When Windies stumbled over Yashpal

Blast from the past

 Kapil Dev’s men had scored a 27-run win just before the World Cup at Berbice, Guyana and that match, perhaps, instilled in the Indians the belief that the world champions could be defeated.

The initial moments at Old Trafford on June 9, 1983 pointed to a familiar script when the Windies reduced India to 79 for three after a delayed start. But Yashpal Sharma came up with a splendid 89 (120b, 9x4) to guide India to a competitive 262. It was an innings full of class against a fearsome bowling attack comprising Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner.

The Indian innings was also dotted with gritty knocks down the order by Madan Lal and Roger Binny, who stayed on bravely to help Yashpal in his venture. But the total looked vastly insufficient as West Indian openers Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes started confidently. India stuck back, removing Greenidge and Haynes before rain cut short the day when WI were 67/2 in 22 overs.

However, Viv Richards was still in the hut, giving Windies genuine hopes of scaling down India’s total but Syed Kirmani’s smart stumping off Binny ended Richards’ tenure. From that moment, India took a firm grip on the match, reducing the champions to 157 for nine. A last-wicket partnership of 71 between Roberts and Garner only helped delay the inevitable as India made a brilliant beginning to a memorable tournament.

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