When a batsman reaches 100

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Sam writes:

As the third day of the final test in Sydney began I drifted off to sleep, the dulcet tones of Simon Mann hastening my journey along the winding road to slumbertown.

An hour or so later I awoke to the news that Alastair Cook was out for 99, caught at short leg by Hughes.

In my snoozy state I huffed and cursed into my pillow. 99. Oh unknowable hell.

Of course the record books will tell us that Cook survived the latest phantom wicket and went on to score his third century of the series.

If Cook had indeed been given out one short of the landmark, England would still have built up a healthy first innings lead and history would still remember one of the more extraordinary runs of form by an English batsman with eyes like Bambi and a talent for the saxophone.

Kevin Pietersen went through a run of giving his wicket away in the 90s, as did Andrew Flintoff, and they were roundly criticised.

More often than not Flintoff perished in the pursuit of quick runs with just the tail for company.

One of my most vivid memories of him is his wry smile as he walked from the field holding his bat the wrong way up. It was a smile that said: “Meh.”

Getting out in the 90s is annoying but 90 is still a lot of runs. Getting out for 99 is even more annoying but it is one run short of 100.

In the words of David Brent, you’ve got to look at the whole pie.


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  1. These days even 100 isn’t enough though. Batsmen will get bollocked for getting out for 107.

    You have to make it, in the words of Graham Gooch, “a daddy”.

  2. received wisdom seems to be that once you are past 30 you should make the most of it and go on to a big one.

    this ignores the fact that anyone can get out at any time.

    especially paul collingwood.

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