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Viv Richards: I scored 138 but it was Collis who came in and took charge

I scored 138 but it was Collis who came in and took charge: Vivian Richards: It was the perfect setting. The occasion was the title clash in the second edition of ICC prestigious tournament, World Cup, played at the iconic venue, Lord’s, London, between the hosts England and the title defenders, the mighty West Indies.

England under the captaincy of Mike Brearley, won the toss and put the Windies into bat.

West Indies start was not anything great. Losing both the openers, Gordon Greenidge (9), Desmond Haynes (20), and their star middle order batsman, Alvin Kalicharran (4) with just 55 runs on the board, the pair of Vivian Richards and the skipper, Clive Lloyd, tried to bring in some sanity to the score.

The duo put together 44 runs for the fourth-wicket before Lloyd was caught and bowled by Chris Old for 13 runs off 33 balls.

With West Indies score board reading 99 runs for the loss of four wickets, Collis King walked into the middle to join Vivian Richards.

What followed thereafter was a sheer ‘run-feast’ with both the batsmen going hammer and tongs on the English bowlers, with King taking over charge and Richards playing second fiddle.

England were handicapped with the non-availability of their strike bowler, Bob Willis, who was injured in the semi final match and made way for Mike Hendrick in the final.

For the fifth bowler, England had to make good with the part-timers like Geoff Boycott (6-0-38-0), Graham Gooch (4-0-27-0) and Wayne Larkins (2-0-21-0). All the three bowlers were heavily punished by the West Indian duo of King and Richards, snatching away as much as 86 runs from 11 overs. This weighed heavily on England.

After adding a huge 139 runs for the fifth wicket, King departed, caught by Derek Randall off the bowling of Phil Edmonds, but not before scoring 86 runs off just 66 deliveries, at a strike rate of 130.30 with the help of 10 fours and 3 sixes in a stay of 77 minutes at the crease.

Richards, however, continued the onslaught. At the beginning of the 60th over, he was on 124 runs and had the batsman no 11, Colin Croft, for company at the non-striking end. Mike Hendrick bowled the final over.

Viv managed to keep strike with Croft at the other end. He took eight runs from the first five balls and as Hendrick bowled the final delivery, Richards flicked him for the maximum.

Asked about his last ball six, Richards said, “I had sussed with his (Hendrick’s) long-off and long-on back that it would be fullish to allow me one or two. It was the correct ball, much fuller but slightly off the line, and I stepped to the off side and flicked it. I left the field thinking, “That shot is my invention.””

Facing 157 balls in an innings of 207 minutes, Richards hammered an unbeaten 138* runs studded with 11 fours and 3 sixes.

Collis King and Vivian Richards partnership helped the Windies pile up 286 runs for the loss of 9 wickets in 60 overs.

Chasing 287 runs for a win, England succumbed to the sheer pace of the ‘Big Bird’ Joel Garner and were skittled out for 194 runs in 51 overs.

Except for the first-wicket partnership of 129 runs between Mike Brearley (64 off 130 balls) and Geoffrey Boycott (57 runs off 105 balls) and another 48 runs for the third wicket between Derek Randall (15 off 22 balls) and Graham Gooch (32 runs off 28 balls), no significant contributions came from the other batsmen.

In fact, five batsmen – David Gower, Wayne Larkins, Chris Old, Bob Taylor and Mike Hendrick failed to open their account.

England lost eight wickets – Gooch (32), Gower (0), Randall (15), Larkins (0), Botham (4), Old (0), Taylor (0) and Hendrick (0) for just 11 runs. Out of these Garner accounted for five of them.

West Indies skipper, Clive Lloyd had said. “Garner broke the back. It was just wonderful.”

Joel Garner, the most successful bowler ended with the analysis of 11-0-38-5 while Colin Croft (10-1-42-3) and Michael Holding (8-1-16-2) added to England’s woes.

The then defending champions, West Indies won the match by a massive 92 runs and lifted the World Cup for a second time in succession, thereby establishing their supremacy in world cricket.

For his cameo, Vivian Richards was awarded the Player of the Match.

In the post match press meet Richards said, “I scored 138 but it was Collis who came in and took charge.”