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Davison on the rampage

Fortified by lashings of luck, a marauding Canadian embarrassed West Indies' pace bowlers

Sriram Veera

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John Davison: the Gilchrist of the North © Getty Images
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John Davison
111 v West Indies, 24th match, 2003

A minnow-bashing. Only, it was the minnow that was doing the damage. The 10,240-strong crowd were entertained for 98 unbelievable minutes as Davison, the Canadian Gilchrist, gored West Indies with a blistering 76-ball 111, the fastest World Cup century at that time. The second-highest score for his team was a paltry 19.

He top-edged a cut shot off Pedro Collins over point in the fourth over for the first boundary of the day. The next one disappeared over cover for the first six. Thereafter it was carnage. Time and again he would back away to drill over the off-side ring and when it was short, he would dismiss them over square leg. Davison's total dominance was reflected in the partnerships that he was involved in - 96 for the first wicket with Ishwar Maraj, who contributed 16; 59 for the second with Desmond Chumney, who contributed 19.

By the time he fell with the score at 156, Davison had belted eight fours, most of them one-bounce, and six sixes. He had his share of luck too. He was dropped on 50 and on 78, and also, incredibly, played a ball on to the stumps without the bails being disturbed.

Only the spinners, Carl Hooper and Chris Gayle, kept him relatively quiet - conceding 26 from 26 balls. All the seamers took a thrashing, with 76 runs coming through the on side. It took a sensational catch to terminate his dazzling knock. Vasbert Drakes moved to his left at long-on and leapt high to take the chance one-handed. By then, however, Davison had walked into the World Cup hall of fame.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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