Top Performances - Batting
Everton Weekes 162 v India, Kolkata, 1948-49
Later in the same match, Weekes made a Test-record fifth
consecutive hundred - but it was his first-innings knock that
really stands out. West Indies were in trouble at 28 for 2 when
he arrived; though wickets continued to tumble, he blasted the
Indian bowling to all parts. On a tricky, grassy pitch, his
technique and craft were absolutely imperious. In just over three
hours Weekes struck 24 hours until he was caught and bowled by
Ghulam Ahmed. His runs came out of just 256 scored while he was
at the crease.
Clyde Walcott 220 v England, Barbados, 1953-54
Between 1952-53 and 1954-55 Clyde Walcott, in the middle of an
unimaginable purple patch, made a staggering 10 centuries in 12
Tests. Yet only one of them came in victory: that was this match-
winning 220 against England on his home ground, easily the
highest score of his glorious Test career. Walcott came in with
West Indies 11 for 2 on the first morning; soon they were 25 for
3, but Walcott counter-attacked fiercely. It was a bruising,
brutal innings: he smashed 28 fours and a six, accounting for
well over half West Indies' total. On a turning pitch, on which
Ramadhin and Valentine would later wreak havoc, he had England's
much-feted spin duo of Jim Laker and Tony Lock in his pocket.
Frank Worrell 191* v England, Trent Bridge, 1957
Before this innings Worrell had only ever opened once in a Test -
and then he made a duck. But with West Indies needing the small
matter of 470 to avoid the follow-on, he stepped up to the plate
gloriously. No other West Indian reached 50, but Worrell carried
his bat through almost 10 hours of wonderful defiance. Fred
Trueman and Jim Laker, who shared eight wickets between them, had
no answer to Worrell's remorselessly dead bat. And when the ball
was there to be hit, he hit it, crashing 26 fours. Worrell soon
went back into the middle order, where he belonged, but this left
quite a legacy from his brief career as an opener.
Conrad Hunte 260 v Pakistan, Jamaica, 1957-58
One of the most gargantuan support acts in sporting history.
Anyone who scores 260 has the right to expect a few headlines.
But though Conrad Hunte was ultimately overshadowed by Garry
Sobers' world-record 365 in the same innings, this was the finest
innings of his fine career. Hunte crashed 28 fours and a six,
adding 446 with Sobers - and he might have gone to the record
himself, had he not been run out. Not bad for a man playing in
his debut series. Strangely, Hunte struggled in Jamaica Tests
after this, following up with scores 7, 40, 9, 1 and 0. But this
mighty 260 more than made up for any fallow periods that
Garry Sobers 365* v Pakistan, Jamaica, 1957-58
We all come of age when we reach 21. But at Sabina Park on March
1, 1985, Garry Sobers did that and more. Not content with
reaching his first Test century the previous day, he converted
into a monumental unbeaten 365 - a Test record that stood for 36
years. After a mighty partnership of 446 with Conrad Hunte ended,
Sobers just kept on and on until he passed Len Hutton's then-
record 364. A delirious crowd swarmed onto the field, so damaging
the pitch that the last hour of the fourth day could not be
played. But as anyone who was there would surely tell you, it was
well worth it.
Garry Sobers 168 v Australia, Sydney, 1960-61
The magnificence of this innings was made greater by the poor run
of form Sobers was in: it sandwiched scores of 14, 9, 0, 1 and 1.
He was circumspect at the start, but blazed away against the
second new ball to add 72 in as many minutes before the close of
the first day. It was breathtaking stuff: nobody else got past 43
in West Indies' first innings on a pitch that was already
offering plenty of turn. West Indies went on to square the series
with a 222-run victory, so Sobers could technically have scored a
duck and West Indies would still have won. Technically.
Seymour Nurse 258 v New Zealand, Christchurch, 1968-69
This was a low-scoring series, in which both sides often
struggled to get to 300. Yet Seymour Nurse nearly did it on his
own. In tricky light, and on a slow, low surface - only one other
West Indian passed even 10 - Nurse drove superbly off the back
foot to reach his highest Test score. In all he batted for eight
hours with great responsibility, striking 34 fours and a six. For
someone playing what turned out to be his final Test innings,
this was a spectacular way to say goodbye.
Gordon Greenidge 134 v England, Old Trafford, 1976
The situation demanded caution. West Indies were on the ropes at
26 for 4, with four of their biggest hitters back in the
pavilion, and England's debutant Mike Selvey was swerving the
ball all over the place. So Greenidge started swinging like Rocky
Marciano. When he was out the score was just 193, and the tone
was set. This was a match played on a seriously tricky pitch, in
which no Englishman made more than 24 in either innings. From
being level in the series at 0-0, West Indies careered out of
sight and pummeled England for the rest of a long, hot summer.
From that, their four fast bowlers ruled the world for 20 years.
How different history might have been but for Greenidge.
Gordon Greenidge 214* v England, Lord's, 1984
England held most of the aces, but West Indies had the joker -
Greenidge on one leg. Unable to run properly, he simply pummeled
the boundary boards: 29 fours and two sixes. England had had the
impertinence to declare, setting the Windies 342 to win. They got
there inside 66.1 overs, with nine wickets to spare and Ian
Botham, who had taken eight first-innings wickets, was slammed
all round Lord's. England had hoped to square the series at 1-1;
instead, Greenidge's assault left them 2-0 down and on the way to
being 'blackwashed' for the first time.
Des Haynes 143 v Australia, Sydney 1988-89
A masterful exhibition of technique and concentration. As usually
happened in the 1980s, West Indies struggled badly against the
turning ball at Sydney, but though they fell to defeat Haynes
played one of the great rearguard innings. With the ball turning
almost square, he suffocated the spin for more than five hours,
all the while putting away the bad balls to fashion an epic 143,
made out of just 232 while he was at the crease. The captains -
Viv Richards and Allan Border, who both been round the block a
few times - both considered it one of the finest innings they had