First One-Day International


At Calcutta, November 10. India won by three wickets. Toss: India. South Africa's first officially blessed representative match in almost 22 years, first one-day international and first-ever game against India attracted a crowd widely claimed as beating the world record for a day's cricket of 90,800. However, Jagmohan Dalmiya, president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, said Eden Gardens now contained 90,452 seats and estimates putting the attendance higher included all the various officials, pressmen, policemen and peanut vendors.

The cricket was a disappointment and India's victory was easier than the margin suggested. South Africa were obliged to bat at 9 a.m. when the ball swung in the Calcutta smog and, understandably, the batting was nervy since 90,000 people, many of them throwing firecrackers, were able to create quite an atmosphere even if they did not break the record. Wessels's 50 was made too slowly. South Africa were given some hope when Donald took three wickets in his first four overs, but Tendulkar and the débutant Praveen Amre took India towards victory. Even in defeat, the South Africans were still overwhelmed by the occasion: I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he stood on the moon, said their captain Rice.

Men of the Match: A. A. Donald and S. R. Tendulkar.

© John Wisden & Co