Zimbabwe in India, Feb-Mar 2002
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India won by 101 runs
India 333/6 (50 ov)
Zimbabwe 232 (42.1/48 ov)

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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 ]


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