India 83 vs India 99
Neeran Karnik (CricInfo) - April 18, 1999

CricInfo report

It was a time for nostalgia as Kapil's Devils assembled on a cricket field once again, this time to take on the current Indian squad in a friendly (really, really friendly) day-night match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Billed variously as ``83 vs 99'', ``Kapil's Devils vs Azhar's Army'', ``the Good Luck India match'' (and even ``Masters vs Dusters'' by a wag in the crowd) the match was basically an outlet for various sponsors to boost their brand awareness!

It did however, also serve a couple of good causes. The families of Raman Lamba and Ramnath Parker, both ex-India Test openers, were presented Rs. 20 lakh each. Raman Lamba died last year due to a head injury that occurred while fielding close-in in a club match in Bangladesh. Ramnath Parker has been in a coma in a Mumbai hospital, fighting for his life, for some three years now.

Despite the non-competitive nature of the game, and despite being televised live, Wankhede Stadium was packed with more than 30,000 fans, threatening to bring down the rafters with their noise! Kapil and Azhar were flown into the ground for the toss in a helicopter. Kapil won, and invited Azhar's team to bat. If the oldies thought they got a rousing cheer when they walked on to the field, the stadium erupted even louder when Sachin walked out to open the innings with S. Ramesh. Kapil and Sandhu opened the bowling for the '83 team. The 35-overs-a-side game was never going to be a contest, but Kapil did remind us of the good old days by making a couple whizz past Tendulkar's nose! Tendulkar didn't disappoint the crowd either, starting slowly but then switching into top gear in scoring 115* off 98 balls. Ramesh played some good drives, and also the usual swish-and-miss against the likes of Sandhu, Madan Lal and Binny! Dravid and Jadeja hoiked the ball around for a while, but Azhar was dismissed early, much to the delight of certain sections of the crowd! The '99 team made 292/4 in their 35 overs.

When the '83 team batted, the Mumbai crowd was in for a disappointment as Gavaskar did not bat. He had fielded briefly for the oldies earlier. Srikkanth, of course, entertained the crowd as usual with his antics as much as his batting. Despite plenty of 'buffet' bowling, the oldies were restricted to 202 in their 35 overs. Vengsarkar and Patil showed that they still had their timing and footwork, playing some glorious drives along the ground.

The winners took home the ``Hero Honda Cup'', which undoubtedly will find pride of place right next to the 1983 World Cup in the BCCI's trophy cabinet!