40 years on: A recap of the matches India played in the 1983 World Cup - Hindustan Times
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40 years on: A recap of the matches India played in the 1983 World Cup

Jul 27, 2023 04:49 PM IST

The trail from third-weakest team — above only Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe — to lifting the Cup was filled with expected defeats and pleasantly surprising victories.

India vs West Indies

Kapil Dev hits out during his 175 not out during the 1983 World Cup group match against Zimbabwe, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. (Getty Images) PREMIUM
Kapil Dev hits out during his 175 not out during the 1983 World Cup group match against Zimbabwe, in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. (Getty Images)

June 9-10, Old Trafford, Manchester

Highest scorer for India: Yashpal Sharma (89 off 120 balls)

Highest wicket-takers for India: Ravi Shastri (3/26 in 5.1 overs), Roger Binny 3/48 in 12 overs)

India were in Group B along with West Indies, Australia and Zimbabwe, and their first match of the tournament was against the mighty Windies, winners of the first two editions of the World Cup. Asked to bat first, Kapil Dev’s team posted a competitive total of 262-8 thanks to a superb 89 from Yashpal Sharma. In reply, the West Indies struggled to stitch together a big partnership and India’s bowlers did well to bowl them out for 228. Ravi Shastri and Roger Binny picked up three wickets apiece, but it was Sharma who was declared the player of the match for his effort with the bat. It was a famous and crucial victory, for it gave India the belief that anything was possible.

Brief scores: India 262/8 in 60 overs (Sandeep Patil 36, Yashpal Sharma 89; Michael Holding 2/32, Malcolm Marshall 2/48, Larry Gomes 2/46) beat West Indies 228 in 54.1 overs (Andy Roberts 37*, Joel Garner 37; Ravi Shastri 3/26, Roger Binny 3/48) by 34 runs.

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India vs Zimbabwe

June 11, Grace Road, Leicester

Highest scorer for India: Sandeep Patil (50 off 54 balls)

Highest wicket-taker for India: Madan Lal (3/27 in 10.4 overs)

Against Zimbabwe in their second game, India won the toss and put in a strong performance with the ball after opting to field first. None of the Zimbabwe batters could get to the 30-run mark as the fast bowlers kept getting wickets consistently. Each of India’s five bowlers — Kapil Dev, Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Madan Lal, Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri — got success. Set a target of 156, India completed a comfortable five-wicket victory as Mohinder Amarnath and Sandeep Patil added 69 for the third wicket. Madan Lal was declared the player of the match for his three-wicket haul.

Brief scores: Zimbabwe 155 in 51.4 overs (Madan Lal 3/27, Roger Binny 2/25) lost to India 157/5 in 37.3 overs (Mohinder Amarnath 44, Sandeep Patil 50; Peter Rawson 2/11) by five wickets.

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India vs Australia

June 13, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Highest scorer for India: Kapil Dev (40 off 27 balls)

Highest wicket-taker for India: Kapil Dev (5/43 in 12 overs)

Having won their first two games, India were on a high and went into their clash against Australia full of confidence. But they were brought back down to earth with a massive defeat. The Aussies elected to bat first and posted a mammoth 320/9, thanks to a Trevor Chappell ton and half-centuries by Kim Hughes and Graham Yallop. Kapil Dev did well to claim a five-for but none of the other Indian bowlers were nearly as effective. Although Kris Srikkanth got a start at the top of the order, India ended up losing four wickets for just nine runs in the middle order. Kapil played a quick-fire knock at No. 7 but India ran out of steam.

Brief scores: Australia 320/9 in 60 overs (Trevor Chappell 110, Kim Hughes 52, Graham Yallop 66*; Kapil Dev 5/43, Madan Lal 2/69) beat India 158 in 37.5 overs (Krishnamachari Srikkanth 39, Kapil Dev 40; Tom Hogan 2/48, Ken MacLeay 6/39) by 162 runs.

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India vs West Indies

June 15, Kennington Oval, London

Highest scorer for India: Mohinder Amarnath (80 off 139 balls)

Highest wicket-taker for India: Roger Binny (3/71 in 12 overs)

West Indies, beaten in the opener, were ready to avenge their loss and restore the balance in world cricket. Viv Richards, who had fallen cheaply the first time these two teams met, showed his class this time around with a stroke-filled century. Once again, each of the five bowlers used by India were among the wickets but that didn’t stop the Windies from posting a daunting 282/9. With Sunil Gavaskar not playing, Srikkanth had Ravi Shastri for company at the top of the order but both openers fell cheaply. Amarnath batted with immense bravery and put on a 109-run partnership with Dilip Vengsarkar for the third wicket, but India kept losing wickets thereafter to get bowled out for 216.

Brief scores: West Indies 282/9 in 60 overs (Desmond Haynes 38, Vivian Richards 119, Clive Lloyd 41; Roger Binny 3/71) beat India 216 in 53.1 overs (Mohinder Amarnath 80, Dilip Vengsarkar 32, Kapil Dev 36; Andy Roberts 2/29, Michael Holding 3/40) by 66 runs.

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India vs Zimbabwe

June 18, Nevill Ground, Tunbridge Wells

Highest scorer for India: Kapil Dev (175 not out off 138 balls)

Highest wicket-taker for India : Madan Lal (3/42 in 11 overs)

It’s the most famous match of this tournament, among the most famous in Indian cricket history, and one that established Kapil Dev as the country’s greatest cricketing icon at the time. His 175 not out at Tunbridge Wells is the stuff of legend that needs no introduction. That there is no recording of the innings has made it even more intriguing with the passage of time. With India tottering at 17/5 and then 78/7 after opting to bat first, the captain produced a knock for the ages, studded with 16 fours and six sixes, to power his team to 266/8. Zimbabwe got a 44-run opening stand but India’s bowling attack, led by Madan Lal and Roger Binny, delivered a fine performance to complete an incredible victory that showed India were not going anywhere.

Brief scores: India 266/8 in 60 overs (Kapil Dev 175*; Peter Rawson 3/47, Kevin Curran 3/65) beat Zimbabwe 235 in 57 overs (Robin Brown 35, Kevin Curran 73; Roger Binny 2/45, Madan Lal 3/42) by 31 runs.

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India vs Australia

June 20, County Ground, Chelmsford

Highest scorer for India: Yashpal Sharma (40 off 40 balls)

Highest wicket-takers for India: Madan Lal (4/20 in 8.2 overs) and Roger Binny (4/29 in 8 overs)

India, who suffered a huge defeat the first time they played Australia, turned the tables to register a big victory. Having won the toss and chosen to bat first, India posted a decent (for the time) 247 as Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil provided a 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket. In reply, Australia were bowled out 129 with Madan Lal and Roger Binny bagging four wickets apiece. India finished second in Group B, behind the West Indies, with four wins in six games to qualify for the semi-finals.

Brief scores: India 247 in 55.5 overs (Yashpal Sharma 40, Sandeep Patil 30; Rodney Hogg 3/40, Jeff Thomson 3/51) beat Australia 129 in 38.2 overs (Allan Border 36; Balwinder Singh Sandhu 2/26, Madan Lal 4/20, Roger Binny 4/29) by 118 runs.

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SEMI-FINAL: India vs England

June 22, Old Trafford, Manchester

Highest scorer for India: Yashpal Sharma (61 off 115 balls)

Highest wicket-taker for India: Kapil Dev (3/35 in 11 overs)

England topped Group A, having won one game more than India, and had the edge going into the semi-final. But India had built up some momentum by this stage, and went on to complete an emphatic victory against the runners-up of the previous edition of the World Cup. Asked to bowl first, India got England all out for 213 runs on the last ball of the innings. Kapil Dev got the most wickets but it was Roger Binny and Mohinder Amarnath who did the early damage. Yashpal Sharma was the top scorer for India once again, while Sandeep Patil slammed a 32-ball half-century. It was a momentous day for India as they booked their spot in a World Cup final for the first time.

Brief scores: England 213 in 60 overs (Graeme Fowler 33, Chris Tavare 32; Kapil Dev 3/35, Roger Binny 2/43, Mohinder Amarnath 2/27) lost to India 217/4 in 54.4 overs (Mohinder Amarnath 46, Yashpal Sharma 61, Sandeep Patil 51*) by six wickets.

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FINAL: India vs West Indies

June 25, Lord’s, London

Highest scorer for India: Krishnamachari Srikkanth (38 off 57 balls)

Highest wicket-takers for India: Madan Lal (3/31 in 12 overs) and Mohinder Amarnath (3/12 in 7 overs)

It was 1-1 between India and West Indies in the group stages, but there was no doubt which team was the favourite heading into the final. Clive Lloyd and his merry band had got the job done in the previous two World Cup finals, both played at Lord’s, and knew very well how to win. But June 25, 1983, was India’s day. It was destined to be.

Kapil’s Devils, as they were christened later, achieved the unthinkable to beat what is arguably the greatest cricket team ever, to lift the World Cup and galvanise a nation. Key contributions from Srikkanth, Amarnath (26) and Patil (27) helped India post 183 after they were asked to bat first. West Indies were then bowled out for just 140 as Madan Lal and Amarnath bagged three-fors, with the latter taking the player of the match award for his all-round performance. Of course, Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s peach to clean up Gordon Greenidge and Kapil Dev’s catch running back to dismiss Viv Richards were highlights as the Class of 1983 etched their names in history.

Brief scores: India 183 in 54.4 overs (Kris Srikkanth 38; Andy Roberts 3/32, Malcolm Marshall 2/24, Michael Holding 2/26, Larry Gomes 2/49) beat West Indies 140 in 52 overs (Vivian Richards 33; Balwinder Sandhu 2/32, Madan Lal 3/31, Mohinder Amarnath 3/12) by 43 runs.

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