The final of the World Cup is the biggest stage for any cricketer to leave his mark on the game. And as the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is all set to get underway, we look back at star performers in World Cup finals over the years. In this piece, we revisit the Prudential World Cup final in 1983, in which India shocked West Indies by 43 runs.
Mohinder Amarnath: Hewas the man of the series in the semi-final against England, and stood out in the final as well. India were only defending 183 in the final against an imposing West Indies batting line-up, and Amarnath played a major hand in helping India cause one of the biggest World Cup final upsets ever. He bowled seven overs and conceded only 12 runs while claiming three wickets. His scalps were those of Jeff Dujon, Malcolm Marshall and last man Michael Holding. Earlier in the day, he made a gritty 26 with the bat from 80 deliveries, which proved invaluable in the end.
Madan Lal: While both Amarnath and Lal finished with three wickets each, the latter was the one who got the big wickets. Lal dismissed Desmond Haynes, Vivian Richards and Larry Gomes to cause major setbacks to the West Indies batting. His wickets gave India hope that they could still compete with West Indies in spite of putting up a low score. And, in the end, his figures of 3 for 31 were instrumental in India’s historic victory at Lord’s.
Kris Srikkanth: When the Indian opener was dismissed for 38, with the Indian score reading 59 for 2, little did he know that he would be the highest scorer in the final. As it turned out, Srikkanth’s blazing knock at the top of the order had a massive impact on the end result as West Indies lost the match by 43 runs. Srikkanth hit 38 from 57 balls with seven blazing fours and one six before being dismissed by Marshall.
Andy Roberts: This is an oft-forgotten performance considering that West Indies ended up losing the match. Nevertheless, Roberts bowled wonderfully well for his three wickets in the final. He dismissed opener Sunil Gavaskar, Kirti Azad and Roger Binny in the final to finish with excellent figures of 3 for 32. At the halfway stage, it seemed that Roberts had done enough to help West Indies claim their third World Cup title in a row.
The supporting acts: There were many as far as India were concerned. Amidst all the carnage, Sandeep Patil made a quick 27 from 29 balls to help India’s total gain some semblance of respectability. Lower down the order, Madan Lal made 17, and Kirmani hit 14. With the ball, Balwinder Sandhu claimed two wickets while Kapil Dev and Roger Binny picked up one wicket each. For West Indies, Vivian Richards made 33 and Jeff Dujon 25. In the bowling department, Marshall, Holding and Larry Gomes picked up two wickets apiece.
--By A Cricket Analyst