World Cup

Cricket World Cup 1983: India Stuns the Mighty West Indies

The 1983 Cricket World Cup (formally the Prudential Cup ’83) was the tournament’s third edition. It was held in England and Wales from June 9 to June 25, 1983, and India won the World Cup in 1983, defeating Clive Lloyd’s formidable West Indies team, possibly the best side in cricket history.

Cricket went from being a popular sport to a national preoccupation and one of the country’s top money-makers after that. Let’s relive the moments that defined the 1983 edition.

The Build-Up


The tournament’s eight teams were divided into two groups of four, with each team playing the others in their group twice. The top two teams in each group proceeded to the semi-finals, which were a single-elimination event. Every game was 60 overs for each side, with no day or night matches.


The World Cup games were played across 15 venues in England and Wales. Old Trafford in Manchester and The Oval in London held the 2 semifinals, respectively, while the Lord’s was the host for the final of the event.


The World Cup included eight teams from around the world. Seven full ICC members, including newly designated full member Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe, which qualified by winning the 1982 ICC Trophy, qualified for the final event.

Teams that participated in the 1983 Cricket World Cup:

  1. England
  2. India
  3. Australia
  4. Pakistan  
  5. West Indies
  6. New Zealand
  7. Sri Lanka
  8. Zimbabwe


Except for the West Indies, all of the teams in the 1983 World Cup were similarly good. The West Indies had dominated international cricket for nearly 15 years and were, therefore, the clear favourite to win the World Cup.

1983 World Cup Group Matches

The first round of matches began on June 9th, followed by semi-finals and finals.

Match 1: June 9, 1983 | England vs New Zealand

England won the toss and chose to bat first. Allan Lamb’s century powered England to a total of 322/6 in 60 overs. England’s bowlers defended the total quite well and bowled out New Zealand for 216 runs, winning the match by 106 runs.

Match 2: June 9, 1983 | Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

After being invited to bat first, Pakistan’s batters thrashed Sri Lankan bowlers and posted 338/5 on the scoreboard. In response, Sri Lanka could only manage to score 288 runs and lost the game by 50 runs.

Match 3: June 9, 1983 | Australia vs Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe surprised the whole world by defeating Australia in their first-ever World Cup match. Batting first, Zimbabwe managed to score 239/6 in 60 overs. Despite getting a good start while chasing, Australia was restricted to 226/7, and Zimbabwe won the game by 13 runs.

Zimbabwean captain Duncan Fletcher’s all-round performance (69 runs and 4 wickets) played a crucial role in delivering one of the biggest upsets in the history of the 50-over tournament.

Match 4: June 9, 1983 | India vs West Indies

Yashpal Sharma’s 89 and crucial contributions from middle and lower-order batters pushed India’s total to 262. While defending the total, Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri didn’t let loose and shared 6 wickets between them, helping India defeat the West Indies by 34 runs.

Match 5: June 11, 1983 | England vs Sri Lanka

After electing to bat first, England put up 333/9 on the board, riding on the back of David Gower’s 130. While chasing the target, Sri Lanka lost a couple of wickets earlier; however, captain Duleep Mendis and Guy de Alwis tried to build partnerships with other batters, but they couldn’t take Sri Lanka over the winning line. And England won the game by 47 runs

Match 6: June 11, 1983 | New Zealand vs Pakistan

Pakistan won the toss and elected to field first, but the decision didn’t go well for Pakistan. Batting first, New Zealand managed to post 238/9 on the scoreboard, with most of the batters contributing to the total. While chasing, Pakistan lost their top 3 for a duck and failed to recover from the damage caused by the Kiwi bowlers, resulting in a defeat by 52 runs.

Match 7: June 11, 1983 | Australia vs West Indies

If the defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe was not enough, the West Indies’ bowler Winston Davis gave the Australian batters hell, as he picked up 7 wickets. The West Indies posted 252 while batting first and defended the total by bundling Australia for 151 runs.

Match 8: June 11, 1983 | India vs Zimbabwe 

Kapil Dev won the toss and decided to field first, and the Indian bowlers proved their captain’s decision correct. India’s bowling attack rattled through Zimbabwe’s batting lineup and bowled them all out for 155 runs. Then the Indian batters chased down the target with ease and won the match by 5 wickets.

Match 9: June 13, 1983 | England vs Pakistan

Pakistan decided to bat first; however, they lost wickets at regular intervals. But Zaheer Abbas held onto the other end, helping Pakistan reach 193 runs. The chase was rather easy for England, as they reached the target in 50.4 overs with 8 wickets to spare.

Match 10: June 13, 1983 | New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

After electing to bowl first, New Zealand restricted Sri Lanka to 206 runs. Later, Glenn Turner and captain Geoff Howarth’s half-centuries powered the Kiwis to chase down the target in the 40th over.

Match 11: June 14, 1983 | Australia vs India

After 2 defeats, Australia managed to register their first victory in the 1983 edition. Batting first, Australia posted a huge total of 320 runs on the board, thanks to Trevor Chappell’s 110 runs. During the chase, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals and was bowled out for 158 runs, resulting in Australia winning the match by 162 runs.

Match 12: June 14, 1983 | West Indies vs Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe lost a few wickets early on while batting first, but keeper Dave Houghton and captain Duncan Fletcher stepped up to build a crucial partnership, helping their team reach 217/7. Gordon Greenidge’s 105 made the chase easy for the West Indies, and they defeated Zimbabwe by 8 wickets.

Match 13: June 15, 1983 | England vs New Zealand

Graeme Fowler’s 69 and David Gower’s 92 helped England reach 234 before being bowled out in the 56th over by New Zealand. The chase was not easy for New Zealand, as they lost wickets at crucial points. However, Jeremy Coney and Richard Hadlee’s 70-run partnership for the 7th wicket paved the way for the Kiwis, and they reached the target with 1 ball remaining and 2 wickets in hand.

Match 14: June 15, 1983 | India vs West Indies

The West Indies decided to bat first, and Viv Richards’ knock of 119 took them to 282/9 in 60 overs. Andy Roberts and Michael Holding made sure the Indian batters didn’t cross the winning line and bundled out India on 216 runs, and the Windies won the game by 66 runs.

Match 15: June 16, 1983 | Pakistan vs Sri Lanka

Captain Imran Khan led from the front, scoring a century, to help his side post 235 runs on the scoreboard. While chasing the target of 236 runs, Sri Lanka was on 162/2, but once they lost their set opener, Sidath Wettimuny, it all started to fall down. Sri Lanka lost the match by a small margin of 11 runs.

Match 16: June 16, 1983 | Australia vs Zimbabwe

Australia elected to bat first and went on to post 272 runs on the board. Zimbabwe, in response, was bowled out on 240 runs as Rodney Hogg and Trevor Chappell scalped 3 wickets each.

Match 17: June 18, 1983 | England vs Pakistan

After winning the toss, Imran Khan decided to bat first; however, Pakistan could only manage to score 232/8 in 60 overs. While defending the total, Pakistani bowlers couldn’t do much, as Graeme Fowler’s 69 and Chris Tavaré’s 58 helped England hunt down the target with 7 wickets in hand.

Match 18: June 18, 1983 | New Zealand vs Sri Lanka

Ashantha de Mel’s 5-wicket haul proved to be instrumental in Sri Lanka restricting New Zealand to 181 runs. New Zealand’s bowlers also kept the Sri Lankan bowlers in check; however, they couldn’t stop them from chasing the target. Sri Lanka won the match by 3 wickets.

Match 19: June 18, 1983 | Australia vs West Indies

Australia was once again defeated by the West Indies in the group stage. Batting first, the Aussies reached a decent total of 273 runs. However, their bowlers were hapless against Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards’ onslaught, and the West Indies defeated Australia by 7 wickets.

Match 20: June 18, 1983 | India vs Zimbabwe

This game between India and Zimbabwe witnessed one of the best recoveries in cricket history. After deciding to bat first, India was reeling at 17/5, and then Kapil Dev played a captain’s knock of 175*, helping India reach 266/8. While chasing, Zimbabwe was bowled out for 235 runs, and India won the match by 31 runs.

Also Read | Top 10: Highest Individual Scores in ODI World Cup History

Match 21: June 20, 1983 | England vs Sri Lanka

England’s bowlers dominated in this match and skittled the Sri Lankan side for a mere 136 runs. Later, England chased down the target in the 25th over with 9 wickets to spare.

Match 22: June 20, 1983 | New Zealand vs Pakistan

Pakistan’s win over New Zealand proved to be crucial, as they qualified to play in the semi-finals of the tournament. In a fiercely contested game, Pakistan posted 261/3 thanks to Zaheer Abbas’ unbeaten 103 and Imran Khan’s 79*. During the chase, Geoff Howarth, Martin Crowe, and Jeremy Coney tried to keep the Kiwis in the game, but they failed to win the match by 11 runs.

Match 23: June 20, 1983 | Australia vs India

Unlike the first encounter between these two teams, this time the Indian bowlers overpowered the Aussies. While batting first, India managed to post 247, with every batter contributing some runs. And then the Indian bowlers gave the Australian batters a hard time in the middle, bowled them out for 129, and won the match by 118 runs.

Match 24: June 20, 1983 | West Indies vs Zimbabwe

In a one-sided contest, the West Indies skittled out Zimbabwe for a meagre 171 runs. Later, the duo of Desmond Haynes (88) and Faoud Bacchus (80) conquered the target with ease and registered a 10-wicket victory over Zimbabwe.

Knockout Stage

1st Semi-Final: June 22, 1983 | England vs India

On June 22, England won the toss and chose to bat in the first semi-final at Old Trafford. The English batters mistimed many balls, allowing India to restrict England to 213 in 60 overs. Graeme Fowler top-scored (33 off 59 balls), and Kapil Dev got 3 for 35 in 11 overs, with Mohinder Amarnath and Roger Binny each getting 2 wickets. 

In response, Yashpal Sharma (61) and Sandeep Patil (51) each made a half-century as India reached their target in 54.4 overs, defeating the tournament runners-up by 6 wickets in a classic victory. Mohinder Amarnath, who added 46 runs to his precious bowling success (2/27), was chosen man of the match for his all-around performance.

2nd Semi-Final: June 22, 1983 | Pakistan vs West Indies

On the same day, the second semi-final between Pakistan and the West Indies was held at the Oval. The West Indies won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat, restricting them to 184/8 in 60 overs. Mohsin Khan (70 off 176 balls) was the only Pakistani batsman to exceed 50 runs. With the ball, Malcolm Marshall (3/28) and Andy Roberts (2/25) shone for the Caribbean side.

The West Indies innings were built around Viv Richards’ superb innings (80), who was named man-of-the-match, and Larry Gomes’ unbeaten half-century (50), as the defending champions reached their target with only 2 wickets lost.

Final: June 25, 1983 | India vs West Indies

India was invited to bat by the West Indies in the final after they won the toss. Only Mohinder Amarnath (26) and Krishnamachari Srikkanth (38) stood out as Roberts, Marshall, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding efficiently dispatched the Indian batting with assistance from Gomes. India scored 183 in 54.4 overs thanks to unexpected tail resistance. 

The Indian bowlers managed to pull off one of cricket’s most unexpected upsets by bowling out the West Indies for 140 runs in 52 overs and winning by 43 runs. Madan Lal and Amarnath each claimed 3 wickets. With 33 runs from 28 balls, Viv Richards was the West Indies’ top scorer.

Amarnath was the most effective bowler, allowing only 12 runs in 7 overs and picking up 3 wickets. He was awarded Man of the Match for his all-around performance. Kapil Dev became the youngest captain to win the World Cup at the age of 24.

Special Moments in the World Cup of 1983

India’s Historic Victory

The stunning win by India in the 1983 World Cup final was the most crucial occasion of the tournament. Despite being considered underdogs at the time, the charismatic Kapil Dev-led Indian cricket team defeated all odds to win the World Cup trophy.

Their incredible victory came in the tournament’s final match against the mighty West Indies, who had previously won the event twice. India’s victory not only marked a watershed moment in their cricketing history, but it also demonstrated the force of determination, teamwork, and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Inspirational Innings by Kapil Dev

Another memorable highlight from the 1983 World Cup was Kapil Dev’s remarkable innings as captain. During a vital group stage encounter against Zimbabwe, India found themselves in a dangerous position, down by 17 runs. Kapil Dev played a stunning knock of 175 runs off 138 balls, exhibiting incredible control and technique.

His innings not only saved the team from disaster but also powered them to an impressive total. Kapil Dev’s masterclass lives on in the minds of cricket fans throughout the world as a testament to his remarkable leadership and batting prowess.

The West Indian Upset

The dramatic upset that the Indian team pulled off in the World Cup final against the reigning champion West Indies will live in infamy. The West Indies, who were at the time a dominant force in cricket, had won the previous two World Cups in 1975 and 1979.

India’s determined and passionate effort, on the other hand, damaged their reputation for invincibility. The Indian bowlers performed admirably, limiting the West Indies to a modest total. India chased down the mark with a combination of dogged batting and unflinching faith, delivering a historic victory that rippled throughout the cricketing globe.

Bob Willis’s Incredible Bowling

One of the World Cup’s most memorable moments in 1983 was the blazing spell that England’s fast bowler, Bob Willis, produced. Willis delivered a relentless show of pace and swing in a group-stage encounter against India, leaving the Indian batsmen perplexed.

His incredible stats of 4 wickets for 11 runs in 8 overs were crucial in destroying the Indian batting order and driving England to a resounding victory. Willis’ outstanding performance illustrated the enormous impact a skilled fast bowler can have on the outcome of a match and will be remembered as a moment of absolute brilliance by cricket fans.

Clive Lloyd’s Unbeaten Century

West Indies captain Clive Lloyd delivered a batting masterclass against Zimbabwe at the 1983 World Cup. When faced with a difficult goal, Lloyd displayed tremendous talent, perseverance, and grace in compiling an undefeated century.

His innings demonstrated his ability to succeed under pressure and cemented his position as one of the best players of his age. Lloyd’s undefeated century will be remembered as a watershed event in cricket, displaying the genuine essence of grit and class.

The Five-Wicket Haul

India conceded 320/9 in their allotted 60 overs against Kim Hughes’ Australia in their third match of the tournament. Six of India’s seven bowlers averaged more than 4.3, while three conceded more than 6 runs per over.

However, Kapil Dev fought alone, conceding only 43 runs in 12 overs. He dismissed opener Kepler Wessels for 5, then returned at the finish to eliminate the final four Australian batsmen, recording his first and only five-wicket haul. This was also the first fifer by an Indian in a lost match, a record that stood for ten years as the team went on to lose by a mammoth 162-run margin.

Final Thoughts

We are reminded that cricket is more than simply a sport as we reflect on the momentous day in June 1983 when Kapil Dev won the World Cup at Lord’s. Cricket is a celebration of human tenacity, fortitude, and the enduring spirit of competition. The 1983 Cricket World Cup will always be remembered as the time when the entire world gathered at Lord’s Cricket Ground to witness the victory of the human spirit.

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