When Border outwitted Imran

Fiery fast bowlers, smart captains, childish skirmishes, pay back times... the World Cup has had them all. Over to Andy Hampson.


Group match, The Oval, June 11, 1975

Stung by the criticism of his constant overstepping in Australia's previous match, Thomson was at his ferocious best. He first put Duleep Mendis in St Thomas' Hospital by hitting him on the head with a bouncer. Thomson was also ruthless with Sunil Wettimuny. The Sri Lanka opener withstood several blows to the body, and Thomson unsportingly tried to run him out as he hopped around after being struck on the foot. Wettimuny battled on to a game 53 but eventually decided to call it a day and join Mendis in the injured list after chopping the ball on to the same battered foot for a second time.


Semifinal, Lahore, November 4, 1987

The gritty Border silenced 40,000 fans by captaining his unheralded side to a surprise victory over the home favourites. Border first dug Australia out of trouble in a dogged fourth-wicket stand with Mike Veletta, before Imran hit back with three late wickets. Pakistan's reply to 267 began disastrously, but Imran cracked 58 in a 112-run stand with Javed Miandad to throw the game back into the balance. It was Border who made the crucial breakthrough, dismissing Imran to turn the game Australia's way.


Group match, Auckland, February 22, 1992

Australia endured a miserable trip across the Tasman as their captain Border was completely outsmarted and outplayed by his Kiwi counterpart, Crowe — a man not fully fit and whose captaincy had been the subject of much criticism. Crowe first defied the Aussies with a brilliant unbeaten 100, playing much of it on one leg to protect a knee injury. He then dumbfounded the Australians by opening the bowling with probably the slowest attack in world cricket in Chris Cairns and spinner Dipak Patel. He mixed in plenty of medium pacers in one and two-over spells, and Australia were unable to counter.


Group match, Perth, March 11, 1992

This childish skirmish between Pakistan wicketkeeper Moin and Australian tailender Whitney is probably the closest the World Cup has come to fisticuffs. Whitney had enjoyed little luck with the ball — and as Australia collapsed towards defeat in an ill-tempered affair, Moin's constant chattering obviously irked. The pair exchanged heated words and had to be separated by Bruce Reid and umpire Piloo Reporter. Wasim Akram resolved the problem by bowling Whitney to wrap up the game soon after.


Final, Lahore, March 17, 1996

The rivalry between Australia and Sri Lanka was plain as Ranatunga strode out to bat to be met by a hostile Warne glare. The Aussies had wound the tropical islanders up the wrong way during the tournament — and prior to the game, Ranatunga fanned the flames by intimating that Australia's golden boy was overrated. Warne was in his last over when the Sri Lanka captain came in. Although the hard work had been done, Ranatunga showed no remorse, clobbering his first ball through the bowler's fingers for four and whipping the next for six. He rubbed it in by poking his tongue out.

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