Although winning a game for your team is the ultimate purpose, realising milestones is also vital for a player. This proffers cricketers a sense of accomplishment, and it is of pertinence in the long run. It is the fifties and the hundred, which eventually deposits a player’s name in the history books. 99 Not Out gets etched in players mind rather than than the milestones.
More so, from a batting perspective, if a milestone is rare in a particular format and if you are approaching it, there is an alluring urge to complete it. While the triple hundred occurs infrequently in the Test format, very few can score a double hundred in the ODIs. Despite players achieving it a lot more often these days, hundreds are still rare in T20’s. And when you end your innings at 99 Not Out, the impediment can be at an all-time high.
In this article, we talk about four players who have had to face such unlucky instances in their careers. Their innings completed with them staying 99 Not Out.
1. Luke Wright
99* (55) vs Afghanistan, 2012
While finishing your score at 99 while chasing is understandable, only a bit of sheer bad luck can make a batsman stay at 99* while batting first. This happened to English all-rounder Luke Wright way back in 2012. Playing against Afghanistan in the World Cup, Luke was stuck at 99 at the end of 20 overs.
Luke’s knock came off 55 balls and included eight boundaries and five sixes. He helped England set up a total of 196, which they ultimately defended handsomely.
2. Dawid Malan
99* (47) vs South Africa, 2020
It was the third T20 for the Englishmen against South Africa. Batting first, South Africa put on a score of 191/3 in the stipulated twenty overs. Dawid Malan had already made his name as a proper T20 batsman and was in good form.
The left-hander was in good form as he struck 99 runs in just 47 deliveries. The knock was made of eleven boundaries and five huge hits out of the park. Unfortunately, there was the limitation of the target, and Malan had to miss out on his well-deserved century. Nonetheless, he was awarded the man-of-the-match.
3. Mohammad Hafeez
99* (57) vs New Zealand, 2020
Now, what can a player do if he hits a six off the final possible ball and still remains not out on 99? Well, Pakistan player Mohammad Hafeez had to face this scenario. Held at Hamilton in December 2020, Pakistan got off to a disappointing start. They lost a few wickets early, and a veteran like Hafeez had to step up.
He did that and was involved in a terrific comeback by Pakistan. Comprising ten fours and five maximums, Hafeez’s 86-minute stay at the crease helped his team post a decent score of 163 onboard. However, his bowlers could not defend it, and Pakistan lost the game by nine wickets.
4. Devon Conway
99* (57) vs Australia, 2021
The cream of the batting line-up is in the pavilion and there is a group of attacking bowlers in the opposition. While many would have struggled, Devon Conway had other ideas. Single-handedly, the player brought New Zealand back to the game against arch-rivals Australia.
Conway’s Score of 99* had ten boundaries and three sixes. He could have pushed for his century, but it was not possible in that particular game situation. Nevertheless, Conway’s knock was sufficient as the Kiwis took home the victory with a brilliant bowling show. Conway was announced as the player of the game for his performance.