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On this Day: Azhar-led India won fourth Asia Cup title

Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
April 14, 2020 17:01 IST
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IMAGE: Indian fans look at the posters of Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin at a roadside stall in Kolkata, on May 19, 1999. Photograph: Reuters

It was exactly 25 years when Mohammad Azharuddin-led India got the better of Sri Lanka in the final to win their fourth Asia Cup title, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, on April 14, 1995.

Chasing 231, India lost its opening two wickets with just 58 on the board as Sachin Tendulkar (41) and Manoj Prabhakar (9) were sent back to the pavilion.

 

Captain Azharuddin then took the game away from the Lankans in the company of Navjot Singh Sidhu as they put together a 175-run stand for the third wicket to take India to victory.

Azharuddin and Sidhu were unbeaten on 90 and 84 respectively.

Karnataka duo Ventakesh Prasad and Anil Kumble made the difference with the ball as they scalped two wickets each to limit Sri Lanka to 230/7 in their 50 overs.

The 1995 Asia Cup featuring India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was played in a round-robin tournament where each team played the other once, and the top two teams qualified for the final.

India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka all had four points at the end of the round-robin stage, but India and Sri Lanka qualified for the final on the basis of better run-rates.

So far, 14 editions of the Asia Cup have been played, with India winning the tournament seven times.

In the last edition in 2018, India outclassed Bangladesh in the title clash to win the tournament for the seventh time.

Sri Lanka has won the Asia Cup five times, while Pakistan has managed it twice.

Asia Cup is scheduled to be played later this year as well, but as of now the fate of the tournament hangs in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Born April 15, 1957: Evelyn Ashford, American sprinter

Evelyn Ashford

IMAGE: (Left to right): Evelyn Ashford, Sheila Echols and Alice Brown, three members of the US 4x100 metres relay team, watch a video replay of the race finish after winning the gold medal at the 1998 Seoul Olympic Games on October 1, 1988. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

On a warm July 1983 day in the Colorado mountains, a slender American woman literally reached the peak of female sprinting when she smashed the women's 100 metres world record that German athletes had owned for a decade.

Evelyn Ashford had beaten Marlies Gohr (100m) and Marita Koch (200m) in the 1979 World Cup of Athletics and now she had Gohr's 100 metres world record.

"I guess you could say I want to have it all,' Ashford said in a 1983 interview with The New York Times before her record Colorado run of 10.79 seconds.

In as many ways, she did have it all in a career loaded with ups and downs.

The Louisiana-born, California-raised sprinter grabbed Olympic gold in the women's 100 metres and 4x100 metres relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, becoming the first woman to run under 11 seconds in an Olympics, and added more gold in the 4x100 relay at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.

There probably could have been more except for the United States' boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Twice, including the Colorado victory, she toppled the 100 metres world record.

"When I'm running fast, I feel like I'm weightless," Ashford told Fortune magazine in 1991. "It's like I'm flying, like I'm not even touching the ground."

The Colorado triumph was extraordinary because 15 minutes after Ashford's record run, compatriot Calvin Smith smashed the men's 100 metres world record. Never before had both 100 metres records tumbled on the same day

“She always loved to sew and read, but running was her favorite because she was so good,” her mother Vietta once said.

Ashford's hero was one of America's greatest sprinters, the 1960 triple Olympic gold medallist Wilma Randolph.

"I was 12 when I first heard about Wilma Rudolph, and since I knew I could run I wanted to be like her," Ashford recalled in an interview.

Her quickness prompted the American football coach at her California high school to ask her to challenge his fastest player. Race won, Ashford became the only female member of the school's track team.

Speed and longevity were her trademarks.

From finishing fifth in the 100 metres at the 1976 Montreal Olympic to winning gold in the 4x100 metres relay at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics at age 35, Ashford represented her country well and the honour of being the US flag bearer was bestowed on her for the opening ceremony of the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

The gold medallist retired in 1992 but continued to do Olympic advisory work while raising her daughter Rain, who was born in 1985.

"This is as close as I need to be to track and field. I am very satisfied with where I left the sport, what I accomplished in the sport," she told Don Mosley of the Sacramento Bee in April 2000.

Once in the world spotlight, she has slipped into quieter times declining a request last week to talk about her golden days.

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Source: ANI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
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