In cricket, often players just turn out to be one-match wonders, where they are remembered for just one stand-out performance. Such is the case with former left-arm spinner Sunil Joshi. Though a talented player, his career never really took off as the way it should have, but the match against South Africa on September 26 1999, at Nairobi, will always be fresh in fans' minds for his outstanding bowling figures of 10-6-6-5.
South Africa back then boasted of a line-up that had Jaques Kallis, Lance Klusener and Hansie Cronje. In a nutshell, it was the best ODI team on paper. Whereas India was sans the services of Mohammad Azharuddin and Anil Kumble. Joshi was the one who took the bull by its horn and wreaked havoc on the Proteas.
Joshi scalped Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, Hansie Cronje, Jonty Rhodes and Shaun Pollock. And the rest is history. The Karnataka bowler bowled six maidens and gave away six runs in his quota of 10 overs. According to Wisden, it was the third most economical analysis (0.60 runs per over) by anyone completing his full quota of overs. Bishen Singh Bedi’s 12-8-6-1, during the 1975 World Cup, had a better economy rate (0.50) against East Africa.
This effort by Joshi ensured that South Africa was bundled out for 117. India achieved the target with ease in just 22 overs.
South Africa 117 in 48 overs (Jacques Kallis 38; Sunil Joshi 5 for 6, Nikhil Chopra 3 for 26) lost to India 120 for 2 in 22.4 overs (Sadagoppan Ramesh 36, Sourav Ganguly 38; Derek Crookes 2 for 47) by 8 wickets.