This Day in Cricket history: Kapil Dev’s 175* saves India’s 1983 World Cup campaign
The road to World Cup victory in 1983 was not an easy one for India. Before facing off England in the semifinals, India were pitted against Zimbabwe in a must-win encounter on June 18, 1983, exactly 37 years ago. After winning the toss, captain Kapil Dev elected to bat first, irrespective of the strong Zimbabwe bowling side. Fast bowlers Peter Rawson and Kevin Curran ran through India’s top-order.
With Sunil Gavaskar, Kris Srikanth, Mohinder Amarnath, Sandip Patil and Yashpal Sharma getting dismissed quickly, India were left reeling at 17/5. And then the magic happened.
Captain Kapil Dev came out to bat and ran through the Zimbabwe bowling line-up. The right-hander played a smart, yet brisk innings as he smashed 16 fours and 6 sixes. He became the first Indian to struck an ODI century. Scoring an unbeaten 175 in 138 balls at a strike rate of 126.81, Kapil Dev took India’s total to 266/8 in 60 overs.
Madan Lal and Roger Binny shined with the ball, picking up 5 wickets among themselves as Zimbabwe were bundled out for 235 in reply. India won the match, and advanced to the semifinal against England.
“The Zimbabwe match was one match where, the entire team started feeling, we can beat top four teams, and on given day, we can beat anybody,” Dev said in a video shared by ICC on Twitter. “That inning gave the team reassurance that we have the ability that we can win under any circumstances, and we can bounce back from any situation.”