When the crowd couldn't wait for West Indies to be crowned world champions
Series/Tournaments: Prudential World Cup
Richards runs out three
Australia v West Indies, final, Lord's
The inaugural World Cup final was played out in brilliant sunshine, in front of a packed crowd at Lord's. The contrast between the stuffy formality of the members' areas and the joyous colour and noise of the rest of the ground, taken over for the day by West Indies' supporters, could not have been more marked. West Indies, sent in, had overcome an early wobble to post 291 for 8, thanks to a brilliant hundred from Clive Lloyd. In reply, Australia were in a good position on 162 for 3 with 21 overs remaining.
Two of Australia's wickets had been run-outs, both direct hits from Viv Richards. Ian Chappell pushed the ball to the left of midwicket and started off for a run, but realising it was Richards lurking, hesitated. Richards fumbled, and Chappell started again, this time committed. Even though the ball went no more than three of four yards, Richards, lithe and powerful, swooped, turned and fired in an exocet three feet above the stumps, which Lloyd, the bowler, took. Chappell, well short, carried on heading towards the pavilion. Richards, arms outstretched and with a massive grin, turned to the crowd for acclaim as his colleagues ran to him.
Richie Benaud provided this bit of advice of commentary on the BBC - "The old rule of never run on a misfield still holds good". In the Times, John Woodcock reflected that Australia's strong position "showed what might have been had it not been for three fatal hesitations and the deadly arm of Vivian Richards". As for Richards, he recalled that the Australian running had been targeted before the match. "We decided we might pick up a few of them that way."
Lillee and Thommo keep a-runnin'
Australia v West Indies, final, Lord's
West Indies seemed on course for victory when Australia slid to 233 for 9. But Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson kept the scoreboard ticking over and the tension grew. The penultimate over started with 26 needed. Thomson flicked Vanburn Holder to long leg and dived to complete the second run as Keith Boyce's throw was gathered by Deryck Murray and the stumps demolished. The crowd raced on, realised umpire Dickie Bird remained unmoved, and slowly returned to their perches just outside the rope.
Twenty-four still needed, 11 balls left. Thomson chipped the next delivery to Roy Fredericks at extra cover - the only man in on the off. The crowd came flying out once more but they had not heard the no-ball call. Fredericks meanwhile shied at the non-striker's end, where Lillee was out of his ground, missed, and the ball was engulfed in the onrushing mob.
Chaos followed. The only part of the field not covered by spectators was the 22 yards of the pitch, where the batsmen were charging up and down for all their life. Bird had his white hat and various sweaters pilfered during the incident, while his colleague, Tom Spencer, stood utterly bemused. After three runs Thomson stopped, although Lillee wanted to carry on running. Eventually the field was cleared. "How many are you giving us for that?" Thomson asked Spencer. "Two." Thomson exploded: "Pig's arse... we've been running up and down here all afternoon." Meanwhile, Bird asked Lillee how many he had run. "You should be counting," Lillee replied. "But I make it about 17." In the end they got four.
The match lasted three more balls. Thomson ran a leg-bye, Lillee pushed a single to mid-on, and then Thomson charged down the pitch, missed and failed to beat Murray's underarm at the stumps. Another invasion ensued and this time some of the players didn't beat the mob to safety. Thomson lost his pads, while Boyce was pinned to the floor and had his boots ripped off before he was rescued by the police.
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