Pakistan win the 1992 Cricket World Cup
On this day in 1992 in a suprising turn of events the underdogs of the tournament, Pakistan were victorious against England. As my parents originally hail from Pakistan, I have an inseparable connection with the country. Growing up as a young child the first sport I ever learned was the Gentleman’s game of Cricket. I also remember stories of how my father, my uncles and elder cousins all stayed up to watch the World Cup Final.
I was born in 1994, but still the everlasting effect this day had on Pakistani sport is unprecented. Pakistan were World Champions. To this day when the discussion of Cricket is bought up, I hear those who witnessed the final talk of Javed Miandad’s batting masterclass, or the 3 wicket hauls by both Akram and Mushtaq, the emergence of a young Inzamam or the brilliance of Imran.
What makes this day so unbelievable is that Pakistan should never have gotten to the final. They started the tournament very poorly with only 1 win in the first 5 games. As the round-robin style tournament continued Pakistan came up against England who they performed terribly against. They were lucky not to lose the game as they were all out for 74 runs and were saved by the weather due to it being a wash out. Pakistan managed to beat the undefeated New Zealand in the final stage of the qualifiers to reach the semi-finals. Here they were scheduled to once again face New Zealand. Pakistan managed to do the unthinkable and once again were able to beat New Zealand.
It was the rematch. Pakistan had made it to the finals and in their way was England. Just one game of Cricket stood between themselves and greatness. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first. They knew that a big total was needed to keep England at bay. And so it began.
Pakistan started reminiscent of their first game against England in the tournament, as both their openers had been dismissed from the crease for mediocre scores. The game was in the balance and it hadn’t even warmed up. Experience was now required. It came in the form of two of Pakistan’s greatest ever Cricketers. Javed Miandad and Imran Khan. Khan could have been gone after only scoring 9 runs when Graham Gooch dropped a catch. A lucky escape for the skipper who would go on to score a match winning 72 not out. Miandad scored 58. ‘Inzi’ scored 42 and Akram scored 33. This left Pakistan with a grand total of 249/6 after 50 overs.
The chase was on. What could England do now to get the runs required? The answer was not much. Botham out for duck. Gooch out for 29. Lamb gone after scoring 31. Only Neil Fairbrother really turned up scoring 62 runs from 70 balls. But England were too short in the end. And in the final over with 27 runs needed from 6 balls with only 1 wicket remaining, Pakistan were marching towards a likely victory.
First ball of the over. Illingworth flicks the ball towards square leg and it goes for 4 runs. Could England do the unthinkable and launch a comeback in the final over? The hopes were short lived as Imran came in and delivered his ball. Illingworth took a swing and the ball went in the air. Pakistani’s everywhere were on the edge of their seats. Only one wicket was needed for the game to be over. Infront of 87,182 people at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. Rameez Raja positioned himself below the flight of the ball. As gravity pulled the Cricket ball back to Earth, Rameez was there to catch it safe into his hands.
25th March 1992. The greatest underdog story in Cricket history.
Watch the video above to relive history