October 30, 1994 – When Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia dead batted in an ODI chase
India were needing 63 runs to win from the last nine overs with five wickets in hand.
Updated - Oct 30, 2018 1:46 pm
In 1994, India hosted the Wills World Series, a tournament of seven matches including the final involving West Indies and New Zealand. India won their first two games against the visiting side and qualified for the final while the first game between Windies and the Kiwis ended in a washout. India took on the Caribbean team in the reverse fixture in Kanpur. West Indies were in search of a win to make it to the final.
India, who opted to bowl first, ended up conceding a century opening stand. Phil Simmons (65) and Stuart Williams (45) added 115 for the first wicket before both got out to Sachin Tendulkar. Windies were reduced to 130/3 from 115/0 and their run-rate was little under four runs an over. Keith Arthurton played a crucial knock for his side scoring 72 off 62 balls with four fours and a six. As many as 49 runs were scored in the last five overs by the Caribbean side to finish on 257/6.
A ridiculous chase
Manoj Prabhakar anchored the Indian chase with the runs coming at a quicker pace from the other end. Though there were no big hits during the Indian innings, they moved to 195/5 by the 41st over with another 63 runs to get. Nayan Mongia joined Prabhakar at the crease and the duo began to dead bat to everyone’s surprise. The pair added five runs in the next four overs and 11 more runs in the final five overs to finish on 211/5. As a result, Windies won the game by 46 runs.
Prabhakar finished unbeaten on 102 off 152 while Mongia made four off 21 deliveries. New Zealand went winless in the tournament losing the last two matches. India and Windies faced again in the final at the Eden Gardens where India lifted the series title by a thumping 72-run win. Tendulkar was named as the player of the final and also the player of the tournament.
Reactions to the chase:
Match referee R Subba Row fined India two points and he alleged India to have preferred West Indies in the final and played accordingly. However, his decision was later reversed by ICC on the grounds that the match referee had no right to do the same. Prabhakar and Mongia were banned for the remainder of the tournament and were replaced by Chetan Sharma and Vijay Yadav. Allegations forced BCCI to set up a one-man investigation committee headed by retired Chief Justice Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud.
In an interview in 1997, Prabhakar stated, “Mongia came in to bat and conveyed the management’s instruction to try and get as close to the target. The resultant hullabaloo about my going slow would be directed at the team management and not me as I was doing so under their instructions.”
Not so great birthday for Walsh
The West Indies captain Courtney Walsh was celebrating his 32nd birthday during the Kanpur ODI. However, he received a forgettable bday present when a spectator hit a glass bottle at his head. The West Indians left the ground and the police had to intervene in making the play resume. There was a stoppage for 12 minutes before resumption without any reduction in the overs.