Tuesday, February 24, 2009

25 years on.....

This year sees the silver anniversary of what is generally considered to be the greatest ODI innings of all-time - the majestic unbeaten 189 by Viv Richards against England at Old Trafford back in 1984.

Richards himself rated this innings as one of the best he had ever played. But how does the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings computer see it? Last year we counted down the best bowling performances in the shorter format of the game, so now we look at the greatest innings:

10 - Saeed Anwar (Pak) 194 v Ind at Chennai in 1997
Still the World record score in One Day Internationals more than a decade later, and achieved against their deadliest rivals, the next-highest score in the innings was just 39. It could have been even higher too - Pakistan added another thirty runs after he was dismissed in the 47th over.

9 - Brian Lara (WI) 139 v Aus at Port-of-Spain in 1995
Another masterclass from Brian Lara as he scored his first century for the West Indies in his native Trinidad. His innings came from just 125 deliveries against an Australian attack which featured McGrath, Fleming, Reiffel and Warne, before the visitors fell away to be dismissed for just 149.

8 - Allan Border (Aus) 127* v WI at Sydney in 1985
He may have scored only three ODI hundreds, but this one was described by opposing captain Clive Lloyd as the best One-day innings he had seen. Rescuing his side from 64 for four against the might of Garner, Holding, Marshall and Davis, he helped lift them to a 26-run triumph.

7 - MS Dhoni (Ind) 183* v SL at Jaipur in 2005
After Kumar Sangakkara had set the tone with an unbeaten 138 to set the home team nearly 300 to win, the Indian wicket-keeper played a career-defining innings - the highest ever by a ODI wicket-keeper - from just 145 deliveries before sealing the victory with his tenth six.

6 - Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) 151* v Ind at Mumbai in 1997
India’s batsmen had found it heavy going as they managed to score just 225 in their fifty overs. Most of the Sri Lankans struggled in a similar manner; however Jayasuriya seemed to be playing a different game to everyone else. He slammed his runs from just 121 balls to win the match with nine overs to spare.

5 - Sanath Jayasuriya (SL) 189 v Ind at Sharjah in 2000
The Sri Lankan dynamo was at it again three years later as his national-record innings led his side to an imposing 299 for five in the Coca Cola Champions Trophy Final. Only Russel Arnold of his team-mates managed to score more than fifteen. A shell-shocked Indian side was humbled for just 54 in response.

4 - Kapil Dev (Ind) 175* v Zim at Tunbridge Wells in 1983
Another match to have entered cricketing folklore, With qualification for the semi-finals in some doubt, India slumped to 17 for five before Kapil began his assault, slamming sixteen fours and six sixes from just 138 deliveries. Not content with that, he followed up with an economical spell to lead India to a narrow victory.

3 - Desmond Haynes (WI) 145* v NZ at Berbice in 1985
The opener’s seventh ODI century was made against a strong bowling attack featuring Richard Hadlee and Ewen Chatfield - second and fifth in the bowling charts at the time. Eight Kiwis were dismissed bowled as they were all out for just 129, less than Haynes managed by himself.

2 - David Gower (Eng) 158 v NZ at Brisbane in 1983
The first Englishman on the list, and it is often forgotten what a successful batsman the languid left-hander was in the shorter format of the game. He entered in the ninth over and faced just 118 balls to lift England to a 54 run victory over a Kiwi side featuring five of the world's top twenty bowlers at the time.

1 - Viv Richards (WI) 189* v Eng at Manchester in 1984
So - twenty-five years on and still no-one has bettered Viv’s monumental effort. It could have been so different as he was on 96 with his team struggling at 166 for nine when last man Michael Holding strode to the crease. What followed is now history as the last wicket pair added 106 in fourteen overs and England were beaten easily.