Clive Lloyd's West Indies had never lost a match in the first two World Cups en route to two trophies. It all changed when they faced India in their first match of the 1983 World Cup. Yashpal Sharma was India's unlikely hero with a career-best knock against a fearsome bowling attack comprising Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Michael Holding.
India came into the match with a poor record at the quadrennial event, having won just one of their six matches in the previous editions. The victory came against East Africa, a team which had players from Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda, while the losses even included one against Sri Lanka, who were a non-Test playing side at the time.
The Windies were odds-on favourites as Lloyd won the toss and put India in to bat at Old Trafford in Manchester. Kris Srikkanth and Sunil Gavaskar opened for India but didn't make much of an impression. Mohinder Amarnath who went on to become India's star at the tournament too failed. It was then that Yashpal walked in. First came a 49-run stand with Sandeep Patil who was the second highest scorer for India with 36 runs. But India were then reduced to 141 for five after losing Patil and skipper Kapil Dev in quick succession.
Yashpal wasn't rattled and forged key partnerships with Roger Binny and Madan Lal to lead India to a respectable 262/8 from the allotted 60 overs. The Ludhiana-born Yashpal was the second last man to go after being castled by Michael Holding for 89 off 120 balls, with nine hits to the fence.
In reply, West Indies could only manage to score 228 after three-wicket hauls by Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri. Tailenders Roberts and Garner top-scored for the Caribbeans with fighting knocks of 37 apiece. This win marked the arrival of Kapil's Devils on the world stage.
Yashpal was the Man of the Match and played a pivotal role in India's victorious campaign, scoring 240 runs at an average of 34.28 including a match-winning 60 against England in the semi-finals.