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02 October 201023:54

Six months to CWC 2011 final

A quick recap of the previous title clashes

Six months to CWC 2011 final - Cricket News

Australia captain Ricky Ponting along with West Indies' Clive Lloyd is the most successful leader in ICC Cricket World Cup history.

With just six months to go for the final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on 2 April, a look at how the previous title clashes panned out

Date: 21 June 1975
Venue: Lord's, London

West Indies 291-8 in 60 overs ( Clive Lloyd 102, Rohan Kanhai 55; Gary Gilmour 5-48, Jeff Thomson 2-44) beat Australia 274 in 58.4 overs (Ian Chappell 62, Alan Turner 40, Doug Walters 35; Keith Boyce 4-50) by 17 runs

The longest day of the year produced one of the most thrilling contests ever in cricket history. The first mega final of any cricket event turned out to be a classic as two powerful sides were pitted against each other. West Indies and Australia were natural rivals because of the similarity in the line-ups. Both sides had menacing fast bowlers, champion batsmen and great fielders which made for thrilling viewing.

Australia skipper Ian Chappell decided to field first and it paid dividends. West Indies were reduced to 50 for three wickets. The sight of opener Roy Fredericks falling over the stumps while hooking Dennis Lillee for a six is still vivid in everyone's minds. The stage was then set for Guyanese pair of skipper Clive Lloyd and Rohan Kanhai to restructure the innings. The pair added 149 runs for the fourth wicket. Kanhai made 55 (105b, 8x4) and Lloyd ended with 102 off just 85 balls with 12 boundaries and two sixes. A middle-order collapse notwithstanding West Indies put up a massive target.

In their reply, Australia made a steady start with opener Alan Turner making 40. It was then upto skipper Ian Chappell and his brother Greg to take charge of the innings. But both the brothers fell to the brilliance of a new boy named Viv Richards. He was quick on his feet as he ran out Ian for 62 (93b, 6x4) and Greg for 15. The rate climbed and very soon Australia was at 233 for nine. In the end a valiant tenth wicket stand of 41 between Denniss Lillee (21) and Jeff Thomson (16) added some drama. A crowd invasion complicated matters, but it all ended happily for the boys from the Caribbean.

Date: 23 June 1979
Venue: Lord's, London

West Indies 286-9 in 60 overs (Viv Richards 138, Collis King 86; Phil Edmonds 2-40, Ian Botham 2-44) beat England 194 in 51 overs (Mike Brearley 64, Geoff Boycott 57, Graham Gooch 32; Joel Garner 5-38, Colin Croft 3-42) by 92 runs

West Indies had been on a roll winning all their ICC Cricket World Cup games in both the 1975 and 1979 editions. West Indies batting and their fearsome fast bowling coupled with their brilliance on the field made them the most dominant side of this era. England was led astutely by Mike Brearley through the tournament. It seemed like a clash of two different styles when the big day beckoned.

England struck early to leave West Indies struggling at 99 for four. The West Indies juggernaut appeared to have hit a roadblock. And then there was Viv Richards. He allied with Collis King to put on 139 runs for the fifth wicket. Richards ended with 138 (157b, 11x4, 3x6) and King made 86 off 66 balls with ten boundaries and three sixes. England's fifth bowler (Boycott, Gooch and Larkins) proved to be costly in the final analysis giving away a total of 86 from their 12 overs.

England began steadily as Boycott (57: 105b, 3x4) and Brearley (64: 130b, 7x4) structured an old-fashioned reply. The duo put on 129 runs for the opening wicket but the asking rate was climbing all the time. West Indies dropped a couple of catches along the way, but England did not capitalise on that. By the time Boycott and Brearley departed, the target was out of reach. The trio of Gooch, Botham and Gower could not do much. The rest were yorked out by Joel Garner who ended with figures of 5-38.

Date: 25 June 1983
Venue: Lord's, London

India 183 in 54.4 overs (Krish Srikkanth 38, Sandeep Patil 27, Mohinder Amarnath, 26; Andy Roberts 3-32, Malcolm Marshall 2-24) beat West Indies 140 in 52 overs (Viv Richards 33, Jeff Dujon 25; Madan Lal 3-31, Mohinder Amarnath 3-12) by 43 runs

Before the 1983 edition, India had won just one ICC Cricket World Cup game. But in the 1983 edition, India led by Kapil Dev turned the formbook upside down. They upset Australia and West Indies in the league stage. Kapil himself created magic with his 175 not out against Zimbabwe to help tide over a crisis. After all that to make the final at Lord?s was a dream come true. Up against India was the rampant West Indies, playing their third straight ICC Cricket World Cup final.

West Indies pacemen struck early to claim Sunil Gavaskar cheaply. Thereafter, Krish Srikkanth (38) and Mohinder Amarnath (26) added 57 runs for the second wicket. But that was the last of the fight from the India line-up as the West Indies pace battery dismantled them. India's middle and lower-order chipped in with some contributions, but nothing was significant to worry West Indies. In the end, India ended with 183 and West Indies walked away with the confidence that the match was sealed.

But very soon West Indies read the writing on the wall. Gordon Greenidge fell early to a Sandhu inswinger. At 57 for two, Richards looked like he was in a hurry to finish the match. He pulled Madan Lal only to find Kapil running backwards from mid-wicket to take one of the most amazing catches. West Indies panicked, Clive Lloyd pulled a hamstring and the Indian bowlers applied pressure. The gentle medium-pace of Amarnath trigerred a collapse. Jeff Dujon (25) tried in vain, but it was not enough as India ran home winners. Lord's was stunned and so was the world of cricket as Kapil walked away with the most prized possession.

Date: 8 November 1987
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

Australia 253-5 in 50 overs (David Boon 75, Mike Veletta 45; Eddie Hemmings 2-48, Neil Foster 1-38) beat England 246-8 in 50 overs (Bill Athey 58, Mike Gatting 41, Allan Lamb 45; Steve Waugh 2-37, Allan Border 2-38)

It was a mini-Ashes battle being played out in the theatre called Eden Gardens. Both Australia and England had not been tipped to make it this far. But they did so, by outlasting favourites Pakistan and India. Australia was as much a rank outsider as India was in 1983. England too was on a roll after a magnificent run under Mike Gatting for over a year. It seemed all was in readiness for a mouth-watering clash now played over 50 overs.

David Boon set off the Australia juggernaut with a 125-ball 75 with seven boundaries. Boon and Geoff Marsh added 75 for the first wicket. Thereafter Boon teamed up with Dean Jones (33) to take the score to 151-1. Then Australia suffered a mini-collapse losing three wickets for 17 runs to reach 168 for four. Mike Veletta (45 not out: 31b, 6x4) and Allan Border (31: 31b, 3x4) added 73 runs for the fifth wicket to propel Australia to a secure 253 for five.

Graham Gooch (35) and Bill Athey (58: 103b, 2x4) began constructing England's reply. The stage was set for Gatting to take England home as he added 69 runs with Athey for the second wicket. But then came the moment the match turned on its head. Gatting (41) played a reverse sweep shot off opposite number Border only for wicketkeeper Greg Dyer to pouch it. From there on England slipped further and could not match upto the climbing rate. Allan Lamb made a valiant 45 but by then the result was a foregone conclusion. Australia ran home easy winners despite the narrow victory margin.

Date: 25 Match 1992
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne

Pakistan 249 for six in 50 overs (Imran Khan 72, Javed Miandad 58, Inzamam-ul-Haq 42, Wasim Akram 33; Derek Pringle 3-22) beat England 227 in 49.2 overs (Neil Fairbrother 62, Allan Lamb 31; Wasim Akram 3-49, Mushtaq Ahmed 3-41) by 22 runs

Pakistan had qualified for the final rounds thanks to a mix of good fortune and bad weather. But on the big days, they came through on the back of some young talented players. England on the other hand had been a typical professional outfit and had qualified for the second successive ICC Cricket World Cup final. Pakistan began disastrously and at 24 for two, looked like had made the wrong choice to bat first.

The veteran pair of Imran Khan (72: 110b, 5x4, 1x6) and Javed Miandad (58: 98b, 4x4, 1x6) set about repairing the damage in a very calm manner in their record fifth ICC Cricket World Cup. The scoring was slow, but Imran and Miandad built the innings brick by brick with a 139-run third wicket stand. England dropped catches, let the initiative slip away and set the stage for Pakistan's big hitters. Inzamam-ul-Haq (42: 35b, 4x4) and Wasim Akram (33: 18b, 4x4) batted in a hurry to push the scoring to 249-6. England was deflated by the Akram and Inzamam blitzkrieg.

Akram then produced a magical spell of 3-49 which broke the back of the England batting. Aaqib Javed also struck early and was backed well by Mushtaq Ahmed (3-41). Neil Fairbrother (62: 70b, 3x4) and Allan Lamb (31: 41b, 2x4) then added 72 runs for the fifth wicket to take the total to 141 for four. Akram produced two magic deliveries to dismiss Lamb and Chris Lewis on the same score. England never recovered and fittingly Imran picked up the final wicket to seal the issue on his final day as a cricketer.

Date: 17 March 1996
Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore

Australia 241-7 in 50 overs (Mark Taylor 74, Ricky Ponting 45; Aravinda De Silva 3-42) lost to Sri Lanka 245-3 in 46.2 overs (Asanka Gurusinha 655, Aravinda De Silva 107 not out, Arjuna Ranatunga 47 not out) by 7 wickets

Sri Lanka's batting ensured that the team entered the biggest day of the island nation's cricketing history on a high. The depth in Sri Lanka's batting had ensured that Arjuna Ranatunga and his men had plenty to bank on. But Australia had been on a roll of their own, going through uninterrupted and coming off a dramatic semi-final win over West Indies. The stage was set for a dramatic needle contest given the recent history of the two sides.

Mark Taylor led the way like a captain with an 83-ball 74 with eight boundaries and a six. But after Taylor departed with the score on 137-1, the innings collapsed. Sri Lanka spinners led by the magical Muttiah Muralidaran spun a web around the Australian line-up. But the star of the day was Aravinda De Silva's restrictive off-spin which fetched 3-42. A cameo by Michael Bevan (36) ensured Australia had a fighting total.

Sri Lanka began shakily like in the semi-final against India. They lost the explosive pair of Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluwitharana cheaply. Australia, just like India in the semis, felt the match was sealed. But again even Australia did not factor the depth in Sri Lanka order. Experienced pair of Asanka Gurusinha (65) and Aravinda De Silva (107 not out: 124b, 13x4) batted in a composed manner to add 125 runs for the third wicket. Then, Ranatunga (47 not out: 37b, 4x4, 1x6) took over as he calmly piloted Sri Lanka to their greatest moment in cricket. This was the first time a side won the ICC Cricket World Cup chasing a target.

Date: 20 June 1999
Venue: Lord's, London

Pakistan 132 in 39 overs (Ijaz Ahmed 22; Shane Warne 4-33, Tom Moody 2-17, Glenn McGrath 2-13) lost to Australia 133-2 in 20.1 overs (Adam Gilchrist 54, Mark Waugh 37 not out) by 8 wickets

This was the starting point of the Australian domination over the next decade. Australia had stuttered their way through the tournament before dramatically snatching a last-ball tie against South Africa in the semi-finals. But come the final day, Australia was up for the Pakistan challenge. Pakistan was the favourite thanks to its superior bowling attack.

On match day, Pakistan batting just folded up as the magical leg-spin of Shane Warne (4-33) tied their line-up in knots. This coupled with outstanding catching and ground fielding by Australia ensured that Pakistan was shot out for a mere 132 and that too in 39 overs. Pakistan collapsed from 68 for two to 132 all out as Australia controlled the proceedings.

In reply, Adam Gilchrist set a rollicking pace in his 36-ball 54 laced with eight boundaries and a six. Even Pakistan with their world class attack could not prevent Australia from running away with the title for the second time. For Gilchrist this would be the first of his three 50-plus knocks in an ICC Cricket World Cup final. In the end, Australia won what would be one of the shortest final in ICC Cricket World Cup history.

Date: 23 March 2003
Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

Australia 359-2 in 50 overs (Adam Gilchrist 57, Ricky Ponting 140 not out, Damien Martyn 88 not out; Harbhajan Singh 2-49) beat India 234 in 39.2 overs (Virender Sehwag 82, Rahul Dravid 47; Glenn McGrath 3-52, Andrew Symonds 2/7) by 125 runs

India's first final since ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 proved to be a complete anti-climax. After a heady run through the course of the tournament, the Indian team was just too pumped up for the big day. Australia was unbeaten and on course for their second successive ICC Cricket World Cup title. Zaheer Khan's first over of the game set the tone for the day as he sprayed the ball, got into a verbal duel with Matthew Hayden and India lost the plot.

Australia first through Adam Gilchrist and Hayden set off in a hurry. Despite the fall of Gilchrist and Hayden in quick succession, India could not pull things back. Australia skipper Ricky Ponting played the innings of his life smashing an unbeaten 140 off 121 balls with four boundaries and eight sixes. He was ably assisted by Damien Martyn (88 not out: 84b, 7x4, 1 x6) in an unbeaten third wicket partnership of 234 runs.

India was never really in the game once Australia set a total of 360. Virender Sehwag made an attempt during his 81-ball 82 knock with 10 boundaries and three sixes. But the total was just too much to be overhauled. Rahul Dravid held the innings together with his 47, but once Sehwag was run out, the game was over. For a brief while there was a possibility that India could be asked to chase a re-arranged target as dark clouds started welling up all over. But that was just a mirage as millions of Indian fans on television and in the stadium found out.

Date: 28 April, 2007
Venue: Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados

Australia 281-4 in 38 overs (Adam Gilchrist 149, Matthew Hayden 38; Lasith Malinga 2-49) beat Sri Lanka 215-8 in 36 overs (Sanath Jayasuriya 63, Kumar Sangakkara 54; Michael Clarke 2-33) by 53 runs (D/L method)

By his own standards Adam Gilchrist was having a quiet time during ICC Cricket World Cup 2007. He had been in the shadows of the likes of Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting. But on that rain-hit day in Bridgetown, Gilchrist just exploded. He slammed a 104-ball 149 with 13 boundaries and eight sixes. Sri Lanka's well-oiled bowling attack and their skipper Mahela Jayawardena just did not know what hit them.

Australia rattled up a massive 281 for four in just 38 overs. The other Australian batsmen played a few cameos but by the time Gilchrist got out in the 31st over, Sri Lanka were starring down the barrel. Sri Lanka began in kind with Sanath Jayasuriya (63) and Kumar Sangakkara (54) adding 116 runs for the second wicket. But the rate was climbing all the time.

In the end as sun began setting, the lights at the Oval were switched on as the game headed for an anti-climax. The play was held up for a bit as the umpires, captains and referee consulted each other on the light. Play resumed with the target being further reduced and two overs deducted. But the writing was always on the wall. Gilchrist had delivered a knock-out punch first up and Sri Lanka ended up losing by 53 runs under fading light.