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When India brought an end to West Indies supremacy

Updated June 27, 2019

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India had pulled off a sensational win in 1983 to lift the first of two World Cup trophies to end West Indies' dynasty. — AFP/File
India had pulled off a sensational win in 1983 to lift the first of two World Cup trophies to end West Indies' dynasty. — AFP/File

KARACHI: With a star-studded side at Clive Lloyd’s disposal it was unsurprising that the West Indies ruled the world of one-day cricket. They were red-hot favourites to make a hat-trick of World Cup titles in June 1983 on the English soil.

But their dynasty came to an abrupt end in unexpected circumstances as India pulled off a sensational 43-run to lift the first of two World Cup trophies — the other came after 28 years in 2011 — in a low-scoring final at Lord’s. Since then West Indies have never reached a World Cup final.

The cracks in the West Indies had already appeared in the first of the group matches when India at Old Trafford where Kapil Dev’s side successfully defended their total of 262-8 from 60 overs by dismissing West Indies for 228 in 54.1 overs after Andy Roberts and Joel Garner had added 71 for the last wicket.

The return fixture at The Oval, however, was comfortably won by West Indies by 66 runs after Vivian Richards had scored a masterly 119 off 146 balls in a total of 282-9.

And came then the title-decider in which India only managed 183 all out in 54.4 overs. West Indies looked light making a light meal of a modest chase when Richards had raced to 33 off just 28 balls before miscuing a hook off medium-pacer Madan Lal. As the ball sailed high over midwicket, Kapil ran back to bring off a magnificent catch by poaching the ball over his shoulder.

The dismissal of Richards left West Indies struggling at 57-3. With the ball wobbling around, so did the two-time champions. Madan Lal and man-of-the-match Mohinder Amarnath — who at his best was an innocuous sort of bowler with an average speed of just over 120kph — grabbed three wickets each to send West Indies hurtling to 140 all out in 52 overs.

The first time these teams met was during the 1979 World Cup at Edgbaston. Michael Holding took 4-33 to restrict India to 190 all out in 53.1 overs before Gordon Greenidge eased to an undefeated 106 in a nine-wicket rout as West Indies won with 51 balls left.

After their glory of 1983, India suffered a five-wicket reversal against the West Indies in the 1992 event at the Basin Reserve in Wellington before avenging that loss with a similar result in the 1996 World Cup pool fixture in Gwalior.

The next 15 years saw both these teams not playing against each other and they did during India’s triumphant campaign in 2011. Yuvraj Singh stole the show with a wondrous knock of 113 from 123 balls as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s charges posted 268 all out in 49.1 overs. But West Indies crumbled inside 43 overs for 188 after Dwayne Smith had blasted a 97-ball 81.

India maintained their winning sequence in the 2015 World Cup tie when they overpowered the West Indies by four wickets after dismissing them for 182 in 44.2 overs and then chasing the runs in 39.1 overs.

Head-to-head summary:

June 9, 1979 — Edgbaston, West Indies won by nine wickets

June 9-10, 1983 — Old Trafford, India won by 34 runs

June 15, 1983 — The Oval, West Indies won by 66 runs

June 25, 1983 — Lord’s, India won by 43 runs

March 10, 1992 — Wellington (Basin Reserve), West Indies won by five wickets

Feb 21, 1996 — Gwalior, India won by five wickets

March 20, 2011 — Chennai, India won by 80 runs

March 6, 2015 — Perth, India won by four wickets.

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2019