25th June 1983 can truly be called a watershed moment for Indian cricket as on this day Kapil Dev’s team managed to do the unthinkable and toppled two-time and defending World Champions West Indies led by Clive Lloyd in the final of the 1983 Prudential World Cup at the Lord’s ground.
India had won a grand total of one match in the previous two editions of the tournament, also held in England, and this time they were led by a 24-year-old all-rounder. The team itself didn’t have expectations of going into the semis, let alone winning the title. Many of the players had booked extended vacations as the team was not expected to go past the league stage.
However, a victory over the West Indies in the league stage gave them confidence that they could go all the way. The biggest test came against minnows Zimbabwe in a match at Tunbridge Wells, where India was reduced to 17/5 when Kapil Dev played a captain’s knock of 175* to take the team to a good total and then the bowlers did the rest.
India and West Indies qualified for the semis from their group B, while England and Pakistan qualified from Group A. India faced England in the semi-finals and Pakistan faced the West Indies.
England won the toss and chose to bat first and made 213 with Kapil taking three wickets. Half-centuries from Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil took India to a great victory over the hosts and into their maiden World Cup final.
West Indies came into the finals crushing Pakistan and then won the toss at Lord’s, putting India in to bat on a greenish wicket. India couldn’t do much and was bowled out for 183 with Kris Srikkanth making 38 and Mohinder Amarnath making 26.
Clive Lloyd’s men were confident of overhauling such a low total, and this overconfidence cost them dearly, as Indians bowled a tight line and length.
Though Viv Richards briefly looked like he would take the game away from India, a brilliant running catch by Kapil Dev ended his innings for 33 and then Amarnath picked three wickets as India registered a huge upset by 43 runs.
Kapil’s devils became the world champions for the first time and cricket was never the same in India ever.
The current and former cricketers took to Twitter to celebrate the 37th anniversary of the World Cup win and we have some of the best tweets for you.
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