“A Stitch in time, Saves nine.” Yes, indeed that’s true and applies for batting as well. Sometimes even double centuries go unnoticed and contribution of 30 runs is considered invaluable depending upon the situation. Here’s a piece devoted to lending some fame and recognition to these valuable and underrated knocks of the cricket empire at critical times as well.
1. Courtne Browne and Ian Bradshaw
It was a cold, chilly day in the winter of 2004 when West Indies pulled off one of the most insurmountable tasks of chasing down 218 after reeling at 147-8. The protagonists of this famous script were Courtne Browne(35*) and Ian Bradshaw(34*) who showed extraordinary temperament and caution while chasing the target, despite England’s pace attack pouring fire from the other end.
2. Ishant Sharma(31 of 106 balls)
Although Laxman is credited for this famous win, and rightly so but one must spare a thought for the knock played by Ishant Sharma. If it had not been for Sharma, then Laxman would have eventually fell short of partners and India would have easily handed the Test to Australia. But Sharma’s grit and firm resolve allowed India to go over the line.
3. Omari Banks(47 of 207 balls)
This monumental effort came in quite an epic test match which involved the highest ever target being chased down. Although Chanderpaul and Sarwan were the pioneers of this win but credit must be given to Banks for showing composure even on a 5th day pitch with the likes of McGrath, Lee and Gillespie.
4. Robin Uthappa(47 of 33)
Although it was another quick-fire 47 of 33 balls but the occasion and situation under which these runs were scored was quite admirable and proved invaluable to the team. It was a do or die encounter and while chasing 318 (courtesy a massive assault by Mascarenhas), India started well but lost their way in the middle and a Series defeat was on the cards. But Uthappa had other plans and with his ingenious stroke play and a wonderful knock, did the unthinkable!
5. Wasim Akram(33 of 18 balls)
In modern era, this innings would look like just another ordinary innings executed by a pinch hitter with all the restrictions, large bat sizes and other things but considering 1992 it was a Herculean effort to amass this score at such quick rate and arguably that became the difference between the two teams. His powerful knock led Pakistan to 249-6 which was more than enough for the spirited Pakistani bowling lineup with likes of Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Akram himself.