On this day, 38 years ago, one of the greatest ODI matches was played between India and Zimbabwe. The occasion was the 1983 World Cup quarter-finals and Indian captain Kapil Dev played one of the greatest innings in ODI cricket to help India beat Zimbabwe after all seemed lost.
The match was played at Tunbridge Wells and Dev's brilliance was witnessed by only those present in the stands as the game was not broadcasted. Even though the match was not telecasted, we have all heard the tales of Kapil Dev's amazing knock, how he rescued India from 17/5 and guided them to a respectable total of 266/5 in 60 overs. In reply, Zimbabwe managed to score just 235 runs as India won the match by 31 runs.
Recalling one of the best innings in the history of the games, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday posted a picture of Dev and captioned it, "On this day in 1983: Leading from the front, Kapil Dev went berserk at Tunbridge Wells & slammed 175* off 138 balls against Zimbabwe in the 1983 World Cup!"
Batting first, India were left reeling at 17/5 after Zimbabwe seamers Peter Rawson and Kevin Curran wreaked havoc with their swing bowling. The duo ran through India's top order as openers Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth departed without scoring. The next three Indian batsmen " Mohinder Amarnath (5 runs off 20 balls) and Sandeep Patil (1 runs off 10 balls) and Yashpal Sharma (9 runs off 28 balls) " followed soon as the top five batters shared 15 runs among them.
Indian needed something special, almost a miracle to keep their World Cup hopes alive. And that was provided by their skipper, who lit Tunbridge Wells with his hitting and inspired India's comeback.
Dev shared a 60-run stand with Roger Binny for the sixth wicket as India stuttered their way to 77/6. However, the back-to-back departures of Binny and Ravi Shastri further sunk India's ship.
And after that, it was just a one-man show as Dev raced to his century off just 72 balls. In his next 66 balls, he scored 75 runs as India posted a competitive total of 266/5. Dev's knock was laced with 16 fours and six huge sixes.
Dev was also supported by Madan Lal and Syed Kirmani from the other end. Dev and Kirmani recorded an unbroken 126-run partnership for the ninth wicket and it is still an official ODI record.