When Sri Lanka defeated India before gaining ICC status | Daily News

When Sri Lanka defeated India before gaining ICC status

Sri Lanka’s quest to attain the elusive ICC Test status received a huge boost when they pulled off one of the biggest upsets in limited overs cricket on this day, exactly 42 years ago. Sri Lanka, as an Associate Member had the satisfaction of defeating the star-studded Indian Team by a convincing margin of 47 runs in the second edition of the Prudential World Cup match at Old Trafford on June 18, 1979.

This was also the only game, which was won by an Associate Member of the ICC in this World Cup, which was eventually won by the West Indies for the second successive occasion.

The ninth match of the tournament turned out to be quite an extraordinary contest as the game lasted for three days while Sri Lanka went in without their regular Skipper Anura Tennekoon, who damaged a hamstring on the previous day during practices.

The match of course, started late on a Saturday due to bad weather and was extended until Monday as Sunday was a rest-day of the tournament. Sri Lanka, who were put into bat got off to a decent start with their

openers Skipper Bandula Warnapura and Sunil Wettimuny adding 31 runs. Roy Dias joined Wettimuny and the pair took control of the situation while putting on 96 runs from 25 overs with both batsmen enjoying themselves on a docile pitch, which provided little help to the Indian bowlers.

Wettimuny struck eight boundaries during his top score of 67 from 120 balls while Dias concentrated more on singles and the twos while stroking an elegant 50 from 88 deliveries inclusive of two boundaries.

But it was Man-of-the-Match Duleep Mendis who really turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour by smashing a 57-ball 64 with the help of three sixes and one boundary.

The aggressive right-hander, batting at number four, took the Indian attack apart with a memorable innings where he also had the satisfaction of hoisting Kapil Dev, Karsan Ghavri and Mohinder Amaranath each for a six.

Mendis found an equally good partner in Sudath Pasqual and the pair added the finishing touches to the Sri Lanka innings in style while adding 52 runs for the fifth wicket from seven overs.

In fact, left-hander Pasqual was the youngest player at the 1979 World Cup and as a schoolboy he performed his role quite magnificently to remain unbeaten on 23 from 26 deliveries.

India began their run-chase on Monday after Sunday’s rest-day and looked well on course to reaching their target with the openers Sunil Gavaskar and Anshuman Gaekwad adding 60 runs.

The India middle order further consolidated their position to reach 117 for two at one stage and needed 122 runs from the last 25 overs of the game. But the turning point of the game was when Gundappa Viswanath was run out for 22 and thereafter, India lost wickets regularly and were bowled out for 191 in 54.1 overs.

Somachandra de Silva varied his leg-breaks with a great amount of skill to dismiss Dilip Vengsarkar, Brijesh Patel and Mohinder Amarnath as India suffered a middle order collapse. De Silva had excellent figures of three for 29 from 11 overs while Tony Opatha polished off the tail with a three-wicket haul.


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