Eight days to World Cup: Bedi creates history against East Africa

In an otherwise forgettable World Cup for India, the left-arm spinner provided the sole bright spark.

Published: 22nd May 2019 07:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd May 2019 07:04 PM   |  A+A-


Bedi finished with figures of 12-8-6-1 | Twitter

Online Desk

One wicket. Two world records. 

That was the Bishan Singh Bedi story in the 1975 World Cup encounter between India and East Africa in Leeds. It was a remarkable game by the left-arm spinner against a thoroughly unremarkable side that helped him enter the record books.

After India's humiliating 202-run loss against England in the opening encounter of the inaugural edition of the World Cup that included Sunil Gavaskar's slow crawl, they needed to bounce back against minnows, East Africa.

After East Africa won the toss and elected to bat first, Bedi took it upon himself to strangle the opposition batsmen.

In an incredible spell of bowling, he finished with not just the world record for most maidens bowled in an ODI but also the record for the most economical spell in a World Cup match.

After coming in as the first change bowler, the left-arm spinner provided the sole bright spark for India in an otherwise forgettable World Cup for India. 

By the time he was finished, Bedi managed to suffocate the batsmen and finished with figures of 12-8-6-1 and an incredible economy rate of just 0.50.

The record for most maidens in an ODI belongs to Bedi for his eight against East Africa. Since then, only Phil Simmons has managed as much (against Pakistan in 1992). He comfortably holds the World Cup record and interestingly the next two bowlers with six also managed that against East Africa in the inaugural World Cup.

ALSO READ | 11 days to World Cup: East Africa's horror show in 1975

His economy rate of 0.50 is the World Cup record for most economical spell (among those who bowled their full quota of overs) and although it was the world record in an ODI as well at the time, Simmons' incredible spell against Pakistan, where he conceded just three runs in 10 overs and picked up four wickets, has since trumped that.

While there are many records that might one day be broken, it is safe to say that this one is probably never going to be broken. 

Despite India's failure to go beyond the group stage in 1975, Bedi's record-breaking exploits ensured that they have at least something to remember the inaugural World Cup by.

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