On this day: India hosted first floodlight match at JLN Stadium in New Delhi

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File photo of JLN Stadium.

In the 1980s, one day cricket was growing fast. It was the era that saw a lot of changes in the limited over format. From the reduction of overs from 60 to 50 to fielding restrictions to playing under floodlights in colour kits, cricket was changing to how we know it now.

Cricket was already fast-gaining popularity in India after their World Cup triumph and at this time BCCI decided to bring floodlight cricket to India. As Australia has already set the precedence by hosting matches under the lights, it was the first time for India to host a day-night match.

Although Delhi had an international stadium in the form of Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, the honour of hosting India’s first floodlight match went to Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium as they already have light towers. 

The first match of Australia’s 1984-85 tour of India was scheduled for the historic occasion. The two teams faced each other in the iconic opening game of the ODI series. Thousand of Delhi-ites poured into the stadium to witness the historic night. 

This match will be remembered for Kepler Wessels as he was making his comeback from a knee injury. He played a spectacular knock of 107 helping Australia to set a target of 220. That century remained his only century in one-day cricket

There was hardly any chance for the Indian team, as they lost wickets constantly. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev attempted a comeback but that was not enough to avoid defeat as Australia won the match by 48.

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