Friday, March 11, 2011

Border's slicing through the cake in 1987

Well if Sri Lanka in 1999 was something special for all the wrong reasons, you can think how Australia was a different team when they were led by Allan Border who bought his team the first world cup in 1987. If anyone can go through the entire world cup consisting 9 major countries, not only was the finals against England a close encounter but the entire tournament for Australia was a close call if the matches against major teams were considered. Australia eventually won the world cup beating England in the finals by 7 runs. Border might just have said Just listen, 'coz I'm being me....

That was the maiden appearance of Steve Waugh who 12 years later adapted another fair but unfair means in the 1999 world cup to end up victorious. Coming back to the 1987 world cup, the major teams participating were India, West Indies, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, England and New Zealand. Zimbabwe can be considered to be on par with today's Netherlands or Canada. SriLanka on the other hand can partially be kept out of discussion. This brings down the number of teams to 6 with South Africa yet to make an appearance in international cricket especially the world cup.

All teams played every other team twice before the semifinals and in one of the games against India, Australia won the match by 1 run and lost the other by 56 runs with century in the former game by Geoff Marsh. Then was the match against Zimbabwe, which was taken for granted and Australia won a by a decent margin of 96 runs as expected. Their next major encounter was against New Zealand who at that time just a growing kid. Australia managed a 3 run victory against the Kiwis in the truncated match which lasted for 30 overs. However, the game was a high scoring one with Aussies piling up 199 runs at over 6.0 an over.

In another game against the Kiwis, the Aussies managed a 17 run victory which was once again by a small margin. This was followed by a 70 run win against Zimbabwe at Cuttack. Then came the semifinals against Pakistan which the Aussies won by another small margin of 18 runs to meet England in the finals. And what happened in the finals is a known secret with Australia sealing a 7 run win. Thanks to a valiant reverse sweep by Mike Gating which turned the table towards Australia similar to Gibbs' dropping the catch of Steve Waugh in the super six game of the 1999 edition.

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