This is part two of the five fastest ODI hundreds in a major international tournament.
Today we travel to London, Lord’s, on the 21st of June, 1975.
The final of the very first World Cup.
The West Indies versus Australia.
And our featured performer: Clive Lloyd.
(One quick note about the tournament, though I don’t think it necessarily affects the soul of this particular post, but the matches played were 60-over innings, not 50-over innings as is now the case.)
Australia won the toss and elected to field. The West Indies lost one of their openers, Roy Fredericks, in a rather bizarre manner: after hitting a six, he fell back into his own wicket. Fellow opener, Gordon Greenridge, then scored thirteen runs at an excruciatingly slow pace: a strike rate of 21 and change. 13 runs off of 80 balls…
His partner, Alvin Kallicharran, fell for just 12, and then Greenridge fell. Leaving the West Indies at 50-3 with 1/3 of their overs gone.
Up stepped the incomparable Clive Lloyd, who blasted the Australian quicks around Lord’s. 102 runs off of 108 deliveries. A strike rate nearly six times that of Greenridge’s. His fellow batsman for the entirity of his knock was Rohan Kanhai, who quietly blocked ball after ball as Lloyd brought Lord’s to its feet with his 12 fours.
The West Indies ended their innings with 291 runs, setting Australia’s target at 292 to win.
They fell 17 runs short, thanks mostly to five run outs, three of which were secured by Sir Viv Richards.
Clive Lloyd also bowled 12 overs in that match, allowing a paltry 3.16 runs per over, the lowest by an entire run of all his fellow bowlers.
He also took a wicket. Bowling out the dangerous Australian folk hero, Doug Walters.
All told: 102 runs when his team sorely needed them, at a pace that kept them in the match; followed by 12 overs of stingy bowling and a wicket.
And he did it all while wearing glasses!
And my favorite part of the whole thing: he was the West Indian captain.
He did what captains do in big matches: he puts his teammates on his back and dragged them over the line.
He played in 87 ODIs in his career, but that Sunday in June in England was his only century. That about says it all, as far as I am concerned.
Clive Lloyd did not get a single mention in my earlier posts on clutch performances, and therefore those analyses are inherently flawed.
Lovely performance, Clive.
Tomorrow: part three.
Some of you might remember the match quite fondly…
There is some controversy on these posts. Well, controversy in my own head anyway. Clive Lloyd was a fantastic cricketer. And so of course it follows that he was fantastic in the World Cup. It really has nothing with any sort of intangible “clutchiness”, he was simply a good batsman and a serviceable medium pace bowler who had one of his better days.
His performance at Lord’s that day does not transcend stats, it just further supports them.
I agree 100% with all of that.
But still: only one century in his entire ODI career and it came in the FINAL of the WORLD CUP!?
Sometimes it’s okay to believe in Santa Clause.
Back on the pitch: tonight is the 2nd final of the seriously interminable but nonetheless entertaining Commonwealth Bank series. Australia could end it all tonight in Adelaide with a victory over Sri Lanka.
Also, the first test between New Zealand and South Africa starts on the 7th (the 6th on my calendar): that’s right, test cricket is back in less than 24 hours. Happy days.
Oh, and hey, the Asia Cup starts on 11th, and Willow.tv will have all seven of the matches live on their YouTube Channel. I am pretty excited, even if the matches will be starting at 02:30 CST.
Pakistan plays India on a Sunday morning, however, so I am going to figure out a way to watch that one.
Finally, today, sad news: West Indian cricketer Runako Morton was killed in a road accident. He was only 33.
Until next time.