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1987 World Cup: Star Performers

CWC article

On the 8 October 1987, the fourth edition of the Men’s Cricket World Cup got underway in Hyderabad.

One month later, Australia’s men ruled the world for the first time, as they were led to the title by captain Allan Border.

Featuring the likes of Border, Graham Gooch, Sir Viv Richards, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Martin Crowe – amongst others – the 1987 edition of the World Cup was packed with world-class talent.

We look back at the men who starred at the tournament.  

Top run-scorer

Graham Gooch (471)

While his side may have fallen at the final hurdle, England’s Graham Gooch still managed to top the run-scoring charts at the 1987 World Cup.

With three half-centuries and a century, Gooch ended the tournament with 471 runs to his name.

His first half-century came against Sri Lanka (84), before he hit back-to-back fifties against West Indies (92) and Sri Lanka once more (61).

His century came at a crucial stage, as he scored 115 against India in the semi-final, famously sweeping England to their second World Cup final.

87 Days to Go Graham Gooch #SweptAway

Leading wicket-taker

Craig McDermott (18)

Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott led the charge for the eventual champions, taking 18 wickets, one more than Imran Khan in second.

He took a 4-for on his World Cup debut in Chennai against India, adding another three wickets when the sides met again in Delhi.

His best return came in the semi-final against Pakistan, when he took 5/44 from 10 overs to claim the Player of the Match award.

Craig McDermott's 5/44 against Pakistan was the only five-wicket haul taken at the 1987 World Cup
Craig McDermott's 5/44 against Pakistan was the only five-wicket haul taken at the 1987 World Cup

Highest score

Sir Viv Richards (181 v Sri Lanka)

There is no disputing the most destructive innings at the 1987 World Cup – that honour goes to Windies legend Sir Viv Richards and his stunning 181 from 125 balls against Sri Lanka.

Richards, who came in with his side on 45/2, struck 16 fours and seven sixes to help the Windies reach 360/4 from their 50 overs.

At the time, Richards’ knock was the highest-ever at the World Cup, overtaking Kapil Dev’s 175* against Zimbabwe in 1983.

Sir Viv Richards smashed 181 against Sri Lanka
Sir Viv Richards smashed 181 against Sri Lanka

Best figures

Craig McDermott (5/44 v Pakistan)

McDermott’s aforementioned semi-final five-for was the only five-wicket haul taken at the 1987 World Cup.

The Australian speedster claimed the wickets of Mansoor Akhtar, Wasim Akram, Saleem Yousuf, Saleem Jaffar and Tauseef Ahmed, finishing with figures of 5/44 to help his side book their spot in the World Cup final.

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