Benson & Hedges World Cup 1991-92, qualifying match


Toss: Australia.

The combination of the old enemy, the bright lights and the noisily enthusiastic crowd demanded a show-stopper from Botham, and he provided it. His best bowling figures in limited-overs internationals stopped the Australian innings in its tracks, and he followed up with a confident fifty which made England's victory a formality.

With Marsh omitted, Moody was promoted to open for Australia. He responded with 51, and with Jones took Australia to a promising 106 for two. Then Defreitas had Jones well caught by the diving Lewis, and Tufnell bowled Moody off the glove. But the match turned in the 38th over, when Botham bowled Border with the fifth ball. In his next over, Healy drove to Fairbrother at mid-wicket, Taylor was trapped lbw, and McDermott fell to Defreitas's running catch. Botham had claimed four wickets for no runs in seven balls, and Australia were 155 for eight. They took only 16 from their last nine overs.

Their only hope was to capture some early wickets, and Gooch was repeatedly beaten in McDermott's fiery opening spell. Botham's self-confidence was now complete, however, and he led the way to the hundred partnership in the 23rd over, reaching his first World Cup fifty one ball later. He hit six fours before giving Healy a low leg-side catch.

Man of the Match: I. T. Botham. Attendance: 38,951.

© John Wisden & Co