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 Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.