5 memorable ODI encounters between India and South Africa
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is an oft-quoted adage that weaves its way into a handful of individuals for whom failure is never really an option. Defined by a competitiveness that overlooks all negativity, a champion announces his arrival with élan by reigning supremacy, displaying a valour and grit not witnessed amongst mere mortals.As with life, the above holds true for the sporting arena as well, where the fighters are distinguished from the challengers by a never say die attitude and a spirit that will not concede or accept defeat even when the situation essays otherwise.India and South Africa are two teams honoured to have witnessed a horde of players who went on to gain identity as legends of the game. Fighting tooth and nail for every triumph in each encounter, the battles between the two nations over the years have borne an intensity, which brings out the best in all the twenty-two players who take the field.Ever since the Proteas returned to the international cricket in 1991, the two teams have faced off 71 times in One Day Internationals with South Africa emerging winners on 42 occasions.Days before another anticipated series between the two countries gets underway, we have a look at the five memorable One Day International matches played between India and South Africa, best remembered for spirited performances by cricketers who turned the tides around for their respective teams.
#1 Tendulkar bowls India to a famous victory; India vs South Africa, Hero Cup 1993
When the bigwigs of Indian cricket shied away from defending 5 runs in the last over in the first semi-final of the Hero Cup in 1993, a 20-year-old showed remarkable courage in taking the ball from a flustered Mohamaad Azharuddin, the captain of the Indian team.
In a move that left the vast expanse of the nation in shock and disbelief, Sachin Tendulkar volunteered to bowl the last over in a crucial match, even though famed teammates Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath each had an over to spare.
With five deliveries left and with South Africa’s score reading 191 for 8, Tendulkar maintained a strict line and length, constantly deceiving Allan Donald, who had walked out to bat after Fanie de Villiers had been run out in the first ball while attempting a second run.
With 5 runs needed in the last 2 deliveries, Donald sneaked across for a single giving Brian McMillan, who was batting on 47, the strike. Unable to connect, the batsman could only manage a solitary run as the packed Eden Gardens erupted at the improbable victory handed over by a youngster just out of his teenage years. India won by 2 runs to advance to the final of the event.
Earlier, the Indian team collapsed for a paltry 195, a total made largely due to the efforts of Azharuddin’s knock of 90. Despite losing early wickets in their run chase, the South Africans were always in the driver’s seat.
With 54 runs needed and 5 wickets in hand, only a spirited performance by the Indian bowlers could have stopped Keppler Wessel’s team from rummaging through into the final. On that particular day, it was Tendulkar the bowler, who came to the party.