Bishan Singh Bedi (left) brought a dramatic end to the Sahiwal ODI when Sarfraz Nawaz blatantly kept bowling bouncers that were way beyond the reach of the batsman. The collusion of the home umpires was apparent and Bedi saw no point in continuing a game that was reduced to a farce    Getty Images
Bishan Singh Bedi (left) brought a dramatic end to the Sahiwal ODI when Sarfraz Nawaz blatantly kept bowling bouncers that were way beyond the reach of the batsman. The collusion of the home umpires was apparent and Bedi saw no point in continuing a game that was reduced to a farce Getty Images

Bishan Singh Bedi conceded an ODI at Sahiwal on November 3, 1978. Abhishek Mukherjee looks back at the first ever ODI to be conceded.

India had won the first ODI of the three-match series at Quetta, thanks to Mohinder Amarnath s all-round efforts. A four-pronged fast bowling attack helped Pakistan square the series at Sialkot, despite the absence of Imran Khan. This meant that the series depended entirely on the last match at Zafar Ali Stadium in Sahiwal.

Mushtaq Mohammad won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a flat track. Majid Khan and Azmat Rana got them to a decent start. However, the Indians bowled well in the middle overs and somewhat restricted the scoring. Asif Iqbal scored a brisk 62 off 72 balls, and despite some slog-over hitting, Karsan Ghavri, Srinivas Venkataraghavan and Mohinder Amarnath all bowled well to confine Pakistan to 205 for 7 wickets in 40 overs.

Sunil Gavaskar who had an amazing Test series (he scored 447 runs from 3 Tests at 89.40) was not playing in the match. This left the task of opening the innings to Chetan Chauhan and Anshuman Gaekwad, who put up a stand of 44 before Chauhan fell for 23. Surinder Amarnath walked out to in fill the breach and, with Gaekwad, plundered the Pakistan attack in a partnership of 119 runs.

Captain Mushtaq Mohammad rotated his fast bowlers, but in vain. With 43 left for a victory, Surinder Amaranth fell to Asif Iqbal.

In walked Gundappa Viswanath. He ensured that there was no more hiccups as India reached 183 for the loss of 2 wickets at the end of 37 overs.

India needed 23 runs from the final 3 overs. Sarfraz would bowl 2 of the overs, and Imran would bowl the other the others having already bowled out their quota of 8 overs. As Sarfraz ran in to bowl, India were firm favourites with Mohinder, Yashpal Sharma and Kapil Dev still to come out.

Sarfraz ran in, and bounced. The ball went too high and landed in Wasim Bari s gloves. The batsmen stared in astonishment as it was not called a wide. Perhaps it was a one-off error of judgement, the Indians thought. But Sarfraz bounced yet again. Once again it was too high for anyone to reach. Yet again, the umpire stood unmoved. Sarfraz did it for a third time with the same response from the umpire. And, incredibly, for a fourth time in a row he bounced so high that even the six-foot Gaekwad, batting on 78, had absolutely no hope of getting anywhere near the ball. The Pakistan game plan was clear to bowl beyond the batsman s reach. Equally clear was the complicity of the Pakistani umpires this was before the advent of neutral umpires to help the home team achieve their goal .

The bewildered batsmen looked at their captain Bishan Singh Bedi in the pavilion. Bedi saw the futility of the situation and called the batsmen, Gaekwad and Viswanath, and conceded the match, which was reduced to a farce. Just like he had declared India s innings prematurely at Kingston in protest to Clive Lloyd s ruthless bouncing tactics in 1975-76, Bedi was not afraid to bring put an end to the farce of a ODI at Sahiwal. Pakistan s tactics won them the series 2-1, and Sahiwal never hosted another international match.

Bedi s decision remains the first instance of a captain conceding an ODI to the opponent; the next came more than 22 years later when Alec Stewart decided to concede a losing cause at Headingley when some spectators invaded the pitch with Pakistan requiring 4 runs from 61 balls to win the NatWest ODI.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 205 for 7 in 40 overs (Asif Iqbal 62) beat India 183 for 2 in 37.4 overs (Anshuman Gaekwad 78 not out, Surinder Amarnath 62); India conceded the match.

(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)