World Cup moments: From Adam Gilchrist's squash ball to Herschelle Gibbs' drop

Ajit Vijaykumar 18:05 21/05/2019
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Adam Gilchrist.

The 50-over World Cup has witnessed some of the finest moments in the history of the game. And it has also been the stage for some of the most spectacular falls.

As we prepare for the 2019 showpiece event in England, we take a look at some key moments that have long lived in the memory of fans, having changed the course of the match and even the game of cricket itself.

1999 World Cup: Herschelle Gibbs drops Steve Waugh

Arguably the biggest drop in the history of the game. Australia’s World Cup campaign was stuttering in their must-win Super Six clash against South Africa at Leeds. Chasing 272 to secure their spot in the semi-finals, Australia were 48-3. When Waugh was on 56, the Australia skipper flicked Lance Klusener to mid-wicket where Herschelle Gibbs took the catch and in the process of throwing the ball up to celebrate, lost control and spilled it. Waugh smashed an unbeaten 120 and the rest is history.

India stopped the mighty Windies in the 1983 final.

India stopped the mighty Windies in the 1983 final.

1983 World Cup: Kapil Dev catches Viv Richards

The West Indies had won the first two World Cups. They were the undisputed heavyweight champions of the world and looked set for their third straight crown, having dismissed India for 183 in the final at Lord’s. Despite losing early wickets, Viv Richards looked like taking the Windies home. But while batting in 33, Viv top edged a pull off Madan Lal to mid-wicket, where India skipper Kapil Dev sprinted back from mid-on and took a fine catch over his shoulder. India won the final by 43 runs and in many ways, that catch redefined cricket.

1987 World Cup: Mike Gatting’s reverse sweep

Mike Gatting.

Mike Gatting.

The final at the Eden Gardens seemed to be in the bag for England, who were well placed at 135-2 chasing Australia’s 253. Mike Gatting was batting on 41 and Bill Athey on half-century. Then Australia skipper Alan Border came up to bowl his left-arm spin and the match turned on its head.

Gatting – for some reason – decided to reverse sweep Border and could only manage a top edge that ballooned to the keeper. Border took another scalp as Australia held on to a seven-run win – the closest yet in World Cup history – in front of 100,000 fans in Kolkata.

1975: Viv Richards runs out Ian Chappell

The inaugural World Cup final had no shortage of drama. The Aussies were chasing 292 in 60 overs against the Windies and were in cruise mode on 81-1. Then a young Viv Richards changed the narrative through his brilliance in the field. Alan Turner and Greg Chappell were sent back via direct hits. But the Aussies staged a recovery thanks to a fifty from captain Ian Chappell. But it was to be Richards’ final.

After a slight midfield from Richards at midwicket, Chappell started and then hesitated and that gave Viv enough time to send a pinpoint throw to the bowler’s end that found the batsman short. West Indies emerged victorious by 17 runs.

2007: Adam Gilchrist’s squash ball

One of the most daring – and controversial for some – moves in a World Cup final. Australia batted first against Sri Lanka in the 2007 showpiece in Barbados. It was a typical day at the office for the world-conquering Aussies as Adam Gilchrist blasted 149 from 104 balls that took the total to 281-4 in 38 overs in a rain-reduced match that proved well beyond Sri Lanka.

After reaching his ton, Gilchrist acknowledged the fans and pointed to his left glove, which had an odd lump in it. Turn out, Gilly had stuck half a squash ball in his glove to help him grip the bat better.

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