When it comes to sporting rivalry in the cricket world, nothing comes close to a match between India and its neighbor Pakistan. India has dominated the cricket world cup matches against its neighbor. It is against this backdrop that the recent win by Pakistan at the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Cup Semi-final has received a lot of attention. Was it a precursor to coming things in this old sporting rivalry?
Enduring Sporting Rivalry
Pakistan vs. India remains one of the most intense sporting rivalries going back in time. The men’s team from the two countries have played a total of 199 times. The teams first played in five tests during the 1952-53 season with Pakistan touring India. The geopolitical tensions also make the sporting rivalry even more intense.
Pakistan men’s cricket team has over the years endured agonizing losses in the hands of India. From the 1992 Cricket Word Cup in Sydney, 1996 Word Cup in Bangalore, the 1999 World Cup in England, 2003 (South Africa) 2011 (Mohali), 2015 (Adelaide) to the recent loss at the 2019 ICC World Cup, the losses had been coming fast.
The match between India and Pakistan at the 2019 ICC World Cup in England was a major attraction but again, it ended in heartache for Pakistan.
Pakistan vs. India at the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Cup
Sporting analysts have been looking for a break that would indicate a turnaround in this rivalry. Could the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Cup have provided this break? The tournament held in Bangladesh is in its 4th year and eight countries participated from 14 and 23 November 2019.
Five Test nations sent their under-23 age level teams with the other three slots going to top three teams from the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier. Fans could get highlights and updates about the tournament from cricket news at Sportsbet.io. It was not only a chance for Test nations to broaden their cricket personnel but it also gave fans a hint of the future in cricket across Asia.
The highlight of the tournament again turned to Pakistani vs. India. The opportunity came during the semi-finals. It promised to be a thrilling encounter and never disappointed. With Pakistan winning the toss and choosing to bat, the team started off to a great start.
Pakistan off to a Great Start
The outstanding players early on were openers Haider Ali and Omair Yousuf who were unrelenting against the pair of Shivam Mavi and Saurabh Dubey. The run rate of the young players inevitably dipped but Pakistan crossed the 50 mark without losing a wicket. India only got their first wicket with the score at 91.
The contributions of Said Badar (47 not out off 48), and Imran Rafiq (28) and skipper RohailNazir (35) also stood out to help Pakistan post a defendable score.
India’s Comeback That Never Was
For India, it was a bright start by skipper Belur Ravi Sharath (47 off 43 balls) and Aryan Juyal (17 off 17). Dismissal of Juyal didn’t deem things as Sharath and top-scorer Sanvir Singh (76 off 90) help fort.
What looked like India’s comeback collapsed with dismissal in quick succession of Armaan Jaffer (46 off 53) and Yash Rathod (13). India continued losing wickets at regular intervals to make things worse for themselves and failing to achieve the target.
It was a remarkable collapse for country whose cricketers are renowned for resilience and perseverance even with odds stacked against them. At the end of it all, Pakistan’s impressive display produced a thrilling display to post 267 for seven. It was the perfect inspiration for Pakistan as the team went on to beat Bangladesh by 77 runs in the final.
A shift in Pakistan vs. India Rivalry?
While the big cricket stars were not playing at the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Cup, each of the teams had sent the best players. It was an opportunity for the younger players to shine. It was the future of the eight cricket nations at play.
By overcoming India’s best emerging talent, Pakistan might have given a hint of the future. The tournament might not have attracted a global audience as the 2019 ICC World Cup but it might have laid the foundation for the future of Pakistan vs. India rivalry.
Pakistan vs. India’s cricket sporting rivalry is not about to end. These cricket-mad nations will continue to battle for bragging rights. While India dominates the wins, for now, Pakistan’s win at the 2019 ACC Emerging Teams Cup might hint to a change in the offing.