About 2-1/2 months after the Berbice game, the third World Cup began in England and as luck would have it both India and West Indies were in the same group. When they met on the opening day West Indies were prohibitive favourites, the result at Berbice notwithstanding.
West Indies had won that series 2-1 and moreover they had not yet lot a World Cup match in two editions while India had notched up just one win in six matches in two competitions and that against lowly East Africa. Typical Manchester weather delayed the start beyond lunch thereby stretching the contest over two days. Again Lloyd opted to field after winning the toss.
The pitch at Old Trafford was lively, the light indifferent and the West Indies pace attack was at its most fearsome - Holding, Roberts, Marshall and Garner. Not unexpectedly India were gasping for breath at 76 for three in the 22nd over. Sandeep Patil counter-attacked effectively for a bright 36 but when he and Kapil Dev fell in quick succession, the score was a none too encouraging 141 for five.
Yashpal Sharma now took control of the innings and with timely help from Roger Binny (27) and Madan Lal (21 not out) got the score to respectable proportions. Yashpal stayed till the 58th over before he was bowled by Holding for 89 compiled off 120 balls and inclusive of nine fours. The Indians finally closed at a competitive 262 for eight in 60 overs.
West Indies were off to a sound start with openers Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes putting on 49 runs but both fell within seven runs of each other and the match hung in the balance with the West Indies 56 for two. By close of play the score was 67 for two and India had bowled just over a third of their overs. The crucial wicket was that of Vivian Richards and Binny had him caught at the wicket with the total 76.
Binny carried on the good work getting rid of Lloyd and Dujon and the West Indian middle order just crumbled. Shastri chipped in with the wickets of Marshall and Holding and suddenly the all-conquering defending champions were 157 for nine. Garner joined Roberts and it surely was a matter of time before the Indians completed a sensational victory.
They did but it took much longer than expected thanks to bold hitting by the tail enders. The 200 came up, the fifty of the partnership was registered and the gap narrowed down alarmingly. The two put on 71 before Shastri returned to have Garner stumped off his very first ball. So it was a 34-run victory finally for the Indians and the World Cup had got off to a sensational start what with Zimbabwe having stunned Australia the previous day.
Image: Indian selector Yashpal Sharma is accompanied by coach Greg Chappell as they leave a selection committee meeting at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in 2005