World Cup History
1975 - England
Final: West Indies beat Australia by 17 runs
The concept of one-day internationals was fairly new - there had been only 18 matches worldwide - but England and favourites West Indies took to the new format like a moth to a flame with a 100% record in the group stages. However, a devastating spell of 6-14 from Australia’s Gary Gilmour ensured England were bowled out for 93 as they fell to a four-wicket defeat in the semi-final. In the showpiece encounter at Lord’s, despite the best efforts of Gilmour, who took 5-48, a century from Clive Lloyd helped West Indies reach 291 for eight. It proved to be too much for Australia, for whom three of their top four batsmen were run out by Viv Richards as West Indies lifted the inaugural World Cup.
1979 - England
Final: West Indies beat England by 92 runs
West Indies and England were again the frontrunners of this tournament while Australia hamstrung themselves by picking a weakened side because of the Kerry Packer affair. West Indies were grateful for Viv Richards, who chipped in with a few timely wickets to go with his destructive batting. In the final, he hit a memorable century but was perhaps slightly upstaged by Collis King, who blasted 86 from 66 deliveries. Joel Garner’s five-for ensured England did not come close to chasing 287.
1983 - England
Final: India beat West Indies by 43 runs
Kapil Dev was the star as India were able to upset the natural order. In eight matches the all-rounder scored 303 runs at an average of 60 and claimed 13 wickets at 20 apiece. The underdogs were able to see off England in the semi-final by the relatively comfortable margin of six wickets thanks to Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil scoring half-centuries. In the final they looked like they were heading for defeat when Viv Richards led West Indies to 50 for one in response to their 186. However, Madan Lal and Mohinder Amarnath both took three wickets as India prevailed.
1987 - India & Pakistan
Final: Australia beat England by seven runs
In the first World Cup to be held outside England, Australia lifted the title after triumphing over their Ashes rivals by the narrowest of margins. Graham Gooch was in particularly fine form after his century helped England see off India in the semi-final, while Craig McDermott’s career-best 5-44 propelled Australia to victory over Pakistan. David Boon top-scored with a gutsy 75 to guide Australia to 253 for five in the final, and, though Gooch, Bill Athey, Mike Gatting and Allan Lamb all made starts, they could not convert them into big scores and it proved costly as England fell short in a nail-biting finish.
1992 - Australia & New Zealand
Final: Pakistan beat England by 22 runs
England were forced to settle for the runners-up spot once again after falling to an Imran Khan-inspired Pakistan, but this World Cup - in which the players wore coloured clothing and used a white ball for the first time - is remembered largely for the farcical scenes in the semi-final. South Africa, who were allowed to compete in the tournament for the first time, needed 22 off 13 deliveries to win but, after a rain delay, it came down to them needing 22 from one ball according to the rules in existence at the time. England progressed to their third final and the Proteas still rage about the unjustice to this day.
1996 - India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
Final: Sri Lanka beat Australia by seven wickets
Sri Lanka launched themselves on to the world stage with a fantastic display of pinch-hitting. Sanath Jayasuriya plundered 82 runs from 44 balls as the co-hosts triumphed over England in the quarter-final. They were awarded a 'win by default' in the semi-finals after being well on top against India before a riot broke out. In the final, Aravinda de Silva almost single-handedly won the World Cup for Sri Lanka as, after taking three wickets and two catches to help reduce Australia to 241 for seven, he struck an unbeaten century in a comfortable run-chase.
1999 - England
Final: Australia beat Pakistan by eight wickets
Australia set the tone for what was to come over the next decade by cruising to victory over Pakistan in an encounter that was something of an anticlimax. However, nothing will be able to match their semi-final clash with South Africa in terms of excitement. The familiar pair of Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald took nine wickets between them to limit Australia to what appeared a below-par 213 for nine, but South Africa lost three wickets in the last two overs, including the comical run-out of last man Donald with the scores level. The match was tied but Australia progressed by virtue of finishing higher in the Super Six table.
2003 - South Africa, Zimbabwe & Kenya
Australia beat India by 125 runs
Australia claimed the second World Cup in succession as Ricky Ponting’s wonderful unbeaten 140 helped them ease to victory over India in the final. However, this was a tournament that was remembered for the wrong reasons. Andy Flower and Henry Olonga chose to “mourn the death of democracy in Zimbabwe” by wearing black armbands, while England forfeited their match in Harare against the co-hosts on political grounds. It ultimately proved costly as the points Zimbabwe received for the walkover helped them reach the Super Sixes - at England's expense.
2007 - West Indies
Australia beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs (D/L method)
Adam Gilchrist’s sensational 149 off 104 balls - aided by a squash ball inside his batting glove - helped Australia to a hat-trick of World Cup triumphs. However, the death of Bob Woolmer, poor attendances and confusion in the final, which finished in darkness, somewhat overshadowed the tournament. Australia were simply mesmeric as they went unbeaten in their 12 matches and, although Gilchrist grabbed the headlines in the final, Matthew Hayden and Ponting were imperious throughout. Hayden finished as the competition's leading scorer, while Glenn McGrath won the man of the series award after claiming 26 wickets.