Cricket is a “Gentleman’s Game” that has long fascinated millions of sportspersons and spectators all over the world. There were numerous occasions in the history of cricket where time itself seemed to have stopped to take a deep breath. New records were registered and old ones tumbled away. These are the sights that find a permanent place in the memory lane of cricket fans and fanatics alike, and continue to stand in the league of their own for decades. Here is a compiled list of top 10 sights in modern day cricket that would surely enthrall the devotees of the game.
10. Sandstorm in Sharjah:
There are very few sights in modern-day cricket that challenge the one witnessed during the sandstorm in Sharjah. It was in 1998, during an encounter with Aussies, when Sachin Tendulkar helped India to qualify for the finals with his sterling performance despite sandstorm playing havoc and interrupting the match several times. It is also called as “Sandstorm Innings” and regarded as one of the best ever in the all time history of cricket.
9. Gayle storm:
Chris Gayle is the first batsman in the history of cricket to score a century in all three existing cricket formats — T-20, ODI and Test. His centuries have been always special but he also holds a special record to his name which is becoming the first batsman to carry his bat through the innings in a match against Sri Lanka in the T-20 World Cup of 2009. This was a real awesome sight for cricket lovers across the world.
It was not the first time that a cricket match (in any format) was decided through bowl-out. But the one that happened in the 2007 T-20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was certainly special. The match had ended in a tie and the bowl-out was arranged to decide a winner. India won comfortably by a score of 3-0. It was one of a kind and can be called one of the top sights in modern day cricket, at least by Indian fans.
7. Sehwag’s triple magic:
Virender Sehwag, often referred to as ‘Veeru’, is among the atypical breed of batsmen who play their very own game. Scoring a triple ton is in itself an onerous task and even greats are often devoid of such an enthralling achievement in their lifetime. Nevertheless, Sehwag is the only player other than Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Sir Donald Bradman to achieve the feat twice. He scored his second triple ton in a match against South Africa amassing 319 runs, entertaining viewers all over.
6. Boom Boom Afridi:
In the year 1996, a young bloke from interiors of Pakistan entered the scene in a match against the mighty Sri Lankan cricket team of the time to surprise everyone. He showcased his marvelous power packed hitting skills to break the record of Sanath Jayasuriya’s fastest ODI century utilizing just 37 balls. Such was his power packed play that he dispatched 11 balls flying out of the boundary line to completely thwart the Sri Lankan bowling attack in submission. Shahid Afridi had arrived.
5. Highest run chase in ODI’s:
It was in 2005-06 season that the 5th One-Day International Cricket Match between Australia and South Africa was played in Johannesburg when something unprecedented happened. Australia was all poised for an easy victory over the Proteas after scoring a mammoth 434 in their limited quota of 50 overs. However, Herschelle Gibbs and company had something else in store and destroyed the party for the Aussies by achieving the target with one ball to spare.
4. Six sixes:
South Africa hadn’t had the luck to see this before but they enjoyed it as England was at the receiving end. Yuvraj Singh was all fire during the T-20 World Cup match against England in Durban. It was a young pacer from England, Stuart Broad, who really had a bad day when the hard-hitting southpaw from Punjab smashed him for six consecutive sixes.
3. Double ton in ODI’s:
One-Day Internationals require a batsman to score with brisk pace, composure and timing in order to record impressive figures on the batting scorecard. To top it all, registration of a double ton against the name requires a Herculean task. So who better than the God of Cricket himself? Sachin Tendulkar silenced everyone by achieving the impossible in a match against South Africa in the year 2010. He scored 200 not out to become the first batsman in history to do so.
2. 100th hundred:
Even the most optimistic of the cricket expert did not think anyone could score a 100th hundred. A century of hundreds seemed like an impossible feat to achieve for decades till Sachin Tendulkar rasied hopes. Tendulkar accomplished the milestone in a match against Bangladesh in 2012 Asia Cup. His single off Shakib al-Hasan’s delivery brought tears of joy in countless eyes across the subcontinent. It was also a personal achievement for Tendulkar as it was a whole year since he slammed a century.
1. Ball of the century:
This stands on top among all the best sights that modern cricket can possibly boast of. On the day of first Test of the Ashes in the year 1993, Mike Gatting received the surprise of his life. A ball from a young leg spinner from Australia, who later on went on to become as the best spinner the game has ever seen, surprised everyone including the experts, commentators and spectators. The delivery landed far outside the leg stump of the batsman and spun to hit the off stump, right through Gatting’s legs. The Aussie ensured no one forgets his name for years to come. His name? Who else but Shane Warne!