1979: A story of Caribbean domination
The 1979 edition of the World Cup saw the Champions West Indies start as the favourites in a competition which offered few surprises.
The 1979 edition of the World Cup saw Champions West Indies start as the favourites in a competition which offered more or less the same teams as its previous version. The only change being minnows East Africa, who did not win a single match in the 1975 World Cup being replaced by Canada which meant that no African nation had qualified for the event.
England and West Indies both enjoyed unbeaten runs to the Final and a keen contest was expected out of them. Having not chased a score in excess of 160 in the tournament, the batting line-up of England was virtually untested.
The England bowling, which prior to the match had only conceded at an average of 2.5 runs an over, failed to restrict the West Indies, which denied the hosts any chance of winning their first World Cup. (Photo: Getty Images)
The West Indies after winning the toss started poorly as they lost three wickets for 55 runs. Skipper Clive Lloyd was soon dismissed by quite a brilliant caught-and-bowled by England paceman Chris Old who bent down in his follow through to grab the catch on the second attempt.
Sir Vivian Richards and Collis King carried out a recovery and quite a spectacular one too as they piled on a 139-run stand to take West Indies to a total of 286.
Unlike 1975, England had a much tougher group this time around with Pakistan and Australia also aiming for a semi final spot. They restricted Canada to the lowest score in the World Cup history (42) which stood as a record for two decades. The infamous record was later broken by Canada in 2003 when they were bowled out for 36 against Sri Lanka.
In the semi final, England scored a rather small total of 221 batting first. But as was the case throughout the tournament, England's bowling once again stood up to the task and led them to a nine-run win to face the West Indies in the final.
Chasing a total of 287, England made a positive start with an unbeaten stand by openers Brearly and Boycott of 127. But with rising run rate, England's hopes kept diminishing and they eventually slumped to a 92-run defeat which handed West Indies their second World Cup triumph in a row. Joel Garner finished with a 5-wicket haul as he ran through the England middle and lower order. (Photo: Getty Images)
The West Indies had a relatively easier group with New Zealand being their toughest competitor. But just like 1975, the Windies won all their matches with ease.
The semi final against Pakistan however, must have given the Caribbean nation some cause to worry. Pakistan, while chasing a total of 293 were at 176/1 with Majid Khan and Zaheer Abbas in sublime touch. But the decision of Captain Clive Lloyd to bring on Colin Croft and Viv Richards in the attack paid off as they picked up 3 wickets each. The West Indies won the contest by 43 runs; quite a comfortable victory in en the end. (Photo: Getty Images)
The World Cup was a further proof of West Indies' domination in International cricket but Pakistan's first taste of success and the presence of three teams from Asia was enough to pave the way for cricket to gather massive interest and support in the three countries in the future.