A victory off the last ball. There can't be a more exciting finish than this and while there have been quite a few such results in the history of one day internationals, the six-match series between India and England on the 1992-93 tour could not have gotten off to a better start. For England won the first game at Jaipur by four wickets off the last delivery.
Kambli and Tendulkar matched each other in both stroke and run production. It was the left-handed Kambli's 21st birthday and he could not have wished for a better gift than an unbeaten 100 which ensured him the man of the match award.
The man of the match however was on the losing side. Put in to bat before a capacity crowd at the Sawai Man Singh stadium on a cool January morning, India could not have made a worse start with the loss of Navjot Sidhu without a run on the board in the second over. Vinod Kambli entered at this stage but soon lost Manoj Prabhakar, who made a quick 25. Paul Jarvis had taken both wickets. Mohammad Azharuddin too did not last long, out leg before to Chris Lewis for six.
Three down for 59 was no way to start an innings but now Sachin Tendulkar joined his old Bombay school chum and there was a sudden transformation. The two put the bowlers to the sword while sharing an unbroken 164-run stand for the fourth wicket. Kambli and Tendulkar matched each other in both stroke and run production. It was the lefthanded Kambli's 21st birthday and he could not have wished for a better gift than an unbeaten 100 which ensured him the man of the match award.
He faced 149 balls and hit nine fours and a six. Tendulkar finished on a brilliant 82 not out, compiled off just 81 balls, hitting six fours and a six as India could post a challenging total of 223 for three in 48 overs.
Kapil Dev gave an early breakthrough by removing skipper Graham Gooch for four in a total of 29. But then vice-captain Alec Stewart took over. First, he added 56 runs for the second wicket with Robin Smith (16). This was followed by a third wicket stand of 60 runs between Stewart and Mike Gatting (30). By the time Stewart was third out at 145 for 91, the match was nicely balanced. Stewart played the spinners Anil Kumble and Venkatpathi Raju particularly well and twice he used his feet to hit the left arm spinner over the ropes.
He faced 126 balls and besides the two sixes, hit six fours. Neil Fairbrother and Graeme Hick (13) supplied the necessary acceleration at a vital stage by adding 39 runs for the fifth wicket. Prabhakar and Kapil came back to bowl the final overs but the left-handed Fairbrother was equal to the task. He and Chris Lewis inched England towards the target and when Prabhakar started the last over, six runs were required for victory. The bowler was left to rue an overthrow of his own penultimate delivery that enabled England to draw level. A scrambled single off bat and pad from the last ball signaled a pulsating victory. Fairbrother remained unbeaten on a timely 46, made off only 38 balls with the help of five fours and a six, and Lewis on eight. England went on to take a 3-1 lead before India took the last two matches and ensured that honours remained even.