Miandad’s last-ball six and the Indian team: A statistical analysis

Published: March 4, 2015

Sharjah has seen many an epic India-Pakistan battle, but none better than the 1986 match which Pakistan won by one wicket. PHOTO: REUTERS

The history of Pakistani cricket is incomplete without discussing the contributions of Javed Miandad, undoubtedly the greatest batsman produced by the country. Similarly, the history of ODI cricket is also unfinished without highlighting the impact of Miandad’s last-ball six on the game.

The Wounded Tiger – a masterful book written on Pakistani cricket by Peter Oborne – declared it the most famous shot in cricket history. The six from that Sharjah match not only haunted Chetan Sharma and the Indian cricket team, but also the entire nation for the 10 years that followed.

Before Miandad’s wonder in Sharjah, India had an impressive record in ODI matches against Pakistan.

Pakistan versus India before last-ball six: From Oct 01, 1978 to November 17, 1985

Matches played: 16

India won: 8

Pakistan won: 7

No result: 1

But things changed all of a sudden after the last-ball miracle. India, which had a slight edge over Pakistan, remained under immense pressure after that and the statistics are a testimony of that.

Pakistan VS India, after the last-ball six: From April18, 1986 to March 09, 1996

Matches played: 26

Pakistan won: 20

India won: 5

No result: 1

The difference and impact is quite clear. India lost 20 matches out of 26 in the following 10 years and could win only five – and most of them were hard-fought victories.

Javed Miandad celebrates after winning the match with a six off the last ball. Photo: ESPNCricinfo

Chandrakant Pandit, in that particular match, defined the last moments of the game in an interview as follows:

“I remember almost everyone came up to the pitch to discuss who should bowl the last over. We finally decided that Chetan’s extra pace and swing would prevent the batsmen from getting the runs. Tauseef Ahmed walked in and I heard Javed telling him: ‘Whatever happens, we have to run. Hit or miss… just run.’ The entire over was chaotic. Javed kept swinging wildly, and Mohammad Azharuddin missed a simple run-out. On the second-last ball, Javed got an inside edge and Roger Binny pulled off a superb stop down at short fine leg. They needed four to win off the last ball. I still remember how Javed looked up at the sky and prayed to Allah (swt). Chetan’s plan was to bowl a yorker but it was a waist-high full-toss. None of us expected Javed to hit it out of the ground. And then we all felt a sort of blackout. It was like a funeral in the dressing room afterwards. Chetan was on the floor. None of us knew what to do for nearly an hour. Nobody looked at anyone; we all just sat with our chins down, thinking about the possibilities. We could hear the celebrations outside but it was extremely depressing inside.”

Chetan Sharma, who was the third Indian to claim a wicket in his first over in a debut Test match, the first Indian to grab ten wickets against England in Birmingham, and the first bowler to take a hat-trick in any World Cup match, faced tough times after the match in Sharjah.

After 25 years of the famous match-winning stroke by Miandad, Sharma admitted,

“Yes, it haunts me even now and will haunt me for the rest of my life”.

He further recalled,

“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”.

Photo: Cricinfo

On the other hand, Miandad has described the whole episode in his autobiography Cutting Edge with a different angle:

“The Indians were together, excitedly talking strategy. The whole contest had been reduced to getting a four from the last ball. I came up with my own strategy. I was certain Sharma was going to attempt a yorker and aim for my legs. So I decided to stand well forward of the batting crease. My plan was to lean back, make room for myself and give it everything I had. It was going to be a slog. I was not out on 110 from 113 deliveries and was seeing the ball extremely well.

I had confidence that if the ball came on to the bat, it would reach the boundary. I surveyed the field again. I knew exactly where every fielder was, but still I took another look around, counting off the fielders one by one. Nothing was going to be left to chance. I took my time, calmed my nerves, settled into my stance, and said a prayer. Poor Chetan Sharma. They say he did try for a yorker, but the ball slipped out of his hand. Or perhaps it was the fact that I was standing well forward of the batting crease that threw him off his length. Whatever the mysterious origins of that last delivery, it ended up being the perfect ball for me and for Pakistan – a full-toss at the right height, slightly towards leg, all I had to do was take a swing and it sailed out of the ground. After that, it was pandemonium. We had won, Pakistan had won, Tauseef had won, I had won.”

Seeing the glory that Pakistan has had, it’s obviously disheartening to see the team play like the way it is in the current World Cup. While we don’t have a Miandad to save us this time, we need to find a way to get that glory back. We need another last-ball miracle for Pakistan to reign on the game once again.

Asad Ahmed

Asad Ahmed

A journalist by profession who works for a local television channel, likes to write on sports as well as social and political issues. He tweets as @AsadAhmed81 (twitter.com/AsadAhmed81)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • wb

    Seriously Pakistanis, all 180 million failures of your country need life lessons. Salahuddin Ayyubi, Javed Miandad, Golden era of Ayub Khan, Qaid-e-Azam….

    Do you have anything of today to be proud of?

    I have said this before and am trying to rephrase it this time.

    There is a very very simple secret to great success of the country of Pakistan.

    Treat every single hero of your country as a villain. Treat every single villain of your country as a hero. (No exceptions, all your villains are heroes and all your heroes are villains)

    See how your country will progress and you don’t have to look back 20,50,500,5000 years for some glory that was a myth to begin with.

    Or, keep reminiscing and fermenting into sour vinegar.Recommend

  • hp kumar

    You can easily fix matches in UAERecommend

  • Queen

    So it is true that all matches played by India in the UAE were fixed.Recommend

  • Prakash

    Yes it was a great six. I am sure every team has its moments. Remember Hrishikesh Kanitkar? Now move on please.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    No, I don’t recall that name. Recommend

  • Vish

    My sympathies. Since nothing going well now for Pakistan either in cricket or elsewhere, nice to revel in the past. Suggest author should go back to when Mohammed Bin Qasim hit the first six, this when cricket was not even being played.Recommend

  • Vish

    Your ignorance doesn’t matterRecommend

  • H.M.T.

    Try not try to generalize 180 million people now. That would be stupid. Instead take a deep breath and think about your own life. Yes, you spend every single day of your life, for hours on end, criticizing Pakistan online. I pray that you are in Modi’s cyber army, and are getting paid to post on ET 24/7. Otherwise, you should think twice before calling other people “failures”. Just my two cents, have a nice day :)Recommend

  • wb

    Actually that’s not stupid. That’s astute.

    Think about it a little. 180 million failures minus a million successes is still 180 million failures, by law of approximation.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    And your opinion does? Since when? Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Hear that lads? We should be asking Indians before we write a blog.

    Dear vish, my wish is that you don’t bother reading blogs that make India look any less than you think of it. It was JUST a six. Yes, it would’ve surely hurt. The author brought it up. Why? Because he can. Write a rebuttal if you find free time from spreading nonsense.

    Ps. Your sympathies would be better utilised in your home country which is struggling to cope with many issues of its own. Now don’t reply what is wrong with Pak, we all happen to know. It’s time you set your priorities straight and focus on your own country. Laters. Recommend

  • Jsy

    since 15th Aug 1947 !Recommend

  • jay1

    HAHAH PAk is stuck in time wrap ! Nothing to be proud of in recent history so they keep revisiting past…. Et b fair !Recommend

  • L.

    Well then BOTH my “ignorance” and my opinion matters a day before that. Recommend

  • Ha

    Very true. I think wb is still bitter over the thousand year Muslim rule of India and the establishment of an independent Muslim homeland.Recommend

  • Vish

    Where did I say that the author needs to ask Indians before writing? Maybe you need to take your own advice. Just as he doesn’t need to ask anyone before writing blogs, nor do I, to comment here. Believe me no Indian would comment here if the reference was not to an Indo-Pak match. Don’t want Indians to comment, easy, stop using the ‘India’ word in all these write-ups. As for the rest of your rant on problems in India etc. will let that be.Recommend

  • Vish

    Since I began to have one.Recommend

  • abhi

    If you look at it it was just a lucky shot. Hrishikesh Kanitkar did the same thing in 1998 to win Independence Cup for India in Dhaka against Pakistan. Misbah ul Haq got out trying to repeat same during T20 Final.Recommend

  • SS

    And this was more than 30 years ago. All other teams have improved and Pakistan has stayed a the same level. They have not gotten worse, they are where they were but have not grown.Recommend

  • PrasadDeccani

    At the same time…there is nothing wrong in revisiting such events which can inspire and perk up Pakistani team which is not having all that a good time Down Under.Recommend

  • wb

    Pakistanis’ insecurity reflects the state of affairs of Pakistan.

    If you write irrelevant, anachronistic blogs just to make 180 million failures feel a little better, you’ll be ridiculed to no end. You’ll be humiliated.

    This is an open blog. If you feel so insecure about it, then make membership for readers mandatory.

    If not, then digest the criticism.

    Do you understand why comment section exists? Do you know what is a comment?

    What Vish did was exactly that. Writing a rebuttal in the form of a comment.

    If it burns, then kindly stop reading the comment section.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Yes – in favor of Pakistan. That is why India stopped playing in Sharjah.Recommend

  • Abdul Malik

    Dil ko behlane ke liye yahi khayal achcha hai.Recommend

  • L.

    Lol if I ever got effected in anyway from comments typed on a keyboard, I would not be on the internet :L Recommend

  • L.

    When did I say I don’t want Indians to comment ah? Maybe you should have paid attention to my “rant”?Recommend

  • L.

    Oh really? Well my “ignorance”too has equal rights. SheeshRecommend

  • wb

    Good. Then learn not to shed tears over them.Recommend

  • wb

    Contrary to that, I’m grad that we have 180 million (rather 300 million including Bangladesh) less failures in our country.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    But I don’t? :/ Recommend

  • Zee

    Don’t burn! I think author should have mentioned Shahid Afridi’s Six on the last ball in the last Asia Cup!Recommend

  • Zee

    At least an indian agreed to that Indian players are / were the biggest match fixers! Recommend

  • Zee

    Yes’ a lot! Do you have? 50% of your population is under the poverty line! You guys elected a mass murderer as PM! Minorities condition is getting worsen day by day! And yes you forgot to mention Mehmood Gaznavi!

    Should I write more! Now feel proud on all the above qualities. Recommend

  • Aman Ullah Dahi

    yes Afridi did that very well in Asia Cup remember two sixes in Ashwin ball? Hey if you get a chance to catch up with Ashwin, tell him abhi 2 balls baqi hai mere dost !!! :PRecommend

  • Aman Ullah Dahi

    hey listen India beat Pak in WC 2015, this is past as well so now suck it up and move on!!!Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Yes, sure, the 363 million of your country men living under the poverty line are very successful. Mubarak ho aapko! Recommend

  • abhi

    Those two sixes would have been catches in any decent size ground. You can see how he got out in Melbourne, it is same story in every match. Afridi should play only on smaller grounds where his top edges can reach boundry.Recommend

  • Haroon

    Hmm its a good thing that Disqus has prevented upvotes from guest posts now otherwise these trolls simply spam them and ruin any conversation.Recommend

  • kamacho

    your country itself is in a big fix.Recommend

  • Kamil

    ” And yes you forgot to mention Mehmood Gaznavi!”
    Also Khan Bahadur Tipu Sultan Shaheed Sahib.Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Speak with proof or don’t speak at all. Recommend

  • نائلہ

    Sounds like you envy someone who played international cricket for 17 YEARS. Recommend

  • abhi

    Why don’t you see the stats of his17 years career and then come back and tell me how many time he got out because of mistimed shot?Recommend

  • L.

    Yes, exactly a 17 YEAR CAREER!! During which he made a name for himself by doing what he does second best. He was initially a bowler who got famous for his batting and now does the majority of his job with the BALL.

    Zero knowledge this one -.- Recommend

  • drsi

    ICC TEST rankings Pakistan at 4th Position india at 7th or 8th I guess You beat us in 1 match that comes once in 4 years in world cup…. But Pakistan has owned you for a decade if you remember in test cricket and ODI both that’s why our over all record is better. One world cup match doesn’t make you a better cricket team than Pakistan In the last 5-6 matches pakistan beat you at home 2-1 then in asia cup owned!Recommend

  • abhi

    I have heard this store many times. He is originally a bowler! he has taken 395 wickets in 397 One days, this means almost 1 wicket in a match, not a proud statistics for any bowler, even Ravindra Jadeja has better bowling stats than this. Muralidhran has taken alsmost double wickets in less matches.Recommend