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Monday, October 17, 2022

George Munsey basks in glory - West Indies stunned !!

 Today George Munsey (who)  is basking in glory !?!?

Berbice lies along the Berbice River in Guyana, which was between 1627 and 1792 a colony of the Dutch West India Company and between 1792 to 1815 a colony of the Dutch state. Later it was merged with Demerara-Essequibo to form the colony of British Guiana in 1831. It became a county of British Guiana in 1838 till 1958.

The glorious uncertainties of the game makes it much more interesting ! – more so, when the duration is lesser !!

For more than a decade, West Indies were formidable and dominated the scene in the manner that they were unassailable !  .. .. the first two World Cups went more or less predicted.  No major upsets.  WI Vs Australia in 1975 finals and WI Vs England in 1979 – Clive Lloyd winning the Prudential World Cup both the times. 

In 1983 Clive Lloyd with Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall … appeared invincible .. however,  1983 World Cup was to start rather differently for the Australians.  Zimbabwe carted the biggest upset.  Duncan Fletcher scored 69 not out, claimed 4 for 42, and led Zimbabwe to a 13-run victory over Australia. The Trent Bridge encounter was Zimbabwe’s first World Cup match.  Elsewhere, in Old Trafford, India made a big  262 for 8 and reduced West Indies to 157 for 9 before Andy Roberts and Joel Garner went berserk, adding 71 for the last stand. The 34-run defeat was West Indies’ first in the history of the tournament.

Some would be following the warm-up match too .. seeing the failed helicopter of Suryakumar Yadav again and again.  It boiled  till the final over of the Australians vs Indians warm-up game for Mohammed Shami to get into action, and it was an over to talk about.   Virat Kohli held a stunning one-handed catch backtracking at long-on, Ashton Agar ran himself out, then Shami bowled yorker-yorker off the last two balls, to finish with 3 for 4. Indians had scripted a come-from-behind win by six runs in Brisbane.  For those of us who saw Sandip Patil at the nets in Chepauk before his debut and thundered he is World class, such matches too are of interest!

The sad news for the calypso fan is -  Two-time T20 World Cup champions West Indies were stunned by Scotland in their opening match of Group B in Hobart. Opener George Munsey carried his bat scored 66 off 53 to hold Scotland's innings together to help them post 160.  He was the player of the match.  With the ball, Scotland relied on their slower bowlers to rock West Indies  to bowl them for  118 all out and consign them  a 42-run defeat.  This is more shocking after the result on day 1 when  Associate nation, Namibia beat Sri Lanka.

West Indies started their chase strongly and were 53 for 1 in 5.4 overs, but then lost their next seven wickets for 26 runs, with left-arm spinner Mark Watt producing a penetrative and economical spell to finish with 3 for 12 in his four overs.  The loss puts West Indies under pressure with matches against Ireland and Zimbabwe next to come.  Scotland, meanwhile, will be looking to build on this comprehensive win and will eye a second consecutive Super 12 spot at the T20 World Cup.

Looking back at West Indies losses in ODIs – they played their first ever ODI at Leeds against England on Sept 5 1973.  There were 17 debutants – 11 from West Indies and 6 from England (M.H.Denness, M.Hendrick, C.M.Old, M.J.Smith, R.W.Taylor, R.G.D.Willis). Though Windies lost, it was a match that went down the wire – chasing 182, England won by 1 wicket with 3 balls remaining. It was a 55 overs a side match and great Gary Sobers bowled the final over.  The bowling attack was Sobers, Vanburn Holder, Keith Boyce, Bernard Julien and Lance Gibbs.

England won this 55 overs a side match by one wicket. Denness, the Man of the Match, made a successful debut as captain of England.  After Boycott had gone without scoring in the fourth over, Smith and Denness added 71 in 22 overs to give England a sound foundation. In the 54th  over   seven  was required and England had 3 wickets.  Remember those were early days of limited overs cricket. Greig got out with 6 needed. Hendrick was bowled by the next delivery and Underwood had to stop a hat-trick. Sobers bowled the final over to Willis with four wanted. The second ball was hit straight back over the bowler for two; the next steered to third man for two more and England were home. Rohan Kanhai captained Team West Indies.

India lost badly in Pakistan in 1982 and then embarked tough tour to West Indies with Kapil Dev at the helm.  For adding weight, experienced Srinivasa Venkatraghavan and Anshuman Gaekwad were recalled.   It was at a place called Berbice, where India went to play having lost the first Test and ODI and drew the 2nd test.  Berbice was the place of Rohan Kanhai – reportedly, the turnout was so huge that they erected temporary stands.   On 29th Mar 1983, Sunil Gavaskar made a good start and scored a 90 !  - was run out.  Then came the great knock by cavalier Kapil Dev - 72 off 38 balls, three sixes and seven fours on the way and lifting India to 282 for 5 in 47 overs, their highest score till then in ODIs.  Kapil combined  with Balwinder Sandhu, got rid of the dreaded opening pair of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge early. – in that match debuted Winston Davis.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Oct 2022

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