Instances of 3 centuries in an ODI innings

In the world of One Day International (ODI) cricket, centuries by a player are considered an appreciable achievement, symbolising a player’s skill, determination, and ability to anchor their team’s innings and make it big at the end.

While scoring a century in an ODI inning is indeed a remarkable feat, instances of 2 or more players managing to score a century in a single inning are extremely rare because of the limitations of the format. And this should serve as a testament to the collective prowess of a team’s batting lineup. These should be ranked among some of the most extraordinary moments in cricket history and should be celebrated by us cricket fans.

So in this brief exploration, we will delve into a few memorable instances of three players scoring centuries in a single ODI innings, an occurrence that truly stands out in the annals of this sport.

1. South Africa vs West Indies | Johannesburg, 2015

The first instance of 3 batters from the same team scoring tons in the same innings in an ODI was recorded by South Africa. This time, the opponent was the West Indies, and again, the star of the show was AB de Villers.

The champion batter pounced on the hapless West Indies bowlers, who were already hard done by the opening stand of 247 between openers Hashim Amla and Rilee Rossouw. The opening duo had each scored tons, and it was the turn of de Villiers to have a crack at the Windies.

Boy, he did so in style, as he first brought up his half-century off just 16 balls and took only 15 balls to score his next 50 runs. It eventually ended up being a run short of 150, and it came off only 49 deliveries, including 16 sixes. The breathtaking tons from the trio took the Proteas to their best-ever ODI total of 439 runs.

2. India vs South Africa | Mumbai, 2015

The Proteas batters feature in this list once again, and the one name that repeats from their team is Quinton de Kock. The left-hander playing against their favourite opponents began with a bang, making a 42-ball 50 before reaching his 100-run milestone in just 78 deliveries.

de Kock found able support from the former skipper Faf du Plessis, who made a 115-ball 133 before retiring thanks to an injury. This gave the visitors a solid foundation to aim for a big total and boy, they did so with great ease.

It was then AB de Villiers who played one of his many freakish knocks in the format. Villiers was at his dominant best at the Wankhede in what was a batting belter as he made a 61-ball 119 that included a staggering 11 sixes. This onslaught from the trio paved the way for the Proteas to register their joint-highest total of 438 in ODI cricket.

3. Netherlands vs England | Amstelveen, 2022

For a change, we have a game of this genre that didn’t involve the South African batters, and this time the tag went to the English batters. In what was a forgettable match for the hosts Netherlands at Amstelveen in an ICC ODI World Cup Super League fixture, England took apart their bowlers to register a mind-blowing total of 498 batting first. This is the highest-ever ODI total by any team in the format, and it was made possible thanks to these 3 gentlemen.

First up, the reserve opening batter Phil Salt made his maiden ton (122) and shared a 222-run stand with the left-hander Dawid Malan, who made a compelling 109-ball 125. But the star of the show has to be their skipper, Jos Buttler, who played yet another of his impactful knocks in the middle order.

The wicketkeeper scored a stunning 162 runs from just 70 deliveries, including a whopping 14 maximums. He reached his century in only 47 balls and made the next 50 runs in just 18 deliveries. It was a truly stunning display of power hitting by the defending champs, and this record may not be broken anytime soon.

4. South Africa vs Sri Lanka | ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Delhi

The most recent instance was when 3 batsmen from the same team scored a century in an innings. The 2023 Cricket World Cup has started on rather unexpected lines, with defending champions England suffering a heavy defeat in the tournament opener against New Zealand. And in the 4th game of the tournament at Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi, there was yet another surprise waiting for us.

On a track that has historically been bowler-friendly, we witnessed a run fest, and it was the South African batters who made merry. Batting first, the Proteas hammered a massive 428/5 in their allotted 50 overs and made the highest-ever team score in the ODI World Cup, their 8th 400-run-plus score in ODIs. Not only that, it was a day of many more individual records.

Aiden Markram, South Africa’s most-in-form batter, made a swashbuckling 106 runs from just 54 balls, and his century came in just 49 deliveries, which incidentally made him the fastest to do so in a World Cup stage, beating Kevin O’Brien’s record of a 50-ball century. Apart from Markram, keeper and senior batter Quinton de Kock made an 84-ball ton and was ably supported by Van der Dussen, who scored 108 in South Africa’s mammoth total.

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