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World Cup Classics: Headingley

CWC feature

Eyes from all around the globe will once again be on Headingley next summer, as it plays host to four ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 matches.

Having previously been part of the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 editions of the ICC Cricket World Cup, it’s fair to say the famous ground has seen its fair share of memorable encounters.

We look back at some of the World Cup classics that have taken place at the home of Yorkshire.

1999: Australia v South Africa
Australia won by 5 wickets

Steve Waugh played a captain's knock against South Africa
Steve Waugh played a captain's knock against South Africa

A lot rested on this Super Six tie for Australia in 1999, as a win against South Africa would secure their place in the semi-final.

South Africa went in to bat first and set a respectable target of 272 to win. The key men were Herschelle Gibbs, who scored 101, and Daryll Cullinan who hit a 50. Gibbs impressed with the bat but it was his fielding that would make the headlines.

It was now up to Australia to secure their place in the semis, knowing the total they needed to progress. They found themselves in a difficult position early on as they lost the key wickets of Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh and Damien Martyn, which meant the scoreboard was grim reading for Australia as they found themselves on 48/3.

Video cwc19 07 Feb 19
Steve Waugh famously tells Herschelle Gibbs he has “dropped the World Cup.”
ICC CWC 1999; South Africa (271-7) v Australia (272-5). Australia won by 5 wickets

Enter Australia captain Steve Waugh, who with Ricky Ponting, turned the game in their favour. Waugh would play his part in a defining moment in this match as on 56, he flicked a ball to mid-wicket. It had appeared that Herschelle Gibbs had dismissed him with a catch, but in his rush to celebrate and throw the ball in the air, he ended up dropping the ball! Waugh’s response has since gone down in cricketing history as he is rumoured to have told Gibbs: ‘You just dropped the World Cup’. Waugh went on to record 120 not out and, in the process, led his team to a historic five-wicket victory with just two balls to spare.

1975 semi-final: England v Australia
Australia won 4 wickets

Gary Gilmour was in inspired form during the 1975 semi-final
Gary Gilmour was in inspired form during the 1975 semi-final

In the very first Men’s World Cup, England players and fans hoped that home advantage could play a key role in their route to the final.

Coming up against a familiar foe in Australia in the semi-final, England had to bat first after losing the toss. It’s fair to say though it was a tough time for their openers as they faced a fired-up Gary Gilmour. Gilmour took the first six wickets as England were bowled out for 93.

On paper it seemed an easy target for Australia, but it appeared they were too relaxed at first. With Chris Old and John Snow working together, the Australians soon found themselves 39/6. Could England pull off one of the most unlikely comebacks? It wasn’t to be, as Gilmour would once again rub salt in the wounds, as he and Doug Walters guided the Australians to a four-wicket victory over their old rivals.

1999: Pakistan v Australia
Pakistan won by 10 runs

Inzamam-ul-Haq scored 81 when Pakistan met Australia at Headingley in 1999
Inzamam-ul-Haq scored 81 when Pakistan met Australia at Headingley in 1999

Headingley once again played host to an important match-up as Pakistan took on Australia in this much-anticipated 1999 Cricket World Cup encounter.

Australia won the toss and chose to field first. Inzamam-ul-Haq would go on to top score for the men in green with 81, while Abdul Razzaq supported with a score of 60. With a final score of 275/8, it was all to play for and Pakistan knew they would have to be at their best to deal with a team with so much star talent.

Australia had a rocky start with opener Adam Gilchrist dismissed for a duck, but were soon able to recover as Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting posted 41 and 47 respectively. With Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan following, it seemed the Australians were on their way to victory.

However, the Pakistan bowlers got into their groove and tore apart the Australia tail end, with the last four wickets falling for just 17 runs. Wasim Akram secured victory for Pakistan when he took the final wicket of Glenn McGrath for a duck, meaning Australia finished 265 all out. 

1983: West Indies v Australia
Windies won by 101 runs

Winston Davis was the first man to take a 7-wicket haul at the World Cup
Winston Davis was the first man to take a 7-wicket haul at the World Cup

The Windies were going for a third successive World Cup in 1983 and were in fine form through their way to the final. Headingley hosted their group match against Australia, and Windies lost the toss and were made to bat first.

After 60 overs they had recorded 252/9, with Larry Gomes top-scoring with 78. Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson did his best to restrict them with his three wickets, but this was a Windies side high on confidence.

With it now being Australia’s turn to bat, they knew they were in for a challenge. Their chase didn’t get off to the best start as opener Graeme Wood retired hurt after being hit by a bouncer on two runs. They continued battling but had no answer to the fire power of Winston Davis, who ended up taking 7/51 - the best figures at the World Cup at the time!  

Soon, Australia were all out for 151 and Windies once again proved why they were considered one of the pre-tournament favourites.

1983: England v Sri Lanka
England won by 9 wickets

Graeme Fowler hit an unbeaten 81 against Sri Lanka
Graeme Fowler hit an unbeaten 81 against Sri Lanka

Headingley was host for this one-sided affair, as England and Sri Lanka met in the group stage of the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

England won the toss and elected to field first. Paul Allott was the leading performer for the English bowling attack that day, as he took three wickets, including that of captain Duleep Mendis. Soon Sri Lanka were bowled out for 136, with none of their line-up able to pass the 25-run mark.

Things were about to get worse for them, as they now had to deal with opponents who could boast Graeme Fowler, David Gower and Ian Botham in their ranks. Fowler led the way and was unable to be dismissed on his way to 81*. With England having lost the wicket of Chris Tavaré, Gower then came to the crease, scoring 27 not out as the host nation finished on 137/1.

Limited tickets remain for Afghanistan v Windies at Headingley in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Click here to get yours before they’re gone.

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