86 days to go: King wins the crown for West Indies in 1979

When Viv Richards was left in the shade despite making a majestic 138 not out

Published: 05th March 2019 04:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2019 05:30 PM   |  A+A-

Former West Indies all-rounder Collis King

Former West Indies all-rounder Collis King (Photo | ICC Twitter)

Online Desk

"It's the best innings I've seen in an ODI tournament final." - Andy Roberts

The West Indian fast bowler was talking about the 1979 World Cup final. If you think that he was talking about Viv Richards' majestic 138*, you're wrong. 

Roberts was talking about Collis King, who walked in as the last recognised batsman with West Indies struggling at 99/4 against hosts England at Lord's. In just 77 minutes, King managed to not only turn the game around but also leave Viv in the shade.

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The first ball that King faced was from Ian Botham and he cut it with absolute disdain to set the tone for the rest of the innings. And what a knock it turned out to be. King turned down advice from Viv and went about destroying any England bowler who dared to bowl, finishing with 86 off 66 balls.

It was complete carnage at Lord's and it wasn't Viv who was doing the damage. Full-time bowlers, part-time bowlers, spinners, pacers, it didn't matter who was bowling, King kept despatching them to the ropes. Eventually, his blitz was ended when he was caught by Derek Randall off the bowling of Phil Edmonds.

"I scored 138," Richards said, "but it was Collis who came in and took charge." King added 139 for the fifth wicket along with Viv, before the latter inflicted more misery on the hapless English bowlers.

After King helped his side put one hand on the crown, Viv added the finishing touches to the innings to take West Indies to 286/9 in 50 overs. England's slow start put them at a disadvantage and then any hope they had was broken by Joel Garner as the hosts lost their last eight wickets for 11 runs to be bundled out for 194.

Just like that, West Indies were world champions for the second time and it was all thanks to a regal knock by King.


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