West Indies get a fright
India v Sri Lanka, Old Trafford
In a miserable World Cup for India, who were beaten in each of their three games, Sri Lanka did themselves proud by becoming the only ICC Associate nation to register a victory in the competition. It was a major upset, made even more special for the victors by the fact that it came without the services of their regular captain, Anura Tennekoon, who missed the game with an injured hamstring. Sri Lanka's innings centred around three half-centuries: Sunil Wettimuny, Roy Dias and Duleep Mendis' contributions helped their team to a competitive 238. Mendis smashed three sixes in his 57-ball 64. India began on a steady note but none of their star players got to a half-century. The two de Silvas, Somachandra and Stanley, chipped away at the top order and Tony Opatha cleaned up the tail to secure a memorable win.
England v Pakistan, Headingley
England and Pakistan served up a classic in Leeds. Pakistan, under Asif Iqbal's captaincy, had impressed many in the tournament, but faltered in their chase of a seemingly inadequate score of 165 set up by the hosts. Majid Khan and Sikander Bakht took three wickets each but cameos from Bob Taylor and Bob Willis towards the end of England's innings were to prove decisive in the end.
The star of the show for England was Mike Hendrick, who rattled the Pakistan batting with four wickets and left them reeling at 34 for 6. England appeared to have the game in the bag but Iqbal stepped up again with a half-century, while Imran Khan and Wasim Raja slowly but surely took Pakistan closer to their target. Then the England captain, Mike Brearley, took a gamble, calling on Geoff Boycott. Pakistan needed 20 with two wickets in hand when Boycott, in front of his home crowd, snared Wasim Bari and the last man, Sikander Bakht, caught brilliantly at mid-off by Hendrick to seal the a nailbiter.
England v New Zealand, first semi-final, Old Trafford
It was a fight to the finish, and while New Zealand won many admirers, they missed out on a place in the final. England were dealt early setbacks in a stagnating run of play by some quality fast bowling, but Graham Gooch, the Man of the Match, led a recovery. Not only did he provide the innings some stability after the loss of early wickets, he scored at a fluent pace, helping set up a challenging score. Gooch and Ian Botham added 47 in 10 overs and Derek Randall, batting at No. 7, provided the innings a boost at the death, stealing 25 off the last three overs.
New Zealand's positive reply was led by John Wright but the England seamers chipped away and there wasn't any stand of substance. Chris Old dismissed Bruce Edgar, Wright was run out, Bob Willis trapped Glenn Turner lbw, Botham got rid of his rival, Richard Hadlee, while Mike Hendrick, having already grabbed two wickets, returned to dislodge the dangerous Lance Cairns, who had warmed up with a six and a four. The game went down to the final over, off which 14 were required, but Botham held his nerve to see England through.
West Indies v Pakistan, second semi-final, The Oval
The match was a prelude to an enthralling rivalry between these two sides for much of the next decade. If there was one team that kept a dominant West Indies on their toes throughout the eighties, it was Pakistan, and they gave the tournament favourites a real scare in the semis. Chasing 294, Pakistan were on course for their first final, with Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan taking their team to 176 for 1. But the reintroduction of Colin Croft into the attack, along with Viv Richards, turned the tide. The game was decided in a matter of 12 deliveries, as Croft dismissed Zaheer, Majid and Javed Miandad. Richards stepped in to see off Asif Iqbal, Mudassar Nazar and Imran Khan, while Andy Roberts mopped up the tail. Pakistan lost nine wickets for 74.
The game also marked the birth of one of the most prolific partnerships in world cricket: Gordon Greenidge partnered Desmond Haynes in an opening stand of 132 that laid the foundation for West Indies' competitive score. Richards, Clive Lloyd and Collis King chipped in with useful cameos that gave their attack enough to defend.