95 days to go: Viv Richards' Lord's masterclass against Australia

Not only was it the most iconic 95 in World Cup history but is also an under-appreciated marvel from Viv's vault.

Published: 24th February 2019 08:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2019 05:35 PM   |  A+A-

Viv Richards

Viv Richards (Twitter

Online Desk

Pressure. The only constant in an otherwise everchanging world of sports. Some players thrive under pressure, others crumble.

The legends of the game, simply look at pressure and smile as they go about their merry way, wondering what all the fuss is about.

Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards belongs to the last category. And there is seldom more pressure than when you are playing at Lord's in a World Cup encounter. 

Viv faced that four times. Three of those occasions was in a World Cup final. And while his failure in 1975 didn't matter as West Indies still won, his century in 1979 helped them make it back-to-back titles.

The remaining two times both came in 1983. One of those is well-documented as it came in the final against India in a losing cause while the other remains an under-appreciated marvel against Australia.

After all, it is easy to dismiss an unbeaten 95 against Australia in a group stage encounter when you have three World Cup centuries. Upon closer inspection, his unbeaten 95 is undoubtedly one of his most underrated knocks.

Especially when you consider the fact that it came against an Australian bowling attack that had both Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee apart from Rodney Hogg.

Then you take into account the fact that West Indies were chasing a tricky target of 274. Although Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes put on a fifty partnership for the opening wicket, when the latter was dismissed, they still needed almost 200 to win.

That was when Viv decided to take control of the game. Nine fours and three sixes later, Viv had not only got agonisingly close to making it back-to-back centuries in the World Cup after his 119 against India at The Oval in the previous encounter but also got his side over the line.

And that is why, with 95 days to go before the World Cup 2019, Viv's knock makes the cut for not only being the most iconic 95 in World Cup history but also being an under-appreciated marvel from Viv's vault.

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