ICC CWC19 | England vs Pakistan never met each other as England qualified for the semifinal but Pakistan didn’t. But 1979 saw them being in the same group and it was a low scoring thriller which England won by 14 runs which of course helped them to top the group.
England batting first under the astute leadership of Mike Brearley barely scraped to 165/9 in 60 overs. But then Mike Hendrick’s inspiring spell of fast bowling blew away the Pakistani top-order. He got the ball to swing at will and that ensured Pakistan’s backbone was broken. Skipper Asif Iqbal tried hard for Pakistan to keep them afloat but he ran out of partners towards the end.
A piece of trivia is attached to this game as Geoffrey Boycott, not know for his bowling, ended up with 2 wickets and registered his career-best bowling figures of 2 for 14.
June 13, 1983: England extend their lead over Pakistan
England swatted Pakistan by eight wickets in their first of their two league games as the 1983 World Cup was played in the double round robin format. Electing to bat first Pakistan started off miserably as they slipped to 67 for 4 before Zaheer Abbas’s 83 saved the blushes for them. An end score of 193 for 8 in 60 overs was never going to be enough though.
Graeme Fowler led the batting charts for England and scored a dogged 78 to ensure there were no hiccups for England. David Gower and Allan Lamb played the support acts to perfection and the target was chased down in 50.4 overs.
June 18, 1983: England make it a hat-trick of wins
England made it 3-0 against Pakistan in World Cup encounters by doing the double over them in the 1983 World Cup.
Batting first, Pakistan managed a decent 232 for 8 from their allotted 60 overs. The batting was ably led by Javed Miandad (67) and Ijaz Faqih (42 not out) as Pakistan managed to put up a decent score on board.
But England’s smooth sailing in the tourney continued as Graeme Fowler again proved to be the thorn for Pakistan. With fellow opener Chris Tavare, he added 115 runs for the first wicket. And like the earlier meeting between these two sides, David Gower and Allan Lamb played the side roles with ease.
This also helped England to strengthen their claims of a top finish and avoid West Indies in the semifinal, who were the defending champions having the first two World Cups.
October 12, 1987: Pakistan avenge their defeats and open their account
The World Cup for the first time had been taken away from England. It was played in the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan with home advantage ensured they were ruthless against most of their opponents.
In the first of their league games against England, Pakistan got to 239/7 in 50 overs being propelled by fifties from Saleem Malik and Ijaz Ahmed. Ijaz’s run-a-ball 59 was the major attraction as it gave Pakistan the much needed shot in the arm towards the end of the innings.
England trying to track the score down were bowled out for 221. This after their openers Graham Gooch and Chris Broad had scored more than fifty for the opening stand. The top five of the English batting line up got to starts but never made it count. Abdul Qadir starred with the ball for Pakistan as he picked up 4 for 31 in his 10 overs to choke his English counterparts. Pakistan’s claim of being a strong home team had come true.
October 20, 1987: Pakistan hand England back-to-back defeats
A strokeful 113 from Ramiz Raja was the pillar around which Pakistan’s second win against England in a week’s time was built around.
England put into bat mustered 244 thanks to fifties from Chris Athey and Mike Gatting. At one point it looked like England will get much more with the score reading 187 for 2.
But both Athey and Gatting fell at the same score and some improvised death bowling from Imran Khan saw England managing only 244. The Pakistani all-rounder picked up 4 wickets.
Pakistan replied with Rameez Raja leading the way. Saleem Malik also scored a fine 88 off 92 balls and added 157 runs for the second wicket with Raja. The Karachi wicket looked like a belter and Pakistan chased it down in the 49th over. This win helped Pakistan to keep England at bay as they topped the group stages.
March 1, 1992: The great escape!
If ever Pakistan had to rub a lamp and get a genie out of it to fulfil their wishes, they did so on March 1, 1992. Having been bowled out for 74 against England, Pakistan still managed a stalemate thanks to the rain.
England were 24 for 1 when the rains didn’t relent and the points were split. Both teams were awarded one point each. And as history has it, Pakistan were the fourth team to qualify for the semifinal with nine points which was one more than Australia.
Derek Pringle earlier had handicapped the Pakistani line up with his fast bowling and so did his mates – Phil DeFreitas, Gladstone Small and Ian Botham. Pakistan had surrendered to the lowest total of the tourney.
March 25, 1992 (Final): Pakistan’s biggest sporting moment
After hurtling past favorites New Zealand in the semifinal, Pakistan were up against England. And you expected Pakistan to come up with a new hero this time. Rain was their hero last time around. This time around they had yet to christened ‘Sultan of Swing’ Wasim Akram delivering the goods for them.
Batting first, Pakistan set up a competitive 249 on the board thanks to fifties from Imran Khan and Javed Miandad. They got finishing touches from their youngsters Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Wasim Akram as well. Wasim was just getting warmed up for a bigger role.
England started off disastrously and had slipped to 69 for 4 in the run chase. But then the damage control was done by Neil Fairbrother and Allan Lamb as they added 72 runs for the 5th wicket. But then Wasim was handed the ball and he turned the game around with two wickets — Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis. From 141 for 4 to 141 for 6. England’s chase was derailed by the young swing bowler.
Wasim Akram was awarded the Man of the Match award and Imran Khan was the toast of the nation as he had delivered at the biggest stage for his team. One win out of the first five games. And then six on the trot had brought a nation’s dream come true. Pakistan were the World Champions and deservedly so.
March 3, 1996: The Karachi Blues for England refuse to end
Having been beaten at Karachi during the 1987 World Cup, England wanted a better result against the defending champions. But being one of the co-hosts of the tournament, Pakistan were buoyed by the presence of home support.
The Mike Atherton led side did well to muster up 249. The same score Pakistan had managed last time they had met in a World Cup. And the number continued to play spoilsport for England as fifties from Saeed Anwar, Ijaz Ahmed and Inzamam-Ul-Haq did the job for the Asian unit.
England themselves had three half-centurions in the form of Robin Smith, Mike Atherton and Graham Thorpe. But from being 147 for no loss to 249 for 9, England had lost a lot of momentum to hand it over to their opponents. The spinners Mushtaq Ahmed and Aamer Sohail controlled the middle overs with frugality and regular wickets to ensure England were contained to a chaseable total.
February 22, 2003: James Anderson arrives
Having not met in the 1999 WC, England and Pakistan went head to head in a league of the 2003 World Cup in Cape Town. And Pakistan were crushed by 131 runs.
England opting to bat first staged 246 runs in their 50 overs as they were powered by fifties from Michael Vaughan and Paul Collingwood. Untimely wickets had ensured the final flourish never came and Pakistan mitigated the damage beautifully by picking up regular wickets.
A total of 247 in Cape Town was always going to be tough. But it only went a notch higher as James Anderson outswung the Pakistani batting order. He broke the back of the order by sending back Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf for golden ducks with some imperious deliveries. The one to clean up Yousuf was part of many highlights reel to come. Anderson finished with four wickets as he again picked two wickets in an over by removing Saeed Anwar and skipper Rashid Latif to put the game beyond Pakistan’s reach.
It was unfortunate though that both Pakistan and England could not qualify for the Super Sixes from their group as India, Australia and Zimbabwe made it to the next round. This league encounter in 2003 remains to be the last time that Pakistan and England have had a face-off in a World Cup game.