Fairy tales in sports have always been an inspiration. They often tend to revolutionize things and draw a new beginning. Cricket in India had experienced a similar experience exactly 38 years ago, when the Kapil Dev India team did the unthinkable with the Lord.
The West Indies were then Goliath in world cricket, led by the frightening Clive Lloyd. Placed in the second group, the West Indies, defending champions, lost just one along the way to finish at the top of the group table, winning five more games. Viv Richards’ 96-ball 80 hammer helped Windy beat Pakistan to reach the final.
England was the next big country in the race and a clash at the top between the two seemed inevitable. Like Windy, they also finished at the top of their group, losing just one.
At the same time, the unfortunate Indian team was slowly making its way through the unknown and to what most felt was unattainable for them. They finished second after West India in the second group, losing two games before stunning Old Trafford in the semi-finals.
The journey, as inspiring as it was, coincided with the dominance of the Richards. India has never been the favorite for the biggest competition in world cricket and a total of 183 only confirmed this opinion.
West India started promisingly, reaching 50 for one, as the skipper hit seven limits in his 33-ball 33. But a moment of magic changed the course of the game. Richards sent a skier from Madan Lal, and Indian captain Kapil Dev made a sensational catch and West India soon shook to 76 for 6.
Mohinder Amarnat then broke the late resistance of Jeff Dujon and Malcolm Marshall as the West Indies slipped even further, eventually uniting only 140.
Amarnat had won the Man of the Match award for his 3 for 12 in seven shots.