On this day in 1975, West Indies won the inaugural Cricket World Cup when they defeated Australia in the final at Lord’s.
The West Indies and Australia went into the World Cup as the bookies’ favourites, and they lived up to the expectations when they managed to reached the final. Australian captain Ian Chappell won the toss, and in what looked like a good batting pitch, courageously asked the West Indians to bat first. The decision from Chappell was motivated by the fact that the only way his team stood a chance was to restrict West Indies to a chaseable total, and reduce the pressure on his batsman who would have to face the West Indian bowling juggernaut that had destroyed all before them in the games preceding the final.
West Indian captain Clive Lloyd played a captain’s knock scoring 102 runs off 85 balls, to help West Indies to a total of 291 runs in their maximum of 60 overs. The ODIs in those days were sixty-over innings. The second-best West Indian batsman on the day Rohan Kanhai also contributed 55 runs from 108 balls – putting Lloyd’s innings into perspective.
In reply the Australians struggled to get on top of the West Indian bowlers. But Ian Chappell played an innings that helped Australia stay in the game scoring 62 off 93 balls. When Vanburn Holder ran-out Max Walker for the fall of the ninth wicket, it was the fourth run-out of the match – a sign of panic from the Australian batsman. Dennis Lillee joined Jeff Thomson at the crease with the Australians on 233-9.
There was drama in the 57th over when Jeff Thomson was caught at cover off Holder, but the delivery was deemed illegal by the umpire. Oblivious to that fact the West Indian fans ran onto the field to celebrate a victory. When normalcy was restored the empires decided to award Australia two runs as the West Indies couldn’t find the ball, even though they had continued running throughout the commotion.
The fourth ball of the penultimate over with Australia needing 17 from 9 balls, Thomson was run-out by West Indian wicket-keeper Deryck Murray to win the World Cup for West Indies.
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