On this day in 1985: India win World Championship of Cricket by beating Pakistan

Exactly on this day in 1985, Team India registered one of their biggest wins in cricket. They defeated Pakistan in the final of the Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket. The sight of Ravi Shastri winning the Champion of Champions Award, and his teammates taking a ride on his new Audi is still fresh in Indian fans’ minds.

The monumental win was a fitting end to a near-perfect tournament for Sunil Gavaskar & Co. Not many had expected an India-Pakistan final in a tournament taking place in Australia. There were the likes of the hosts Australia, New Zealand, England and West Indies participating in it. Sri Lanka were the other participant.

India had booked their place in the final with four consecutive wins. In their first game, they had thrashed Pakistan by six wickets. India then went on to defeat England, Australia and New Zealand to enter the final in style. Pakistan, on the other hand, beat Australia, England and West Indies after losing to India to make it to the final. High-flying India were the favourites on the basis of their form. And India lived up to the expectations as they thrashed Pakistan by eight wickets.

The glorious final

Pakistan captain Javed Miandad won the toss and decided to bat first in the title decider. Kapil Dev gave India yet another solid start as he troubled Pakistan openers Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar with his swing. Both the batsmen found it extremely tough to score runs before Kapil Dev gave the team the first breakthrough by dismissing Mohsin. Chetan Sharma was equally impressive from the other end.

12 runs after Mohsin’s departure, Kapil struck again to remove Mudassar. On the very next delivery, he castled Qasim Umar for a golden duck to leave Pakistan reeling at 29 for 3. 4 runs later, Chetan Sharma picked his first wicket by sending back Ramiz Raja. With the scoreboard reading 33 for 4, India were all over Pakistan. Miandad and Imran Khan provided some much-needed resistance and took the score past the 100-run mark before the latter’s run-out completely derailed Pakistan’s innings.

Pakistan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and as a result, their innings never really got the impetus. They eventually ended on 176 for 9. Kapil Dev and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan picked three wickets each for India while Miandad top-scored for his side with 48.

Shastri-Srikkanth give a solid start

Pakistan had a formidable attack but defending 177 was looking highly unlikely. Pakistan needed quick wickets at the start to claw their way back in the game but India openers Ravi Shastri and Kris Srikkanth had other ideas. The duo all but ended Pakistan’s hopes with a 103-run opening stand. Shastri was taking all the time in the world to make sure Pakistan did not get any chance while Srikkanth batted in his usual aggressive manner.

They only managed to break the stand in the 29th over when Imran dismissed Srikkanth for 67. The right-handed batsman’s knock came off just 77 balls and was studded with 6 fours and two sixes. Mohammad Azharuddin (25) and Dilip Vengsarkar (18*) also played useful cameos while Shastri remained unbeaten on 63 as India crossed the finishing line with ease in the 48th over.