The first World Cup final was held at Lord’s on 21 June 1975, the climax of a tournament which took place in England over two weeks in June 1975.
The two teams who qualified for the final, Australia and West Indies, had met one week earlier at The Oval in a group stage game; with both teams having already qualified for the semi-finals, West Indies triumphed by seven wickets to win the group where they would then go on to defeat New Zealand at the same venue.
Australia meanwhile defeated hosts England at Headingley, with Gary Gilmour obtaining figures of 6-14 to help Australia win by 4 wickets.
In the final, Australia won the toss and decided to field. Roy Fredericks and Gordon Greenidge opened the batting for the West Indies, and Fredericks became the first man to be dismissed in a World Cup Final, but in a rather unusual fashion – he stumbled from hitting a ball bowled by Dennis Lillee into the crowd, and fell on his stumps, causing him to be out hit wicket.
Further dismissals of Greenidge and Alvin Karricharan meant that when captain Clive Lloyd joined Rohan Kanhai at the crease, the West Indies team were 50 for 3. The two managed to swing the game West Indies’ way, by putting on 149 for the fourth wicket.
Lloyd scored a century from 82 balls, while Kanhai – in his last international match before retirement – made 55. The West Indies finished on 291 for 8, with Gary Gilmour taking 5 for 48.
Then with Australia on 80 for 1, a young Viv Richards – who had made his one-day international debut in this tournament – managed to run out Alan Turner, Greg Chappell and captain Ian Chappell in quick session, who top scored for his side with 62 (the only time that both captains had passed 50 in a final).
Australia’s eagerness to stay with West Indies’ target meant that they suffered five run outs, the last coming when Jeff Thomson was run out by Deryck Murray, meaning that West Indies won the inaugural World Cup by 17 runs. At just before 9pm, the Prudential Cup was presented to the victorious captain Lloyd by the MCC President, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.