The Centurions of Centurion

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Published: Monday, January 24, 2011, 14:09 [IST]
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The Centurions of Centurion

The chief coincidence that emerges from India's recently-concluded tour of South Africa revolves around a certain premier stadium, curiously named 'Centurion'. How fitting is it that this very ground has spawned several centurions during India's trip, quite possibly the most number of tons ever hit on a single ground during a bilateral series.

Indeed, Centurion stadium was the venue at which no less than 5 world-class batsmen became centurions. Topping the list is Hashim Amla, who has been a centurion at Centurion twice over on this tour - once during the first Test against India and second, during the closing one-dayer against the same opposition.

Jacques Kallis is also a centurion twice over, but in a different way - he scored a double ton at this ground during South Africa's first Test against India, and what's more it was his maiden 2x100. His compatriot and team-mate A B de Villiers also scored a ton here in the same match, making his knock the fastest Test hundred by a South African batsman.

But perhaps the most special ton of the lot was Sachin's Tendulkar 111 not out, in that match as well, as it marked his 50th century in Test cricket, making him the first man to reach the magical milestone. Finally, who will ever forget Yusuf Pathan's blistering, blazing 105 off 70 balls in the final one-dayer between the two sides on Jan 23, which nearly reversed India's fortunes in the game?

There was something special about all the centuries that have been notched up at Centurion over the last month. And there is no particular significance behind the name of the stadium, other than the fact that it came about as a result of a whim by the constructing authorities when it was being built in the early 1990s. But so popular is the stadium, that it has lent its name to the surrounding town. One wonders how many more Centurions will happen by Centurion?


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