One day to World Cup: Smallest margin of victory

The smallest margin of victory in a World Cup is one run. It happened twice and on both times, India were at the receiving end.

Published: 29th May 2019 09:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th May 2019 09:44 AM   |  A+A-

India just couldn't get over the line

Online Desk

Close but no cigar.

A game of cricket can be decided by the closest of margins. That is what makes even a wide, a misfield or an overthrow so crucial. To come so close but not get the win is a feeling every team has experienced at one point or another.

When it comes to the World Cup, there have only been two occasions when a team has won by just a single run. India were on the wrong side of it on both occasions and it was Australia who came out victors both times.

With just a day to go before the start of World Cup 2019, here is a look at the two times when India came close but couldn't quite get over the line.

1987 World Cup: India vs Australia

After India won the toss, they elected to field first at Chennai. They were immediately made to question that decision as David Boon and Geoff Marsh put on 110 for the opening wicket. Although Boon fell one shy of his fifty, Marsh kicked on and scored a century to help his side post 270/6 in their 50 overs.

In response, India got off to a brilliant start of their own thanks to Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth. By the time, both openers were dismissed, India already added in excess of 100. Then Navjot Singh Sidhu joined the party and things were looking great for India going into the last 15 overs, as they needed just about 70 runs to win with eight wickets in hand.

Then Craig McDermott ran through the middle-order and India went from 207/2 to 246/6. Heading into the final over, which was bowled by Steve Waugh, India needed eight runs to win and only had two wickets in hand.

Manoj Prabhakar ran himself out and there was carnage as it came down to two needed off the last ball. Maninder Singh was on strike and he was bowled and Australia sneaked over the line, en route to their maiden World Cup title.

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For India, it was close but no cigar.

1992 World Cup: Australia vs India

Fast forward five years and it was Australia and India once again. This time at Brisbane. Australia won the toss this time and chose to bat. At 31/2 with both openers back in the hut, it didn't look like a great call. But then Dean Jones' 90 and some late cameos helped Australia post 237/9 in their 50 overs.

In response, India didn’t get off to a great start but captain Azharuddin looked determined to finish it for his side. But a rain interruption during the 17th over meant that the target was revised from 238 in 50 overs to 236 in 47.

Azhar kept the scoreboard ticking but when he was on 93 (his highest World Cup score), the Indian captain was run-out by his counterpart and India's hopes start to fade.

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From 194/4 before Azhar's dismissal, they were eventually bowled out for 234, falling one short of the target thanks in large part to some terrible running between the wickets that saw four run-outs including two off the last two balls of the innings.

And just like that, it was close but no cigar for India.

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