Can't sleep even today when we remember Javed Miandad's last-ball six in 1986, confesses Kapil Dev

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Kapil Dev has recounted the harrowing defeat to Pakistan in 1986 when a last-ball six by Javed Miandad undid all their hardwork

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Can't sleep even today when we remember Javed Miandad's last-ball six in 1986, confesses Kapil Dev

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SportsCafe Desk

08/24/2022

Kapil Dev has admitted the gnarly aftermath of the loss to Pakistan in the final of the Austral-Asia Cup in 1986, stating Javed Miandad's last-ball six still keeps him up at night. The former skipper revealed how the defeat impacted the team's confidence and the time it took for them to recover.

Of all the memorable moments that clashes between India and Pakistan have produced in the world of cricket, the 1986 Austral- Asia Cup's thrilling finish perhaps remains the most iconic. It heralded a paradigm change in confidence between the two nations, breaking the spirit of the reigning world champions while their neighbours were instilled with a newfound self-belief.

Having fought through some intense competition, the two Asian nations found themselves in the final of the five-nation tournament. Batting first, the Men in Blue cruised to a commendable total of 245 in their fifty overs on the back of half-centuries from a top-three of Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikkanth and Dilip Vengsarkar, with the former falling short of a ton by only 8 runs. The bowlers supplemented their efforts by picking wickets at regular intervals, Chetan Sharma being the pick of them with three scalps. However, a Javed Miandad century stretched the game to the last over where Pakistan required 13-runs for victory. 

"We thought we should have 12-13 runs to defend in the last over of the match. It was a very difficult task, almost impossible in those times. When the last over came, we went to Chetan. To this day, I still feel it wasn't his mistake. They needed 4 runs on the last ball and we decided that it would be a low yorker," Kapil Dev recalled in a conversation with Wasim Akram during a segment 'Frenemies' on Star Sports, as quoted by NDTV.

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The match pretty much seemed sealed in India's favour considering boundaries were not nearly as frequent three and a half decades back as they are now. But a resilient Miandad had other plans, as he struck a six on the final ball to record a historic victory with the moment etched in the books as one of the most iconic to have ever occurred on a cricket field. The unfathomable victory saw Pakistan clinch their first ODI tournament involving more than three nations, a predecessor to their World Cup success in 1992.  

"There was no other alternative. He tried his best, we all tried. It turned out to be a low full-toss. Miandad kept his backfoot intact and connected it. Even when we remember that today, we can't sleep. That defeat crushed the whole side's confidence for the next four years. It was very difficult to make a comeback from there," Dev added.

The comments by the former Indian skipper have come less than a week before the arch-rivals collide in the Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on August 28.  

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