Mumbai: Friday was a day in cricket when batsmen dictated terms with four, or in some senses, five centuries being hit in different parts of the world within the span of the day. A look at each of the tons.
Cheteshwar Pujara (114*)
Cheteshwar Pujara seems to be enjoying an English summer scoring his second consecutive century against the Englishmen at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on day one of the second Test.
In what is his seventh Test, the 24-year-old showed his class to hit his third international century, ending the day on an unbeaten 114. He has now scored 361 against the tourists in three innings without getting dismissed.
Pujara’s was an almost flawless innings and the only blemish was the half-chance he offered to the slip cordon off Monty Panesar on 60.
The Rajkot-born cricketer reached the three-figure mark off 248 balls. His unbeaten 114 includes ten boundaries.
Interestingly, Pujara is the 11th Indian batsman to score two centuries in a series against England. The last batsman to do so was Rahul Dravid in the series in England last year.
Graeme Smith (111*)
Graeme Smith played a captain’s innings, surviving two close shaves to make an unbeaten ‘nelson’ as South Africa ended day two of the second Test in Adelaide on 217-2. This was Smith’s 26th Test.
On a docile pitch, Smith looked to have needed a bit of luck to get his third Test century against Australia.
His raised his ton off 199 balls, while his unbeaten 111 included 12 boundaries at an average of 50.45.
The Proteas skipper, who last hit a century against England at the Oval in July, did ride his luck though to get to his ton. The first reprieve was when Smith was on 44 and deceived by his Australian counterpart. Smith advanced down the wicket to try and clobber Michael Clarke over the leg side, but missed and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade too missed a simple stumping.
Smith then was given out caught behind off James Pattinson on 78 but the review failed to detect any edge and the umpire’s decision was reversed.
Darren Bravo (127), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (109*)
Two centuries, and a double ton, in a single day underscores the West Indians’ total domination of proceedings against Bangladesh on the third day of the second and final Test in Khulna.
The tourists piled on 323 runs for the loss of just two wickets to end day three at 4-564. Marlon Samuels scored 260 before being dismissed; Darren Bravo notched up his fourth Test hundred and Shivnarine Chanderpaul also hit a century, his 2nd in two Tests.
Samuels' innings did include plenty of luck with the middle-order batsman being dropped several times and also a Shakib Al Hasan delivery that found the edge and rolled onto the stump but did not dislodge the bails. The right-handed batsman hit 31 boundaries and three sixes during his 455-ball knock.
Bravo, who has scored all his Test centuries in the sub-continent, chipped in with 127 at a more sedate pace. While his innings saw him consume 288 balls with 10 boundaries, his ton came off 221 deliveries.
The unbeaten 109 by Chanderpaul is his 27th Test hundred and came off 206 balls and saw the stylish southpaw hit ten fours and a six. This century follows his 203 not out in the first Test. With two more days to go, the 38-year-old can emulate Michael Clarke’s feat and score his 2nd consecutive double century.
And if we include Marlon Samuels double ton too (he had completed his century the previous day), that will make it five in the day, since he made more than a hundred runs during the day's play! Michael Clarke was dismissed after adding 6 runs to his just the previous day score of 224* and thus he missed the list by a whisker!