Kiwis last over thrilling win against India

Read the article of Kiwis last over thrilling win against India - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the 9th ODI match played between New Zealand and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne in 23rd January 1986.

India's tenuous hold on its position as world champion of one-day cricket loosened further when it lost to New Zealand in a close encounter at the MCG.

The Kiwis overhauled India's respectable total of 8/238 with just one ball remaining to win by five wickets. The loss placed the reigning World Cup champions at the bottom of the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup ladder, with only two wins from six matches.

New Zealand's victory-largely due to yet another fine innings from 23-year-old Martin Crowe (67), who was named man-of-the-match-looked doubtful early in the night when it fell behind the required run rate of 4.76.

But some big hitting late in the innings by skipper Jeremy Coney, who belted 27 from just 22 balls, and Jeff Crowe, with a sharp 30 from 21 deliveries, took NZ to a victory that should never have been so close.

The win lifted NZ to second place on the ladder and left India with a tough schedule ahead to make the best-of-three finals, especially as it faces the prospect of going into the two matches in Adelaide this weekend without Sunil Gavaskar, who has a back injury.

John Wright and Bruce Edgar, one of the most solid opening pairs in cricket today, began the chase for NZ in their usual fashion-taking no unnecessary risks but still keeping the run rate going. They took the score to 49 before Kiran More, who has impressed greatly behind the stumps since taking over for the injured Syed Kirmani, executed a brilliant stumping off the bowling of Mohinder Amarnath, to dismiss Wright in the 14th over.

But the dismissal provided a bonus for NZ, in the form of Martin Crowe. Before this match he had achieved an excellent strike rate of 82.6, and his innings last night is unlikely to have reduced it
Facing 93 deliveries, Crowe, a magnificent striker of the ball, hit 67 runs. Fluent and aggressive, particularly off his legs, Crowe gave few chances to the Indians who, throughout the night, performed admirably in the field.

It was this tight fielding that restricted Crowe to only two boundaries, but he more than compensated for the lack of big hits with well-timed strokes that so often managed to find the gap between fieldsmen. 

Crowe and Edgar took the score to 112 before Edgar holed out to Dilip Vengsarkar at mid-wicket for a solid, if somewhat staid, 30. Despite Crowe's enterprising play, NZ was still falling behind the run rate needed. With 15 overs left, it needed 102 runs at 6.8 an over-a-target that began to climb as time passed.

John Reid, who, until last night, had been badly out of form, regained it with a sharp 35 from 36 balls. Then Crowe went out in the 43rd over with 54 runs still needed for victory and it seemed that NZ was behind the eight-ball once again. 

Crowe had lofted a well-disguised ball from Kapil Dev to mid-on, where Ravi Shastri accepted the chance, leaving NZ. at 4/185.

New Zealand skipper Jeremy Coney and Martin Crowe's brother, Jeff, then set about shortening the odds of an New Zealand victory. With a little luck, and some fine placement, they repeatedly pierced the field until 16 runs were needed from the last three overs.

Crowe was bowled by Kapil Dev for 30 but with Hadlee at the crease the Kiwis knocked off the runs with one ball to go. Coney finished on 27 not out and Hadlee on one.

The absence of Gavaskar was noticeable from the start of the Indian innings as both Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri began scratchily. Srikkanth looked lost without his regular opening partner and in the ninth over, spooned a simple catch back to bowler Ewen Chatfield, leaving India at 1/15. Four balls later, Shastri played across the line of a ball from Richard Hadlee and was given out Ibw.

At 2/16, a sub-200 score looked certain for the Indians. The run rate was alarmingly low and the top order batsmen were having great difficulty dealing with Chatfield and Hadlee on a pleasant and amiable wicket.