Scoring a century in the shortest format i.e. T20s is a huge feat. Not many players have a T20 International hundred to their name. Also, it is rare to see a team losing a game of T20 cricket if their batsman scores a hundred. But this proves that cricket is a team game and individual brilliance can never win you games consistently.
So let’s have a look at five players whose century in T20 Internationals went in vain:
1. Kl Rahul vs West Indies 2016
The first-ever game of India in the United States of America was a Run-fest. The game was played between India and West Indies in 2016. India’s MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to field first. It was a game of entertainment from both the teams as a record total of 489 runs were scored. Two centuries were registered in the game, one from the Caribbean opener Evin Lewis and the other from KL Rahul. Both of them have registered their maiden T20I centuries. Rahul’s ton went in vain as India lost the game by 1 run. Dwayne Bravo was able to defend 8 runs in the last over against MS Dhoni and KL Rahul.
KL Rahul came to the crease when team India lost its most dependable batsman, Virat Kohli’s wicket at 48/2. Rahul went on to score an unbeaten 110 runs off 51 balls. He also equalled the 2nd fastest century in T20Is as he reached the landmark in just 46 balls. He scored 12 sixes and 5 fours at a strike rate of 215.68.
2. Liam Livingstone vs Pakistan 2021
The first T20I between England and Pakistan in Trent Bridge was a run-fest. Batting first, Pakistan posted a mammoth total of 232, their highest total ever. Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan put up a record opening partnership of 150. Then the middle order went completely berserk, scoring 70 runs in the last 5 overs. In reply, all the England batsmen kept an aggressive approach as they were chasing a massive total. But they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals.
In the fifth over, in came Liam Livingstone, who played an innings of a lifetime. Hitting 6 fours and 9 gigantic sixes, he brought up his maiden hundred. He scored the fastest hundred by an Englishman and became the first batsman to score a T20I century against Pakistan. But his heroics went in vain as England were unable to chase the target. Pakistan eventually won by 31 runs.
3. Chris Gayle vs South Africa 2007
The first match of the inaugural ICC World T20 2007 was a memorable one. South Africa won the toss and put West Indies in to bat first. While batting first, West Indies openers Chris Gayle and D Smith put up a partnership of 145 runs. After Smith’s wicket, other batsmen had failed to contribute barring Gayle. The Universe boss smashed a ton and gave the tournament a fiery start. West Indies posted a huge total of 205 against South Africa.
It was not common to chase a target of above 200 in 2007 in a T20I match. But with the combined effort of H Gibbs and Justin Kemp, South Africa had chased the target in just 17.4 overs. Chris Gayle’s 117 which came from 75 balls with 10 sixes went in vain. This proves that cricket is a team game because it is not possible to win every match with an individual’s heroics.
4. Rohit Sharma vs South Africa 2015
The first T20 game of the inaugural Gandhi- Mandela series in 2015 between India and South Africa was played in Dharamshala. South Africa won the toss and put India in to bat first. While batting first, the ‘Hitman’ AKA Rohit Sharma brought his first-ever T20I ton with some glorious shots all over the ground. His innings included 12 fours and 5 sixes. Along with Virat Kohli’s quickfire forty-three runs, India had put up a total of 199 runs from 20 overs.
India’s bowling then was not of the quality that it is right now. On the other hand, South Africa had match-winners in their batting lineup. With the combined effort of AB de Villiers and JP Duminy, they had beaten India in 19.4 overs with seven wickets remaining. Indian bowlers, especially pacers, were lacking the ability to defend totals. They looked helpless at the death and were unable to provide wickets in the Powerplay overs.
5. Shane Watson vs India 2016
India were eyeing to become the first team to whitewash Australia in Australia in any format. It was the last T20I of the series. Opting to bat first, Australia were under the leadership of non-regular captain Shane Watson. Australia lost star batsman Usman Khawaja early and then Shaun Marsh but that did not stop Shane Watson from the other end. He smashed Indian bowlers and notched up his first ton in T20I and became the first Australia batsman to score a ton in all three formats. Australia put up a huge total of 197.
While chasing 198, India got off to a very good start. Though they lost Shikhar Dhawan in 3.2 overs, he had done the damage. With another mature knock from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, India were in the game. But both fell in quick succession to leg-spinner Cameron Boyce. Then, two comeback men, Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh did not lose their cool. The veterans took India over the line. Hence, India clinched the series by 3-0.
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