Scoring a century in any format of the game is special. And while it is no longer seen as a sensational achievement considering the frequency at which it is registered these days, it remains a dream for any aspiring cricketer nonetheless.
Speaking of ODIs, the chances of scoring a hundred are a bit trickier than Tests, especially for middle-order batsmen, due to the paucity of overs. Then again, the challenges that Test cricket offer balance things out.
With the advent of the IPL and many like-minded domestic leagues across the globe, notching hundreds has become all the more easy for batsmen, as they are so attuned to scoring fast. Interestingly though, there have been quite a few instances in international cricket over the years where batsmen have either been stranded on 99, or have been dismissed one short of a hundred.
In this feature, we take a look at six famous batsmen who have a 99 not out to their name in ODIs.
#6 Dean Jones
Aussie batsman-turned-commentator Dean Jones was stranded on 99 not out in the 13th match of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup against Sri Lanka at Adelaide, played on 28 January 1985.
Sri Lanka elected to field first after winning the toss, and Jones could not complete his hundred as the 50 overs had run out. The No. 3 bat remained unbeaten on 99 from 77 balls, having hit four fours and three sixes.
It was a match dominated by the Aussie batsmen as skipper Allan Border remained unbeaten on 118 from 88 balls.
Under pressure, the Lankans crumbled to 91 all out. Only two Sri Lankan batsmen managed to get into double figures as the batting side folded up in 35.5 overs.
For Australia, Rod McCurdy claimed 3 for 19 while Geoff Lawson, Simon O'Donnell and Kepler Wessels picked up two scalps each.
#5 Richie Richardson
Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson was unbeaten on 99 in the first match of the Rothmans Sharjah Cup against Pakistan, played at Sharjah on 15 November 1985.
West Indies were chasing a mere 199 to win the contest and Richardson got 99 in 141 balls, but couldn’t get to a hundred as West Indies crossed Pakistan’s target before that. Richardson opened the innings, and after Desmond Haynes was dismissed for a duck by Wasim Akram, held the innings together. His knock featured 11 fours and one six.
Richardson was well supported by captain Viv Richards, who chipped in with 51 from 50 balls.
Earlier, Pakistan opener Mohsin Khan made an unbeaten 86 from 126 balls with five fours and a six to take the team to a reasonable 196 for 4 in the 45-over contest. But the West Indies batting proved to be too strong for Pakistan.
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