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51 days to World Cup: Sandeep's forgotten gem 

Among the many heroes of India's victorious 1983 squad, one name is often forgotten.

Published: 09th April 2019 07:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2019 07:10 PM   |  A+A-

if it wasn't for Sandeep Patil's quick-fire fifty, it all could have been so very different. | Twitter@ICC

Online Desk

There are always plenty of heroes that come to mind while talking about India's World Cup-winning 1983 side. From Kapil Dev, who led from the front to Roger Binny and Madan Lal, who finished as the top two wicket-takers, there are plenty of heroes to go around.

Amidst them all, one name is often forgotten.

In the semi-final against England, Mohinder Amarnath walked away with the Man of the Match award and rightfully so, for his all-round performance. Apart from him, Kapil Dev and Yashpal Sharma are often hailed as the other big heroes from the game.

ALSO READ | 89 days to go: Yashpal's Old Trafford heroics set the stage for an '83 fairytale

Yet, if it wasn't for Sandeep Patil's quick-fire fifty, it all could have been so very different.

51 days to go to World Cup 2019, here is a look at the forgotten gem that was Patil's 32-ball 51 that helped guide India to their maiden World Cup final.

After winning the toss, England elected to bat on a slow wicket, which was far from ideal for strokeplay. And they got off to the perfect start as well as the England openers Graeme Fowler and Chris Tavare put on 69 at more than 4 an over.

Then came the crawl, courtesy of Amarnath and Kirti Azad, who choked the England batting line-up littered with splendid stroke-makers. Their inability to keep the scoreboard ticking eventually led to their demise and the hosts were bowled out for 213 as Kapil came back to clean up the tail.

In response, India's openers put on their best partnership of the tournament (46) but were then dismissed in quick succession. Then came the crucial partnership between Amarnath and Yashpal. Their 92-run stand for the third wicket set the perfect platform as sucked away any hope the hosts had of making a comeback.

But just as it looked like India were going to cruise to victory, Amarnath was run-out courtesy of a brilliant throw from Paul Allott. 

A forgotten gem

That brought Sandeep Patil to the crease. Although he got off to a great start in the tournament, his four innings before this game saw him score just 52 runs. 

His arrival brought Bob Willis back into the attack, the same bowler whom he had smashed for 24 in an over in a Test the previous summer. And much like that game in Manchester, Patil continued to feast on Willis' bowling.

Even as he lost Yashpal with the target in sight, Patil continued along his merry way. While the rest of the Indian batsmen found the going difficult and hit just 13 boundaries between them, Sandeep smashed eight in his unbeaten 51, which came off just 32 balls at an incredible strike rate of 159.

After the scores were levelled with a couple courtesy of a fine drive wide of long off, the Indian supporters started their celebration early and ventured onto the field. 

It took a while to clear the ground and once that was done, all the fielders were moved to the off-side, to avoid being in the middle of another pitch invasion from the spectators as Patil smiled at the field setting ahead of what would be the final ball.

Fittingly, Sandeep Patil scored the winning runs, and as the ball raced away and brought up his fifty, both batsmen, Willis and the fielders all ran towards deep extra cover in a bid to get to the dressing room before another pitch invasion came from the leg side.



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