Cricket

On this day: Yuvraj Singh and Mohamamd Kaif script memorable victory for India in NatWest Trophy final

  • FirstCricket Staff
  • July 13th, 2020
  • 13:27:48 IST

On this day, 18 years ago, Sourav Ganguly-led India chased down England's 325/6, to lift the Natwest Trophy.

Winning the toss and batting first, England posted a mammoth total on the board, courtesy centuries by opening batsman Marcus Trescothick and captain Nasser Hussain.

It was an era where India were not known to be a good chasing side in limited-overs cricket and fared poorly in the finals of the multi-nation tournaments as well.

With a target of 326 in front of them, Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag got India off to a flying start as the opening pair put on 106 runs for the first wicket inside 15 overs.

However, things turned around suddenly as the wickets began to tumble, and almost eight overs later, India were 146/5, inching closer to another setback in the finals.

Indian players Yuvraj Singh (L) and Sourav Ganguly jump on winning batsman Zaheer Khan as Tinu Yohannan runs in after India won the Natwest series Final at Lords, July 13, 2002. India beat England's score of 325 with 3 balls remaining. REUTERS/Stephen Hird SH/cmc - RP3DRHZVCQAB

Rahul Dravid (left) and Sourav Ganguly celebrate with Mohammad Kaif after India won the
Natwest series Final at Lords, July 13, 2002. Reuters

However, India's two young batsmen - Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad kaif - played inspiring knocks, putting on 121 runs for the sixth wicket to breathe life in India's chase.

Yuvraj smashed 69 off 63 balls before departing. When he walked back, India still needed 59 runs to win, with the tail now being exposed.

Kaif took complete charge of the proceedings after Yuvraj left and with some support from the tailenders, helped India cross the finish line. He was declared the Player of the Match for his career-defining innings of 87 (75 balls).

The Natwest trophy final is also remembered for Ganguly's wild celebrations on Lord's balcony where he took off his shirt and waved it as his teammates watched on. The celebration is seen by India fans as a reply to Andrew Flintoff's similar celebrations when England had toured India earlier. However Ganguly, in a series of interviews, has said that it happened in the heat of the moment and nothing was pre-planned.

The victory completely changed India's outlook in ODIs and saw them rise as a strong limited-overs team. The next year, they reached the finals of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa and beat Pakistan in Pakistan in a bilateral series.

Updated Date: July 13, 2020 13:27:48 IST

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