Posted by: tootingtrumpet | February 18, 2011

Capturing The World Cup 1987 – The Final Over of the Day

Well that's a wide... Oh no. What's he done...?

Ball One – Just to show that South Africa will be doing nothing new in handing the gloves to their most destructive batsman (should AB de Villiers get the job), Pakistan used no less a player than Javed Miandad as ‘keeper in the semi-final. His stumping of a motoring David Boon was not good – but it was good enough. In the heat and noise, there’s just a hint that the squat Tasmanian give it up before recalling that it was a part-timer behind the wickets and running his bat back over the line – but too late.

Ball Two – In the same match, towards the end of the Australian innings, Imran Khan bowls full and straight and sends the stumps cartwheeling over and over again. The quality of the pictures, equipment and outfields have improved over the last 24 years, but “you miss – I hit” is as good a tactic today as it was back then. Expect Umar Gul to follow Imran’s template this time round.

Ball Three – Imran and Rameez Raja (in interviews) still appear aggrieved at the umpiring in that match. Imran was given out caught behind by Dickie Bird to an appeal that seems less than convincing – although the strength of an appeal has little correlation to the weight of evidence provoking it these days and I’m sure the same was true then. Those things happen – but Imran played a poor shot and had been given a life early in his innings when plumb LBW to Steve Waugh’s slower ball, so he was even on the shouts at worst. Even in 1987, 118 from 15 overs with eight wickets in hand was not a time to be caught making room and inside-edging a slog to a ball that would have missed leg-stump by 18 inches.

Ball Four – In the other semi-final, Graham Gooch famously swept his way to a century, finishing with 115 off just 136 deliveries in the cauldron of the Wankhede Stadium. At the crease, he looked a lot like Jacques Kallis, solid with an economy of movement born of clarity of mind about exactly what shot to play to each ball. Come India’s reply, Kapil Dev was caught by Mike Gatting off the bowling of Eddie Hemmings – not sure those two would pass (maybe not even survive) the beep tests of today.

Ball Five – Mike Marqusee wrote a famous book titled “Anyone but England” and that pretty much summed up the attitude of 70,000 or so Indians at Eden Gardens. Should the final pairing be repeated on April 2, it will be interesting to see which way the Mumbai locals go given the ferocity of recent rivalry between India and Australia. And if anyone turns up.

Ball Six – As every Englishman knows, England lost the World Cup 1987 because Mike Gatting was caught from an ill-judged reverse sweep off the bowling of Allan Border. Or did they? Gatting wasn’t the first man in cricket history out as a result of poor shot selection. The plain facts are that when the ball hit Gatting’s shoulder and looped into Greg Dyer’s gloves, England needed only 119 runs with seven wickets in hand and plenty of time to get them. There’s not an England fan alive who doesn’t delight in a collective South African choke, but England were doing it long before the Proteas refined it to a fine comic art.

If you have any thoughts on or memories of the 1987 World Cup, please comment below.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.





  1. Ahh…the famous Courtney Walsh non-run out

    The way my mouth suddenly dried up when Gatting nonchalantly caught Kapil’s towering stoke. As a 16 year old the realization that the world cup was lost at that moment was heart breaking…Gatting made a simple catch look like child’s play and I thought he was rubbing it in….but may be not..This catch to me has the same significance as Kapil’s to get rid of Sir Viv 4 years earlier. One got us the WC the other ended it…

    Dave Houghton’s brave 142 against NZ and the brilliant catch to get him out

    Javed’s vocal wicket keeping in the semis. The game is one of my most favourite WC games

    And a packed stadium at Eden to witness an Eng-Aus game

    Trust me the ground @ Bombay will be packed as well. Not sure what will hurt more seeing Australia win or England doing a shirtless bhangra version of the sprinkler dance….

    Still remember how Flintoff showed off his chest at the same venue in 2002

    • Glad to hear that re Mumbai – my fear is that the steam might go out of the tournament if India (and Sachin) depart.

  2. Meant so much as a young Aussie hearing it crackle through the wires, one who had only real known the dark ages of the 80s. My first real cricket memories surround the exits of the 70s greats in the early 80s, Kim Hughes crying on tv and my Dad frowning darkly into an ‘AB face’, and AB/Thommo at the MCG.

    A tribute to Simpson and Border that we were finally building something, largely on the back of grit and discipline rather than great talent. Simmos infamous fielding drills, if nothing else lets at least get that right. The first real step back, before the more obvious and public one in Ashes 89.

    • Yes Japal. There weren’t many mercurial talents in AB’s team – they were more like NZ – but they soon found a few players!

  3. We, the Indian teenagers had reason to believe we were among the best in ODI cricket.And this was being played at home. I think India did not expect to lose to Eng in the semis.The sweeping tactics took India by surprise, but then some one should have told the spinners to bowl a more straighter line.

    I missed part of the match, and since then, I have had this superstition that if I start watching an important match (knock out round), I should stay on till the end or else India may lose. Surely Kapil’s was an irresponsible shot, but the ball was there to be hit. The real impact however, was Gavaskar getting bowled by Defreitas early on. The team did not expect this, and there was a collective panic after that.

    As a 15 year old, I was still trying to identify my favorite players from other teams.So, I did not mind either of the finalists winning it. But even at that age, I had developed a sort of ‘dread’ about the English journos going overboard about the talents or performances of their players. The Indian news papers mostly carried abridged versions of articles from the English press corps, and therefore, I thought of Aus winning as an upset, and rooted for the supposed underdog.

  4. If you think that about Eng cricket journos, I hope you don’t read the football ones!

  5. This is the first WC I remember, and of that only really one thing. During the semi-final I was sitting in Mrs Fletcher’s Spanish class nest to Tom Harrison. He had a radio in his blazer pocket and the earphone wire running up his sleeve, so listened by resting his haed on his hand, then pointed to one of the scores on his note pad on a ball by ball basis. Having never seen cricket scoring before it was the first time I learnt why a dot ball was so called.

  6. I’m really liking these World Cup ‘final over’ pieces. Good to get a differing view from the scorecards as I wasn’t around in those days.

    • Cheers Scott. We try to do something a little different at 99.94 and the “Final Over” format allows impressions and discussion points to bubble up.

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