Suppose a batsman is going berserk and unleashing some delightful strokes to entertain the audience present at the ground, who has the best seat amongst all them? Who is getting to witness the carnage from the best position possible?
In Cricket, the non-striking batsman often adorns the best seat on the ground as he gets to see his partner creating mayhem at the other end. They often saw their partners create history in front of their eyes and achieve monumental feats.
Let’s have a look at some of the luckiest non-strikers who witnessed history being made right in front of them.
Note: We picked 5 of the most unbelievable records across all the formats
1) Ridley Jacobs – Brian Lara’s 400
Well, the West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman couldn’t have asked for more. Just six months after losing the record of the highest score in Tests to Mathew Hayden, Brian Charles Lara reclaimed it with some audacity as he stroked a magnificent 400 against England on the ground where he previously made 375 ten years back.
And Jacobs was the man who saw it all this time around. In the 4th test of the series between England and West Indies, Lara made merry at the Antigua Recreation Ground, St John's, Antigua to make the first quadruple century in the history of international cricket.
Jacobs himself scored 107 in that game, and the West Indies were able to save themselves from the blushes of an ignominious whitewash, as the fourth and last Test petered out to a draw.
2) MS Dhoni – Yuvraj’s six sixes & Sachin’s ODI double hundred
What would you say if you ever get to watch someone hitting six sixes in an over, and that too in an international game against a formidable opponent?
MS Dhoni had the opportunity to witness that as his partner Yuvraj Singh went all guns blazing to not only six sixes in Stuart Broad’s over in a T20 World Cup match in 2007, but also made a fifty off just 12 balls, which still is a record in any international game.
MS Dhoni had a wry smile on his face and he was seen enjoying every bit of it with his marauding partner, Yuvraj, who ‘absolutely unleashed’ himself that day.
Well, MS Dhoni must consider himself very privileged as he also saw Sachin Tendulkar scoring the first ever double hundred in Men’s ODI cricket from the non-striker’s end. In a game against South Africa in Gwalior in 2010, the Indian batting maestro struck 200 off 147 balls to create history and the Indian skipper MS Dhoni was there, at the other end, to congratulate the master.
3) Chris Cairns – Nathan Astle’s fastest double hundred
Not often do you get to see someone scoring a double hundred in Tests in around 150 balls. Well, New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle did just that in a Test against England in Christchurch in 2002 by making a double ton in just 153 balls and the record still stands.
Astle went berserk and treated the English bowlers with utter disdain to play one of the breathtaking knocks in the history of Test cricket. Though it came in a losing cause, it gave England a scare they would never forget. And the man who witnessed Astle’s double from the other end was Chris Cairns, who possibly had the ‘best seat’ on the ground that day.
Chasing an improbable 550 in the 4th innings, Astle launched a marauding attack on the English bowlers to score 222 off just 168 balls, hitting 28 fours and 11 towering sixes.
His effort fell short as New Zealand lost that game by 98 runs, but no one could ever forget that monumental effort by Nathan Astle.
4) Hashim Amla – AB de Villiers fastest ODI hundred
In the second ODI of the series between South Africa and West Indies in Johannesburg, AB de Villiers unleashed carnage as he made an ODI hundred off just 31 balls to eclipse the record of Corey Anderson, who scored a hundred off 36 balls.
In the game, where South Africa scored a mammoth 439 in 50 overs, three South African players scored a hundred- Hashim Amla, Rilee Rossouw and AB de Villiers.
Amla, who scored 153, saw AB’s razzmatazz from the other end, and surely everyone would envy Amla for that. The ever-so-versatile cricketer, AB, toyed with the West Indies bowlers to hit 9 fours and 16 sixes to score one of the most blistering knocks in the history of ODI cricket.
5) Suresh Raina – Sachin’s hundredth hundred
Can anyone really score hundred international hundreds? Had you asked this question 10 years back, you probably would have found a lot of faces blankly staring at you.
Well, the Master Blaster made this outlandish though a reality when he scored his 100th international hundred in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in 2012 and ended a year-long wait for one of the most discussed landmarks in cricket history. Tendulkar made his 49th ODI hundred on that day to cap off an incredible feat.(He has 51 centuries in Tests)
The luckiest person, in this case, is definitely Suresh Raina who saw history being made in front of his eyes. Though Tendulkar’s hundred faced a lot of criticism because of the slowness of his knock (his hundred came in 138 balls) and India also lost that game to Bangladesh despite scoring 289 batting first.
However, none can deny the fact that the feat was truly a historic one and will definitely take some beating.
Raina surely has a story to tell to his grandchildren.