On Friday, West Indies lost their fourth consecutive ODI against Australia in spite of a belligerent ton from the big-hitting Kieron Pollard. Coming in after the Caribbeans found themselves in a desperate position at 17 for 3, Pollard replied with a wonderfully compiled, unbeaten 109 off 136 balls, an innings punctuated with 11 fours and two sixes. It was a brilliant innings in the sense that Pollard curbed his natural instincts and batted out a major portion of the West Indian innings, featuring in steadying partnerships with the tail. Sadly, all Pollard’s knock did was give the West Indian innings a sense of respectability as Australia got home without much trouble in the chase. We take a look at other unbeaten ODI tons in losing causes
M S Dhoni: 113* vs Pakistan, Chennai, 2012
India batted firstat Chepauk and the scores of the first five batsmen were as follows – 8,4,0,2,4. India were 29 for 5 in the 10th over when skipper M S Dhoni joined Suresh Raina, and compiled what is recognised among the finest knocks in ODIs. During the course of his superb innings, Dhoni held one end up for most part, before flourishing at the end, finding boundaries at will. Dhoni’s knock featured seven fours and three sixes, but India’s total of 227 wasn’t enough to stop Pakistan from winning the game.
Brendan Taylor: 128* vs New Zealand, Harare, 2011
Batting first the weak Zimbabwe were in all sorts of strife at 21 for 4. Taylor then played the innings of his life, blasting a counter-attacking ton off 120 balls, which featured seven fours and five sixes. Thanks to Taylor’s brilliance Zimbabwe recovered to post 231 for 6 on board. It was far from enough though as the Kiwis got home with ease, Rob Nicol himself making an unbeaten hundred and Martin Guptill contributing 74. In a cruel coincidence, Taylor registered an unbeaten century in the next one-dayer a couple of days later, but Zimbabwe went on to lose that match as well.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul: 107* vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, 2008
Pakistan batted first, and were restricted to a below par 232 courtesy some efficient bowling by Darren Powell and Jerome Taylor, who grabbed three wickets each. In reply, West Indies would have fancied their chances, but Pakistan fought back well with Sohail Tanvir dismissing both the Windies openers for ducks. Chanderpaul then joined forces with Ramnaresh Sarwan in a fighting partnership. However, once Sarwan was dismissed for 45, Chanderpaul was left fighting a lone battle. The southpaw gathered his undefeated ton off 149 balls with the help of six fours, but Pakistan kept chipping away at the wickets from the other end, as Chanderpaul was left stranded.
Asanka Gurusinha: 117* vs New Zealand at Sharjah, 1994
This was a heartbreak of a knock in every sense. Those were the days when Sri Lanka were still among the weaker sides in international cricket. Chasing a modest 218, the Lankans crumbed to 41 for 4. Gurusinha and Upul Chandana then featured in a steadying partnership that brought the Lankan innings back on track. However, following Chandana’s dismissal, the Lankans slipped, with only Gurusinha holding the innings together. His innings was decked nine fours and a six, which came off the penultimate ball of the match, but wasn’t enough to help Lanka secure a win as the Kiwis got home by two runs to leave Gurusinha in despondence.
--By A Cricket Analyst