Who scored the first hundred in India-Zimbabwe one-dayers?
(08 March 2002)
The rather small Tunbridge Wells Ground, surrounded as it is by a
host of beautiful rhododendrons, looks more like a setting for
great romances. Appropriately enough, then, it was one of
cricket's legendary romantics who proceeded to fashion a
searingly passionate innings on it.
It was June 18, and India were playing Zimbabwe in what was for
them a make-or-break tie in the 1983 World Cup. Leading the team
was a young and ebullient Kapil Dev. After winning the toss,
Kapil decided to bat on a dangerously seaming wicket. With the
ball moving and rearing alarmingly, even the great technical
virtuoso, Sunil Gavaskar, was helpless; he departed without
troubling the scorers. It was the first of many blows to fall;
soon India were 17 for five, and the organisers were in a twitter
as the match threatened to end before noon.
An audacious Kapil Dev, however, planned to script a different
ending, blowing the inexperienced Zimbabweans apart. A mighty
risk it certainly was - but in the course of an innings that
combined raw power with pristine natural skill, he proceeded to
pull it off. His then world-record score of 175 off 138 balls saw
him hit as many as 16 fours and six sixes, almost all of them
over the long boundary. The rhododendrons and the Zimbabweans had
borne the brunt of a ceaselessly incredible attack.
Fittingly, when Kapil walked back to the pavilion after
propelling India to 266 for nine, he was accorded a most unique
honour - Gavaskar, seen by many as his greatest rival in the
Indian team, met him with a refreshing cup of water. Kapil's
Devils, as the Indian team were to be called, went on to win the
match and complete a fairy-tale run in the competition, beating
the mighty West Indies in a low-scoring final.
Sadly for Kapil and India, though, the match was not telecast
live, the BBC staying away because of labour problems.
Fortunately, though, an Indian fan had brought along his video
camera and faithfully recorded the mighty all-rounderís
tour de force. A history-conscious Kapil now owns the tape.
For more details on all the above facts check out [ StatsGuru ]