Ian Chappell picks the best performances on cricket's biggest stage

Gatting's moment of madness

Ian Chappell on the ill-judged stroke that gave Australia the 1987 World Cup (00:00)


Great World Cup Performances

Gatting's moment of madness

Mike Gatting walks off after playing the ill-judged reverse sweep off Allan Border. Gatting's dismissal eventually cost England the final.
The shot that cost England the title © Getty Images

The 1987 final also featured a boil-over. Australia were thought to have no chance of getting anywhere near the final, but they got to the final. They made a reasonable score of 253, but while chasing England looked as though they had things comfortably in hand.

Their captain, Mike Gatting, was at the crease, on 41 off 45 balls. He looked to be in complete control. England were 135 for 2 and they seemed to have the match in hand, when suddenly there was a brain lock by the England captain. He decided to play a reverse sweep, which we see every day now in Twenty20 matches and in limited-overs cricket, but at that point you hardly ever saw a reverse sweep.

Gatting attempted to play the reverse sweep and he was dismissed. Suddenly the Australians, who seemed to be down and out, were buoyed by this dismissal, one virtually handed them by the England captain.

So it was from that moment on that I think the Australians suddenly started to believe they could win that final, and they went on and won by seven runs. But to me the turning point of the final was always the attempted reverse sweep, a moment of madness from Mike Gatting that gave Australia the chance to unexpectedly win the 1987 final.

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