Benson & Hedges World Cup 1991-92, qualifying match


Toss: England.

Ian Botham, at his most irrepressible, won this game for England, though the margin was narrower than might have been expected for much of the game. With an over to go - after Banerjee had lifted Pringle's last ball for six - India needed 11 to win and appeared to have momentum on their side. However, the last of four run-outs, by Botham, settled the result two balls later. Most of the England players had trouble adjusting to the pace of Perth after playing in New Zealand, struggling with the bat or bowling too short. But Gooch, after a scratchy start, marked his 100th one-day international with 51, and Smith hit 91 in 108 balls, including two sixes pulled over the 90-yard mid-wicket boundary. After Fairbrother was out England lost six wickets in five overs.

India's reply rested on contrasting innings from their openers: Srikkanth blazed briefly with seven fours in his 39; Shastri hit only two fours in two and a half hours. Finally, he offered a steepling return catch to Defreitas, who dropped it but threw down the stumps, a manoeuvre that typified the resourcefulness of England's fielding.

Man of the Match: I. T. Botham. Attendance: 12,902.

© John Wisden & Co