Andy Flower is one of only four batsmen to score a century on one-day debut? (05 March 2002)
The Zimbabwe - Sri Lanka league tie at New Plymouth would not have been the discerning punter's choice for the most exciting match of the 1992 World Cup. But if a rookie better had wagered his hard-earned money on that game, the pay-off would have been phenomenal.
Put in to bat, Zimbabwe racked up a mammoth 312/4 in their 50 overs, with debutant Andy Flower striking an unbeaten 115 off 152 balls at the top of the order. He hit eight fours and a six in his knock, and after Andrew Waller's cracker of an innings in scoring 83 off 45 balls (nine fours, three sixes), Sri Lanka could not have felt more disheartened.
But hope flowered when Roshan Mahanama and Athula Samarasekara put on 128 for the first wicket, with the latter hitting 75 off 61 balls and Mahanama making a more sedate 59 off 89 deliveries. The clincher, however, was delivered by Arjuna Ranatunga, who made 88 off 61 in his inimitable way, nudging the ball around and hitting nine fours and a six when the opportunity presented itself.
Ranatunga was unbeaten when Sri Lanka, aided by 32 off 23 from then-unknown Sanath Jayasuriya, overhauled the Zimbabwean total with four balls to spare, setting, in the process, what was then a record for the highest successful one-day international run-chase of all time.
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