World Cup 1979: West Indies continue their dominance with consecutive World Cup triumphs

first_imgFour years after the inaugural edition, the World Cup returned to England in 1979 with West Indies looking to defend their trophy. The 1979 World Cup had eight teams and marked Canada’s first appearance at such a stage. There were two groups with four teams each in them and players wore white clothing and used red balls. The top two teams from each group advanced to the semi-final and both sides had 60 overs per innings with a maximum of 12 overs allowed for an individual bowler.Defending champions West Indies looked in ominous form straight from the outset as they comfortably chased 191 against India to begin the tournament. Openers Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge’s superb 138-run partnership meant that West Indies beat India convincingly and laid down a marker for the rest of the teams in the competition. Hosts England, who were eager to exorcise the demons of their semi-final loss against Australia in 1975, began their campaign by beating the Aussies convincingly.England then took part in what is still considered by many as one of the most lopsided matches in World Cup history. Up against Canada, Bob Willis and Chris Old ran through the minnows and dismissed them for a mere 45. The English then went on to top Group A after pipping Pakistan in a low-scoring thriller at Leeds. After scoring 165 for 9, England’s Mike Hendrick was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4 for 15 as the hosts topped their group and set up a semi-final clash against New Zealand.advertisementAfter winning the toss and opting to field in the first semi-final, the Black Caps did well to handcuff England for majority of the innings by hitting good lines and length. Skipper Mike Brearley and Graham Gooch came together to help the hosts to 221 for 8 at the end of the 60 overs. In reply, the Kiwis began well with John Wright scoring 69 at the top order. However, New Zealand’s middle order couldn’t quite play with the same conviction as Wright and were left requiring 14 from the final over a mammoth task in those days. England thus won the semi-final by 9 runs with Hendrick once again being their best bowler, while Gooch was presented the Man of the Match for his 71 off 84 balls.The final was a much-awaited clash between hosts England and defending champions West Indies, who were characteristically dominant throughout the tournament having made light work of most of their opponents, including Pakistan in the semi-final. Thousands of fans thronged the stadium with the majority supporting England. The Windies though weren’t fazed by the occasion or their opponent and went about their business in a calm manner.They batted first and scored 286 as Sir Vivian Richard’s starred with an unbeaten 138 from 157 balls, while Collis King contributed with a handy knock of 86 off just 66 balls. England’s openers Brearley and Geoff Boycott added 129 for the opening wicket before Michael Holding dismissed the former. Boycott followed his skipper back to the pavilion soon after, bringing Derek Randall and Gooch to the crease. The duo added 48 runs together before Gooch perished with the score on 183 for 3. England went on to collapse after the wicket of Gooch, losing their remaining seven wickets while adding just 11 more runs. As a result, West Indies reigned supreme, making it back-to-back World Cups.Also Read | WC 1975: The birth of World Cups and West Indies’ dominanceAlso Seelast_img

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