Australia vs India, Chennai, October 9, 1987 (World Cup): The first World Cup match in India was, fittingly, one of the most thrilling the two teams have ever played. As holders and hosts, India were the favourites going into the game. They had a well settled and balanced side while the Aussies were still in the rebuilding process.
Put in to bat, Australia were off to a fine start with openers David Boon and Geoff Marsh putting on 110 runs While Boon was out for 49, Marsh went on to get 110 from 141 balls. Marsh and Dean Jones (39) then figured in a bright second wicket partnership of 64 runs and at 174 for one, Australia had the springboard to take off for an imposing total. The bowlers recovered some ground but Australia were still able to post a respectable total of 270 for six in 50 overs.
India, with an explosive batting line-up, were expected to overhaul this and Sunil Gavaskar (37) and Kris Srikkanth (70) set them on the way with a first wicket association of 69 runs. It was followed by a second wicket stand of 62 runs between Srikkanth and Navjot Singh Sidhu (73). This was followed by a third valuable stand with Sidhu and Dilip Vengsarkar (29) increasing the score by 76 runs and at 207 for two, India were strongly placed.
Craig McDermott then bowled Sidhu and this set off a middle order collapse. Even so, India with four wickets in hand required just 15 to win from four overs. Three wickets fell in the next three overs and when the last over began, India required six runs with one wicket in hand. Maninder Singh, the last man, managed two 2’s but Steve Waugh who bowled the last over kept his cool and bowled the No 11 off the fifth ball and Australia had won by the narrowest of margins.