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World Cup flashbacks: England's inexplicable collapse in 1979 final gave West Indies their second title

Clive Lloyd

Bengaluru, May 20: After the huge success of the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 1975, the tournament returned to England again four years later.

Eight teams took part in this edition of the tournament as was in 1975 although East Africa were replaced by Canada this time.

The tournament kicked off on June 9 and the matches were held at six venues - Lord's, Oval, Edgbaston, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and Headingley. The final was played between the West Indies and England at Lord's on June 23.

Clive Lloyd holds aloft the World Cup in 1979.

One group saw hosts England clubbed with Australia, Pakistan and Canada while India were in the other group along with holders West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, who were yet to become a Test-playing nation.

From Group A, England and Pakistan advanced to the semifinals while 1975 finalists Australia missed out in one of their rare World Cup debacles. England won all their three games, Pakistan two out of three while Australia won a single game. Debutants Canada failed to win a single game.

India lost all their games

In Group B, the Windies won two of their three games while their match with Sri Lanka was abandoned. New Zealand advanced to the semi-inal with two wins and one loss. Sri Lanka finished third with one win while India, in their worst World Cup campaign ever, failed to win a single game, losing even to Lanka.

Mike Brearley's England won against New Zealand narrowly in the semifinal, by just nine runs after scoring 221 runs. In the other semifinal, Asif Iqbal's Pakistan gave Clive Lloyd's Windies a challenge but saw an incredible slump to lose by 43 runs.

England made their first final and chasing West Indies' 287, were comfortably placed at 183 for two when Graham Gooch fell. But an inexplicable collapse from there on saw the hosts crumbling to 194 all out, losing by 92 runs. Joel Garner took 5 for 38 after Viv Richards scored 138 not out.

The West Indies won their second consecutive World Cup title with Lloyd lifting the trophy again.

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Story first published: Monday, May 20, 2019, 14:01 [IST]
Other articles published on May 20, 2019
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