan’s spinners Tauseef Ahmed and Iqbal Qasim, both of whom captured five wickets apiece. Pakistan did better in the second innings.
With valuable contributions from Rameez Raja, Saleem Malik, Imran Khan, and Saleem Yousuf, the visitors managed to score 249 – a lead of 220. For India, Maninder took 3 wickets and ended the Test with 10 wickets.
Needing 221 to win, India started on a disastrous note with dashing opener Krish Srikanth and Mohinder Amarnath out on successive deliveries to Wasim Akram with just 15 on the board. Vengsarkar toiled hard but was bowled by Tauseef for 19.
But Sunil Gavaskar soldered on gallantly and avoided a collapse. The fourth day began on a ominous note with quick dismissals of Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri, leaving India tottering at 155-6. It got worse after Kapil Dev was dismissed cheaply.
Gavaskar’s valiant knock came to end soon as he was dismissed four runs shy of what would have been his 35th century. This was Gavaskar’s last Test match and he became the first batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
Shivlal Yadav and Stuart Binny offered a brief resistance, with Binny even smacking a mighty six off Tauseef, but it was snuffed out soon by the spinner.
India were bowled out for 204 runs and Pakistan had won a nail-biting thriller of a match. The visitors had won the Bangalore Test, and with it the series as well.