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World Cup flashbacks: When Raju punched the air thinking India had won and got run out

Venkatapathy Raju

Bengaluru, May 7: India had been constantly battered in that summer by Australia in a long tour Down Under and the two teams met each other again, this time in the 1992 World Cup.

The venue was Gabba, Brisbane, and both the teams were without a win at that point of time.

Australian captain Allan Border won the toss and elected to bat first in a game that was threatened by rain and powered by Dean Jones's 90 and David Boon's 43, the hosts made of 237 for nine in 50 overs.

Indian spearheads Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar took three wickets each while Venkatapathy Raju, who would be a central character towards the end of the game, took one. Ajay Jadeja, who got his first full game, took a blinder of a catch to dismiss Border.

Shastri's slow batting, draconian rule

The Indian chase started badly as Krishnamachari Srikkanth was castled by Craig McDermot without scoring after playing 10 balls. The other opener, the current Indian coach -- Ravi Shastri -- scored at a snail's pace (25 off 67 balls) putting his team under immense pressure.

Rain intervened in the 17th over when India were 45 for one and once the match resumed, India's task was made tough by the draconian rain rule. The revised target was 236 from 47 overs which meant only two runs were reduced, but three overs were deducted.

Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin was in a good nick that day after India lost Shastri and then Sachin Tendulkar (11) cheaply, Kapil Dev was promoted up the order.

The former India skipper was one of the few surviving members of the one-run loss in Chennai (then Madras) five years earlier and played a brisk knock before being trapped in front by Steve Waugh.

The generally slow Sanjay Manjrekar then came up with a 42-ball 47 and added 66 runs with Azharuddin for the fifth wicket. However, the skipper's run-out in the 43rd over put a brake on India's chase and with Manjrekar falling with the score at 216, the match seemed to be slipping out of India's hands.

India needed five off four

In the final over that Tom Moody bowled, India required 13 runs and Kiran More's two consecutive boundaries raised India's hopes again. With five required off four balls, India looked favourites for a moment but Moody bowled a shuffling More.

The next man Manoj Prabhakar was run out after scoring a run and India were left to score four off the last ball. The crowd had started celebrating even before the final ball was bowled and had to be sent off from the ground.

Javagal Srinath was on strike and he connected the ball well and for a moment, it seemed that it was going out of the arena which resulted in non-striker Raju punching the air in celebration and shaking hands with Srinath midway through the pith without completing the run.

But the fighter in Waugh kept on chasing the ball and though he missed the catch as the ball descended, his throw was bang on target.

Srinath asked Raju to continue running and as they were about to take the third run, which would have at least forced a tie, Waugh came up with a precise throw from the boundary that saw Raju falling short of the crease with stand-in wicket-keeper Boon whipping off the bails off as India fell short by one run.

It was history repeating itself after Chennai. But If Raju had not paused, the result would have been different for sure!

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 11:55 [IST]
Other articles published on May 7, 2019
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