Record Book – England v India at the Women’s World Cup

  The final of the eleventh edition of the Women’s World Cup, between hosts England and a vibrant India, is underway at Lord’s, in what promises to be a riveting battle. While England have won the title thrice, India, on the back of remarkable wins over New Zealand and Australia, will be looking to lay their hands on the trophy for the first time.

  England and India have clashed on ten occasions in the Women’s World Cup, dating back to their first meeting in the 1978 edition. England hold a slight advantage, but India have won the most recent contest, on the opening day of the ongoing tournament. As the summit clash heats up at the Mecca, let us revisit the past World Cup encounters between the two sides.

Kolkata, 1978

  This league match at the iconic Eden Gardens was incidentally the first ever ODI that India Women played. It was a forgettable outing for the hosts, as they were shot out for a paltry 63 in 39.3 overs, with skipper Diana Edulji (18) being the top-scorer. Opening bowler Glynis Hullah returned figures of 6.3-4-2-2. England overhauled the total in the 31st over to win by nine wickets.

Auckland, 1982

  The 1982 edition, played in New Zealand, featured five teams, each team playing every other thrice. England saw off India by four wickets at Auckland’s Cornwall Park, chasing down a target of 113 with 24 overs to spare. Earlier, only captain Shanta Rangaswamy (50) stood tall as India were bowled out for 112 in the 53rd over. Hullah was at her stingiest again, taking 2/5 in 9.2 overs.

      Indian pacewoman Jhulan Goswami returned figures of 4/27 to set up a convincing win against England at the 2005 World Cup (source – thehindu.com)

Wanganui, 1982

  India exacted revenge in the second round, at Cooks Gardens in Wanganui, achieving ODI success against the Englishwomen for the first time. Wicketkeeper Fowzieh Khalili, opening the innings, stroked a career-best 88 to propel India to 178/7 in their 60 overs. In reply, the Indian bowlers, led by leggie Shubhangi Kulkarni (3/19), condemned England to a 47-run defeat in the 56th over.

Nelson, 1982

  England were back to their ruthless best at Trafalgar Park, where they subdued India with a dominating display. Pacer Janet Tedstone (4/17) and off-spinner Carol Hodges (3/9) tore through the Indian batting, and the total of 61 in 37 overs made for sorry reading. England cruised to a ten-wicket victory in the 22nd over, and went on to reach the final, which they lost to Australia.

Finchampstead, 1993 

  In what was possibly the best match of the tournament, the hosts eked out a last-gasp win. Jan Brittin scored 100 in England’s total of 179 – they lost their last seven for 22. Edulji, leading India again, took 4/12 with her left-arm spin. India went from 83/2 to 128/7 in reply, but the tail kept them alive. In a tense finish, number eleven Laya Francis was run out with four needed from two balls.

Lincoln, 2000

  The two teams played out another tight affair, this time in New Zealand. The English attack bowled with control to keep India to 155/7, Chanderkanta Kaul scoring 45. England crashed to 35/4 in the 21st over, before Claire Taylor (60) steadied the ship. India however had the final say, pinching an eight-run win with four balls left, off-spinner Rupanjali Shastri (3/25) being their best bowler.

      England captain Charlotte Edwards scored a match-winning 109 against India at Mumbai in the 2013 Women’s World Cup (source – ICC) 

Pretoria, 2005

  India, who would go on to enter their maiden final, notched a facile seven-wicket win. Pace ace Jhulan Goswami (4/27) and left-arm spinner Neetu David starred as England were bundled for 139, despite fifties from Charlotte Edwards (58) and Arran Brindle (51*). India slipped to 35/3, but Anjum Chopra (64*) and Rumeli Dhar (42*) dropped anchor, the win coming in the 46th over.

Sydney, 2009

  Eventual winners England stamped their supremacy in a nine-wicket win against India in the group stage at the North Sydney Oval. Holly Colvin (3/22) and Jenny Gunn dented the middle order, building on a fine start from Isa Guha (2/16). Mithali Raj top-scored with 59. The target of 170 was chased down in the 39th over, with Caroline Atkins and Claire Taylor both remaining unbeaten on 69.

Mumbai, 2013

  Reeling from a defeat to Sri Lanka in their opening game, defending champions England bounced back with a 32-run success against the hosts at the Brabourne Stadium. Captain Charlotte Edwards led from the front with a stroke-filled 109, powering England to 272/8. Despite the best efforts of Harmanpreet Kaur (107*), India could only manage 240/9, thanks to pacer Katherine Brunt (4/29).

Derby, 2017

  India began the 2017 edition positively, recording an impressive win against the hosts. Openers Punam Raut (86) and Smriti Mandhana (90 in 72 balls) set the tone with a 144-run alliance, following which captain Mithali Raj scored 71. Facing a challenging total of 281/3, England wobbled to 67/3 and were eventually dismissed for 246 in the 48th over, Fran Wilson’s 81 going in vain.

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Record Book – Ireland at the Women’s World Cup

  Ireland missed out on qualifying for the Women’s World Cup for the third time in a row, after failing to progress from the Super Six stage of the Qualifiers held in Sri Lanka earlier this year. However, the Irish eves have had their fair share of experience in the showpiece event of the women’s game. Here is a look back at how Ireland have fared in the tournament over the years.

1988

  The fourth edition of the Women’s World Cup, held in Australia as part of its Bicentenary celebrations, marked Ireland’s debut in a multi-team cricket tournament. One of the only five teams to feature in the double round-robin tournament, Ireland finished fourth with two wins in eight matches. Their first encounter with New Zealand at Perth was forgettable, as they went down by 154 runs.

  The very next day, Ireland, captained by Mary-Pat Moore, achieved their maiden ODI win, defeating the Netherlands by 86 runs at the Willeton Sports Club in Perth. After being put in to bat, Ireland rode on Stella Owens’ 66 to get to 196/5 in the allotted 60 overs. The Dutchwomen then crashed to 37/5 and could only manage 110/7, thanks to a disciplined Irish effort with the ball.

  A pair of one-sided defeats at Sydney, by ten wickets and seven wickets against heavyweights Australia and England respectively, put paid to any faint hopes Ireland might have had of an unlikely spot in the final. The action then moved to Melbourne’s Carey Grammar School Oval, where Ireland notched their second win, chasing down the Netherlands’ 143 with five wickets and 20 balls remaining.

1993

  A record eight teams contested the 1993 edition in England, with the 60-over format retained. Each team played every other once in the league stage, where Ireland, led by Moore again, finished a creditable fifth. Ireland bounced back from a seven-wicket loss to New Zealand in their first game with a 70-run win over Denmark at the Christ Church Ground in Oxford.

   Irish captain Miriam Grealey hits out during her side’s win over the Netherlands in the 2000 Women’s World Cup. She has scored 505 runs across four editions (source – espncricinfo.com) 

  A fifth-wicket stand worth 96 between the dependable Stella Owens (61) and Miriam Grealey (63*) helped Ireland recover from 84/4 towards a defendable 234/6. The Danes were restricted to 164/9 despite being placed at 105/2 at one point. Susan Bray was the pick of the bowlers with 3/22, while three run-outs pointed to a quality effort in the field.

  Three defeats then followed, but Ireland impressed in two, limiting the margin of defeat against Australia to 49 runs and taking six Indian wickets while defending 151. Ireland’s second victory came against the Netherlands at Marlow, where, chasing 135, they slumped to 104/8 before winning by two wickets. The Irish campaign ended with a narrow 19-run defeat to the West Indies.

1997

  The record for the most number of teams was broken again, with as many as 11 sides taking part in the 1997 edition in India. Ireland were clubbed in Group A, alongside defending champions England, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and Denmark. The maximum number of overs per innings was now the standardised 50. Ireland were led by the seasoned Miriam Grealey this time.

  After their opening game against Australia was washed out, Ireland saw off Denmark by nine wickets in a rain-reduced, 23-over affair at Chennai. Pacer Barbara McDonald took 3/12 to restrict Denmark to 56/7. Ireland’s next two outings, against South Africa and England, ended in big losses, by nine wickets and 208 runs respectively.

  In what was a must-win, final group clash against Pakistan at the Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon, Ireland rose to the occasion with a resounding display. Grealey top-scored with a quickfire 62 in Ireland’s total of 242/7 before the off-spin duo of Catherine O’Neill (4/10) and Adele Spence (3/4) helped shoot Pakistan out for just 60 – extras being the highest contributor with 27.

  This win enabled Ireland to enter the quarterfinals, by virtue of finishing fourth in their group with 15 points. In the knockout, they met New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Faced with a challenging total of 244/3, Ireland limped to 105/9 to lose by 139 runs. Grealey ended as the highest run-getter for her team, with 137 runs from five innings at 34.25.

     The Ireland Women’s team celebrate a Sri Lankan wicket at the 2000 World Cup. They went on to narrowly lose the game by ten runs (source – espncricinfo.com)

2000

  The tournament was back to the eight-team league format in 2000, with New Zealand being the hosts. Grealey continued being the Irish skipper, and her team was rolled over for 99 en route to an eight-wicket defeat to the hosts at Lincoln in their first match. Next up was Australia, against whom it was even worse as Ireland lost by ten wickets after being bowled out for 90.

  In the third game against Sri Lanka, Ireland fell heartbreakingly short of victory. After skittling their opponents for 129, Ireland steadily seemed on track at 65/2 in the 32nd over. But the pressure of the mounting required run rate led to a regular fall of wickets and they folded for 119 in 49.5 overs. This was followed by a tame eight-wicket defeat to a England.

  Ireland produced an improved display against India, but was not enough to prevent a 30-run defeat. Their solitary triumph came against the Netherlands at Christchurch where a total of 232/6, enough for a 41-run win, was reached thanks to Caitriona Beggs (66*) and Anne Linehan (54). In their last game, Ireland went down to South Africa by nine wickets.

2005

  South Africa hosted the event for the first time, with the format of the competition unchanged. Clare Shillington was now in charge of Ireland, who qualified after winning the inaugural World Cup Qualifier held in the Netherlands in 2003 undefeated. But the tournament proper would prove to be a different kettle of fish, as for the first time, Ireland ended without a single win.

  In their first completed match, Ireland suffered a nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of India after being bowled out for 65. Two days later, another sizeable defeat followed, this time to England by 128 runs. It was hardly any better against New Zealand – bowled out for 91 before losing by nine wickets – or against the West Indies, to whom they lost by eight wickets.

  A tough campaign ended with a ten-wicket loss to Australia, with Ireland’s struggle to 66/8 in 50 overs highlighting the gulf between the two sides. Ireland have played 34 matches across five editions of the World Cup, winning seven and losing 26. Miriam Grealey is their highest run-scorer with a tally of 505, while Catherine O’Neill, with 17 victims, is the highest wicket-taker.

Record Book – The lowest total by a Test nation in the Champions Trophy

  New Zealand and Bangladesh, fresh from playing each other in the tri-series in Ireland last month, are set to face off in a Champions Trophy match at Cardiff on the coming Friday. This will be the second time that the two teams will meet in the Champions Trophy; the first instance being in the 2002 edition in Sri Lanka.

  The format back then allowed only one of the three teams in each pool to enter the semifinals, and as it turned out, Australia breezed into the final four from Pool 1, courtesy of resounding wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh. The final pool game between the two losing teams, played at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on September 23, 2002, was thus reduced to an inconsequential affair.

  New Zealand, looking for consolation after having failed to defend the title they won in 2000, were inserted in to bat on a slow track by Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-captain Khaled Mashud. Left-arm pacer Manjural Islam provided an early breakthrough for the Tigers, scalping the key wicket of Nathan Astle with the score at 11 in the third over.

  Skipper Stephen Fleming and Matthew Sinclair produced a second-wicket stand of 66 at nearly six an over, before Khaled Mahmud pulled things back with a double strike. The medium pacer first got rid of Fleming, who was looking composed on 31, and then had Lou Vincent caught behind in his next over. New Zealand were now 79/3 in the 16th over and needed someone to play a long innings.

         Scott Styris plays a shot during New Zealand’s innings as Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud looks on (source – gettyimages/icc-cricket.com)

  Sinclair held fort, but the Bangladeshi bowlers ensured that runs were not easy to come by. The fourth-wicket partnership between Sinclair and Scott Styris had progressed to 40, when the latter was caught short of his crease for a promising 26. This setback further dented the run rate, and even though Sinclair and Chris Harris added 48 for the fifth wicket, their stand consumed 85 balls.

  When Sinclair was sixth out for a stodgy 70 from 122 balls to the part-time leg spin of Mohammad Ashraful, who had already dismissed Harris earlier, the scoreboard read 198 in the 45th over. A final flourish from Jacob Oram, who became Ashraful’s third victim, and Daniel Vettori enabled New Zealand to accumulate 46 runs in the last five overs.

  Yet, it was a commendable effort from Bangladesh to restrict their opponents to 244/7. Manjural and Mahmud bowled with control to take two wickets each, while left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique returned tidy figures as well. The 18-year-old Ashraful, who had become Test cricket’s youngest centurion a year earlier, finished with a career-best of 3/26.

  The target was by no means a daunting one, but Bangladesh needed to put in a highly improved effort with the bat compared to the game against Australia – in which they had painstakingly crumbled for 129 in the 46th over – if they harboured hopes of notching a rare victory; they came into this match on the back of 19 consecutive ODI defeats.

       Shane Bond ripped through the Bangladeshi top order to set up a crushing win for New Zealand at the 2002 Champions Trophy (source – espncricinfo.com)

   A 20th defeat on the trot was a foregone conclusion just five overs into the Bangladeshi innings. The top order had absolutely no answer to the express pace of Shane Bond, who was in the thick of things from the first over itself when he had Al Sahariar trapped leg-before for a duck. At the other end, Oram sent back the other opener Javed Omar to leave Bangladesh at 8/2 after two overs.

  The ferocious Bond, backed by Fleming’s attacking field, had figures of 3-0-9-4 at this point. Bangladesh had suffered their lowest ODI total at the same ground just over a month earlier, when they were skittled for 76 by Sri Lanka. At 19/5, a bigger embarrassment was on the cards. The top scorer of the innings was Tushar Imran (20), who was sixth out to Oram with the score at 37.

  The last four wickets managed to double the score and also – just – avoid a record ODI low for Bangladesh, but nevertheless, the final outcome made for sorry reading. Kyle Mills and Vettori too chipped in with two wickets apiece, as the Tigers were shot out for 77 in 19.3 overs to concede a 167-run defeat. Bond finished with 4/21 in five overs and was rightly named man of the match.

  Bangladesh’s total of 77 was then the lowest in the Champions Trophy, and till date, remains the lowest by a Test nation in the tournament. In the next edition in 2004, Bangladesh were bowled out for another sub-100 total – 93 against South Africa at Edgbaston. The lowest Champions Trophy total overall is 65 by the United States of America against Australia at Southampton in 2004.

Match Scorecard 

Record Book – The highest ODI total by an Associate nation

  The second match of the recently-concluded ODI series between leading Associate teams Afghanistan and Ireland saw the Afghans rack up 338 on the board, their highest ever ODI total. However, this was only the third-highest total by a non-Test playing team in ODI history; the record still remains with Kenya, who rode roughshod over Bangladesh nearly 20 years ago.

  The Kenya Cricket Association President’s Cup was a triangular tournament played in Nairobi in October 1997, featuring Zimbabwe and Bangladesh besides the hosts. The opening match at the Gymkhana Club Ground on 10th October saw the Kenyans square off against Bangladesh, the team that had beaten them in the thrilling ICC Trophy final in Kuala Lumpur six months earlier.

  This was the first official ODI to be played between the two emerging nations. Akram Khan won the toss for Bangladesh and decided to field first; little did he know that his bowlers were soon going be at the receiving end of a new world record partnership. Opening the innings for Kenya was the right-handed duo of wicketkeeper Kennedy Otieno and Dipak Chudasama, a qualified dentist.

  Chudasama became the first Kenyan to score an ODI hundred, going on to make 122 from just 113 balls – studded with 16 fours – and more significantly, shared in a mammoth opening stand of 225 with Otieno. This created a new record for the highest first-wicket partnership in ODIs, going past the 212 added by Australia’s Geoff Marsh and David Boon against India at Jaipur in 1986-87.

  The breakthrough was finally achieved when pace bowler Hasibul Hossain caught Chudasama off his own bowling, but any hopes of respite for Bangladesh were stymied by Otieno, who rushed to a century of his own during the course of a second-wicket stand with Steve Tikolo – who had hit a fine 147 in the ICC Trophy final – that fetched 84 runs.

       Kenyan wicketkeeper Kennedy Otieno scored 144 to help set a strong base for his team against Bangladesh at Nairobi in 1997-98 (source – cricket.com.au)

  Otieno, who was third out at 316, batted three and a half hours for his 144, which took 146 balls and consisted of 12 fours and a six. This remains the highest ODI score by a Kenyan. A final flourish from Maurice Odumbe and Thomas Odoyo swelled the total to 347/3; the previous highest by a non-Test side was Zimbabwe’s 312/4 against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth in the 1992 World Cup.

  All the Bangladeshi bowlers came in for harsh treatment, none more so than off-spinner Sheikh Salahuddin, who returned 0/80 in his ten overs. Openers Athar Ali Khan and Shahriar Hossain gave Bangladesh a sound start by putting on 55, with Athar guiding the score to 100/2 before being caught and bowled by captain Aasif Karim for a well-compiled 61.

  This wicket ended Bangladesh’s resistance, as the Kenyan spinners, spun a web around the rest of the batting. Karim’s left-arm spin fetched him a career-best haul of 5/33 in his ten overs, which remained the national record till 2002-03, when Collins Obuya famously picked 5/24 in a World Cup match against Sri Lanka at the same venue. 

  Bangladesh lost their last eight wickets for only 97 to be bowled out for 197 in 43.4 overs. This 150-run margin was then Kenya’s highest in ODIs, which they bettered in 2006-07 with a 190-run drubbing of Scotland at Mombasa. Otieno was unsurprisingly adjudged as the man of the match. The tournament was eventually won by Zimbabwe, who beat Kenya 2-0 in the best-of-three finals. 

  At that time, the stand of 225 between Otieno and Chudasama was not only the highest for the first wicket, but also the fourth-highest for any wicket. The record was broken within a year, as Indian openers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar stitched together 252 against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 1998. At the current date, it lies in 17th place in the list of highest opening stands in ODIs.

  Kenya’s total of 347/3 however continues to be the highest by an Associate nation in an ODI, though Scotland came close to breaking it with their total of 341/9 against Canada at Christchurch in 2013-14. As far as the highest ODI total by an Associate against a Test-playing nation is concerned, the record is Ireland’s 331/8 against Zimbabwe at Hobart in the 2015 World Cup.

Match Scorecard

Record Book – The oldest cricketer to play an ODI match

  It is common knowledge that Barbados-born Dutch opener Nolan Clarke is the oldest man to appear in an ODI match, having taken the field at the age of 47 years and 257 days against New Zealand at Vadodara in the 1996 World Cup. He had made his debut against South Africa a little over a fortnight earlier, making him the oldest ODI debutant as well.

  However, it is not Clarke who holds the record of being the oldest person to play ODI cricket. Beating him by 98 days is former wicketkeeper-captain of West Indies Women, the intriguingly named Stephanie Power. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Power was 47 years and 355 days old in her last ODI, against South Africa at Pretoria in 2004-05.

  The match in which Power actually surpassed Clarke’s nine-year record was also played in Pretoria – a league match of the 2005 World Cup against New Zealand. She remained the West Indian captain till the end of her career, having first taken over the reins at the age of 46 in 2003 – making her the oldest ever international captain on captaincy debut in any format.

  Power made her ODI debut back in 1993, in a World Cup game against Australia at Tunbridge Wells. She was the second-highest scorer with 23 in a measly West Indian total of 131/9, but she never really took off in the batting department as her career progressed. In her 22 innings from 34 ODIs, she totalled 183 runs at 8.31, with a best of 28.

stephanie-power

      Stephanie Power showed that age is just a number when she captained the West Indies for the first time at the age of 46 (source – windiescricket.com/randy brooks)

  Her Test average was better, albeit she played only a solitary Test, against Pakistan at Karachi in 2003-04. This was the match in which Pakistani opener Kiran Baluch scored 242, creating a new record for the highest score in a Women’s Test. Power, who was not keeping wickets, scored 19 and 57, the latter playing a part in saving her side after they were made to follow on 279 in arrears.

  On the same tour of Pakistan, Power enjoyed her first series success as captain, leading the West Indies to a 5-2 win in the seven-match ODI series. Never before had the West Indian eves won a bilateral ODI series. A second win came in a three-match affair in South Africa in 2004-05 – her final international outing – with the victory margin being 2-1. 

  Under her leadership, the Windies finished runners up, behind Ireland, at the World Cup qualifiers in 2003 and then beat Sri Lanka and Ireland at the 2005 World Cup, which was a significant improvement as they had failed to make the cut for the previous edition in 2000. These achievements make her one of the most successful female captains from the Caribbean.

  Following her 12-year international playing career, Power, who is also a qualified physical education teacher, went on to become an acclaimed coach in the West Indies as well as the United States. She has been a key part of the West Indies Women team’s coaching staff and was the first female inductee in the USA Cricket Hall of Fame in 2015.

  It would take something extraordinary in order to break Power’s records of being the oldest ODI cricketer and the oldest international captain on captaincy debut. Since her retirement, no cricketer, female or male, has played an international match after the age of 45. 

Record Book – The first World Cup match between two Associate nations

  Associate nations have invariably brought their own distinctive flair to World Cup tournaments. From the plucky Sri Lankan batsmen facing up to Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson in 1975, to Ireland’s never-say-die spirit that almost earned them a quarterfinal berth in 2015, the non-Test teams have provided some of the most absorbing moments in the history of the showpiece event.

  However, it was not until the 1996 edition that two Associate teams faced each other. The increase in the number of teams to 12, from nine in 1992, paved the way for the availability of three slots for Associates for the first time. Until then, the most number of non-Test teams in a World Cup edition was two – in 1975 (East Africa and Sri Lanka) and 1979 (Canada and Sri Lanka).

  The teams to qualify from the 1994 ICC Trophy held in Kenya were all first timers – the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kenya and the Netherlands finished as the top three to book their places in the 1996 World Cup, co-hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Kenya were drawn in Group A, whereas the Netherlands and the UAE were clubbed in Group B.

  The match between the Netherlands and the UAE at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on March 1, 1996 thus marked the first instance of an ODI fixture not to involve a Test-playing side. Not surprisingly, both teams had lost each of their previous games, making this a tussle to avoid the wooden spoon in the group.

  Though the UAE had won the ICC Trophy two years back, on the way defeating the Netherlands by six wickets in the semi-final, it were the Dutch who had performed relatively better in the lead-up to this match. Led by Steven Lubbers, they impressed against England at Peshawar, losing by only 49 runs, and had managed to bat out their 50 overs on all three occasions.

  The UAE team must have felt at home, since six of their eleven were born in Pakistan, four of them in Lahore. Their captain Sultan Zarawani, who had made news earlier in the tournament by facing South African speedster Allan Donald wearing a sun hat, won the toss and elected to field, just as he had done in the semifinal of the 1994 ICC Trophy.

sultan-zarawani

      Sultan Zarawani captained the UAE to their maiden ODI victory, against the Netherlands in the 1996 World Cup (source – gettyimages)

  The 47-year-old opener Nolan Clarke, the oldest ODI player of all time and scorer of an unbeaten 121 in the crucial third-place playoff match against Bermuda in the ICC Trophy, was out without scoring with only three runs on the scoreboard. The Barbados native fell to medium pacer Shahzad Altaf, who at 38 was the oldest member of the Emirati squad.

  Peter Cantrell (47) and Flavian Aponso (45) dug in for a dour second-wicket stand worth 74 runs before the latter was caught and bowled by off-spinner Shaukat Dukanwala, who was born in Bombay and played first-class cricket for Baroda. A relatively brisker stand of 71 followed for the third wicket, with Tim de Leede joining Cantrell.

  At 148/2, the Netherlands seemed to have laid a decent base for a flourishing end. But it was not to be as regular wickets stifled their chances . Left-arm spinner Azhar Saeed’s twin strikes within the space of six runs kept the Dutch in control; he first caught de Leede off his own bowling and then dispatched the obdurate Cantrell, having the former Queensland player caught behind.

  Lubbers was sent back by his opposite number Zarawani soon after, and despite an attacking sixth-wicket stand of 32 between Klaas-Jan van Noortwijk and Roland Lefebvre, it was inevitable that the Netherlands would reach nothing more than a middling total. Dukanwala made short work of the lower order, grabbing the last four wickets as the score slid from 200/5 to 210/9.

  The Netherlands eventually finished at 216/9 from their 50 overs, with Dukanwala having the satisfaction of returning figures of 5/29 in ten overs. This was the first five-wicket haul in an ODI by a bowler from an Associate team, and the second-best bowling figures in the 1996 World Cup after Paul Strang’s 5/21 for Zimbabwe against Kenya.

  The Lahore-born opening pair of Azhar Saeed and Saleem Raza gave the UAE a rampaging start, scoring 94 runs off the first 15 overs. Their partnership progressed to 117 before Saeed was run out for a watchful 32. By contrast, Raza was going hammer and tongs at the other end, severely diminishing Dutch hopes of defending the modest total.

peter-cantrell

      Dutch opener Peter Cantrell during his innings of 47, with UAE wicketkeeper Imtiaz Abbasi looking on (source – AP photo/thenational.ae)

  Two quick wickets, those of Mazhar Hussain and Raza, for three runs made the score 138/3, but these were minor blips in the chase. Raza struck a belligerent 84 from just 68 balls, studded with eight fours and six sixes – which was then the joint second-highest number of sixes by a batsman in a World Cup innings – before being dismissed by Lubbers.

  New man Mohammad Ishaq, yet another player born in Lahore, continued from where Raza left, hitting an unbeaten 51 from 55 balls. He shared in an unbroken fourth-wicket partnership worth 82 with Vijay Mehra, and the duo steered the UAE to a convincing seven-wicket win with 34 balls to spare. This was the UAE’s maiden ODI victory.

  With this win in their last match, the UAE ensured that they finished fifth out of the six teams in the group. The Netherlands went on to lose their final game of the tournament by a wide margin, to South Africa by 160 runs. They had to wait till the 2003 World Cup to notch their first ODI success, when they defeated Namibia by 64 runs at Bloemfontein.

  The Man of the Match award was shared between Dukanwala and Raza. Incidentally, Raza was also the man of the match in the aforementioned ICC Trophy semifinal between the two teams in 1994. His 84 remained the highest ODI score by a UAE batsman until 2013-14, while Dukanwala’s haul is still the only ODI fifer by a UAE bowler.

  There have since been nine other World Cup matches wherein both the teams involved were Associate members: Bangladesh v Scotland in 1999, Canada v Kenya and Namibia v Netherlands in 2003, Canada v Kenya and Netherlands v Scotland in 2007, Canada v Kenya and Ireland v Netherlands in 2011, Ireland v UAE and Afghanistan v Scotland in 2015.

  However, it is unlikely that the next World Cup, to be held in England in 2019, would see such a fixture. Thanks to the deplorable decision of limiting the number of teams to ten, chances of two Associate teams qualifying are remote, which says a lot about how detrimental this move is set to be for scores of cricketers from emerging nations who have aspired to play on the big stage.

Match Scorecard

Record Book – The first ODI on Kenyan soil

  Following their impressive display in the 1996 World Cup in the subcontinent, during which they famously toppled the fancied West Indians at Pune, Kenya were awarded ODI status by the ICC. This was a welcome boost to their surge towards becoming the leading Associate nation in the world.

  A little over six months after the World Cup, history was created at the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi as it hosted the first official One-Day International match on Kenyan soil, with newly-crowned World Cup champions Sri Lanka playing the home team on September 28, 1996.

  This was the opening game of the four-nation Kenya Cricket Association Centenary Tournament, which also featured Pakistan and South Africa and was played in white clothing. The tournament was held to mark hundred years since the game was first played in Kenya, at Mombasa in 1896. Maurice Odumbe captained the hosts, while his Sri Lankan counterpart was Arjuna Ranatunga.

  Kenya had met Sri Lanka at Kandy in the World Cup earlier in the year, a match remembered for Sri Lanka’s new world record total of 398/5. Kenya replied valiantly to this mammoth total, ending at 254/7 with Steve Tikolo scoring an entertaining 96. Nine of the eleven Kenyans who played this game also took the field in the opening contest of the KCA Centenary Tournament.

  Sri Lanka elected to field first in front of an enthusiastic crowd, and almost immediately had the Kenyans on the mat. Chaminda Vaas castled Dipak Chudasama for a duck in the first over itself to set the tone. Debutant Sajeewa de Silva, like Vaas a left-arm pace bowler, then dealt a major twin blow, getting rid of Kennedy Otieno and Tikolo to leave Kenya lurching at 14/3.

Hitesh Modi

      Left-hander Hitesh Modi (seen fielding against India in 2000) was the top scorer for Kenya in their first home ODI, with an unbeaten 78 (source – espncricinfo.com)

  It did not get any better for the hosts, as Odumbe was caught behind off the part-time medium pace of his opposite number Ranatunga to make it 31/4. At the other end, Sandeep Gupta, who was making his ODI debut, showed positivity in compiling 41 off 66 balls before being bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan, the first of the off-spin wizard’s four victims.

  Talented southpaw Hitesh Modi, who came in at the fall of the fourth wicket, began to rebuild the innings, but could not help the collapse brought about by Muralitharan. Thomas Odoyo, Martin Suji and Edward ‘Tito’ Odumbe – Maurice’s elder brother – all fell to ‘Murali’ without reaching double figures as Kenya went from 65/4 to a lamentable 93/8.

  At this point, it seemed inevitable that Modi would eventually run out of partners. However, he found late support from the reliable Aasif Karim for the ninth wicket. Together they nearly doubled the score, putting on a crucial 89 runs. It was the dismissal of Karim, run out for 24, that brought an end to the partnership.

  Modi stayed till the end, unbeaten on a fluent 78 from 105 balls with nine fours and a six. This would remain his career-best ODI score. Kenya had managed to last their 50 overs, finishing at 188/9 – a far cry from the position they were in at the fall of the eighth wicket. Muralitharan, who was later named man of the match, returned impressive figures of 10-4-18-4.

  Though the total was modest, Modi’s efforts had at least provided the Kenyan bowlers with something reasonable to defend. Edward Odumbe, with his medium pace, gave his side the ideal start, nailing the dangerous Sanath Jayasuriya – man of the tournament at the 1996 World Cup – LBW with only five runs on the board.

  An over later, Odumbe removed Asanka Gurusinha, who was trapped on the pads as well, without troubling the scorers. Faint hopes of a Kenyan comeback arose among the local supporters as Sri Lanka were now reduced to 7/2. However, there was nothing for them to cheer about after this bright start, what with Aravinda de Silva joining Romesh Kaluwitharana in the middle.

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    Muttiah Muralitharan was named man of the match for his haul of 4/18 in the first ODI played in Kenya (source – fastcricket.com)

  Kaluwitharana, undeterred by the loss of his marauding opening partner, made short work of the inconsistent Kenyan bowling. The seasoned de Silva gave him able support, and together they raised 121 runs for the third wicket until ‘Mad Max’ was dismissed courtesy a catch by Edward Odumbe off Maurice Odumbe for an assertive 55 from 47 balls.

  Ranatunga helped Kaluwitharana to put the finishing touches, as the fourth wicket fetched an unbroken 62 runs. Sri Lanka galloped to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory, reaching 190/3 in just 30.4 overs. Kaluwitharana scored his maiden ODI hundred –  a typically stroke-filled 100* in 89 balls, with 17 fours and a six.

  In their following match of the tournament against Pakistan, which was the first ODI played at the Aga Khan Sports Club, Kenya, defending 148, had their opponents at 61/5 before eventually going down by four wickets. Their last match against South Africa was a hiding – they were beaten by 202 runs thanks to ‘White Lightning’ Allan Donald’s 6/23.

  The last league match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was notable for Shahid Afridi’s stunning century off 37 balls, a record that stood for over 17 years. It was South Africa who won the trophy, beating Pakistan by seven wickets at the Gymkhana in front of a crowd of 10,000, with Gary Kirsten (118*) ensuring a smooth chase of 204. Donald (14 wickets) was named man of the tournament.

  Six and a half years later, Sri Lanka were back at the Gymkhana to take on Kenya in a group match of the 2003 World Cup. Muralitharan took four wickets again, but this time he was bettered by Collins Obuya, whose 5/24 spun his team to a famous 53-run victory. This win was a major factor in enabling Kenya to reach the semifinals – the first and only time an Associate nation has done so.

Match Scorecard