This was the roseate day of the apotheosis of Indian cricket. The day on which the World Cup was won by a team which was until then as remote from the zenith of achievement in limited-over cricket as the traditional is from the modern.
In a match filled with dramatics that came in waves, created to a large extent by insipid batting from the challenger as well as the defending champion, India proved itself capable of keeping its nerves together and cashing in on the openings that were first given and then seized.
As fortunes fluctuated wildly at Lord's, the West Indian batting, let down by its specialists who tossed away their wickets, could not cope with the efficient and accurate Indian bowling. The principle of blending aggression with caution to suit the gameplan of striking from a position of strength, was foresaken by both teams in sudden and thoughtless assaults on the bowling, which picked up in efficiency levels from every gain.
In splendid batting conditions, only Kris Srikkanth (38) and Viv Richards (33) kept above the low average. India got over the initial stress of quick bowling, that made use of the freshness of the wicket and early bounce, and yet could not make a total to fight such a side.
The West Indians, on the other hand, lost wickets at frequent intervals, and once Richards - Kapil Dev, running from midwicket with his back to the pitch for a good 15 yards, took the catch with impeccable judgement off Madan Lal's bowling - and Clive Lloyd fell, there was no one capable of counterattacking.
Captain Kapil, who kept alternating between attack and defence, did everything right. Running the bowling changes effectively when Jeffrey Dujon and Malcolm Marshall fought to resurrect the position (76 for six) with a 43-run stand, the Indian captain achieved a vital breakthrough by employing Mohinder Amarnath. Dujon was done in by an in-cutter that went off the inside face of the bat and onto the leg stump.
The bowlers, particularly Madan Lal and Amarnath, responded to the skipper's call with a tight line and length, and the West Indian batting weaknesses that had been glossed over by the form of the top-order batsmen, were exposed for only the second time in history.
Only once before had the West Indies been shot out for less in a one-day international - 127 by England in Berbice in 1980.
The historic win finally came when Holding, aiming a wild pull off Amarnath, was caught plumb in front.
India won by a substantial margin of 43 runs, with Amarnath adjudged man-of-the-match for his figures of 7-0-12-3.
Brief scores : India 183 in 54.4 overs (Kris Srikkanth 38, Mohinder Amarnath 26, Sandeep Patil 27; Andy Roberts three for 32) bt West Indies 140 in 52 overs (Viv Richards 33, Jeffrey Dujon 25; Amarnath three for 12, Madan Lal three for 31) by 43 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Mohinder Amarnath.
Toss: West Indies.