Martin Crowe scored 140 in 3 hours in the Test. Despite battling a pulled muscle the next day — the rest day of the Test — he scored 94 off 87 balls in the ODI. He scored 61 in the second innings when the Test resumed. © Getty Images
Martin Crowe scored 140 in 3 hours in the Test. Despite battling a pulled muscle the next day — the rest day of the Test — he scored 94 off 87 balls in the ODI. He scored 61 in the second innings when the Test resumed. © Getty Images

Martin Crowe put up stellar batting performances against Zimbabwe in two different formats of the game at Harare Sports Club on November 7 and 8, 1992. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the occasion when an ODI was sandwiched inside a Test for the first time.

It was a tale of a Test match and an ODI between two countries. The only catch was that the ODI was played between the first and second days of the Test — very similar to the English Sunday League. Additionally, the first ODI was played on October 31, and the first Test from November 1 to 5, which meant that New Zealand and Zimbabwe were playing 12 days of international cricket in a span of 13 days.

Martin Crowe won the toss and elected to bat on the first day of the Test. When he walked out to bat at 73 for 2, Mark Greatbatch had already seen himself in and was on the verge of acceleration. However, Crowe took charge as soon as he walked in, and began to dominate the Zimbabwean attack.

Crowe seemed unperturbed by Greatbatch’s departure for 55 with the team score at 131 for 3. He found his foil in Ken Rutherford, and launched a furious assault after lunch. He almost scored a hundred in the session: he managed 96 runs between lunch and tea. His partnership with Rutherford yielded 168 runs in 36 overs.

Crowe fell to Gary Crocker for 140 — in just 3 hours — and pulled a muscle in the process. He had faced only 182 balls, and had hit 17 fours and 3 sixes.

New Zealand ended the day at 314 for 6, with Rutherford unbeaten on 72.

The two teams met for the ODI the following morning. This time Dave Houghton won the toss and decided to bat. Crowe had decided to play despite his physical struggle. Zimbabwe’s top four — Andy and Grant Flower, Dave Houghton and Mark Dekker — all scored fifties, but things got murky when Dipak Patel “Mankaded” Grant Flower after several warnings. Verbal disputes between Crowe and umpire Katilal Kanjee followed after several run out appeals were turned down, and amidst the volatile atmosphere Zimbabwe managed to accumulate 271 for 6.

Greatbatch and Rod Latham began the chase in a hurry; Latham fell for a 41-ball 40, and Greatbatch somehow managed to score his second 55 in two days — this time off 62 balls. However, once again, with the score on 114 for 3, Rutherford joined Crowe, and once again he played foil to the champion batsman. Crowe and Rutherford added 130, the latter contributing a paltry 37, but more importantly, hanging in there. Crowe demolished the Zimbabweans, Eddo Brandes in particular, by scoring 94 off 87 balls while playing with a limp. He hit 8 fours and a six, and New Zealand romped home with 19 balls to spare, winning the series 2-0.

The Test resumed the next morning. New Zealand collapsed for 335; Murphy Su’a then took 6 for 50 to bowl out Zimbabwe for 283. New Zealand declared their innings closed at 262 for 5, Crowe scoring 61 and Rutherford 89. And then, with 315 to chase on a turning track, Zimbabwe collapsed to 137 against Patel (6 for 50). New Zealand won the series 1-0, but more importantly, it was Zimbabwe’s first Test defeat since their admission into Test cricket.

Brief scores:

New Zealand 335 (Mark Greatbatch 55, Martin Crowe 140, Ken Rutherford 74; David Brain 3 for 49) and 262 for 5 decl. (Martin Crowe 61, Ken Rutherford 89, Dipak Patel 58*) beat Zimbabwe 283 (Kevin Arnott 68, Alistair Campbell 52, Andy Pycroft 60; Murphy Su’a 5 for 85) and 137 (Dipak Patel 6 for 50) by 177 runs.

Zimbabwe 271 for 6 in 50 overs (Andy Flower 56, Grant Flower 63, Dave Houghton 50, Mark Dekker 55) lost to New Zealand 272 for 6 in 46.5 overs (Mark Greatbatch 55, Rod Latham 40, Martin Crowe 94; Eddo Brandes 3 for 74) by 4 wickets with 19 balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Martin Crowe.

(A hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobiac by his own admission, Abhishek Mukherjee is a statistical analyst based in Kolkata, India. He typically looks upon life as a journey involving two components – cricket and literature – not necessarily as disjoint elements. A passionate follower of the history of the game with an insatiable appetite for trivia and anecdotes, he has also a rather steady love affair with the incredible assortment of numbers the sport has to offer. He also thinks he can bowl decent leg-breaks and googlies in street cricket, and blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in)