The West Indies are about to play against England in England for the Wisden Trophy and we at SportsMax thought it may be interesting to look back at the best performances from the Caribbean side in that country.

The West Indies lead England in head to heads, 57-49, with 51 drawn games between the teams.

The teams began to play for the Wisden Trophy in 1963 and since then have won the series 14 times to England’s 10, though this year’s hosts have been dominant recently, save for last year when the West Indies wrested the trophy from them in a 2-1 win. There have been three drawn series since 1963.

But performing in England has always been tough and good performances there have always been counted at a premium, living in the memories of batsmen, bowlers and fans for a very very long time.

Here are the performances that stand out in my mind, tell me if you have others you remember. Comment on these performances on Facebook or Twitter, I wouldn’t mind the trip down memory lane.

 

Best XI West Indian performances in England

 

Allan Rae and Frank Worrell lay into England (The Oval 1950)

Centuries from Allan Rae and Frank Worrell helped the West Indies to win their first series against England in England.

The West Indies would end up winning the series 3-1 but that was set up from the first innings of the first Test where, electing to bat first, Rae bat for five hours to score 109, while Worrell, batting at number three, did the same to score 138.

The West Indies would go on to score 503, before limiting England to 344 and 103 to win by an innings and 56 runs.

 

Sobers goes on show, Charlie Griffiths works up a head of steam (Headingley (1963)

Sir Garfield Sobers scored 102 against England at Headingley as the West Indies won the fourth Test of their 1963 series against England, setting up a first-innings total of 397, which quickly turned into a 223-run lead thanks to Charlie Griffiths’ 6-36. The performances set up a 221-run victory and the series would end 3-1 in favour of the visitors.

 

Lance Gibbs turns Old Trafford on its head (Old Trafford, 1966)

In 1966 Lance Gibbs was the greatest spinner in the world and England crumbled at the feet of his twirling in the first Test of their series. Following on from Garfield Sobers’ 161 in a first innings at Old Trafford where the West Indies scored 484, Gibbs’ 5-37 left England flapping at 167 all out. The follow-on didn’t go any better for the hosts, with Gibbs bagging 5-69 from a marathon 41 overs of bowling. The West Indies would go on to win that 1966 series 3-1.

 

Lloyd, Boyce take over the Oval (The Oval, 1973)

Cllive Lloyd scored 132 in the first innings of the first Test at The Oval in 1973, but that was just part of the story of the way the West Indies dominated made their way to a 158-run victory and a 2-0 series win against England. Keith Boyce only played 21 Tests for the West Indies over the course of four years but in 1973 England had no answer to him. Lloyd’s Innings proved the catalyst fo the West Indies’ 415-run first innings byt then Boyce returned to bag 5-70 to restrict England to 257 and give the visitors a decided advantage. The West Indies would quickly score 255 before Boyce was back at it again, taking 6-77 on the way to dismissing England for 255.

 

VIV Richards shows complete dominance (Trent Bridge, 1976)

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards is a name that really needs no introduction and England would feel the brunt of his brutality on many occasions. In 1976, the West Indies won a five-Test series in England 3-0, but Richards was dominant from ball one. Batting at his customary number three in the first Test of the series, Richards would help the West Indies to 494 runs in a first innings where he slammed 232. When England responded with 332 in their first innings, the West Indies needed to score quick runs so they could declare with enough time to bowl England out a second time. Richards obliged with 63 and even though the match ended in a draw, the performance of the Master Blaster.

 

Gordon Greenidge puts his name in the Lord’s book in emphatic style  (Lord’s 1984)

The second Test of a series against England at Lord’s had a number of brilliant performances from both teams. England’s Graeme Fowler had scored a fighting 106 in his side’s 286. The low total was brought about by Malcolm Marshall’s special bowling performance of 6-85. That bowling performance was superseded by Ian Botham’s 8-103 to help restrict the West Indies to 245. In the second innings, England declared on 300-9 thanks to Allan Lamb’s 110. Chasing 341 in the second innings, Gordon Greenidge eclipsed all those performances with a sparkling 214 not out, as the West Indies romped to 344-1 in just 66.1 overs. Larry Gomes got a front seat to the action, scoring 92. The West Indies would go on to win the series 5-0.

 

Malcolm Marshall leaves England a little short (Lord’s 1988)

From the lates 1970s until the mid-1990s the West Indies could depend on one part or another of their team to pull them out of tough situations. In the second Test of their 1988 Wisden Trophy series against England, they were up against it early with Gus Logie’s 81 helping the West Indies to just 209. But Malcolm Marshall proved that any total could be enough, destroying England with 6-32 and leaving the game well balanced and maybe giving the West Indies a slight advantage.

Gordon Greenidge’s 103 gave the West Indies a good lead headed into England’s second innings and despite Allan Lamb’s 113, Marshall’s brilliance meant they never got close. The West Indies won by 134 runs and Marshall took 4-60 to end with figures of 10-92.

 

The Ambrose and Walsh show take over Trent Bridge (Trent Bridge, 1991)

The West Indies conveyor belt of fastbowlers had begun to run dry by 1991 but they still had the services of Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Andrew Walsh and Curtly Ambrose. And while they would lose the Wisden Trophy to England that year, there was one Test at Trent Bridge where Ambrose and Walsh reminded the world of the great days of fastbowling and pointed to what would become the most successful opening bowling partnership in World cricket for the next 10 years. In the first innings, led by Graeme Gooch’s 68, England scored 300 all out, but it would have been a much higher total had it not been for 34 overs from Ambrose that yielded 5-74. The West Indies would go into the second innings with a healthy 97-run lead, thanks in large part to Viv Richards’ 80. When England bat again, Walsh made sure the West Indies would not have much to chase, bagging 4-64. In that England second innings, Ambrose had 3-61.

 

Richie Richardson plays anchor role (Edgbaston, 1991)

Richie Richardson had the reputation for being an aggressive batsman, who hooked and pulled his way out of trouble for the most part, but at Edgbaston, in 1991 a different type of batsman was called for. England had been dismissed for 188 courtesy of Malcolm Marshall, 4-33, and Curtly Ambrose, 3-64. But the West Indies were in trouble with the bat as well, with Chris Lewis running rampant for England with 6-111. Standing in the way though, Richardson, recognizing that wickets were falling all around him, faced 229 deliveries to score 104, his strike rate of 45.41, unusually low for his aggressive nature. The innings helped the West Indies to 292 and set up a seven-wicket win  

 

Lara’s 179, Hooper’s 127 keeps things even against England (Kennington Oval, 1995)

With the six-Test series tied at 2-2 headed into the final game, the West Indies, a team in decline by 1995, needed to make sure they did not lose.

England had scored 454 thanks to Graeme Hick’s 96 and despite Curtly Ambrose’s 5-96. Replying, the West Indies scored 692-8, building a lead of  238 to make sure the game could not be lost. The total is still the biggest without featuring a double-century from a batsman, but there was still much brilliance on show. Brian Lara for instance, scored a masterful 179 from just 206 deliveries, slamming 26 fours and a six. But Lara didn’t have to do it alone, with Carl Hooper scoring 127, skipper Richie Richardson, scoring 93, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, scoring 80, and Sherwin Campbell scoring 89. As a team, that was probably the last time the West Indies showed complete dominance with the bat in England.

 

Shai Hope becomes an immortal at Headingley (Headingley 2017)

Still a growing team, the West Indies unit that went to England in 2017 were expected to be thrashed and they were. While the defeat in the three-Test series was only 2-1, and the a result came down to the final Test, the truth is the teams were world’s apart. In that second Test though, the West Indies learned they could not only compete, but they could win in England. Ben Stokes had scored a century to prop up England’s first innings at 258, as Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach with four wickets apiece gave West Indies real hope. Then Kraigg Brathwaite with 134 and Shai Hope with 147, pushed the West Indies advantage, the innings ending at 427. England were up against it but batted well to score 490-8 and give the West Indies a serious total to chase. Again, Brathwaite and Hope were on show. Brathwaite fell for 95, agonizingly close to a second century in the match, but there was no stopping Hope, who was unbeaten at the end, scoring 118to lead the West Indies to 322-5 and a famous victory.

Gordon Greenidge began his Test career in 1974 against India at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. He and fellow Barbadian Desmond Haynes formed a prolific opening partnership that is considered among the best in Test cricket history.

The pair made 6,482 runs while batting together in partnerships, the third-highest total for a batting partnership in Test cricket history as of 2019.

During the fifth Test of the 1983 series between West Indies and India, Greenidge became the first and, as of 2019, the only person in Test history to be retired not out. He had to leave the match in Antigua while on 154 to visit his gravely ill daughter, who died two days later, in Barbados.

Greenidge scored two double centuries against England in the 1984 summer Test series. This series was dubbed the "Blackwash" because West Indies won by a margin of 5–0.

Greenidge scored 214 not out in the second innings of the second Test at Lord's in June 1984 and followed up with 223 in the fourth Test at Old Trafford in late July.

The 214 was achieved on the fifth and last day of the match as West Indies successfully chased 342 for victory. It remains the highest run chase at Lords.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge

Born: May 1, 1951, Black Bess, St Peter, Barbados

Major teams: Scotland, West Indies, Barbados, Hampshire

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

Test Career – West Indies (1974-1991)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        100s        50s                    

108        185        16        7558      226        44.72     19          19          

        

Career highlights

  • Part of the most prolific opening partnership in Test history with Desmond Haynes (6482 runs)
  • Most centuries scored by a West Indies opener in Tests (19)
  • Scored one of his 19 Test centuries on debut
  • Most runs scored by a West Indian in the opening position (7488) 
  • Averaged 45.11 as an opener compared to career average of 44.72

The late great Malcolm Marshall was a terrifying pace bowler and many have argued that he was the best there has ever been.

Smart, deceptively quick, and brutal, Marshall had all the attributes to make him a nightmare for any batsman, no matter how much class he possessed.

But on a day in 1983, in India no less, Marshall showed something new, well it was at least new to them.

Marshall had scored four centuries in his career outside of Test cricket, three for New Hampshire, and one when he was an under-19 cricketer, playing against Zimbabwe but his Test cricket average of 10, hadn’t shrouded him in glory. He would eventually push that average up to 18 by the time his career ended in 1991. But still, there was not much expected of him.

On a surprisingly slow wicket in Kanpur, the West Indies went to bat on the first day and soon got in trouble with Desmond Haynes, 6, Viv Richards, 24, Larry Gomes, 21, skipper Clive Lloyd, 23, and Gus Logie, 0, all back in the pavilion.

In step Phillip Jeffrey Dujon to join the unusually sedate Gordon Greenidge and the two set to rebuilding the innings, but at 255-5 on the first day and despite a recovery from 157-5, the game was still in the balance.

Greenidge would resume on the second day on his overnight 130 and go on to bat for just over nine hours on his way to scoring 194 from 368 deliveries.

The great West Indies opener would strike 23 fours and not a single six in his near-200-run innings, while Dujon, who was on 48 from the day before, was marginally more adventurous, batting for just about three hours before he was bowled by Roger Binny for 81.

Marshall walked to the wicket looking like he did not have a care in the world on the second day, probably sure in his mind that when he got the ball, the balance of the game would swing yet again.

But before that though, he might have well give his fellow pacers some more time to relax in the pavilion.

Marshall, batting with Greenidge, showed he wasn’t just good with ball in hand but hunkered down for the next three hours or so and faced 151 deliveries on his way to his highest ever Test score, 92. Forty-four of those 92 runs would come in boundaries.

He played no small part in helping Greenidge score as many as he did. When Greendidge went, Eldine Baptiste, 6, Michael Holding, 0, and  Winston Davis, 0, did not last long.

But Marshall wasn’t done yet either. He would return to make a mockery of Kapil Dev’s 4-99 with 4-19 that put the result decidedly in West Indies’ favour. The West Indies had made 454 all out on the back of Marshall, Dujon, and Greenidge’s innings but then the paceman helped route India for just 207.

The West Indies would not bat again, as for the second time in the game, Marshall grabbed four, this time going for all of 47.

Marshall’s bowling, as per usual, was tremendous, but this was the first time his batting was doing the talking as the West Indies removed Pakistan for 164 to win the game by an innings and 83 runs.

The West Indies would go on to win the 6-Test series 3-0 and Marshall had become a legend in India.

Barbados’ contribution to West Indies cricket cannot be overstated. This week we continue to try to create the best West Indies Championship or Shell Shield, whatever name you choose to give to our regional 4-day competition, of all time. To do that, we have been coming up with the best XIs of all time from each territory. Last week we took a peak at what a Leeward Islands Best XI would look like and this week, we’ve come to the table with a Barbados Best XI. The cricket-mad country has come up with some of the most talented players in the history of the game, let alone in the Caribbean and the truth is, we could have come up with more than one XI. But here is what we have come up with. Tell us what you think.

 

BestXI - Barbados

Gordon Greenidge

While Gordon Greenidge’s achievements as an opener for the West Indies are the stuff of legends, this XI is about regional cricket and if his record at that level was not the best, he would have been dropped, but it was. Greenidge was incredible as a first-class cricketer, scoring 92 centuries and 183 half-centuries in his 523 matches. He would end his first-class career with an average of 45.88 from 523 matches.

Desmond Haynes

Desmond Haynes formed the greatest opening partnership with Gordon Greenidge in West Indies History. In first-class cricket for Barbados, he was immense as well, scoring 61 centuries and 138 half-centuries to end up averaging 45.9, even more than his great mentor and long-time partner. Haynes would play in 376 games and score more than 26 thousand runs.

Sir Everton Weekes

Sir Everton Weekes makes up a third of Barbados’ most famous trio of cricketers, the three Ws, who as a group, made West Indies into a world force. Weekes played 152 first-class matches and his average of 55.34 is nothing short of brilliant. Along the way, Weekes would score 36 centuries and 54 half-centuries in compiling more than 12 thousand runs.

 

Sir Garry Sobers

Sir Garry Sobers contribution to Barbados cricket is immeasurable. Sir Garry, was at one time, the best batsman the region had ever produced. He remained that way until surpassed by Brian Lara. At the first-class level, Sir Garry was, just as he was for the West Indies, was unmatched, scoring 86 centuries and 121 half centuries in just 383 games. His average of 57.78 was also phenomenal. But Sir Garry also makes this all-time XI team even better with his bowling figures. The great man is one of a very few cricketers from the region to take more than a thousand wickets, doing so at a respectable average of 27.74.


 

Frank Worrell

One of the three Ws, Sir Frank Worrell, needs no introduction and was a shoe-in for this list. In 208 first-class matches, Sir Frank notched up 15,025 runs at an average of 54.24. Included in those 15,000 runs were 39 centuries and 80 half-centuries. Sir Frank’s contribution to this all-time side would also be as its captain. As a skipper, Sir Frank, while not as successful as Clive Lloyd, can be considered the best West Indies captain of all time.

 

Conrad Hunte

Conrad Hunte bat as an opener for most of his career but with the partnership of Greenidge and Haynes sealed as certainties in this all-time Barbados line-up, he has had to fall to the middle order. Hunte’s ability to adapt makes this an easy decision, with the batsman’s very well-known decision to give up his natural aggression for being the sheet anchor in the West Indies side he was part of. At the first-class level, Hunte scored 8,916 runs from just 132 games at an average of 43.92. Hunte scored 16 centuries and 51 half-centuries in his first-class career.

 

Clyde Walcott

Clyde Walcott, another of the Caribbean’s most famed triumvirate, the three Ws and a shoe-in for this list, makes the team as a wicketkeeper but his first-class tally of 11,820 runs in 146 matches would put him here as a batsman as well. Walcott  would score 40 centuries and 54 centuries to cement his place as one of regional cricket’s most severe runscorers.

 

Joel Garner

Joel Garner, Big Bird, was a wicket-taking machine in regional cricket, notching up 881 victims in just 214 matches at the remarkable average of 18.53 runs. With bowling figures like that, it is hardly likely that the very classy batting line-up above will have too much work to do too often.

 

Malcolm Marshall

If having Big Bird in your arsenal weren’t enough, opening the bowling alongside him in this Barbados all-time, all-star team, would be Malcolm Marshall, arguably the greatest fast bowler that ever lived. Marshall is also one of the few fast bowlers to take more than a thousand first-class wickets and in his 408 games, he was on his way to 2000. Marshall’s 1,651 wickets didn’t cost too much either, with the bowler averaging 19.1.

 

Wayne Daniel

Wayne Daniel was fearsome. A big muscular fast bowler, he drove far into the minds of opposing batsmen with searing pace. There were 867 victims of this pace in 266 first-class matches at an average of 22.47.  

 

Sylvester Clarke

Sylvester Clarke was unfortunate not to have played more than 11 Tests but really had to compete with probably the greatest four-pronged pace attack of all time. Had Clarke been born at another time, he certainly would have been seen as one of the greats. In first-class cricket, Clarke was a beast and his 942 wickets in 238 matches suggested there weren’t many in the world who could bat to him for too long, especially when you took his 19.52 average into consideration.

West Indies Legend, iconic captain of the 1980s, Clive Lloyd will be knighted as part of the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and will be joined by former opening batsman, Gordon Greenidge.

Lloyd and Greenidge are the latest member of former West Indies teams to receive knighthood, following greats like Sir Gary Sobers, Sir Everton Weekes, and Sir Vivian Richards.

Lloyd, who earned a CBE as early as 1993, was forced to wait on the prestigious honour because as a Guyanese citizen, knighthood would have to come directly from the queen, unlike is the case in Antigua where that country gave the honour to, Sir Vivian, Sir Curtly and Sir Richie directly.

Lloyd, who led the West Indies during its most successful era, is likely to have made the list for his contribution to cricket not with the Caribbean side but with English County outfit Lancashire, where he plied his trade for some 20 years.

Lancashire skipper at the time, Jack Bond, was full of praise for Lloyd, saying: “His value to Lancashire cannot be measured by ordinary standards.”

For the West Indies, Lloyd played 110 Tests, becoming the first player from the region to play over 100 games in the format, scoring 19 centuries and 39 half-centuries at an average of 46.67. His highest score was an unbeaten 242 against India in Mumbai to set up a series-deciding win for the West Indies.

Lloyd also led the West Indies to two World Cup titles, first in 1975, then again in 1979.

But Lloyd also contributed to West Indies cricket as an administrator, holding stints as a director of the West Indies Cricket Board as well as the team’s chairman of selectors.

Lloyd is particularly well remembered for ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man moments’, famously scoring a wonderful century in the final of the World Cup in 1975 at Lord’s.

Greenidge, meanwhile, a 68-year-old former opening batsman, has been conferred with the Order of St Michael and St George Knight Commander for “services to cricket and to the development of sport” on the overseas list.

Conde Riley, the Barbados Cricket Association president and Cricket West Indies director, has also been honoured for “services in the field of sport and in particular cricket administration”.

Shai Hope is the most prolific One-Day International batsman to his first 3000 runs the West Indies has ever seen.

On Sunday, during a losing effort against India , Hope struck a single to get to 35 runs and with it, reached 3,000 runs in ODIs.

Sir Vivian Richards, long known as the most fearsome ODI batsman the West Indies has ever seen, took 69 innings to get to 3000 runs, while Lara, the greatest the region has produced and arguably the greatest of all time, took 79 innings to do so. Hope was playing his 67th innings on Sunday.

Gordon Greenidge, who formed part of the greatest opening ODI parternships in West Indies history with Desmond Haynes, achieved the milestone in 72 innings, while one of the greatest exponents of white ball cricket, Chris Gayle took 80 innings.

In fact, there has only ever been one batsman in world cricket to get to 3000 runs faster than has Hope, with South Africa’s Hashim Amla owning the record of the quickest to the milestone of all time, getting there in 57 innings.

Hope would go on to score 42, as the West Indies went on to post 315, a total India got to for the loss of six wickets in the 49th over.

On the way to 316-6, Rohit Sharma scored 63, KL Rahul, 77, and Virat Kohli, 85, to smother the efforts of Hope, Nicholas Pooran, 89, and Kieron Pollard, 74.

Hope had also scored 102 not out and 78 in the previous two games, taking his tally to four centuries this calendar year, along with seven half-centuries.

The West Indies lost a T20I series to India, 2-1, and suffered the same result in a three-match ODI series that ended Sunday.

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