The Chennai Test match between the two longtime rivals is remembered warmly not just for the batting prowess of Sachin Tendulkar and the spin magic of Saqlain Mushtaq, but also for the victory lap conducted by Wasim Akram and company after depriving India an easy victory.
With 254 for 6, Team India needed just 17 runs to defeat bitter rivals Pakistan, coached by the famous bowler Wasim Akram, in the first Test match of the 1999 series in Chennai’s MA Chidambaram Stadium. India was widely favoured to defeat Pakistan at Chennai with Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar batting on 136. Tendulkar was in fine form and was on the verge of winning the match for India when he scooped two consecutive boundaries off spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. Every fan of Team India was left speechless by what happened next.
To finish off the legendary batting player’s dismissal, Akram made the game-changing catch. After Tendulkar left, Pakistani bowlers were able to run amok, destroying the Indian team’s back end and securing a victory by 12 runs. The Chennai Test match between the two longtime rivals is not only known for Tendulkar’s masterful batting and Mushtaq’s deft use of spin, but also for the victory lap Akram and company took after denying India a straightforward victory.
In the split second before the catch, I was talking to myself as 40,000 people were screaming… Although winning in India was an enormous accomplishment, the standing ovation we received from the Chennai crowd stunned all of us. Because of the drama, the standing ovation, the tour, and the circumstances of that Test, which was among my favourite Test matches to play, it will always hold a special place in my heart. So, thank you to Chennai’s citizens,” Akram continued.