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From Maxwell’s 201* to Iyer’s 105: top centuries from 2023 World Cup

Last updated on 21 Nov 2023 | 03:16 PM
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From Maxwell’s 201* to Iyer’s 105: top centuries from 2023 World Cup

26 centuries were scored in the 2023 ODI World Cup, but what are some of the best?

It was a run-fest of an ODI World Cup. It is a dying format, but it still has the perfect ingredients to make it a success, as witnessed during the 2023 edition of the tournament in India. There were plenty of runs for the batters, as Virat Kohli ended up with 765 runs in the tournament. 

The tournament also saw Kohli break the mark for most centuries scored in the ODI format by an individual (50). It also saw a double century, which came at the most unexpected time from Australia’s Glenn Maxwell. In total, 26 centuries were scored in this year’s ODI World Cup. 

But what were some of the best centuries? 

Glenn Maxwell’s 201* vs Afghanistan in Mumbai

By far, the best knock that has ever been witnessed in the history of One-Day Internationals (ODI). Glenn Maxwell ended up with an unbeaten 201, which should have made it to the top hundreds from this year’s World Cup, but then the match situation elevated it to the pantheon of greatness. 

With Australia pegged back at 49/4, the nation needed more than a hero, a superhero. Thus started one of the greatest knocks that history has ever witnessed. Maxwell’s innings weren’t chanceless; he had twin lives, but it was the audacity with which he batted despite being cramped for over 15 overs. 

Also Read: 2% chance, 98% faith, Maxwell orchestrates the greatest La Remontada

While he brought up his 100 in just 76 deliveries, it was his second hundred, which stunned Afghanistan. Maxwell brought up his 200 in just 128 deliveries, meaning he took only 52 deliveries (without attempting a lot of singles) to take Australia home. Drama, determination and grit, name it, and this innings had it all. 

Travis Head’s 109 vs New Zealand in Dharamsala

Not quite as dramatic as Glenn Maxwell’s double century against Afghanistan, but somewhat entertaining on a similar note. After not being deemed fit for the Netherlands clash, Travis Head’s return from injury was against a strong New Zealand side. Australia were far from sealing a spot in the semi-final stage and needed all the points. 

And out came Head. Down went New Zealand players’ heads as well. It was a proper crackdown of the leather, completing his half-century in just 25 deliveries, with six fours and four sixes. He didn’t stop, continuing his blazing run with a century off just 59 balls on a day when he returned from a hand fracture. Talk about the tenacity of the knock, Head’s innings had it all. 

Head didn’t stop there, with a scintillating century against India, too, but we won’t let our recent memory influence us to make a biased decision. So, let us keep Head’s century in the final to Shubh’s piece here.

David Miller’s 101 vs Australia in Kolkata

You see a pattern here? We love knocks that have been played with the backs behind the ball. David Miller’s century in the second semi-final against Australia is perhaps one of the most underrated innings from the tournament. 

Chances are that none of us will remember this knock in the future. But we are here to prove why that century deserves to be remembered. At 24/4, with Australian pacers running the rounds, South Africa needed their Maxwell to step up. Miller did that but with a much higher stake on line. 

En route to his century, Miller first braved the Australian pace unit before taking on their best spinner - Adam Zampa - for a jolly ol’ ride. In that match-up, Miller smacked four sixes and one four before notching up his century in Kagiso Rabada’s company. It was a knock that took South Africa to 212, a total that was nearly defended. 

Fakhar Zaman’s 126 vs New Zealand in Bengaluru

Now, you can’t avoid noticing the pattern. Maybe the article's title should have been “Audacious centuries of the World Cup”. Making it to the best centuries of the tournament is Fakhar Zaman’s 126. How often have you seen 400 being chased down in this World Cup? None. 

Had Pakistan played the entire innings, there was a massive opportunity that they would have broken all chasing records. Pakistan needed two points desperately to stay alive in the competition. 401 was the target. But what makes this innings audacious is the rain around in Bengaluru, which meant Pakistan had to keep an eye on the DLS score. 

Read: Fakhar Zaman enunciates 'power-hitting is power-hitting yaar' in Bangalore

Zaman’s innings (124 off 81) meant they did that and more, winning by 21 runs via the DLS method. In that innings, the southpaw tonked 11 sixes and eight boundaries, essentially scoring 77.7% of his runs on the day in boundaries. You know the phrase, “Dealing in boundaries”, was Zaman’s innings. 

Heinrich Klaasen’s 109 vs England in Mumbai

Wait, there’s another pattern. Three out of these six innings have all been played in Mumbai. If anything, Mumbai was a batting paradise. But simultaneously, it was also a struggle for the batters in the hot and humid city. Heinrich Klaasen would attest to this first-hand. 

It was a knock that eliminated the defending champions, England, from the competition. It was a knock that will be remembered for how one single batter annihilated an opposition. At 243/5, South Africa were in a tricky position. If they attacked violently, the fall would have been much more. But Klaasen’s weighted attack meant that his 109 stunned England. 

Maybe he did stun himself in that innings by getting to a century in the first place. At one point, it looked like he was going to be in the tomb next to the Undertaker, and the next moment, England became the Undertaker’s neighbours, thanks to Klaasen’s gobsmacking batting. 

Shreyas Iyer’s 105 vs New Zealand in Mumbai

A fitting way to end the list of best centuries in this year’s ODI World Cup. You all certainly remember Virat Kohli’s 50th ODI century, which came in the same clash. But maybe it is a good time to remember why India were in the final, and much of it was down to Shreyas Iyer’s century

India got themselves to 397, with 110 runs in the last ten-over phase of their innings. Guess where most of that came from? Iyer. In one of Iyer’s best World Cup innings, he put on a masterclass show against spin bowling, taking on the Blackcaps tweakers effortlessly. Not just that, Iyer also gave a thumping to the pacers, with 105 off just 70 deliveries, a knock that had EIGHT SIXES!!! 

Also Read: Iyer claims what belongs to him by ticking all number 4 boxes

This innings is almost a cricketing version of 'Calm down, I'm still here'. 

Notable Mentions

Some innings went under the radar, and we have quickly listed them down. While Mitchell’s 134 was a near-chasing masterclass, Ravindra’s twin centuries were a piece of art. Ibrahim Zadran made history, while Markram broke one, scoring the fastest century in World Cup history - at that time. David Warner's 163, too, could go down in history as one hell of a knock.

Daryl Mitchell’s 134 vs India in Mumbai

Rachin Ravindra’s 123 vs England in Ahmedabad; 116 vs Australia in Dharamsala

Ibrahim Zadran’s 129 vs Australia in Mumbai

Aiden Markram’s 106 vs Sri Lanka in New Delhi

David Warner's 163 vs Pakistan in Bengaluru

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