As anticipation for the ICC World Cup goes into overdrive, this week’s Flashback Friday takes you to the 1996 tournament and the epic semi-final between Australia and West Indies at Mohali Stadium in India.
The Windies’ tournament had been a rollercoaster: they lost to minnows Kenya, before bouncing back to roll Australia and eventually going on to defeat highly-fancied South Africa at the quarter-final stage.
Tournament favourites Australia, who had beaten New Zealand in a classic quarter-final, were wary heading into their semi-final rematch with West Indies – and they were in strife early as Curtley Ambrose and Ian Bishop ripped through the top order to leave Australia reeling at 4/15.
Stuart Law (72) and Michael Bevan (69) rescued the innings, but Australia’s 8/207 didn’t look like enough – particularly after Shiv Chanderpaul (80), Brian Lara (45) and Richie Richardson (49 not out) did what their top-order counterparts couldn’t.
The Windies were cruising at 2/165 in the 42nd over and needed less than a run a ball for a spot in the final. But Chanderpaul’s departure sparked the most extraordinary of collapses. Their last seven batsmen all made three runs or less as Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Damien Fleming ran roughshod.
Needing six runs off the last three balls of the match, No.11 Courtney Walsh was bowled by Fleming, clinching one of Australia’s great one-day triumphs.