How often we have seen the top order of batting line up collapsing and then tail enders coming to rescue the team. Matches like these turn out to be far more interesting than one anticipates and a twist in the tail is always an adrenaline pumping experience for all the fans and the players sitting in the dressing room. Quite often we have seen the number 9, 10 or 11 batsmen scoring valuable runs for the team’s cause. There are several occasions when the game witnessed lower order batsmen scoring in most unlikely circumstances. Let’s refresh some of them.
Stuart Broad 169 vs Pakistan at Lords in 2010
This knock was played by Stuart Broad in the famous or rather infamous game at Lords in 2010 when three Pakistani cricketers got accused of spot fixing. That incident unfortunately buried the heroics of Stuart Broad who came into bat at the score of 102-7 and Pakistan was absolutely on top of England. He constructed a memorable partnership with Jonathan Trott and he scored 169 runs to save England from the jaws of defeat. This innings went to show that you can never under estimate the value of a bowler who could bat.
Muhammad Amir 73 vs New Zealand 2009
This is another story of Pakistan batting collapsing miserably while chasing. In 2009 at Abu Dhabi, Pakistan was chasing 211 runs and were reeling at 101-9. New Zealand was just looking for last nail in the coffin.
That’s when this 17 years old kid Muhammad Amir took everyone by surprise when he hit Daniel Vettori over mid wicket for 3 huge sixes. He made the world record of highest score by number 10 batsman and he almost took Pakistan to the finishing line.
Jason Gillespie 201 vs Bangladesh 2006
After Australia bowled out Bangladesh for 197 in Chittagong they were out for batting on the very first day of the match. When Aussies lost their 1st wicket, there were still 22 minutes left in the day and Kangaroos sent a night watchman and he was none other than someone who had a wonderful ability to block almost everything. Not many people knew that there was history in the making. He not only survived the day but also scored a magnificent double hundred and became first night watchman in test cricket who scored double hundred.
Glenn McGrath 61 vs New Zealand in 2004
His stature in international cricket needs no introduction as he was the nightmare for all the batsmen in the world. But there was a unique incident in 2004 when this man became the nightmare for the bowlers of the New Zealand in 2004 summer season at Brisbane where he batted for 139 minutes and scored 61 runs at the strike rate of 66.30.
He produced a century stand with Jason Gillespie and it was purely entertaining segment of test cricket.
Anil Kumble 110 vs England 2007
He was quick and accurate leg spinner, who would bowl his deliveries like darts. Kumble took a bit of a liking against the English bowling in 2007 at the Oval. Renowned for his ability to trap the batsmen dead in front of the middle stump.
But he was not as prodigious with the bat but his intent and concentration combined with fighting spirit enabled him to tear apart the English bowling to raise his bat towards the pavilion.
Umer Gul 32 vs South Africa 2012
In 2012 t20 world cup game played at Premadasa stadium at Colombo, Pakistani bowlers were able to restrict South African team to a low total of 133. But we know that Pakistan team’s batting has always been mercurial and so it happened once again that both the top and middle order collapsed and Pakistan were left wanting at 76 for the loss of 7 wickets. At this time Umer Gul who is normally a champion bowler at the death overs in t20 turned out to be a champion batsman as well. He scored 32 runs of mere 17 balls. His innings included couple of towering sixes to Jacques Kallis over mid wicket. The innings turned the fortunes for Pakistan as they managed to beat South Africa.
Lasith Malinga 56 vs Australia 2010
He has got the most lethal brand of yorkers and is almost deadly at the death. His ability to destroy the batting line ups with his toe crushing Yorkers is almost fantastic. He can literally destroy the opposition with his bowling. But in 2010 he destroyed Australia at MCG with his batting. Chasing 240, Sri Lankans were stranded at 107-8 and at from there, he did the rescue job with Angelo Mathews and scored famous 56 runs which took Sri Lanka across the finishing line.
Brett Lee 43 vs England in 2005
2005 Ashes series was iconic one for a lot of reasons. We saw the epic battles featuring great players. Amongst these spectacles, one of them was the epic resistance showed by Brett Lee at Edgbaston to deny England, much awaited win in Ashes. Australians had lost the 8th wicket at 175 and there were still 107 runs required to win. Brett lee along with Shane Warne stood there to fight against all odds and scored a brilliant 43 against the ferocious pace of Harmison and Flintoff which took Australia mighty close to the victory but unfortunately the number 11 batsman Michael Kasprowicz got out when Australia needed just 2 runs for victory.
Muttiah Muralitharan 32 vs Pakistan in 2009
Legendary off spinner with an aggregate of 800 test wicket and 500 plus one day wickets has the ability to turn the game on its head with his magical off spins and doosras. But at Dambulla in 2009, he stunned Pakistanis with his audacious batting and played non-conventional yet productive shots to add precious runs to the team’s total.
His batting performance won him the man of the match award which is a rare achievement for a number 11 batsman.
Ashton Agar 98 vs England 2013
This was indeed a special knock given the fact this left arm spinner was making the debut for Aussies at Trent Bridge Nottingham. His side was in desperate trouble at 117-9 when he came out to bat. But he didn’t look jittery for even a second and was positive right from the beginning. His score of 98 was highest by number 11 batsman in test cricket and he took Australia to a respectable 1st innings total of 280.