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Honours Board story: Greenidge '84 Published: 11 May 2012

Gordon Greenidge's unbeaten 214 to help the West Indies beat England at Lord's in 1984 is remembered as one of the finest innings ever played in a Test match at the Home of Cricket.

The highest score by a West Indian to be etched on the visitors' Honours Board, Greenidge's turbo-charged double-century powered Clive Lloyd's side to a nine-wicket victory which seemed unlikely for all but the final few hours of the Test.

In the modern era of fast scoring, 214 from 242 balls would be considered good going, but in 1984 it was a quite unbelievable display of aggressive shot making from one of the finest openers of the era.

That Lord's Test is one which England, and particularly the captain David Gower, will remember as one of their most humiliating, as they suffered the rare ignominy of declaring their second innings, only to see the stiff target of 342 chased with ease. The West Indies were left five and a half hours to reach the target; they won with 11.5 of the last 20 overs to spare.

It was the fifth highest fourth-innings chase in Test history at the time and remains tenth on that list today. Few - if any - of the others have been achieved at such a canter. England mustered just one wicket in the innings, the run out of Desmond Haynes for 17 with the score on 57.

And it was the ease with which Greenidge and number three Larry Gomes chased down the England total which made the victory so memorable, and symbolised the strength of that West Indies side, who were to go on and 'blackwash' England 5-0 that summer.

Greenidge, from Barbados, was already a 33-year-old veteran of 65 Tests and numerous seasons putting fear into county bowlers for Hampshire, but had struggled on the tour to that point, with just 84 runs from six innings so far.

He returned to form in an emphatic manner though, taking an England attack featuring Ian Botham and Bob Willis to task with a succession of crushing boundaries, totalling 31 in all.

He was dropped at slip off Botham on 110, but by then the West Indies were already on the road to victory.

Greenidge's 214* - in numbers

242 - deliveries faced
29 - fours hit
2 - sixes hit
287 - unbeaten partnership with Gomes (92)
110 - score when he was dropped by Botham
84 - runs on tour prior to the innings

Greenidge went on to play 108 Test matches for the West Indies, retiring in 1991. He was also a magnificent ODI player, pioneering attacking opening batsmanship in the early overs of the innings and paving the way for the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Sanath Jayasuriya.

Alongside Desmond Haynes, Greenidge formed one of the most prolific opening partnerships in cricket history. Together they amassed 16 century Test opening stands, with four of them passing 200.

Greenidge international career
 
 Matches
 Runs
 High
 Average
 100s
 50s
 
Tests
 108
 7,558
 226
 44.72
 19
 34
 
ODIs
 
 128
 5,134
 133*
 45.03
 11
 31
 


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