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Round-up of 2017: Recalling the major events of the year

734   //    31 Dec 2017, 19:04 IST

Australia v Pakistan - 3rd Test: Day 3
Younis Khan scored an unbeaten 175 at Sydney, becoming the first man to score a Test century in 11 different nations

Four whitewashes in a row; Younis Khan achieves a rare feat

For the fourth time in a row, Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in a Test series in Australia, a streak that started in 1999-00 and continued in 2004-05 and 2009-10. But the 2016-17 series saw their veteran Younis Khan walk away with a unique honour. With his 175* at Sydney, he became the first batsman to score a Test hundred in each of the 11 nations to have hosted a Test match. Before him, only Rahul Dravid had a century in 10 countries, excluding the UAE, where he never played a Test.

Resignations from numerous captains

2017 was a year full of resignations from captains. It started with MS Dhoni relinquishing the limited-overs captaincy; then came the turn of Alastair Cook, who quit as England's Test captain. Three days later, Azhar Ali resigned as Pakistan's ODI captain; Angelo Mathews gave up captaincy across formats after finding it difficult to digest a 3-2 home ODI series defeat to Zimbabwe, while AB de Villiers announced that he was relieving himself of ODI leadership after South Africa exited in the group stages of the Champions Trophy.

Bangladesh play Test in India; beat Sri Lanka in their own backyard and Australia at home

17 years after they first played Test cricket, Bangladesh finally got an opportunity to play a Test match in India. While they lost that game, success was to come in the near future. In the second Test of their tour of Sri Lanka, they beat the hosts by four wickets after putting up a massive first innings total and then hunting down 191 on the final day. Just four months later, Australia tasted their first Test defeat at the hands of Bangladesh when the visitors lost the first Test at Dhaka by 20 runs.

Pakistan's first Test series triumph in West Indies; goodbye Misbah and Younis

In an intense series where both teams gave their all, Pakistan took home their first Test series triumph in West Indies by winning 2-1. The victory tasted especially sweet for the retiring veterans Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who bid farewell to international cricket after the third Test. Younis also eclipsed 10,000 Test runs, the first from his country to the feat.

During the series though, a luckless Misbah remained stranded on 99 in the first Test and then fell for the same score in the following game. That preceded a 99 for Paul Stirling in an ODI against Afghanistan and what followed was Jonny Bairstow's own 99 against South Africa in the Old Trafford Test.

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
Pakistan lifted the ICC Champions Trophy by trouncing India in the final

Pakistan win Champions Trophy; England lift Women's World Cup; Zimbabwe beat Sri Lanka 3-2; Ireland and Afghanistan earn Test status; Anil Kumble resigns

In a remarkable comeback, Pakistan fought back to win the Champions Trophy after beating India in the final. Having lost their opening game to the same opposition, Pakistan faced two must-win encounters before the semi-final.

Just over a month later, hosts England overcame a spirited India in the final of the Women's World Cup by 9 runs. In between, Zimbabwe scripted history by coming from behind to seal the ODI series in Sri Lanka 3-2, beating a Full Member away from home after 16 long years.

There were victories for Ireland and Afghanistan too, as they were granted Test match status, thus becoming Full Members of the ICC. Amidst all this, Anil Kumble resigned as India's coach, describing his relations with captain Virat Kohli as “untenable”. And to cap it all off, Moeen Ali took a Test hat-trick against South Africa at The Oval.

England host D/N Test; West Indies chase down 329 at Headingley; India whitewash Sri Lanka 9-0; Pakistan host World XI

England hosted their first day-night Test, at Edgbaston, against West Indies who then shocked them by chasing down 322 at Headingley courtesy Shai Hope's twin centuries. In the process, Hope became the first man in the history of the ground to post two hundreds in a first-class game. Two weeks later, India rounded off a memorable tour of Sri Lanka by clean sweeping the hosts 9-0, winning all the 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and the solitary T20.

Eight years after the Sri Lankan cricket team were attacked in Lahore, a World XI side led by Faf du Plessis landed in Pakistan to play three T20Is, a huge boost for a nation stripped of international cricket since 2009. Ben Stokes, meanwhile, found a reason to be in the headlines, getting involved in a brawl in Bristol. He was arrested and the police are yet to clear him of all charges.

Australia v England - Third Test: Day 5
Australia regained the Ashes after winning the first three Tests of the 2017/18 Ashes Down Under

Rohit Sharma's third ODI double; Fastest T20 century; Ellyse Perry's double ton

In October, David Miller smashed the fastest T20 international century, off 35 balls. Come December, Rohit Sharma elevated himself to further greatness in limited-overs cricket by first bashing his third ODI double hundred – he was already the record holder with two – and then equalling Miller's record of the quickest T20 international hundred. His T20 innings had 108 out of 118 runs in boundaries – a world record for 30 or more runs scored.

Australia's Ellyse Perry smashed 213* in the Women's Ashes Test to register their highest individual score in women's Test cricket.

Australia regain the Ashes; First four-day Test

The most heated rivalry in cricket resumed Down Under but Australia proved too hot to handle as the visitors were blown away in all of the first three Tests. Meanwhile, Boxing Day also brought the inaugural four-day Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth, which also became the maiden day-night Test hosted in the African nation. Zimbabwe were crushed inside two days which included being bowled out for 68 in an innings defeat.

Elsewhere, Alastair Cook carried his bat for 244* in a rain-affected draw against Australia at the MCG.

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A childhood cricket enthusiast, my earliest cricket memory goes back to the 2003 World Cup, when I was 7. With a hobby of cricket commentary and writing from my early days, I earned an invitation for employment by aged only 20, and have also had the opportunity to interact with the great analyst Harsha Bhogle.
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