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Combined Island: ODI Batting

Viv Richards 110* v India, Rajkot, 1987-88

Woorkeri Raman thought he was having a good day. He had top-scored for India with a fine 95, then came on to bowl and dismissed Desmond Haynes. Then he bumped into Viv Richards at his most merciless. Raman's day turned sour very quickly - as figures of 4-0-44-1 suggest - while Ravi Shastri was walloped for three sixes in a row. In all Richards - who was having a good day himself, having taken three wickets earlier on - blasted a venomous unbeaten 110 off 77 balls, with seven fours and seven sixes. By the end, he was going berserk: his last 60 runs came off only 28 deliveries. It was his last ODI century, and one of his best.

Viv Richards 138* v England, Lord's, 1979

One shot summed this innings up. With one ball to go West Indies were 280 for 9; Richards had 132 not out. Had England not suffered enough? No. Mike Hendrick speared in a leg-stump yorker, the perfect one-day delivery. But Viv was already wandering over towards gully, swung the bat across, and speared the ball high into the Mound Stand for his third six. It took the breath away. No one took to the big stage quite like Viv and, though Collis King and Joel Garner tried their best, nobody was going to stop him being the Man of the Match as West Indies ruled the world again.

Viv Richards 149 v India, Jamshedpur, 1983-84

More gum-chewing malevolence from the great man. This was a bowler's worst nightmare: Richards and Gordon Greenidge going at it hammer and tongs on an absolutely perfect batting strip. Between them they added 221 for the second wicket at more than seven an over. But Greenidge had to play second fiddle to a majestic innings from Richards: 149 off only 99 balls, with 20 fours and three sixes. Poor Ravi Shastri (7-0-77-1) and Mohinder Amarnath (9.1-0-79-0) bore the brunt of an assault that few people will forget.

Viv Richards 181 v Sri Lanka, Karachi, 1987-88

David against Goliath - but there was no happy ending for the little people. Richards came to the crease with Ravi Ratnayeke on a hat-trick, and proceeded to batter the bowling so brutally that one-day international cricket's first double-hundred looked on the cards. Instead, on 181, Richards was caught aiming for what would have been his seventh six. He also carted 16 fours, and faced only 125 balls for what, at the time, was the highest score in World Cup history. Spare a thought for poor Asantha De Mel, though: his figures were an X-rated 10-0-97-1.

Viv Richards 189* v England, Manchester, 1984

To many, this is simply the finest one-day innings anyone, anywhere has ever played. Only one of a high-class West Indies top eight even made it to double figures in this game, but boy did Viv Richards make it count. With West Indies all over the place at 102 for 7, Viv began a startling comeback. He added 59 with Eldine Baptiste, and then 106 for the last wicket with Michael Holding (whose share of the partnership was 12) in 14 overs of pandemonium. Richards crashed five sixes, one of which went straight out of the ground at the Warwick Road End, in an innings of jaw-dropping audacity.