Dashing South African opening batsman Quinton de Kock joined an elite band of batsmen on Wednesday during the third ODI of the series against India at Centurion, when he smashed his third ODI ton in a row. Here’s a look at the five batsmen who have achieved the same and how they have done it.
Quinton de Kock: The opener began his wonderful run by smashing 135 off 121 balls in the first ODI of the series against India at Johannesburg. The knock featured 18 fours and three sixes, and South Africa won by 141 runs. In the second game at Durban, he made 106 from 118 balls with the aid of nine fours. The Proteas again won by 131 runs. de Kock showed a mature side to his batting when he bailed the hosts out of trouble with 101 from 120 balls in the final game at Centurion.
Zaheer Abbas: The legendary Pakistani’s back-to-back tons also came against India. He scored 118 off 86 balls with 10 fours and four sixes in the second ODI of the 1982 series at Multan. Pakistan won the match by 37 runs. In the next game at Lahore, Abbas cracked 105 from 82 balls, which included eight fours and one six. This time though India won by 18 runs. His third ton of the series came at Karachi in the next one- dayer, when he made 113 from 99 balls, smashing 11 fours and 3 sixes. Pakistan won the match by eight wickets.
Saeed Anwar: The elegant left-hander gathered three consecutive tons during the 1993 tri-series in Sharjah. He began with 107 from 108 balls (11 fours and 2 sixes) in the third match of the series, against Sri Lanka, Pakistan winning by a whopping 114 runs. In the next game against West Indies, he made a wonderful 131 from 141 balls with 12 fours and three sixes. This time, Pakistan won by five wickets. Anwar completed his ‘hat-trick’ with a wonderful 111 off 104 balls (11 fours and 2 sixes) against Sri Lanka. Pakistan again won, by two wickets.
Herschelle Gibbs: The former South African opener got two of his three tons during the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka. In the 9th game of the tournament against Kenya at Colombo, Gibbs scored 116 from 126 balls with 13 fours and 3 sixes as the Proteas won by 176 runs. In the semi-final against India at the same venue, he made 116 off 119 balls (16 fours). However, he had to retire hurt, and India won the match by 10 runs. In South Africa’s next ODI, against Bangladesh at Potchefstroom, Gibbs blasted 153 from 131 balls with 17 fours and 3 sixes as Bangladesh were annihilated by 168 runs.
AB de Villiers: South Africa’s ODI skipper got his three hundreds back in 2010. In the second ODI of the series against India at Gwalior, he made an unbeaten 114 from 101 balls (13 fours, 2 sixes). But, Tendulkar’s 200 took them to a 153-run win. In the next game at Motera, he bludgeoned 102 from only 59 balls (11 fours, 3 sixes). This time, South Africa won by 90 runs. In South Africa’s next match, against West Indies at Antigua, de Villiers made 102 from 101 balls, hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes. South Africa won the match by 66 runs.
--By A Cricket Analyst