Wicketkeepers are the heart and soul of a cricket team without whom success cannot be imagined. Their stellar work behind the wicket assists the bowlers in picking crucial scalps and dismantling the opposition line-up. It’s a bit unfair when keepers have to bear the brunt of a lot of criticism when they drop catches or miss stumpings, especially considering they aren’t credited enough for their good work done otherwise. Though it is a harsh reality, most of the international keepers have accepted this fact and know this is the only way forward, where you perform and remain relevant or cope with backlash if you can’t manage to. In that respect, being a wicketkeeper is very tough and those who manage to shoulder that responsibility for a major part of their career deserve the requisite applause and accolades.
Some of the players belonging to this elite group of wicketkeepers have also managed to contribute with the bat along with their keeping skills. This includes, the players batting at different positions, be it the opening slot or in the middle order and leaving a similar impact on the game. The all-round benefaction i.e. being vigilant and proactive behind the wicket during the bowling innings and plundering runs with the bat in hand either during a chase or setting a total, ranks as equally important as one conjured by a genuine all-rounder. In the below piece, we look at 5 such keepers, who scored a century and took 4 catches in the same ODI game:
1. Alec Stewart
This aggressive keeper-batsman from England pulled off this feat during the 8th game against Zimbabwe in the Natwest series contested in the year 2000.
England, who batted first posted 262-8 on the back of a wonderful knock of 101 by Stewart. In reply, Zimbabwe were restricted to 210 in their 50 overs, handing the hosts a win by 52 runs.
Stewart took 4 catches in the game, dismissing batsmen like Johnson, Carlisle, Andy Flower and Viljoen and left his all-round impact on the fixture.
2. AB de Villiers
This modern-day genius from South Africa achieved the landmark during the 2nd ODI against Zimbabwe in 2010.
Bowling first, the host nation restricted the visitors, Zimbabwe to 268, where ‘ABD’ took 4 catches as a keeper, the batsmen being Chibhabha, Taylor, Dabengwa and Williams.
As expected, it turned out to be a cakewalk for South Africa as they chased the total down by 8 wickets and 66 balls remaining, predominantly owing to 101 off 72 balls by de Villiers and 110 by Amla.
3. Quinton de Kock
The current skipper of the South African team, de Kock wrote his name in the illustrious list during the 2nd ODI against India in 2013.
The hosts, who were batting first, posted 280-6 on the board, courtesy centuries by openers Amla and de Kock, who struck 100 and 106 runs respectively.
In response, India were skittled out for a mere 146 runs, giving the opposition a victory by a whopping margin of 134 runs.
De Kock was fantastic behind the wicket grabbing 4 catches of quality batsmen like Kohli, Rahane, Dhoni and Jadeja and thus, making an authoritative statement at the biggest stage.
4. Kumar Sangakkara
The great Sri Lankan batsman accomplished the milestone during the 6th ODI of England’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2014.
The hosts while batting first compiled 292-7 on the board, owing to a gritty 112 off 112 balls by Sangakkara. The target, though, not being the toughest going around, proved too significant as England were bundled out for 202, bestowing their opponents a triumph by 90 runs.
Sangakkara caught as many as 4 catches behind the wicket of batsmen like Ali, Bopara, Morgan and Jordan and made the visitors pay a huge price.
5. Shai Hope
This rising talent for the Windies walked into this list after performing brilliantly against Sri Lanka during the 1st ODI at Colombo in 2020.
The visitors who batted first, posted 289-7 on the board, owing to a steady 115 off 140 balls by Hope. The contest did go into the final over of the Lankan innings as the hosts won it by just 1 wicket and 5 balls to spare.
The win, though, did not stop Hope from impressing the world as he grabbed 4 catches of batsmen like Fernando, Karunaratne, Mathews and Udana, and rightly added to the excitement level of the game.