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In pictures: Against all odds, Pakistan lifted the World Cup trophy in 1992. Will history repeat itself?

In pictures: Against all odds, Pakistan lifted the World Cup trophy in 1992. Will history repeat itself?

Start poor, end with a trophy — that is how Pakistan clinched its first World Cup victory in 1992. And now, more than three decades later, history seems to be repeating itself.

The T20 World Cup 2022, which has reached its climax after a month, is set for a grand finale — Pakistan versus England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.

But for most of us, this invokes deja vu. We have seen this before, that too at the same venue. Let's take a trip down the memory lane.

Both in 1992 and this year's tournament, Pakistan were slow starters. In 1992, the team started off with a 10-wicket loss to the West Indies and a few days later lost against India by 43 runs.

This year, the green shirts were stunned by the neighbours in a thrilling first game.

In 1992, Pakistan's third match of the tournament against England — which looked fatal for the team — turned in their favour when rain came to their favour. The match ended and both the team earned a point each. This helped Pakistan edge past Australia in the table and sent them to the semi-final.

Although not directly playing a role in Pakistan's matches this year, the rain did up the team's final position on the table. During the match between South Africa and Zimbabwe, the skies opened and the match was called off.

In 1992, Imran Khan's 'cornered tigers' defeated the Kiwis to qualify for the finals. And it was the out-of-form Inzamam-ul-Haq who had smashed a 37-ball 60 runs to take the team through to the final.

In the match on Wednesday, Pakistan, yet again, beat New Zealand. Despite a slightly nervy finish, Mohammad Haris’ 30 off 26 balls helped complete a deserved victory with five balls to spare.

In both the years, Pakistan’s leading wicket-takers up until the final were a left-arm pacer and leg-spinner.

In 1992 it were Wasim Akram and Mushtaq Ahmed. This year, it is Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shadab Khan.

When Pakistan faced England in the finals at the MCG in 1992, history was made.

Thirty years later, will skipper Babar Azam bring the trophy home this time?

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