1979 World Cup in England
Caribbean dominance continued at the World Cup as the West Indies won the second edition of the tournament as well.
A qualifying competition ahead of the tournament brought small teams like Kenya and Sri Lanka into the foray. Australia, who were considered a tough team then, limited themselves by picking up a very young and inexperienced team for the event; the reason being, most of their senior and experienced players were still contracted to Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket. Pakistan and the West Indies, on the other, went on with original teams.
The Windies, as expected, topped their group with two wins and a no-result match against Sri Lanka. The minnows Lankans proved rather tough as they defeated India by 47 runs in their group match. England, meanwhile, topped their group ahead of teams like Pakistan and Australia.
Mike Brearley’s men battled it out against the Kiwis in the first semis. Brearley (53) and Graham Gooch (71) slammed respective half-tons as they beat New Zealand by 9 runs to reach the final. The Windies, on the other, claimed a bigger margin victory against Pakistan to qualify for the summit clash. Despite a 93-run innings by Zaheer Abbas, Pakistan failed to come near the West Indies’ 293/6, as they lost in the semis by 43 runs.
In the final, the West Indies completely outclassed England, winning the match by 92 runs. Vivian Richards slammed a brilliant unbeaten 138 and Collis King smashed 86 of 77 balls as the West Indies put up competitive 286 after their stipulated 60 overs. England, on the other, despite half tons by Brearley and Geoff Boycott, failed to cross even 200 as the second World Cup trophy went to the Caribbean.
India at 1979 World Cup
This World Cup was arguably India’s most shameful World Cup outing ever as Venkataraghavan’s men could not muster a single win in their three matches, wrapping out in the group stage again.
The loss against West Indies was perhaps expected, as they were a force to reckon with and they lived up to the reputation by being simply unbeaten in the whole tournament. What followed next was disheartening as the Kiwis drubbed India by eight wickets to seal their swift return back.
The Indian outfit went into the last match to salvage an iota of pride against the Sri Lankan minnow outfit but alas, they could not chase down the total of 238 runs in the stipulated 60 overs and lost by 47 runs. The loss completed India’s abysmal outing as they returned home without managing even a single 200+ total.
India lost all their three matches. West Indies were again the champions with a draw and four wins and no loss.