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Sports Cricket 13 Jul 2019 Natwest Series Final ...

Natwest Series Final: 17 years since Sourav Ganguly took off his shirt at Lord's

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Edited by : AMEYA BARVE
Published Jul 13, 2019, 12:50 pm IST
Updated Jul 13, 2019, 3:51 pm IST
Facing each other in the final of a tri-series which also had Sri Lanka, England were considered as favourites ahead of the match.
Yuvraj scored 69 runs off 63 balls, while Kaif remained unbeaten on 87 runs to guide India to one of the most popular ODI victories. (Photo: AFP)
 Yuvraj scored 69 runs off 63 balls, while Kaif remained unbeaten on 87 runs to guide India to one of the most popular ODI victories. (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: 17 years ago, Sourav Ganguly-led Indian side scripted one of the historic moments in Indian cricket's history. India chased down the target of 326 against England to win the Natwest final in 2002.

Facing each other in the final of a tri-series which also had Sri Lanka, England were considered as favourites ahead of the match as India had lost nine consecutive ODI finals before coming into the final.

 

Winning the toss to bat first, skipper Nasser Hussain and opener Marcus Trescothick posted a massive 185-run partnership for the second wicket. All-rounder Andrew Flintoff's quick-fire knock of 40 runs steered England to a total of 325 runs.

India, who were not regarded as a traditional chasing side, started the chase well with Sehwag and Ganguly putting up a 106-run partnership. Skipper Ganguly smashed 60 runs off 43 deliveries at a strike rate of 140.

Sehwag also continued the aggressive momentum by smashing Ronnie Irani for four boundaries in a single over. But after the departure of Ganguly and Sehwag, Indian batting order suffered a mini-collapse, crumbling to 146/5 in the 24th over.

 

India's chances of victory were fading away until two youngsters-- Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif decided to turn the tables. The duo stitched a 121-run partnership to save India from an embarrassing defeat. Yuvraj scored 69 runs off 63 balls, while Kaif remained unbeaten on 87 runs to guide India to one of the most popular ODI victories ever with three balls remaining.

There were small but important cameos from Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan as well at the end of the innings.

The sight of Ganguly waving his shirt from the Lord's balcony got instilled into every Indian fan's heart and soul. Indian fans still reminisce about the celebrations that followed the match. The victory is regarded as a new dawn of Indian cricket where the world saw an emergence of a fearless Indian team.

 

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