Howzat! Top Fielding Moments in Cricket World Cup History

5 Mins July 08, 2019

A collection of incredible fielding moments that changed matches and even destinies.

ICC World Cups have always seen fielding efforts which decided not just matches, but created history. The very first match of this World Cup too saw Ben Stokes’ incredible catch to dismiss Andile Phehlukwayo.

There are bound to be many such electrifying moments in the final stages of this edition of the ICC World Cup. If you are planning to visit Britain in time for the final on July 14, don’t forget to carry your Axis Bank Multi-Currency Forex Card.

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Here are some of the most memorable fielding moments in World Cup history.

  • West Indies vs Australia, 1975: The King announces his arrival
    In 1975, Vivian Richards wasn’t the God-like presence on the cricket ground that he would later become. He was just a young man with undoubted ability in a team with a constellation of stars like Captain Clive Lloyd, Rohan Kanhai and Alvin Kallicharan. It was in the finals of that year’s World Cup that he announced himself, not with his bat – he scored only five in the match – but his electric fielding. The King ran out Alan Turner, and both the Chappell brothers – Ian and Greg – to break the back of the Aussie batting order and win WI the first ever World Cup.
  • West Indies vs England, 1979: Clive Lloyd drops Boycott
    Final of the 1979 World Cup. West Indies had scored 286 on the back of a Richards’ century and a Collis King batting blitz. Geoffrey Boycott and Mike Brearley came out to open for England. Now Boycott, despite his greatness as a Test batsman, was the very antithesis of what an ODI batsman should be. He had once actually been dropped from the English team for slow scoring, and this was after he had scored a century. Though Brearley and Boycott added 129 for the first wicket their strike rate was less than fifty. The fielding moment arose when Boycott mistimed a shot off Richards, and the WI skipper, Clive Lloyd, one of the best fielders of his time, dropped the catch. As it happened, this enormously helped the WI cause as Boycott continued to potter around and the match slipped out of England’s grasp.
  • India vs West Indies, 1983: The catch that changed Indian cricket
    This is probably the most important catch in India’s limited overs cricket history. In fact, it is safe to say that this catch is the foundation of India’s status as a super-power in cricket. It is engraved on the hearts of every Indian cricket fan, but the story still bears repeating. Chasing India’s paltry 183 in the World Cup final, WI were coasting to a comfortable victory when they lost their second wicket, Desmond Haynes, at 50. But the King was still standing. Vivian Richards was in imperial form, having creamed seven boundaries in his 28 balls and racing to 33. Then the moment of magic. Richards hit Madan Lal in the air and Kapil Dev raced back some 30 yards to pick up Indian cricket’s most famous catch. WI soon collapsed to 140 and India had won the World Cup.
  • South Africa vs Pakistan, 1992: The flying Jonty Rhodes
    This one wasn’t a final match, though it has been included in this list for the sheer audacity of Jonty Rhodes’ actions. South Africa had stuttered to 211 for seven wickets in 50 overs, before the rains intervened. According to the rules in that World Cup, (this was before ICC adopted the Duckworth-Lewis system) when Pakistan came in to bat they had to score 194 in 36 overs. At 135-2 off 30 overs, Pakistan needed something sensational, but a young Inzamam ul-Haq was batting in sublime fashion, scoring 48 off 44 balls, and his team believed that they still had a chance. Having hit the ball a few yards away from Jonty at point, Inzi tried to steal a single and was sent back. The difference lay between the ground speed of Jonty, the world’s best fielder and a sluggish Inzi. Jonty collected the ball, and realising in a flash that with just one stump to aim, there was every chance of missing them if he threw, Jonty raced Inzi to the stumps and took a flying leap to flatten the stumps with ball in hand and Inzamam off the ground
  • South Africa vs Australia, 1999: Gibbs drops the World Cup
    It was the Super Six stage of the World Cup. South Africa had scored an imposing 271/7 with Hershcelle Gibbs scoring a wonderful century. Aussies were struggling at 48/3 and as the story goes that as Waugh walked into bat, Gibbs chirped, “Let’s see how he takes the pressure”. Waugh and Ricky Pointing rebuilt the innings, but when Waugh was on 56, he hit an uppish shot off Lance Klusener to mid-wicket for a simple catch to Gibbs, who clutched it but as he went to throw it skyward in celebration the ball slipped from his grasp. The story goes that Waugh quipped, “Hersch, you just dropped the World Cup”, though he denied it in his memoirs. Waugh went on to score a century and win the match for Australia and on the basis of this win, entered the finals and won the Cup.

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    Disclaimer: This article has been authored by The Source, a Mumbai-based content creation and curation firm. Axis Bank does not influence views of the author in any way. Axis Bank and The Source shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.


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