It was a memorable experience even though no lion or cheetah wandered about during the World Cricket Legends exhibition match between past cricketers from India and South Africa, organised by Beyond Boundaries, at the Phinda Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal here yesterday.
From left: Jaideep Parmar (event organiser), South Africa captain Mike
Procter, India captain Kapil Dev and umpire Rudi Koertzen before the
toss in Phinda Game Reserve yesterday. Pic/Donald Woodrow
Thankfully, the rain stayed away, making play possible on the artificial wicket created by Durban-based curator Phil Russell in the game reserve. Mike Procter's South Africa comfortably chased down the 99-run target set by Kapil Dev's men in the stipulated six-overs-per-side affair.
"It was one of the most memorable matches that I have played in my life. I never thought playing in the wild would be possible, but we made it," said Roger Binny.
Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar gave a cracking start to India, putting on 47 runs with Sandeep Patil. Skipper Kapil Dev finished the Indian innings with some spectacular shots, hitting three fours and two sixes off the last over bowled by Paul Adams.
Adams and Peter Kirsten started off brilliantly in reply before Graeme Pollock played a gritty knock in the last over to see the hosts through.
The players enjoyed great camaraderie on field. Kirsten tried to payback in same coin for his infamous run out in the 1992 Port Elizabeth ODI. Though Kapil was well inside the laws of the game when he ran Kirsten out in the second one-dayer at the non-strikers end. It was perceived as going against the spirit of the game.
"I had planned to do a similar thing, but in a friendly gesture, if I got the opportunity today. Luckily, I got one. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since that incident," Kirsten said.
Adams, who foxed many batsmen with his unusual action, was almost unplayable. Vengsarkar admitted that he failed to pick the first ball of his over. "I did not know how to play that ball. Nevertheless, it was a great experience playing in the wild," he said.