Good call on Clarke's debut ton. Special knock.
Good call on Clarke's debut ton. Special knock.
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Lara's 277 at Sudney in 1992 was one of the best knocks I've seen. Even though it didn't result in a win (rain-affected Test), it probably turned that series because the WI looked fragile to that point and they dominated in the ODI series and rest of the Test series after it. Just had everything for the purist; most of his (numerous!) boundaries were hit cleanly into the gap with no slogging at all. Before he was run-out, didn't look like getting out.
From an Aussie perspective, Michael Slater's 176 against Endland in 1994 was one of the best knocks in Australia for many years. Set the tone for the series. Possily equalled by Adam Gilchrist's ton in Hobart in 2000.
Aside from those, Glenn McGrath's 61. As far as the ability-to-results ratio goes, this one was off the charts. Not least of all because of the slog-swept six over mid-wicket.
There's too many innings I've seen on TV for me to choose, so I'll just go with the few great innings I've seen in person.
Pietersen's Oval hundred in '05 is difficult to match for magnitude. It was far from the best innings you'll ever see with all the drops and near misses, but just because of the sheer audacity of it, it's one of my favourite innings of all time.
I was also present for a magnificent 183 from Herschelle Gibbs at Lord's in '03, and a very un-characteristically fast and ODI-style 2nd innings ton from Michael Vaughan against the WI in '04. Both were a real privilege to watch, for entirely different reasons.
Dean Jones 210 Madras Tied Test 1986. Tough as they come, and unusually for Deano, a big innings not scored in a dead-rubber test.
Kim Hughes 100 vs WI at Melbourne in 1981 (I think) out of about 190-odd (same day Lillee bowled Viv from the last ball to leave WI @ 4/10 over night).
Vaughan at Adelaide in 2002-03.
Roy Fredericks vs Lillee & Thommo - WACA 1975-76.
Herbert Sutcliffe in Melbourne 1928-9 to win a test for England on an atrocious wet wicket.
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Lara - 153*
Laxman - 281
Astle - 222
Sachin - 136
Lara - 213
Sachin - 155 against Aus and against RSA at Bloemfontein
We miss you, Fardin. :(. RIP.
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Stan McCabe's legendary trifecta I think stands comparison with any innings that have ever been played:
187* vs Bodyline 1932/33 - one of the most famous and heroic innings ever played by an Australian
189* vs South Africa 1935/36 - where the fielding captain actually appealed against the light due to the danger McCabe was putting his fieldsmen in!
232 vs England 1938 - the knock that Bradman himself congratulated McCabe with the words "If I could play an innings like that, I'd be a proud man, Stan."
The same innings always springs to mind for me, the one that really converted me to being a cricket fan, Mark Butcher's 173* against the Aussies. Not one of the greats by any means but for me it was a great knock.
Stayed up through the night every night of the India/Australia series in 03/04 and was glued to the screen for every run of Dravid's 233 at Adelaide, and his equally important 72* in the second dig. Was far and away my favourite player at the time and I was in raptures. Loved how much we were taking it to the Aussie's in Aus. Shouldn't forget VVS Laxman's 148 to back Dravid up in that first innings either, he was in pristine form around that time.
I'm a bit biased (very biased actually ), but some great ones I've seen from Ponting in recent times...
Old Trafford 2005, obviously.
118* vs Bangladesh...A lot of you will probably laugh this off, but this is a truly underrated match-winning innings...Chasing 307 on a crumbling subcontinent wicket, against some Bangladeshi bowlers full of confidence...We were in some very precarious positions during the innings, yet Ponting stood firm for a chanceless 113* to guide us home and save us from what would've been one of the most embarassing moments in our proud history....Considering the circumstances, it was a damn fine innings.
Another recent one of his that gets overlooked is his unbeaten 143 off 159 balls against the South Africans in Sydney in 2006...We needed something like 290 in 70 overs...On a fifth day Sydney wicket against the likes of Pollock, and with Nel steaming in, Ponting played an incredibly mature innings even though we lost an early wicket and could've easily slowed down and played for the draw...But he scored at a remarkable rate to guide us to a wonderful victory, seemingly without taking too many chances. When the South Africans sent us in again, it was a long shot to win, but we did it. We ended up chasing it in something like 60 overs...It really was brilliant batting. In his 100th Test too...He scored another ton in the first innings to cap it off!
173* (IIRC) by Butcher, Headingly '01.
RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990 - 15/4/2006
Yeah, one of my faves. Annoys the heck out of me how people have tried being clever in hindsight and saying it was a "generous" declaration; it wasn't, it was Headingley, it was the penultimate day, and the pitch was, unsurprisingly, doing plenty and plenty for seamers and was dry (though for whatever odd reason Warne could not get it to turn very often).
He played absolutely brilliantly - given how good the catching of the Australians was that summer it's almost a given that it was a chanceless innings, and he made McGrath and Gillespie, both of whom had been utterly menacing for pretty well the entire series to date and would probably have continued to be but for Butcher playing so incredibly well, look pretty pedestrian for most of the time.
People also overstate the "it was a dead Test" - yes, it was, but that innings saved his side from a whitewash, which is a hugely important matter, especially in a home series. A whitewash that series would have been an awful, awful disaster and but for Butcher and that innings would almost certainly have happened.
Appreciating cricket's greatest legend ever - HD Bird...............Funniest post (intentionally) ever.....Runner-up.....Third.....Fourthcricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990-15/4/2006
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