ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features
King Viv flays the Lankans
Once Richards got going, Ratnayeke and Co had nowhere to hide
181 v Sri Lanka, 7th match, 1987
West Indies' World Cup campaign hadn't started brightly, with a magnificent late charge from Allan Lamb seeing England home in the opening match against them. It was just Sri Lanka's luck that they ran into a side smarting from that early reverse.
It didn't start too badly for them though, with Ravi Ratnayeke bowling Carlisle Best and then having Richie Richardson caught behind first ball. When Vivian Richards walked out, his first task was to avoid the hat-trick and stabilise the innings. He had produced a 27-run cameo against England, but it was clear from the outset that he had much more in store for those assembled inside Karachi's National Stadium.
He started sedately enough, taking 62 balls for 50, but thereafter the Sri Lankan bowlers were dismissed to all parts, like puffs of cotton in front of a fan. His tenth one-day international century, unprecedented at the time, took just 97 balls, and the last 81 runs then came from just 33 deliveries.
Vinothan John had bowled a tidy spell, and Don Anurasiri had conceded just 39 from his 10 overs, but every other bowler fell the full impact of the Richards onslaught. In the midst of the mayhem, Desmond Haynes' accomplished hundred was largely forgotten. The two added 182 in 177 balls, with Richards smacking six sixes and 16 fours in a blazing innings that spanned just 125 balls. The hapless Asantha de Mel went for 97 from his 10, and Ratnayeke, dreams of hat-trick glory rudely snatched away, was thumped for 44 in two overs.
Three years earlier, the pre-eminent batsman of his age had savaged England to the tune of 189 at Old Trafford, and but for a mishit in the latter stages of this innings, he might well have become the first man to score 200 in a one-day innings. As it was, West Indies finished on 360 for 4, the highest score in a World Cup game - till Sri Lanka themselves eclipsed it nine years later.
Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Dileep Premachandran
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
Jon Hotten reveals the behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing a cricket autobiography
The Cricket Monthly December issue
Liam Cromar: Few other games lend themselves to taking your eyes off the action as much as ours does
The former England offspinner relives the Mumbai Test of 2006, which turned out to be his last - and most memorable
Vidyadhar Paradkar knew Haseeb Hameed would go far since their first meeting - and he has played no small part in that
The hosts' little victories in the last half-hour have proven to be a big deal in the Test series against England
Haseeb Hameed's tour has been ended prematurely by injury but he has already made a lasting impression on team-mates and opponents
India have had a good two years in Test cricket. A lot of that comes down to having a squad that offers options, and a captain who knows how to maximise his players' threat
Vidyadhar Paradkar knew Haseeb Hameed would go far when he first met him. He has, and it's due in no small part to Paradkar
Barbados is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its independence. Is this selection of Bajan players from over the years better than most Test teams?
With Bangladesh struggling to put out a quality pace attack in Test cricket, the team management could perhaps coax the ODI captain to return in whites with a modified run-up
Keaton Jennings is set to follow a well-trodden path this week when he becomes the latest South Africa-born cricketer to play for England