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10 Unbelievable Cricket Facts


21 Jun 2013
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With bigger bats, smaller boundaries and flat pitches, most things in limited overs cricket are in the batter’s favour. In theory then, brute strength should always win. And by that logic, it would mean women have no chance against the men. Surprise, surprise! There are a fair few limited overs records that women cricketers hold over the men. From the belligerence of the Kiwi women, to the finesse of a young Mithali Raj, and the guile of Khursheed Jabeen, Wisden India looks at ten records in One-Day International and Twenty20 cricket where the women can tell the men: “We beat you to it!”

First to score 400 runs in an ODI innings:

When the New Zealand women faced Pakistan in January 1997, a score of 300 in the men’s game was a rare sight. Obviously, 400 was unheard of. The Kiwi girls had other ideas as they smashed a hapless Pakistan attack to all corners of the ground, amassing 455 for 5 in their allotted 50 overs. Maia Lewis, the New Zealand captain, led the way, scoring her maiden century off just 70 balls.

The men had to wait a little over nine years before they managed to cross the 400-run mark, when Australia and South Africa both topped the mark in their historic match against at the Wanderers.

Highest victory margin (by runs):

In the same match, after posting a massive first innings score, the New Zealand women bundled Pakistan out for just 47, with Clare Nicholson (4 for 18) and Justine Fryer (3 for 8) sharing the spoils. The Kiwi women hold the record for the highest victory margin, having beaten Pakistan by 408 runs.

When the New Zealand men scored 402 and bundled out Ireland for 112 in a little over 28 overs in 2008, they set a new record for the men’s game—winning by 290 runs.

Highest innings total:

New Zealand women’s 455 for 5 against the Pakistan remains the highest-ever innings total in ODI history to this day. Apart from Lewis’s belligerent century, three other top-order batters—Debbie Hockley (88), Trudy Anderson (85) and Clare Nicholson (73)—crossed the half-century mark.

For the men, Sri Lanka, powered by Sanath Jayasuriya’s 157, managed 443 for 9 against Netherlands in July 2006, which remains the highest total in the men’s game.

First Individual 200 in an ODI:

1997, it seems, was a year of records for the women. In December of the same year, Belinda Clark, the former Australian captain, notched up the first individual double hundred in ODI cricket in a World Cup match against Denmark. She finished the innings unbeaten on 229 in her team’s total of 401.

Fast forward to 2010, and Sachin Tendulkar finally broke the 200-run mark for the men 13 years later, against South Africa at Gwalior.

Youngest player to score an ODI hundred:

Memories of a baby-faced Shahid Afridi smashing Sanath Jayasuriya and Mutthiah Muralitharan around the Gymkhana Club Ground in Nairobi in October 1996 to bring up what was then the fastest ODI hundred, are still quite fresh. His knock of 102 meant Afridi became the youngest player to score an ODI hundred at 16 years and 217 days.

It took Mithali Raj a little less than two years to break that record when she scored her first ODI century against Ireland (114 not out) in June 1999 at the age of 16 years 205 days—just about managing to pip Boom Boom.

Most economical 10-over spell:

When the West Indian men faced Pakistan in 1992, no one would have expected that Phil Simmons, the hard-hitting allrounder known more for his batting, would end up bowling the most economical spell in ODI history. In his team’s victory over Pakistan, Simmons finished with figures of 4 for 3 in ten overs which included eight maidens.

How do you beat that spell, you would think? Khursheed Jabeen, the left-arm spinner from Pakistan, managed one better than Simmons in a women’s ODI against Japan in 2003. Jabeen finished her 10-over spell with figures of 3 for 2, as the Pakistan women bundled out Japan for 28.

Youngest player to take a five-for in an ODI:

In the same match, Sajjida Shah, Jabeen’s teammate and all of 15 years and 168 days old, became the youngest player to take a five-wicket haul in ODI history when she scalped 7 for 4 runs against a hapless Japanese team.

Waqar Younis, to this day, remains the youngest male cricketer to take five wickets in an ODI innings at the age of 18 years and 164 days, his sheer pace and brutal yorkers leaving him with figures of 6 for 26 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1990.

Youngest ODI captains:

When Arran Brindle was still Arran Thompson, barely out of her Under-19 commitments as captain of England, she was handed the reigns of the senior team in 2001 to become the youngest captain in ODI history. Thompson was 19 years and 260 days old. Although she scored only 16 on captaincy debut, she led her side to a 238-run win over Scotland.

In 2004, Rajin Saleh of Bangladesh was handed the captaincy of his national team and became the youngest captain in men’s ODI history at 20 years and 297 days. Saleh though, was not as fortunate as Thompson, as South Africa crushed Bangladesh by nine wickets in a rather one-sided affair.

Fastest T20I century:

Deandra Dottin of West Indies blitzed an unbeaten 112 against South Africa in the World Twenty20 in 2010, to score the fastest international T20 century ever. She brought up the milestone in just 38 deliveries. Coming in at No.6, with her side 52 for 4 in the tenth over, Dottin wasted no time, smashing seven fours and nine sixes in her whirlwind knock.

Richard Levi of South Africa holds the record for the men with a 45-ball hundred against New Zealand in February, 2012. It is worth noting though, that AB de Villiers scored a century in just 31 balls – but that came in an ODI and not a T20I.

Most consecutive T20 wins:

The England men’s team can boast of holding the most consecutive number of wins in T20Is. Their eight consecutive victories stretching between May 2010, during their triumphant ICC World T20 campaign, to January 2011, when they beat Australia in Adelaide.

That record though, was smashed by the England women, who went on a 14-match winning streak stretching from October 2011 to September 2012, between which they beat five of the top eight teams.

The England women’s record though, is under threat, as the Australian women are hot on their heels with 13 consecutive victories in T20Is. With three T20 Internationals lined up in the Women’s Ashes 2015, who knows how much longer they can extend their winning streak.

When Mithali beat Afridi and Belinda accomplished a feat before Sachin
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