Famous Test Matches – West Indies v Pakistan, Bridgetown, 1976-77

  Pakistan’s 1976-77 tour of the Caribbean was only their second to the region, following their maiden sojourn back in 1957-58, which remains the only Test series to have featured two triple hundreds. As was the case 19 years earlier, the opening Test of the 1976-77 series was also played at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, from February 18-23, 1977.

  Going into this series, the West Indies had not played Test cricket for six months, with their last assignment being a significant 3-0 win in the five-Test series in England. Pakistan, on the other hand, had notched a comprehensive home win against New Zealand, followed by a commendable draw in Australia, in the preceding four months.

  Pakistan were led by Mushtaq Mohammad, younger brother of Hanif, who had scored an epic 337 the last time the two teams met at Bridgetown. He elected to bat after calling correctly, and his decision seemed vindicated as openers Majid Khan and Sadiq Mohammad – yet another of the Mohammad brothers – sedately put on 72.

  The West Indies had in their ranks two young fast bowlers on Test debut who would go on to have successful careers – Guyanese Colin Croft and Barbadian Joel Garner. The two were involved in the first wicket of the day, when Garner had Sadiq caught by Croft. Majid and Haroon Rasheed further added 76 for the second wicket, and at 148/1, Pakistan looked primed for a big total.

  However, Rasheed’s dismissal to off-spinner Maurice Foster led to a collapse engineered by the two debutants. Croft had Mushtaq caught behind by Deryck Murray for a duck, while Garner dealt a double blow, castling Majid for 88 and sending back Javed Miandad cheaply, out leg-before. Asif Iqbal’s wicket to Croft added to the visitors’ frustration, and they had now lost five for 85.

      Wasim Raja twice led Pakistan’s recovery, scoring 117* and 71 in the first and second innings respectively (source – brandsynario.com)

  Resuming at 269/6 on the second day, Pakistan had an undesired start, losing Imran Khan to Andy Roberts. Their hopes of bolstering the total now pinned on the left-handed Wasim Raja, who delivered with a fine century from number seven. He marshalled the tail expertly, sharing in stands of 64 with Saleem Altaf and 73 with Sarfraz Nawaz for the eighth and ninth wickets respectively.

  Raja’s unbeaten 117, including 12 fours and a six, powered Pakistan to a formidable 435. Garner bowled with purpose to collect 4/130, with Croft not too far behind with 3/85. In reply, the West Indian openers Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge added 59, but both were back in the hut before stumps on the second day, the score reading 109/2.

  The pace duo of Imran and Sarfraz continued to trouble the hosts early on the third day, and at 183/5, with the key wickets of Vivian Richards and Alvin Kallicharan also taken, Pakistan clearly had the upper hand. One big hurdle however remained to be crossed – the West Indian captain Clive Lloyd, who came in at the fall of the third wicket.

  Lloyd found a willing ally in Murray, and the duo put the Pakistani attack to the sword with a much-needed restabilization job. Lloyd dominated the sixth-wicket stand of 151, unleashing his full range of strokes to lead his team’s fightback. Murray fell to Imran for a composed 52, but Lloyd was not done yet, and added another 70 for the seventh wicket with Garner, who cracked a breezy 43.

  The West Indian innings terminated at 421 with nine men out, as Vanburn Holder was absent hurt. Lloyd finished with a captain’s knock of 157, bedecked with 22 fours and three sixes. With only 14 runs separating the teams, the proceedings of the second innings would be critical to the outcome of the match. Stumps were taken on the third day with Pakistan at 18/0, leading by 32.

       West Indian captain Clive Lloyd rescued his team in the first innings with a commanding knock of 157 (source – gettyimages)

  The fourth day featured plenty of ebbs and flows that promised to set up an exciting fight to the finish. Croft (4/47) removed the Pakistani openers before they caused much damage, but at 102/2, the visitors could scarcely have imagined the mayhem to follow. Roberts (3/66) opened the floodgates by bowling Rasheed, and later added Mushtaq’s scalp to his tally.

  At the other end, Croft’s sustained pace got the better of Iqbal and Miandad, and the Pakistani innings was now in tatters at 113/6, the last four wickets having fallen for just 11 runs. Garner joined the party with two wickets of his own, and the match seemed West Indies’ to lose as Pakistan crashed to 158/9 in the second session, ahead by no more than 172.

  As it happened, Raja proved to be the home team’s bane again. The West Indian fielders, especially the wicketkeeper Murray, did not help themselves with a shoddy display. Raja was dropped four times, and he went on to score 71, the majority of those runs coming in a sensational tenth-wicket stand worth 133 with wicketkeeper Wasim Bari (68).

  This partnership was then the second-highest for the last wicket, and it changed the complexion of this already riveting Test. Murray was guilty of conceding 29 byes, largely contributing to the total of 68 extras, which created a new Test record at that time. The entire match would feature as many as 173 extras, which still stands as the Test record.

  The eventual target for the West Indies was a stiff 306, and matters were further complicated when Greenidge was out to Sarfraz with the score at 12. The hosts began the final day at 41/1, with all four results possible. Fredericks and Richards turned the tide towards their side, as their partnership blossomed to 130 in the opening session, making Pakistan uneasy.

      Colin Croft returned match figures of 7/132 on Test debut. He would go on to take 8/29 in the first innings of the next Test (source – gettyimages)

  Sarfraz did the star turn for the visitors, accounting for both, Fredericks (52) and Richards (92), who were trying to go on the offensive in their quest to make a victory bid. The middle order was severely dented by the pace trio of Sarfraz and Imran, as the West Indian score slipped from 142/1 to 185/5. It was soon becoming an increasingly tough battle of survival for the hosts.

  As if this was not enough, Altaf, the third frontline paceman, brought Pakistan closer to victory by grabbing the wickets of Kallicharan, Garner and Murray within the space of 11 runs. When the eighth wicket fell at 217, the mandatory 20 overs were yet to begin. Roberts and Holder, who was fit to bat now, defied by adding 20 runs in 45 minutes before the latter was cleaned up by Imran.

  Croft came out to join Roberts, with Pakistan one strike away from a crucial lead in the five-Test series. However, the two fast bowlers hung in as the overs went by, ensuring that the final nail in the coffin was not hammered. The West Indies had a narrow escape, ending at 251/9 amid great tension. Roberts consumed 95 minutes for his nine, returning to the pavillion as a saviour.

  Croft (7/132) and Sarfraz (7/204) both finished with seven wickets apiece in the match. This last-gasp draw was perhaps a fitting finish to what had been an absorbing Test match, filled with many a twist in the plot due to noteworthy rescue acts in all four innings. The West Indies took the series 2-1, after winning the deciding final Test at Kingston by 140 runs.

Match Scorecard

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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.

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      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 5-0 whitewash in ODI history

  Australia suffered their first 5-0 defeat in a bilateral ODI series last month, with South Africa dominating them in a high-scoring home series. Thus, every Test nation has now been whitewashed by this margin at least once. In this post, we look back at the first instance of an ODI series ending in a 5-0 result.

  It was only after three editions of the World Cup that the first five-match bilateral ODI series was played, even though Australia’s triangular World Series was running since 1979-80. The mighty West Indians were touring India in the winter of 1983 and they had a point to prove, having been beaten by the Indians in the World Cup final less than four months earlier.

  Besides the World Cup final, which they won by 43 runs, India had overpowered the West Indies on two other occasions earlier in the year – by 27 runs at Albion, Guyana and by 34 runs at Old Trafford in their opening World Cup match. Clive Lloyd’s men had thus faced three defeats in their last five ODIs against India.

  The first ODI on 13th October was significant as it was the first international match to be played in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the venue being the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar. In a trend that was to repeat throughout the series, the game was reduced to 45 overs a side due to poor weather. Lloyd had no hesitation in fielding first.

  India were skittled out for a modest 176 in the 42nd over, with Kris Srikkanth’s 40 being the highest score. The innings had started well, the score reading 65/1 with Srikkanth and Dilip Vengsarkar at the crease. However, regular wickets stymied the innings; off-spinner Roger Harper taking 3/34.

  In reply, the West Indies were cruising at 108/0 in 22.4 overs when bad light stopped play for good. Openers Gordon Greenidge (44*) and man of the match Desmond Haynes (55*) saw off a disciplined start from the Indian bowlers to lay a strong foundation. Since India’s score at the same point was 81, the visitors were adjudged victors by 28 runs.

Sir Viv Richards of West Indies in action

      Vivian Richards stunned the Indians with a blazing 149 in the fourth ODI at Jamshedpur in 1983-84 (source – gettyimages)

  The first two Test matches of the tour then followed. The West Indies produced an authoritative display to win the first of them at Kanpur by an innings and 83 runs, before India upped their game at Delhi to secure a draw. The limited-overs series resumed on 9th November.

  The venue for the second ODI, a 49-over match, was Vadodara’s Moti Bagh Stadium, where India had a slow start before they ended with an uninspiring 214/6. Ravi Shastri top-scored with 65, though he consumed 125 balls. The West Indian chase was not exactly convincing either, but Greenidge’s patient 63 was enough to notch a four-wicket win for his side with seven balls to spare.

  A week after going 2-0 up in the ODI series, the West Indies went ahead by the same margin in the Tests as well, with a 138-run victory at Ahmedabad, where India crumbled for 103 in the fourth innings after being on an even keel for most part of the game. The visitors were making quite a statement, thus disappointing the partisan crowds. The fourth Test at Mumbai was drawn.

  The ODI series was duly secured, following another emphatic win in the third game at the Nehru Stadium in Indore on 1st December. India were reduced to 39/3 after Kapil Dev elected to bat. Mohinder Amarnath ground out a  plodding knock of 55 and shared in a stand of 84 for the fourth wicket with Ashok Malhotra, who hit a breezy 40.

  Shastri, batting at number eight, scored a quick, unbeaten 41 to boost the Indian total, which eventually ended at a respectable 240/7 in 47 overs. However, Greenidge put paid to Indian hopes yet again as he cracked 96, sharing in an opening stand of 149 with Haynes (54) that sealed the contest.

  The great Vivian Richards had signalled his intentions with a typical 49* from 50 balls at Indore, a week after which he launched himself into the hapless Indian bowling attack with one of the most ferocious ODI innings played. He made hay on a good batting pitch prepared for the fourth ODI at Jamshedpur’s Keenan Stadium on 7th December.

  In what was another 45-over affair, India began positively with Chetan Sharma bowling Haynes cheaply with the score at 27. That proved to be a false dawn though, as Greenidge and Richards went on the rampage with a buccaneering second-wicket partnership of 221 at more than seven an over. This created a new ODI record for any wicket.

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       Gordon Greenidge starred for the visitors in the ODI series in India by topping the run charts with a tally of 353 at 88.25 (source – icc-cricket.com) 

  The stand ended when Greenidge was bowled by Shastri for 115 off 134 balls. The Barbadian opener smoked ten fours and five sixes. Richards struck a majestic 149 from just 99 balls with 20 fours and three sixes, before falling to Kapil. The Indian captain was the pick of the bowlers, with a tidy return of 3/44. Shastri came in for the harshest treatment, going for 77 in seven overs.

  Richards’ blitz had supreme confidence written all over it, and it shattered the morale of the home side. Even after his dismissal, there was no respite as wicketkeeper Jeff Dujon carted 49* in 20 balls to swell the final total to an imposing 333/7. India’s required rate was 7.4 runs an over – an improbable ask by all means.

  Sunil Gavaskar top-scored with 83 while Malhotra impressed again with 65 at better than a run-a-ball, but the result was a foregone conclusion. India batted through their innings and finished at 229/5, leaving the West Indies one win away from a clean sweep. ‘King Viv’ showed that he was well ahead of his time as far as ODI batting was concerned.

  The West Indians refused to take their feet off the gas, as they wrapped up the Test series as well with a win by an innings and 46 runs in the fifth Test at Calcutta. The deadly Malcolm Marshall took six wickets in the second innings to help destroy India for a paltry 90.

  India’s ODI ignominy was complete at the Nehru Stadium in Guwahati on 17th December. The hosts could manage a total of only 178/7 in 44 overs, with Ghulam Parkar’s 42 the highest score. The West Indies achieved the target in the 42nd over for the loss of four wickets. The sixth Test at Madras was drawn, and is best remembered for Gavaskar’s record-breaking 30th century.

  The newly-crowned ODI champions were thus humbled in their own backyard. The West Indians would have possibly been vindicated that the loss in the World Cup final was but a blip, and that they remained the most feared unit in international cricket. Not once in 11 matches on the tour did they allow India the taste of victory.

  The West Indies went on to record the next three 5-0 ODI whitewashes as well – against New Zealand in 1984-85, against Pakistan in 1987-88 and against India again in 1988-89; all of them in the Caribbean. The first time they were at the receiving end of such a margin was in New Zealand in 1999-00. 

Specials – When the World Cup champions touched down in Papua New Guinea

  The West Indies were scheduled to tour Australia for a much-awaited Test series just four months after winning the inaugural World Cup in England in 1975. Australia, led by Ian Chappell, had been their opponents in the World Cup final at Lord’s, a memorable match that ended in a 17-run win for Clive Lloyd’s men.

  As was to transpire, Australia more than made up for the disappointment with a thumping 5-1 win in the six-Test series to retain the Frank Worrell Trophy. However, before that, the West Indian contingent created history by becoming the first international team to tour and play against Papua New Guinea, who were awarded ICC Associate status in 1973.

  It had barely been a month since Papua New Guinea derived independence after 70 years of Australian rule, and the arrival of the star-studded team from the Caribbean – World Cup champions, no less – was undoubtedly a massive event for its cricketing fraternity as also for the public at large. An enthusiastic crowd gathered for the two one-day matches played.

  The West Indies first took on a Papua New Guinea Combined XI in a 25-overs-a-side match, played in the city of Lae on October 22, 1975. After Lloyd called correctly, S. Amos gave the hosts a good start by removing the dangerous Gordon Greenidge for a duck. Roy Fredericks (31) and Alvin Kallicharan (38) ensured that the run rate was not hampered in spite of regular wickets.

  The final impetus was given by Vivian Richards, then a 23-year-old who had made his international debut the previous year. Richards came in at 70/4 and top-scored with a brisk 45. Sam Malum, a 19-year-old medium pacer, impressed with a return of 3/36, including the wickets of Fredericks and Lawrence Rowe. The West Indians finished at 177/8.

    A video showing glimpses of the West Indians’ first match in Papua New Guinea, against a PNG Combined XI at Lae 

  Antiguan pace ace Andy Roberts tested the batsmen with a quality spell – he conceded only four runs in his three overs and also took the wicket of opener M. Day. With the scoring rate of more than seven looking a tall order, Day’s fellow opener Nigel Agonia decided to shut shop and batted throughout the innings for 36*. The hosts were limited to a respectable 107/3.

  The West Indians then travelled to the capital city of Port Moresby next day to face the Papua New Guinea national team in a 35-over match at Amini Park. The tourists fielded first this time, and their experienced bowling attack was too much to handle for the hosts’ top order. Bernard Julien began the damage by taking the wicket of Taunao Vai with only eight on the board.

  A run later, Roberts sent back S. Woodger before the legendary 41-year-old veteran Lance Gibbs – holder of the record for the most Test wickets – produced a double strike with the wickets of Agonia and G. Wolstenholme. The run out of K. Byrne did not help Papua New Guinea’s cause, and they were now tottering at 33/5.

  Richards too got among the wickets as he had Ilinome Tarua LBW to make it 49/6. The West Indian bowling was penetrative and their fieldwork efficient, and Papua New Guinea ran the risk of being bowled out under 100. It was turning out to be the perfect warm-up for Lloyd’s team before they entered the cauldron of Australia.

  A mini revival came in the form of a seventh-wicket partnership between wicketkeeper Lou Ao and the India-born Charles Harrison. The duo put on 46 before part-timer Kallicharan’s off-spin got rid of Harrison for 34, the top score of the innings. Ao remained unbeaten on 30 as Papua New Guinea managed 115/8.

  Greenidge was out cheaply again, courtesy a catch by Kila Alewa off M. Willard. But Fredericks was in an attacking mood at the other end, and at 46/1, the West Indians were seemingly waltzing towards the modest target. However, the next three wickets fell for seven runs, leaving the locals excited.

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    Captain Clive Lloyd scored 88 for the West Indians in their match against Papua New Guinea at Amini Park, ahead of the Test series in Australia 

  Harrison built on his batting display by castling Rowe and then having Kallicharan caught by Wolstenholme, while K. Kalo saw the back of wicketkeeper David Murray, who batted at number four in a rejigged batting order. The West Indians were suddenly 53/4 and not exactly out of the woods.

  Lloyd walked in at the fall of the fourth wicket and immediately imposed his authority on the proceedings. Harrison, who finished with a neat 3/36, soon took his third wicket in the form of Fredericks (35), and when Willard nailed the big scalp of Richards, the West Indians were 97/6 and still 19 short of victory.

  Lloyd and Julien (35) ensured that there was no embarrassment in store as they calmly knocked off the remaining runs to seal a four-wicket win for their team. The West Indians sportingly decided to bat on until they were bowled out – they ultimately scored 201 in 31 overs. Lloyd led from the front, entertaining the crowd with a knock of 88.

  The significant aspect of this match was that Papua New Guinea’s eleven consisted of six indigenous players, and from hereon, indigenous players began to dominate the national team. Having their skills tested against the World Cup holders was an invaluable experience as they strove to become a competitive unit.

  The visit of a champion cricket team indeed meant a great deal for the newly-independent nation. Four years later, the Barramundis played in the ICC Trophy for the first time, where they failed to progress beyond the first round. In the next edition in 1982, they gave a highly commendable performance by finishing third. 

  Papua New Guinea played their first List A match in 2005, against the Netherlands at Belfast in the ICC Trophy. They had to wait for nearly a decade before gaining ODI status, and created history by becoming the first nation to win its first two ODIs. They also won their maiden first-class match, in the Netherlands in 2015.

Match Scorecards:

Papua New Guinea Combined XI v West Indians

Papua New Guinea v West Indians

Record Book – The first day/night international on English soil

  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) warmed up to the concept of floodlit cricket only in 1997, when the first day-night match was played under temporary lights at Edgbaston between Warwickshire and Somerset in the 40-overs Sunday League.

  The idea caught on and by 2000, most counties had installed temporary floodlights at their grounds and were regularly hosting day-night matches. However, the 1999 World Cup did not feature any match under lights and England had to wait until the next year to witness its first official day-night ODI.

  It was the first match of the inaugural edition of the triangular NatWest Series, played between the West Indies and Zimbabwe – the two touring teams that summer – at the County Ground in Bristol on Thursday, July 6. Around 7,000 spectators had gathered to watch this path-breaking match.

  This was also Bristol’s first ODI outside of the World Cup, having hosted matches in the 1983 and 1999 editions. Jimmy Adams elected to bat on a pitch which was on the slower side. Openers Adrian Griffith and Chris Gayle gave the West Indies a sedate start, putting on 33 at three an over before the medium pace of 19-year-old Mluleki Nkala accounted for the former.

  Gayle was then joined by his Jamaican teammate Wavell Hinds, and the left-handed duo strung together 68 runs at four an over to lay a reasonable foundation. Gayle was restrained throughout his innings – he scored 41 from 86 balls – before being caught short of his crease at the bowler’s end. The new man in was ‘Prince of Trinidad’ Brian Lara.

zzzbris             Bristol’s County Ground, home of Gloucestershire, was the first ground in England to stage an ODI under floodlights (source – bristol247.com)

  Lara was in his element as he unleashed his class to delight the crowd. The West Indian innings needed a kickstart and he provided just that. Hinds fell for 51 with the score at 135 in the 36th over, following which the hard-hitting Ricardo Powell joined Lara. An entertaining partnership ensued as the last third of the innings began.

  The pair added 56 from 43 balls for the fourth wicket, with Powell creaming 36 in 23 balls (five fours and a six) before holing out to Grant Flower off Gary Brent. Lara reached his fifty in the 47th over and then rushed to 60 in the next, in which he became Flower’s second victim, caught in the covers by Neil Johnson.

  Lara faced 63 balls for his knock which was laced with six fours and a six. The lower order could not really provide a final flourish as the West indies were eventually kept to 232/7. The target was certainly attainable for a Zimbabwean side that had thoroughly impressed in the World Cup a year before, missing out on a semifinal berth by a whisker.

  The much-anticipated lights were now switched on as openers Johnson and Craig Wishart strode out. The West Indian attack was bereft of veterans Curtly Ambrose – who was rested with an eye on the Test series against England – and Courtney Walsh, who was out injured. Zimbabwe had a big chance to notch their maiden ODI win over the Windies, this being their ninth attempt.

  Zimbabwe began confidently and despite losing Wishart and Murray Goodwin to the erratic Franklyn Rose, were placed at 57/2 after ten overs. Johnson was fluent at one end and when Alistair Campbell was caught behind off Mervyn Dillon, the score read 90/3 in the 18th over. The scoring rate was healthy; wickets were the key here.

  Zimbabwe’s reliable wicketkeeper-captain Andy Flower was just the man Johnson needed to forge a partnership and steady the innings. Together they adopted a sensible approach and consolidated their team’s position with a crucial stand worth 70 runs at about four an over, characterised by good running between the wickets.

  The contest was still on an even keel when Flower perished, the score now 160/4 in the 36th over and the required rate five an over. Grant Flower replaced his elder brother and the Windies might have thought that another quick wicket could put them in the ascendancy. Johnson, who had by now reached a solid fifty, and Flower had other ideas though.

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       Neil Johnson struck an unbeaten 95* to star in Zimbabwe’s first ODI win against the West Indies, at Bristol in 2000 (source – bbc.co.uk)

  With the West Indian fielding ordinary, Zimbabwe were blessed with another substantial partnership as the evening wore on. Johnson was now well settled while the younger Flower was in an attacking mood. Nixon McLean came in for special treatment as the pair milked him for easy runs. They upped the ante with every passing over, fast bringing Zimbabwe closer to victory.

  The fifth wicket remained elusive for the Windies. Adams decided to roll his arm when the scores were level and all was lost. He bowled a wide, which sealed a six-wicket win for Zimbabwe with five overs to spare. Johnson was the fulcrum of the successful chase, scoring 95* from 128 balls with nine fours while Flower chipped in with a quick 26*. Their unbroken stand of 73 had come off just 60 balls.

  Johnson was rightfully named man of the match. After eight losses on the trot to the West Indies dating back to 1983, Zimbabwe went on to win three against them in as many ODIs – they repeated the feat of Bristol at Canterbury and Chester-le-Street as well. These wins, plus one against England, were enough to put them in the final at Lord’s where they were beaten by the hosts.

  Besides Bristol, Old Trafford and Edgbaston also held day-night fixtures in the tournament, England winning against Zimbabwe in both cases. The first ODI in England and Wales to feature permanent floodlights was played between England and Pakistan at Cardiff in 2006. Southampton soon followed suit later in the same series.

  The past decade has seen a sea change in England’s attitude toward floodlit cricket. The rise of Twenty20 has led all the premier grounds to install permanent lights. Bristol unveiled permanent floodlights for the first time only in April 2016. Day-night internationals are today an integral part of the English summer, and we should not be surprised to see a historic day-night Test in 2017.

Match Scorecard

Record Book – The first international tie-breaker

  International Twenty20 was still in its infancy when the West Indies embarked upon a full tour of New Zealand in 2005-06. Until this point, only four T20 internationals had been played – one each in New Zealand, England, South Africa and Australia.

  The tour kicked off with a solitary T20 international played on 16th February, 2006 at Eden Park in Auckland, which was also the venue for the inaugural T20I between New Zealand and Australia in February 2005. In those days before the advent of the ICC World Twenty20, the shortest format of the game was taken no more seriously than an exhibition match.

  Just as against Australia a year earlier, the New Zealanders, led by the astute Stephen Fleming, strode out on the field wearing their retro beige outfits from the 1980’s. The hosts had a mixed record in the two T20Is they had played so far; while they were beaten by 44 runs against Australia, they managed a five-wicket win against South Africa at Johannesburg in October 2005.

  This was the first T20I played by the West Indies, who were captained by Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Surely, this game would have been just a sideshow in the eyes of the tourists, who were seeking a better return than their last visit to the country in 1999-00, when they were blanked in all the matches – 2-0 in the Tests and 5-0 in the ODIs.

  The turnout for the match was close to 23,000 as Fleming inserted the West Indies in after winning the toss. The dangerous Chris Gayle was nipped out early by Shane Bond, caught by Nathan Astle in the fourth over with the score on 14 and the innings never really gained momentum. In the eighth over, the run rate was not even four when Runako Morton fell to Scott Styris to make it 28/2.

  A direct hit from Chris Cairns – who was playing his last international – sent back Dwayne Smith while Darren Ganga hung around for nearly ten overs before being caught by James Franklin off Styris for 26.

  At the halfway mark, the score read a disappointing 54/4. Another run out, that of Wavell Hinds, soon followed as the visitors struggled to 79/5 with just six overs left and a flourish desperately needed.

  Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo attempted to force the pace during a sixth-wicket stand of 31, the best of the innings, but the new Zealand bowlers gave little away. Off-spinner Jeetan Patel got rid of Chanderpaul for 26 (joint-highest scorer of the innings along with Ganga) courtesy a catch by Hamish Marshall.

zzv    Lou Vincent dives unsuccesfully in an attempt to run out Darren Ganga in the solitary T20I at Auckland in 2005-06 (source – afp/espncricinfo.com)

  Bravo remained unbeaten on 19 as the West Indies finished at a below-par 126/7 in their 20 overs. Only one six was hit, which came from Ganga’s bat off Styris in the eighth over which fetched 13 runs – the best of the innings. Bond was the pick of the bowlers with an impressive return of 2/15 in the allotted four overs.

  Fleming was dismissed by Jerome Taylor in the second over with score on 14, but Lou Vincent took off at the other end. He dominated a second-wicket stand of 31 – which turned out to be the best of the innings – with Astle before Taylor accounted for the latter. At this stage, the score had moved along nicely to 45/2 in six overs and New Zealand were firmly in the driver’s seat.

  Vincent and Styris added a further 28 for the third wicket before Bravo opened the floodgates with two vital wickets in successive overs. He first castled Styris in his second over (tenth over of the innings) before repeating the dose to Cairns in his next. Cairns scored only two in his last international appearance and walked off to a standing ovation. Bravo went off injured soon after, finishing with 2/16.

  Tight bowling from the medium pacer Smith (2/9 in 3.2 overs) and the slow left-armer Gayle squeezed the run flow. Vincent played one from Smith onto his stumps to be out for 42 off 37 balls, the highest score of the match.

  An over later, Gayle removed Marshall and suddenly the hosts slumped to 88/6 in the 15th over. Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum could only manage four runs off ten balls before falling to Smith to make it 101/7 with 16 balls remaining.

  An exciting finish was beckoning even as Gayle dismissed Peter Fulton off the third ball of the 19th over. With just two wickets in hand, New Zealand still required 20 to win from only nine balls. Gayle ended the over without much drama and finished with 2/22. The Windies were seemingly favourites. But as we know well by now, T20 is a fickle beast.

  Left-arm pace bowler Ian Bradshaw, who had figures of 3-0-8-0, was rightfully trusted for the final over from which New Zealand needed 16 runs to win. James Franklin took two off the first ball before smashing the next ball, a fuller delivery, for six.

  The hosts were right back in it, now needing eight off four balls. But Bradshaw regained his composure and conceded only two singles and a leg-bye off the next three balls.

  With five runs to win off the final delivery, it was Bond who was on strike. Four to tie, six to win. As it happened, Bradshaw obliged with a full toss which Bond dispatched to the boundary for four. The crowd roared as New Zealand finished at 126/8, with the unbroken partnership between Franklin and Bond yielding 19 handy runs.

  The scores were level and soon it was made known that a tie-breaker called the ‘bowl-out’ would be played in order to declare the winner. The essence of T20 is to ensure that one side walks away victorious after every completed game and the bowl-out was the precursor to the super over, which is now uniformly used to decide tied T20 matches.

zzbonk       Shane Bond hits the stumps as his teammates and opponents look on during the bowl-out at Eden Park (source – afp/espncricinfo.com)

  In its short history since 2003, T20 cricket had seen only two tied matches until this point. The first instance was at the Oval in 2005, when Surrey edged out Warwickshire 4-3 in a Twenty20 Cup quarterfinal. The second was in 2005-06 between Colts and Kurunegala at Colombo. The bowl-out was first used in 1991 in a NatWest Trophy match between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire at Bishops Stortford. 

  The rules of a bowl-out were pretty straightforward – five bowlers from each side deliver two balls each (though there have been instances of one ball each too) at an unguarded wicket and the team with the greater number of successful hits was the winner. If the scores are yet the same, the bowl-out went into sudden death, similar to a penalty shootout in football.

  Coming back to Auckland, New Zealand decided to begin the shootout with Astle, who missed twice. Smith, Patel and Gayle too could not target the stumps in either of their chances.

  Cairns was the next one in and the crowd were undoubtedly hoping for him to hit and bow out in style. However, he too missed twice. When Taylor too shot blanks, the score read 0-0 after three rounds, with twelve successive deliveries failing to hit timber.

  Then came Bond, who followed up his last-ball boundary with a brace of accurate deliveries, both of which hit the wicket. Bradshaw had a chance for redemption after his profligate final over, but he could do no better than his team-mates.

  Finally, Styris hit the winner, sealing a 3-0 result in favour of New Zealand. It was quite a damp end to an otherwise interesting game and many likened the bowl-out to a ‘farce’. Smith was named man of the match for his economical spell. 

  The bowl-out made way for the super over two years later, and coincidentally New Zealand and the West Indies were involved in the first T20 international super over as well, also played at Eden Park in 2008-09.

  This time it was the Windies who clinched the tie-breaker. The two teams then met in another super over at Pallekele in the 2012 World T20, where again the West Indies emerged winners.

  Interestingly, in spite of the provision of a tie-breaker, the end result of the concerned match is officially recorded only as a tie. Neither the bowl-out nor the super over has been used in ODIs till date, although a tied result in a knockout match would change that. In earlier times quite a few tied ODIs were decided on the basis of number of wickets fallen.

  Following this result, the bowl-out was used twice in T20Is. The most well-known instance came in the 2007 World T20, when India pipped Pakistan 3-0 at Durban after both sides ended with 141. Then in 2008, Zimbabwe won 2-0 against Canada at King City after both sides scored 135.

  Presently, the super over is generally resorted to in all tied T20 matches, irrespective of whether it is a knockout match or not. In all, there have been eight tied T20Is till date, the latest one being the aforementioned 2012 World T20 match between New Zealand and West Indies.

Match Scorecard

SPECIALS – The greatest World Cup matches, Part 2

  Continuing from Part 1 of this two-part post, let us look at five more great matches in the history of the World Cup that left many a viewer enthralled.

Australia v West Indies, Final, Lord’s, 1975

  The final of the inaugural World Cup was akin to a drama full of twists and turns. Respectively led by astute captains Ian Chappell and Clive Lloyd, Australia and the West Indies played out the best World Cup final thus far on the 21st of June, the longest day of the year. The two sides had already met once in the group stage, where the West Indies had posted an easy seven-wicket win.

  Chappell won the toss and sent the West Indians in to bat. With the score on 12, Roy Fredericks was dismissed in bizarre fashion – he hooked Dennis Lillee for six, only to lose his balance and tread on the stumps, thus getting out hit wicket. With Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharran too out cheaply, the West Indies were in a spot of bother at 50/3. At this stage, Lloyd strode out to join Rohan Kanhai – who was nearly 40 years old and playing his last international match.

  What followed was a game-changing partnership featuring contrasting innings. While Lloyd was in a ferocious mood, treating the Australian bowlers with disdain, Kanhai gave his captain solid support at the other end. The two put on 149 in 36 overs to put their team in control before Gary Gilmour – who had taken 6/14 in the semifinal against England – had Lloyd caught behind. The ‘Big Cat’ scored a fine 102 from just 85 balls, studded with 12 fours and two sixes.

  Kanhai too fell to Gilmour soon after, scoring 55 from 105 balls. Gilmour’s burst of three quick wickets brought Australia back in the contest, but Keith Boyce and Bernard Julien put on 52 vital runs for the seventh wicket. The West Indies stretched their total to a very formidable 291/8 in 60 overs – no team had successfully chased down that many in an ODI at that time. Gilmour with 5/48 was easily the best bowler for Australia, thus making him the highest wicket-taker of the tournament.

  Boyce removed Rick McCosker early in the chase, but Alan Turner (40) and skipper Ian Chappell (62) put on 56 for the second wicket, showing that the Australians were not going down without a fight. However, the West Indian fielders, led by 23 year-old Vivian Richards, were brilliant on this day. Richards single-handedly ran out Turner and Greg Chappell to make the score 115/3. Richards then combined with Lloyd to ensure the run out of Ian Chappell, who had himself to blame as he went for a non-existent third run.

zlloydd     West Indies captain Clive Lloyd holds aloft the inaugural World Cup trophy in 1975. He scored 102 in the final against Australia (source – cricket15.com)

  Lloyd castled Doug Walters as the Australians, who were now 170/5, failed to get a substantial partnership going. Boyce (4/50) returned to trouble the middle and lower order as Australia slid to 233/9 in 52 overs, and a West Indian victory now just a formality. A final twist remained though – the last pair of Thomson and Lillee gave some anxious moments to the West Indians. When eleven balls were remaining, with Australia still needing 24 to win, Thomson chipped a delivery from Vanburn Holder into Fredericks’ hands.

  The crowd, largely consisting of West Indian supporters, ran out on to the field thinking that the match was over. However, they had not noticed umpire Dickie Bird’s no-ball call. The ball got lost in the melee and the batsmen kept on collecting as many runs as they possibly could. According to Lillee, they had ran about 17, but eventually the umpires gave them four when the ground was cleared.

  Three balls later, the match saw its logical conclusion after Thomson was run out by the wicketkeeper Deryck Murray. Australia had valiantly fought, but were bowled out for 274 with eight balls left. The West Indies became the first winners of the World Cup as the longest one-day match played – from 11 a.m to 8.43 p.m – came to an end. Lloyd, who was deservedly named Man of the Match, received the Prudential trophy from Prince Phillip.

England v Ireland, Group Stage, Bangalore, 2011

  This Group B match in the 2011 edition will always be remembered for the fact that an Associate nation beat a full member by chasing down a total in excess of 300, and that too after being in dire straits at the halfway mark. The memorable win was made possible due to a buccaneering, record-breaking hundred from Irish all-rounder Kevin O’Brien, who became a poster boy for cricket back home.

  England, after electing to bat, were provided a strong platform by captain Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen (59), who put on 91 for the first wicket. Jonathan Trott (92) and Ian Bell (81) then shared a 167-run partnership in 26 overs for the third wicket to put their team firmly in control. Late wickets from John Mooney (4/72) pegged back England a little, but the final total of 327/8 was still an imposing one.

  Ireland lost their captain William Porterfield off the first ball of the chase. Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce played positively in a 62-run stand for the second wicket, but off-spinner Graeme Swann prised out three quick wickets as Ireland slumped from 103/2 to 111/5 in the space of four overs. If Ireland were to come back in the game, at least one batsman had to deliver something really special, and Kevin O’Brien did just that. He came in at 106/4, and was joined by Alex Cusack at the fall of the fifth wicket.

  With a breath-taking display of power-hitting, O’Brien snatched the game right from the hands of the English. He shared a fantastic sixth-wicket partnership of 162 in just 19.1 overs with Cusack. While Cusack was out for 47, O’Brien marched on to his hundred off just 50 balls, beating Matthew Hayden’s World Cup record. He added a further 44 for the seventh wicket with Mooney, and by the time he was out for a scintillating 113 from 63 balls, with 13 fours and six sixes, Ireland needed only 11 runs from as many balls.

  The final over began with just three runs required. Off the first ball itself, Mooney smashed James Anderson for four to bring up Ireland’s historic three-wicket win over the old enemy. The boys in green had done the unthinkable by achieving the the highest successful chase in a World Cup match.

  The Bangalore crowd celebrated an epic giant-slaying episode even as the Irish team congratulated each other with joy. O’Brien had played the innings of the tournament, and most importantly, provided a massive boost to cricket in his country.

zznom      Kevin O’Brien (left) celebrates Ireland’s famous win over England in 2011. He smashed a record 113 from only 63 balls (source – bbc.co.uk)

Ireland v Zimbabwe, Group Stage, Kingston, 2007

  This was Ireland’s very first World Cup match. Their team of amateurs greatly impressed on debut, holding a much more established and experienced Zimbabwean outfit to a thrilling tie. This was the third tie in the history of the World Cup.

  Zimbabwean captain Prosper Utseya put Ireland in to bat, and his medium pacemen created trouble for the Irish batsmen from the very outset. Five wickets were down with just 89 runs on the board, three of them being single figures. Even as wickets tumbled, opener Jeremy Bray remained unmoved. He was bating assuredly and found a willing partner in Andrew White, with whom he added 56 for the sixth wicket.

  This was the highest partnership for Ireland, who eventually reached a competitive 221/9 in 50 overs. The lower order added some vital runs to swell the total. Bray stayed from start to end, scoring an unbeaten 115 from 137 balls, with ten fours and two sixes.

  Zimbabwe were in a great position at 92/1 in the 21st over, but a middle order wobble saw them slide to 133/5. Opener Vusimuzi Sibanda scored 67 from 84 balls. Stuart Matsikenyeri and Brendan Taylor gave Zimbabwe the upper hand again as they stitched together 70 runs for the sixth wicket. When Taylor was run out, Zimbabwe needed only 19 runs from 38 balls with four wickets left, an easy equation.

  However, tight bowling and fielding from Ireland built the pressure on the Zimbabwean lower order. By the time the final over – to be bowled by White – began, Zimbabwe had lost three more wickets and now needed nine runs with one wicket remaining. Matsikenyeri, who scored an unbeaten 73, took five runs off the first three balls to bring the requirement to four off three.

  Three runs came from the next two balls and the scores were level with a ball to go. Matsikenyeri missed it and non-striker Ed Rainsford, who was already out of his crease, was run out. This result was to play a major factor in Ireland’s entry into the Super Eight round.

Pakistan v West Indies, Group Stage, Lahore, 1987

  This was the second World Cup match to end in a result margin of one wicket, and incidentally involving the same two teams which were part of the first. However, unlike that match in 1975, this time it was Pakistan who emerged victorious. They had Courtney Walsh’s commendable sportsman spirit to thank, without which they would not have won.

  After electing to bat, the West Indies got off to a good start with openers Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons (50) putting on 91. However, penetrative bowling from captain Imran Khan (4/37) and Saleem Jaffar (3/30) triggered a collapse of four wickets for 30 runs. Imran’s opposite number Vivian Richards scored an attacking 51, but the rest of the batsmen failed to give him support. The innings folded for 216 in 49.3 overs, the last five wickets falling for 32 runs.

  Pakistan lost Mansoor Akhtar and Saleem Malik to be 28/2, following which Rameez Raja and Javed Miandad added 64 for the third wicket. Three quick wickets reduced the score to 110/5 in the 35th over, and the West Indies now held an edge. Wicketkeeper Saleem Yousuf came in at this point, and with the help of the lower order, set about in pursuit of the remaining target. He and Imran shared a sixth-wicket stand of 73 in eleven overs.

  As the tension grew, Yousuf kept on batting intelligently. He was the eighth wicket out with the score at 202 in the 48th over, making 56 from 49 balls with seven fours. When the last over from Walsh began, Pakistan still needed 14 runs with the last pair in the middle. With ten needed off three, Abdul Qadir struck a six followed by two.

  So two to win off the final delivery. Non-striker Jaffar was backing up too soon and Walsh was well within his right to run him out. But sportingly, he refrained from doing so and Qadir ultimately scored the two runs to seal Pakistan’s win.

India v England, Group Stage, Bangalore, 2011

zzcf     The scoreboard at the Chinnaswamy Stadium confirms the tied result in the group match between India and England in 2011 (source – ndtv.com)

  Rounding off this list is the fourth tied match in the World Cup, by far the highest-scoring one. On a typically flat Bangalore track, India elected to bat first. Virender Sehwag was out for a quick 35, but his opening partner Sachin Tendulkar – arguably the greatest ODI batsman – unleashed an array of glorious shots on the English bowlers.

  Tendulkar added 134 with Gautam Gambhir (51 from 61 balls) for the second wicket and a further 56 with Yuvraj Singh (58 from 50) for the third wicket. He was dismissed in the 39th over for a brilliant 120 from 115 balls, with ten fours and five sixes. India lost their last seven wickets for just 33 runs in 24 balls, as the innings drew to a close at 338 in 49.5 overs. Tim Bresnan was the only one who bowled well, taking 5/48 off his ten overs.

  Captain Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen gave England a good start by putting on 68 for the opening wicket. Strauss was batting wonderfully, and the Indian bowlers were clueless against his pristine stroke-making. He shared a partnership worth 170 in 26 overs with Ian Bell for the third wicket. Requiring 58 from 45 balls with as many as eight wickets left, England were on course to overhaul India’s huge total.

  However, Zaheer Khan removed both Bell (69 from 71 balls) and Strauss off consecutive deliveries to bring his side back in the match. Strauss, later named Man of the Match, scored a career-best of 158 from 145 balls, with 18 fours and a six. In the pursuit of quick runs, wickets began to tumble. As Munaf Patel began the final over, England needed 14 runs with two wickets in hand.

  With 11 needed off four, tail-ender Ajmal Shahzad clouted a six, much to the delight of his teammates. Patel maintained his composure though, and it boiled down to two needed off the final ball. Graeme Swann managed to hit it to mid-off, but could complete only a single, leaving the scores tied and the crowd highly satisfied.