Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The World of Cricket World Cups - Part 3 - 1987

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Description automatically generatedIndia’s win in 1983 created a huge market for the game in the Indian subcontinent, resulting in the showpiece event coming to India and Pakistan, sponsored by Reliance. The teams and format were same, but the number of overs were reduced to 50 per innings from 60 overs, as the daylight in Indian subcontinent doesn’t last as long as it does in England. India was drawn in Group A with Australia, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. India lost its opening match to Australia by an agonising margin of 1 run but won all the remaining 5 matches after that to top the Group. India unearthed a new hero in Navjot Singh Sidhu, who became famous as ‘sixer Sidhu’  for hitting sixes at will. Pakistan were the toppers in Group B. This resulted in the following semi-final line up- India facing England in Mumbai and Pakistan facing Australia in Lahore. The stage was set for a mouth-watering Indo-Pak clash in a World Cup final in Kolkata.

But what happened was an anti-climax. Both India and Pakistan lost the semi-finals. England were the runners-up in 1975 and 1979 respectively and wanted to win the trophy this time. It was a very closely contested final at the Eden Gardens, with Australia emerging victorious by 7 runs, restricting England to 246. English captain Mike Gatting was playing very well and looked on course to take his team to victory, until he played a reverse sweep and handed over the initiative to Australia. The Aussie team were not given much chance during the World Cup, but team performances in each match ensured that they won the silverware for the first time ever under the captaincy of Allan Border.
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DHCF Nishant Raizaday for diehardcricketfans

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