Three times the entire team received the Man of the Match award | Daily News

Three times the entire team received the Man of the Match award

The Pakistan team pose with the Man-of-the-Match award
The Pakistan team pose with the Man-of-the-Match award

Cricket, despite being a team game, individual players exert a much bigger influence on the outcome of a contest in comparison to other sports.

When a bowler runs into bowl at the batsman, it is a battle between two players and the result in a cricket match is decided by a series of such contests.

Thus, the Man-of-the-Match award in cricket is generally given to the player who has played the most significant part individually in his team’s performance on the day.

Mostly given to a player from the winning side, there have been many instances when a player from the losing team has also bagged the award.

However, instances when the whole team was awarded the Man-of-the-Match award in cricket, have been few and far between. In fact, it has happened only thrice in international cricket’s 142-year long history - once in Tests and twice in ODI’s.

The decision doesn’t necessarily mean that all the eleven players in the side played a major role in the team’s victory per se, but keeping statistics aside, it is a token of appreciation for the part they part in a collective win.

Let’s have a look at the circumstances that led to such a decision being taken by the adjudicators in detail.

4TH ODI, NEW ZEALAND TOUR OF

WEST INDIES AT GEORGETOWN, APRIL 3, 1996

Match Summary: New Zealand 158 all out (35.6 overs) beat West Indies 154 all out (49.1 overs) by 4 runs

The first instance in international cricket when the whole team was awarded the Man-of-the-Match was in April 1996 when the victorious New Zealand team bagged the honour for their collective effort in a thrilling 4-run win over West Indies at Georgetown.

Heading into the 4th ODI of the five-match series trailing 2-1, the visitors knew that they had to win to remain alive in the contest and they did just that, albeit after a big scare.

Things weren’t looking good for the Black Caps halfway through the game, as they were dismissed for 158 after being put into bat by West Indian skipper Courtney Walsh.

Craig Spearman was the top-scorer with 41 with only skipper Lee Germon, Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns managing to reach double-figures for the Kiwis in addition to the former.

With the New Zealand innings winding up within 36 overs, there was still time for the West Indies batsmen to start their run-chase but it didn’t go the way the home crowd were hoping for.

Gavin Larsen provided the early breakthroughs the New Zealanders were desperately craving for, getting rid of Stuart Williams and the dangerous Brian Lara who was looking in ominous form, hitting Dipak Patel for three consecutive boundaries.

With West Indies struggling at 39/3, New Zealand knew that they could defend their low-total and continued to exert their stranglehold on proceedings in the post-lunch session as well.

The bowlers gave little away with their line and length and kept picking up wickets at regular intervals, with Phil Simmons the fourth to go after a 29-run stand for the 4th wicket.

Jimmy Adams and Roland Holder added 36 runs for the 5th wicket and were threatening to take the game away from the opposition when Chris Harris ran out the former for 11. While Holder managed to keep his wicket intact, wickets kept falling in a flurry at the other end, as West Indies were reduced from 104/4 to 120/8.

Curtly Ambrose and Holder added 32 runs for the ninth wicket and were just 7 runs away from winning the series for their side when the former fell to Justin Vaughan and Walsh’s dismissal in the final over by Chris Cairns left Holder stranded at one end on 49, thereby giving the Kiwis a memorable win.

3RD ODI, PAKISTAN TOUR OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND, AT NOTTINGHAM, SEPTEMBER 1, 1996

Match Summary: England 246 all out in 50 overs lost to Pakistan 247/8 in 49.4 overs

Togetherness may not be one of Pakistan cricket team’s biggest strengths, but they are the only side apart from New Zealand to have collected a Team Man-of-the-Award in ODI cricket.

The match in question was the 3rd and final ODI of the three-match series against England in 1996 when they put in a spirited performance to claim a consolation win having lost the first two matches.

Nick Knight might have reasons to feel aggrieved as his unbeaten knock of 125, where he carried the bat for the hosts after opening the innings, was overlooked after Pakistan clinched a thrilling 2-wicket win with two balls remaining.

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, England lost Alec Stewart’s wicket early on, caught and bowled by Wasim Akram.

The hosts managed to put up a few partnerships with Knight being the cornerstone and despite England’s next highest-scorer after Knight being 30 by skipper Michael Atherton, they managed to post 246 runs on the board in their 50 overs.

Akram was the leading wicket-taker for Pakistan with 3 scalps while Waqar Younis, Shahid Nazir, and Saqlain Mushtaq bagged a couple each. The visitors started off brightly in their run chase with Shahid Anwar and Saeed Anwar putting on a quick-fire 93-run stand for the opening wicket before the former was dismissed for 37 in what was his first and only ODI. Saeed Anwar fell for 61 with the Pakistan scoreboard reading 114/2 and it was followed by a 63-run stand for the third wicket between Amir Sohail and Ijaz Ahmed.

Sohail’s dismissal for 29 however triggered a mini-collapse as Pakistan were reduced from 177/2 to 199/6. The fall of wickets also had an effect on the required run-rate as it crept up to the 6-runs-per-over mark to put the visitors in a tight spot.

Ijaz Ahmed fell for 59 with the target still 28 runs away but wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif kept his cool with a 28-ball 31 to help his side clinch victory by 2 wickets with two balls remaining.

5TH TEST, WEST INDIES TOUR OF SOUTH AFRICA AT CENTURION, JANUARY 15-18 1999

Match Summary:

Result: South Africa won by 351 runs

The only instance of all eleven players from a side sharing the Man of the Match award in Test cricket happened in 1999 when the South African team were bestowed with the honour following their 351-run against West Indies at Centurion in January 1999 that helped the hosts complete a 5-0 series whitewash.

It was a tour to forget for the Carribean side and the 351-run loss at Centurion was their biggest defeat until that time in Test cricket in terms of margin of runs.

It started off brilliantly for the visitors as they reduced the Proteas to 18/3 after winning the toss and electing to field first.

Things only went downhill from that point on for Brian Lara’s side though as a century by Mark Boucher and a knock of 83 by Jacques Kallis helped the hosts score 313 runs in their first innings with Courtney Walsh picking up 6 wickets for his side.

In reply, only Lara, who top-scored with a 77-ball 68 and Shivnarine Chanderpaul who scored 38, managed to reach double-figures as West Indies were bowled out for just 144, giving the hosts a 169-run first innings lead.

Allan Donald led the rout with a five-wicket haul while Shaun Pollock and Lance Klusener bagged a couple each. Kallis also got into the act, picking up the final wicket to fall.

The Proteas continued their dominance over the hapless opposition in the second innings as well as centuries from Gary Kirsten and Jonty Rhodes propelled them to 399/5 before skipper Hansie Cronje declared the innings, setting West Indies a target of 569 runs. Though the visitors fared better second time around, it was never going to be enough as they were bundled out for 217 with Ridley Jacobs top-scoring with 78 runs.

For South Africa, Paul Adams took four second-innings’ wickets after failing to get to bowl a single delivery in the first innings. Kallis, who won the Player-of-the-Series award, bagged a couple while even Darryl Cullinan also managed to pick up a wicket, getting rid of tailender Mervyn Dillon. - SK


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