Pakistan and Australia are set to lock horns in the ICC World Cup 2023 on October 20 at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

This match promises to add another chapter to their storied cricketing rivalry, as these two cricketing giants have produced some truly unforgettable moments on the world stage.

Let’s revisit five of the most remarkable encounters that have left a lasting impression on the cricketing world.

Sensational spell of Sarfaraz Nawaz (1979)

In a Test match in Melbourne, Pakistan’s pace maestro Sarfraz Nawaz delivered a performance for the ages, single-handedly dismantling Australia’s batting lineup. His astounding figures of 9-86, including one wicket achieved through a run-out, orchestrated a remarkable turnaround.

Australia seemed well on their way to their pursuit of 382 for victory. However, Sarfraz, renowned for his pivotal role in pioneering the art of reverse swing, joined forces with Imran Khan to set a game-changing course.

The hosts, once comfortably positioned at 305-3, suffered a dramatic collapse, ultimately being bundled out for 310. Sarfraz’s spell during the fourth afternoon was nothing short of extraordinary — 7 wickets conceded for a mere 1 run off 33 balls. This extraordinary performance led Pakistan to a triumphant victory with a margin of 71 runs.

Source: Wisden

Lillee-Miandad fight (1981)

A heated confrontation between Dennis Lillee and Javed Miandad during a Test in Perth remains etched in cricketing folklore.

Pakistan found themselves in a precarious situation, struggling at 27-2 while chasing an imposing target of 543 for victory. It was then that their captain, Miandad, strode to the crease. During his innings, a collision occurred between Miandad and the formidable Lillee in the midst of a run.

This collision escalated swiftly, with heated words exchanged between the two titans. Matters took a contentious turn when Lillee aimed a kick at Miandad’s pads. In response, the resolute captain raised his bat, poised as if to strike back, all while umpire Tony Crafter positioned himself firmly between the two adversaries.

Subsequently, Lillee faced repercussions for his actions, being handed a fine and a two-match suspension in the ODI format. However, the Australian management staunchly maintained that Lillee had been provoked into his actions.

Source: Cricinfo

Asif Mujtaba’s last-ball six (1992)

Asif Mujtaba’s cricketing legacy may not have glittered with the same stardom as that of Miandad, but he etched his name in cricketing lore with a moment of sheer brilliance. In the span of his 66 ODIs for Pakistan, he left an indelible mark, particularly for one unforgettable feat.

In a gripping tri-series match against Australia in Hobart, Pakistan found themselves in dire straits at 197-7, following Rashid Latif’s departure. Undeterred, the resilient left-hander, Mujtaba, waged a valiant battle with the bat.

In the closing moments, the equation was daunting: 17 runs needed off the final over. With sheer determination, Mujtaba took on Steve Waugh, unleashing a flurry of shots that sent the ball soaring to all corners of the ground. As the tension peaked, seven runs were required off the very last ball. And then, in a stroke of sheer genius, Mujtaba hammered a six, levelling the match and etching his name in cricketing history.

Brilliance of Shane Warne (1999)

In the 1999 World Cup final at Lord’s, the legendary Shane Warne once again demonstrated his penchant for delivering under pressure. The champion leg-spinner showcased his brilliance, finishing with remarkable figures of 4-33 against a formidable Pakistan side.

Opting to bat after winning the toss, Pakistan faced an early onslaught from the Australian fast bowlers, finding themselves on the defensive. It was then that Warne stepped up to weave his magic.

With precision and skill, Warne dismantled Pakistan’s middle-order, claiming the crucial wicket of top scorer Ijaz Ahmed, who departed after scoring 22 runs. This pivotal performance led to Pakistan’s dismissal for a mere 132 runs in 39 overs.

Australia, buoyed by Warne’s outstanding display, efficiently chased down the target, securing their second World Cup title with eight wickets and 29.5 overs to spare. This victory marked a significant milestone in Australian cricket history.

Source: ICC

Wahab Riaz’s Fiery Spell (2015)

In the 2015 World Cup quarter-final held in Adelaide, Australia emerged victorious over Pakistan. However, the standout moment of the match was a blistering display of pace bowling from Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz. Riaz, known for his left-arm pace, created havoc for the Australian batsmen, claiming two crucial wickets in their pursuit of a modest 214-run target. The real highlight, though, was the intense duel between Riaz and Australia’s Shane Watson.

Riaz unleashed thunderous bouncers at speeds exceeding 150 kilometres per hour, one of which narrowly missed Watson’s helmet grill. The fiery exchange was punctuated by Riaz’s wry grin and a round of applause. Despite the challenge, Watson skillfully guided Australia to victory, securing a spot in the semi-finals on their way to yet another World Cup title.

Source: Cricinfo

As Pakistan and Australia prepare to face off in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup, fans eagerly anticipate another chapter in their epic rivalry. From Sarfraz Nawaz’s heroics to Wahab Riaz’s fiery spell, these encounters have defined cricketing history. The legacy of these clashes endures, reminding us of the fierce competition that characterizes this storied rivalry.

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