India v New Zealand ODI Final 2000-01

Toss: New Zealand.

Cairns, returning bravely from a knee injury, won the match with an inspirational century that resuscitated a failing run-chase and carried New Zealand to one of their proudest moments. They certainly had to win this one the hard way, after Ganguly and Tendulkar had opened with 141 in just 26.3 overs. However, Tendulkar was stranded by a bad call and, while Ganguly carried on to his second successive hundred, 135 from the final 25 overs represented diminishing returns. Trusting in their deep batting order, New Zealand were aggressive from the start. But when Twose fell 19 runs short of a sixth consecutive half-century, and McMillan followed, the score was an unconvincing 132 for five. It was now that Harris joined Cairns for a cool-headed partnership of 122. Though the required run-rate continued to climb, Cairns refused to be fazed. He hit two sixes, one a glorious straight drive off Kumble into the red clay of the car park in the 47th over, and ultimately the winning run with just two balls remaining.

Man of the Match: C. L. Cairns.

© John Wisden & Co