SATURDAY'S match between Afghanistan and New Zealand will not be the first time Taunton has played host to a men’s Cricket World Cup match.

The first such occasion came in 1983, when England took on Sri Lanka in front of a capacity crowd.

Vic Marks came to the fore on his home ground, taking 5-39 as Sri Lanka slipped to a 47-run defeat.

Marks’ haul was not enough to earn him the man of the match award - that went to David Gower who, in the words of the County Gazette’s Eric Coombes, “struck the ball with increasing power and was eventually out for a brilliant 130.”

Ian Botham was run out without scoring and didn’t take a wicket, but did hold on to a super diving catch at slip to thrill his home crowd.

A total of 8,617 fans watched the match and Somerset CCC made £10,000 from catering, bar and shop sales.

There was also high praise for the groundstaff from England's Allan Lamb, who described the practice wickets in the nets as being as good as any he had played on in the country that summer.

Taunton also hosted two matches in the 1999 tournament - see tomorrow for a look back at those...