The Prudential World Cup 1975, fifth Group B match


At The Oval, June 14. West Indies won by seven wickets. This game, eagerly awaited since the draw was made, provided wonderful cricket and had everything except a close finish. West Indies swept to victory with 14 overs to spare after Kallicharran and Fredericks had severely mauled the Australian fast bowlers.

Englishmen felt like outsiders among a crowd largely composed of excited West Indian supporters plus a smattering of Australians from Earls Court. Tension was high when Lloyd won the toss and asked Australia to bat on a cloudy morning. His faith in his fast bowlers was soon justified. Julien claimed McCosker in his first over, the ebullient Boyce disposed of both the Chappells in the space of six balls, Greenidge ran out Walters with an amazing piece of fielding and Australia were tottering at 61 for five.

Not for the first time they had cause to be grateful for the coolness of Edwards and the never-say-die approach of Marsh. This pair put on 99 for the sixth wicket before Richards, an occasional off-spinner, bowled Edwards, who had hit him for two successive 4's. It was a rash stroke that brought Edwards' downfall for 58, and afterwards Marsh could find no partner of substance as the fast bowlers dealt swiftly with the Australian tail. Marsh was left high and dry with 52 and Australia with six overs unused.

They must have known that 192 was an inadequate score unless Lillee and Thomson could make an early breakthrough. Fredericks was after them before they had time to settle to a length or line, cutting and hooking like a man inspired. Walker did manage to remove Greenidge at 29, but Fredericks and Kallicharran then added 124, cheered on by supporters near to ecstasy at such stroke play. Kallicharran, who stands a mere 5 ft. 4 ins., hit a 6 and thirteen 4's in his 78, an innings which had an amazing climax. He was Man of the Match.

He scored 35 off his last ten balls from Lillee in the following sequence of superbly timed hooks, pulls and drives - 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1, 4, 6, 0, 4 -before he was caught off a mistimed pull to give Lillee some balm for wounded pride. When Fredericks was third out for 58 only 34 runs were needed and Richards and Kanhai made these at their leisure against an Australian side which had been completely outplayed on the day.

© John Wisden & Co