The 2019 World Cup is almost upon us, 10 nations gearing up to bat their way to success. The first match takes place at The Oval with hosts England taking on South Africa. Interestingly, neither team has won the World Cup, but according to https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/cricket/competition/11729982, England are not only the favourites to win their opening match, but also win the tournament outright. Here, we will take a look at two of the closest Cricket World Cup finals – and hope that if England are to be successful this year, it won’t be as much of a hard-fought battle.
1987: Australia beat England by 7 runs
Australia may be the most successful nation in Cricket World Cup history, being crowned champions on five occasions, but it took until the fourth edition of the World Cup in 1987 for them to taste victory for the first time. Both host nations India and Pakistan finished top of their groups, but were knocked out at the semi-finals stage, by England and Australia respectively. The two arch-rivals met at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens in what is, to date, the most closely-fought final.
The Aussies won the toss and chose to bat. Opening batsman David Boon put in a man of the match performance, scoring 75 from 125 balls to build up a commanding lead. In 50 overs, Australia scored 253-for-5, with Mike Veletta contributing 45 runs, not out.
England started slowly with their reply, Tim Robinson bowled out by LBW on his duck; however, Bill Athey and captain Mike Gatting struck up a strong partnership, scoring 58 and 41 runs, respectively. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Allan Lamb, who posted 45 from 55 balls, the side were unable to score the required 7 runs in the final over, to hand bragging rights to the Aussies.
1975: West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs
The inaugural Cricket World Cup was hosted by England and the final was contested by the West Indies and Australia, who had met in the group stages, with the Windies coming out on top. The Aussies had previously annihilated England in the semi-finals winning by four wickets, while the West Indies beat New Zealand by five wickets.
During the 1975 tournament, matches were played over 60 overs. The final, which was held at Lord’s, saw Australia win the toss, but opt to bowl due to the glorious weather. The Windies captain and eventual man of the match, Clive Lloyd put in a stellar performance, scoring 102 from 85 balls; while veteran Rohan Kanhai hit a half-century in his farewell match. At the end of 60 overs, the Windies set a reasonable target of 291-for-8.
The Aussies chase began steadily and by the 20-over mark, they were 80-for-1 courtesy of Alan Turner and captain, Ian Chappell’s budding partnership. However, Viv Richards then made his mark on the game – having not been successful with the bat, he turned things around with three run-outs. Doug Walters took to the field and helped his captain steady the ship, leaving Australia at 162-for-3 with 21 overs remaining. When it came to the final seven overs, the Aussies required just 59 runs to seal victory – but went on to score 274-all out, handing victory to the Windies.