1987 World Cup final: David’s boon to the Aussies

David Boon, the stocky opener known for his grit and patience, played a critical role and produced a classy knock of 75. This innings, crafted against a tidy attack, is ranked among the finest in World Cup history.

Australia’s David Boon chose his strokes carefully on a challenging pitch where England was served superbly by its spinners — John Emburey and Eddie Hemmings   -  The Hindu Photo Library

Australia was not fancied to win the Cup. India was, on paper, the strongest team. As defending champion, it had prepared for the tournament well.

As co-hosts India and Pakistan were expected to dominate, which they did, making it to the semifinals. India suffered an unexpected defeat at the hands of England in Bombay with Graham Gooch cracking a game-changing century.

Australia travelled to Pakistan to take on the home team in Lahore. It was as if Pakistan had won the match. The spectators rooted for the home team, but Australia kept itself in the game with timely strikes. The Aussie tenacity loomed large on the contest and Imran Khan came to discover the hard way that he did not have the combination to justify the pre-tournament tag of being a favourite.

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In the final, played at an over-flowing Eden Gardens in Calcutta, Australia met England with the latter enjoying the backing of the experts. When Australia, electing to bat, posted 253 runs, there were not many who would have expected Allan Border’s squad to pull it off.

David Boon, the stocky opener known for his grit and patience, played a critical role and produced a classy knock of 75. This innings, crafted against a tidy attack, is ranked among the finest in World Cup history.

It reflected the character of the team and also confirmed Boon as a technically accomplished batsman. He chose his strokes carefully on a challenging pitch where England was served superbly by its spinners — John Emburey and Eddie Hemmings.

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Boon played them on merit and helped Australia set up a 250-plus target. England fell short by seven runs and much of the blame was put on Mike Gatting, who perished to an ill-advised reverse sweep.

For Boon, it was a personally memorable moment as Australia won its first ever Cup.