History does repeat itself from time to time.
In the world of cricket, the latest such instance occurred during the Emerging Teams Asia Cup final between India A and Pakistan A in Colombo on Sunday.
India elected to field after winning the toss in the summit clash and seamer Rajvardhan Hangargekar appeared to have drawn first blood in the fourth over by getting opener Saim Ayub caught-behind, on 16.
Emerging Men’s Asia Cup: India ‘A’ start favourites in blockbuster final against Pakistan ‘A’
India vs Pakistan, ACC Emerging Men’s Asia Cup: Youngsters look to impress in crunch clash
The umpire, however, raised his arm and bellowed the words, “No Ball!”. Hangargekar, apparently had overstepped, and ended up gifting Ayub a lifeline.
Ayub would end up making the most of the early reprieve, going on to score 59 with opening partner Sahibzada Farhan collecting 65, and the pair stitching a 121-run opening stand. Pakistan would go on to post a massive 352/8 on the board, with Tayyib Tahir leading the way with a 71-ball 108.
It did not take long for netizens to notice similarities with another memorable India vs Pakistan encounter — the 2017 Champions Trophy final at The Oval in London.
That encounter had witnessed Jasprit Bumrah overstep while getting opener Fakhar Zaman caught-behind, incidentally also in the fourth over of the Pakistan innings. Fakhar would go on to smash a match-winning 114 and help Pakistan thrash India by 180 runs in the high-profile encounter, helping the Men in Green beat their arch-rivals in an ICC event for the first time in eight years.
The no-ball in the fourth over of the innings however, is not where the similarities end. Apart from the two matches being the final of a multi-nation tournament, India had opted to field on both occasions.
Additionally, Men in Blue had defeated Pakistan quite convincingly earlier in this tournament. In the Champions Trophy, India had won the group stage encounter by 124 runs (DLS Method), while in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, the Indians registered an eight-wicket win.
Both games saw Pakistan post 300-plus totals after being invited to bat, with one of their batters scoring a century.
Also worth noting is the fact that the Indian team was led by a Delhiite on both occasions — Virat Kohli in the Champions Trophy final and Yash Dhull in the Emerging Teams Asia Cup final. The Pakistan team, meanwhile, was led by a wicket-keeper in both games — Sarfaraz Ahmed in 2017 and Mohammad Haris on Sunday.
Cricket Twitter too made note of these similarities, especially the wicket off a no-ball by the lead pacer. Here are some of the reactions:
A wicket-keeper batter as captain for Pakistan. A boy from Delhi as captain for India. India vs Pakistan in another final. We have seen this story before! Pakistan to replicate the Champions Trophy 2017 heroics tomorrow In Shaa Allah ❤️#EmergingAsiaCup2023 pic.twitter.com/ND2Vf88S2p
— Farid Khan (@_FaridKhan) July 22, 2023
Champions Trophy 2017 final all over again?
— Sushant Mehta (@SushantNMehta) July 23, 2023
Champions trophy 2017 final repeat telecast?
— ` (@rahulmsd_91) July 23, 2023
For all the latest Sports News Click Here