34 days to World Cup: England end Windies' era of domination

Having played three consecutive finals and emerging victorious the first two times, they couldn't quite replicate it in 1987.

Published: 26th April 2019 08:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th April 2019 08:52 PM   |  A+A-

DeFreitas, who instigated the collapse and finished off the game | ICC@Twitter

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The finalists of the 1983 edition of the tournament had a contrasting performance the following edition. Brimming with confidence, the Indian team dreamed big of a successful title defence in home soil, while the West Indies wanted to reclaim the cup.

Having played three consecutive finals and emerging victorious the first two times, Viv Richards' men had all the right to believe they could complete the quest successfully. However, it was not to be.

As the tournament slowly progressed, the world realised that the famous Carribean fast bowlers have lost their teeth and batsmen were not enough to contain this flaw.

While the Windies could only manage three victories in the whole tournament including two against a lowly Sri Lanka, their opponents from the previous editions' summit clash slowly picked up after an initial narrow loss against Australia to progress into the semi-finals.

The penultimate nail in Windies' journey came courtesy of England in Jaipur. England had earlier shocked the Windies as well, when the two traditional sides met at Gujranwala on October 9.

Both sides were on eight points from four games coming into this contest in Jaipur with two games to play. Courtesy of their 34-run win, England claimed the upper hand and progressed to the semi-final while the two-time champions were knocked out after the group stage.

The victory came thanks to some classic batting by Graham Gooch and Allan Lamb at first, which was then followed by some tight bowling later, forcing a collapse.

Gooch top-scored for England making 92 runs off 137 deliveries, while Lamb chipped in with his 52-ball 40. Captain Mike Gatting and John Emburey played crucial cameos as well, making 25 and 24 respectively.

Though Patrick Patterson picked up 3 wickets for 56 runs, England had no issues posting a challenging 269 runs on the board.

The two-time champions also started their chase strong. Richie Richardson (93 off 130) and Sir Viv Richards (51 off 51) built a strong partnership to get them close to victory. Every top-order batsmen except Desmond Haynes was able to make good contributions to the side.

But England under Phil DeFreitas made an unbelievable comeback. From 208/4, Windies crumbled to 224-9. Instead of cruising to victory, Windies lost five wickets for 16 runs, including the crucial wicket of Carl Hooper by DeFreitas, which set the collapse in motion.

It was only a matter of time before Winston Benjamin fell to DeFreitas, who instigated the collapse and finished off the game with the score at 235 to hand his side a famous victory.

ALSO READ | 87 days to go: Australia rises again under Border

While the West Indies failed to make it to the final four of the tournament for the first time, it was also the World Cup that marked the emergence of a new cricketing power - Australia. 

Allan Border's Kangaroos first defeated sub-continent powerhouse and one of the title favourites Pakistan in the semis, before beating arch-rivals England by seven runs in the summit clash at the Wankhede Stadium to clinch the world title. The rest is history.

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