From Sunny equalling Sir Don's 29 Test tons to Dhoni blasting 183 against Sri Lanka, Diwali week has given Indian cricket a lot of joy over the years. MiD DAY recalls...
Raining runs: 1979 Delhi Test (Oct 13-18): Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath and Yashpal Sharma hit centuries against Kim Hughes' Australians. The Test match was eventually drawn as Australia (while following-on) scored 413 in the second innings. But, India went on to win the six-match series 2-0 later that winter in Mumbai.
FIREWORKS: At Kolkata's Eden Gardens during the 1987 World Cup
Sunny's 29th: 1983 Delhi Test (Oct 29 -- Nov 3): Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar struck centuries against West Indies. It was a historic Test as Gavaskar notched up 29th Test hundred to equal Sir Donald Bradman's world record tally. Kapil Dev took six wickets in the first innings, but the Test was drawn thanks to a gritty hundred by Clive Lloyd. Nonetheless, Sunny made it a great Diwali for the country.
World cup splendour: 1987 World Cup vs Aus (Oct 22): On Diwali Day, India beat Australia by 56 runs at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. Maninder Singh took 3 for 34 as the hosts avenged their 1-run defeat against Australia earlier in the tournament.
Kiwis downed: 1988 Bangalore Test (Nov 12-17): Navjot Sidhu's maiden Test hundred helped India recover from an early collapse to eventually post 384 against New Zealand. Narendra Hirwani took eight wickets in the match as the hosts won by 172 runs.
At the city of joy: 1991 Calcutta ODI (Nov 10): On the final day of the Diwali week, a historic one-dayer took place between India and South Africa after the latter was reinstated to international cricket. Allan Donald took five wickets, but Sachin Tendulkar's knock of 62 helped India cross the line while chasing 178.
ZIM no problem: 1992 Harare ODI (Oct 25): On Diwali Day, India beat a dangerous Zimbabwean outfit by 30 runs. Sanjay Manjrekar (70) and Javagal Srinath (3-35) engineered the victory for the hosts.
Last ball heroics: 1993 Hero Cup semi-final vs SA (Nov 24): Sachin Tendulkar conceded only three runs in the final over against South Africa at Eden Gardens as India won by 2 runs and booked a berth in the final. It was skipper Mohammed Azharuddin's 90 that rescued India from a collapse.
Dominating windies: 1994 Jaipur ODI vs WI (Nov 11): On Diwali Day, Sachin Tendulkar struck his third career hundred as India beat West Indies by 5 runs to clinch the five-match series by a 4-1 margin. Venkatapathy Raju claimed four wickets as West Indies were bowled out for 254 while chasing a tough target of 260.
Dhoni dhamaka: 2005 Jaipur ODI vs SL (Oct 31): A long-haired MS Dhoni blasted 183 versus Sri Lanka at Jaipur. His thunderous knock meant India chase down a stiff target of 299 with 3.5 overs to spare. With the victory, they took a 3-0 lead in the seven-match series.
Beyond boundaries: 2007 Kanpur ODI vs Pak: On the final day of the Diwali week, India beat Pakistan by 46 runs at Green Park to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Players from both sides had celebrated the festival at Mohali a few days before -- where the second one-dayer was held.
My crickering Diwali moment!
Ashish Nehra: In 2002, when Sourav Ganguly was skipper, we were playing a one-day series against West Indies. We were in Jamshedpur and the locals were really hospitable. It's always nice to celebrate Diwali with teammates because they are also like family members. On tour, you typically end up staying in the room and don't get time to celebrate.
Praveen Amre: It is obviously the last over by Sachin Tendulkar against South Africa in the Hero Cup semi-final at Eden Gardens in 1993. Sachin just conceded three runs in that over and won the game for us (by two runs). It was one of the best games of my career as well. We had struggled to qualify for the semis, so winning the final (against WI) gave us great joy.
Maninder Singh: During the 1987 World Cup match against Australia at Delhi, I remember getting three wickets -- Allan Border, Geoff Marsh and Dean Jones. That was an important win because we had lost to Australia at Chennai earlier in the tournament (by 1 run). There were some crackers in the evening (after we won). But to be honest we didn't celebrate a lot because we were in the middle of a big tournament.
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