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A historic day for the Kiwis when they won their first-ever ICC tournament

Before the 2015 World Cup, New Zealand mostly could reach Semi-final and not further. However, 15th October 2000 was a historic day for New Zealand cricket when they won the first-ever ICC tournament.

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Last updated: 15.10.2019
A historic day for the Kiwis when they won their first-ever ICC tournament | Sports Social Blog

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Before New Zealand’s consecutive appearance to the World Cup Finals in 2015 and 2019, throughout their cricket history, the black caps were known as underachievers. They used to perform well in most of the ICC tournaments but mostly they could reach Semi-final and not further. However, 15th October 2000 was a historic day for New Zealand cricket when they won the first-ever ICC tournament by beating India in the ICC Champions Trophy which was known as ICC Knock Outs back then.

The concept started in 1998 where top 9-10 teams of the ICC rating used to take part in a knock-out style tournament. South Africa won the first one in Bangladesh and the 2000 edition was scheduled at Gymkhana Ground, Nairobi.

India came with a pretty young team, Sourav Ganguly was made captain only a few months back and future legends like Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan were yet to make their international debut. Despite a young team, India performed exceptionally well. They beat Kenya, Australia, and South Africa to reach the final quite comfortably.

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New Zealand were much more stable team under Stephen Fleming. They were a semi-finalist in the 1999 World Cup and brought most of the same players in this tournament. They beat Zimbabwe in the quarter-final and took the revenge of their 1999 World Cup semi-final loss against Pakistan by beating them in the semi-final.



However, India were still favourite specially due to the fact that Black Caps’ charismatic all-rounder Chris Cairns was suffering from a bad knee and was not certain to play till the last moment. However, Cairns did play and put some breaks on the Indian opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly after they started at a blistering pace. Still, the opening duo added 141 runs in 26 overs. The Kiwis made a good comeback in the second half of the innings and India lost regular wickets. Despite a century from captain Ganguly India ended up with 264/6 with Scott Styris taking two wickets.

India defended 265 earlier against Australia and they got an early boost when opener Craig Spearman and captain Fleming were gone with only 37 runs on the board. There were some contributions from Nathan Astle, Roger Twose, and Craig McMillan but at 132/5 in the 24th over, many thought India pocketed the match. 

However, Cairns played one of the most heroic innings of one day cricket and carried New Zealand with almost in one leg. He got an able ally in Chris Harris and the duo added 122 runs in 25 overs. Venkatesh Prasad finally got rid of Harris in the 49th over but with only 11 required off nine balls, New Zealand reached a memorable win with two balls to spare. Cairns reached a well deserved hundred and remained not out after playing the most significant innings of his career.


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