West Indies, who had been stuck in by England in the final, had recovered from 99 for 4 thanks to a fifth-wicket stand of 139 in 77 minutes between Collis King and Viv Richards. King was eventually dismissed for 86, but Richards continued laying into a tiring England attack. When the last over of the innings began, Richards was on strike unbeaten on 124, and facing Mike Hendrick, whose 11 previous overs had cost just 36.
Richards, with the No. 11 Colin Croft at the other end, kept strike throughout the over, taking eight runs from the first five balls. In the absence of any fielding restrictions, England's captain Mike Brearley then had almost every fielder back on the ropes as Hendrick ran in to bowl the final delivery. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Richards flicked him for six.
"I had sussed with his long-off and long-on back that it would be fullish to allow me one or two," Richards recalled. "It was the correct ball, much fuller but slightly off the line, and I stepped to the off side and flicked it. I left the field thinking, 'That shot is my invention.'"
The newspapers waxed lyrical, with Richards' last-ball swat attracting particular comment. Tony Cozier referred to Richards' "dismissal of the England attack as if they were net bowlers", while Clive Lloyd enthused at the "dramatic way he finished his innings".
The stand between Richards and King had enabled West Indies to post 286 for 9. England ran out of puff and lost by 92 runs. Richards, very much the fifth bowler, and someone England needed to milk if they were to win, followed up his ton with ten tidy overs for just 35 runs, as West Indies comfortably retained the title.
This article was first published in 2014