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CRICKET WORLD CUP 2003
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Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 12:51 GMT

Kapil clubs India to victory

Kapil captivates the Kent crowd One of the best World Cup innings came on a small stage in 1983.

The grandeur of Lord's may have played host to India's memorable 1983 World Cup final win, but the momentum of that unlikely victory was founded in far less salubrious surroundings.

For Lord's read Tunbridge Wells. For defending champions West Indies, read World Cup debutants Zimbabwe.

But despite Zimbabwe's inexperience on the international stage, India found themselves starring down the barrel at a final match shoot-out against Australia for a semi-final spot.

The Indians slumped to nine for four on a devilishly damp Kent surface.



And at 17 for five Zimbabwe would have been seriously eyeing their second win of the tournament after an opening victory over the Australians.

At that stage Kapil Dev was still at the crease.

The captain had walked out when the fourth wicket fell with the score on nine, furious with the lax cricket that his top order had played.

He set about repairing the damage, slowly at first, putting on a sixth-wicket stand of 60 with Roger Binny.



MATCH FACTS
But again disaster struck and his efforts looked wasted when Ravi Shastri played a rash shot and within the space of an over India had again been rocked on their heels, 77 for five becoming 78 for seven.

India reached lunch at 106 for seven and after the break their captain returned to the middle and played with renewed vigour.

Kevin Curran was the first to feel Kapil's full force being hit for successive sixes.

Those shots lit the blue touch paper. In partnership with Madan Lal, Kapil put on 62 and he reached 100 in the 49th over.

After registering the only one-day ton of his career, Kapil played with a rare freedom that is only expressed in the heat of battle by the very best.

With Syed Kirmani at the other end scoring a steady 24 off 56 balls, Kapil launched an astonishing attack on Zimbabwe's bowlers.

In the final 11 overs he scored at almost seven an over in what remains a world record ninth-wicket partnership of 126.

Kirmani's 24 was the second highest score behind Kapil's 175, a knock that included 16 fours and six sixes.

Zimbabwe mounted a strong response but fell 31 runs short.

Kapil was unable to equal the magic of his batting in his bowling, but he finished with the most economical figures in the match, and his sole wicket, Zimbabwe's last, wrapped up the win.



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