South Africa were in India on a historic tour - their first official international cricket tour since their suspension in 1970 due to Apartheid. India were being led by Mohammad Azharuddin while Clive Rice was the captain of South Africa. It was a keenly contested ODI series but with victories in Kolkata and Gwalior, India entered the third and final ODI at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi with an unassailable 2-0 lead.
Two unlikely candidates hit a hundred for India as they amassed 287 for 4 in their allotted 50 overs. Ravi Shastri, the skipper, scored 109 off 149 deliveries - it was one of the 4 ODI hundreds of his career. It was the other ton which was more interesting. Sanjay Manjrekar hammered - an adjective not often associated with his batting - 105 off just 82 deliveries. It was the first and remained the only hundred of his ODI career. It was also the highest strike rate innings of his ODI career. Kris Srikkanth also produced a quintessential Srikkanth innings - a 61-ball 53 opening the innings for India.
Jimmy Cook and Kepler Wessels gave South Africa a fine start and put together 72 for the opening wicket. A hundred partnership between Wessels and Peter Kirsten then put the visitors in the driver’s seat. Wessels was dismissed for 90 but Kirsten (86) and Adrian Kuiper (63 off 41 balls) took South Africa to a stunning 8-wicket win with more than three overs to spare.
It was a historical win for South Africa - Clive Rice had led them to their first ODI victory in what was their first ever ODI series! Ironically, it was the only series he played for South Africa in international cricket! Peter Kirsten was the Player of the Match while Sanjay Manjrekar and Kepler Wessels the Players of the Series.
The series saw the entrance of South African greats like Allan Donald, Andrew Hudson, Peter Kirsten, Brian McMillan and Dave Richardson and marked the beginning of a new dawn for South African cricket.