Pakistan’s flamboyant opener, the left-handed Saeed Anwar etched his name into the record books when he broke the 13-year-old ODI landmark of 189 set by Vivian Richards on May 21, 1997 at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Anwar's 194 stood as a benchmark, along with Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry who equalled the score in 2009, until Sachin Tendulkar - incidentally the captain of India on that fateful day - broke the 200-barrier in 2010. The left-handed opener's assault on India's bowling was, as Sportstar cried out on its Friday cover page two days later, a 'Blitzkrieg at Chepauk', reports Times of India.
According to the aforementioned report, on a sweltering hot Chennai afternoon Anwar was virtually unstoppable. His epic will always have an Asterix attached to it in the fact that he had a runner for much of his innings - from the 18th over until the 47th - which made it much easier for him to focus on hitting boundaries. With Shahid Afridi , who had been well held by a running Sourav Ganguly off a miscue, doing the running, Anwar added 118 of his overall tally.
Although Afridi was running for his teammate, Anwar displayed his full repertoire of strokes as he smashed boundary after boundary. And on that day, Anwar's latent skill as well as fancy for Indian bowling attacks - he averaged 43.52 versus them in ODIs, and 47.28 in wins -was on ample view.
Anwar’s epic 194 was made in 146 balls across 206 minutes, and contained 22 fours and five sixes. Three of those sixes came off successive deliveries bowled by Anil Kumble; that over, the 41st of Pakistan's innings, featured a sequence of 2, 2, 6, 6, 6, 4. One of the Hindi commentators, live on air, likened Anwar's assault on the legspinner as akin to someone's phone number. The humor, though sharp, would have stung most Indians watching, Times of India reports.