LONDON – South Africa’s Makhaya Ntini and Jacques Kallis’ match-winning performances in Mohali, India in 2006, and Dakha, Bangladesh in 1998 respectively, are two of a number of outstanding individual feats accomplished in the 19-year history of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Champions Trophy.
Ntini produced a memorably hostile spell on a green pitch in Mohali, India in 2006, to decimate Pakistan’s top order and give SA a comfortable 124-run victory, after SA had only scrambled together a very modest 213 in their innings. Observers said that Ntini “made Mohali look like Durban”. He finished with figures of 5/21 off his six overs.
In the inaugural tournament in Bangladesh in 1998, then known as the ICC Knock-out Trophy, SA’s Jacques Kallis played a pivotal role in getting his team to the final with a commanding 113 not out off 107 balls, in the semi-final against Sri Lanka in Dhaka. It was a rain-affected match, and SA made 240/7 off 39 overs, thanks to Kallis’ powerful stroke-play against a feared bowling attack, Sri Lanka being the reigning world cup champions at that point. Sri Lanka could only make 132 in reply, which gave SA a convincing 92-run win.
FILE: Jacques Kallis at Newlands India vs. South Africa, 3rd Test, Day 4. CREDIT: Flickr
SA would go on to beat the West Indies in the final and record their only success in a major ICC tournament to date. Perennially-disappointed Proteas fans will hope that the 2017 edition, taking place in England and Wales from June 1 -18, will produce a second trophy for SA’s embarrassingly bare cabinet.
A renowned batsman and world cup champion, Aravinda Da Silva, also managed to produce some remarkable bowling performances in his career. In 2002, with his country hosting the tournament, the plucky batting all-rounder returned miserly figures of 1/16 off 10 overs in the semi-final against Australia in Colombo.
This put him in second position (with an economy rate of 1.6 runs per over), behind only South African Dale Benkenstein (1.30), in the list of most economical bowlers in the history of the competition. Australia only managed 162, with Sri Lanka chasing the target down with ten overs to spare. They went on to share the trophy with India, after rain interrupted play on both the allotted days for the final.
Also in Colombo at the same tournament, Zimbabwe’s Andy Flower scored a formidable 145 of 164 balls, surely one of the batsman’s finest innings in the limited format of the game. Regularly in the Top 10 in the ICC rankings for batsman, Flower would have been in agony when his herculean effort was not enough to secure a victory over India, Zimbabwe falling by 14 runs in posting 274/8 in reply to India’s imposing 288/6.
In contrast, Sachin Tendulkar’s innings of 141 off 128 balls against Australia, gave India a mammoth total of 307/8 in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1998. Not content with his display with the willow, he bamboozled Australia’s batsmen, returning figures of 4/38, leaving Australia stranded, all out for 263, giving India a satisfying 44-run win. It is to date, one of the best all-round performances in the tournament’s history, from a batsman who many consider to be one of the finest and most prolific ever to play the game.
FILE: Sachin Tendulkar at the India tour of Australia, 1st Test: Australia v India at Melbourne, Dec 26-29, 2007. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons
The best bowling figures in the history of the tournament were produced by Sri Lanka’s Farveez Maharoof, against the West Indies, in Mumbai in 2006. He bowled 9 overs, including 2 maidens, returning 6/14 with right-arm medium pace, which clearly deceived the hapless team from the Caribbean. They only registered 80 runs, before being bundled out. In reply, Sri Lanka knocked off the target with 36 overs to spare.
African News Agency