Joel Garner © Getty Images
Joel Garner © Getty Images


By CricketCountry Staff


England vs West Indies, Prudential World Cup, Lord’s, June 23, 1979


West Indies won by 92 runs


A blistering innings of 138 by Viv Richards and a 66-ball 86 by Collis King powered the West Indies to a total of 286. If England had any hope to win surpass this total to win the final of the 1979 World Cup, they needed a meaningful start.


In terms of runs scored, England did get 129 runs for the first wicket. But in getting those runs, Geoff Boycott and Mike Brearley consumed 39 overs. It would not be wrong to say that the West Indies would actually have liked Boycott and Brearley to bat on and on! 


In fact, Joel Garner once went on record to say, “We were grateful to England for their tactics. By the time the England openers were gone it would have taken a superhuman effort to retrieve the situation.”


Garner returned for his second spell in the 48th over from the Nursery End to play havoc as England were fighting a losing cause. He steamed in and bowled a succession of lethal Yorkers to first clean up Graham Gooch and ensure England didn’t get any momentum going in their innings. Three balls later, he tore through the defence of David Gower. The left-hander gave himself room and attempted a forceful shot to be out for a duck.


The dark clouds that loomed large over Lord’s didn’t make the task of English batsmen any easier as facing a bowler, whose arm was coming out of the tress above the stands, was quite an ask.


It was apparent that Brearley and Boycott did a great disservice batting in a painstaking manner. It was too much to ask in two few overs for the batting that followed. From a 183 for two as England slumped to 186 for six. Garner inflicted further damage, castling Wayne Larkins for a first-ball duck.


Garner pulverised England as they were more or less resigned to their fate by now. He rattled the furniture for the fourth time, while accounting for Chris Old as West Indies inched closer to performing the final rites. Garner then became the first bowler to register a five-for when he snapped up Bob Taylor to hasten the World Cup winning path for West Indies. The “Big Bird’s” five wickets came within five balls at a personal cost of four runs!


England was all out for 194 in 51 overs giving West Indies a comprehensive 92 run victory – the last eight wickets crumbling for just 11 runs.


Garner celebrated the win by taking off his 15 size boots and flinging them from the dressing room balcony into the sea of fans in front of the pavilion.