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This day that year: A look back at Viv Richards' 322

Sir Vivian Richards
Sir Vivian Richards

On this day in 1985, batting maestro Viv Richards smacked 322 runs in a single day playing for Somerset against Warwickshire at Taunton.

With all the flair and flamboyance in his batting, Richards was a legend of his own. An aggressive middle-order batter, the former West Indian skipper used to torment bowlers left, right and center.

In his international career, Viv Richards scored over 8,500 Test runs at a daunting average of over 50. He also accumulated 6721 runs from 187 ODIs and showed what greatness was all about every time he came out to bat.

Richards has played many breathtaking knocks throughout his career, but this knock holds a special place. There was no live broadcast of the game but one could visualize 'The Master Blaster' smacking the Warwickshire bowlers all around the park.

The Warwickshire bowling attack was not poor by any means and was spearheaded by Gladstone Small along with Norman Gifford. But Viv Richards reduced it to nothing, launching carnage in Taunton.

Warwickshire won the toss and opted to field first. Somerset were soon reduced to 28 for one. Nigel Felton was out for a duck when opener Paul Bail retired hurt at 8.

Richards came out to bat in his trademark fashion and looked to be in the zone right from the onset.

Viv Richards clobbered 42 fours and eight sixes in his 258-ball 322

Nigel Popplewell, the other opener, looked compact and didn't lose concentration with Richards unleashing a tornado from the other end.

Popplewell was out for 55 when Somerset had already crossed the 150-run mark and Viv Richards had just taken off.

The Caribbean calypso reached the three-figure mark in just 114 deliveries and shifted gears. Warwickshire bowlers, by then, had got an idea of what was in store for them.

Viv Richards raced to his 300 in 244 balls, the last 200 coming off just 130 balls. In the process, he became the first West Indies batter to score a triple-century in a single day.

Richards went past his own score of 291 runs he had clobbered in the 1976 Test against England at The Oval.

Along with that, he also broke a handful of County records - Harold Gimblett's 310 against Sussex and Hampshire's Dick Moore's record of 316 at Bournemouth - against Warwickshire.

Richards eventually got out for 322 runs from 258 deliveries, a knock that included 42 fours and eight sixes after batting for almost five hours.

Somerset were at 505 when he got out and went on to declare at 566 for 5 after batting for exactly 100 overs.

Only seven maiden overs were bowled in that innings, out of which six were bowled before Richards came out to bat. The monumental knock was also Viv Richards' highest score in first-class cricket.

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Edited by Arjun Panchadar
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