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)

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

More

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Inda tour of England 2014: Ravi Shastri remains unbeaten as manager

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

MS Dhoni records most stumpings in international cricket during India-England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

MS Dhoni equals Mohammad Azharuddin’s record for registering maximum wins as ODI captain

Alastair Cook calls for improved batting display by England after going 0-2 down to India in ODI series

Ravichandran Ashwin attributes patience for success in ODIs for India against England

Alastair Cook bemoans middle-order’s ineptitude against Indian spinners for England’s loss in 3rd ODI

MS Dhoni credits spinners’ solid display for India’s win over England in 3rd ODI

Inda tour of England 2014: Ravi Shastri remains unbeaten as manager

Statistical review of batsmen with two or more consecutive ducks from ODI debut

Ambati Rayudu has to make every opportunity count if he is to play in ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Highlights

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

Ebola infected monkeys said to be recovering with ZMapp

Alastair Cook calls for improved batting display by England after going 0-2 down to India in ODI series

This is the only Apple iPhone 6 leak video you should watch ahead of September 9 launch

Ganesh Festival 2014 song of the day: Sindoor lal chadhayo from Sanjay Dutt’s Vaastav

Inda tour of England 2014: Ravi Shastri remains unbeaten as manager

HTC to finally unveil two wearables, Desire 820 with 64-bit processor at IFA on September 4

Beware! sugary drinks may increase risk of cancer and heart disease

Ganeshotsav 2014: Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan celebrates Ganpati in a gorgeous green desi attire-view pic!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here