On This Day 2004: India tour Pakistan after Kargil war of 1999; win first ODI in Karachi

Mar 13, 2023

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When India toured Pakistan in March 2004, there was an element of excitement in the air as both countries were going to size each other up in a bilateral series after the Kargil war of 1999. India had previously toured their neighbours back in 1997 and hence the 2004 series was a highly anticipated one.

India were set to play a five-match ODI series and a three-match Test series with their rivals and the tour started on March 13 in Karachi with the first One-Day international. Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq turned out to be lucky with the flip of the coin as he called correctly and asked India to set a target on the board at the National Stadium (now National Bank Cricket Arena) in Karachi.

India got off to a flyer with both Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar taking the Pakistan pacers to the cleaners. Sehwag cut loose immediately and scored a brisk 79 off just 57 deliveries, including a six and 14 fours. Sachin too was looking dangerous but got out at an individual score of 28. Skipper Sourav Ganguly showed his class too and scored 45 off 47 deliveries but failed to convert it into a meaningful half-century.

India were propelled to a healthy total by Rahul Dravid who scored a 99-run knock off 104 balls and was well supported by Mohammad Kaif who scored 46 off 56 deliveries. The duo helped India finish at 349 for the loss of seven wickets in their 50 overs.

Pakistan, in reply, were jolted early as both of their openers in Yasir Hameed and Imran Farhat got out inside the ten-over mark. But in walked the experienced duo of Yousuf Yohana (now Mohammad Yousuf) and Inzamam to script a historic comeback for the hosts in the run chase. Yousuf scored 73 and Inzamam scored 122 to keep the hopes alive for their fans but India by virtue of their disciplined death bowling managed to pip Pakistan by five runs at the end.

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