World Cup 1983: The year 1983 was the year of the world cup as the third edition of the tournament was set to take place in June. England was again declared as the venue to host this biggest cricketing tournament. Just like the previous season, this tournament also had 8 teams divided into two groups of 4 teams each. The tournament was scheduled from June 9th to June 25th. Unlike the 1979 world cup, this world cup had a new team making their world cup debut coming all the way from southern Africa, Zimbabwe, who had replaced Canada.
The league matches began on 9th June where all the teams were pitted against each other on the very first day. Group A had England, Pakistan, New Zealand & Sri Lanka, while Group B had West Indies, India, Australia & Zimbabwe. While the results from Group A were pretty much expected, Group B had a completely contradicting result from the first two matches. The world had witnessed two biggest shocks after a young Indian team defeated the two-time defending champions West Indies, and the newcomers Zimbabwe upsetting the mighty Australia. As the league stage finished, 4 teams qualified for the semis which were, England, Pakistan, India & West Indies.
Semi Final 1: England vs India
The first semi-final between India & England was played at Old Trafford. A three-time semi-finalist England was set to play against the young India, who were playing their first-ever semi-final. England won the toss and chose to bat first. The Indian team had a solid bowling attack and were backing themselves with that. The English batsmen were fluttering against the Indian bowling attack. India bowled out England to 213 after captain Kapil Dev clinched 3/35 in his 11-over spell.
In response, India got off to a good start with Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil scoring their half-centuries. Mohinder Amarnath’s 46 helped the team reach the total in less than 55 overs and India emerged victorious. This came as a big blow to the home team as the minnows, India had defeated them to reach their first ever final of the world cup.
Semi Final 2: Pakistan vs West Indies
Pakistan and West Indies clashed against each other in the second semi-final. West Indies won the toss and put Pakistan to bat first. West Indies had one of the most lethal bowling attacks in the world. Pakistan couldn’t withstand their bowling and were bowled out for a mere 184. The West Indies responded like a champion after brilliant knocks from Vivian Richards (80 off 96 balls) and Larry Gomes (50 from 100 balls). West Indies won the match by 8 wickets and Viv Richards was adjudged as the man-of-the-match.
THE FINALS OF THE WORLD CUP 1983
West Indies vs India
The big day had finally arrived as the finals of the 3rd edition of the world cup was set to take place in Lord’s. A young and confident India had a daunting task of facing the defending champions West Indies. While the Caribbeans were eyeing for their straight third title, India was hoping to create history, by being the only other team to lift the cup. Both teams looked strong after having a brilliant run in the tournament. India were further motivated as they had defeated the Windies in their previous fixture.
THE CHAMPIONS DECIDED TO FIELD FIRST
West Indies won the toss and chose to field first. The Caribbeans were known for their bowling attack and they lived upto their name by making it very difficult for the Indian batsmen to survive. West Indies literally ripped apart the Indian batsmen, with only Kris Srikkanth (38 off 57 balls) and Mohinder Amarnath (26 off 80 balls) manage to score for the team. India were bowled out for a mere 183. The target looked achievable by the Windies which boasted top-class batsmen like Viv Richards, Larry Gomes among others. With the target being so low, the defending champions were preparing themselves to lift the cup again. However, team India ensured that they don’t let them take it so easily.
THE GREAT INDIAN DEFENCE
As the second innings began, Indian bowlers made full use of the weather and pitch conditions. They were successful in getting the necessary breakthroughs. Though Indian bowlers did not possess the speed and pace as that of the Windies, they sure did have line and length which they were sticking too. As the match progressed further, West Indies started looking weak and after the fall of Viv Richard’s wicket, things started turning away from them.
It was the last ball of 52nd over that concluded the match. India rewrote the history by winning the World Cup finals, defeating the two-time champions West Indies. What’s even more surprising is the fact that the team were able to defend such a low total in such an important match. Well, the little prep-talk by captain Kapil Dev did work out for the team. Just before the second innings, Kapil said “Team if this is not a winning total it’s definitely a fighting total”, which had become one of the most famous quotes in the history books of Indian cricket.
While on one side there were scenes of jubilation and sheer happiness, there was absolute shock and disappointment on the other. A team which was not even considered as favourites at the start of the tournament had won the title, with their captain Kapil Dev lifting the cup with all its glory. This was the beginning of an era which had dawned on June 25th 1983. However, this was the last time that West Indies were ever featured in a World Cup final.
FACTS FROM WORLD CUP 1983
The highest team total during World Cup 1983 was scored by Pakistan. The Asian giants scored 338/5 against Sri Lanka.
David Gower scored 384 runs in this tournament making him the highest run-getter.
Kapil Dev’s 175* off 138 was the highest individual score in World Cup 1983. Kapil Dev & Syed Kirmani added 126* runs for the 9th wicket. The best 9th-wicket partnership in World Cup history.
India’s Roger Binny finished with 18 wickets in the tournament – the highest.
The best bowling figures were registered by West Indies’ Winston Davis – 7/51 against Australia.
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