NEWDELHI: When one looks closely at Pakistan’s path to victory in the Champions Trophy 2017 has similarities with how they achieved glory for the first time during the 1992 World Cup.
RAIN PLUS MUST-WINS
In the 1992 World Cup, Pakistan started their campaign badly when they lost their first three games. In the game against England in Adelaide, they managed to salvage one point after being bowled out for 74 after the game was abandoned due to rain. Pakistan won their remaining games and eventually won the title.
In this tournament, Pakistan needed to win all their remaining games after losing to India. Rain helped them South Africa as they were ahead of Duckworth-lewis method. They beat Sri Lanka and stunned England in the semi-final. In the final, Pakistan finally broke the jinx against after eight years.
In the 1992 World Cup, New Zealand were undefeated in their first seven games. However, in their last league game, they lost by 7 wickets to Pakistan. In the semi-final, both teams clashed again and beat New Zealand by four wickets to enter the final.
At the Champions Trophy, England were the only undefeated team in the tournament. However, Pakistan pulled off a major surprise as they thrashed the hosts to knock them out.
YOUNGSTERS IN LEAD
A close look at Pakistan’s success in major tournaments reveals that youngsters have led the charge in the team’s title success. In the 1992 World Cup, 23-year-old Inzamam-ul-haq slammed 60 off 37 balls in the semi-final against
New Zealand to help Pakistan to victory. In the final, Inzamam chipped in with a vital 42 off 35 balls to play a big role in Pakistan clinching the title. The Champions Trophy 2017 saw the likes of 27-year-old Fakhar Zaman and 23-year-old Hasan Ali propel Pakistan to victory. Zaman smashed 252 runs at an average of 63 while Hasan Ali’s 13 wickets made him the player of the tournament. The duo’s exploits were the key to Pakistan achieving the ICC treble.
The 1992 World Cup final is incomplete without Wasim Akram. With England on course to get past Pakistan, Akram produced two magic balls that derailed England. He got rid of Allan Lamb with a leg-cutter while he snapped up Chris Lewis with a delivery that curled back in late at sharp pace. Those two balls proved to be instrumental in Pakistan winning the World Cup. At The Oval, Mohammad Amir proved to be the equal of Akram. In two overs, he ripped the heart of the Indian batting line-up. He got Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. His spell of 6-2-16-3 had delivered Pakistan the title.