‘Cricket is a batsman’s game’. This sentence has been a common cliche in cricketing circles which is often used to describe how several aspects of the game have been designed to suit the needs of the men wielding the bat. However, it cannot be denied that there is still a lot of skill and hard work required in order to succeed as a batsman in international cricket.
Perhaps the most celebrated feat in every batsman’s career is scoring a century but it doesn’t get any better than scoring one in your very first match. Most recently, young South African batsman Temba Bavuma cracked a hundred on his ODI debut against Ireland and joined an exclusive club of batsmen.
Also Read: Most runs on debut in Test Cricket
Here are 10 others who notched up tons while playing their first ODI match:
#10 KL Rahul (India)
KL Rahul is one of the newest entrants in the club of batsmen with a debut ODI century. The young Indian batsman achieved this feat in June this year in a match against Zimbabwe at Harare and became the first player from his country to achieve this feat.
Team India needed just 169 runs to win the first ODI of a 3-match series against the Zimbabweans and they cruised to victory courtesy of Rahul’s knock of 100 off 115 balls. The innings included 7 fours and a solitary six and the 24-year old had a strike rate of nearly 87.
The Karnataka batsman currently has a phenomenal batting average of 196 in the 3 ODI matches that he has played.
#9 Michael Lumb (England)
Left-handed English batsman Michael Lumb was already 34 when made his one-day international debut. However, he ensured that he made it count by becoming only the second cricketer from England to hit an ODI century in his very first match.
It was the first encounter of a 3-match series between West Indies and England played at North Sound, Antigua. The hosts posted a formidable total of 269 on the board for the English to chase and Lumb looked like taking his team to an easy victory with some fine batting.
By the time he was dismissed in the 37th over, the southpaw had scored 106 off 117 deliveries with 2 sixes and 7 fours. However, the batsmen that followed were unable to match Michael Lumb’s heroics and England lost by 15 runs.
#8 Phil Hughes (Australia)
The first thing that comes to mind about Phil Hughes is his untimely death after being hit on the head by a bouncer during a domestic game. However, one must also remember that he was a highly talented batsman who represented the Australian side across all formats of the game.
Having made his Test debut in the year 2009, it took Hughes almost 4 years to make it to his country’s ODI team. The left-handed batsman opened the innings in his debut match against Sri Lanka and top-scored with a strokeful 112 in a team total of 305 for 5.
In the process, Phil Hughes became the first and only Australian so far to have hit a century in his first ODI. Australia won the match comfortably by a margin of 107 runs and Hughes received the Man of the Match award.
#7 Rob Nicol (New Zealand)
Rob Nicol is a right-handed opening batsman who has played 2 Tests, 22 ODIs and 21 T20Is in his career for New Zealand thus far. Nicol made his 50-over cricket debut against Zimbabwe at Harare in October 2011, more than a year after his debut in the T20I format.
The Zimbabweans won the toss and batted in the first of 3 ODIs but could manage just 231 in their 50 overs. Sent in to open the batting alongside Martin Guptill, Rob Nicol anchored the Kiwi chase with an unbeaten innings of 108 and took his team to a 9-wicket victory.
Nicol was named the ‘Man of the Match’ for a special batting effort in his debut game.
#6 Colin Ingram (South Africa)
Left-handed South African batsman Colin Ingram may be off the selectors’ radar at the moment but he had offered a lot of promise during his early days in international cricket. On his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2010, Ingram became the first Proteas cricketer to hit a debut hundred.
South Africa batted first in the opening match of a 3-match bilateral series and Ingram walked in at the fall of skipper Graeme Smith’s wicket. What followed was a spectacular knock of 124 off 126 balls from the debutant which propelled the team score to 351 for 6 in 50 overs.
The South Africans won by a margin of 64 runs and Colin Ingram won the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
#5 Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s Martin Guptill is presently one of the most dangerous batsmen in limited-overs cricket. Although he may be struggling a bit in his Test career, Guptill has already established his credentials in both ODIs and T20Is and has performed consistently for the Kiwis in both formats.
The right-handed batsman showed early signs of being perfect for ODI cricket when he slammed a century in his debut match against West Indies at Auckland in 2009. In the 4th ODI of a 5-match series, Martin Guptill was given the opportunity to open the innings and he made it count.
With an unbeaten 122-run innings, he helped New Zealand post a highly competitive total of 275 for 4 on the board. Unfortunately for Martin Guptill, though, his efforts went in vain as the match got washed out due to rain after just 10.3 overs of play in the West Indian innings.
#4 Saleem Elahi (Pakistan)
Former Pakistani opening batsman Saleem Elahi had an international career which spanned for more than 8 years, a period during which he played 13 Tests and 48 ODIs. He made his debut in the 50-over format with a magnificent century against Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in 1995 and is the only Pakistani cricketer to do so.
Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s century helped the Sri Lankans set Pakistan a target of 234 to chase in their 50 overs. Saleem Elahi opened the innings alongside Aamer Sohail and the duo put together a 156-run partnership which put their team in the driver’s seat.
Even after Sohail was dismissed, Elahi carried on in Rameez Raja’s company and guided the Pakistanis to a 9-wicket win. The right-hander scored 102 off 133 deliveries and deservedly claimed the ‘Man of the Match’ award.
#3 Andy Flower (Zimbabwe)
Andy Flower is undoubtedly the best Zimbabwean batsman of all time and his career statistics provide ample proof of this fact. He represented his country in 63 Tests and 213 ODIs between the years 1992 and 2003 and piled on the runs for them in both formats.
The southpaw did not waste any time in showing the cricketing world his immense talent as he scored a debut hundred against Sri Lanka in a 1992 World Cup encounter. Flower’s 115 off 152 balls aided Zimbabwe in posting a huge total of 312 for 4 on the board.
The Zimbabweans bowlers, however, failed to do their part and Andy Flower was unfortunate to end up on the losing side but he still won the ‘Man of the Match’ prize.
#2 Desmond Haynes (West Indies)
Great West Indian batsman Desmond Haynes is easily one of the finest ODI cricketers of all time. In a one-day career which saw him play 238 matches, Haynes scored 8648 runs at an average of more than 40 with 17 centuries and 57 fifties against his name.
Haynes’ first international match was an ODI against Australia at St John’s, Antigua in 1978 and he produced a sterling effort to help the West Indies secure victory. With a destructive 148 from just 136 balls, he ensured that his team posted a total of 313 for 9.
Due to a rain intervention, the Aussies were given a revised target of 226 which they needed to score in 36 overs. The visitors fell short by 44 runs and Desmond Haynes picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his great innings.
#1 Dennis Amiss (England)
England’s Dennis Amiss was a prolific batsman and will always be remembered as the man who scored the first ever century in ODI cricket. It was only the 2nd match ever in limited-overs cricket and the opening game of the first ever bilateral one-day series.
Australia won the toss and batted, registering a score of 222 for 8 in 55 overs thanks to fifties from Ian Chappell and Ross Edwards. Dennis Amiss opened the England innings and led from the front with 103 off 134 balls, becoming the first batsman to score a century as well as one on debut.
The English team won quite comfortably by 6 wickets and Amiss received the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his stellar effort.
Special Mention: In the year 2015, Mark Chapman of Hong Kong scored a century on debut against UAE in the ICC World Cricket League Championship and became the only player from an associate nation to achieve this feat.