January 25, 2015 4:32 pm
reporters approached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport last
evening, doubts began to rise regarding the Bangladesh national cricket
team’s exact location. An official press conference wasn’t planned;
expectedly so, considering that captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and coach
Chandika Hathurusingha had spoken at length two days ago.
Even then, the fact that Bangladesh’s contingent for the World Cup
was about to leave was reason enough for the entire media fraternity to
show up.
They weren’t going to use the VIP entrance as they normally did, team
manager Khaled Mahmud informed earlier. However, he wasn’t quite sure
as to which departure gate they would all be entering through.
All those doubts however were quenched once reporters got on the
departure platform and saw an enthusiastic Shoyab Ali — the Tigers fan
who follows the team everywhere they go — waving the Bangladesh flag
non-stop in front of gate number three.
As players got out of their respective cars, they were surrounded by
cameramen. In addition to the gun-like cameras on the shoulders came the
mobile phones from other travellers who joined in, possibly in a bid to
update their facebook and twitter accounts.
As the players struggled through the crowd a few words were spoken.
“I want to do something big,” muttered Arafat Sunny. “Let’s hope we do
well in Brisbane first,” said a smiling Anamul Haque, accompanied by a
host of relatives.
The other player who had company was Mushfiqur Rahim. The security
had to form a man-made barricade to let a seemingly nervous Mushfiqur
scurry through to the gate. His father though was more than happy to
speak to the media. “As long as he doesn’t injure himself he will do
great,” said the bearded gentleman.
By 7 pm all the players, save for the captain, were in for their 9 pm flight.
Mashrafe arrived half-an-hour later with his family. Carrying his
daughter in his lap, he began walking towards the gate, assuring the
20-odd cameramen that he would speak to them.
As soon as he entered the gate, he let go of his daughter and geared
up for one last press conference prior to the World Cup. He spoke a
number of lines, but it was his last sentence that perhaps touched the
20-odd newsmen out there.
“Pray for us,” he said with a soft voice, which oddly enough despite the noise was quite audible.

1975: Clive Lloyd, West Indies (102 runs) 
It was the first World Cup and the one-day format was a relatively new concept.
World’s two strongest teams – West Indies and Australia – advanced to
the final, with West Indies starting the favourite having beaten
Australia by seven wickets during the group stage.
Sent in to bat, West Indies were soon struggling at 50 for 3.
 Clive Lloyd changed that.
gave an exhibition of explosive hitting, scoring 102 runs in a knock
that included 12 fours and two sixes, helping set Australia a target of
292. Most impressively it was scored at a staggering rate for the time,
off just 85 balls to change the course of the final.
Australia fell 18 runs short from the target, handing West Indies the inaugural World Cup.

1979: Viv Richards, West Indies (138*)
In the second Cricket World Cup final, defending champions West Indies were up against England at Lord’s.
won the toss and sent West Indies into bat. Disaster quickly struck for
the defending champions, who lost the wickets of Gordon Greenidge,
Desmond Haynes, Alvin Kallicharan and Clive Lloyd to be in serious
trouble at 4-99.
 That was before Viv Richards steadied the ship,
scoring 138 from 157 balls and combining with Collis King (86 runs) to
help their team to an imposing total of 286.
 England started well in reply but it all fell apart for the host nation when they lost 8-11, losing by 92 runs.

1983: Mohinder Amarnath, India (3-12 and 26 runs)
West Indies were aiming for a third consecutive Cricket World Cup when they took on India at Lord’s.
in to bat, India struggled against the powerful West Indies bowling
attack and were dismissed for 183, with only Mohinder Amarnath (26) and
Kris Srikkanth (38) in the runs.
West Indies looked destined for
victory, but the game turned on its head when the India bowling attack
took advantage of the pitch and weather conditions to tear through the
defending champion’s batsmen, dismissing them for 140.
(3-12) and Madan Lal (3–31) each took three wickets, with the former’s
combined performance with both bat and ball earning him the
man-of-the-match title.

1987: David Boon, Australia (75 runs)
than 70,000 people packed into Eden Gardens for the final of the 1987
World Cup. India had been knocked out of the tournament by England in
the semi-final a few days earlier and as a result, the crowd was
heartily backing Australia in the big dance.
David Boon had headed into the match in good form having scored 372 runs in seven matches prior to the final.
the batting alongside Geoff Marsh, Boon scored 75 runs and combined in
two significant partnerships with Marsh and Dean Jones to set the tone
for the Australian innings.
Australia finished at 5-253 and England, despite a good start, was unable to reach the total, finishing seven runs short.

1992: Wasim Akram, Pakistan (33 and 3-49)
England hoped to make up for the heartbreak of losing the 1987 final when they met Pakistan at the MCG in 1992.
They also headed in favourites, having bowled Pakistan out for 74 earlier in the tournament.
final started in a similar fashion when Derek Pringle dismissed both
Pakistani openers at 24, but Pakistan recovered to score 6-249 and Khan
top-scored with 72.
Javed Miandad scored 58, while Inzamam-ul-Haq (42) and Wasim Akram (33) also chipped in.
Ian Botham was then dismissed for a duck by Wasim Akram, who also snared two other wickets as England was dismissed for 227.
Akram finished with 3-49 and was rightly named man of the match.

1996: Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka (107* and 3-42)
the first time, the World Cup final was placed at Gaddafi Stadium in
Pakistan and more than 62,000 people turned out to watch Sri Lanka play
favourites Australia.
Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga won the toss and sent Australia in to bat.
Mark Taylor and Ricky Ponting ensured a solid start for the Aussies,
but the 1987 champions fell apart when the pair was dismissed, falling
to 5–170.
Australia finished with 7–241 and Sri Lanka looked in trouble early after losing both openers.
was before Aravinda De Silva changed everything as he scored a
match-winning 107*, supported by Asanka Gurusingha (65) and Ranatunga
(47 not out), as Sri Lanka won by seven wickets.

1999: Shane Warne, Australia (4-33)
The World Cup final returned to Lord’s in 1999 and Australia was aiming to make amends for 1996 when they played Pakistan.
won the toss and batted but that was as good as the got for them
that day. No batsman scored above 25 as Pakistan was dismissed for 132,
with Shane Warne capturing a match-winning 4-33.
Australia’s top order saw them team over the line in 20.1 overs, with Adam Gilchrist top scoring with 54.

2003: Ricky Ponting (140*)
A second-straight World Cup title was on the line when Australia met India at Wanderers Stadium in 2003.
sent Australia in to bat and the defending champions got off to a
flying start, with Adam Gilchrist scoring 57 from 48 balls.
Ricky Ponting was the standout, with 140 from 121 balls, and Damien
Martyn (88) provided valuable support as Australia scored a massive 359.
India’s run chase faltered in the first over when Sachin Tendulkar
was caught out, and they never recovered, bowled out for 234, giving
Australia an emphatic 125-run victory.

2007: Adam Gilchrist (149 runs)
It was 2007, the scene was Barbados, and Australia were aiming to win their third straight World Cup.
shortened the match to 38 overs per side and batting first Australia
needed a strong start from openers Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden.
The two batting legends provided, with Gilchrist smashing a memorable 149 off 104 balls in a 172-run partnership.
Gilchrist took just 72 balls to reach his century and Australia finished on 4-281.
target was reduced to 269 off 36 overs after further rain, but Sri
Lanka was unable to chase down the Australian score, finishing on 8-215
to hand Australia a 53-run win and a third-successive World Cup trophy.
Gilchrist’s knock rightly went down as one of the best of his 287-match ODI career.

2011: MS Dhoni (91*)
India went into the 2011
final looking to break a 28-year World Cup draught, while Sri Lanka
hoped to make amends for losing the 2007 final.
In front of a packed Wankhede Stadium with billions watching, Sri Lanka had the better start, winning the toss and batting.
Lanka scored 6-274 thanks to a century from Mahela Jayawardene and when
India opener Virender Sehwag fell for a duck, India appeared to be in
Their position was not much better at 4-113 after Virat
Kohli was caught, but that was before a determined MS Dhoni strode to
the crease.
The skipper started in a sedate fashion, without a
boundary in his first 10 overs at the crease, but stepped up when the
equation become 27 runs required from 24 balls.
Three Dhoni boundaries slashed the deficit to five runs from 12 balls
and in a fairy-tale finish, the captain smashed a six to seal the

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