On This Day: Sachin Tendulkar smashed Pakistan bowlers in first ever ODI in Canada
Canada is a country that does not have a rich cricketing history. However, a huge chunk of population comprises of Indians and Pakistanis who follow the sport religiously. As a result, on September 16, 1996, the first ever ODI was played at Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club in Canada.
The setting for the match was not ideal and far from what it would be in this day and age given the febrile excitement cricket brings to the two nations. The rain knocked down the match to 33 overs on each side and the pitch that took a battering from rain became lethargic.
India won the toss and put Pakistan to bat. India’s bowling was underway with Javagal Srikanth and Kumble boasting three wickets apiece in their 7 overs quota, Venkatesh Prasad was also among the wicket-takers as he bagged two wickets in 7 overs reducing Pakistan to 170 for 9 wickets.
From Pakistan, Saeed Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed forged ahead and stitched partnership which took Pakistan to 80 for 1 wicket down and the rest of the Pakistani batters fell like a deck of cards as they were sent packing in single digits. An act of salvaging was carried out by the tailender Saqlain Mushtaq with his 22-run cameo propelling Pakistan past 150 and getting them to a target worth fighting for.
The rain-affected pitch didn’t make batting a doddle nor did India’s innings get off without a hitch. India lost Nayan Mongia early but any thoughts of Pakistan being in with a chance of smelling victory was quickly dispelled by the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar as he put on his batting maestro by scoring a quickfire run-a-ball 89 which had boundaries galore – 9 fours, 3 sixes and putting the nail in the coffin with a 65 run partnership in nine overs with Mohammed Azharuddin. As a result, India won the first ODI by dint of sheer class from Sachin Tendulkar who was rightfully also the man of the match.