Will it be fourth time lucky for England on Sunday?
Live ICC Cricket World Cup
July 14, 2019, 9:00am
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Eoin Morgan’s men can become England’s first Cricket World Cup champions if they beat New Zealand at Lord’s after the nation suffered heartache in three previous finals – in 1979, 1987 and 1992.
Here’s a look back at just how those final failures panned out…
1979: West Indies 286-9 beat England 194 by 92 runs
Set 287 to win – off 60 overs, don’t forget – England’s chase imploded from 183-2 as they lost a remarkable eight wickets for 11 runs but, in truth, the game was already up.
England inched towards defeat as opening pair Mike Brearley (64 off 130 balls) and Geoff Boycott (57 off 105) struggled to 129-0 after 38 overs in the face of the mighty pace quartet of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft (3-42) and Joel Garner (5-38). West Indies skipper Clive Lloyd would later dismiss claims he’d dropped Brearley on purpose.
West Indies had earlier felt the squeeze themselves as Chris Old (2-55) and Mike Hendrick (2-50) reduced the visitors to 99-4 after Gordon Greenidge was first run out for nine. But a stunning century from Viv Richards (138 off 157 balls) – sharing in a 139-run stand with Collis King (86 off 66) – quickly took the game away from England.
1987: Australia 253-5 beat England 246-8 by seven runs
Australia’s first of a record five World Cup wins, made all the sweeter by defeating their arch-rivals England, and by the small margin of seven runs in the most closely-fought final still to this date.
In the first final held away from the home of cricket – India’s Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata the venue – England seemed well placed at 135-2, chasing 254, with captain Mike Gatting at the crease and with 41 runs already to his name. But, Australian opposite number Allan Border (2-38) brought himself and his part-time left-arm spin into the attack and Gatting infamously fell when attempting to reverse-sweep Border’s very first ball.
Bill Athey (58) went through to fifty Allan Lamb (45) tried his best to keep England in the hunt, but the run-rate required continued to climb and wickets continued to tumble after Gatt’s departure. Faced with 17 needed from the final over, England fell agonisingly short.
1992: Pakistan 249-6 beat England 227 by 22 runs
Surely England’s best chance of the lot to lift the trophy came against a Pakistan team they had bowled out for just 74 earlier in the tournament?
That group-game ended up being rained off, crucially earning Pakistan a share of the spoils – a point that would see them into the semi-finals ahead of Australia – and England faced a very different team in the final at the MCG, with Imran Khan’s ‘cornered Tigers’ coming out on top by 22 runs.
Derek Pringle (3-22) dismissed both openers as Pakistan appeared to be in trouble again but, with the score at 25-2, umpire Steve Bucknor didn’t give Javed Miandad (58) out when seemingly plumb lbw, and Imran (72) was dropped by Graham Gooch when on nine. The two would make telling contributions, while Inzamam-ul-Haq (42 off 35) and Wasim Akram (33 off 18) provided the fireworks late on against an increasingly frustrated England.