Rohit Sharma shatters an ODI world record
Rohit Sharma shattered the world record for the highest individual score in ODIs when he smashed 264 at Eden Gardens in the fourth match against Sri Lanka, becoming the first to score two double-centuries in the format. His innings could have ended on 4, had Thisara Perera not shelled a regulation catch at third man. It turned out to be the costliest drop in ODIs as Rohit blazed 33 fours and nine sixes. Interestingly, his first hundred came at a run a ball, but the remaining 164 needed just 73. It was a comeback match for Rohit after a finger injury sustained in August that year, and his uninhibited celebration after reaching his century spoke of a catharsis. In the course of the innings, he went past his own 209, Virender Sehwag's 219, and the record of 229, set by Belinda Clark in 1997. Sri Lanka managed 251 between them in reply.
Another Gabba masterclass from Shane Warne helped Australia rout Pakistan by an innings and 126 runs in the first Test, in Brisbane. A year earlier he had taken 11 for 110 against England on the same ground, and 11 for 77 here gave him 30 wickets in three Brisbane Tests at an average of 10.40. Australia bossed the game from the start. Steve Waugh's 112 helped them to 463, and in reply Pakistan fell apart for 97, with Warne taking 7 for 23. After they were asked to follow on, Aamer Sohail laced 99, but there was no escape for Pakistan. The nail in the coffin came when Saleem Malik, who had been accused of attempted bribery by Shane Warne, fell to him for a fourth-ball duck. The Wisden Almanack said that Warne was "cast in the role of avenging angel".
Birth of the only Greek scholar to captain Australia. Percy "Greatheart" McDonnell was a brilliant attacking batsman whose outstanding footwork and hand-eye co-ordination helped him excel on wet wickets. His best innings probably came in the third Test against England in Sydney in 1881-82. McDonnell made 147, adding 199 with Charles Bannerman, who made 70. The rest of the batsmen mustered only 29 between them. He died in Brisbane in 1896 after a long illness, aged only 37.
Australia came out on top in a fascinating battle against Alf Valentine and Sonny Ramadhin in Brisbane. They won the first Test by three wickets, scraping to a victory target of 236 in a low-scoring game. Ramadhin and Valentine bowled 129.7 of 150.4 overs, a whopping 86%. They gave the Aussies all sorts of problems - the only batsman to reach 50 was Ray Lindwall, who had fortune on his side as he swung savagely in the first innings, but they squeezed home thanks to an unbeaten 45 from Graeme Hole.
Charles Gregory cracked a mighty 383 for New South Wales against Queensland in Brisbane, the 13th-highest score in first-class history. At the time it was an Australian record. The Wisden Almanack described it as "a record in Australia in good-class cricket", but said "his play was disfigured by three chances".
In the third one-dayer in Multan, Gordon Greenidge became the sixth batsman to make 5000 one-day runs, but his crawling 110-ball 35 was partly responsible for West Indies' three-wicket defeat. Pakistan made 169 for 8 from their 50 overs, with Imran Khan making an unbeaten 46, but West Indies were strangely subdued in their reply. They hit only seven fours in a total of 137 for 7 and were beaten by 31 runs. It gave Pakistan a clean sweep - only the second time West Indies had lost a one-day series 3-0. The first was against England, Monte Lynch and all, in 1988.
The Champions Trophy final in Sharjah turned into one of the bigger mismatches in one-day history. Zimbabwe only managed 196 for 9 thanks to an eighth-wicket partnership of 58 between Paul Strang and Eddo Brandes, and Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar flashed India to victory with exactly 20 overs to spare. Tendulkar gave a regal display, carting 124 off only 92 balls, with 12 fours and six sixes. It was his 21st one-day ton.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.