There have been few impressive batting performances in 2019. Few of them have helped their team achieve great success, but few have come in losing causes. Cricwizz takes a look at top five batting performances in 2019.
Ben Stokes’ 84* against New Zealand in World Cup final
Luck favours the brave and it’s so true in case of Stokes, who produced a master-class to tie the final before England ran away with the trophy thanks to ICC’s rule to award match on boundary count should super over also gets tied.
Stokes rode on Trent Boult’s overstepping on the boundary line for a six and then an overthrow for six to tie the match enroute to his brilliant 84*
Needing 242 for a win, England were reduced to 86/4 before Jos Buttler (59) and Stokes put up a stand of 108 runs. Stokes took the team till the final ball but just could not cross the finish line. But England would have been happy to tie the final after looking certain to lose yet another title round.
Stokes, Jofra Archer then combined in Super Over to take England home, and yes, of course, thanks to ICC. But nothing can take away Stokes’ spectacular effort with the bat, the best this year in ODIs.
Chris Gayle’s 162 against England in Feb 2019
England had set a target of 419, thanks to Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler’s tons. West Indies seemed to have no chance. But one man kept the West Indies’ hopes alive. Chris Gayle cracked 162 off 97 balls with 11 fours and 14 sixes to butcher the England bowling attack.
As long as Gayle was there, West Indies had a chance to spoil England’s party. When Gayle got out, West Indies were 295/5, but the lower-order batsmen kept the hopes alive. But they eventually failed to cross the finish line by 30 runs. And Gayle’s super knock came in a losing cause.
Kusal Perera’s 153* against South Africa at Durban Test
Before Stokes played his match-winning knock of 135*, Kusal Perera had set an example with a brutal knock of 153* at Durban against South Africa.
Chasing 304 for a win, Sri Lanka were reduced to 226/9. Not even the most loyal Sri Lanka fan gave their team a chance post this. But Kusal had other ideas.
He took on the South African attack, comprising world-class bowlers in Dale Steyn, K Rabada and Vernon Philander to steer Sri Lanka home with just a wicket to spare.
Perera joined hands with Vishwa Fernando to put 78-run unbeaten stand for the last wicket, with the latter contributing just 6 runs. Kusal remained unconquered on 153* with 12 fours and 5 sixes.
Ben Stokes’ 135* at Leeds Test against Australia
There were many double tons this year. But a landmark is only of value if it comes in a winning cause. And if it comes in hopeless situations, then it becomes a legendary knock.
Stokes produced a legendary knock of 135* against Australia at Leeds. Chasing 359 to win Leeds Test and level the series, England were reduced to 286/9 with 73 still needed for an unlikely win with a wicket in hand.
Stokes then threw caution to the wind and creamed the Australian bowlers. In the last-wicket stand of 76, Jack Leach contribution was just a run as Stokes took it upon himself to complete the job single-handedly.
The world also conspired to help Stokes play one of the best Test knocks ever. Nathan Lyon failed to effect an easy run out to spoil England party, while Australia have exhausted all reviews as they were unable to challenge a not out verdict of a plumb dismissal of Stokes.
Nevertheless, Stokes created history, taking England to a memorable one-wicket win.
Virat Kohli’s 94* against Bangladesh at Hyderabad T20I
What you do when you are struggling with the bat during a tense chase? Do you look to smash the ball to get out of the rut and throw your wickets away? Or, you stay put at the wicket causing more damage to the team’s cause?
Not, if you are Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper fought his own inner demons to tame the West Indian attack during the Hyderabad T20I after he struggled the middle the ball in his first 20 balls, scoring at run a ball.
But Kohli analysed his game, changed his approach, got his timing back and then bludgeoned the West Indian attack to score one of the best T20I knocks of the year.
Kohli’s 94 came off just 50 balls and took India home with plenty to spare. Kohli looked in the zone after overcoming his initial hurdle. He also gave tit for tat, signing of Kesrick Williams off his hit list, after he slammed a six off the West Indian bowling.
Watching Kohli in full flow was a delight.