Former Indian skipper Kapil Dev is counted among one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. It was under his captaincy when Team India won their first-ever World Cup in 1983 by defeating the much-fancied West Indies in the final. However, it was on this day, 38 years ago when Team India overcame the Zimbabwe test that gave them the self-belief to win the marquee event.
Prior to facing West Indies in the final, England in the semis, India were pitted against Zimbabwe in the quarterfinals of the 1983 WC.
Dev opted to bat first after winning the toss, however, soon he realized that he might have made a mistake in his decision making as India were reduced to 9 for the loss of four wickets. India’s top four comprising of — Sunil Gavaskar (0 runs off 2 balls), Kris Srikkanth (0 runs off 13 balls), Mohinder Amarnath (5 runs off 20 balls) and Sandeep Patil (1 runs off 10 balls) were back in the stands when Dev walked to bat at number six and soon Yashpal Sharma (9 runs off 28 balls) followed suit to leave men in blue reeling at 17/5.
However, the match was not over yet as Kapil bulldozed his way into the match and in the process, ripped apart Zimbabwe’s bowling lineup. Along with Roger Binny, Dev started the epic comeback.
But, the departure of Binny further sunk Indian’s morale as they were reduced to seven down at the score of 78.
After Binny’s departure, Madan Lal joined Kapil in the middle and played the role of a second fiddle as his skipper hammered opposition bowlers.
Kapil targeted the shorter boundary line of Tunbridge Wells to smash fours and sixes and used the longer one to take double and singles. With Lal, he added 62 runs for the eighth wicket.
Lal’s contribution to it was just 17 runs off 39 balls.
India’s number ten Syed Kirmani (24* runs off 66 balls) also deserves special praises for standing at the other side as Kapil continued his brilliant show.
And by the time he was done, Team India’s scoreboard read a healthy 266/8.
Kapil remained unbeaten 175 runs off 138 balls with the help of 16 fours and six sixes.
It was also his maiden century in ODI cricket.
India then bowled out Zimbabwe for 235 to win the match by 31 runs.