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3-min read

Happy Birthday Jonty Rhodes: Some of His Iconic Moments on the Cricket Field

Jonty Rhodes celebrates his 50th birthday today. Here's a look back at some his memorable moments from his cricketing days.

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Updated:July 27, 2019, 2:18 PM IST
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Happy Birthday Jonty Rhodes: Some of His Iconic Moments on the Cricket Field
The iconic moment when Jonty Rhodes run-out Inzamam-ul-Haq
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Jonty Rhodes, the former South African cricketer, often called the greatest fielder the cricketing world has seen till date has applied for the post of Indian Cricket team fielding coach. As the ace cricketer is celebrating his 50th birthday on July 27, 2019, here are 6 of his most memorable cricketing moments to revisit.

ICONIC FLYING LEAP

During the 1992 World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and the then skipper of Pakistan team were at the crease, chasing 212 to win against South Africa. Inzamam tried to heave the ball to the mid-wicket fence but the ball hit his pad and trickled towards backward point.

Inzamam made a few strides forward to take a possible single, but Rhodes was onto it like a hare.

Dashing in from point, he picked up the ball and sprinted towards the stumps, as he was not sure about knocking down the stumps from a distance. Rhodes tried to rush in closer to the stumps as Inzamam turned to return to the crease. Rhodes instinctively decided to fling himself to the stumps and put in a full-length dive, instead of throwing the ball at the stumps. He shattered all three stumps. The leap remains one of the most iconic pictures in cricket.

"Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Jonty!" read the headline of a newspaper the next morning after Rhodes announced himself to the world with this fantastic piece of fielding.

WINNING MAN OF THE MATCH FOR FIELDING

During a Hero Cup match between South Africa and West Indies at the Brabourne Stadium in 1993, Jonty Rhodes not only risen the bar of fielding by innumerable stops but also took five catches in the match. It seemed as if Rhodes covered every inch of the ground.

The crowd roared "Jonty, Jonty!" as he pulled off one catch after another. Brian Lara was caught when Rhodes dived forward to take a skier. The wicket of Phil Simmons dropped as Rhodes flew to his left and clutched the ball with one-handed. Anderson Cummins was then dismissed when Rhodes leapt to his left at point and held another one-handed screamer. The other two catches were fairly simple by Rhodes.

WHEN JONTY RHODES STUNNED SACHIN TENDULKAR

Back in 1997, during India's tour to South Africa for a One-Day International (ODI), the star batsman of India, Sachin Tendulkar hit a wide one through point and could have been a four, but Rhodes dived almost parallel to the ground as he pouched with both hands over the head. Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion stunned as Rhodes celebrated another magnificent feat.

TAKING HIS 100TH CATCH IN ODIS

In 2002, during an ODI between South Africa and Australia, Damien Martyn tried to thrash Makhaya Ntini through point, but Rhodes dived to his right and held it. Even though he had very little time to react, he pulled it off effortlessly. This was Rhodes 100th catch in ODIs.

RACING THE BATSMAN

In 1993, during an ODI between South Africa and West Indies at Cape Town, Desmond Haynes blocked one on the off-side and called for a single to get off the mark. Rhodes sprinted from point the moment he saw Haynes block and reached the ball even as Haynes was struggling to make his ground and dived forward to underarm the ball onto the stumps at the non-striker's end. South Africa were defending only 140 and Rhodes' brilliant run-out helped them begin a great fight back.

DISMISSING LARA IN 1997

In 1997, during an ODI between South Africa and West Indies at Lahore, Carl Hooper dropped one to point and called Brain Lara for a single. Rhodes ran to pick the ball, making people remember the way he run-out Inzamam. With Lara sprinting in, Rhodes dived forward and hit the stumps with an underarm throw. What made this difficult was that he had only one stump to aim at and had to decide whether he wanted to shatter it himself in the split second. Instead, he let the ball go and dismissed Lara.

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