#ThisDayThatYear: A tale of two cricket matches
March 23 is a significant day in the history of Indian cricket. On this day, 15 years ago, India played the final of the 50-over World Cup, which they lost to Australia by 125 runs. But, on the same day in 2016, India clinched a thriller against Bangladesh in the World T20. India claimed a 1-run victory in the final ball of the match.
India in the final of the 2003 ICC World Cup
After some brilliant performances in the tournament, India managed to reach the final of the 2003 World Cup. But India couldn't handle the pressure of massive expectations and it was clear from the first over. Zaheer Khan bowled a 10-ball first over, which consisted of 2 no balls and 2 wide delivers. He conceded 15 runs in his first over.
Indian bowlers crumble under pressure
For their quota of 50 overs, India tried 8 bowlers but none of them even bowled a decent spell. The bowlers constantly hit the wrong length and were punished by the Aussie batsman. Aussie captain Ponting played a dream innings of 140* runs along with the stylish Damien Martyn, who scored an unbeaten 88. Australia finished at 359/2, scoring at a run-rate of 7.18.
Glenn McGrath got the better of Sachin Tendulkar
The target might have seemed unattainable but not for a team which had the likes of Tendulkar, Sehwag, Ganguly, Dravid and Yuvraj. India had to slog and hope for the best. But luck was not in India's favor. Sachin was caught and bowled by McGrath for just 4 and Ganguly fell to Brett Lee. Sehwag carried on, giving the men in blue some hope.
Virender Sehwag's 82 was not enough
India's hope to claim the trophy didn't last long as wickets kept tumbling. Sehwag departed for 82 and by now the victory was in sight for the Aussies. Rahul Dravid showed some resilience and tried to spare India's blushes. However, the Aussies wrapped things up, bowling India out for 234 in 39.2 overs. Australia claimed a 125 run victory.
India almost lost to Bangladesh in the World T20
March 23, 2016 was a different story. India went in to bat first and scored 146/7, with Suresh Raina being the top scorer with 30 to his name. But the drama unfolded in the second innings of the match. India were staring at defeat, with Mahmudullah and the dangerous Mushfiqur Rahim going strong for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh needed 11 runs off the last over
The Tigers needed 11 runs off the last over in the do-or-die clash at Bengaluru. Dhoni had completed the quota of all his death-over bowlers and had to hand the ball to Hardik Pandya. Pandya had been pummeled for 20 runs in his previous two overs. Pandya, who was a rookie back then, had never bowled the final over of an international match.
Hardik Pandya's miracle rescued India
After a single off the first ball, Mushfiqur smashed two back-to-back boundaries and Bangladesh now needed just 2 runs off 3 balls. But as history has it, Pandya dismissed Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah. The tables had turned and Bangladesh needed a run to tie the fixture. But a magical run-out by Dhoni ensured India claimed a 1-run victory.