• A 1-run World Cup thriller

    It was the second day of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 in India and the host nation was playing Australia.

    The visitors batted well, scoring a reasonable total of 270-6 thanks to a century from Geoff Marsh (110) and 49 from David Boon and 39 from Dean Jones.

    Kapil Dev’s sportsmanship proved the deciding factor in a close-run match. One of Jones’s two sixes, in his 39 from 35 balls, had been signalled as four; but between innings Kapil concurred with the Australians’ insistence that the ball cleared the boundary.

    That India’s target was increased by 2 seemed insignificant when Gavaskar (32 balls, one six, six fours), Srikkanth (83 balls, seven fours) and Sidhu (79 balls, five sixes, four fours) sent them racing past 200 for the loss of only two wickets before the collapse started.

    Craig McDermott picked up 4-56. McDermott’s first four overs went for 31 runs, but he came back strongly to whip out the middle order. Even so, India, with four wickets in hand, needed just 15 from the last four overs; when the last over began, the requirement was 6, with the last man, Maninder Singh, taking strike. He managed two 2s, but along with his sang-froid went his off stump and India was bowled out for 269 with one ball remaining in the innings.

    Australia’s innings, like India’s, had been built around the top-order batsmen. On a pitch of little pace or bounce, Marsh and Boon put on 100 at almost 5 an over. Jones played quite beautifully, but the middle order lost the initiative. Marsh, in 95-degree heat and high humidity, batted more than three hours and hit a six and seven fours in 141 balls.

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