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World Cup 1983: 25 years on

That catch, that inswinger

Kapil picks up Viv, Sandhu deceives Greendige... and other key moments that turned the 1983 World Cup final India's way

Jamie Alter

June 25, 2008

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India were booked at 66:1 before the 1983 World Cup started. Then they beat West Indies, overcame a hiccup against Zimbabwe, brushed aside Australia, and beat England in the semi-final to set up a final against the two-time defending champions. Having lost the toss, India batted first, making 183, and that paltry score turned out to be a winning one as West Indies collapsed for 140, the greatest upset in the history of the World Cup. Cricinfo picks out five crucial moments from the final.

Kris Srikkanth gets stuck into Andy Roberts, and all of India goes hush © Getty Images

Srikkanth drives Roberts
India only made 183 after being put in to bat, and it would not have been enough had Kris Srikkanth not played the way he did. Joel Garner bowled a resplendently fiery opening spell, moving the ball back in exaggeratedly, beating Sunil Gavaskar four times in an over, and yet somehow not managing a wicket.

Andy Roberts got rid of Gavaskar for 2 but Srikkanth showed his intent by smashing a short ball to the ropes, to much cheering from the packed house. "That was Andy's slower bouncer," said the English commentator. "He's just setting him up." Roberts did indeed then release a more vicious bouncer, but Srikkanth hooked it for six into the lower tier of the Warner Stand.

Yet the shot most popularly acknowledged by those who watched it - and recalled reverently - was the stunning square-drive, on bent knee, that Srikkanth played off Roberts to the Tavern boundary. All of India stood to applaud. They would have loved his innings to last longer than 38, with seven fours a ferociously-hooked six, but those 82 minutes and 57 balls were crucial in forming, ultimately, a winning total.

Greenidge shoulders arms to Sandhu
Balwinder Singh Sandhu, an ideal foil to Kapil Dev with the new ball, will always be remembered for one delivery: that inswinger to Gordon Greenidge. In a fatal misjudgment Greenidge, then at the halfway mark of a legendary career, chose to shoulder arms to one that proceeded to swing in alarmingly and clip the top of off stump. It will go down as one of the silliest non-shots ever, and it provided the much-needed breakthrough India needed, starting the most dramatic slide in World Cup history.

Kapil catches Richards
Undoubtedly the moment that won India the World Cup. West Indies had been dented by the loss of Greenidge but, at 5 for 1 chasing 184 in 60 overs, there was little pressure on Viv Richards when he strode out, chewing his gum. And so Richards set about his task as only he knew - by attacking. On 33 from 27 balls, having just taken three boundaries in succession, he pulled a good-length ball from Madan Lal that pitched just short on off stump.

As the ball spiralled off the top part of the bat, up high beyond midwicket - for a second illuminated against the sea-blue sky - and swirled down, a fielder came sprinting across the turf from mid-on, graceful as a gazelle, legs pumping, corners of his mouth betraying a smile, eyes fixed firmly on the ball as it fell against the blur of 24,609 spectators transfixed in rapt attention. Kapil was in an awkward position - head turned over his right shoulder, ball dipping ahead of him, but he was never unsure of getting Richards. And then he did it, holding on to the ball with two hands, a picture of elegant and extreme athleticism and divine confidence. Lord's cheered raucously but it was a whimper against the tumultuous din that erupted continents away. Richards swaggered out as he had entered, still chewing his cud, and vanished over the boundary line.

Kapil's magic grab: the catch that won a World Cup © PA Photos

Lloyd falls
Madan Lal struck twice more after Richards' dismissal, removing Desmond Haynes and Larry Gomes, to leave West Indies in further trouble. They still had their captain, Clive Lloyd - Big C, to the Guyanese - but there was to be no repeat of his wonderful century in the first ever World Cup final at Lord's eight years before. Trying to drive Roger Binny over the infield - a poor shot given the situation - he found Kapil at wide mid-off. That made it 66 for 5. Three wickets had fallen for just six runs in 19 deliveries and West Indies were well and truly snuffed out.

At this point, noted David Frith in his Wisden report, "Down by the Tavern two bloodstained policemen carted off a Rasta who had departed from the peaceful stance, while a policewoman lost her cap, her smooth hairdo, but not her composure. Lord's was seeing, for the first time, West Indies in real adversity."

Amarnath gets Dujon
Syed Kirmani's diving catch, in front of Gavaskar at slip, to get rid of Faoud Bacchus earns brownie points but this wicket just pips it. Dujon had batted superbly for his 25, the second-highest score of the West Indian innings, and had put on 43 with Malcolm Marshall. That's when Mohinder Amarnath, jogging in, almost humming a Hindi film tune, hiding the ball deceptively, landed it on the seam and extracted extra bounce. Dujon inched forward and then tried to leave - except the ball kissed his gloves and crashed onto the base of off stump. Amarnath broke into celebration and pumped his fists in the air, flashing a boyish grin. He would take two more wickets to cap a Man-of-the-Final day, including the famous tenth wicket, but this was the biggest of his strikes.

Jamie Alter is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Jamie AlterClose
Jamie Alter Senior sub-editor While teachers in high school droned on about Fukuyama and communism, young Jamie's mind tended to wander to Old Trafford and the MCG. Subsequently, having spent six years in the States - studying Political Science, then working for an insurance company - and having failed miserably at winning any cricket converts, he moved back to India. No such problem in Bangalore, where he can endlessly pontificate on a chinaman who turned it around with a flipper, and why Ricky Ponting is such a good hooker. These days he divides his time between playing office cricket and constant replenishments at one of the city's many pubs.

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