55 days to World Cup: Prasad's fitting reply spoils Miandad's farewell

While there are many memorable moments from the 1996 World Cup quarter-final, it is only one that truly stands out.

Published: 05th April 2019 10:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2019 06:09 PM   |  A+A-

Prasad was booed after the mauling at the hands of Sohail. | Twitter

Online Desk

"Aamir Sohail for what he did the previous ball and what happened the next ball, we all felt that justice had been done."

Those were the words of Javagal Srinath. 

What prompted one of India's nice guys to say that? To understand that you need to understand to context of the game and what transpired.

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It was the quarter-final of the 1996 World Cup. It was India vs Pakistan. It was a packed Chinnaswamy Stadium that would have brought the roof down if there was one.

While there are many memorable moments from the quarter-final. It is only one that truly stands out. While there was Navjot Sidhu's fighting 93 and then a memorable late cameo by Ajay Jadeja that sent the crowd into overdrive.

Even in the Pakistan innings, even before that incident, there was a sensational opening partnership between Saeed Anwar and stand-in captain Aamer Sohail, who brought up 84 off the first 10 overs, chasing 288. 

Although Srinath finally got rid of Anwar, Sohail continued his onslaught. And the moment that changed the game came in the 15th over. 

It is only one that truly stands out.

Venkatesh Prasad, who should have been a hometown hero, playing in Bangalore, was booed after the mauling at the hands of Sohail. After bringing up his fifty, Sohail slashed Prasad over cover in the 15th over and then continued to gesticulate aggressively towards the bowler as if to say "go fetch that".

In a game that was already running high on tension and emotions, that was the tipping point. The usually silent Prasad came in to bowl the next ball and Sohail tried to replicate the same shot, he perished as the ball came in more than he expected.

The off stumps were shattered and Prasad promptly gave Sohail a send-off as he aggressively pointed towards the pavilion.

"I think there was an emotional expression, which is probably not allowed now, but then it was okay," was Srinath's reaction to the celebration.

What of the dismissal? Srinath admits it was 'brilliant". 

"Having played that shot through covers and made that gesture, which was not necessary, and then Venky getting back with a brilliant ball, pitched up, and got him bowled," Srinath added.

After that dismissal, although Pakistan were in with a chance of victory, the tide had turned. Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq was dismissed in the next few overs and Pakistan's middle-order wasn't up to the mark.

India went on to win the match by 39 runs and progressed to the semi-final, where they lost to Sri Lanka. It also was the final game of Javed Miandad's ODI career that came across three decades.


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