The much speculated 2nd T20 between India and Australia will take place at the Barsapara Stadium tomorrow, thus marking the international debut of the magnificent stadium which has a capacity of 60,000 spectators. Till today, Nehru Stadium in Guwahati was the only ground which hosted international cricket matches in the city. On the eve of the much awaited game, let’s take a walk down the memory lane and rewind to the sixteen international cricket matches the city has hosted in the past.
- India vs West Indies, 1983– It was the first ever international match played in Guwahati. Earlier that year, India had won the World Cup by defeating the mighty West Indies and the Caribbeans took revenge by whitewashing Indians in the five one day series in their home soil. This was the fifth match of the series which India lost by six wickets. India could manage a paltry 178 batting first and West Indies chased the score in just 41.4 overs. India’s Ghulam Parker was the player of the match.
- India vs Sri Lanka, 1987– India registered their first victory in Guwahati with this match by defeating Sri Lanka by 8 wickets. In this complete one sided affair, the islanders were bowled out for 145 and Indians chased the score in less than 30 overs thanks to Sunil Gavaskar’s 70 from 83 balls. Expectedly, Little Master Gavaskar won the man of the match.
- India vs West Indies, 1987– Guwahati hosted another match in the same year but its outcome was not happy for Team India. Despite restricting West Indies to 187 in this 45 over match, Indians couldn’t chase the paltry total and were bowled out for just 135. Caribbean captain Viv Richards won the man of the match for top scoring for his side with 41.
- India vs Zimbabwe, 1993– India defeated Zimbabwe easily in a 28 over match played in 1993. Zimbabwe scored 149/6 in 28 overs with Grant Flower top scoring with 51. Indians chased the score easily by losing just 3 wickets. Grant Flower was the player of the match in this one.
- Sri Lanka vs South Africa, 1993– Guwahati hosted another international match in 1993 and this was a part of the six nations Hero Cup. Sri Lanka was no match for the Proteas as they lost the game by 78 runs. Chasing 214, Sri Lanka was undone by Richard Snell’s pace who picked up 4 wickets for just 12 runs and also the man of the match award.
- New Zealand vs West Indies, 1994– Guwahati hosted another game next year, which was a part of the triangular Wills World Series of Cricket. Caribbeans had a big 135 run win. Guwahatians were treated to some wonderful batting from Carl Hooper (111) and Brian Lara (69). Hooper won the man of the match for his stylish hundred.
- Australia vs South Africa, 1996– Guwahati was treated to a wonderful game between two fierce rivals- the Baggy Greens and the Proteas. Australia managed to score a fighting 238 riding on Michael Bevan’s 79 but South Africa chased the score in 45 overs losing just 2 wickets. Lance Klusener was the man of the match for seeing his team through with a brilliant 88.
- India vs Sri Lanka, 1997– India defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in this game. All rounder Robin Singh was the star of the match by returning with career best bowling figures of 5-22. Expectedly he was the man of the match. Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar also provided ample bang for bucks for the Guwahati crowd with an unbeaten 82 off 86 balls.
- India vs New Zealand, 1999– This was not a happy match for the home team as they were defeated by 46 runs by the Kiwis. Chris Cairns won the man of the match for his brilliant 80. For India, former Assam coach Sunil Joshi had his career best one day score of 61 in this match.
- India vs Zimbabwe, 2002– This was one of the most high scoring matches to be played in Guwahati. Batting first, India scored 333 thanks to a career best 159 not out by southpaw Dinesh Mongia and a hurricane 75 off 52 balls by Yuvraj Singh. Zimbabwe lost the game by 101 runs and Mongia was the man of the match.
- Australia vs New Zealand, 2003– This match was part of the triangular TVS cup. Australia won this low scoring game by 44 runs. Michael Bevan, who continued his solid record on this ground with a brilliant 84 not out which also gave him the man of the match award.
- India vs England, 2006– Guwahati got to host their international match after a long wait of three years but unfortunately this was also washed away by rain without a single delivery being bowled.
- India vs Pakistan, 2007– However, that disappointment was compensated by a pulsating match between the arch-rivals next year. India won the match by chasing down Pakistan’s target of 240 with 5 wickets to spare. Skipper M S Dhoni led from the front with a 63 off 77 balls which also fetched him the man of the match award.
- India vs England, 2008– Looks like an India vs England match is jinxed in this city. This time the game was cancelled not because of rain but the serial bomb blasts in Guwahati and also the terror attack in Mumbai.
- India vs Australia, 2009– India was defeated miserably by the Aussies in a low scoring game. Left arm fast bowler Doug Bollinger was responsible for wrecking the strong batting line of India with figures of 5/35. India was bowled out for just 170. Expectedly, Bollinger was the man of the match.
- India vs New Zealand, 2010– In the last international game played at the Nehru Stadium, India defeated the Kiwis by 40 runs. Guwahatians were treated to a classic ton from Virat Kohli who also won the man of the match award.
Compiled by- Nabarun Guha