London [UK], June 11 (ANI): On this day in 1975, India clinched their first-ever win in a One-Day International (ODI) match, defeating East Africa in their Group A tie of the inaugural Cricket World Cup 1975 at Headingley, Leeds.
Having played their first ODI in July 1974 against England in which they faced a four-wicket defeat, India was not the favourite heading into the World Cup. After suffering a humiliating 202-run defeat against England in the opener, India was set to face debutants East Africa, an associate team.
Winning the toss, East Africa elected to bat first. Indian bowlers made the most out of their relatively weak opponent and bundled them out for just 120 in 55.3 overs. Except for Jawahir Shah (37) and Ramesh Sethi (23), none of the batters could stay long on the crease.
Pacers Madan Lal (3/15), Syed Abid Ali (2/22) and Mohinder Amarnath (2/39) terrorised the opposition with their bowling. Bishan Singh Bedi also cast a spell with his bowling though he got one wicket. In a spell of 12 overs, he conceded only six runs and delivered eight maidens.
The target of 121 was a cakewalk for the Indian batters as they put up their best batting show in the tournament, ending at 123/0 with Sunil Gavaskar (65) and wicketkeeper-batter Farokh Engineer (54) scoring half-centuries.
India had cruised to victory by ten wickets. This was their solitary win in the tournament and they crashed out in the group stages after a loss to New Zealand. This tournament was also East Africa's solitary appearance at cricket's marquee event, in which they lost all their three matches.
Engineer was named as 'Man of the Match' for his brilliant half-century and impressive wicket-keeping.
India has emerged as a formidable ODI giant since then, winning two ICC Cricket World Cups (1983 and 2011) and one ICC Champions Trophy (2013).
The 'Men in Blue' have given the world some of its greatest ODI batsmen. Sachin Tendulkar tops the batting charts in this format with 18,426 runs in 463 matches. Virat Kohli (12,311), Saurav Ganguly (11,363) and Rahul Dravid (10,889) also appear in the top ten.
In bowling, many Indian bowlers have left their mark and Anil Kumble has taken the most wickets for India in this format with 337 scalps. He sits at number 10 in the bowling charts.
India has so far played 1,002 ODI matches, having won 521 and lose 431. Nine matches have ended in a tie and 41 produced no result. India's victory percentage in the 50-over format is 54.68 per cent. (ANI)