‘Literally Threw His Bat at Everything From Ball One’: Zimbabwe Bowler Peter Rawson on Kapil Dev’s Legendary 175 at 1983 World Cup

Kapil Dev may have played one of the greatest ODI innings at the 1983 Cricket World Cup but it’s a shame that no official footage of that exists with the broadcaster not covering the India-Zimbabwe clash, played in Tunbridge Wells.

Batting first, India were rocked early by the Zimbabwe bowlers and soon found themselves wobbling at 9/4. From such a spot, one would assume a quick end to their misery but captain Kapil walked in and turned it around in a brazen fashion blasting an unbeaten 175 off 138 deliveries leaving opponents and those gathered at the venue stunned.

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India ended their innings on 266/8 with Kapil belting 16 fours and six sixes.

One of the bowlers who troubled India during that match was Peter Rawson who accounted for Sunil Gavaskar (0), Mohinder Amarnath (5) and Yashpal Sharma (9) to finish with figures of 3/47.

Rawson, who now works as Group Marketing & Sales Director of a security company, recalls how the 24-year-old Kapil took apart Zimbabwe attack, leaving them surprised and by the time they could make sense of what was transpiring, it was a bit late.

“Kapil was in great form and took the fight to us… We had never seen what Kapil was capable of and were taken by surprise, and by the time we realised what was happening, the track had settled a bit, and he was in and swinging,” Rawson told Sportstar.

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“It was an incredible game when our inexperience cost us. Kapil Dev came in and literally threw his bat at everything from ball one. Duncan (Fletcher) took me and Kevin Curran off and Kapil played an incredible knock. The wicket flattened out and India posted a decent score, but still gettable with our batting side,” he added.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 235 in 57 overs as India completed a double having earlier beaten them in the tournament. Rawson though feels that inexperience cost them the match which should have been theirs for the taking.

“We had a few run-outs, and Kapil took an amazing catch, and we fell short of their target… again, inexperienced … we should have won that game despite Kapil’s incredible efforts,” Rawson said.

He continued, But after about 15 overs, it settled down to be a good batting wicket. Kevin and I bowled really well in that first spell, and we had the best fielding side at the World cup, so any half chance was taken, that makes a huge difference of course.”

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