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OTD 1987: India lose first home series against Pakistan (Pak’s first Test win in India in 35 years)

Mar 17, 2023

The game of cricket has been blessed with intense rivalry between two powerhouses, India and Pakistan. It is a blockbuster affair whenever the two sides come face to face, and it was the same when Pakistan bagged their maiden Test series victory on Indian soil after a thrilling contest in Bengaluru on this very day in 1987.

Following four consecutive draws in the series, Imran Khan-led Pakistan travelled to Bengaluru for the fifth and final Test against neighbours India.   The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first in the series finale. However, Pakistan never got going in their first innings and managed a paltry score of 116 runs as they were helpless against the wizardry of India’s Maninder Singh.

The left-arm spinner bagged a career-best 7/27 to hand an early advantage to the home side. India, in their reply, did not do much better either, after being bundled out for 145 runs in their first innings despite Dilip Vengsarkar’s combative half-century. Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed claimed five wickets each to wreck the Indian batting order.

However, Imran Khan’s side displayed much better resolve in their second innings, registering a respectable total of 249 runs in tough batting conditions. India were set a target of 221 runs, which was made to look like a mountain by the Pakistani bowlers. Star Indian opener Sunil Gavaskar fought a lone battle with his magnificent 96 runs, but it wasn’t enough for the home side.

Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmed were the pantomime villains for a second time in the match as the Pakistani duo shared eight wickets between them in the fourth innings of the match to take their side over the line in a thrilling contest. Pakistan won the game by a narrow margin of 16 runs, to register their first Test win in the country in 35 years. The victory also handed Imran Khan’s side their first-ever Test series victory on the home soil of their fierce rivals.

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