GREAT PERFORMANCES IN THE WORLD CUP:DAVID HOUGHTON-1987
I did not watch the Prudential Cricket World Cup of 1983. My father watched the match live and he provided the report. Of course, there were the newspapers.
For me and my brothers, the Reliance World Cup of 1987 was truly the first one. It was only the World Cup that prompted my parents to accede to out demand for a colour tv at home. With the cable connection, it was time to sit back and enjoy.
While the World Cup was going on, I had to accompany my mother to Hyderabad to pay a visit to my grandmother. My uncle did not and still does not have a high opinion of cricket and also the followers of the game. But the day before the match featuring New Zealand and Zimbabwe at the Lal Bahadur Stadium, he wanted to know if I needed a ticket to watch the match live. With two teams that were not expected to put up a good show, I declined the offer and instead preferred to watch the match on the tv. Even after all these years, I still regret the decision for the match featured on the best innings ever played in the World Cup.
New Zealand batted first and put up a good score for in those days even an asking rate of 5 runs per over seemed to be a tough task provided the bowling attack was decent. Snedden made a half-century and Martin Crowe batted like only he could.
Zimbabwe was not expected to do much. My only interest was to follow the progress of Kevin Curran. He was one of the bowlers to wreak havoc on the Indians in the previous World Cup and Curran was rated one of the good allrounders in the English county circuit.
Zimbabwe lost wickets early with not many runs on the scoreboard. The match seemed to be going in one direction-New Zealand. But one man-David Houghton had a different idea. In the company of Iain Butchart, Houghton took his team very close to the target. The end for Houghton and his team came when Martin Crowe came up with the catch of the World Cup.
Houghton played every shot and it was really incredible stuff. The ball kept going to and over the boundary.
It was a truly remarkable innings and once again I regret having missed out on that.