Australia’s famous twins Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh turn 56 today. Born in Canterbury in 1965, both the brothers went on to become legends of the game.
Steve Waugh played 168 Tests and 325 ODIs, scoring 10927 and 7569 runs, respectively. He also captained the team during one of its most glorious phases. The elder Waugh led Australia to a record 16 Tests win in a row, and it was under his captaincy that Australia won the World Cup in 1999.
Meanwhile, his brother Mark is known as one of the most elegant batsmen to have graced the game. He had a pretty impressive international career as well. The right-hander played 128 Tests and 244 ODIs, scoring over 8000 runs in each format of the game.
On the occasion of the birthday of the Waugh twins, let’s take a look back at three of the finest international knocks, across formats, of each player.
Steve Waugh’s top 3 knocks
#1 157* vs England at The Oval (2001)
Steve Waugh was known for his grit and determination, and his unbeaten 157 at The Oval, batting literally on one leg, was the ultimate proof of that. The Australian captain had torn his calf muscle midway through the third Test of the 2001 Ashes series. There was no way he was going to be fit for the last two matches of the series.
However, ignoring medical advice, Steve Waugh turned up to play in the last Test of the series. Batting at No. 5, he scored an unbeaten 157 off 256 balls, limping his way through the innings. Steve Waugh occupied the crease for 312 minutes, hitting 21 fours and one six. Although he was in visible pain, he never let the injury get the better of him.
Mark Waugh and Justin Langer also cracked hundreds as Australia declared their innings on 641/4, batting first. They went on to win the Test by an innings and 25 runs to win the series 4-1.
#2 200 vs West Indies at Kingston – 1995
Steve Waugh played a stellar role as Australia defeated West Indies to clinch the Frank Worrell Trophy in 1995. He scored a defiant 200 against a Windies attack comprising Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and the two Benjamins – Kenny and Winston.
Having rolled over West Indies for 265, Australia replied with a mammoth 531. Steve Waugh occupied the crease for 555 minutes and faced 425 balls, hitting 17 fours and a six. Steve Waugh and brother Mark (126) were involved in a famous 231-stand for the fourth wicket.
Steve Waugh was the last man out, caught off Kenny Benjamin, as the visitors posted a massive total on the board. Australia went on to win the Test by an innings and 53 runs to bag the series 2-1. West Indies’ loss in this series marked the end of their domination and the beginning of Australia’s.
#3 120* vs South Africa at Leeds – 1999 World Cup (Super 6)
Undoubtedly, it is one of the most famous World Cup hundreds. Australia were in a must-win situation against South Africa in the 1999 Super 6 clash at Headingley. The Proteas batted first and posted an impressive 271 for 7 on the board, courtesy Herschelle Gibbs’ 101.
Australia crumbled to 48 for 3 in response. However, captain Steve Waugh once again led from the front, playing an ice-cool knock under pressure. Dropped by Herschelle Gibbs after crossing his fifty, Steve Waugh went on to remain unbeaten on 120. He smashed ten fours and two sixes during his famous knock.
The Australian captain and Ricky Ponting (69) featured in a key 126-run stand for the fourth wicket to bring the chase back on track. After Ponting’s dismissal, Steve Waugh ensured he batted till the end, taking the team home by five wickets and two balls to spare.
Mark Waugh’s top 3 knocks
#1 153* vs India at Chinnaswamy Stadium (1998)
Mark Waugh played one of his finest Test knocks in India in the third Test of the 1998 series. After losing the first two Tests, Australia were determined to avoid a whitewash. The younger Waugh played a stellar role, scoring an unbeaten 153 in Australia’s first innings.
Earlier, batting first, India posted an impressive 424, thanks to Sachin Tendulkar’s magnificent 177. Australia needed someone to match Tendulkar’s effort to stay in the game. Mark Waugh rose to the fore, scoring a sublime hundred. He faced 267 balls and occupied the crease for 375 minutes, caressing 13 fours and four sixes.
Mark Waugh’s brilliance combined with Michael Slater’s 91 lifted Australia to exactly 400. After India collapsed to 169 in their second innings, captain Mark Taylor’s unbeaten 102 guided the visitors to an eight-wicket triumph.
#2 173 vs West Indies at MCG – 2nd final of 2001 Carlton Series
Mark Waugh’s career-best ODI score of 173 came against West Indies at the MCG in the second final of the Carlton Series in February 2001. After losing the first final, West Indies sent Australia into bat after winning the toss.
Australia lost Adam Gilchrist for 5, but Mark Waugh was in sublime form on the day. He smashed 16 fours and three sixes en route to an imperious innings of 173, which came off only 148 balls. Laurie Williams and Marlon Samuels suffered the most, conceding 72 and 71 runs in eight and ten overs, respectively.
Mark Waugh found able support from Ricky Ponting (63) and Michael Bevan (58) as Australia piled up a mammoth 338 for 6 in their allotted 50 overs. Despite half-centuries from Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds and Ridley Jacobs, West Indies were bowled out for 299, losing the game by 39 runs to concede the Carlton series as well
#3 110 vs New Zealand at Chepauk – 1996 World Cup Quarter-final
Mark Waugh enjoyed a tremendous run in the 1996 World Cup held in the sub-continent. He reserved one of his best knocks against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in a high-scoring quarter-final game in Chennai.
New Zealand batted first and posted an impressive 286 for 9 on the board. Chris Harris led the way with a magnificent 130 off 124 balls, while captain Lee Germon contributed 89 off 96 deliveries.
At the halfway stage, New Zealand seemed like the favourites. But Mark Waugh and Australia had other ideas. Waugh came in and scored a stunning hundred. He smashed 110 off only 112 balls, scoring six fours and two sixes, to knock the Kiwis out of the tournament.
Mark Waugh’s innings put New Zealand on the back foot. Although he was dismissed at the team score of 213, captain Steve Waugh (59 not out) and Stuart Law (42 not out) guided Australia home without any further hiccups.
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