World Cup Countdown: 1979- Viv’s miracle shot and Canada’s debut

first_imgAfter the success of the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1975, the International Cricket Conference decided had to come up with the second such tournament in 1979 which was once again held in England.The West Indies, who were well on their way to dominate world cricket by then, were once again the favourites to win the trophy and they didn’t disappoint as they set the record by becoming the first team to retain the World Cup. A record which they held for 28 years before Australia emulated that feat by defending the title in 2007.Clive Lloyd’s team once again took the cricketing world by storm as they proved too hot to handle for any other team in the competition.While the tournament itself was once again a huge success, there were a few instances which stood out.CANADA’S WORLD CUP DEBUTThe format of the 1979 World Cup remained unchanged with all six Test-playing nations along with Sri Lanka participating but last edition’s debutant East Africa were replaced by new entrants Canada.East Africa failed to qualify for the second World Cup which meant that there was no representation from Africa.The ICC had organized a separate tournament among the associate nations from where Sri Lanka and Canada qualified to mark their entry into the World Cup.Sri Lanka lost its first match to New Zealand saw its second match against defending champions West Indies being abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain. They won their third game against India by 47 runs. But that wasn’t enough for them to advance any further.advertisementCanada on the other hand, couldn’t register a single win from their three games against Pakistan (8 wickets), England (8 wickets) and Australia (7 wickets). They managed just 45 runs against England in which at the time was the lowest total managed by a team in a World Cup match, later matched by Namibia against Australia in the 2003 World Cup.VIV’S 138 NOT OUT AND GARNER’S 11-BALL FIVE-FORThe final of the 1979 World Cup was arguably the best match of the tournament thanks mainly to the two West Indies legends – Viv Richards and Joel Garner.The West Indies were put into bat first by England captain Mike Brearley which proved to be the wrong decision in the end.The Windies rode on a magnificent 138 not out from Viv Richards and 86 from Collis King to post 286 for 9 in 60 overs.Richards’s innings was laced with 11 boundaries and three sixes, including a miracle shot which he later said he invented himself during the match. When Richards was batting on 132, he anticipated a full ball, moved to the off-side and played a stylish flick to send it all the way and took the cricketing world by surprise. Recalling the moment, Richards later said, “That shot is my invention.”Richards’s hundred was also the first by a batsman in a World Cup final.England in reply got off to a slow but solid start as openers Mike Brearley (64) and Geoff Boycott (57) added 129 runs in 38 overs. But once they got out, the rest of the batsmen just crumbled under the mounting pressure of the required run-rate.Colin Croft and Joel Garner ran through the opposition with Croft bagging 3 wickets while Garner finished with an 11-ball five-wicket haul as England got shot out for 194 in 51 overs. Richards was named man-of-the-match for his performance in the final as West Indies retained the World Cup for four more years before they were stunned by India in the 1983 World Cup final at Lord’s.Key stats from 1979 World Cup:Team records -Highest Team Total: West Indies 293/6 vs PakistanLowest Team Total: Canada 45 all-out vs EnglandHighest successful chase: New Zealand 183/2 vs India 182Individual Records -Most Runs: 253 – Gordon Greenidge (West Indies)Highest Score: 138* – Viv Richards (West Indies)Most Wickets: 10 – Mike Hendrick (England)Best Bowling figures: 5/21 – Alan Hurst (Australia) vs CanadaAlso Read | World Cup Countdown: 1975 – Slow Sunny, a broken foot and 4000 pounds within 5 daysAlso Read | World Cup 2019 will be the most challenging World Cup I have played: Virat KohliAlso Read | World Cup 2019: India will be world champions if they play to potential, says Ravi ShastriAlso Read | MS Dhoni will be a big player in World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastrilast_img

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