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When Shoaib Akhtar silenced Kolkata
India-Pakistan Classics

When Shoaib Akhtar silenced Kolkata

As cricket giants from subcontinent turn 70, writers at Cricingif relive the most memorable India-Pakistan encounters.

You know what this match is about - those two wickets by Shoaib Akhtar. The first dismissal of Rahul Dravid was spectacular, but that alone wasn’t what made this match a part of this list. The credit for that mostly goes to Pakistan’s incredible recovery on the first day, when they were 26/6 inside the opening ten overs of the match but posted 185. This match is also on the list because in their next innings, Saeed Anwar scored 60% of Pakistan’s runs to ensure they posted a decent total. And while it wasn’t as spectacular as the first Test of this tour in Chennai, India’s collapse in the chase was still severe as they went from needing 97 with six wickets in hand to losing by 46 runs. But much like Miandad’s six, the most memorable moment(s) of this match were also its most definitive.



India were just 38 behind Pakistan’s first innings total and had eight wickets in hand when Shaiby bowled out Dravid. It was good enough to become an instant classic, but even Mohammad Zahid had a one-hit wonder like that. It was the next ball that made Shoaib a legend, even though it wasn’t as good as Dravid’s. What made it so good was that Tony Grieg and Charu Sharma spent several minutes fawning over the new batsman, and why he was the greatest. That batsman ended up making the same journey back a ball later, but this time the crowd was in pin-drop mode and both Charu and Tony were in shock. India collapsed, and eventually lost, thanks to the two most devastating moments of Shaiby magic.