May 31, 1984 – When Viv Richards washed out England single-handedly

May 31, 1984 – When Viv Richards washed out England single-handedly

Richards' effort in this game is widely considered to be the greatest ever in ODI format.

Viv Richards
Viv Richards of West Indies celebrates reaching 150 during his 189 not out. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Sir Vivian Richards was altogether a different beast with the bat during his time in International cricket. The Caribbean superstar was fondly known for his destructive batting and smashing attitude. He produced one such innings on 31st May 1984 when West Indies toured England for the first time having lost the World Cup final to India in 1983. The combined team from the Caribbean islands was set to face off with the hosts in a 3-match ODI series and a 5-match Test series during the tour that spanned three months.

1st ODI – England vs West Indies, 31st May 1984 at Old Trafford, Manchester:

Windies elected to bat on winning the toss in the first ODI after successful warm-up matches coming into the series. But the batsmen couldn’t justify Clive Lloyd’s decision as they were seven down for 102 by the 26th over. Off-spinner Geoff Miller ran through the opposition’s middle-order with a 3-wicket haul leaving Viv Richards stranded on one end. His partnership with Eldine Baptiste was a ray of hope for the visitors as the pair contributed 55 runs for the 8th wicket.

Baptiste departed for a 49-ball 26 as West Indies sink to 166/9 by the 41st over and Michael Holding was the last man standing with Richards. Then began the assault from the King, who took on the likes of Ian Botham, Neil Foster and Derek Pringle. Richards added 106 runs in the last 14 overs for the 10th wicket with Holding and they ended up with 272/9 in 55 overs. Viv alone scored 93 runs in the 10th wicket stand to walk back with 189 runs in 170 balls that included 21 fours and five sixes.

Viv Richards
Viv Richards of West Indies hits a ball from Derek Pringle of England. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The only time Richards flawed was a stumping chance produced by Miller when the big man was batting on 44. The home side never got close to chasing the target as they were bowled out for just 168, 21 runs less than Richards’ individual score. This particular knock is widely considered as the greatest ever in the ODI format and one of the greatest single-handed efforts ever. West Indies went on to with the ODI series 2-1 while they whitewashed the hosts in the Test series.

Records and records:

Vivian Richards’ unbeaten 189-run innings was the then highest individual score in the ODI cricket. His record was intact till 1997 when Saeed Anwar scored 194 against India in Chennai. During the knock, Viv accounted for 69.49% of team’s total in this game which is the highest for any player in a completed ODI inning. The partnership of 106* between Richards and Holding is the highest for 10th wicket in ODI cricket till date.

Viv Richards
Viv Richards of West Indies drives England bowler Bob Willis. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

In fact, their stand stood at the top in List A cricket as well till the Hyderabad pair of Ashish Reddy and M Ravi Kiran surpassed it with a 128-run partnership against Kerala in 2014. Richards also completed 3000 runs in ODI format during this innings to become the first player to attain the milestone. He was also the first to 1000, 4000, 5000 and 6000 ODI runs. However, Greg Chappell had edged past Richards to become the first to complete 2000 ODI runs.

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