The Prudential World Cup final, 1975


Norman Preston

Toss: Australia.

Prince Philip presented the Cup amidst hilarious scenes to West Indies' talented captain, the Man of the Match, Clive Lloyd, just before nine o'clock on a glorious summer's evening. From 11am till 8.43pm the cricketers from the Caribbean had been locked in a succession of thrills with the cricketers from the Southern Cross. It might not be termed first-class cricket, but the game has never produced better entertainment in one day.

The deciding factor was the wonderful hundred by Clive Lloyd after Ian Chappell had won the toss and invited the West Indies to bat. Until Lloyd arrived at 50 for three, Chappell had set a fairly tight field and his battery of quick seam bowlers had kept the West Indies under subjection. Australia gained the initiative when Fredericks hooked a bouncer high over fine leg for 6 only to lose his balance and tread on his wicket. Greenidge spent 80 minutes crawling to 13 and a rash cut by Kallicharran ended in a flick to the wicketkeeper.

Then came Lloyd, and at once he showed himself master of the situation. He hooked Lillee in majestic style, square for six, and then put Walker off the back foot past cover with disdainful ease. At the other end Lloyd had the dependable Kanhai as a willing anchor man - he did not score for 11 overs - and the pair put on 149 together in 36 overs. Lloyd hit two sixes and 12 fours and was at the crease only one hour and 48 minutes while making his scintillating hundred off 82 balls. More powerful hitting came from Boyce and Julien so that Australia required 292 to lift the Cup.

Although they challenged to the very end and might have won had they shown some discretion when trying to steal precious runs, they contributed to their own destruction, for as many as five men were run out by the brilliant West Indies fielders. The amazing Kallicharran begun their troubles with a dazzling slip catch which removed McCosker, then Richards threw down the stumps twice from backward square leg and also enabled Lloyd to break the wicket at the bowler's end when Ian Chappell hesitated and then set off for the third impossible run.

Nevertheless, Turner and particularly Ian Chappell played extremely well before their mishaps, but West Indies always had the edge until near the end when Thomson and Lillee threw their bats, adding 41 in their attempt to win a lost cause. It was the longest day of the year; the longest day in cricket history and one that those who were there and the millions who watched it on television will never forget. The full attendance was 26,000 and the paying crowd produced receipts of £66,950, a record for a one-day match in England.

© John Wisden & Co