On this day in 2002, the Indian cricket team recorded one of their most iconic overseas victories when they beat a strong English side at home to win the Natwest Tri-Series, which included also Sri Lanka. India reached the final having topped the points table with 19 points, having won four games, losing one and one game failed to produce a result. England were in second place with three wins, two losses and no results. They had a total of 15 points. India had beaten England once and Sri Lanka three times, while England had beaten SL twice and India once. Sri Lanka were disappointing, having won one game and lost five.
The final took place at Lord’s, the UK’s most iconic venue for cricket. A formidable English line-up with Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, skipper Naseer Hussain, Michael Vaughan, Andre Flintoff, Darren Gough met India’s energetic young team with Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, supported by veteran stars like Sachin Tendulkar, skipper Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.
WATCH India beat England in the NatWest Trophy Final HERE…
cre Trending Stories
Yuvi Kaif Show #UNTHISDAY 13-07-2002. __ returned to Lord’s for another, no less stunning victory over __ in the NatWest Series final. __ 146 for 5 in pursuit 326 for the win then @YUVSTRONG12 & @Mohammad Kaif added 121 before Kaif sealed a 2-wicket winpic.twitter.com/OeRhxme52b— Zohaib (Cricket King) ___ (@ Zohaib1981) July 13, 2023
After choosing to bat first, England went 325/5 in their 50 overs. Skipper Naseer scored 115 on 128 balls, with 10 fours. He had a stand of 185 runs with Marcus Trescothick for the second wicket. The southpaw Trescothick also scored a brutal 109 on just 100 balls, with seven fours and two sixes. Versatile Andrew Flintoff played a 40-for-32 support shot.
The Indian bowling range has been taken to cleaners. England’s wicked and ferocious hitters left no corner of the Lord’s untouched. Zaheer Khan (3/62) was the bowlers’ choice for India, but he also received his share of knocks. Ashish Nehra (1/66) and Anil Kumble (1/54) also took wickets.
India needed 326 points to win the final. But the possibility of an Indian victory seemed doubtful as during this period India had often made a mess in big chases. The youngsters on the team also didn’t have much experience in big games to calm nerves and chase smoothly.
Fly-half Sehwag (45 from 49 with seven fours) and Ganguly (60 from 43 with 10 fours and a six) nevertheless gave India the start they wanted, scoring 106 from just 15 overs. After the dismissals of both openers, India lost control with a few quick wickets. Ronnie Irani and Ashley Giles had struck, getting big wickets from Sachin (14) and Dravid (5).
With India at 146/5 in 24 overs, without much experience and established hitters remaining in the lineup, youngsters Yuvraj and Mohammed Kaif played with responsibility and helped India to 250 runs. They sewed up a 121-run sixth-wicket stand, which Collingwood finished by dismissing Yuvraj for 69 (63 balls), which consisted of nine fours and a six.
Kaif continued to fight with the tailenders. He sewed up a valuable 47-point stand with Harbhajan Singh, who scored 15 points worth their weight in gold. Kaif and Zaheer (4 not out) helped India seal a two-wicket win with three balls to go. Kaif was India’s hero, scoring 87 from just 75 balls with six fours and two sixes.
#Feedback on that momentous day when we ensured our tricolor flew high with pride __
This meeting should have been called NaTEST instead of Natwest because it “tested” us on so many levels! __
The victory would not have been possible without the efforts of all the teammates,_ pic.twitter.com/b7rrc1DlPQ
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) July 13, 2023
Irani, Giles and Flintoff took two wickets each, but India pulled off a heist, emphasizing their fighting spirit and attacking play. The most iconic image related to this match came after the victory, with Sourav Ganguly taking off his shirt on the Lord’s Balcony and waving it with expressions of anger and joy on his face. He had avenged a similar act committed by Flintoff at Wankhede’s Stadium in 2002, India’s most iconic venue and, in a way, the center of Indian cricket. Ganguly’s act signified the coming of a fearless new India, which would meet no challenge by lying down. The team beat a top class team at home.
This is considered to be one of India’s best wins abroad as not only did it help India win the three-series title but future match winners like Yuvraj, Sehwag, Harbhajan and Zaheer have gained a lot of experience which would help India win the inaugural T20. World Cup (2007), ICC Cricket World Cup (2011) in the next ten years or so.