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Watch: ’One of the greatest catches seen ever in Test cricket’ – Adam Bacher ends Sachin Tendulkar’s 169

by Abhishek Mukherjee 3 minute read

Watch: At Newlands in 1996/97, Adam Bacher held a ridiculous catch to end Sachin Tendulkar’s masterful 169.

After defeating South Africa 2-1 at home, India were blown away in first Test match of the return series, in Durban. They were bowled out for 100 and 66, lasted 73.2 overs across the two innings, and lost by 328 runs inside three days.

Things seemed to take a similar turn in the second Test match, in Cape Town. After South Africa declared on 529-7, India were quickly reduced to 58-5. Until that point, they had lost 25 wickets in the series, for 224 runs. Nothing had prepared anyone for what followed.


In a dazzling display of aggression in contrasting styles, India captain Sachin Tendulkar (169 in 254 balls, 26 fours) and former captain Mohammad Azharuddin (115 in 110 balls, 19 fours, one six) put on 222 in 40 overs of mayhem. The South African attack – Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Brian McMillan, Lance Klusener, Paul Adams – fell apart.

Azharuddin, who dominated the partnership with some unorthodox strokes, some of which bordered on the ridiculous, was eventually run out by Andrew Hudson. But Tendulkar, the more conventional of the two, continued, taking more of the strike as he ran out of partners.

When the No.11, the debutant Dodda Ganesh, walked out, Tendulkar decided to give it the full throttle. When McMillan tried to bounce him from round the wicket, Tendulkar pulled – and everyone at the ground waited to see whether the ball would clear the ropes.

Almost everyone, that is. Adam Bacher, stationed some distance inside the boundary between deep square-leg and deep mid-wicket, ran backwards and to his left. When he realised the ball would soar over him, he stopped and leapt , his right hand stretched upwards. Almost miraculously, he held the ball as he tumbled on to the ground.

“One of the greatest catches seen ever in Test cricket,” admitted Sunil Gavaskar on air.

Despite that absurd partnership, India were bowled out for 359, and South Africa won by 282 runs to take the series.

Watch Adam Bacher’s catch here:


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