This was the very first match of the 1983 World Cup. England, hosting the tournament for the third successive time, took on New Zealand at the Oval in a Group A match. England had finished runners up in 1979, losing timidly to West Indies in the final – and here began yet another quest to win the title in front of their home crowd (England have never won the World Cup till date).
This was also the last World Cup to feature 60-overs-a-side matches. England, after captain Bob Willis won the toss, racked up an outstanding 322/6 in the allotted 60 overs – an absolutely safe total, by a distance, in those days. Allan Lamb scored a typical 102 from only 105 balls, with 12 fours and 2 sixes, and aside other contributions, Graham Dilley swung his way to a whirlwind 31* off 14 balls to give England further impetus in their huge total.
One New Zealand bowler bore the brunt like none other that day. The right-arm fast medium bowler Martin Snedden wrote his name in the record books, albeit in a dubious manner – he became the first bowler ever to concede more than a hundred runs in an innings in a one-day international.
Snedden finished with unenviable figures of 12-1-105-2, although he had the consolation of claiming Lamb’s wicket. Comparatively, the legendary Richard Hadlee returned an analysis of 12-4-26-1 – the economy rate being a fourth of Snedden’s. In spite of Martin Crowe (who himself returned 6-0-51-0 with his part-timers), who made 97, New Zealand could only muster 216 in 59 overs, losing by 106 runs.
Thus, Snedden became the first bowler to make a dubious ‘bowler’s hundred’ in an ODI. However, his economy rate was 8.75 (as he bowled 12 overs), compared to the hemorrhaging 11.30 of Mick Lewis, who usurped the record with a return of 10-0-113-0 while bowling for Australia against South Africa in the record-breaking Johannesburg ODI in 2005-06.
Since then, New Zealand’s Tim Southee (10-0-105-0 v India, Christchurch 2008-09) and Zimbabwe’s Brian Vitori (9-0-105-0 v New Zealand, Napier 2011-12) have also joined the list. Interestingly, the first spinner in this list is none other than Sri lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, who returned 10-0-99-0 against Australia at Sydney in 2005-06.
For the record, Snedden had a decent career, picking 58 wickets in 25 Tests and 114 wickets in 93 ODI’s. He retired after playing England in the 1990 Edgbaston Test.