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Final: India v New Zealand

Match pictures:

Chris Cairns photos
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Wagon Wheel

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Runs: 102
Balls faced: 114
Strike rate: 89.47
Scoring shots: 57
"I was only going to bowl five overs...": Chris Cairns [Column]
"I hope to be fit for Sunday Final": Chris Cairns [Column]

Career Summary of Chris Cairns

[Batting | Bowling]

ICC-KO Finals - Photographs

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Chris Cairns

Chris Cairns

Born: 13 June 1970, Picton
Major Teams: New Zealand, Canterbury
Batting Style: Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style: Right Arm Fast Medium

He is among the world's leading all rounders. But even by Chris Cairns' high standards, his performance in Sunday's final of the ICC KnockOut tournament in Nairobi was truly outstanding. First he sent down ten overs conceding only 40 runs. And then he scored an unbeaten 102 to steer New Zealand to a thrilling triumph - their first major title in the one day international game.

Put down like that, it seems dramatic enough. But what gives his double feat the story book touch is that he was not expected to play till the last moment. He missed the semifinal against Pakistan because of a knee injury and he was considered, at best, a doubtful starter. But knowing fully well that his team depended on him, Cairns could not turn his back on the challenge. He took some painkilling tablets and played. And the rest is history.

Cairns' performance was truly world class. He came on to bowl when the New Zealand opening bowlers were being carted all over the place by Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. It was Cairns who helped put the brakes on the scoring. Bringing all his experience into play, he maintained a perfect line and length and thanks chiefly to his niggardly spell, the Indian score was kept down to manageable proportions.

Still it was a tough task for New Zealand and when they lost four wickets for 109 runs including those of two key players Nathan Astle and Roger Twose it seemed over for New Zealand. But Cairns, who entered at 82 for three, had other ideas. Even after Craig McMillan left with New Zealand needing another 133 runs and only five wickets left, Cairns did not give up hope. He kept the scoreboard ticking by taking judicious singles and twos but also saw to it the required run rate did not get out of control by some well timed lofted shots which either raced to the boundary or went over the line. The straight six which he hit off Anil Kumble towards the end - the ball landing in the car park outside the stadium - virtually settled the issue. With gallant support from Chris Harris, the 30-year-old Cairns turned the match around and fittingly enough, hit the winning shot.

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