Four years after the first-ever One-day international took place, West Indies and Australia locked horns for the ultimate prize of the format. The Clive Llyod-led West Indian side already beat Australia once in the group stage and were firm favourites to lift the World Cup. Out of the six ODIs played before the final at Lord’s in London, the Caribbeans had lost only one of them.
Australian captain Ian Chappell won the toss, putting the West Indians to bat first. With West Indies finding themselves vulnerable having lost Roy Fredericks, Alvin Kallicharran, and Gordon Greenidge, the captain joined hands with Rohan Kanhai. Their partnership of 149 put their innings back on track, setting a formidable platform. Australia gave a let off to Clive Llyod, who went on to hammer 102 off 85 balls after being dropped by Ross Edwards at mid-wicket for 26.
After Viv Richards departed for 5, Keith Boyce and Bernard Julien added a further 51, eventually ended with 291 off 60 overs. Gary Gilmour, who ripped apart England with a six-wicket haul at Leeds added another five wickets to his tally, removing Kallicharran, Kanhai, Lloyd, Richards, and Deryck Murray. Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee chipped in with one and two respectively.
If not runs, Viv Richards does it with his magical arm for West Indies:
Arguably the finest West Indian batsman, Sir Viv Richards missed out with his willow on the grandest occasion. The Antiguan first sent back Alan Turner for 40 when a partnership of 66 between him and Ian Chappell looked far more threatening. Greg Chappell departed similarly for 15, but the turning point was undeniably the dismissal of Ian.
With Australia at 162-3 and 21 overs remaining, they were at the driver’s seat. At 62 and anchoring Australia’s innings, Ian Chappell took on Richards after he wobbled at mid-wicket. The attempted run off a misfield cost Australia big time as Richards’ robust throw landed three feet above the stumps which Lloyd, the bowler, used it to dislodge the stumps. The batsman found himself well-short and headed towards the pavilion.
Doug Walters and Ross Edwards scored 35 and 28 runs respectively but weren’t able to carry on. By the time the final pair of Jeff Thomson and Dennis joined hands, Australia still were 58 runs shy, which they had to get in seven overs. However, they didn’t lose heart as the two steadily slashed the equation. Eventually, with 19 needed off the last nine deliveries, Deryck Murray ran out Thomson for 21 to close out the game by 18 runs. Keith Boyce was the pick of the bowlers for West Indies, snapping four wickets.
A bespectacled Clive Llyod held the Cup aloft at the Lord’s balcony for the West Indies, having also won the man of the match award. Clive Lloyd would again return in 1979 to guide the West Indies to another World Cup. The West Indies ended up beating England more convincingly, winning by 92 runs before stunningly surrendering to India in 1983. Clive Lloyd is also one of the only two captains other than Ricky Ponting to lift the ODI World Cup more than once.