It is a tribute to a truly fascinating encounter that after 35 years and eight more World Cup finals, the inaugural title clash in 1975 is remembered fondly.
It was a match-up between the two best sides in the competition and indeed an Australia-West Indies final had been predicted on the eve of the tournament.
The game lived up to its reputation by providing one of the classic one-day encounters marked by much good cricket, fluctuating fortunes and a thrilling finish.
It was the fitting finale to a successful tournament and caught the public fancy like no other limited over match before it.
For starters the venue was Lord's, and the game's headquarters was bathed in bright sunshine as Australian captain Ian Chappell won the toss and elected to field. His decision seemed justified initially as West Indies lost three wickets for 50 but skipper Clive Lloyd and Rohan Kanhai in his 40th year, turned the innings round with a fourth wicket partnership of 149 runs in 36 overs. The be-spectacled Lloyd dominated the stand racing to 102 off just 85 balls with 12 fours and two sixes while Kanhai was out for 55. Some brisk batting by the late order helped West Indies to post 291 for eight in 60 overs which in those pioneering days was thought good enough.
Australia however were confident of their batting strength and for a time seemed to have a good chance of reaching the target.
But three run outs by Vivian Richards changed the equation and when Dennis Lillee joined Jeff Thomson for the last wicket the match seemed as good as over with Australia 233 for nine.
However the duo known more for their fearsome pace bowling gave the West Indians some anxious moments by piecing together 41 runs before another run out, the fifth of the innings, saw Australia all out for 274 with eight deliveries still left. The match that started at 11 am ended at 8.45 pm and cemented the popularity of the one-day game.
In Image: M.C.C. president Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh looks on as West Indies captain Clive Lloyd raises the trophy after his team won the final of the Prudential World Cup against Australia, 23rd June 1975.
Text: Partab Ramchand
Images: Getty/AFP (Unauthorised reproduction prohibited)