Top 10 centuries by tail-enders in international cricket

Mrinal Narang

There’s a particular thrill about watching a sportsman awkwardly trying his hand at a foreign trade. While the batsmen may be spared from humiliating themselves with the ball in hand, the poor old bowlers have no choice but to pad up and head out, straight into the firing line. 

Some like Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath, and Chris Martin remained utterly clueless with the bat in hand, others such as Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh have often excelled at the task better than most. Even a few runs contributed to the team’s cause provides immense satisfaction, however, a hundred is equivalent to a gold mine. No matter how many wickets or five-wicket hauls, the joy in reaching that three-figure mark is unparalleled.

There have been several instances where a tail-ender i.e, batting at number 8 or beyond, went on to score historic hundreds in test cricket (None in ODI’s and T20I’s). Here are 10 of the best:

Note: Jason Gilespie’s mind-boggling 201* against Bangladesh has not been included in this list as it was scored batting as a nightwatchman at number three. 

#10 R. Ashwin – 103 vs. West Indies, Mumbai (2011)

The sell-out crowd at the Wankhede Stadium had come in anticipation of a century. But the hundred that was witnessed on the fourth day was not the one the fans wanted.

Even as Sachin Tendulkar fell agonizingly close of that elusive 100th hundred yet again, one man remained unfazed through it all. R. Ashwin backed up his five-wicket haul with a classy maiden test hundred. At a time when India were facing the prospect of a humiliating follow-on on a rather flat track in Mumbai, Ashwin and Kohli helped reduce the deficit to a far more respectful 108.

With another four-wicket haul from Ashwin in the second innings, West Indies were bundled out for 134, setting a target of 243 from 67 overs on the final day. Kohli and Ashwin were in the thick of it again as India were left wobbling by Ravi Rampaul, securing a dramatic draw off the last ball.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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