World Cup Countdown: 1983 – Winston Davis bags ODI’s first seven-wicket-haul
Winston Davis. (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 89 days to go, in our latest World Cup Countdown, we recall how during in the 1983 edition, Winston Davis ripped through Australia to claim ODI cricket’s maiden seven-wicket-haul.

Group A of the 1983 World Cup started with probably the biggest upset in World Cup history: Duncan Fletcher scored 69 not out, claimed 4 for 42, and led Zimbabwe to a 13-run victory over Australia. The Trent Bridge encounter was Zimbabwe’s first World Cup match.

Elsewhere, in Old Trafford, India had up 262 for 8 and reduced West Indies to 157 for 9 before Andy Roberts and Joel Garner went berserk, adding 71 for the last stand. The 34-run defeat was West Indies’ first in the history of the tournament; it was also India’s first.

Thus, when the West Indies and Australia met at Headingley for the second match, both were desperate for a victory. The pitch was damp, which did not allow play to start before 3.30. When it eventually did, Kim Hughes decided to take advantage of the conditions and put West Indies in.

Gomes, Bacchus resurrect

Australia started off in style. Rodney Hogg removed Gordon Greenidge before Geoff Lawson’s double blow — Viv Richards with a lifter and Desmond Haynes — left West Indies reeling at 32 for 3. Clive Lloyd tried to resurrect a bit, launched but when Lloyd was trapped leg-before by Ken MacLeay, the score read only 78. It was then that Faoud Bacchus walked out.

At the other end, Larry Gomes looked calm. He was perfectly happy to rotate strike while Bacchus took charge. Just when it seemed that they would take West Indies to a big score, Bacchus chased a wide one from Yallop and hit it extremely hard — but it went straight to Kepler Wessels at extra-cover.

Gomes reached fifty with a two to deep point off Allan Border. The day’s play had to be called off with West Indies on 160 for 5 with Gomes on 60 and Jeff Dujon on 5. Gomes lofted Border over wide mid-on for four and square-drove him for four more, but Lawson trapped Dujon leg-before at the other end.

Lillee came back strongly to have Andy Roberts caught-behind down the leg, and followed it with the big wicket: Gomes tried to square-cut him once too many, Lillee found the top-edge, and Gomes walked. With the score on 211 for 8, Michael Holding and Wayne Daniel had no option but to go for the kill. They slogged away merrily; scoring 36 between them off 25 balls before Holding was run out off the last ball of the innings. West Indies finished on a more than competitive 252 for 9.

Brutal Holding, rampant Davis

Andy Roberts started proceedings by clean bowling Wessels, but Holding struck the lethal blow: the ball, pitched on good length, rose steeply and hit Graeme Wood on the face. Wood’s helmet did not contain a grille; Joel Garner, the West Indian twelfth man, ran out with a stretcher; the Australian support staff joined in, and a concussing Wood had to be stretchered off. He had to be hospitalised.

Hughes hit two sixes, but tried one shot too many: the square-cut came a tad too slow; the ball flew to Lloyd at first slip, and Hughes was back. David Hookes and Yallop then got together to add 59 from 8 overs, and at 114 for 2 (technically for 3) Australia seemed to be on track.

Then the 24-year-old Davis took over. He was fast, but had been kept out by the quartet of Marshall, Garner, Holding, and Roberts, and had played a solitary ODI till then. He cramped Yallop for space, not allowing him room to play his strokes, and forced him to play a false stroke. Yallop top-edged the pull; the ball flew to deep third-man, where Holding took a comfortable catch.

Two runs later Hookes edged one to Dujon off Davis. MacLeay could not cope with Davis’ pace and was slow to respond; the ball took the top-edge and flew to Haynes at square-leg. Holding, at the other end, removed Rodney Marsh. However, Australia still had Border, and needed 114 off 192 balls. All they had to do was to keep the three wickets intact.

Lawson, for some reason, tried a wild heave and edged to Dujon to give Davis his five-for. Border smashed Holding past mid-on and past point for fours, but Davis struck at the other end; Border went for a wild slog, top-edged, and Lloyd, though slightly confused by the ball swerving in the wind, held on. Davis became the third bowler (second in World Cup) to take 6 wickets in an innings. It was only the 31st over of the match.

There was still a wicket to be had. Lillee was cleaned up second ball, making Davis the first bowler to take an ODI 7-for. Australia, bowled out in only 30.3 overs, lost by 101 runs.

Brief scores: West Indies 252 for 9 in 60 overs (Larry Gomes 78, Faoud Bacchus 47; Geoff Lawson 3 for 29) beat Australia 151 in 30.3 overs (David Hookes 45; Winston Davis 7 for 51) by 101 runs.