1983 Cricket World Cup And India’s Greatest Victory
Until 1983, the Cricket World Cup had been dominated by the West Indies. They had won the first two tournaments and nine of their 10 matches (the other abandoned without a ball bowled).
1983 Cricket World Cup Group Stages
Then, on 9 June 1983, came a shock. The reigning champs lost a World Cup game for the first time, beaten in their opening pool match by Kapil Dev’s India. It proved only a small tremor, as West Indies cricket team avenged that defeat in a later group-stage game between the two sides, and went on to top Group B – but their aura had diminished a little. They were no longer the undefeated cricket team in the World Cup.
England – hosting for the third year in a row – won Group A, ahead of Pakistan cricketers, and the graceful David Gower finished the tournament as leading scorer, with 384 runs in seven matches.
1983 Semi-final Success
But Gower made just 17 in the semi-final against India’s national cricket team, played at Manchester’s Old Trafford ground. From 69-0, the hosts slipped to 175-7, before Kapil Dev – wicketless to that point – removed the final three batsmen to leave England all out for 213.
Yashpal Sharma’s 61 and Sandeep Patil’s unbeaten 51 took the Indians over the line with more than five overs to spare – setting up another showdown with the West Indies, who beat Pakistan by eight wickets at The Oval in London on the same day.
An Insurmountable Challenge?
India may have been the only team to have beaten the West Indies in a World Cup match, but those memories initially didn’t seem to be helping them in the final, played at Lord’s.
They were put in to bat and the revered pace attack of Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Joel Garner and Michael Holding put India to the sword. Roberts finished with 3-32, Marshall 2-24 off 11 and Holding 2-26, while Garner bowled four maidens in his 12 overs. India were dismissed for just 183, Kris Srikkanth top-scoring on 38.
Sandu And Lal Instigate Indian Recovery
But India’s cricket team had an attack that, while less pacy, were not to be underestimated, particularly in English conditions. They got off to a great start when Balwinder Sandhu bowled Gordon Greenidge for one, although West Indies looked on cruise control when they reached 50-1, with Desmond Haynes and Viv Richards at the crease.
But Madan Lal removed both, with Kapil Dev executing a brilliant catch to account for the legendary Richards, who had made 33 from 28 balls. That was the moment India started to believe. The mists cleared further for them when first Larry Gomes and then Lloyd departed for five and eight respectively – leaving the West Indies reeling on 66-5.
Jeff Dujon resisted for a time, alongside Marshall. Enter, Mohinder Amarnath.
Hero Amarnath Strikes Again Heading To The 1983 World Title
The 32-year-old was man of the match in the semi-final win over England, after scoring 46 and taking two wickets. He also scored 26 in the final, batting at three. But his key contribution was with the ball, taking three of the last four wickets to fall – including Dujon (25), Marshall (18) and last man Holding as India won by 43 runs.
The 1983’s Cricket World Cup victory shocked the world – and it would take India another 28 years to repeat the feat, when they beat Sri Lanka national cricket team in Mumbai in 2011.
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