Allan Border, Greg Matthews and Simon Davis stars as Australia thrilling win

Read the article of Allan Border, Greg Matthews and Simon Davis stars as Australia thrilling win - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the first final played between India and Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney in 05th February 1986.

Australia sensationally won the first World Series Cup final against India last night when the limited-over game belied its reputation as the most predictable form of cricket.

Galvanised into action by the irrepressible Greg Matthews and the comparatively demure Simon Davis, Australia took a priceless 1-0 lead in the rich final series when they won by 11 runs with two balls remaining at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Required to score a seemingly modest 171 runs from 44 overs hail and rain during the afternoon reduced proceeding by six overs - India, the holders of every significant one-day trophy, were ruthlessly cast aside for 159. It was a colossal performance by the Australians who had the baying crowd of 26,559 chanting the names of Matthews, Davis and skipper Allan Border.

Robust and controlled performances by the bowlers who have served so creditably throughout the series enabled Australia to retain their unbeaten record at the ground this summer. This time their sterling efforts were perfectly complemented by the fieldsmen.

Geoff Marsh took a marvellous diving catch in the covers to remove Mohinder Amarnath, while the forever chirpy Dean Jones completed two beautifully judged catches in the deep to remove the two most productive batsmen, Dilip Vengsarkar and Sunil Gavaskar.

Vengsarkar and Gavaskar, batting at six after damaging his thumb when dropping Australia's top scorer, David Boon, were the .only Indians to offer any resistance to Davis, Matthews and Border. Davis finished with the startling analysis of 3-10 from 7.4 overs while Matthews took 3-27 from nine overs.

Border again demonstrated there are no boundaries to his exceptional talent by taking 3-23 from five overs. Chetan Sharma and Kiran More needed to score 15 runs from the last over to allow India to go into Sunday's second final in Melbourne with a precious advantage.

However, Davis bowled More with the fourth ball of the last over and left the ground wrapped in the arms of Border. It was a great victory and a great credit to the persistence and courage of the Australians.

While there was little to admire about Australia's batting earlier, the crowd was enthralled by the natural athleticism and fielding feats of India's Mohammed Azharuddin and his leader, Kapil Dev. It was Azharuddin, who quite suddenly has developed into an able all-rounder for this sort of cricket, who provided India with inspiration after the tempest had past.

When Australia had reached 69 without loss in the 19th over the Indians must have feared Boon and Marsh were in the mood to produce their fourth partnership of 98 or more in the past six Cup matches. While Azharuddin's credentials as a bowler are still being established Marsh learnt, to his cost, that this bashful young slow-medium bowler should not be taken lightly.

Quite audaciously Marsh, when 36, attempted to hit Azharuddin on the rise to the long-off fence but managed to reach only Sharma at mid-off.
From that point Australia lost 8-95 in 23 overs and squandered the chance of dictating the terms of the match.

While Dev and his senior colleagues have been aware of Azharuddin's latent bowling talent for some time it was not until the 14th match of the qualifying series that he was entrusted with the ball. He was summoned then only because of the waywardness of young leg-spinner Laxman Shivaramakrishnan.

A lean, elegant and beautifully balanced cricketer, Azharuddin's greatest attribute as a bowler is his immaculate control of line and length. Until this past week Azharuddin's only bowling at international level had been in the dying stages of an unresolved Test match.
For the first time yesterday his labours were rewarded. He claimed Marsh and Stephen Waugh while conceding just 26 runs from his nine overs, the maximum number allowed to any one bowler when the match was reduced to a 44-over affair.

But even his highly efficient bowling paled in comparison with the catch he completed in the deep to remove Border for 12. Border, unruffled at being missed at six by Malhotra at square leg to Ravi Shastri, again lustily pulled the Indian vice-captain. He connected beautifully with the shot and the ball travelled at colossal speed towards the square leg fence. Suddenly, Azharuddin emerged from the shadows at deep mid-wicket and at full pace made the wonderful interception at full stretch.

It was reminiscent of his beautifully judged running catch to remove Matthews in Melbourne earlier in the series. Unused to being upstaged in such a fashion, Dev then gave the crowd a demonstration of his exceptional fielding capabilities. Matthews did not sense any danger when he clipped Shastri behind square leg near Dev and confidently took the first steps to what he saw as an impertinent but invaluable single. 

In one flowing, flamboyant action Dev fielded cleanly and whipped his return to 'keeper More.
More made an extremely difficult half-volley interception look effortless and had the bails off before a stunned Matthews could start his retreat. It was a thrilling episode in an otherwise uneventful and uninspiring innings.