Zimbabwe’s ODI series victory against Sri Lanka has pumped life back into Zimbabwean cricket which looked done and dusted for the most part of this decade. This series victory will certainly go down in the history of the African nation as one of their best achievements ever and will be cherished for years to come.
Since their arrival in international cricket in the 1980s, moments of glory have been rare for the African nation. Some upsets in the World Cup and a few victories in other formats of the game have been the only source of joy for Zimbabwe’s fans.
Political and financial issues have played their part in pushing back Zimbabwe cricket in the last few years and hence this ODI victory against Sri Lanka is a special achievement.
While the celebrations still continue in Zimbabwe, we take a look at the previous instances in Zimbabwe cricket when they achieved something spectacular and created memorable moments for their fans.
#5 Thrashing India and South Africa in the 1999 World Cup
Zimbabwe entered the 1999 World Cup with their best ever team but were still considered inferior to the heavyweights in the tournaments. This misconception was cleared in the ODI against India when Henry Olonga delivered a sensational penultimate over to snatch victory from India’s jaws.
Chasing 253 runs in 46 overs, India got off to a solid start with Sadagoppan Ramesh and Ajay Jadeja adding 99 runs for the fourth wicket. A fumble in the middle overs saw India slipping to six down for 175 but then Nayan Mongia and Robin Singh batted with caution and took the chase to the final stages.
India needed nine runs from two overs when Olonga came back for his fourth over. On the second ball, Robin Singh was caught in the covers, on the fifth ball Srinath was bowled and on the sixth ball, Prasad was trapped in front of wickets. Three wickets in one over and Olonga had scripted a dramatic win.
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10 days later at the same venue, Zimbabwe thrashed South Africa to register another upset. After scoring 233 runs in their 50 overs, Zimbabwe reduced South Africa to six down for 40 runs as the pace duo of Neil Johnson and Heath Streak spat venom with the new ball. Shaun Pollock and Klusener’s half-centuries weren’t enough to repair the damage as Zimbabwe won the match by 48 runs.
With two wins against strong teams, Zimbabwe had their best ever World Cup campaign in 1999.