Throwback: Saeed Anwar’s record breaking 194 innings

It is hard for 90’s kids to not be afraid of Pakistan bowlers and batsmen, especially, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq who bat as if they were possessed against India. Bowling lineup of India never created enough trust in fans. Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble had major number of fans but Srinath’s late burst in his career helped him gain more fans than at his prime in mid-90’s.

But when it was a match against Pakistan, Indians used to expect India to win by any cost. While in World Cups there has been “Mauka Mauka” situation for Pakistan but in other tournaments and normal ODIs, Pak dominated India like anything hence winning against the team had become a huge dream.

BCCI decided to organise Independence Cup in 1997 has both Nations completed 50 years of Independence. They have conducted matches in India and in Chennai match on 21st May, Saeed Anwar blasted bowlers to all the corners and scored record breaking 194. The innings has turned 25 years old, now but still needs to be rated one of the best ever by any batsman in One Day Internationals. Today, Rohit Sharma smashed 264*, 209 and 208 but once 194 was a dream score. You can find Saeed Anwar’s score still holding 10th place in all-time list to understand how rare it was and is to score 190 in ODIs.

Martin Guptill has 237*, Sehwag – 219, Gayle – 215, Fakhar Zaman – 210*, Sachin Tendulkar -200* are the other double century makers. Still 9th place is held by Charles Coventry – 194*. Well, India did try to chase the huge score by 90’s standards 327 with the help of onslaught by Sourav Ganguly in the initial 15 overs. But it was cut short by Aquib Javed who sent Sachin early.

Rahul Dravid managed to put a huge partnership with Vinod Kambli and he went on to score 109. In the end, Robin Singh and Nayan Mongia smashed depth bowlers but Aquib Javed starred with ball for PAK to register a famous win. Javed took 5 wickets.

Saeed Anwar was always known for his pick-up shot on to on-side, flick, short-arm jab and stylish drives on the off-side. As an opener, his technique was flawless and his hand-eye coordination made him tough to bowl. Chennai crowd who witnessed his magnificent innings gave him standing ovation after he got out. He looked like going on to make first double century in ODIs but cramps halted his progress. He needed a runner who continue the innings in death overs. Truly a legendary innings by Legendary batsman.

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