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Monday, March 19, 2012

Cricket Milestone: 100 Centuries in 100 Games

This past week, India celebrated as one of its cricket players scored 100 centuries (a century = 100 runs) in 100 international games. Sachin Tendulkar made history with this rare accomplishment last Friday. The game was against Bangladesh. His 99th century game was in March of last year. Even his millions of fans had begun to grow restless, wondering if his 100th would ever come. But come it did, much to the delight and surprise of the spectators. "His 100th century is 29 more centuries than his nearest challenger on the all-time list, Australia's Ricky Ponting," wrote 'The Telegraph'.

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Now back to the sport of Cricket. Cricket is a team sport for two teams of eleven players each. A formal game of cricket can last anywhere from an afternoon to several days. Although the game play and rules are very different, the basic concept of cricket is similar to that of baseball. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs, while the opposing team fields and tries to bring an end to the batting team's innings. After each team has batted an equal number of innings (either one or two, depending on conditions chosen before the game), the team with the most runs wins.

(Note: In cricket-speak, the word "innings" is used for both the plural and the singular. "Inning" is a term used only in baseball.)

A cricket field is a roughly elliptical field of flat grass, ranging in size from about 90 to 150 meters (100-160 yards) across, bounded by an obvious fence or other marker. There is no fixed size or shape for the field, although large deviations from a low-eccentricity ellipse are discouraged. In the center of the field, and usually aligned along the long axis of the ellipse, is the pitch, a carefully prepared rectangle of closely mown and rolled grass over hard-packed earth. It is marked with white lines, called creases, like this:

The dimensions are in centimeters (divide by 2.54 for inches).

The official Test Cricket nations are currently: England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh.

The West Indies is actually a consortium of Caribbean countries: Barbados; Jamaica; Guyana; The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antigua and Barbuda; St. Kitt's-Nevis; Dominica; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Montserrat; and Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Minor cricketing nations (which do not play Test cricket, but do compete for a place in the World Cup One-Day competition) include: Ireland, Kenya, Fiji, Canada, The Netherlands, USA.

In the sport of cricket, a batsman reaches his century when he scores 100 or more runs in a single inning. Sachin Tendulkar made history when he became the first batsman in history to score 100 centuries. Here's a list of those players who have scored centuries in their career, with a minimum of 22 test match centuries (some of these numbers may have gone up by the time you read this post).

Most century in test match cricket by a batsman in career.

Batsman (Country) 100s Tests 50s NO Best 0s
Sachin Tendulkar (India) 51 188 65 32 248* 14
Jacques Kallis (South Africa) 42 151 55 39 224 14
Ricky Ponting (Australia) 41 162 60 28 257 16
Rahul Dravid (India) 36 164 63 32 270 8
Sunil Gavaskar (India) 34 125 45 16 236* 12
Brian Lara (West Indies) 34 131 48 6 400* 17
Steve Waugh (Australia) 32 168 50 46 200 22
Mathew Hayden (Australia) 30 103 29 14 380 14
Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) 29 128 40 13 374 11
Don Bradman (Australia) 29 52 13 10 334 7
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) 28 106 38 12 287 5
Allan Border (Australia) 27 156 63 44 205 11
Gary Sobers (West Indies) 26 93 30 21 365* 12
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) 25 120 46 22 329 15
Graeme Smith (South Africa) 24 97 31 11 277 10
Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies) 24 137 56 37 203* 13
Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan) 24 90 33 12 223 11
Greg Chappell (Australia) 24 87 31 19 247* 12
Vivian Richards (West Indies) 24 121 45 12 291 10
Justin Langer (Australia) 23 105 32 10 250 11
Javed Miandad (Pakistan) 23 124 43 21 280* 6
Virender Sehwag (India) 22 96 32 6 319 15
Md Azharuddin (India) 22 99 21 9 199 5
Colin Cowdrey (England) 22 114 38 15 182 9
Wally Hammond (England) 22 85 24 16 336* 4
Geoffrey Boycott (England) 22 108 42 23 246* 10

Selected others
Those who're coming up to join this list are: Younis Khan of Pakistan with 20 centuries, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss of England and Michael Clarke of Australia with 19 centuries each, VVS Laxman of India at 17 centuries, and Ian Bell of England and Michael Hussey of Australia with 16 career centuries so far.

Source: It's Only Cricket

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