Home > Features > Moments in history >

Sourav Ganguly smashes Zimbabwe for 139 in a typical one-day exhibition at Kenya

Sourav Ganguly smashes Zimbabwe for 139 in a typical one-day exhibition at Kenya

It was a typical Sourav Ganguly hundred with the signature shots all over © AFP

On October 1, 1999, Sourav Ganguly made most of a dropped catch and a run-out to smash Zimbabwe for 139 in an innings laced with shots which he is widely known for, in the LG Cup at Naroibi. Nishad Pai Vaidya revisits that day.
When on song, Sourav Ganguly could tear the best bowling apart in the one-day game. Rahul Dravid once said that on the off-side first there is god and then there is Ganguly. A typical Ganguly one-day innings used to be full of gracious cuts and elegant cover-drives, timed to perfection. A spinner dreaded that nonchalant waltz to the pitch as the ball would sail out of the ground in a flash. That was what Ganguly could do to you.

For a major part of the 1990s, Sachin Tendulkar shouldered the burden of the Indian batting and almost single-handedly won them games. However, the emergence of Ganguly as an able opening partner took a lot of burden off Tendulkar. At the other end, the southpaw could almost match him for every stroke and in tandem, they forged the most prolific partnership in ODIs. But, an Indian team without Tendulkar was still unimaginable then. Yet, when he was injured or was on a break, it was Ganguly who took more responsibility at the top and delivered for the side.

In the absence of skipper Tendulkar, Ajay Jadeja lead the Indian team. The other teams in the LG cup were South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. India breezed past South Africa and Kenya, assuring themselves a spot in the final. The final league game was against Zimbabwe and India were the overwhelming favourites.

Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell won the toss and put India in to bat. They had a battery of seamers in Neil Johnson, Pommie Mbangwa and Henry Olonga. Sadagopan Ramesh was Ganguly’s opening partner for the game and they started off in steady fashion to the Zimbabwe pacers. Johnson was the key, but Zimbabwe lost him to injury early in the innings. He couldn’t bowl anymore in the game. India were going along smoothly until Ramesh was bowled by Guy Whittall with the score on 70 in the 17th over.

Instead of Dravid, Robin Singh joined Ganguly in the centre and they started constructing a partnership that laid the foundation for a later assault. Robin and Ganguly were going along well and got to India’s hundred in the 24th over. Ganguly also moved past 50 as Robin held one end. But, it was Prince of Kolkata’s day as he lived a charmed life. In his 60s, Mbangwa grassed an easy chance.

It was a typical Ganguly hundred with the signature shots all over. It wasn’t surprising that his first six came off a spinner as Grant Flower was hit down the ground. The southpaw was only warming up. At the other end, Singh fell for 41 with the score on 177 and Dravid joined Ganguly.

When he was on 97, Ganguly breathed another sigh of relief when a throw missed the stumps as he ran in. But, in the 41st over, he got to his ton.  It had taken him 125 balls and he had 11 fours and a six. That was when he got into his hitting zone. A few wickets fell at the other end, but he smashed four sixes after getting to his ton to take his score to 139. The mid-wicket boundary was peppered by Ganguly and earmarked for some treatment. His innings came to an end when he got carried away and offered a catch to Campbell in the covers. India eventually finished on 277 for six.
What followed:

  • India went on to win the match by 107 runs. The spinners R Vijay Bharadwaj (three for 34) and Nikhil Chopra (four for 33) helped bowl out Zimbabwe for 170.
  • India lost in the finals to South Africa by 26 runs. Bharadwaj was the man of the series for his bowling performances.
  • This came in the middle of two successful years for Ganguly as an ODI batsman. In 1999, he scored 1767 runs in 41 matches at an average of 46.50 with four tons and 10 fifties. But, the next year was even better as he amassed 1579 runs in 32 matches at an average of 56.39 with seven tons and six fifties.

Brief scores:

India 277 for 6 in 50 overs (Sourav Ganguly 139, Robin Singh 41; Guy Whittall 3 for 55) beat Zimbabwe 170 in 38.3 overs (Neil Johnson 51; Nikhil Chopra 4 for 33, R Vijay Bharadwaj 3 for 34) by 107 runs.
Man of the Match: Sourav Ganguly

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Yuvraj Singh flays media for twisting statements on future in international cricket

India A beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

West Indies crisis: Trinidad and Tobago condemns West Indies’ pullout from India tour

MS Dhoni told me there’s nothing called ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’: Pankaj Singh

All-India PSU T20 Tournament: Oriental Insurance defeat HPCL

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in favour of Najam Sethi as ICC President

Justice Mudgal Committee report on IPL spot-fixing to be submitted on November 3

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here