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'We were probably one of the best fielding sides in the world'
1975, part three: Clive Lloyd talks about how West Indies took on Australia - Lillee and Thomson in particular - in the league stages and came out on top (00:00)
January 24, 2011
Related Links » Video & Audio: Part one: 'It helped that we had played one-day cricket in England before' | Part two: 'I drank so many ales, I can't remember' | Part four: 'The win was great for West Indies cricket' Players/Officials: Roy Fredericks | Alvin Kallicharran | Rohan Kanhai | Collis King | Dennis Lillee | Clive Lloyd | Deryck Murray | Andy Roberts | Jeff Thomson Series/Tournaments: Prudential World Cup Teams: West Indies Other links: World Cup Timeline: 1975
1975 with Clive Lloyd
'We were probably one of the best fielding sides in the world'January 24, 2011
Their final league match, against Australia at The Oval, was a marquee game, but West Indies secured an easy win.
Clive Lloyd: We were playing more or less the team we would play in the final. They were the best team in the world, had two of the fastest bowlers in the world and were the form team. It was Alvin Kallicharran and Roberts' game. They put us in the driving seat. Kalli batted extremely well. He played some exquisite shots against Lillee and Thomson and saw us home. Our bowling attack was pretty good and we dominated that game, and we knew once we had won that game that we were in the final.
We had some top-class players who played county cricket and they did well in county cricket. They knew the conditions, so you had a lot of help. There was quite a lot of discussion for having played on those grounds. Our plan was to bowl as straight as we possibly could. Our fielding was terrific. We probably had one of the best fielding sides in the world and we knew that if we got all our disciplines right we knew we could come out on top. And we did. We worked to the plan we had, restricted them, got wickets when we needed them and came out on top.
West Indies won the toss and elected to field first, and Keith Boyce took two crucial wickets - of the Chappell brothers.
CL: It has always been good to get them because they were probably two of the best players at the time. They were no-nonsense players who played all around the wicket. You couldn't restrict them because their all-round game was quite good. They scored quickly, but we knew sometimes their running between wickets could be dismal at times. It had happened in a couple of games before, so we knew that if we kept them tight we had a chance of somebody getting run out, and it happened. We knew about their style of play. Some of them were not a very good judge of the run. People ask us: how do you plan for things like that? If you keep players restricted, who are looking to score - we had guys like Kalli, Viv, Greenidge, Fredericks, who had a good arm... I was not a slouch either. We had some guys who were quick within that 30-yard circle.
In every game they played they had a run-out or two and that was detrimental to the team. They were doing well and it threw them back. We knew that if it kept them quiet enough, somebody might crack and do something silly and put us back in the driving seat. When Doug Walters was run out it did give us a chance to make some inroads into the lower-order batters.
Among the highlights of the match was the batting of Roy Fredericks and Alvin Kallicharran against the Australian attack of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.
CL: Well, Roy and Kallicharran did extremely well against Lillee and Thomson. Roy was one of these compulsive hookers, and he had very good and eyes and very good wrists, and Kallicharran was the same type of player. They all are from the same area, from Guyana. They were good table tennis players. They had good wrists and they really went to town with the two fastest bowlers in the world.
They would play the pull shot and flick off the hips and have a go off the short ball. Roy was someone who would take on the fast bowlers and Kallicharran did the same thing. It was an exciting bit of batting during that period.
Andy Roberts was the highest wicket-taker, with figures of 3 for 39, and this on the back of his match-winning performance with the bat in the previous game.
CL: He would have been the fastest we had at that time. He was a very good professional. He played for Hampshire and did extremely well in the conditions. I think Andy was in the same area of greatness. He was just as quick as them and had a terrific cricketing brain. That was why we did so well against Pakistan - because he was a great thinker. When he was bowling he just didn't run up and bowl fast: he put a lot of thought into it. We were lucky to have someone like him around to match Lillee and Thomson.
In the first semi-final Australia played England at Headingley - a low-scoring game that Australia eventually won by four wickets.
CL: To me, the two best teams probably got through to the final. Australia was the best team in the world and we had better allrounders, younger and hungrier players. Playing in England you would have thought England would have been difficult to beat, and they proved that against Australia.
In the second semi-final West Indies beat New Zealand by five wickets to go through.
CL: The game against New Zealand had its ups and downs. They were 92 for 1 at lunch and lost nine wickets for 50-odd after lunch. Andy Roberts and the other boys came into their own and they got rid of them rather quickly. It was sort of a demolition job. We had a something around 157 to get, which we did with nonchalant ease. But New Zealand to me, at that time, were a very good side. And they always have good allrounders. I probably thought they would have done a little better, but it wasn't to be. But they too were a handful.
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