India v West Indies, Lord's, 1983 World Cup final

India defy the odds


Kapil Dev lifts the trophy © Getty Images
India defeated on merit the firm favourites, winning a low-scoring match by 43 runs. It was an absorbing game of increasing drama and finally of much emotion. The result, as surprising as, on the day, it was convincing, had much to do with the mental pressures of containment in limited-overs cricket.

Amarnath was named Man of the Match by Mike Brearley for a stabilising innings of 26 against hostile fast bowling after the early loss of Gavaskar, followed by his taking three late West Indian wickets, Dujon's being especially important. Dujon and Marshall had lifted West Indies, needing 184 to win, from 76 for six to 119 for six, a recovery based on the calm application of sound batting principles and one which was threatening to achieve after all the result which everyone had expected.

Lord's, groomed like a high-born lady, bathed in sunshine and packed to capacity, was at its best when Lloyd won the toss and invited India to bat: a distinct advantage, it seemed, for his battery of fast bowlers. The Lord's wicket often inclines to extravagant morning life. Now it never lost this capacity to allow movement off the seam, sufficient to be of much significance later in the day for the medium-paced attack of Madan Lal and Sandhu, who removed the cream of the West Indian batting, and for the seemingly inoffensive Binny, who accounted for the dangerous Lloyd.

There was an explosive start to the match, Garner hurling the ball down, chest-high on the line of the off stump. Roberts, fast but flatter, had Gavaskar caught at the wicket in his third over. To score off such an attack was a problem, but Srikkanth showed how: he hooked Roberts for 4, pulled him for 6 and square drove him to the Tavern boundary like a pistol shot. Yashpal, released from the constraints of speed, drove the slow spin of Gomes high and wide to the off, but straight to cover point. At lunch India were 100 for four. Afterwards Kapil Dev perished at deep long-on and Patil lost concentration. Madan Lal, Kirmani and Sandhu added 31 late runs, but India's total of 183 seemed many too few.

West Indies started badly. Greenidge padded up to the deceptive Sandhu and was bowled. Richards, however, swept the total swiftly and effortlessly to 50. Then, when 33, he mistimed a hook and Kapil Dev took a fine catch over his shoulder, running back towards the mid-wicket boundary. Madan Lal followed with two more quick wickets, those of Haynes and Gomes. All three fell for 6 runs in nineteen balls. Lloyd drove Binny to mid-off and immediately after tea Bacchus was caught at the wicket. It remained for Amarnath to break the partnership between Dujon and Marshall which, just in time, he did. India were an entertaining and well-drilled team, learning and improving as they progressed towards the final.

The attendance was 24,609, including members.

© John Wisden & Co