World Cup Countdown: 1983 – “Dark Horse” India achieve World Cup glory at Lord’s
Kapil Dev's India beat the once "unbeatable" West Indies to win the 1983 World Cup. (Getty Image)

In the build-up to the 2019 ICC Cricket World CupCricketCountry brings to you the most memorable moments and matches from the Cricket World Cup – right from its first edition, way back in 1975. With 85 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we recall how Kapil Dev’s India beat the mighty West Indies in the final at Lord’s to lift the 1983 Prudential World Cup.

Kim Hughes has opined before the 1983 Prudential World Cup that India is the “dark horse” of the tournament. It was an opinion even the optimistic of Indian cricket fans had no buyers. But as the championship unfolded, Kapil’s “dark horses” turned out to be winners as they overcame the mighty West Indies lift the World Cup for the first time and change the landscape of India cricket.

India stunned all by defeating two-time champions West Indies (and till then unbeaten in the tournament history) in their first league match of the edition. They then beat Zimbabwe twice (in one of these they were 9 for 4, then 17 for 5, then 78 for 7, only to be rescued by an outrageous unbeaten 175 from Kapil Dev).

India then scored 247 against Australia in the must-win (for both) league match at Chelmsford. Then Roger Binny (4 for 29) and Madan Lal (4 for 20) skittled Australia for 129.

In the semi-final, at Old Trafford, Kapil used Kirti Azad and (12-1-28-1) Mohinder Amarnath (12-1-27-2) brilliantly in the middle overs. England crawled to 213, and India won easily. Mohinder got 46 to go with his spell to win the Man-of-the-Match award.

Even then, few gave India a chance in the final at Lord’s. Krishnamachari Srikkanth pulled and hooked Andy Roberts for four and six and square-drove him for four, but the joy did not last long. He was trapped leg-before by Malcolm Marshall for a 57-ball 38: the highest score of the match, acquired at rapid rate, given the pace at which runs would be scored throughout the day.

Mohinder (26) and Sandeep Patil (27) chipped in. Kapil Dev smashed an 8-ball 15 in characteristic fashion. Nos. 9, 10, and 11 got 42 between them. But India eventually slumped to 183 in 54.4 overs. It was expected to be a no-show from there.

But Kapil believed, as did his men, after he famously uttered “we have made 183, they have got to make them” in the dressing-room. Almost immediately, Balwinder Sandhu bowled a peach to which Gordon Greenidge, no less, shouldered arms and was bowled.

Viv Richards then casually dispatched the Indian bowlers all across the ground. Fifty came up in no time, but soon after that Desmond Haynes hit Madan to cover point. Then Viv pulled Madan, but the ball came to him higher than the legend had expected; Kapil ran yards backwards, kept his eyes on the ball, and took a wonderfully judged catch to send Viv back for a 28-ball 33.

Madan then struck for a third time, getting Larry Gomes caught at slip. Clive Lloyd, batting with a pulled groin, hit Binny straight to extra-cover. And Kirmani plunged full-length to his right to catch Faoud Bacchus off Sandhu. The score read 76 for 6.

But Marshall joined Jeff Dujon, and the pair battled along. They added 43 when Kapil summoned Mohinder. Dujon tried to leave the first ball but it hit his glove and then the off-stump. Then Marshall was caught at slip off Mohinder and Roberts trapped leg-before off Kapil. The last wicket fell at 140, with Michael Holding leg-before off — Mohinder, named Man of the Match again, this time for 26 and 7-0-12-3.

Brief scores: India 183 in 54.4 overs (Krishnamachari Srikkanth 38; Andy Roberts 3 for 32) beat West Indies 140 in 52 overs (Viv Richards 33; Madan Lal 3 for 31, Mohinder Amarnath 3 for 12) by 43 runs.