Vivian Richard’s quickfire 61 out of 36 shot in West Indies win over India
Former West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards stressed the importance of power hitting in cricket years before it became mainstream with the arrival of the game’s shortest format, T20. At a time when batters had to play slow while settling into the crease, Richards launched an attack on his opposing bowlers on the very first ball. Richard’s career is marked by several innings where he showed his impeccable power-hitting skills and one of those innings came on this day, February 28, 1983, against India. Scoring 61 from just 36, Richards led the West Indies team in a fiery chase to seal the test match in Jamaica
India were on a tour of the Caribbean for a five-game Test series and in the first-ever game in Kingston, Jamaica, the team managed to surprise the hosts with their performance. Batting first, the Indian team scored 251 runs in the first inning by banking on Yashpal Sharma’s resilient 63 of 270 deliveries and Balwinder Sandhu’s unexpected 68 innings at bat at number 9. Sandhu and Sharma have stitched together a 131-point partnership for the 8th wicket.
In response, West Indies scored 254 with fly-half Gordon Greenidge emerging as the top scorer with 70 from 249 balls. Although several other Caribbean hitters got off to a good start, they failed to convert it into a big score.
With a trail of only 3 runs, the Indian team started their second innings and scored 81 for the loss of 3 wickets at the end of the third day. Day 4 was washed out due to weather conditions and Indian fans were pretty sure of the odds of defeat. But Andy Roberts’ face broke through the Indian batting lineup and from the score of 112 for 4, the Indian team were bundled up for 173, giving the hosts a target of 171.
The goal was not big but the Caribbean team had less than a day to pursue it. With an eye on victory, the West Indies batters launched a blistering attack on the Indian bowlers. The test match felt more like a limited game and when Viv Richards went out at bat at number 4, the chase got even more intense.
Taking his team 65-for-2, Richards hit five boundaries and four sixes to score 61 on 36 balls before going out. By the Richards was dismissed, the game was almost in the grip of the Caribbean side who eventually went after the goal of 171 runs in under 26 overs.
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