First Blood to West Indies, The Prudential World Cup 1975

By ScoreLine Desk - April 20, 2019

The first World Cup was staged in England in June, 1975. The trophy at stake was the Prudential Cup; Prudential having sponsored the competition to the tune of £100,000. There were eight countries competing: the six Test-playing nations of the time plus East Africa and Sri Lanka. It was noted with regret that South Africa had to be omitted owing to the controversial apartheid.

The teams were divided into two groups of four each, and the top two in each group met in the knockout semi-final round. Each match consisted of 60 overs per side – the number used in the English Gillette Cup competition.

The first semi-final produced bitter criticism of the Headingley pitch, which was green and damp. Australia put England in and none of the home batsmen could master the conditions. England were bowled out for 93, with Gary Gilmour, the left-arm seamer, returning figures of six for 16. Australia’s batsmen found the pitch difficult but Gilmour hit an unbeaten 28 and his team won by four wickets.

In the second semi-final, Clive Lloyd also put the opposition in. New Zealand fared better on the Oval pitch than England had done at Headingley, but they could not make a modest 158 and Kallicharran again starred as the outstanding Caribbean batsman.

The final was staged at Lord’s between Australia and the West Indies before a capacity crowd of 26,000. In the final, the West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs, after an accomplished innings from captain Clive Lloyd (102 from 85 balls, 12 fours, 2 sixes). The Australian innings was marked by top-order batsmen being run out when going for runs after misfields. A total of five of their team were run out, three by Vivian Richards.

The game not ending until nearly a quarter to nine. Prince Philip presented the trophy to Clive Lloyd amid great cheers from the large contingent of West Indian supporters in the crowd. Clive Lloyd was also given the Man-of-the-Match award.

By ScoreLine Desk

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