Eighth match

VB Series

Soumya Bhattacharya

At Adelaide, January 24, 2004 (day/night). India won by three runs. India 5 pts, Zimbabwe 1 pt. Toss: India.

Laxman had another peerless day. After a run-filled Test series and two one-day hundreds against Australia, he hit another, against this less testing attack, and also held two spectacular catches as India, pushed to the brink for two games running, shoved Zimbabwe aside in a thrilling, finalover finish. Dravid and Gavaskar gave Laxman, who faced 138 balls, good support, enabling India - three down for four at one stage - to rattle up 280. But Zimbabwe's reply was built on resolve, determination and two classic innings: an even-ball hundred from Ervine and a slightly slower one from Carlisle. It was the first time two batsmen had made centuries in a Zimbabwe one-day innings but, as in India's last game against Australia, twin hundreds could not bring victory. Ervine and Carlisle's beautifully paced stand was worth 202 - a Zimbabwean record for any wicket - but once Ervine was run out at the end of the 46th over, with 33 needed, the chase lost momentum. The result confirmed that Australia and India would contest the finals.

Man of the Match: V. V. S. Laxman. Attendance: 8,680.

© John Wisden & Co