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On This Day in 1997: When Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar Slammed 194 Against India in ODI

ON THIS DAY IN 1997: May 21 is not a day that Indian cricket enthusiasts would remember fondly. On this day in 1997, India were at the receiving end of Saeed Anwar’s fury as the Pakistani cricketer hammered 194 runs off just 146 balls and etched his name in the record books.

At the MA Chidambaram Stadium of Chennai, Anwar, who had a strong record against India, not just thrashed Indian bowlers all over the ground but also recorded the then-highest individual score in the One Day International (ODI).

The Pakistani opener surpassed West Indies’ great Vivian Richards’ 189 to achieve the feat and his record stood tall for the next 13 years.

The record was broken during the four-nation Independence Cup involving India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In the sixth game of the tournament, the arch-rivals India and Pakistan faced each other and the rest is history.

Batting first, Pakistan’s start was not great as Abey Kuruvilla removed Shahid Afririd for just five runs. After Afridi’s departure, Anwar along with Pakistan skipper Rameez Raja took charge of their innings as the duo added 86-run for the second wicket. After that, Anwar and Ijaz Ahmad added 116-run for the third wicket. It was followed by an 84-run partnership between Inzamam-ul-Haq and Anwar.

Pakistan kept losing wicket at the one end, on the other end, Anwar stood tall. He smashed five sixes and a whopping 22 boundaries as Pakistan posted a mammoth total of 327 runs for the loss of five wickets in front of India in their quota of 50 overs.

Chasing 328 for a win, there was a moment when fans believed India might be able to pull of the record chase as Rahul Dravid and Vindo Kambli hit 107 and 65 respectively. However, after their departure, no other Indian batter rose to the occasion and in the end, India lost the match by 35 runs.

Later, India were knocked out from the event and Sri Lanka won the two-part final.

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