Prudential World Cup 1979, sixth Group A match


At Leeds, June 16. England won by 14 runs. This was an extraordinary match during which the bowlers held the upper hand for most of the time. That England, who set Pakistan to make only 166 to win, finally succeeded was due to a wonderful performance by Hendrick, who took four wickets in a spell of eight balls for only 3 runs. Finally, he held a tremendous leaping catch at mid-off from Sikander to seal England's victory. Brian Close took the obvious course and named Hendrick Man of the Match.

When Asif Iqbal - the only man to reach fifty - won the toss and put England in to bat on a breezy, cloudy morning, Brearley went second ball and Randall soon followed. Two wickets were down for 4 runs. Boycott held up the Pakistan seam bowlers for eighty-five minutes and made a valuable stand of 47 with Gooch. The tall Essex batsman was going well when Sadiq dived in the gully for a brilliant catch. Gower and Botham offered resistance, but Majid, bowling off-breaks, removed them both. When the eighth wicket fell at 118 England appeared to be in hopeless position, but then came the stand that saved the day, Taylor and Willis putting on 43.

Nevertheless, Pakistan, with their powerful batting line-up, had little cause for concern as Majid and Sadiq saw them safely to 27. It was then that Hendrick, moving the ball either way off a perfect length, tangled them up completely. From 27 for no wicket Pakistan drifted to six down for 34. Asif, along with Wasim Raja, did his utmost in his most capable manner to lead them out of the wilderness, but all the while Brearley handled his attack with rare skill. Asif battled away for one and threequarter hours until Willis induced a slip catch to Brearley, whereupon Wasim Bari stayed over half an hour with the competent Imran Khan. As the tension mounted it seemed that Imran would see Pakistan through, but now Brearley called on Boycott with his gentle medium pace. To the delight of his home crowd, he lured both Wasim Bari and Sikander to fatal mistakes that saw England home with four overs to spare.

© John Wisden & Co