Walsh rises, Gatting falls

An act of sportsmanship, an act of folly

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Mike Gatting falls reverse sweeping, Australia v England, World Cup final, November 1987
Gatting: a rush of blood to the head © Getty Images
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The gracious Mr Walsh
Pakistan v West Indies, Lahore
Andy Roberts and Deryck Murray had combined to win a thriller against Pakistan by one wicket in the 1975 World Cup. In Lahore in the 1987 tournament, West Indies looked to have the match sealed when Pakistan were left needing 14 runs off the last over, to be bowled by Courtney Walsh. Abdul Qadir landed a few lusty blows and combined it with excellent running to raise visions of a victory. Off the very last ball, with two needed, Saleem Jaffar, the non-striker, could have been run out after he backed up too far, but in a fine gesture of sportsmanship Walsh refused to do so and Pakistan were reprieved. They eventually escaped with a thrilling win, as Qadir squeezed out the remaining runs. The result in the end put West Indies' chances of a semi-final place in jeopardy, though Walsh was deservingly commended for his sportsmanship.

The stroke that lost the trophy
England v Australia, final, Kolkata
Mike Gatting was England's best player of spin and his 41 off 44 had put England in a strong position in the final when Allan Border brought himself on. Border was no ordinary bowler and definitely deserved some respect, but Gatting saw an innocuous delivery floated up and went for an ill-advised reverse-sweep (Graham Gooch and he had used plenty of conventional sweep shots to good effect against India in the semi-final). The edge went off his shoulder and was taken gleefully by Greg Dyer, who was so surprised he almost dropped it. The wicket turned the match in Australia's favour. Gatting's mistake has been known ever since as the moment of madness that cost England their first 50-over World Cup trophy, which they haven't won to this date.

© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

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