On this day South Africa made their return to international cricket with an ODI series against India. They were suspended from international cricket by the apex cricket council in 1970 due to the Apartheid policies of the South African government. After the suspension was lifted, they came to India for an exciting series. The series commenced at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Poor show from South Africa with the bat
The match was cut down to 47 overs per team because of rain. The Indian skipper Azharuddin won the toss and elected to field first to use the moisture in the initial overs. Kapil Dev proved the decision right with an early breakthrough to dismiss Andrew Hudson. India kept the pressure intact on South Africa throughout the innings with wickets at regular intervals.
Kepler Wessels and Adrian Kuiper put a break on the fall of wickets but their 60-run partnership was broken by the “golden arm”, Sachin Tendulkar. Captain Clive Rice tried to stay on the wicket along with Kuiper but both of them were sent back to the pavilion by Manoj Prabhakar. In the end, India restricted South Africa to a low total of 177/8 which looked like a reasonable target for a strong Indian batting order.
A tumultuous run chase
The run chase was made tricky by the South African bowlers. Allan Donald showed his class with the ball as he registered a 5-wicket haul to keep India on their toes. South African bowlers picked up wickets with the new ball. They dismissed the Indian top order consisting of Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Manjrekar, and Navjot Sidhu very early in the innings.
A young Sachin Tendulkar proved his mettle as he stood strong with the experienced Praveen Amre which prevented the Indian batting order from disintegrating. In the end, Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar took India to victory in a tightly contested affair. India chased down the target with 3 wickets in hand to take the lead in the series.