Moments in Time: The World Cup final that Sir Viv made into a mauling

Tomorrow marks the 41st anniversary of the West Indies famous second lien on the ICC World Cup trophy and it is fitting that today’s Moments in Time takes you back to the very final, played at Lord’s against none other than England.

In those days, a One-Day International was played over the course of 60 overs and very much resembled a One-Day Test match, with batsmen still maintaining, by today’s standards, very slow rates of scoring.

The West Indies were a little different, having produced batsmen like Sir Viv Richards, who ended his career with a strike rate of 90 when others were scoring in the high 60s.

Four years earlier, the West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, the Super Cat, in front of 27,000 at Lord’s, scored 102 to give the West Indies a lien on the inaugural World Cup trophy.

On that day the West Indies needed to pull themselves out of the hole Australia had dug for them, and Lloyd’s innings helped them recover from 50-3 to post 291-8 before bowling out Australia for a game 274.

The West Indies would need this kind of heroism again, as the West Indies found themselves in unfamiliar territory at 55-3 and then 99-4.

Before that, the West Indies had marched through the tournament, scoring a 43-run win over Pakistan, a 32-run win over New Zealand, and a massive nine-wicket win over India en route to the final.

In fact, the West Indies only blip came against Sri Lanka after that match at the Oval was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

But not even the weather, it seemed, could stop the West Indies until June 23 when the combination of Mike Hendrick, 2-44, and Chris Old, 2-55, threatened to give England an easy target in the second-ever World Cup final.

Viv Richards had not had a spectacular World Cup to that point.

He had scored a struggling 42 against Pakistan in the game before, while scores of nine against New Zealand, and an unbeaten 28 against India did not show the Viv Richards everybody knows.

But today was a different day. Viv bided his time. Working through his lack of form, not wanting to lose another wicket with Gordon Greenidge (9), Desmond Haynes(20), Alvin Kallicharan (4), and Lloyd (13), all back in the pavilion.

For company, Sir Viv had Collis King, who truth be told, made his efforts at finding the Master Blaster form all the more easy.

King was savage, smashing 10 fours and three sixes on his way to a 66-ball 86.

All the while, Sir Viv was eyeing a big total. He would bat for almost half the innings, using 157 deliveries to score a masterful 138 not out.

The timing of the innings was brilliant and it helped the West Indies to 286-9. Deryck Murray, with five, was the only other batsman to score a run after King got out, with Viv singlehandedly taking the score from 238-5 to 286-9.

Along the way, Viv began to show why he was dubbed the Master Blaster, picking up good deliveries from outside off stump and dispatching them through midwicket despite fielders marauding those boundaries.

There was a square drive and a cover drive that disappeared to the boundary even on slow-motion replays, while he picked up the last delivery of the innings, moving outside off-stump to swing the effort high over square leg from a middle-stump line, one of three sixes he would hit on the day.

There were also 11 fours that didn’t count as much for their savagery as they did for excellent examples of good timing, placement and overall class.

Sir Viv was in his element. And the West Indies could not lose.

286 in 60 overs seems like an easy-paced run chase by today’s standards, but in those days, the target was monumental.

Scoring at 4.76 was always going to prove too much for England, who lacked the big-hitting of the West Indies middle order.

Openers Geoff Boycott, 57, and J Bearley, 64, scored at rates of 54.28 and 49.23 respectively, altogether too slowly to mount any serious challenge.

Only Graham Gooch, with 32 from 28 seemed to come to grips with what was necessary. England had been mauled and the legend of Sir Viv had just grown in stature some more.

Joel Garner with 5-38 from 11 overs was too stingy, and Colin Croft, with 3-42, was too aggressive and Michael Holding, with 2-16 from eight overs was too classy.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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