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Who would have predicted that: Andy Flower shines on debut with century in 1992 World Cup against Sri Lanka

Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep
Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower prepares to reverse sweep
©Reuters

In our feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.

 

Zimbabwe have this uncanny ability to stun bigger oppositions, particularly on the big stage. In 1983, they beat Australia by 13 runs and almost went past New Zealand in the next edition. Another such inspired performance by the team was on display at the 1992 World Cup in the debut match of Andy Flower.

 

 
Match Summary

 Zimbabwe 312/4 (50 overs) - Andy Flower* 115 (152), Andy Waller* 83 (45); Pramodya Wickramasinghe 2/50 (10), Asanka Gurusinha 2/72 (10)

 Sri Lanka 313/7 (49.2 overs) - Arjuna Ranatunga* 88 (61), Athula Samarasekera 75 (61); Eddo Brandes 3/70 (10), Dave Houghton 1/19 (2)

Result - Sri Lanka won by 3 wickets

 

In the first match of both Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and the third match of the tournament, Andy Flower debuted for Zimbabwe. He came out to open the innings and looked the part.

Flower remained unbeaten on 115 off 152 deliveries in an innings laced with 8 fours and 1 six. He got good support from Andy Waller (83*) as the team posted 312 runs on the board.

In the modern age, where scores of 350 are chased without breaking a sweat, this might not seem much but in 1992, you hardly lost after posting 300+ on the board.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Wayne James), 2-57 (Andy Pycroft), 3-82 (Dave Houghton), 4-167 (Kevin Arnott)

 

Sri Lanka though did not get the memo. The bare pitch and the extremely small square boundaries also helped them as openers Roshan Mahanama and Athula Samarasekera added 128 runs.

Things were perfectly managed by Arjuna Ranatunga who was calmness personified at the crease. He remained unbeaten on 88 off 61 deliveries and struck 9 fours and 1 six in a knock played at a strike rate of almost 145 to see the team home in the last over.

Andy Flower went on to play 213 ODIs in which he scored 6,786 runs at an average of 35.34 and added three more ODI centuries to his tally.

 

Fall of wickets: 1-128 (Athula Samarasekera), 2-144 (Roshan Mahanama), 3-155 (Asanka Gurusinha), 4-167 (Aravinda de Silva), 5-212 (Sanath Jayasuriya), 6-273 (Hashan Tillakaratne), 7-309 (Ruwan Kalpage)

 

Teams

 

Sri Lanka - Roshan Mahanama, Athula Samarasekera, Aravinda de Silva (c), Asanka Gurusinha, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sanath Jayasuriya, Hashan Tillakaratne (wk), Ruwan Kalpage, Champaka Ramanayake, Kapila Wijegunawardene, Pramodya Wickramasinghe 

Zimbabwe - Andy Flower (wk), Wayne James, Andy Pycroft, Dave Houghton (c), Kevin Arnott, Andy Waller, Iain Butchart, Eddo Brandes, Kevin Duers, Malcolm Jarvis, John Traicos

 

Match Details

 

Match: SL v ZIM, 3rd Match, Benson Hedges World Cup, 1992 

Date: Sunday, February 23, 1992 

Toss: Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bowl 

Venue: Pukekura Park, New Plymouth 

Umpires: Piloo Reporter, Steve Woodward 

 

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