An incredible 142 runs from Vice-captain Dave Houghton fought excruciating humidity and took underdogs Zimbabwe to within three runs of victory against New Zealand. In the early days of the Reliance World Cup 1987, the Zimbabwe batsman almost took another phenomenon to stop them from striding through the home stretch.
Massive crowd chattering and screaming at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium expecting Zimbabwe to upset New Zealand. And all those who had turned up were adequately satisfied with the fight between the two nations.
The curly-haired Houghton’s conjured up a magical hundred off 136-ball innings in 178 minutes, including 13 fours and six sixes, and his eighth-wicket stand of 117 with Butchart was a new one-day international record. New Zealand, put in, made 242 for 7, with newly-promoted opener Martin Snedden contributing an unorthodox 64 and Martin Crowe a stylish 72. Captain Jeff Crowe scored 31 off 35 balls. Experience bowler John Tricos took 1 wicket for 28 runs in 10 overs.
Zimbabwe slumped to 104 for 7 and looked to be heading for a heavy defeat, only Andy Pycroft managing to double figure. But Dave Houghton’s breathtaking knock, which lost a stone in weight during his innings, and Ian Butchart had other ideas. New Zealand was unable to stop boundaries struck to all corners of the ground.
The wicketkeeper-batsman heroic innings ended in the 47th over. As the runs had come in rapid time, New Zealand had shown a great deal of panic. Therefore, Zimbabwe was in sight of the target, when 22 was needed from 21 balls as Martin Snedden had run in.
However in the 47th over, Houghton played a big shot over midwicket, but Martin Crowe runs backward and took an amazing catch to remember for a long time. This was a great catch in the history of the cricket world cup. This was indeed a miraculous inning that had been brought to an amazing end by an equally unbelievable catch.
Once Dave Houghton departs that tail could not quite continue the momentum, Ian Butchart being run out 54 off 70 balls in the final over to end the Zimbabwe innings. It was the end of a thrilling drama.