Viv Richards scored the then fastest century in test cricket on 15th April 1986 against a hapless English attack. The venue was his home ground, St. John’s in Antigua. West Indies were already leading 4-0 in the test series and also won the previous series in England 5-0.
West Indies already had a 164 run lead after both the teams completed their first innings. West Indies were looking for some quick runs before declaring in the second innings. Haynes and Richardson added 100 runs in the opening partnership before Richards walked in. Richards was in a murderous mood from the beginning as he started playing his shots from the onset. He hit two sixes before reaching 28 when the teams went for the tea break.
Post resumption Richards reached his 50 off 35 balls. But he wasn’t satisfied. He went even more aggressive and attempted to hit four and six in almost every ball. Some of the sixes were so big that they cleared the ground at ease. He took only 56 balls to reach his hundred. It was the fastest test century and broke the record of Jack Gregory from the 1920/21 season. The record was later shared by Misbah-ul-Haq before Brendon McCullum broke it with his outstanding 54 balls hundred in his last test.
Richards reached 110 of 58 balls with seven fours and seven sixes when he decided to declare the innings. By then the lead was 410 runs. England was never given a chance to even save the test match as they surrendered to 170 all out in 79.1 overs. Roger Harper finished with astonishing bowling figures of 12-8-10-3. This resulted in another 5-0 win for the West Indies test series. The two back to back whitewash by West Indies over England truly displayed the dominance of the West Indies team from that era. Viv Richards was a master blaster and a true representative of that champion team. On this day he delivered one of his most remarkable performances.
Check out the match scorecard here: Match Scorecard 5th Test, England tour of West Indies at St John's, Apr 11-16 1986
A Glimpse of the innings