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Updated on November 17th 2021, 10:46:45 am

Viv Richards' 189* vs. England, 1984 - One of the greatest innings of all time

31st May 1984 was inscribed in the golden letters in the cricket world as the legendary Caribbean cricketer Sir Vivian Richards played an extraordinary knock of 189 not out off 170 balls, that helped the Caribbean team to clinch victory.

The date of 31st May 1984 was inscribed in the golden letters in the cricket world as the legendary Caribbean cricketer Sir Vivian Richards played an extraordinary knock with the bat against the hosts England. While the two-time World Champions West Indies were deeply struggling in the first innings of that ODI match, Richards did something unforgettable to score a massive 189 not out off 170 balls, which also helped the Caribbean team to clinch a memorable victory.

It was the series-opener of the three-match ODI series between the hosts England and the visitors West Indies. It was the 264th game in ODI history while Old Trafford (Manchester) hosted that match.

It was the first ODI match in England since Kapil Dev-led Team India’s victory in the 1983 Cricket World Cup. After losing the 1983 World Cup final, West Indies maintained their strong ODI performances before that Manchester ODI. Meanwhile, England were playing their first home ODI since the 1983 Cricket World Cup, who recently won the ODI series in New Zealand and drew another ODI series in Pakistan.

The Match

Coming back to that historic Old Trafford ODI between England and West Indies, it was a 55-over day match. Caribbean captain Clive Lloyd chose to bat first after winning the toss. However, the early scene was horrific for the in-form visitors as their batters were even failing to reach the double-digit scores. The English fast-bowlers destroyed the Caribbean top-orders, and the off-spinner Geoff Miller dominated over the under-pressured middle-order batters.

Coming to bat at no.4, Viv Richards was only seeing wickets falling in the other ends as the Caribbean team were striving on 102/7. During that period, only Richards managed to reach the double-digit scores while all other seven batters returned to the pavilion without reaching the double-digit scores. Meanwhile, Richards already started his dangerous batting who scored 65 not out when the no.9-position batter Eldine Baptiste joined him at the pitch.         


Fearless Viv Richards was the only showman

Richards and Baptiste set up the vital 59 runs partnership for the eighth wicket. But after that, West Indies lost two quick wickets as they were struggling again on 166/9. Richards was then very close to his seventh ODI century when the no.11 batter Michael Holding came to the crease with his bat. Holding then known as a strong supportive lower-order batter, who scored incredible 64 runs against Australia in the Perth ODI just a few months ago.

Soon, Richards completed his seventh ODI century in style by hitting a four as he took 112 balls to reach that three-figure score. Since then, Richards smashed every English bowler as the hosts had no clue to stop him.

While Holding was successful to protect his wicket at the other end, fearless Richards was only looking to add more runs on the scoreboard. During the 49th over of that innings, Richards completed 150 runs with a sixer. While it was the fifth 150+ knock in the ODI history, the Caribbean legend was already threatening Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev’s record of highest individual score in an ODI innings (175 not out against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells on 18th June 1983).


Unsurprisingly, Richards broke Kapil Dev’s record in style and became the new record holder of the highest individual score in an ODI innings. On the final ball of that innings, Richards hit a four as West Indies ultimately managed the total of 272/9 in 55 overs. At that time, it was West Indies’ second-highest ODI total against England.

Richards signed off that innings on 189 not out off 170 balls where the right-handed batter hit 21 fours and 5 sixes. He scored 69.48 per cent runs of that complete ODI innings, and it is still an ODI record.

In the meantime, Michael Holding also remained not out on 12 runs off 27 balls (2 fours). Richards and Holding created an ODI record of setting up the first-ever century partnership for the 10th wicket as their unbroken partnership managed to add 106 runs.

Crucial records in that innings

  • Sir Viv Richards became the first batter to score 150 or more runs in an ODI innings for more than once.

  • Highest individual score in an ODI innings (currently, it is in joint 12th position). This record remained unharmed till Pakistan cricketer Saeed Anwar scored 194 runs against India at Chennai on 21st May 1997.

  • Highest percentage of runs (69.48%) in a completed ODI innings. This record is still unharmed.

  • Highest 10th wicket partnership in ODI history (106* between Sir Viv Richards and Michael Holding). This record is still unharmed.

Also, Sir Vivian Richards’ 189 not out is still holding the following batting records

  • Highest individual score in an ODI innings by a no.4 or lower-order batter.

  • Highest individual score in an ODI innings in England as well as in Europe.

  • Highest individual score in an ODI innings by a non-opener outside the home soil.


In reply, England were always out of the game as they were bowled out for 168 runs in 50 overs. Only the middle-order batter Allan Lamb managed to fight against the Caribbean bowlers as the English cricketer scored 75 off 89 balls with the help of eight fours. The no.10 batter Neil Foster was their only other batter to reach the 20-run mark as he scored 24 off 38 balls (two fours).


West Indies won that match by 104 runs and took a lead of that three-match ODI series by the 1-0 margin with two ODIs to go. The new-ball bowlers Joel Garner (3/18) and Michael Holding (2/23) shared five wickets between them while the Player of the Match Sir Viv Richards had the bowling figures of 11-1-45-2.


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