When Lamb turned tiger

When Lamb turned tiger

In 1987, when the Indian sub-continent was brimming with cricketing excitement, the second match of the World Cup between England and West Indies turned out to be a memorable one.

England found their hero in Allan Lamb, who played a gem of an innings to boost the stature of one-day international cricket.

Played at Gujranwala, Punjab, two-time champions West Indies were spurred by a half-century from Richie Richardson (53) as they piled up a competitive 243 for seven.

In England’s chase, opener Graham Gooch essayed a patient 47 as the matched looked in balance with Lamb getting his eye in. West Indies never let the game completely slip away from them, with the street smart off-spinner Carl Hooper claiming three wickets.

At 162 for seven, England still needed a challenging 82 from 54 balls when Lamb changed gears. He kept his quest for runs in brisk pace and found the gaps to perfection.

Lamb produced an array of skilful shots to take England closer. Dispatching the loose full tosses to boundaries, Lamb was on his way to script an astounding win for England. Quickfire cameos from John Emburey (22) and Phil Defreitas (23) only added to England's excitement as they stood close to the doorstep of victory.

A couple of wickets shifted momentum towards West Indies and England still needed 35 from the last three overs. Courtney Walsh came to bowl the 48th and a total of 16 runs were scored in the over to West Indies' dismay with Lamb gathering 15 of them.

England needed 13 of the final over and Walsh succumbed to pressure as England romped home in a thriller with three balls to spare.

Lamb remained unbeaten on 67 off 68 balls with five fours and one six.

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