Only a single phrase defines Jonty Rhodes, the South African player. It is, ‘The Flying Cricketer’. Rhodes has surpassed the human limits in field with his superb fielding and actions of dismissals on the cricket ground. These feats make him a super-cricketer who established himself as the icon of fielding in cricket circuit. Rhodes was born on July 27, 1969, the player is 48 years today. Here are two instances, among others, which made the achievements of the player unique.
The Infamous Run Out of Inzamam-ul-Haq and his record five catches against West Indies are remarkable. It was the world cup match between South Africa and Pakistan on 8 March 1992. South Africa scored 211 batting earlier leaving Pakistan to chase. However, rain forced the inning to reduce, restricting the play until the 36 overs and a revised target of 194 for Pakistan. Rhodes’ histotic action came when Pakistan was 135 for 2. On crease were Inzamam and Imran Khan, the former batting at 48. At this moment, Inzamam ran for a single, but Khan returned him. As Inzamam ran towards the stumps, Rhodes dived with the ball in his hand crushing into the stumps. The result; Inzamam was run out.
This was not only the turning point of the match, but also the career best moment for Jonty Rhodes. South Africa won the match by 20 runs, as Pakistan’s batting line-up wobbled with the wicket of Inzamam.
The next feat was in the match against West Indies on November 14, 1993. In the match Rhodes became the top player to achieve most dismissals as a fielder. He took five catches in the match taking his team to the victory stretch. It was in the Hero Cup fixture at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. South Africa scored only 180 batting for 40 overs.
The chase was easy for West Indies. In fact, Rhodes was not even in the Primary XI of the team. He did not play the first inning. It was Darrel Cullinan, who retired hurt and replaced by Rhodes. With Rhodes fielding West Indies batting line-up toppled like a deck of cards. The player dismissed five wickets with catch outs. He was awarded Player of the Match even if he was not in the first XI of the team. This is the first time it happened in cricket history.
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