It was a summer for India to remember. Against the run of play, India had reached the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 1983 after beating some of the more fancied teams during the first leg of the tournament. The final was a low-scoring thriller and India managed to surprise everyone as it beat the West Indies.
The Indian top order put some resistance and did not give away their wickets easily. After losing the first wicket of Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath stood his ground and India seemed to have had a good first hour of play.
After India lost the dashing Srikkanth, Amarnath too lost his way. Slowly, the Caribbean fast bowlers tightened their grip on the match and India lost regular wickets.
As the Indian batting folded, it did not look that the match would last for long. The middle order had collapsed and it looked like there was little room to fight for the title.
Quite unexpectedly, Balwinder Sandhu got the better of the West Indian opener when he did not offer a shot to an incoming delivery. The Indian fans had something to cheer about, finally.
Vivian Richards then unleashed his strokes all around the ground, reviving memories of the century he had hit in the 1979 final.
Richards’ wicket was, again, quite unexpected. Kapil Dev ran towards the boundary line and plucked a catch out of nowhere, leaving the crowd delirious with joy.
It was now the turn of the West Indian middle order, which was packed with stars. Unfortunately, neither Larry Gomes nor Clive Lloyd could turn the tide. Half the side was back in the pavilion for 66. The celebrations among the Indian fans were growing.
As the last wicket fell, the stadium erupted with joy and rushed to the pitch. The players rushed to the safety of the dressing room while the Lords balcony had scenes of celebration from the Indian contingent.
Watching the historic match for the Indian fans was not enough. The joy among the spectators was understandable. The impossible had happened, the Indian captain lifted the trophy and the World Cup had a new winner.