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1979 ICC Cricket World Cup

The West Indies regained the World Cup in 1979 by defeating England by 92 runs. The defending champions recovered from a dicey 99-4 to post an imposing 286-9 thanks to a brilliant Viv Richards century and a stand of 139 with Collis King, before Joel Garmer blew away England.


The 1979 ICC Cricket World Cup also know as the 1979 Prudential World Cup was the second edition of the tournament. It successfully built on the foundation laid by the first World Cup in 1975 and was popular with spectators. One notable outcome was that for the first time, an associate nation - Sri Lanka - defeated a full test playing nation (India).

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1979 ICC Cricket World Cup

Eight countries, 6 test playing nations and 2 associate nations in Sri Lanka and Canada, participated in the 1979 event. The preliminary matches were played in 2 groups of 4 each. The top two teams in each group played the semifinals, whose winners played the final. The matches played consisted of 60 overs per team and were played in traditional white clothing and with red balls. They were all played during the day and hence started early.


In a very close first semi-final, England prevailed. New Zealand won the toss and fielded. England began badly, falling to 38/2, before Mike Brearley (53 from 115 balls, 3 fours) and Graham Gooch (71 from 84 balls, 1 four, 3 sixes) resurrected the innings. Derek Randall (42 from 50 balls, 1 four, 1 six) played well in the second half of the innings, as England recovered from 98/4 to post 221 (8 wickets, 60 overs). In the response, John Wright (69 from 137 balls) attacked well in the beginning. However, the loss of wickets bogged New Zealand down, and despite several late flourishes in the batting order, New Zealand started to drop behind. When New Zealand could not achieve the remaining 14 runs from the last over of the match, England went into the final.

In the second semi-final, Gordon Greenidge (73 from 107 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and Desmond Haynes (65 from 115 balls, 4 fours) set a first wicket partnership of 132 runs in a match dominated by batting. Vivian Richards and Clive Lloyd also contributed solidly, as West Indies ran up 293 (6 wickets, 60 overs) against Pakistan. Majid Khan (81 from 124 balls, 7 fours) and Zaheer Abbas (93 from 122 balls) shared a second-wicket partnership of 166 runs in 36 overs in the response. However, none of the other Pakistani batsmen flourished, with Javed Miandad being bowled for a duck first ball, and Pakistan lost 9/74, beginning with the dismissal of Abbas. Pakistan was bowled all out for 250 (all out, 56.2 overs) in the high-scoring semifinal, sending the West Indies to the final.

In the final, Mike Brearley won the toss and chose to field first. The West Indies got off to a bad start, falling to 99/4 with the loss of Greenidge, Haynes, Kallicharan, and captain Clive Lloyd. However, Vivian Richards (138 from 157 balls, 11 fours, 3 sixes) and Collis King (86 from 66 balls, 10 fours, 3 sixes) consolidated the innings. Vivian Richards and the tail then took the West Indies to a very imposing total of 286 (9 wickets, 60 overs). The English batsmen got off to a good start with their openers, Mike Brearley (64 from 130 balls, 7 fours) and Geoff Boycott (57 from 105 balls, 3 fours) put together a very methodical opening partnership of 129 runs in 38 overs. By the time both batsmen were out, the run rate had risen too high. Graham Gooch played some hefty strokes in scoring his 32, taking England to 183/2. However, the loss of Gooch triggered the most devastating collapse in World Cup final history, as England lost 8/11 as Joel Garner took 5-38 as England were eventually all out for 194 in 51 overs. Vivian Richards was declared Man of the Match, and there was no match of the series awarded.

The aggregate attendance was 132,000 for the entire 1979 world cup.

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