June 25 1983 was a red letter day in the annals of Indian cricket. It is that time of the year to crank up the Time Machine.
There he is!!! :-) Interesting that Srikkanth had a different stance in his younger days, feet staying close together, perhaps due to the bouncier wickets abroad. A leaping Lloyd can't reach a slash over slips off Garner. A pull off Roberts to the square leg fence. Throws everything barring the kitchen sink at Garner to pick a four, the bottom hand coming off the bat. Lifts Holding over mid-off for four. The last pic has Amarnath pulling a short one from Garner to the mid-wicket fence. Despite what the pics convey, Garner made batting a total hell early on.
How often have we seen pic 1, with the bowler being the only change! Amarnath delivers the perfect hook to take a four off Marshall. Holding sends Amarnath's off-stump flying with a express delivery. Lloyd and Richards are especially delighted to see the back of a man in such scintillating nick coming into the tournament. Kapil came in at the right time, to take a heavy toll of the spinners. Hammers Richards for 4 and pulls Gomes for 6 over square leg. Kaps made a quickfire 15 off 10 balls before holing out. No.11 Sandhu is hit on the helmet by a Marshall bouncer. While Dujon expresses concern, Marshall pretends to tie his bootlaces and walks away. I've a job to do and mortgage to pay
, Macco would say when questioned about his methods of 'softening' the batsman! Holding collects his sweater from Dickie Bird after taking the last wicket. Hope you guys won't get us padding out to bat
, Garner told the top bats on the way back to the pavilion. He was taken aback by the complacent replies.
Greenidge shoulders arms with tragic results to this terrific inswinger from Sandhu.
Notice the subdued West Indian fans in the front row . For these men who migrated from the Caribbean, there was no bigger occasion than the heroes from the country of their birth visiting the land of their colonial masters and beating them in their own sport. When Ramadhin and Valentine bowled the Windies to a 3-1 series win in England 1950, it sparked off jubilant celebrations among the West Indian immigrants in London
. Possibly the first cricketing Calypso 'Those little pals of mine' was composed and sung by Lord Kitchener after the 1950 Lord's Test. After WI won by an innings and 326 runs, from the ground it was carried straight into the streets of London, black bars in London regularly played out the song of triumph. For the more-than-casual cricket follower, it's hard to ignore the sociological dimensions of West Indian cricketing ethos, of the hoary past when captaincy was the sole preserve of the white cricketer, and how since the advent of their charismatic and gifted stroke-players, it became a common sight in England to see a Caribbean batsman's rasping boundary hit joyously welcomed at the rope by hordes of black spectators. Indeed, it was more than coincidence that the loftier heights of West Indian cricket were achieved in England.
The last pic has Richards starting in style, swatting Sandhu to the square leg fence.
The most famous swagger in the game! There is a story besides the swagger too, for Viv is walking into this innings with a streak of 119, 95 not out and 80 not out behind him, setting the stage for a climactic carnage. Leans into a Kapil outswinger and a perfectly timed push races to the mid-off boundary. I threw up my arms expecting an edge only to see the umpire signalling four
, Kapil recollected a decade later. The next one is even better, picked outside off and flicked to the midwicket fence. The usual routine in between balls - Viv scans the field and as soon as the bowler reaches his mark, adjusts his cap and takes strike. A persuasive push between midwicket and mid-on for four is followed by a wayward long hop. Dispatched with a thunderous smack that crashed into the fence before the fielders could move. An ominous glare at the onside field portends even more sinister consequences. A square drive to cover takes him to 30 and Viv examines his willow which is now truly humming. Three fours off the over.
A single brings up the 50 in the 12th over. Haynes gets out but immediately Clive Lloyd marches in to a tumultous reception, his last World Cup game. This Windies supporter cannot hide his joy on seeing his skipper march out to join his already marauding marshal. He does seem to be of Guyanese origin! Tragedy strikes as Lloyd pulls a muscle.
The turning point off the final as Viv loses concentration and takes an unwise swipe that Kapil pursues to take a spectacular running catch - surely the most significant piece of fielding by an Indian in our cricket history. Desis swarm into the field and mob Kapil, one guy is still doing a triumphant dance while a cop tries to restore order. Viv walks off stoically, chewing gum as is his wont, probably spat it once he neared the rope whacking it with his bat.
Gomes edges straight to Gavaskar at slip and Windies slide to 66-4. A hobbling Lloyd drives without moving and Kapil gratefully pouches the catch. The Indian fans are delighted to see Super Cat back in the hut(66-5). Syed Kirmani throws his puny frame across first slip Gavaskar and pulls off a fantafabulous catch! Kiri was an unsung hero, did not concede a single bye in the whole tournament. If only Parthiv Patel had been a tenth of Kiri in Sydney 2003-04..*sigh*
Amarnath breaks the threatening partnership between Marshall and Dujon, which occupied around 15 overs and took Windies past 100. Kapil gets rid of the obdurate Roberts.(There are enough stills of the momentous Holding lbw so let's stop here)
Vengsarkar and the Indian officials celebrate the triumph at the Lord's balcony as the final wicket falls. The whole crowd moves into the ground as Kapil receives the cup that cheers. The Lion of Punjab flashes a Cheshire cat grin as Super Cat is a complete picture of gloom. The other Punjabi lion is all smiles after Mike Brearley nominates him for the Man of the Match.
(The video was produced by Srikkanth so obviously the footage of Cheeka smoking a cigarette on Lord's balcony(yes, Ganguly had a forerunner!) did not appear :-) "After the match, there was total chaos, neenga sonna nambaaateenga, phone calls were coming in..."
Podhumaiyyaaaa!! Video thaan paathutome illa?? Now explain to us how you so precisely radar-guided the Dipak Patel lollipop-ball to the ONLY
fielder on the boundary off the 5th ball of the match, causing the whole of TN to switch off the TV and go back to sleep at 4.45 AM in the '92 World Cup?!?