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Best Eleven Hundreds of the World Cup

The elite group that had the distinction of registering a century in a World Cup final.

Clive Lloyd 102 off 85 balls vs Australia 1975 Final

West Indies were wobbling at 50/3 when Clive Lloyd walked in to join the old war horse Rohan Kanhai and immediately hooked Dennis Lillee for a six, and punched Max Walker off the back foot with utter disdain for a boundary. Along with Kanhai, Lloyd put on a partnership of 149 runs and played a savage knock of 102 with 12 fours and two sixes and reached his hundred in just 82 balls.That hundred helped West Indies reach a healthy 291/8 in 60 overs. He was not finished yet, he took a wicket and combined with Viv Richards to effect a run out and the game was West Indies’s. The first World Cup final lived up to the expectation and Lloyd had left an indelible mark with that Knock.

Viv Richards 138 of 157 balls vs England 1979 Final

Richards stole the thunder with his electric fielding in the 1975 finals, This time he let his bat do the talking. West Indies were in a rather uncomfortable 99/4 when “King” Richards and Collis King joined hands to put the English attack to the sword. Richards was slow to start but was severe later on and he played with supreme confidence. With eleven fours and three sixes Richards pummeled the English attack to submission, one shot signified his dominance, the last ball of the innings As he went inside the line of a Mike Hendrick delivery still managed to swat it to midwicket for a six and then nonchalantly walk off the ground. When Joel Garner ran through the English batting like knife through butter, West Indies had completed yet another coup de grace.

Kapil Dev 175 off 138 balls vs Zimbabwe Group Stage 1983

Arguably the best hundred of any World Cup to date and was a shame that there are no videos of this magnificent knock. India needed to win this game to harbor any hopes of reaching the Semi final and had combusted spectacularly to 17/5 when Kapil came in and set about playing the way he only can play. He rallied with the tail hitting 16 fours and six sixes and helped India reach 266/4 and finished up on 175 not out which remained an Indian record for another 16 years. Indian won the match by a margin of 31 runs and marched on to the semis.

David Houghton 142 off 137 balls vs New Zeland Group Stage 1987

No one expected Zimbabwe to challenge the New Zealand total of 242, However Zimbabwean wicket keeper batsman Houghton gave an almighty scare when he combined with Ian Butchart and played one of the best counter attacking knocks. All in all he scored 13 fours and six sixes and had brought them within a touching distance of the target when he was spectacularly caught by Martin Crowe. Zimbabwe lost the match but Houghton’s knock was memorable and he was declared man of the match. This has a special place
in my heart as it was the first World cup game I saw.

Viv Richards 181 off 125 balls vs Sri Lanka Group Stage 1987

Viv Richards was at his very best yet again. He tore in to the Sri Lankans and pounded them to all parts of the National Stadium in Karachi. The “King” launched an all out attack on the islanders and Asantha De Mel returned figures of 97 runs in 10 overs. For a moment it appeared as though we might see a double hundred before he got himself out in search of quick runs. Sri Lanka were not even trying to chase the target after that scorching knock of 181 punctuated with sixteen fours and seven sixes they did not surpass Viv’s score and ended their innings at 169/4.

Brian Lara 111 of 94 balls vs South Africa Quarter-Finals 1996

It was the turn of this diminutive Trinidadian to set the National Stadium alight which had witnessed a great knock from his former team-mate Viv Richards nine years ago. No one gave West Indies any chance against the rampaging South Africans. However Lara had other ideas, South Africa ran in to a red hot Brian Lara on this particular day and Lara
dismissed everything that was thrown at him. The highlight of the innings being Lara hitting Pat Symcox for 22 runs of a single over with five boundaries to different parts of the ground. He scored 111 adorned with 16 boundaries. When the West Indian spinners combined to choke their batsman, the South African juggernaut had come to a screeching halt and was ousted at the first hurdle.

Mark Waugh 110 off 112 balls vs New Zealand Quarter finals 1996

Not spectacular by any means, but this innings was worth it’s weight in gold. Australia faced a tricky proposition against the Kiwis when they were set a target of 287 in 50 overs. Nevertheless Mark Waugh was unflustered and braved the Chennai heat and humidity and played a silken knock of 110 glazed with six boundaries and two sixes. It was not an earth shattering innings by any means, nevertheless he braved the elements and the conditions and continued his rich vein of form in the tournament. He was dismissed 74 runs shy of the target, but had laid the foundation for his brother to finish off the game.

Aravinda De Silva 107 off 124 balls vs Australia finals 1996

Probably the best century in a World Cup final and came while chasing a target. Aravinda had earlier played a sublime 66 in the semis to bail his team out of trouble against India. The situation was not any different here and he came to the middle with Sri Lanka stuttering at 23/2. He laced Glenn McGrath and Damien Fleming for boundaries and the intent was clear. He was going to take the bull by it’s horn. Along with Asanka Gurusinha he put the Aussie attack to pasture and the icing on the cake was complete when he and his captain Arjuna Ranatunga shared the winning partnership. He had 13 hits to the fence, earlier he had tormented the Aussies with his wily off spin and had taken two catches as well.

Steve Waugh 120 off 110 balls vs South Africa Super Sixes 1999

The famous match when Herschelle Gibbs purportedly dropped the World Cup presented us with one of the grittiest hundreds. Australia had their backs against the wall in every super six game and this one was a virtual knock out for them. True to the words cometh the hour cometh the man, Steve Waugh Joined his protege Ricky Ponting at 48/3 and added 126 runs. His knock contained ten fours and two sixes. Steve never let out an emotion till the winning run was scored and Australia lived to see another day and arguably the best ODI game ever was played between these sides in the semi finals thanks to Steve.

Ricky Ponting 140 off 121 balls vs India 2003 Finals

The two best teams had made the finals and everyone was hoping for a contest. But Ricky Ponting played such a brutal knock that the game as a contest was over when Australia raked up a massive 359/2 in 50 overs. Ponting was severe on the Indian bowlers and pulled at will to score 140 with just four fours and eight massive sixes. Srinath was shred to pieces, he returned figures of 87 runs in 10 overs. In the process he joined Lloyd, Richards and De Silva as the players to score a Hundred in a World Cup final. When Glen McGrath and co. combined to shoot down the Indians for 234 runs Australia had won the World cup for the third time.

Adam Gilchrist 149 off 104 balls vs Sri Lanka 2007 finals

Gilchrist rewrote the script that his captain did against the Indians four years ago at the Kensington Oval. He started off like a run away train and finished in the same vein. Not one Sri Lankan bowler was spared and every one had an economy rate more than six. Gilly cut, drove, pull and hooked to all parts of the Oval. He reached his 100 off just 72 balls and become even more aggressive after the milestone. His knock contained thirteen fours and eight sixes. Nevertheless there was some controversy over the use of a squash ball in his glove, squash ball or not that was an innings to cherish and remember. When Yet again Glen McGrath and co. dismissed the Sri Lankans the Aussies had not only won the World Cup for the fourth time, they had completed a hat trick of wins and had handed out thrashings to each of the sub continent giants.

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