The Ekana Cricket Stadium, also known as Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, is a ground situated in the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
A seating capacity of 50,000 makes it the fifth largest international cricket stadium in India. Taking into consideration all the cricket stadiums in India, the Ekana Cricket Stadium has the longest straight boundaries among them all.
As far as the domestic circuit is concerned, the venue is home to the Uttar Pradesh cricket team. It will also serve as the home ground for the Indian T20 League franchise Lucknow Super Giants from 2023.
In July 2019, BCCI approved the venue as the third home ground for the Afghanistan team in India after Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun and Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida.
So far, it has hosted only one bilateral series in the men’s discipline, the Afghanistan vs West Indies series in 2019. Two years later, it hosted all the matches of the India Women’s bilateral series against South Africa Women.
Here, we will have a look at the ODI records and stats of the stadium.
Ekana Cricket Stadium ODI records
Highest total: The highest total in an ODI match at the Ekana Cricket Stadium is 269/3 made by South Africa women in the fourth ODI of the South Africa Women tour of India 2021. Courtesy of Poonam Raut’s ton and Harmanpreet Kaur’s half-century, India Women posted 266/4. In reply, Proteas’ top-order batters chased the target quite convincingly, with Lizelle Lee, skipper Laura Wolvaardt, Lara Goodall, and Mignon du Preez all scoring their respective fifties.
In men’s cricket, West Indies’ 253/5 in the third ODI of the aforementioned Afghanistan vs West Indies series is the highest total at this venue.
Lowest total: 157/10 is the lowest total in an ODI recorded at the Ekana Cricket Stadium. In the second ODI of the South Africa Women tour of India 2021, the visitors were bundled out for 157 thanks to veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami’s 4/42.
With a target of 158 in sight, Smriti Mandhana (80 off 64) and Punam Raut (62 off 89) sealed the win with more than 20 overs to spare. However, the result was the only win for the Women in Blue in the ODI leg of the tour, as South Africa won the following three ODIs to clinch the series 4-1.
Meanwhile, the men’s team of Afghanistan was bowled out for 194 in the first ODI of the Afghanistan vs West Indies series in 2019, recording the lowest score at the venue.
Highest individual score: Lizelle Lee’s 132* in the third ODI of the South Africa Women tour of India 2021 is the highest individual score at this venue. The knock, which consisted of 16 fours and two sixes, helped her team to a six-run win by D/L method. Moreover, the Proteas opener finished the ODI series as the highest run-getter, with 288 runs in four matches, at an average of 144 and strike rate of 86.22.
West Indies’ Shai Hope is the only male player to hit a century at this stadium, making him the highest individual run-getter among men.
Best bowling: Legendary pacer Jhulan Goswami’s 4/42 remains the best bowling figures recorded at the Ekana Cricket Stadium. In the second ODI of the South Africa Women tour of India 2021, Goswami’s breathtaking spell took the Proteas’ batting line-up by storm as they were bowled out for 157. India Women cruised to an easy nine-wicket win in that contest.
West Indies Pacer Sheldon Cottrell’s disciplined spell of 3/29 in the second ODI of the Afghanistan vs West Indies series in 2019 is the best bowling figures for men.
Highest partnership: South Africa Women’s pair Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt stitched together an opening stand of 169 runs, the highest partnership in ODIs recorded at the stadium. In the first ODI of the South Africa Women tour of India 2021, Mithali Raj played a fighting knock of 50 off 85 to steer India to 177/9. In reply, Lizelle Lee and Laura Wolvaardt single-handedly won it for their team, with each scoring 83* and 80 respectively.
West Indies’ Shai Hope and Roston Chase’s 163-run third wicket stand in the first ODI of the Afghanistan vs West Indies series in 2019 is the highest partnership registered at this venue.
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Featured photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE / AFP