The 1979 Cricket World Cup, officially known as the Prudential Cup, was played from 9th June to 23rd June 1979. This was the second edition of the limited-overs World Cup, which was held in England just like the first.
Apart from the home team, seven other national outfits - Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Canada and New Zealand - were divided into two groups for the group stage round. The tournament format featured 15 matches which were played across six venues - Birmingham, Nottingham, Lord’s, Leeds, The Oval and Manchester.
The opening game saw the reigning champions West Indies taking on the young Indian team at Edgbaston. India lost that match by nine wickets, which was followed by another two defeats against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
India ended as the only Test-playing nation that lost all their games in that tournament.
After a thrilling league stage, England and West Indies met in the tournament final at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground. Sir Vivian Richards stole the show with his unbeaten knock of 138, leaving England to chase 287 in their quota of 60 overs.
The hosts could only manage to put 194 runs on the board in spite of a century stand for the opening wicket by Mike Brearley and Geoffrey Boycott. Joel Garner took a five-wicket haul with a brilliant spell, which remains the sole five-for in World Cup finals.
The emphatic win over the hosts meant that the Caribbean side had lifted two consecutive Cricket World Cups under the leadership of Clive Lloyd.
West Indies’ Gordon Greenidge finished as the highest run-scorer in the 1979 World Cup, scoring 253 runs in his four innings at an average of 84.33. He scored one century and two fifties in the campaign along with a crucial 73-run knock in the semi-final against Pakistan.
Michael Hendrick emerged as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with a tally of 10 wickets from five matches. The Englishman, who led the bowling attack, also sent down the most maiden overs (14) in the 1979 World Cup.
1979 World Cup records
Most Runs: Gordon Greenidge (WI) – 253 Runs
Highest Score: Vivian Richards (WI) – 138* vs England
Most Centuries: Gordon Greenidge (WI) –1
Most Fifties: Gordon Greenidge (WI) – 3
Highest Average: Vivian Richards (WI) – 108.50
Highest Strike-Rate: Lance Cairns (NZ) – 130.76
Most Sixes: Vivian Richards (WI) – 5
Most Wickets: Mike Hendrick (ENG) - 10
Best Bowling Figures: Alan Hurst (AUS) - 10-3-21-5
Best Average: Michael Holding (WI) - 13.25
Best Economy Rate: Bob Willis(ENG) – 2.44
Most 5-wickets Haul: Alan Hurst (AUS) – 1
Most Catches: Asif Iqbal (PAK) – 4