The Month in Cricket

South Africa's rebirth, and Hadlee's one-man show

November is a month of epic Eden moments, and tales of redemption

Australia's first world title, when they beat England in the final of the 1987 World Cup in Calcutta, heralded two decades of dominance. David Boon led the way with 75, and Mike Veletta's 31-ball 45 righted a mid-innings wobble to take them to 253. England had the chase within control at 135 for 2, when their captain Mike Gatting, played a much-reviled reverse sweep, top-edging Allan Border to the wicketkeeper. Australia made the most of this slip, and tight death bowling, especially from Steve Waugh, helped them to a seven-run win. Border was chaired around the ground in front of 70,000 fans.
Allan Border holds the World Cup aloft, Calcutta, November 1987 1987:Eden hails Australia
For years, New Zealand's bowling attack was all about one man: Richard Hadlee. In the first Test in Brisbane in 1985, bowling off a run-up of just ten paces, in humid and cloudy conditions, Hadlee took the four wickets to fall on an opening day that was cut short by bad light. On the first hour of the second day, he blasted out another five for 17, inducing edges to the packed slip cordon. When Geoff Lawson swung to midwicket off Vaughan Brown, Hadlee took the catch, which meant he could no longer take all ten in the innings. He finished with figures of 23.4-4-52-9, and added six in the second innings to finish with 15 for 123. New Zealand won by an innings and went on to take the series 2-1.
Richard Hadlee celebrates a wicket, Australia v New Zealand, 3rd Test, MCG, 3rd day, December 28, 1987 1985:Hadlee's Gabba monopoly
The release of Nelson Mandela from prison brought an end to South Africa's apartheid era and to the country's cricketing isolation, which had lasted over 20 years. India, among the most vociferous in shunning links with the country for decades, was instrumental in bringing South Africa back into the fold. Following a series of meetings between Ali Bacher, the former South Africa captain turned administrator, and the Indian board, South Africa had India's crucial vote in the ICC meeting in July 1991. Barely four months after readmission, South Africa were in India for a three-match ODI series. Eden Gardens was filled with over 90,000 fans for the first game and it was an emotional moment for Clive Rice and his team. India won the low-scoring match despite Allan Donald's five-for, but the game itself was a sideshow on a historic day. Rice summed it up: "I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he stood on the moon."
South Africa's Clive Rice leads his team back into international cricket, India v South Africa, first ODI, Calcutta, 10 November, 1991 1991:South Africa's moon landing
The second time a Test was drawn with the scores level. The dead-rubber third match between India and West Indies in Mumbai had the makings of a drab draw… until the final day. West Indies lost their last eight wickets for 43 - all to spin - leaving India with 243 to get in 64 overs. They were in command until Virat Kohli's dismissal, at 224 for 7, and after that when a composed R Ashwin shepherded the tail,.India also had the edge when the final over began, needing three runs with two wickets in hand. The tension mounted as Fidel Edwards sent down three consecutive dot balls to the debutant Varun Aaron. A misfield at mid-off got Ashwin back on strike. He survived an lbw appeal off the fifth ball but couldn't sneak a run. He drilled the final ball to long-on but didn't turn quickly enough for the second, and was run out.
Darren Sammy is happy after saving the Test off the final ball, India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai, 5th day, November 26, 2011 2011:A Wankhede thriller
The birth of one of the most controversial fast bowlers in history. England's Harold Larwood - a one-time coal miner - was the chief purveyor of Bodyline, a tactic devised by Douglas Jardine to strangle batsmen with packed leg-side fields and intimidatory short-pitched bowling. Larwood's frightening pace made him Jardine's hatchet man in the 1932-33 Ashes in Australia, and his 33 wickets in five Tests propelled England in the rancorous series. It was to be Larwood's last series, though. Bodyline created diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Larwood, who was just carrying out orders, refused to apologise. Contrary to his on-field aggression, he was a recluse off it. He migrated to Australia after World War II and, ironically, was embraced by the same people who had earlier barracked him. He died in Sydney in 1995.
Harold Larwood 1904:Beware the coal miner
Despite being part of a struggling Test team, Zimbabwe's Andy Flower would have been able to command a place in a World XI around the turn of the century by virtue of his dream run in 2000 and 2001. The tour of India in November was to mark the start of a purple patch - by the end of 2001 he had amassed 1518 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 116.76 with five centuries and seven fifties. In the two India Tests, he had scores of 183 not out, 70, 55 and 232 not out. Strikingly, he consistently reverse-swept the spinners on turning tracks. It was the best performance by any batsman in a two-Test series in India. Even as his team languished near the bottom, Flower rose to No. 1 in the rankings.
Andy Flower sweeps, Zimbabwe v South frica, 1st Test, Harare, 3rd day, September 9, 2001 2000:Flower turns Bradman