Across streets and mohallas, World Cup conversations are in full swing. Everyday we lend our ears to those passionate voices. Today’s topic: Stars who left the fans dissappointed in their last Cup outing.
(1983, final, LORD’S): 8
Without a fifty in 8 innings, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd had a pretty horrid time with the bat. He had the chance to make amends in the final. Chasing India’s paltry 183, he came into bat at 50/2. The platform was just perfect for Lloyd to find form and make it a treble. Sadly, that was not the case. The 38-year-old nursing a niggling hamstring, plodded his way to 8, before getting holed out to Kapil Dev off the bowling of Roger Binny.
(1987, semifinals, MUMBAI): 4
The match will forever be remembered for Graham Gooch’s match-winning century and the clinical manner in which he swept Indian spinners. However, a lot was riding on Sunil Gavaskar’s shoulders. Fresh from his whirlwind century against the Kiwis in Nagpur, the entire nation was hoping the Little Master would repeat the act in the World Cup semis. Chasing 255, Gavaskar was clean bowled by Phil DeFreitas for four.
(1996, quarterfinals, Bangalore): 38
Few expected him to hang around for another four years after the 1992 triumph. In the quarterfinal, India had scored 287 after batting first. The Pakistan openers got off to a flying start getting over 100 in the first 15 overs. However, Venkatesh Prasad and the Indian spinners pegged them back with crucial wickets in the middle overs. Javed walked in at No.6 with the score at 4/132. He was unable to keep the scoreboard ticking. It was a very uncharachteristic Javed Miandad innings. Wickets kept tumbling at the other end and Javed scored 38 off 64 deliveries. India won by 39 runs.
(1999, semifinals, Edgbaston): 0
Chasing 214 against Australia, the Proteas got off to a decent start by making 48 quickly. Then Warne struck. He first removed Gibbs and then Gary Kirsten, who was bowled while attempting a sweep shot. All of a sudden, the Proteas were struggling at 2 for 53. Captain Hansie Cronje promotes himself ahead of Jacques Kallis. However, the captain lasts only two balls and gets caught at first slip while attempting a flick for a duck.
(2003, semifinals, Port Elizabeth) 11
ARAVINDa DE SILVA
Bowling first, Sri Lanka had Australia on the mat, restricting them for 212/7 in 50 overs. Needing 172 to win in 38 overs (D/L method), the Lankans huffed and puffed against the precision of the Aussie pacers. Aravinda walked in at 3/37. A simple common-sense approach would have got the Islanders home. However, Aravinda was run-out for 11 and the along with him, Lankans’ World Cup dreams also evaporated.
(2007, Super Eights, KENSINGTON OVAL): 18
One century (Kevin Pietersen) and three half centuries were scored in this game but none came from Lara who had an underwhelming tournament at home. He made just 269 runs with one fifty — 77 versus Australia at Antigua. And while that wonderful backlift produced strokes of genius, there was no defining innings from the man who was West Indies’s batting Atlas. Lara ended his career at home but it was not the script he would have hoped for.