World Cup flashback: Sri Lankan lions tame India in 1979

Updated: Mar 12, 2019, 13:44 IST | A Correspondent

In the match against India, Wettimuny scored 67. Another significant scorer was Duleep Mendis (64), who was also injured by Thomson in 1975, while Roy Dias chipped in with 50 as Sri Lanka totaled 238-6 in 60 overs.

World Cup flashback: Sri Lankan lions tame India in 1979
Sri Lanka's Duleep Mendis

The format in the 1979 World Cup was a ruthless one. Sri Lanka lost their first game to NZ at Trent Bridge, saw their match against West Indies abandoned at The Oval through wet weather and beat India at Old Trafford.

Yet, they could not qualify for the semi-finals. The win over India will count as one of their most memorable pre-1996 World Cup moments. As for India, they lost all their three games in 1979. SL opener Sunil Wettimuny was playing his second World Cup after his first one - in 1975 - ended up being a painful experience. Twice in the match he was hit by Jeff Thomson on his foot and was carried off after the second blow.

In the match against India, Wettimuny scored 67. Another significant scorer was Duleep Mendis (64), who was also injured by Thomson in 1975, while Roy Dias chipped in with 50 as Sri Lanka totaled 238-6 in 60 overs.

The Indians, who boasted of accomplished batsmen on the first-class scene - right up to No. 8 Surinder Khanna (wicketkeeper) - were dismissed for 191. The bowler, who did most of the damage, was leg-spinner Somachandra De Silva, who dismissed Anshuman Gaekwad, Dilip Vengsarkar and Kapil Dev. Sri Lanka won convincingly by 47 runs.

Ranatunga

Did you know?
India and Sri Lanka clashed only once before their 1996 game in Delhi which Sri Lanka won by six wickets. They were not in India's group in the 1975, 1983 and 1987 editions of the World Cup. The 1992 game was washed out. An overview of the India v Sri Lanka World Cup records reveal that India won their first World Cup game against Ranatunga's men in 1999 (at Taunton) after three defeats.

Thomas Odoyo

Figured out
Kenyan Thomas Odoyo's 23 wickets across five editions (1996, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011) is the most by a bowler from a minnow nation in World Cup history. Odoyo gave India a scare at Cape Town when he successfully tempted Virender Sehwag into edging one to Steve Tikolo at slip and followed that up by dismissing Mohammad Kaif, a wicket that had India gasping at 24 for three, chasing 227 for victory. Thanks to skipper Ganguly's ton, India won by six wickets.

Lasith Malinga

Man to watch
Man to watch Lasith Malinga
Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga has helped the islanders to reach two World Cup finals - 2007 and 2011 in which he claimed 18 and 13 scalps respectively. He bagged 12 wickets in the 2015 edition as well and that probably provides a good indication that he will be Sri Lanka's key yet again. Malinga, a hit with Mumbai Indians, may not be the mighty force he was with the ball in previous years, but he is determined to get his teammates put in a big effort which means he is playing his role as a senior pro to perfection.

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