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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

the charmed history of double tons !!

On Jan 30, 2018 was watching  - India Pak encounter at Christchurch -   it was a comedy of errors – 49.5 Muhammad Musa to Porel, 1 run – that was very crucial – penultimate ball – No.11 – why that it should be -  because at the other end was Shubman Gill stranded at 99* - it was a simple run out chance ..  Ishan Chandranath Porel heaved a sigh of relief  !! - So – it was 49.6 -  Muhammad Musa to Shubman Gill,  hits high, the nervous Pak gets under it makes a mess, drop – gill runs 2, completes century – and that was a no ball, a free-hit !  - Shubman Gill’s day !! 

Do you know the significance of Test no. 16 - 3rd Test, The Oval, August 11 - 13, 1884, Australia tour of England  !!  - more specifically a feat achieved by Murdoch !?!?


William Lloyd Murdoch   was an Australian cricketer who captained the Australian national side in 16 Test matches between 1880 and 1890. This included four tours of England, one of which, in 1882, gave rise to The Ashes. In 2019 Murdoch was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.  He played in the second Test match ever played, the 1877 clash against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Later that year, he qualified as a solicitor and opened up a practice, "Murdoch & Murdoch", with his brother Gilbert, although it was short-lived, going bankrupt in 1877.

Moving to limited Over International matches, long after Glenn Turner’s 171 came the epic knock of Kapil Dev and for decades 200 was considered unachievable.    The first double century in ODI was scored by Australian women cricketer Belinda Clarke in 1997 – yes the first was not a batsman but woman – on 16th Dec 1997  skipper of Australian women’s cricket team Belinda Clark  smashed an unbeaten 229 off just 155 balls against Denmark in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup match played at MIG Ground, Mumbai to propel Australia to a mammoth 412 for 3 against Denmark.  There is another women double centurion too – in June 2018, New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr entered the record books by scoring the highest individual score in women’s ODIs.   Kerr also became the joint third-youngest (17 years and 243 days) woman to score an ODI century when she was promoted to open the innings for the first time in her career. She also became the youngest ever to score a double-century across formats in international cricket.  

Last month (Dec 2022) -  it was a brilliant classy innings from the left hander Ishan Kishan who before getting caught in the deep by Litton Das off Taskin Ahmed made 210 off just 131 balls studded with 24 fours and 10 sixers !! – with that he joined  the elite list of double centurions of ODI – Rohit Sharma (264, 209,208*); Martin Guptil 237*; Virender Sehwag 219; Chris Gayle 215; Fakhar Zaman 210*; Sachin Tendulkar 200* - and Belinda Clarke and Amelia Kerr.  

Today it is another batter  whose place in the team  was questioned because the batter who replaced him when he was resting scored a double-hundred. Shubman Gill has now scored one of his own, after making 70, 21 and 116 in his first three innings since his return. This wasn't the easiest of tracks for batting: the next-best score after Gill's 208 off 149 balls today  was Rohit Sharma's 34, and India's 349 for 8 was the lowest score in any ODI innings to feature a double-century.


Gill, looked sublime- attracted everybody with back-foot punch,   extra-cover drive and  dismissive pulls were all on display.  Gill got to 99 with a six, and reached his hundred next ball, bringing up the landmark off 86 balls, moments after Suryakumar's dismissal.   Blair Tickner was taken for two sixes in the 48th, and a hat-trick of sixes off Ferguson in the 49th brought up the double.  With this he has become the youngest to score a double ton in Men’s ODI.  

Getting back to Test no. 16 -  Victorian-born, Murdoch made his  Test debut  in 1877, in the second Test match to be played. Murdoch began his career as a wicket-keeper, but at Test level kept wicket only once, with Jack Blackham being preferred. As a batsman, Murdoch scored both the first double century in Test cricket (211 against England in 1884) and the first triple century in Australian domestic cricket (321 against Victoria in 1882).    

The Indian record occurred in  Test no. 416  1st Test, Hyderabad (Deccan),  in Nov 1955 in the first Test to be played between the India and New Zealand.  Polly Umrigar and Vijay Manjrekar, both scored  centuries, adding  238 for the third wicket, a record for Indian Test cricket.  Polly Umrigar, batting nearly eight and a half hours, scored 223, until then the highest individual score for India.  Another century came from the aggressive debutant – hailing from Madras –  Amritsar Govindsingh Kripal Singh who added  171 for the fourth wicket.  There was another debutant, Venkatraman Narayan Swamy, a pacer from Kerala, who ended up playing that one solitary test.  

Interesting !!  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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