World Cup 1987: Allan Border sparked the Australian legacy with first world title | Sunday Observer

World Cup 1987: Allan Border sparked the Australian legacy with first world title

6 August, 2023
The Australian squad: Allan Border (captain), David Boon, Greg Dyer (wicket keeper), Dean Jones, Geoff Marsh, Tim May, Craig McDermott, Tom Moody, Simon O’Donnell, Bruce Reid, Peter Taylor, Mike Veletta, Steve Waugh, Andrew Zesers and Bob Simpson
The Australian squad: Allan Border (captain), David Boon, Greg Dyer (wicket keeper), Dean Jones, Geoff Marsh, Tim May, Craig McDermott, Tom Moody, Simon O’Donnell, Bruce Reid, Peter Taylor, Mike Veletta, Steve Waugh, Andrew Zesers and Bob Simpson

Allan Border led Australia to victory in the 1987 Cricket World Cup (Reliance Cup 1987). It was the fourth Cricket World Cup and the maiden world title for Australia. Thetournament took place from October 8 to November 8, 1987 in India and Pakistan. The format was unchanged from the original eight-team, except for a reduction in the total overs from 60 to 50.

Allan Border was primarily a left-hand batsman but also had occasional success as a part-time left-arm orthodox spinner. Border is commonly agreed not to have been an especially attractive or flamboyant cricketer, and remembered more for his rugged graft and admirable fight than for any aesthetic depth.

Border amassed a world record 11,174 Test runs and scored 27 centuries in his Test career. He retired as Australia’s most-capped player and leading run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs. He led Australia to defeat their arch-rivals England by seven runs in Kolkata’s Eden Gardensand same is the second-most closely fought World Cup final to date.

Border’s Test Career

Allen Border was selected for his Test debut at the MCG at the third Test during 1978/79 Ashes series. In the fourth Test at Sydney, he was in a “lonely class of his own” by top-scoring in both innings with 60 not out and 45 not out. However, he was dropped for the Sixth Test, the only Test he missed in his entire career.

In the First Test against Pakistan at the MCG, Border hit his maiden Test century (105). In 1979, Border scored 521 runs at 43.42 in the 6-Test series in India, including 162 in the First Test at Madras. In the next Test against England at Perth Border scored 115 to secure victory and in doing so passed 1,000 Test runs. He had done so in only 354 days, the fastest ever by an Australian, and made more runs (1,070) in his first year as a Test cricketer than anyone before.

On the tour of Pakistan that followed, Border hit 150 not out and 153 in the Third Test at Lahore to become the first, and so far only batsman in Test history to pass 150 in both innings of a Test. In the off-season, Border married Jane Hiscox, and moved to Brisbane to begin playing for Queensland.

In 1981, Border made his first Ashes tour and scored half-centuries in the first two Tests. In the Fifth Test at Old Trafford he batted with a fractured left finger and reached a century in 377 minutes, the slowest Test hundred by an Australian. In the final Test at The Oval, Border scored 106 not out and 84. Overall, he totalled 533 at 59.22. He was chosen one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1982.

During 1982/83 Ashes series, Border’s effort in the Fourth Test at the MCG is one of his best remembered Test innings. Australia had lost nine wickets and required 74 runs to win when Jeff Thomson joined Border at the crease. Border, batting at 6, came in at 141/4, with Australia chasing 292, and finished the fourth day on 44 not out, with last man Thomson on 8 not out. The pair slowly accumulated runs, before a juggling catch dismissed Thomson when Australia were three runs short of the target. Border was left on 62 not out.

Australia hosted Pakistan for a five-Test series in 1983/84. Border scored 118 and 117 not out in the Second and Third Tests respectively. Border became Australian vice-captain for the tour of the West Indies in 1984.

After a drawn First Test, Border played two classic innings in the Second Test at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. In poor light and on a bouncy wicket, Australia had slumped to three for sixteen when Border came to the crease. He finished unbeaten on 98 in a total of 255. The West Indies took a 213-run lead and then reduced Australia to three for 55 late on the fourth day.

Border again resisted, but Australia slumped to nine for 238, just 25 runs in front, when Terry Alderman joined Border. Together, they battled for 105 minutes to save Australia from defeat and, “earn the most miraculous draw.” Border struck the final ball of the match for a boundary to reach 100 not out, having resisted the bowling for 634 minutes in the match. Border ended the series with 521 runs at 74.73.

Border as captain of Australia

Allen Border was appointed captain for the Third Test at Adelaide with the West Indies. Australia’s only success came in the Second Test at Lord’s, where Border hit 196. His unbeaten 146 in the Fourth Test at Manchester helped Australia to draw. In all, he amassed 597 runs at 66.33 in the series.

In 1987/88, Australia defeated New Zealand for its first Test series victory in four years. Border hit 205 in the drawn Second Test at Adelaide, his highest Test score which took him past Greg Chappell as Australia’s highest run-scorer. The Bicentennial Test against England at Sydney was drawn. Australia won its inaugural home Test match against Sri Lanka. Border’s contribution for the five Tests was 426 runs at 71.00 average.

In 1988/89, Border celebrated becoming the first Australian to play 100 Tests by taking 7/46 and 4/50, backed with an innings of 75, in Australia’s only victory for the series against West Indies, in the Fourth Test at Sydney. His bowling figures are the best for a match (and second best for an innings) by an Australian captain. Previously, he had taken 16 wickets in 99 Tests. Receiving the player of the match award, Border said, “There will be batsmen all around the world shaking their heads in disbelief when they see the result.”

The 1989 Ashes tour was Border’s first major series win as Test captain. He had consciously fashioned a more aggressive approach to the captaincy. Australia won 4–0, its first victory in a Test series abroad in 12 years. Border set the tone for the series with attacking innings of 66 and 60 not out in the First Test. In all, he made six half-centuries to end with 442 runs at 73.66. He was subsequently named the 1989 Australian of the Year for his part in helping Australia regain the Ashes.

Australia reinforced its superiority over England with a convincing 3–0 win in the 1990/91 Ashes series: the three victories were by eight, nine and ten wickets respectively. On the 1992 tour of Sri Lanka, Border recorded his only series victory on the subcontinent as captain, scoring 106 in the Third Test at Moratuwa.

Border scored 110 in the Second Test before Shane Warne produced his first great Test bowling performance by taking seven for 52 in the second innings to win the match for Australia. The Third Test was a high-scoring draw, and Border’s innings of 74 made him the second player after Sunil Gavaskar to pass 10,000 Test runs.

The Fourth Test in Adelaide produced the closest definite result in Test-Match history. Australia slumped to eight for 102 in pursuit of the 186 runs needed to give them a series victory, but the lower-order batsmen rallied and took the side to within one run when Craig McDermott was given out by a controversial decision.

Australia then made a brief tour of New Zealand, drawing the Test series one-all. In the First Test at Christchurch, Border scored 88, passing Gavaskar’s record for the most Test runs.

In 1993, Border became the first player since Joe Darling to lead Australia in England on three Ashes tours. Australia won 4–1. Border ended his career by leading the first Australian team to play a Test series against South Africa in 1994. Border’s final Test innings was an obdurate 42 not out in the Third Test at Durban.

The ‘Australian Cricketer of the Year’ now receives the Allan Border Medal, with the inaugural award having been won by Glenn McGrath in 2000. The India-Australia Test Series has been named the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Border wrote an autobiography titled, “Beyond Ten Thousand: My Life Story,” published in 1993. In 2000, he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Border became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1986, and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1989. He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named Queenslander of the Year in 1994. He received an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and was named an Australia Post Legend of Cricket in 2021.

Border’s World Records

Allen Border achieved numerous world records in his illustrious career: The first player to play 150 Test Matches; The first player to score 11,000 Test runs; Most runs in a Test career (11,174 runs); Most Test matches played (156) and most consecutive Test matches played (153); Batted in more Test match innings (265) than any other player; Most Test scores between 50 and 100 (63) and most scores of at least 50 (90); Captained in 93 Tests (all consecutive), both world records; Most Test runs as captain (6,623); Most capped Australian player in Tests and ODIs; Leading Australian run scorer in Tests and ODIs; Most Test catches by a non-wicket-keeper (156); The first, and so far only, player to have scored 150 in each innings of a Test (150* and 153); The first, and so far only, player to have scored 100 in each innings of a Test and taken 10 wickets in a match, over the course of their Test career.

1987 World Cup Group Matches

The format of the competition was two groups of four teams each team playing each other twice. The top two teams from each group would advance to the semi-finals where the two winners would then advance to the final. All matches were played during daytime and the teams appeared in traditional white clothing and used traditional red balls.

In the Group A, Australia scored 270/6 with Geoff Marsh, the Player of the Match (PoM), scoring 110 to beat India (269) by one run. New Zealand rallied 242/7 and bundled out Zimbabwe for 239. David Houghton who scored 142 was named the PoM. Australia scored 235/9 to win by 96 runs against Zimbabwe (139). Steve Waugh of Australia was the PoM.

India scored 252/7 to beat New Zealand 236/8. India’s Kapil Dev was the PoM. India reduced Zimbabwe to 135 with the PoM, Manoj Prabhakar capturing 4/19 and scored 136/2 to win by 8 wickets. Australia scored 199/4 in a match reduced to 30 overs with David Boon, the PoM scoring 87. New Zealand (196/9) lost by 3 runs.

India scored 289/6 and restricted Australia to 233 to win by 56 with the PoM, Mohammad Azharuddin claiming 3/19 in 3.5 overs. Zimbabwe scored 227/5 and New Zealand (228/6) won by 4 wickets, Jeff Crowe who scored 88 was the PoM. Zimbabwe managed 191/7 but India reached 194/3. Kapil Dev was the PoM. Australia notched up 251/8 with the PoM, Geoff Marsh scoring 126 and restricted New Zealand to 234 to win by 17 runs.

Australia scored 266/5 and restricted Zimbabwe to 196/6. David Boon’s 93 earned him the PoM. In the final match, New Zealand scored 221/9 with the first hat-trick in Cricket World Cup history achieved by Chetan Sharma with last three balls of the 42nd over. In reply, India raised 224/1 to record a comfortable 9-wicket victory with Sunil Gavaskar 103 not out and Chetan Sharma 3/51 sharing the PoM.

In the Group B, Pakistan scored 267/6 to win by 15 runs against Sri Lanka (252). Javed Miandad who scored 103 was the PoM. West Indies scored 243/7 but England surpassed (246/8) to win by 2 wickets with Allan Lamb named PoM for his 67 not out. Pakistan scored 239/7 and in response England were all out for 221 with PoM, Abdul Qadir capturing 4/31.

West Indies raised 360/4 with the PoM, Viv Richards scoring 181 to win against Sri Lanka by 191 runs as they totalled 169/4. West Indies scored 216 and Pakistan edged with 217/9 with Saleem Yousuf earning PoM for his 56. England scored 296/4 to win by 108 runs against Sri Lanka by restricting them to 158/8. PoM Allan Lamb of England.

England scored 244/9 with PoM, Imran Khan claiming 4/37 and Pakistan scored 247/3 to record a 7-wicket victory. West Indies scored 236/8 with PoM, Phil Simmons scoring 89. In reply Sri Lanka managed 211/8. Pakistan scored 297/7 with a century by Saleem Malik to win by 113 runs, restricting Sri Lanka to 184/8. England scored 269/5 to beat West Indies (235) by 34 runs with Graham Gooch named PoM for his 92.

Sri Lanka scored 218/7 but England reached 219/2 to win by 8 wickets with Graham Gooch declared PoM for his 61. West Indies scored 258/7 with PoM, Richie Richardson scoring 110. In reply Pakistan managed 230/9 and lost by 28 runs.

World Cup Semi-Finals and Final

In the first Semi-Final, Australia won the toss and David Boon top scored with 65. Imran Khan took 3 for 17 runs in 5 overs. Yet, Australia managed to reach 267/6 in 50 overs. Pakistan started badly, falling to 3/38. Imran Khan (58) and Javed Miandad (70) shared a partnership of 112 runs in 26 overs. However, Pakistan were bowled out for 249 and lost by 18 runs.

In the second Semi-Final, India won the toss and fielded. After reaching 2/79, Graham Gooch (115) and Mike Gatting (56) shared a partnership of 117 runs in 19 overs and England reached 254/6. India collapsed for 219, giving England the victory.

In the Final, the first outside Lord’s, Australia and England, both of whom had yet to win the trophy contested. Australia won the toss and chose to bat. David Boon (75) top-scored and Australia posted 253. In reply, England’s Bill Athey (58) and Allan Lamb (45) contributed, but England had to score 17 runs from the final over and they failed. Player of the Match was David Boon.

Outstanding Batting and Bowling

Graham Gooch of England was the leading run scorer in the World Cup with 471. David Boon (Australia) was second with 447 runs. Geoff Marsh (Australia) was third with 428 runs. Viv Richardas (West Indies) and Mike Gatting (England) followed with 391 and 354 runs respectively.

Craig McDermott of Australia was the leading wicket taker with 18 wickets. Imran Khan (Pakistan) took 17 wickets whilst Patrick Patterson (West Indies) took 14 wickets. Maninder Singh (India) captured 14 wickets and Eddie Hemmings (England) took 13 wickets.

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