The dream of any cricketer is to perform exceptionally on the cricket field. A cricketer strives to give his best on the cricket field every time he represents his country, state, county, or franchise.
A birthday is a special occasion in the life of every individual, and the same is no exception for a cricketer. There have been a few cricketers who have achieved some special feats on their birthdays, and gave themselves as well as their team a perfect birthday present.
Here is a look at 5 such cricketers who celebrated their birthday in style by tasting success on the cricket field:
#1. Sachin Tendulkar
The master-blaster celebrated his 25th birthday in style. The opener played one of his best ODI innings on that day, and led India to an impressive win.
A couple of days before his birthday, Sachin Tendulkar single-handedly took India to the final of a tri-nation tournament in Sharjah by scoring an impressive 143 runs against Australia.
The day of the final, which happened to be his 25th birthday, witnessed another special innings by Tendulkar. Chasing a target of 273 runs, Tendulkar once again dominated the bowling from the word go. The likes of Damien Fleming, Michael Kasprowicz, Shane Warne, and Tom Moody were all taken to the cleaners by the right-hander.
The right-hander blasted 134 runs off 131 balls that included 12 boundaries and 3 huge sixes. For the second time in as many games, Tendulkar single-handedly led India to victory in the Coca Cola Cup against Australia.
#2. Peter Siddle
Peter Siddle had a memorable 26th birthday. He achieved a feat that no other bowler on their birthday has previously achieved.
Siddle is the first and, till date, the only cricketer to bag a hat-trick on his birthday. In the first Test of the 2010 Ashes series at the Gabba in Brisbane, Siddle made the first afternoon of the first day a memorable one.
In the 65th over of the innings, the fast bowler dismissed Alastair Cook on the third ball, clean bowled Matt Prior on the fourth ball, and then had Stuart Broad trapped leg before wicket on the fifth ball to completed a fabulous hat-trick.
The Gabba Test ended in a draw but will always be remembered for Siddle's birthday hat-trick.
#3. Yuvraj Singh
The left-handed middle-order batsman celebrated his 28th birthday in style. Yuvraj Singh, a vital member of India's T20 outfit in 2009, played a match-winning innings against a visiting Sri Lankan team on his 28th birthday.
In a T20 match played in Mohali on 12th December, 2009, Sri Lanka scored 206 runs in their allotted 20 overs. Yuvraj Singh picked up 3 wickets for 23 runs with the ball in the 3 overs he bowled. The target of 207 looked like a steep one for Team India.
However, coming in to bat at number 5, the local boy smashed an unbeaten 60 off just 25 balls, that included 3 boundaries and 5 sixes. He completed dominated the hapless Sri Lankan bowling on the day. With an exceptional strike rate of 240, the left-hander once again showed his brilliance with the bat, and was duly named the Man of the Match in the said game.
In the process, Yuvraj Singh gave a perfect birthday gift to himself as well as his fans, as India celebrated a memorable victory.
#4. Jason Gillispie
The former Australian fast bowler, Jason Gillespie, had an exceptional 31st birthday. He scored the only double hundred of his Test career against Bangladesh in the 2006 Test in Chattogram.
After dismissing Bangladesh for 197 in the first innings, Australia sent Gillespie as the night-watchman, and he did not disappoint. He went on to score an unbeaten 201 off 425 balls to etch his name in the record books. Gillespie is the only night-watchman in Test history to score a double hundred. To achieve the feat on his birthday made it more special.
It was indeed a proud moment for Gillespie, as Australia easily won the Test by an innings and 80 runs. Perhaps, surprisingly, it was the last time Gillespie happened to feature in a Test match.
#5. Ross Taylor
In a 2011 World Cup game against Pakistan in Kandy, Ross Taylor played an incredible innings on his 27th birthday.
The middle-order batsman, who reached 69 runs off 108 balls, was struggling to middle the ball. However, off his next 16 balls, Taylor shifted gears with consummate ease. The New Zealander smashed 4 boundaries and 7 sixes during this period, before eventually remaining unbeaten on 131 off 124 balls.
The onslaught by Taylor was a special one as his team posted an impressive total of 302. In reply, Pakistan, in reply, were bundled out for 192, as New Zealand won the match by a comfortable margin of 110 runs.