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1994–95 SAARC Quadrangular

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1994–95 SAARC Quadrangular

The 2nd SAARC cricket tournament was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December 1994. Teams from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka participated in the tournament. Bangladesh, still an associate member of the ICC, played their full strength national side, while their neighbors sent their 'A' teams for the tournament. India won the cup after beating Bangladesh in the final. All the matches were 50 overs affair.

The teams

Following the disappointing performances of Bangladesh in the ICC Trophy early that year, there were a number of changes in the team. To begin with Akram Khan took over the captaincy from Faruk Ahmed. In the batting line up, the two youngsters Naimur Rahman and Al Sahariar replaced Faruk and Selim Shahed. Bigger changes occurred in the bowling department. Anisur Rahman and Sajal Chowdhury emerged as the new ball bowlers, while Mohammad Rafique became the new spin bowling partner for Enamul Haque.

The Indian team was led by Pravin Amre. Apart from him, there were a number of players (like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Vikram Rathour, Venkatesh Prasad, Rajesh Chauhan) who either had played for the Indian National team, or were on the brink of wearing national colors. Two of them, Ganguly and Dravid, went on to become Indian captains.

Pakistan cricket was passing through a difficult period at that time, as allegations of match fixing were first brought up. At the same time, the board recalled veteran Rameez Raja to lead the 'A' side. Chandika Hathurusingha was the captain of the Lankan outfit.

Scores in brief

Date Match Result
22 Dec. Bangladesh v Pakistan Bangladesh 167/8 (Moni 43*) Pakistan 168/9 (Ijaz Ahmed jnr 48, Naeem Ashraf 44, Anisur Rahman 3/29) Pakistan wins by 1 wicket
23 Dec. India V Sri Lanka India 182 ( Dravid 44, Yadav 42, Arnold 3/35) Sri Lanka 138 (Prasad 3/20, Chatterjee 3/20) India wins by 44 runs
24 Dec. Bangladesh V Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 167 (Hathurusingha) 47, Anisur Rahman 4/29, Moni 2/29) Bangladesh 168/5 (Athar Ali Khan 32, Minhajul Abedin 30*) Bangladesh wins by 5 wickets
25 Dec India V Pakistan Pakistan 120 (Prashant Vaidya) 3/23, Chatterjee 3/28) India 123/6 India wins by 4 wickets
26 Dec. Bangladesh Vs India Bangladesh 172 (Aminul Islam 64, Prasad 3/25, Vaidya 3/35) India 171 (Vikram Rathour 35, Rahul Dravid 33, Rafique 3/25, Anisur Rahman 3/28) Bangladesh wins by 1 run
27 Dec. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 147 (Russel Arnold 47, Zafar Iqbal 5/29) Pakistan 148/9 R. (Raja 59, Zahid Fazal 41, Upul Chandana 4/22) Pakistan wins by 1 wicket
28 Dec. India vs Bangladesh (Final) India 216/6 (Pravin Amre 88*, Sourav Ganguly 39, Rahul Dravid 37) Bangladesh 164 (Akram Khan 66, Prasad 4/11) India wins by 52 runs

League matches

India, Pakistan, and the host Bangladesh all finished the League matches with two wins and one defeat each, but Pakistan lost out on net run rate calculation.

The slow and low bounce of the pitches made stroke play extremely difficult. Nevertheless, there were really close matches. Wicketkeeper Jahangir Alam was the villain for the local side in their last ball defeat at the hands of Pakistan. With the scores tied, he conceded a bye in the last delivery to hand over the match to the visitors. Jahangir, however, made amends in the match against India by stumping Prasad of Rafique. Earlier, Aminul Islam Bulbul lived up to his reputation as a fine player of spin bowling by scoring a defiant 64 and leading a late middle order recovery.

Earlier, the holiday crowd on Christmas Day went home disappointed as the clash of the titans, India vs Pakistan, failed to produce a classic encounter. Chatterjee and Vaidya took three wickets a piece to bowl the Paks out for only 120. Venkatesh Prasad, the best bowler of the tournament went wicketless, but bowling miserly he conceded only 13 runs from his nine overs. In the end, India won by four wickets, but actually it was much more convincing than that.

For India, Rahul Dravid was the most consistent batsmen. The spinners did well, but the real high point for India in this tournament was the bowling of the two medium pacers, Prasad and Vaidya. For Pakistan, skipper Raja and Zahid Fazal helped their team win the vital match against Sri Lanka, but they could not improve their net run rate enough to reach the finals. Zafar Iqbal, their most impressive bowler, only played in the last match against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was very disappointing, although Russel Arnold emerged as a talented allround cricketer.

The final

India 'A' Bangladesh
Vikram Rathour Athar Ali Khan
Sourav Ganguly Jahangir Alam (WK)
Rahul Dravid Al Sahariar
Pravin Amre (Captain) Aminul Islam
Vijay Yadav (WK) Minhajul Abedin
Sairaj Bahutule Akram Khan (Captain)
Prashant Vaidya Enamul Haq
Utpal Chatterjee Mohammad Rafique
Salil Ankola Saiful Islam
Rajesh Chauhan Sajal Chowdhury
Venkatesh Prasad Anisur Rahman

Unfortunately, the final was a rather one-sided affair. The game was effectively over after Venkatesh Prasad destroyed the Bangladesh top order to leave the hosts struggling at 4/31. Earlier, skipper Amre had played the best knock of the tournament. Under pressure, after scoring only 14 runs in the three league games, the Indian captain answered his critics in an emphatic manner. Nimble use of foot and crisp timing were the highlights of his match winning innings of 88*. Ganguly, playing his only game in the trophy stroked a classy 39, while Dravid contributed 37.

Skipper Akram Khan led a spirited recovery by sharing 54 with Minhajul Abedin for the fifth wicket, but by the time Sairaj Bahutule dismissed the Bangladesh captain for 66, the game was effectively over. Akram's effort was gallant but fruitless.

Top batsmen of the tournament

Name Matches Runs Average Highest score 50
Pravin Amre (Ind) 4 102 34.00 88* 1
Rahul Dravid (Ind) 4 130 32.50 44 0
Akram Khan (Ban) 4 129 32.25 66 1

Top bowlers of the tournament

Name Matches Runs Wickets Average Best
Venkatesh Prasad (Ind) 4 69 10 6.90 4/11
Anisur Rahman (Ban) 4 132 11 12.00 4/29

Top all-rounders of the tournament[1]

  Batting Bowling
Name Matches Runs Average Highest score 50 Runs Wickets Average Best
Russel Arnold (SL) 3 97 32.33 47 0 76 6 12.67 3/35
Enamul Haq (Ban) 4 74 24.67 43* 0 154 5 30.80 2/29

References

  1. ^ INDIAN CRICKET 1995 (Compiled by P.V. Vaidyanathan), (Kasturi & Sons Limited, Madras, India)
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