On this day, 11 years ago in 2000, two stalwarts of the cricket world – Michael Atherton and Alec Stewart – played their 100th Test match. The match was played at Atherton’s home ground Old Trafford. However, it was Stewart, who rose on the occasion by scoring a brilliant century. It was also the fourth instance in the history of the game when a batter has smashed a century in their 100th game. Before Stewart, England’s Colin Cowdrey, Pakistan’s Javed Miandad and Gordon Greenidge of West Indies were the three players to reach the special feat.
Stewart reached the magical feat during the third Test match of the five-match series between West Indies and England. The rain played spoilsport on the first and the last day of the match as the game was drawn. However, Stewart’s fairy-tale happenings and West Indies great Brian Lara’s majestic knock made the Test a memorable one.
The modest total of 157 runs in West Indies’ first innings, in front of some world-class bowling by England pacers, had given hope to the host. The English batters also performed reasonably well in their first inning to further enhance their chances.
However, a resurged West Indies unit led by Brian Lara forced the England team to share the honours. It will be also wrong to say that rain did not play a huge role in the outcome of the result. In the end, West Indies had set the host 293 runs target to win the match and England seemed well on course to complete the chase as they knocked off 80 runs before the match was announced to be drawn.
In their second innings, England lost just one wicket in form of Atherton after his 61-run stand with Marcus Trescothick. The England team went on to win the series 3-1 to take the Wisden trophy home.
It was also the fourth instance in the history of the game when a batter has smashed a century in their 100th game. (Image: ICC/Twitter)