West Indies, once a dominant force in world cricket, began to lose steam. Add to that, the surmounting turmoil in the West Indies Cricket Board spilled over to the field with many experienced players shunted away. This time, West Indies, led by Jason Holder, although short on experience look a threatening side.
Ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be held in England from May 30 to July 14, here’s a recap of how past West Indies teams have fared at the World Cup.
Prudential World Cup 1975
Led by Clive Lloyd, the West Indies team were undoubtedly the No. 1 team by far. They started their journey in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 1975 against Sri Lanka at Old Trafford in the 1975 edition and won it by nine wickets after bowling out the opposition for 87. Windies then registered a thrilling one-wicket victory against Pakistan even after requiring 64 runs with nine wickets down. Heroes from that match were Andy Roberts, batting at No.11, remained not out on 24 to take his side home along with wicket-keeper Deryck Murray. Windies then won their third Group B game against Australia by seven wickets that sealed a place in the semi-finals. They won the semis against New Zealand by five wickets and the final against Australia by 17 runs. Lloyd slammed a century in the title clash to win the Man of the Match award.
Prudential World Cup 1979
There was no stopping the West Indies juggernaut. They successfully defended their title in the next World Cup edition in 1979. They crushed India by nine wickets wickets in the first game (Group B). Their second match against Sri Lanka was abandoned because of rain. Windies ensured they didn’t let the momentum slip and defeated New Zealand by 32 runs in their third match to proceed to the semi-final as the group toppers. During the semi-finals against Pakistan, opener Gordon Greenidge’s 73 starred as they won the match by 43 runs and then went on to win their second consecutive title, defeating hosts England by 92 runs. Sir Viv Richards smashed a memorable century in this final which also won him the Man of the Match award.
West Indies were gunning for their third consecutive time in the World Cup but failed to complete a hat-trick as they went down to a spirited India by 43 runs in the final even after restricting Kapil Dev‘s men for just 183.
Reliance World Cup 1987
It began to go downhill after the 1983 edition. The Windies were led by Sir Richards in this edition and it was the first time that they failed to make the semi-finals. They lost their opening game against England by two wickets but then clobbered Sri Lanka by 191 runs in the next match in which Sir Richards belted 181 off 125 balls. They suffered a one-wicket defeat to Pakistan in their third match which was a crucial loss for them. They bounced back to beat Sri Lanka by 25 runs but lost to England by 34 runs in the next. They won their next match against Pakistan by 28 runs in their final match but it was not enough to guarantee them a place in the last four.
Benson & Hedges World Cup 1992
Led by Richie Richardson this time, West Indies failed to make it to the semi-finals once again. They started off with a bang, crushing Pakistan by 10 wickets, but lost to England by six wickets. Windies bounced back to the winning ways by defeating Zimbabwe by 75 runs. The cookie began to crumble even further as as they went down to debutants South Africa by 64 runs in the next game while chasing just 201 to win. Phil Simmons’ 110 powered West Indies to a much-needed 91-run win over Sri Lanka. They were in a must-win position to win their final game against Australia to make the semis. Even a scintillating 70 off 97 balls from Brian Lara proved to be inadequate as the West Indies failed to overhaul a modest target of 217 to exit in the group stage.
Wills World Cup 1996
Windies found themselves back in the reckoning as worthy title contenders in 1996. Richardson was leading the side again. They began their campaign with a six-wicket win over Zimbabwe and then lost to hosts India by five wickets. They conceded a walk-over to eventual champions Sri Lanka because of security reasons. However, the biggest moment came when the West Indies were stunned by debutants Kenya who beat them by 73 runs. After bagging a place in the quarter-finals, West Indies came the closest to their fourth World Cup final but snatched loss from the jaws of victory against Australia, losing the semi-final by just five runs.
Under the captaincy of Brian Lara, the Windies failed to progress beyond the group stages in 1999. A poor batting against Australia in the final group game in which they were bowled out for 110, saw they succumb to a six-wicket loss which ultimately saw them lose the race to New Zealand in the net run rate.
ICC World Cup 2003
A change of leadership too did not help West Indies’ cause. Under Carl Hooper in the 2003 edition, they failed to proceed beyond the group stages. The West Indies hammered Kenya by 142 runs in their final game but sharing points with Bangladesh proved to be costly as they were knocked out despite a better net run-rate.
ICC World Cup 2007
Lara was back at the helm again for the first World Cup the Windies organised at home. They had a terrific run in the group stage as they thumped Pakistan by 54 runs, Zimbabwe by six wickets and Ireland by eight wickets (by Duckworth-Lewis method). However, they couldn’t replicate their performances in the Super Eight stage as they could win only one game out of six.
ICC World Cup 2011
Led by Darren Sammy, West Indies had a fifty-fifty record in the group (B) stage. They lost to South Africa by seven wickets but thrashed the Netherlands by 215 runs in the next game. They bundled out Bangladesh for 58 to win by nine wickets and followed it up with a 44-run victory over Ireland. They finished fourth in the group after losing their final two games against England (by 18 runs) and India (by 80 runs). They were crushed by Pakistan that saw them crash out in the quarter-final.
ICC World Cup 2015
Under Jason Holder, the Windies were off to a shocking start after Ireland chased down their score of 304 to win by four wickets. They made a comeback by thrashing Pakistan and Zimbabwe, but their wins were neutralised by South Africa. They finished fourth in the group with three wins and as many losses. West Indies faced New Zealand in the quarter-finals and fell short by 143 runs, failing to make another semi-final since 1996. Martin Guptill, who scored a mammoth 237*, smashed the highest ever score in World Cup history, to take his side’s total to a massive 393 for 8.
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