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This day, that year: When Viv Richards delivered the 'greatest ODI innings of all time'

The knock, that happened exactly 36 years from now, was billed as the "greatest ODI innings of all time" in Wisden's Top 100 ODI Innings, released back in 2002.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: May 31, 2020 13:51 IST
When Viv Richards delivered the 'greatest ODI innings of
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When Viv Richards delivered the 'greatest ODI innings of all time'

What are the first scenes that come to your mind when you hear the phrase 'greatest ODI innings of all time' - a fiery knock, most probably a century, that has helped his/her team to bounce back immensely in the contest, and an eventual win. Well, Viv Richards' unbeaten 189 against England at Manchester, did not just comprise every bit of drama, but it also helped in solidifying his image as one of the most destructive batsmen in the format of all time. 

The knock, that happened exactly 36 years from now, was billed as the "greatest ODI innings of all time" in Wisden's Top 100 ODI Innings, released back in 2002. 

By 1984, Richards had already made a name for himself in both Tests and ODI cricket. In fact, of the top 10 individual scores in ODI history back the, Richards had three of them, although his name was not in the top of the list. But the unbeaten 189 at the Old Trafford against England was just as special to find its place on the top of the list. 

Opting to bat first in the opener of the three-match series against West Indies, Clive Llyod's men fell like nine pins, stuttering to 102 for seven inside 26 overs. None apart from Richards had even managed to reach double figures in the match. 

It was from there on that the Antiguan tore apart the English bowling attack that boasted the likes of Bob Willis and Ian Botham to take West Indies to a challenging total. 

Richards was ably supported by Eldine Baptiste in their 59-run stand with his knock of 26 runs, but Botham broke the eighth-wicket partnership and shortly after dismissed Joel Garner. Richards was hence left with No.11 batsman Michael Holding with the scoreboard reflecting 166 for nine in 41 overs. 

All Richards required was to increase his scoring rate and hence took on Botham to hit him over midwicket and long-off for a six. And then fired another one over deep backward square. Richards blasted 21 fours and five sixes, an innings epitomising sheer destruction and power hitting as he finished with 189 runs off 170 deliveries. 

The partnership with Holding yielded 106 runs with the latter scoring only 12 off 27 as the visitors finished with 272 for nine in then-alloted 55 overs. 

What makes Richards' innings the greatest of all time is that the 189 runs accounted for 69.48 per cent of the team's total runs - an ODI record in itself yet to be beaten, while it took 13 year for ODI cricket to witness a score greater than 189. 

In response, England lost their top-order in a similar fashion as pacers Garner, Holding and Malcom Marshall ran riot while Richards bagged two as the hosts were folded for just 168 runs. Ironically, England would have still lost even without Richards' stunner. 

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