On This Day in 1983: India stun West Indies to win their first-ever Cricket World Cup
It was a story of endless courage, of a steely resolve and of a belief that gave birth to a herd of eleven world-conquering rebels who would bring the giants down hard enough to send ripples across the fabric of time and space. It was a story of India lifting the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time in the tournament’s history and it came against the unstoppable juggernauts bossing the world prior to that, the West Indies.
India qualifying for the final would bring together the entire nation, despite knowing that they were up against a starry West Indies that featured the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd and the reckoning pace troika of Holding, Garner and Roberts.
Knowing India’s Achilles heel being their batting, Lloyd would opt to bowl first and his bowlers would produce instant dividends as the iconic Sunil Gavaskar would depart for a paltry 2 on the cards. Andy Roberts would emanate ample pace to surge past the Master Blaster and Dujon would grab a comfortable take.
From 90 for 2, India would be staggering at 130 for 7, with Garner and Larry Gomes pulling off the nasty business of probing the Indians with bullets and turners alike. Two crucial partnerships in the end would help India reach 183, that despite being a modest one for an opponent like West Indies would raise hopes of a fightback.
India would retaliate straight away as Balwinder Sandhu would belt an absolute ripper to kiss Gordon Greenidge’s timber, sending the crowd into an explosion of frenzied ecstasy. Despite the early departure of Greenidge, it would be a decent partnership between Desmond Haynes and Vivian Richards who would stabilize the ship before Madan Lal would compel both to take unwanted routes that would be going straight through the gullet of Roger Binny and Kapil Dev respectively.
Madan Lal would deliver another taxing blow for the West Indians as he would claim Larry Gomes to leave their middle-order teetering along the fringes of a momentous collapse. Sandhu would come back to wrap up Bacchus, conjuring a dream that even in the wildest of all, even the most ardent Indians would never dare to conceive.
Jeff Dujon would combine well with Malcolm Marshall to steer West Indies to 119 before Amarnath would raze through the defences of the former to leave his timbre in smoke and ashes.
It would just be a matter of minutes before the Indian bowling unit would wrap things up with Amarnath delivering the coup de grace to the ambitions of a third consecutive World Cup for the West Indians. He would leave the Whispering Death beaten by his pace as the ball would catch the towering Caribbean quick plumb ahead of the stumps. The umpire would eventually point at the sky, paving the path for the pitch invasion of the Lord’s for the Indians knew that the Mecca of cricket had just stayed witness to the infinity-to-one dark horses conquering the world.