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5 batsmen who scored most ODI runs before their first century

The list features two of the most highly acclaimed captains in the game's history.

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 18 Feb 2018, 23:03 IST
17.31K

Mark Boucher South Africa Cricket
Boucher brought up his first and only ODI century off just 44 balls against Zimbabwe

We are fast-approaching the golden jubilee mark since the first One Day International (ODI) was played between England and Australia in 1971 with the format undergoing a number of changes over the years.

From the 60-over format and eight-ball overs, the ODI format is 11 World Cups old and though it may be struggling to remain in contention in comparison to the frenzy of T20 cricket and serenity of Test cricket, it still has plenty of cricket fans rooting for it.

As is any other format, the spectators love to see runs being scored with the batsmen getting most of the adulation from the cricketing faithful. Unfair yes, but that's how the game is.

Getting an ODI century is no mean feat with very little time to settle down and get going, especially if your team is chasing a big target.

Still, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar managed to bag 49 of them by the time he retired from the sport but it was by no means an easy start for the Indian Master Blaster.

It took 78 matches for Tendulkar to score his 1st ODI hundred and break the shackles that were perhaps holding him back mentally from reaching the three-figure mark.

There were many other players who took much longer than Tendulkar to score their maiden ODI hundred with former South African all-rounder Shaun Pollock playing the most innings - 189 to be precise - before reaching the landmark figure.

But when it comes to the most number of runs scored before scoring their maiden ODI century, neither of the above two players feature in the Top 5, with the countdown beginning with another South African batsman who made it an innings to remember when he finally managed to breach the 100-run mark.

#5 Mark Boucher

Matches - 219; Innings - 159; Runs - 3183; Average - 26.52; HS - 76

The former wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher was an ever-present in the Proteas line-up since making his debut in 1998 and was brilliant behind the stumps as his 425 career dismissals in the ODI format suggest.

Boucher was also a useful batsman lower down the order who had the ability to accelerate the scoring in the slog overs.

Usually coming in to bat at the No 6 or No 7 spot, Boucher found little time to play a big knock and that explains why he took as many 220 ODIs to score his maiden century in the format - 8 years since making his debut.

Batting for the 159th time in his ODI career, Boucher tore apart the Zimbabwean bowling attack to bring up his century off just 44 balls. He ultimately remained unbeaten on 147 off just 68 balls as South Africa piled up 418 runs and won the match by 151 runs.

This happened to be Boucher's one and only century in his ODI career as he finished with a run tally of 4686 runs from 295 ODIs at an average of 28.57.

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