There are several reasons why Test cricket is the ultimate test of a cricketer. Whether it’s a batsman, bowler, wicket-keeper or a fielder, Test cricket determines their true character on the field. Those 5 days are the toughest days of a cricketer’s career. Sweating it out in extreme conditions donning those whites, it makes you work hard for success. For a batsman, scoring a Test century is special. And what’s even more special is getting in the 4th innings of a match, in away conditions and in winning causes.
Not every batsman in world cricket is capable of achieving this feat. Here are 4 such batsmen who notched up a match-winning hundred in this decade.
Shan Masood – 125 vs Sri Lanka, Pallekele (2015)
Image Courtesy: Deccan Herald
The 3-Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was levelled at 1-1. Going into the third Test, both teams were intent on sealing the series in their favour. Sri Lanka’s Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews smashed centuries in their 1st and 2nd innings respectively. Chasing a steep 377, visitors Pakistan had only one choice – to go for the kill. Opener Shan Masood came out all guns blazing and registered in maiden Test hundred. His knock of 125 included 11 fours and six, and it lasted a whole 337 minutes!
Younis Khan – 171* vs Sri Lanka, Pallekele (2015)
Image Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle
Joining young Masood in the same match was a veteran who knew how to dig in. Pakistan lost a couple of quick wickets and Sri Lanka suddenly found themselves in the driver’s seat. Younis Khan walked in to bat at No.4 and thus began Pakistan’s great resistance. His unbeaten, gritty innings of 171 lasted a whopping 428 minutes on the field! While Masood departed soon, Younis ensured his team got over the line along with captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s 59*.
Shai Hope – 118* vs England, Leeds (2017)
Image Courtesy: Telegraph UK
The Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds has witnessed some of the greatest Test matches in England’s cricketing history. One such epic face-off happened between the West Indies and the home team in 2017. And this match will always be remembered for Shai Hope’s heroic twin hundreds – a magical 147 in the 1st and an unbeaten 118 in the 2nd that helped the Windies level the series 1-1. In the entire Test match, Hope batted for a total duration of 664 minutes!
Kusal Perera – 153* vs South Africa, Durban (2019)
Image Courtesy: BBC UK
Perhaps, this will go down as one of the greatest-ever run-chases pulled off by any team in Test cricket history, let alone Sri Lanka. South Africa were well and truly in command for the most part of the Test but a certain someone was ready to spoil their party. Chasing 304, the Lankan top order was falling like ninepins until Kusal Perera took charge. His 96-run stand with Dhananjaya de Silva resurrected the innings for while. But even then, Perera kept running out of partners and it started looking like the Lankans had lost it. And in a miraculous turnaround, Perera stitched an unbeaten 78-run partnership with tailender Vishwa Fernando, who scored just 6 runs of those 78.
All this after fending deliveries one after the other from the dangerous attack of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada. Sri Lanka won the match by 1 wicket!