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1987 ICC Cricket World Cup

The 1987 World Cup was won by Allan Border's unfancied Australians as they downed arch-rivals England. The narrow win by 7 runs is the most closely fought World Cup final ever. It was watched by over 100,000 fans at Eden Gardens, Calcutta. The losing semi-finalists, India and Pakistan, failed to bring about an eagerly awaited India-Pakistan clash in front of their home fans.

The 1987 Cricket World Cup, also known as the Reliance World Cup, was the fourth edition of the tournament. It was held from October 8 to November 8, 1987 in India and Pakistan - it was notable in that this was the first world cup held outside England after sustained lobbying from India brought the cup to the sub-continent following their win in 1983.

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1987 ICC Cricket World Cup

The format of the 1987 world cup was 2 groups of four teams, each team playing each other twice. The top two team from each group then advance to the Semi Finals where the winners then advance to the finals. Matches took place in both India and Pakistan.

In the first semi-final, Australia won the toss and chose to bat. The Australian batsmen got off to a very good start, and they scored fluently, with David Boon (65 from 91 balls, 4 fours) top scoring, and making an 82 run second-wicket partnership with DM Jones. Australia were looking to reach 300 with strong batting before Imran Khan took 3 wickets for 17 runs in 5 overs. Australia lost 4/31, but a high number of extras (34) from the Pakistani bowlers, as well as the solid batting from earlier on, brought Australia to 267 (8 wickets, 50 overs). Pakistan started badly, falling to 3/38. Imran Khan (58 from 84 balls, 4 fours) and Javed Miandad (70 from 103 balls, 4 fours) shared a partnership of 112 runs in 26 overs. However, with the required run rate at 7.87 runs when Miandad fell, there was just too much for the upcoming batsmen to do, and Pakistan lost 6/99 as they were bowled all out for 249 (all out, 49 overs).

In the other semi-final, India won the toss and chose to field. After reaching 2/79, Graham Gooch (115 from 136 balls, 11 fours) and captain Mike Gatting (56 from 62 balls, 5 fours) shared a partnership of 117 runs in 19 overs. After Gooch was finally stumped, 51 more runs were added, and England reached 254 (6 wickets, 50 overs). India made a bad start, falling to 3/73. The middle order scored fluently, with Mohammed Azharuddin, (64 from 74 balls, 7 fours) top scoring. Before Azharuddin was removed lbw by Eddie Hemmings, India were at 5/204, needing 5 runs an over from the last 10 overs, with 5 wickets in hand, and it looked like it would be a very close game. However, the middle and tailend order for India collapsed, as India lost 5/15. India were eventually bowled all out for 219 (all out, 45.3 overs).

In the final, Australia chose to bat. David Boon (75 from 125 balls, 7 fours) top-scored for Australia, whose batsmen scored fluently. Australia posted 253 (5 wickets, 50 overs). Mike Veletta (45 from 31 balls, 6 fours) cut loose late in the innings, as Australia scored 65 runs from the last 6 overs of their innings. In the English reply, opener Tim Robinson was bowled for a first ball duck. Bill Athey (58 from 103 balls, 2 fours) top-scored, and England were almost on target,when captain Mike Gatting (41 from 45 balls, 3 fours, 1 six) handed back the initiative with the loss of his wicket, which ended a growing partnership of 69 runs in 13 overs between him and Athey. Allan Lamb (45 from 55 balls, 4 fours) also posted a great innings, but it was in vain as the required run-rate for England began to rise. When England failed to score the last 17 runs from the final over, the cup went to Australia.

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