At The Oval, May 24. India won by nine wickets. The aptitude of this Indian team for limited-overs cricket was always in evidence from the moment Kapil Dev put England in to bat. Indeed, even before that, in choosing to play their two slow left-armers, Shastri and Maninder Singh, India stole a march on England, who favoured another seam bowler instead of Edmonds on a true pitch. The Indians bowled straight and to a length, while the field placing and fielding were of the highest class. Binny brought off a breathtaking caught and bowled. England never controlled the game. Put under pressure by Fowler's uncertain start (22 overs for 20), they lost Gooch, Fowler (colliding with Gatting in mid-wicket), Gower to his first ball and Lamb before lunch. Gatting (58 balls) and Pringle (66 balls) were the mainstays, but only Emburey's final flourish took England past 150. India's innings began with a sensation: Srikkanth caught behind off the first ball. Had Dilley, soon after, held Gavaskar's return catch, England might have been in with a chance. Instead, Gavaskar and Azharuddin took charge, dispatching the wayward Dilley and Taylor through the on side with wristy flicks and drives. After ten overs India were 50: England, in the field, looked tardy. Emburey bowled as the occasion demanded, but with wickets and overs in hand, the batsmen had no need for risks.
Man of the Match: M. Azharuddin. Attendance: 14,811; receipts: £142,608.
© John Wisden & Co