Sourav Ganguly match-winning innings: Taunton, Nairobi and Kandy
On BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s 49th birthday, we take a look at three of the former captain’s match-winning innings for the Indian cricket team.
183 v Sri Lanka, 1999 World Cup, Taunton
This one was a record-breaker in every sense. Ganguly put on what was then the highest limited-overs partnership of 318 with Rahul Dravid, who made 145 off 129. Ganguly’s 183 off 158 was then the second-highest individual score in a World Cup match. India’s total of 373/6 in 50 overs was their highest total then in a World Cup game. Ganguly clattered seven sixes and 17 fours.
He took his time getting to the hundred off 119 balls before smashing 83 off the next 39. Sri Lanka were stunned after having chosen to bowl first, and managed only 216 in the chase.
141* v South Africa, 2000 ICC KnockOut semi-final, Nairobi
New captain electing to bat first in a big match and making a big hundred at the top of the order; famously leading from the front, Ganguly hammered a strong South African attack for six sixes and 11 fours.
An opening stand of 66 with Sachin Tendulkar set it up, and partnerships of 145 with Dravid and 82 with Yuvraj Singh propelled India to 295/6. Not done yet after batting for 50 overs, Ganguly ran out Gary Kirsten and also dismissed South Africa’s highest scorer in the match, Mark Boucher (60), as the favourites were bowled out for 200.
98* v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Kandy, 2001
Those were the days when winning a Test match, leave alone a series, in Sri Lanka was big. India had already been defeated by ten wickets in the first Test in Galle. In the second, on a pitch where the first three innings had produced totals of 274, 232 and 221, India were set 264 to win. Openers Shiv Sunder Das (19) and Sadagoppan Ramesh (31) provided a base, but it was mainly down to Ganguly and Dravid again in the absence of Tendulkar. Dravid (75) fell with 70 still needed, but Ganguly took India to a rare away Test win along with Mohammad Kaif.
Featured photo: Twitter/RoyalChallengersBangalore