Top 5 ODI batting performances of 2018
International cricketing standards have seen significant improvement in quality since the inception of the shortest format of the game and with the administrators changing the rules for One Day games, it has become more exciting for the fans. We have seen a few brilliant performances with the bat which have been a demonstration of sheer grit and determination.
Below is the list of best five batting performances of the year.
#1 Ross Taylor -181*(147) vs England, Napier
This innings stands out amongst all and Ross Taylor would probably proudly acknowledge that this was his career’s best performance. England entered the match as favourites having won the last two games against the home side. While chasing a total of 336, Kiwis lost the first three wickets in quick succession and this brought Taylor in the middle.
Taylor started off well and got support from Tom Latham. They fostered a partnership to ensure New Zealand win the match to level the series before the series decider is played at Christchurch.
Taylor kept accumulating runs and steadied the ship. This helped him reach his 19th ODI century but a re-occurrence of his thigh injury hindered his movement.
He injured himself diving to make a second run shortly after reaching his hundred. This made it difficult to take those quick singles and the swashbuckling batsman thought of dealing in boundaries.
New Zealand finally managed to win the match off the last over with three balls to spare and thereby maintaining their record of not losing a match at Napier. The innings becomes all the more valuable as Ross showed absolute devotion and limped away to victory.
#2 Jason Roy- 180(151) vs Australia, MCG
England were humiliated this summer having lost the Ashes to the Aussies and they would restore their lost glory with exemplary performances in the ODI series. But with both teams being highly competitive, it was expected to be a good contest in the first game of the series.
When you chase a mammoth total of 305, you would always expect the top order to stand up to the cause. This was what Jason Roy did at the Melbourne Cricket Ground playing against a reasonably good bowling attack comprising of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. His intent was clear and he would not excuse loose deliveries pitched outside off.
While Aussies chipped in with two early wickets, Jason had to ensure that he along with Root, took England past the winning mark. From 60-2, they built a partnership of 221 runs dominating the Australian bowling attack at ease. Roy was adjudged LBW on 91 by on-field umpire Simon Fry but the decision was over-turned after the review. Roy didn’t look back after this and kept scoring. While he reached 150 off 126 balls, Root kept anchoring the innings from the other side.
Jason Roy also now has the record for the highest ODI score at the MCG, beating Mark Waugh's 173 against West Indies in 2001.
#3 Jos Buttler- 110*(122) vs Australia, Old Trafford
This was the last match of the bilateral series and the Australians have been handed a thumping defeat. Having lost the series 4-0, this was the closest they came to win in this series. The stakes were high for Australia. They would have been whitewashed for the first time if they lost this match. This could be seen how they approached this match. While chasing a total of 206, English players looked startled by the Aussie comeback.
With 8 wickets down for 114, the match was slipping out from England grip. England could only rely on Jos Buttler who stayed till the end to ensure they go past the winning score. When the ninth wicket fell and England were 11 short of the target, Buttler casually played the next ball back over the bowler's head and into the crowd to bring up his century from 117 balls. This innings was played under immense pressure .Besides Buttler, no other English batsman scored more than 20 in this match.
England won the match with nine balls to spare and Australia’s bowling efforts went in vain.
#4 Virat Kohli-160*(159) vs South Africa, Capetown
The Indian skipper has been in sublime form all throughout the year and he could be seen taking on a fiercely combative South African bowling attack with subtle ease. South Africa decided to field after winning the toss. As the quicks came into the attack, opener Rohit Sharma was sent back to the pavilion in the very first over. Virat and Shikhar Dhawan managed to build a partnership but after Dhawan’s dismissal, wickets kept falling at the other end. Virat seemed to be running the show single handedly with no assistance from the middle order. While his team felt it uneasy against the bounce, Virat's show continued with an undisturbed mind hitting balls on merit. India went on to register 303 at the end of 50 overs.
South Africa got bundled at 179 and India won the match by 124 runs. Virat Kohli was rightly declared the Man of the Match for his display of artistry.
#5 David Miller- 139 (108) vs Australia, Hobart
This was the deciding match of the three match series at Hobart. When South Africa toured Australia, they looked firm favorites. The match started off with Australia picking early wickets leaving South Africans at 55-3. This was when David Miller and Francois Du Plessis came together and rescued their side. It was an exhibition of absolute skill and class. Miller composed the innings with a humble beginning before he would cause havoc. The score was 215-4 at the end of 40 overs.
Both batsmen gathered momentum but offered contrasting styles and troubled the scores. The score was 213-3 at the end of 42 overs and by the time Du Plessis got out, they had taken the total to 307. The last fifteen balls of this stand added 50 runs to the total.
Their partnership of 252 surpassed the previous record of 222 between Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan, at Docklands in 2000, as the biggest ever stand in Australia v South Africa ODIs.
South Africa went on to win the match by 40 runs and David Miller was adjudged the Man of the Match.