Cricket Classics

India v New Zealand, 5th ODI, 1999, Delhi

Thursday, April 10, 2022
Sportz Interactive
When: November 17, 2021
Where: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
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  • Teams well matched-up: The Kiwis had good all-rounders in their side while the hosts’ strong batting line-up was their plus point.
  • New faces in Team India: The hosts brought in many new faces to replace experienced players. Youngsters like Devang Gandhi, Tinu Kumaran and MSK Prasad replaced experienced campaigners like Azharuddin and Nayan Mongia.
  • Aiming for first ODI series win: The Black Caps were gunning for their first ever series win in the limited version of the game against India on the latter's home soil.
  • ‘Fab 3’ in good form: Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly were in top form throughout the Test and ODI series.
  • Loss of speedster Nash: The Kiwis received a major blow when seamer Dion Nash injured himself during the first ODI at Rajkot.
  • India and New Zealand are two teams that have always done well on their respective home turfs. The performances of the two nations have always been on par when they face each other. The Kiwis came on this particular tour to India with a team which had a nice mixture of senior players like Fleming, Cairns, Twose, Astle and Parore and the youth of Vettori, McMillan and Nash.

    After a highly-competitive Test series, both the teams headed into the one-day matches with the same mode of aggression. The hosts won the battle 1-0 in the longer version of the game by edging out New Zealand in the Kanpur Test. Even in the one-day games, the two countries fought hard and the 5-ODI series was leveled at 2-2 when the action shifted to Delhi for the series decider.

    The Indian selectors spurred surprises when they selected some young faces in MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi, Harbhajan Singh, Vijay Bhardwaj, T.Kumaran and Sunil Joshi. Mohammad Azharuddin who was in the twilight zone of his career was not picked which came as a shocker. Even an experienced player like Nayan Mongia was shown the door before the series against New Zealand.

    The fifth one-day was a day game at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. The atmosphere was good with the crowds filling the stands with lots of expectation from their respective teams. Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming won the toss and decided to bat first. The 22-yard track was very flat and plenty of runs were expected to pour from the batsmen’s willow.

    Difficult start

    In-form batsman Nathan Astle came out to open the innings with his able partner Craig Spearman who was in good nick too. The visitors needed an aggressive start from their two attacking openers. Srinath gave a major breakthrough for India when he trapped Astle LBW for seven runs at the start of the fifth over. The Indian seamers capitalised on this early success by bowling some tight line and length and not leaking any free runs.


  • White Clothing:  The teams were not sporting coloured clothing despite it being an ODI series
  • India’s new ball bowlers comprising of the experienced Javagal Srinath and young Kumaran did an exceptional job of putting pressure on the Kiwi batsmen from ball one on a batsman-friendly track.
  • All the Indian players displayed sharpness and athleticism on the field to restrict the visitors from milking easy singles. Vijay Bhardwaj along with Robin Singh were livewires on that day patrolling the boundaries very well.
  • Spearman soon succumbed to the pressure by edging a straightforward catch to Dravid at second slip off Tinu Kumaran. Ganguly made himself useful on the day with his medium-pacers by accounting for Fleming’s wicket. The New Zealand captain scored a watchful 22 runs. The visitors were struggling at 58-3 from 21 overs at that juncture.

    Fighting effort

    The Black Caps needed someone to steady the ship at that stage. Seasoned campaigners Roger Twose and Chris Cairns resurrected the innings by sharing a 66-run stand for the 4th wicket. Twose particularly was very cautious throughout his innings. The gifted southpaw scored a patient 47 runs off 94 balls; an innings which included just two boundaries. His partner Cairns played a proactive role in their partnership by scoring 41 runs off 57 balls. The strong-built Kiwi all-rounder powered two sixes and four boundaries during his innings.

    Miserable collapse

    Cairns fell leg before wicket to Robin Singh in the 36th over. Twose pushed around for sometime before he top-edged a catch to Bhardwaj off Sunil Joshi who took his first wicket in as many as four matches. Adam Parore failed to accelerate the scoring rate in the death overs and was clean bowled by Kumaran. The Tamil Nadu lad then dismissed Alex Tait to scalp his third wicket. The right arm seamer finished with outstanding figures of 3-24 from 9 overs in just his second ODI. This particular bowling effort from Kumaran remained the best figures in his ODI career.

    © AFP
    Thiru Kumaran claimed career-best best bowling figures of 3/24

    Scott Styris and Daniel Vettori were run out cheaply on two runs each as New Zealand ended up mustering an unimposing179-9 in 50 overs. Chris Harris remained unbeaten on 12 runs. All the Indian bowlers were impressive as they chipped in with a wicket each. Strike bowler Srinath’s bowling figures of 1-31 from 10 overs were instrumental in restricting the Kiwis to a low total. The visitors lost their last five wickets for just 27 runs in six overs.

    India had a formidable opening pair in Tendulkar and Ganguly who started the proceedings with the willow in the previous four ODI matches. But this time, skipper Tendulkar had other ideas as he gave debutant Devang Gandhi an opportunity to open the innings by pushing himself in the middle-order. The Gujarat-born batter had a good outing against the Black Caps in the Test series scoring 200 runs in 3 matches at an average of 50.

    Calm and collective start


    Ganguly scored an entertaining 153 runs off 150 balls in the third one-dayer at Gwalior to help his team take a 2-1 lead in the series. The final ODI saw the left-hander stamping his authority in the series with a match-winning knock of 86 runs.

    Ganguly and Gandhi made sure that their team did not face any hiccups in their initial overs. The duo went at a steady rate adding 70 runs in the first 20 overs. The latter particularly looked in no hurry as he scored 30 runs off 67 balls with five boundaries to his name. The hosts were cruising along well at 117 runs until the visitors struck in the 27th over. Youngster Chris Drum got Devang Gandhi trapped LBW giving his team a late breakthrough.

    Sourav Ganguly, who was second on the leading run-scorers list, again displayed some excellent class and style to destroy the Kiwi attack. The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ looked in sublime touch smashing 12 cracking boundaries and one big six. The southpaw made sure that his side had the game and the series in their grasp with a fine innings.

    Few Hiccups

    The elegant opener’s 86-run knock came to an end when he was out stumped by Parore off a well-flighted Vettori delivery. Tendulkar’s decision to come down the order did not work in his favour as he spooned an easy return catch to Vettori to get out for a second ball duck. It was 12th time in Sachin's career when he failed to open his account.

    With India needing just 24 runs with plenty of overs in hand, all-rounder Vijay Bhardwaj came to the crease. He along with Dravid ensured that there were no further interruptions by sharing an unbeaten 25-run stand for the 4th wicket to take India past the New Zealand total.

    Dravid and Bhardwaj remained not out on 29 and 17 runs respectively and the hosts won the match with seven wickets in hand and 36 balls to spare. With the convincing win in the final ODI, India clinched the series 3-2.


  • With the series win against New Zealand, India maintained their impressive record intact of not losing an ODI series on home soil since losing to West Indies in 1987-88. Of the 11 series played since then, India had won 9 and drawn 2.
  • The fifth ODI at Delhi was the final one of seamer Chris Drum’s career. He was never picked in the Kiwi one-day side again.
  • Roger Twose became the 29th Kiwi player and the 209th overall to play in 50 one-day matches.
  • When Sunil Joshi dismissed Twose in the fifth ODI, he became the 15th Indian to complete 50 wickets in ODI matches.
  • It was India’s third ever ODI series win against the Kiwis. The victory was a good morale-booster for the subcontinent team before their tough tour of Australia. Ganguly’s brilliant show with the willow earned him the Man of the Match award in a low-scoring affair, while a tally of 301 runs at a staggering average of 75.25 saw the ‘Bengal Tiger’ pocket the Man of the Series honour too.

    The victory against New Zealand in both versions of the game meant India continued their domination in their own backyard throughout the nineties. It was also one of the few cherished moments during Tendulkar’s captaincy stint. 

    Ganguly topped the chart of the leading run-scorer in the series with 301 runs. With an average of 75-plus in five matches, Ganguly deservingly won the Man of the Series award with a ton and a half-century to his name. His Man of the Match award in the Kotla ODI was his 18th which equalled him with former skipper Mohammad Azharuddin in the tally for MOM awards.

    Brief Scores

    India 181/3 (Sourav Ganguly 86. Devang Gandhi 30, Daniel Vettori 2/46) defeated New Zealand 179/9 (Roger Twose 47, Chris Cairns 41, Thiru Kumaran 3/24, Javagal Srinath 1/31)

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