Gift-wrapped treats: Five great birthday performances | Daily News


 

Gift-wrapped treats: Five great birthday performances

Jason Gillespie, Sachin Tendulkar and Peter Siddle
Jason Gillespie, Sachin Tendulkar and Peter Siddle

David Warner celebrated his 33rd birthday with his first T20 century, so we looked up some other great on-field efforts that have seen players double down on the celebrations

DAVID WARNER

100* (56) v Sri Lanka; 27 October 2019 (33rd birthday), Adelaide Oval

Eager to put a disappointing Ashes series behind him, where he scored only 95 runs in five Tests, David Warner was back to his brutal best in the opening match of the Gillette T20 INTL Series against Sri Lanka.

After striding out to a good batting wicket on his 33rd birthday, Warner wouldn't find the rope until the fifth over but finished with 10 boundaries and four sixes on his way to his maiden T20I century.

He brought the 100 up off the final ball of the innings and celebrated with his trademark leap.

"We wanted to come out and try be positive with the bat," Warner said after his innings. "For once, the plan actually came off. That was, all in all, a great batting performance."

ROSS TAYLOR

131* (124) v Pakistan (World Cup); 8 March, 2011 (27th birthday), Pallekele

Siting on 76 off 111 balls with four overs to go, it looked unlikely Ross Taylor would bring up a World Cup century on his 27th birthday. However, he would flick the switch against first Shoaib Akhtar and then Abdul Razzaq to produce some of the most destructive batting the 50-over tournament has seen. In the 47th over, tearaway quick Akhtar's over to Taylor read: 4 6 6 wd 0 4 wd 6. The eight balls went for 28 runs – the final maximum a savage pull shot to bring up Taylor's century. He wasn't done there either, clattering medium-pacer Razzaq for 30 runs in the 49th over, going 4 6 wd 6 wd 2 4 6.

It was salt in the wound for Pakistan, after wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal missed two chances to dismiss Taylor while he was still in single figures. Happy birthday, Ross!

JASON GILLESPIE

201* (425) v Bangladesh; 19 April 2006 (31st birthday), Chattogram

Jason Gillespie walked out to bat as the nightwatchman on day one of the second Test against Bangladesh and was still batting three days later. Day four was Gillespie's 31st birthday and a day of cricket he will never forget. Beginning his birthday on 102* 'Dizzy' was nowhere near finished. Combining with Michael Hussey (182) for a 320-run partnership for the fifth wicket, Gillespie was largely untroubled by the Bangladesh attack and brought up his double century with a tickle down to fine leg for four.

"This is ridiculous," Gillespie said after his epic. "I was just lucky that the shots came off and I had a bit of a laugh all the way. It's unbelievable. It's a fairytale really. Hansel and Gretel and Dizzy's double hundred, it's one and the same. Absolute fairytale."

SACHIN TENDULKAR

134 (131) v Australia; 24 April 1998 (25th birthday), Sharjah

With so many great centuries to choose from, to say Sachin Tendulkar's 134 in the Coca Cola Cup final against Australia is one of his best ODI innings underscores just how good this knock was. Tendlukar returned to the furnace that was Sharjah's stadium on his 25th birthday where just two days earlier he had scored a magnificent 143, also against Australia. Facing the likes of ODI greats Damien Fleming and Shane Warne, Tendulkar plundered 12 fours and three sixes in pursuit of Australia's first-innings 9-272. Tendulkar's innings became known as the 'Desert Storm' as a sandstorm ripped through Sharjah and stopped play for 25 minutes.

He was finally dismissed lbw by Michael Kasporwicz on 134, but the damage had already been done and India would lift the cup.

"In my case, that was one experience which I remember how tough it was to stay there and play the best team in the world," Tendulkar said as he reflected on the innings. "Australia was No.1 at that stage and to beat them so convincingly was extremely satisfying."

PETER SIDDLE

Hat-trick v England; November 25, 2010 (26th birthday), the Gabba

The 2010-11 Ashes kicked off on Peter Siddle's 26th birthday and the man of the moment delivered big time on the big stage. With England building steadily at 4-197 on the opening day of the series, Siddle grabbed the 65-over old Kookaburra and sent down one of the most memorable overs in the history of the Australia-England rivalry as he accounted for Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and then Stuart Broad.

"I'd like to say it was the plan," Siddle said after the amazing feat, "but I was looking to hit the top of off ... To get him (Broad) on the full with a bit of shape was a dream ball. I'll definitely remember it for a long time."

"I don't want to be mean to parents and friends who have given me presents over all the years, but this is definitely going to be one of the best birthday presents that I'm ever going to get.

It's an amazing feeling."

– Cricket Australia


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