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The two consecutive sixes by Shahid Afridi against spinner Ashwin Ramachandran to clinch the one-day match at Mirpur, Dhaka, on March 2 revived memories of the famous six by Javed Miandad against Chetan Sharma at Sharjah on April 18, 1986. That six almost ruined the career of Chetan Sharma and immortalized Javed Miandad.
Pakistan needed four runs off the last ball to overall India’s total of 245 and win the match. But when young Chetan ran into to bowl the last ball, Miandad smashed him over the ropes, to win the match for Pakistan and lift the Austral-Asia Cup.
Miandad had a long conversation with Tauseef Ahend, his partner at the other end, as he got ready to face the last ball.
The atmosphere at Sharjah was unbelievable as the stadium erupted even before the last ball was bowled by Cheran Sharma.
“I really felt like the chosen one after hitting that six. It’s the wish of every living person to be able to achieve something big in life. I, too, often prayed to God to help me achieve something so big in my career that my name be immortalised by the deed. And my God made my wish come true,’’
Speaking of the famous six, Miandad told Dawn in 2011, “`We needed four runs to win. Over there was India’s Chetan Sharma with the ball. I knew he wouldn’t give me a chance. But I was willing to make a mile out of an inch. I expected him to bowl in the block hole to make it impossible for me to dig out the ball and make it go far. I decided to come out of my crease to meet the delivery halfway to turn it into a boundary. This was the last ball; I had already made 110 runs, what had I got to lose?,’’ “God helps those who help themselves. Even though Chetan did attempt for a yorker, the ball somehow slipped out of his hand turning it into a full toss delivery, which I hit with all my might, and … lo and behold … it was a six! Pakistan had won!
“Today everyone gives the example of that six when seeing some team in trouble in the last overs. It can happen like Miandad made it happen, they say trying to pull up saging spirits. The Indians have never been able to forget the incident and have even reenacted parts of it in movie screenplays, Lagaan being the most notable.
“But I really feel for poor Chetan Sharma, whose career was as good as over after that. It shouldn’t happen that way. You cannot be exceptional all the time. One day you play well, another day you don’t. It’s all a part of the game.’’
In his auto-biography ‘Cutting Edge: My Autobiography,’ Miandad has said of the famous six, “I knew that he would try to bowl a yorker so I decided to stand just ahead of crease… poor Chetan Sharma.’’
Speaking about that nightmarish moment in his career, Chetan Sharma said in an interview in 2011, “I try to forget that six but people do not let me. People do not forget things — either good or bad — that happens during India-Pakistan clashes,” Sharma said in 2011. “People won’t remember the hat-trick against New Zealand in 1987 World Cup or the good performance against England but that Miandad six is one thing they will never forget,”
Fast forward to Mirpur on macrh 2, 2014. It was the turn of the legendary Shahid Afridi to haul spinner Ashwin Ramachadran over the rope twice to win the Asia Cup ODI against archrivals India.
Said the boom-boom Afridi after the victory, “I knew that I could hit his carrom ball and I had spotted it. It was pulled back slightly but I connected it really well.’’
We have heard anything from Ashwin on the two sixes yet, but hope they don’t do to him what that famous six of April 18, 1986, did to the career of pacer young Chetan Sharma.