HomeCricketWorld Cup Flashback : 1992 Final

World Cup Flashback : 1992 Final

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In 1992, the Cricket World Cup traveled Down Under for the first time. Like 1987, this time also there were two nations hosting the tournament as the matches were played in both Australia and New Zealand.

The Show Begins

For the first time, the Cricket World Cup was played with the white ball and in colored clothes. It also included day-night matches including the final at MCG and the tournament was called the ‘Benson & Hedges World Cup’.
The other change was the number of teams was changed from eight to nine as South Africa was welcomed back to the international cricket fold. Allan Donald, Peter Kirsten, and Jonty Rhodes were finally able to show their skill in front of a global crowd. Zimbabwe qualified once again as a representative of the Associate nations.
Because of being a nine-team event there were no groups and all nine teams played each other once in Round-Robin in 1992 Cricket World Cup. New Zealand were the early favorites as their Captain Martin Crowe had a wonderful tournament. The other hosts Australia faltered and failed to reach the semi-final as was India. India had a terrible tournament with only two wins, however, one of those wins came in Sydney against Pakistan in the first-ever encounter of the neighbors in World Cup. Pakistan recovered dramatically thanks a rain abandoned match against England and some late good performance took them to the semi-final to play New Zealand. The other semi-final was between England and South Africa.

The Journey To Finale of 1992 Cricket World Cup

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In the first semi-final at Eden Park, Auckland against New Zealand Pakistan had a great come from behind victory as a new star was born by the name of Inzamam-ul-Haq who guided Pakistan to their first-ever World Cup final with a 37-ball 60.

The other semi-final was one of the most controversial matches in the history of the World Cup. Chasing 253 for a win South Africa reached 231 and required 22 runs from the last 13 balls, a very manageable target. The match was earlier reduced to a 45-over side contest due to rain and rain again returned on that crucial stage. Once the rain stopped and the match resumed, it was calculated that the two overs were lost due to rain. However as per the ‘Rain rule’ for that tournament, for any over reduction during the chase the runs from lowest-scoring overs would be subtracted from the target. Since South Africa bowled two maiden overs, despite the loss of overs there was no change in target and the 22 required off 13 balls became 22 required of just 1 ball. South Africa was robbed off an honest try to qualify for the final and England reached their second consecutive World Cup final.

The Final

With great anticipation, the final was played in front of 87,000 plus spectators. Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat. Pakistan lost both their openers with just 24 runs on the board. The Captain Imran Khan promoted himself to number three and patiently added 139 runs with Javed Miandad as both the seniors made the fifties. Later Inzamam (42 off 35) and Wasim Akram (33 off 18) lifted the innings to 249/6 in 50 overs.
England also started poorly as Akram got rid of Ian Botham for a duck. Alec Stewart also left soon and when the captain Graham Gooch was out with the team score on 69 for 4 it looked a cakewalk for Pakistan.
However, resistance came from Neil Fairbrother and Allan Lamb. They turned the match towards England as they reached 141 for 4. Imran brought back Akram and Akram displayed his skill with two brilliant reverse swinging deliveries taking the wickets of Lamb and Chris Lewis. From then on it was difficult for England and when Fairbrother went for 62 with the total on 180 for 7 the match was effectively over. Fittingly Imran got the final wicket as England folded to 227. After India, Pakistan became the second Asian country to lift the World Cup.

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