Javed Miandad was interviewed the day after The famous Six to Chetan Sharma at Sharjah in 1986. The Desert Fox’ was sitting in the office of Bukhatir Investments in Sharjah a relaxed man. He recounted the events of the previous day with the confident tone of a winner, the tone he was entitled to.
He had just led his side to the finest possible win with an Innings of rare brilliance, Only the previous evening, Imran Khan had received the Australasia Cup and had handed it over at once to Javed Miandad, He had kissed it lovingly and for long before passing it along for his colleagues to savor.
As a spectacle, the victory had been truly breathtaking — the last man in, one ball to go, and four to make. The man who made the six discussed every aspect of that frenetic final over in which eleven had been needed. “Eleven in the last over is not the most difficult of targets. In the John Player League in England, teams regularly make 15 in the final over to win.
I have seen tail-enders too hit a six off the last ball of the match for their Counties. So, I was very much confident of making the runs with five twos and then a winning hit But when Roger Binny brilliantly dived to save a certain four, | had no option but to take the first run.
He had saved a certain four as I pulled Chetan Sharma towards the long gap on the leg side fence. I was praying that at least Zulqarnain would manage to tap the ball into any one of the gaps beyond the circle and run.” “He was bowled and I had only Tauseef Ahmad for company.
We desperately needed a single and had decided to run it even if the ball went to the ‘keeper. What a miss that was, Azhar had all three stumps in front of him and all he had to do was ensure he made a simple underarm flick. He missed it. Off-spinner Tauseef Ahmad got home.
Only the matter of the last ball remained. Throughout the over, the Indians had crowded around Chetan to ‘advise him to keep calm. As I take a deep survey of the outfield and sized up where the men were standing on the line on the one side, | had a hunch that Chetan Sharma would try to bowl the ball at a yorker length, what else could the poor lad try?
I had decided that I would step up just a shade to convert the length if the ball was dipping to the block-hole. I had an easy job. I got a juicy full toss, it was to work to whack it between mid-wickets and long-on.
We had made it. At no time was I nervous. Whatever the target, I knew you can always attempt to make eight ‘an over, in the end, Many Indian batsmen had been bowled by full tosses, that is because Imran Khan and Wasim Akram are quicker bowlers. The Indians could not do the same. I also knew that I could take Madan Lal on in the slog overs ‘and get more than a few runs in anyone over. He has got a bit slow and the charge really began in that over from Madan Lal in which we got about 15.”
Slogging tactics have improved so much that the side chasing is at an advantage these days. Kapil Dev had to be pitied. He could not have done much more than he did in the end. The ‘only thing that surprised me was that he did not change ends in order to bowl the 48th and the last over himself. That lot fell on young Chetan Sharma. I am sure no one would have liked to be in his position.”
That was Miandad in snatches of English between excited bursts in Urdu. He had his sunglasses on and yet one could see a glint in his eye as he patiently explained the ‘ifs and buts’ of the great cricket match to a few close friends of Abdul Rahman Bukhatir. The previous evening had been too hectic for everyone concerned, including those in the media who could not dare to write a single line until the last ball was bowled.
Close Call: If Javed Miandad had gone early and he had been all but leg before as he shuffled to Maninder the first ball he faced there might have been a different tale to tell. Antonio Gaynor is a competent and confident man. He took a little while before he ruled in favor of the batsman. It was one of those 50-50 things. Had Gaynor said out Miandad would have had no room to complain.
And the Indian could not have been too unhappy when he said: “not out”. From then on Miandad went from strength to strength putting together one of the most decisively match-winning innings in the history of one-day international.
They auctioned the bat with which Miandad had made a memorable unbeaten 116 to bring the Australasia cup to Pakistan. It fetched a handsome 15,000 Dihrams (about 53,000 Indian Rupees) at the championship dinner.