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Monday, November 29, 2021

Green Park Tales: From G Viswanath’s dominance, Azhar hitting last of his 3 consecutive tons, to Afridi’s 45-ball blitz

Ahead of India vs New Zealand Test series, here we look at the last five extravagant tales held at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur

By: Sports Desk |
November 24, 2021 6:19:33 pm
Ind vs nzPreparations at Green Park Stadium ahead of the first Test between India and New Zealand, in Kanpur. (PTI)

Green Park, Kanpur, the venue of the first Test match to be played between India and New Zealand has been historically a batting paradise.

However at the same venue, a rookie Malcolm Marshall displayed his all-round brilliance which helped West Indies to trounce India by an innings and 83 runs.

Gundappa Viswanath’s dominance at Green Park

Former India cricketer Gundappa Viswanath has scored the most runs at Green Park in Kanpur in Tests. The right-handed batter amassed 776 runs in seven Test matches at a staggering average of 86.22. He has smashed three hundreds and four fifties at this venue.

It is at the same venue when a dejected Sunil Gavaskar sat in a corner and didn’t speak to his best friend and teammate Gundappa Viswanath after a mix-up. Interestingly, Gavaskar is the second-highest run-scorer with 629 runs.

Azharuddin’s 3rd consecutive ton

It was at this ground where a 21-year-old youngster Mohammad Azharuddin, scored the last of his third consecutive hundreds during his sensational debut in the 1984-85 Test series against England.

The stylish batter from Hyderabad smashed a crafty 122 in the first innings. He followed it with a 54 in the second innings. However, the Test match ended in a draw, but Azharuddin left his mark in some style.

Mohammad Azharuddin scored 439 runs in the first three test matches of his career.

Marshall law on a lively Green Park

On October 22, 1983, West Indies pacer Malcolm Marshall announced himself on the world stage.

Marshall’s evening spell of 8-5-9-4 blew away India. He dismissed India’s top-order Sunil Gavaskar (0), Anshuman Gaekwad (4), Mohinder Amarnath (0), Dilip Vengsarkar (14) with his fiery bowling. Earlier, in the day, Marshall scored a strokeful 92 and put on a 130-run stand with Gordon Greenidge (194) for the seventh wicket.

Marshall removed India’s top-order in the second innings as well. His wickets were Gavaskar (7), Gaekwad (5), Roger Binny (7) and Vengsarkar (65).

West Indies won the match by an innings and 83 runs.

Mysterious batting by Prabhakar and Mongia pair

During Wills World Series in 1994 against West Indies, the pair of Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia batted mysteriously with India needing 63 runs to win from the last nine overs with five wickets in the hut.

Batting first, West Indies posted 257/6 in 50 overs. Centurion Manoj Prabhakar anchored the Indian chase and India at 195/5 in the 41st over were looking favourite to win the match.

Nayan Mongia joined Prabhakar at the crease and the duo surprised everyone with their dead batting. The pair added five runs in the next four overs and 11 more runs in the final five overs. India finished on 211/5. West Indies won the match by 46 runs.

Prabhakar remained unbeaten on 102 off 152, while Mongia scored four off 21 balls.

Shahid Afridi’s 45-ball blitz at Green Park

Shahid Afridi smashed a swashbuckling century off 45 deliveries as Pakistan trounced India by five wickets in Kanpur.

The destructive opener hit 10 boundaries and nine sixes in a brilliant 102 off 46 balls to help Pakistan chase down India’s 249/6 in 42.1 overs.

Rahul Dravid and Mohammad Kaif (78) helped India recover from early blows by Rana Naved-ul-Hasan to post 6 for 249 from 50 overs after electing to take the first strike.

Naved removed the formidable opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in his first three overs and dismissed Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the fourth as India slipped to 3 for 26 after electing to bat on the slow wicket.

Dravid and Kaif put on 135 for the fifth wicket and Mongia, who came in for Ganguly, made an unbeaten 33 off 28 balls.

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