Published By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: November 08, 2023, 07:30 IST
ON THIS DAY IN 1987: When it comes to the ODI World Cup, Australia is the team supreme. And Glenn Maxwell’s unbeaten 201-run knock to guide his team to victory from 91 for 7 against Afghanistan on Tuesday night is the proof. The Aussies have engraved their name on the World Cup trophy as many as five times, which is the most by any team.
Their first title came in 1987 when Australia got the better of England in a nail-biting final infront of over 90,000 spectators at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Before going into the 1987 campaign, Australia endured heartbreaking exits in the previous two editions.
Led by Allan Border, Australia were desperate to make a statement in 1987 when the marquee event was jointly hosted by India and Pakistan.
Australia were placed in Group A, alongside India, New Zealand and Zimbabwe in the eight-team competition. Winning five of their six group-league games, Australia finished second in their group, only behind co-hosts India. The scenario was quite similar for England, who were the second team from Group B to qualify for the semi-finals following Pakistan.
Australia needed to overcome Pakistan in the semi-final to seal their place in the summit clash. The Asian giants failed to chase down a target of 268, losing the match by 18 runs in Lahore. Meanwhile, England were up against India in the second semi-final and thrashed the defending champions with a lethal bowling show. The Three Lions picked up a commanding 35-run win punching their ticket to the World Cup final for the second time after the 1979 edition.
Aussie skipper Allan Border won the toss in the final and opted to bat first. The opening pair of David Boon and Geoff Marsh gave Australia a positive start, stitching a 75-run partnership.
Marsh left for the pavilion for 24 runs but Boon remained stuck to the crease and went on to notch a crucial half-century. His 75-run knock was the highest individual score for the Australians.
Among others, Dean Jones made 33 off 57 balls, while Border scored 33 runs. In the end, Australia posted 253 runs on the board, powered by a blazing 45-run innings from Mike Veletta.
England lost one of their openers, Tim Robinson, early in the chase. Graham Gooch and Bill Athey then took charge. The duo racked up a 65-run stand before Gooch was dismissed for 35 runs. Athey, however, continued and registered 58 runs off 103 deliveries. Captain Mike Gatting and Allan Lamb scored 41 and 45 runs respectively.
At that point, England had the upper hand in the match. That’s when the Australian bowling unit came out of its shell, with Allan Border leading from the front. He picked up a couple of wickets in quick succession, with Mark Waugh assisting him in the demolition job. Despite batting the full 50 overs, England ultimately fell 7 runs short of the target.