A thrilling start | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2010

ICC Cricket world cup history

A thrilling start

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From the viewers' perspective, the 1987 World Cup can lay claim to being the most thrilling. A large number of matches, including the final, were close with the result not clear till the last over. For sheer drama and late twists, the match of the tournament probably was the one between hosts India and eventual champions Australia at the Chepauk in Madras on October 9.
The ground was the site of only the second tied Test in history, also between India and Australia, played a little over a year before their World Cup match, so it is perhaps no surprise that they locked horns for another classic. It was the first match of the Cup for both the participants.
Australia captain Allan Border elected to bat after winning the toss and the openers Geoff Marsh and David Boon gave them a good start with a 110-run stand. Boon was first out, trapped in front by Ravi Shastri's left arm spin. Marsh played the anchor role, while at the other end Dean Jones at first-drop punished the bowlers with a 35-ball 39 before falling to Maninder Singh, with the score reading 174 for two. Marsh then combined with Border till the latter was dismissed at 228, and Marsh himself went nine runs later for a well-compiled 110 (seven 4s, one six). Steve Waugh then took over with an unbeaten 19 from 17 balls, to take the score to 268 for 6.
With the way the match ended the most important event was probably unfolding in the dressing room between innings. When Jones was at the crease, he charged a Maninder Singh delivery and hit it over the bowler's head to long-off where the ball eluded Shastri's outstretched fingers. Shastri signalled four to the umpire, who accepted the fielder's word and did likewise but Jones was convinced it was a six, and so were the Australians sitting in the dressing room nearby.
During the innings break, the umpires, after talking with the Australian team manager, had a talk with India captain Kapil Dev and awarded the Australian team two runs to make their total 270. Those two runs were to make all the difference.
India started strongly and for much of the innings were in the driver's seat. Gavaskar gave the hosts a flying start by making a 32-ball 39. McDermott was taken for 31 off his opening spell of four overs.
The Little Master went with the score on 69, but the next partnership between newcomer Navjot Singh Sidhu and Krish Srikkanth realised 62 runs in good time. Srikkanth went after a typically breezy 83-ball 70, trapped in front by Steve Waugh only to have Sidhu joined by Dilip Vengsarkar in a 76-run stand. Sidhu top-scored with 73 before being bowled by McDermott.
Mohammed Azharuddin followed 22 runs later, and at four for 229, India were favourites to win with only 42 runs to win.
The Australians, though, had other plans. Displaying their trademark mental strength and never-say-die attitude, they choked the Indians dry. McDermott shot through the middle-order. Having already dismissed Sidhu and Azharuddin, he accounted for Vengsarkar and Shastri to leave the hosts at 249 for six.
After Dev's departure, India needed 15 runs off the last four with three wickets in hand. More choking by the Australians saw them lose two more wickets and score only 9 runs off three of those overs. Steve "The Iceman" Waugh ran up to bowl the last over, with last man Maninder Singh on strike. He managed two doubles off the first two deliveries, taking India to within two runs of victory with four balls remaining. Waugh justified his nickname by bowling two dot balls on the trot, and with two needed off the last two, he clean bowled Singh off the penultimate ball of the match. Australia were victors by just one run.

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