1975 World Cup final: The day Clive Lloyd beat the daylights out of Australia

On June 21, 1975, Clive Lloyd scored a match-winning 102 off 85 balls with 12 fours and two sixes before nicking left-arm seamer Gary Gilmour to wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh.

Man of the final 1975: Super Cat’s super century

Clive Lloyd, famously known as Super Cat because of his canny fielding prowess in the cover area, but more importantly a dynamic batsman for nearly two decades starting from the mid-1960s, took centre stage for West Indies in the inaugural Prudential World Cup final against Australia.

In front of around 27,000 spectators at the Lord’s Cricket Ground at St. John’s Wood on June 21, 1975, the giant Guyanese left-hander scored a memorable and match-winning 102 off 85 balls with 12 fours and two sixes, scoring at a rate of 120 before nicking left-arm seamer Gary Gilmour to wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh. Among the cricketing greats who were witness to Lloyd’s brilliant strokeplay were Jim Laker, and Denis Compton. Compton went to the extent of comparing Lloyd’s 102 with Australian Stan McCabe’s 232 against England in the 1938 Trent Bridge Test.

Until this remarkable knock that pulled the West Indies from a precarious 50 for 3 (Roy Fredericks, Gordon Greenidge and Alvin Kallicharran) to 291 for 8, skipper Lloyd had hardly made an impact during the tournament; he made 53 (58 balls with eight fours) in the West Indies’ chase of Pakistan’s 266 in the first match for both teams. It was reported that during this match he drank nearly a crate of pale ale in the course of the 10th-wicket, match-winning, 64-run rearguard stand by Deryck Murray and Andy Roberts.

The World Cup final was just his seventh One-Day International appearance. He was known for his strokeplay and big hitting, a reputation he had gained batting for the West Indies and for Lancashire in the County Championships, and in limited-over tournaments like the John Player League of 40-over games and Gillette Cup of 60-over games.

The 60-over brand of cricket was new to all countries, and even the West Indies — regarded as one of the favourites for the title — had played only two ODIs against England in September 1973, the teams splitting the series. Lloyd’s first ODI century also turned out to be his last; it was made on what was the longest day’s play of the year, the match beginning at 11 a.m. and finishing at 8.42 p.m.

Recently, while marking the 100-day countdown to the 2019 World Cup in England, Lloyd said: “It was the first World Cup; there’ll never be another first. And having won it in front of a large West Indian contingent, it was quite exciting.”