World Cup 1983: India pull off a huge upset to end West Indies’ dominance

first_imgEngland hosted the World Cup for a third successive time in 1983, but the winners in this edition weren’t the same. After two triumphant journeys in the first two editions of the World Cup, West Indies’ dominance came to a screeching halt in the 1983 final at the hands of surprise finalists in what’s still considered one of cricket’s biggest upsets of all time. The West Indies were clear favourites and it was Zimbabwe’s maiden appearance in the event, replacing Canada from the previous edition as one of the eight countries pooled into two groups of four, competing for the cup.The tournament started with shock results and characteristically culminated in one of the biggest surprises in the annals of cricket. Debutants Zimbabwe took everyone by surprise after beating Australia by 13 runs, while India raised a few eyebrows with a 34-run victory over West Indies. Yashpal Sharma scored 89 as the Indians made 260 in 60 overs and successfully defended the total thanks to some inspired bowling from Roger Binny, who dismissed Sir Vivian Richards, skipper Clive Llyod and the dangerous Jeffrey Dujon.West Indies though weren’t down in the dumps for too long and bounced back in a manner befitting champions. After setting a target of 253 for Australia to chase, a young Winston Davis ran through the Aussie batting line-up for the Windies and registered what was the best bowling figures in World Cup history at the time. An already memorable World Cup then got even more unforgettable when Sri Lanka beat New Zealand for their first-ever win in ODIs.advertisementAnother spectacular contest from this World Cup that stands out also happens to feature one of the best ODI innings ever played. Even though there’s not much, if any footage of Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe due to a strike by BBC; it’s still considered one of the best knocks ever played by those who were lucky enough to witness it. Walking in at 9 for 4, Kapil’s rescue act has become a part of World Cup folklore. His 138-ball 175 featured 16 fours as well as six maximums and was ahead of its time, especially when you look at his strike rate of 126.81.While the numbers make for good reading, the importance of the knock cannot be undermined by it. Despite being 9 for 4 when the skipper walked, India played their 60 overs and finished on 266 as Kapil anchored the innings brilliantly with the lower order. A collective bowling effort ensured a 31-run win for India, but it was Kapil’s innings that made the difference on the day and perhaps even set in motion the sequence of improbable events that followed.After the euphoria of beating Zimbabwe had been subsided with the realization of a semi-final date against England, a confident Indian side restricted the hosts to 213 and chased down the total with 6 wickets and 32 balls to spare. The other semi-final saw the indomitable West Indies beat Pakistan by 8 wickets to make it a hat-trick of final appearances. India’s win over West Indies earlier in the tournament was a source of hope for the underdogs, but not many were optimistic.While the general consensus was India beating the Windies again was highly unlikely, a few looked at the earlier result as a source of inspiration. That hope though was severely dampened as India were bundled out for 183 after losing the toss and batting first. However, what was to follow wasn’t envisioned by anyone as India’s bowlers changed the script and dismissed the mighty West Indians for just 140. West Indies’ dominance had come to an end, but it was an even more seismic event in the landscape of Indian sport as Kapil and his boys’ achievement reverberated across the nation and revolutionized cricket in the country for years to come.Also Read | World Cup 1979: West Indies continue their dominance with consecutive World Cup triumphsAlso Read | World Cup 1975: The birth of World Cups and West Indies’ dominanceAlso Read | World Cup 2011: India end Australia’s dominance, crowned champions at homeAlso Seelast_img

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