Published:16 July 2020
After seven years, Vasbert Drakes returned to the West Indies national side as he featured in the 2002 Sri Lanka-hosted Champions Trophy. In their first game the Caribbean team lost to South Africa, and later got Kenya 's best.
They did not qualify for the semi-final however and took the flight to London once the knockouts started. Drakes reached London on September 25 along with his band. He was signed in the 2002-03 SuperSport Series to play for the Border which began on September 20.
He 'd missed the game against KwaZulu-Natal the Border won by 76 runs. Beginning on September 27, they were scheduled to host the Free State team at Buffalo Park in East London. On the eve of the match, Drakes took a long flight as the Border team was set to name the West Indian in play XI despite reaching halfway through the first day. Fortunately, they won the toss for the Border team and elected to bat first, as the International pacer had enough time to reach the venue.
The home side, however, started to lose wickets and were just 35/4 by 11th over. But Pieter Strydom, the Border team skipper, has played a gritty knock to rescue his side. He and Tryon Henderson contributed to the 7th wicket 79 runs in 23 overs.
During his 59-ball 53 Henderson struck 10 fours and got out at 2:08 PM local time. There were no details about Vasbert Drakes, however, who would have reached about 2:00 PM. Strydom got out from 148 deliveries at the 171/8 level after scoring 67.
At this juncture, Border cricket manager Stephen Jones got a phone call from East London airport saying that the aircraft in which Drakes was flying was delayed and would only reach 3:45 PM.
The venue was 11 km drive from the airport and it was uncertain that Drakes would even take the field, let alone bat at No.11 on the first day. Drakes' normal batting position was merely No.7. The Border team lost their 9th wicket after their captain 's dismissal at the score of 172 three overs.
Border's innings ended with Drakes ruled 'Timed Out' because in time he failed to hit the crease. On the second day, Vasbert Drakes finally took the field where he picked up a few wickets as Free State posted 349. Drakes was outside South Africa, and for most of the first day, he was travelling in the air too.
Border bowled out for only 136 in the second essay and lost the game by an innings and 41 runs. In those innings, Drakes scored 7 out of 32 balls batting No.7.