From mid-day archive: Former India medium pacer Chetan Sharma recounts how the Pakistan cricketer's last-ball six on April 18, 1986, at Sharjah is going to haunt him for the rest of his life
Former India medium pacer Chetan Sharma has many achievements to his credit: third Indian to claim a wicket in his first over on Test debut (bowled Mohsin Khan at Lahore in 1984); the first Indian to grab a 10-wicket haul on English soil (10-188 at Birmingham in 1986); and the first bowler ever to take a World Cup hat-trick (against New Zealand in Nagpur in 1987).
However, he will forever be remembered for the last-ball six Pakistani batting legend Javed Miandad scored off him in the Australasia Cup final in Sharjah on April 18, 1986.
Javed Miandad in action. Pic/ mid-day archive
Exactly 30 years ago this day, spectators at Sharjah Cricket Stadium were on their toes when Pakistan needed four runs to win with one wicket in hand and one ball remaining. Sharma bowled a low full toss and Miandad swung it over leg side boundary for a six.
"Yes, it haunts me even now and will haunt me for the rest of my life," the now 50-year-old Sharma said.
"People remember it because the match was against Pakistan. They ask me even now about the delivery and I am used to it. No Indian wants to lose against Pakistan. Even when I am doing commentary, I get excited if it's an India-Pakistan match."
Sharma said he harboured no ill-feeling towards Javed Miandad. "I have done several shows with him on TV and we have recalled that incident so many times," he said.
"Our captain in that match, Kapil Dev and a few senior players like Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar came to me before the last delivery and encouraged me, but sadly I could not avoid delivering the full toss to Miandad and history was made," he said.
Miandad received several gifts for that winning stroke whereas Sharma, nothing but abuses. "That's part of the life and one has to move on," he said.
ICC tweets a throwback image:
India put up a decent total of 245 runs with our top order of Kris Srikanth, Sunil Gavasker and Dilip Vengsarkar all getting half-centuries. Srikanth hit 75, Gavasker 92 and Vengsarkar 50.
Chasing the target, Pakistan got off to an ordinary start. Pakistan lost its first wicket with 9 on the board kept losing their batsmen at regular intervals. But Miandad hadn't given up and his brilliant knock of 116 off 114 balls with three sixes and an equal number of fours at a strike rate 101.75 left India in despair.