New Delhi:In eight editions of the Asia Cup, it's an oddity that India and Pakistan have never contested a final. However, they've met seven times in the league stages of the championship.
Besides, when M.S. Dhoni's men beat Pakistan last week in Karachi, it was India's first Asia Cup win over their arch rivals in 20 years. Can India repeat the act on Wednesday?
CricketNDTV.com takes a looks at how the two fare head-to-head:
1984 - Sharjah
The inaugural Asia Cup didn't have a knockout stage and the winner was decided on points. Going into the last league match, Pakistan, on zero points, had to beat India at all costs to draw level with their archrivals and Sri Lanka, who had two points each. India elected to bat and Surinder Khanna, the opener, led the charge with his 72-ball 56 while Sandeep Patil made a quick 43 at the end. India's 188 in 46 overs may not have been a lot, but Pakistan were hurt by four run outs in their chase. From 69-1, they collapsed to 134 all out, with Ravi Shastri and Roger Binny taking three wickets each. Resultantly, India won the trophy.
India 1, Pakistan 0.
1988 - Dhaka
This was a virtual semifinal. Both sides had lost to Sri Lanka and won against Bangladesh. When India put Pakistan in, Arshad Ayub, the off spinner from Hyderabad, produced the best bowling performance by an Indian in ODIs as Pakistan slumped dramatically from 91-1 to 142 all out. Their first eight dismissals alternated between LBWs and bowled before Abdul Qadir's run out broke the pattern. Ayub's 5-21 in nine overs remained India's best for a few years. India lost as many as six wickets on their way but Mohinder Amarnath, the oldest player in the Indian side at 36, top scored with an unbeaten 74 and took India home. Twenty years would pass before India beat Pakistan in an Asia Cup again.
India 2, Pakistan 0
The day Venky was unplayable: Venkatesh
Prasad bowling in the 1997 match in Colombo. AFP
1995 - Sharjah
Reeling under match fixing allegations and the sacking of Saleem Malik, Pakistan hit back in style. The baby-faced Inzamam-ul Haq made a mature 88 and Wasim Akram rounded off the innings with a vicious 50. Pakistan's 266 looked tough and Aaquib Javed blew away India's top order with the new ball. Manoj Prabhakar, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Vinod Kambli were sent back quickly. Fifties from Navjot Sidhu and Sanjay Manjrekar provided brief resistance but it was too few and too slow. Aaquib finished with 5-19 and India lost by 97 runs - their biggest loss to Pakistan then - and it lent solidity to the saying that Pakistan never lose a cricket match in Sharjah on a Friday.
India 2, Pakistan 1
1997 - Colombo
On an overcast day on a seaming pitch, all eyes were on Saeed Anwar. In the previous ODI between these two, Anwar had ravaged India's bowlers with his world record 194. From an Indian point of view, what followed was briefly exhilarating. Venkatesh Prasad started a dream spell which read as thus: Anwar LBW 0, Sohail LBW 1, Inzamam c Dravid 0, and Malik c Azhar 10. Soon, the score was 29-5 when Abbey Kuruvilla sent back captain Rameez Raja. India had had a rough spell under Tendulkar's captaincy and things finally seemed going well - when the light faded away and it began raining. The game had to be abandoned and the reserve day was also washed off.
India 2, Pakistan 1, No Result 1
A loss but still a win: Sachin Tendulkar
plays Shoaib Akhtar in the peculiar 2004
match in Colombo. AFP
2000 - Dhaka
India had the weakest bowling line up on display and they paid for it on the flat pitch. After Saeed Anwar's quick 43, Pakistan were in trouble at 103-4. But the cool Mohammad Yousuf - then Yousuf Yohanna - took over. After seeing off Kumble and Tendulkar, India's best bowlers on the day, Yousuf tore into the inexperienced Thiru Kumaran and Amit Bhandari. They went for 86 and 75, respectively, in their ten overs. Yousuf hit Kumaran for a straight six off the last ball to finish on 100 not out. India were docked two overs chasing 293. Once Abdul Razzq was done with his first spell in which he dismissed Tendulkar, Dravid and Azhar, India were out of the game. Ajay Jadeja made 93, but it only helped reduce the margin of loss - 44 runs.
India 2, Pakistan 2, No Result 1
2004 - Colombo
A strange game, which Pakistan won - but also lost. Shoaib Malik's power-packed 143 took Pakistan to 300 after Inzamam elected to bat. India, going through a lean patch in ODIs, gave up the chase around the halfway mark in their innings. With Tendulkar holding one end up, they set sights on reaching 241, which would give them a consolation point for denying Pakistan the bonus point. India's middle order fell away but Tendulkar found an ally in the young Irfan Pathan. The one point looked within reach until Tendulkar, Harbhajan and Pathan got out in quick time. It all came down to six runs from six balls, and then, one off one. India scampered a bye, took the bonus point and a 59 run loss. As it turned out, the bonus point cost ultimately Pakistan a place in the final.
India 2, Pakistan 3, No Result 1
2008 - Karachi
Those who had followed Indo-Pak cricket in the 1980s would remember how Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas toyed with India's bowling in home matches. This time, it was India's turn to toy around with Pakistan's bowling. India were set 300 to win, thanks to another big hundred from Shoaib Malik. But Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina batted in a manner which could have paled Rafael Nadal's systematic dismantling of Roger Federer in the recent French Open. "I feel sorry for Roger," Nadal had said. "I couldn't believe how perfectly I played." Sehwag and Raina, who added 198 in less than 25 overs, could have well offered an apology to Pakistan for all the shots they attempted and pulled off in style. India won in just 42.1 overs - their record for the least overs taken to chase a 300-plus score.
India 3, Pakistan 3, No Result 1