Overs 31.1- Border to Gatting, England, on 135/2, was cruising to victory in reply to Australia’s 253. Gatting started to show his dominance on the sub-continent pitches and Athley looked well set to carry on. Their partnership was already of 69. 70000 spectators, present at the Eden Gardens, were in silence as Border slowly delivered his left arm orthodox into Gatting’s authority. A moment of audacity prompted the England captain to attempt a reverse sweep; a rare daredevilry from the southpaw did not come off well and England lost their way into the gloves of Dyer.
The above scenario nearly described what England failed to achieve on the final frontier of the first world cup outside their own backyard but some facts still remain to be relished on 27th Anniversary of the moment when Border laid his hands on the most coveted trophy of World Cricket.
To start with, the date surely caught your eye to be an unusual time for a World Cup final. Even, 1987 World Cup is the only one of the lot to be played in the dying moments of the Autumn.
This is is the first World Cup final where each sides had 50 overs to play for. The shorter day hours in Indian subcontinent in November brought in the change and that remained afterwards.
When Allan border removed Gatting from the crease, the 1987 final produced the only occasion when a captain victimized his counterpart in the biggest stage of the game, till date.
The first world cup final outside England and in the subcontinent, was eventually the last one when none of the Asian giants managed to reach the final.
Though David Boon took away the Man of the Match award for his sturdy 75, Mike Veletta played the Forgotten Hero role. His little cameo of 45 of 31 balls ensured the security the Aussies were looking for to defend. He partnered with Border to compile 73 runs off the last 10 overs and that proved too costly for the English as they lost only by a thin margin of 7 runs.
As it can be guessed from the above, this remains an all time best competitive Final in World Cup history book.
Steve Waugh got his hands on the trophy for the first time in 1987 which he later won as a captain in 1999. In the twist and turns of the match, Steve Waugh’s throw to dismiss well set Bill Athey for 58 defined another game-changing moment. Later, he was given the responsibility to bowl the 49th over and he passed with distinction as he gave away only 2 runs. Moreover, he dismissed DeFreitas who was in search to produce a little heroics on his way to make 17 off 10 balls.
Apart from the breathtaking finale, the world cup will be remembered for Chetan Sharma’s hat-trick against New Zealand, which is the first to take place in a World Cup. The reminiscences conclude with a less-talked about feat of Navjot Singh Sidhu, who hit 9 sixes in the tournament – most by a cricketer during a World Cup.