A tale of fifties at the ICC Champions Trophy

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With 50 days to go until the start of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, we look at standout 50s from tournaments gone by…

Over the course of seven ICC Champions Trophy tournaments, 229 scores of 50 or more have been made, an average of 32.7 per edition. To celebrate 50 days to go until this year’s tournament, we look back at some of the most famous fifties.

In the first ever edition in 1998 – ¬which was known as the ICC Knock-Out Trophy – 23 fifties were scored across eight games.

The most batsman-friendly tournament was the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 in India, when 44 fifties were scored across the tournament.

Former India captains Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly hold the record for most fifties at the Champions Trophy, having both hit six scores of 50 or more

India have also been the most prolific team, with their 33 half-centuries putting them at the top of the list just ahead of England on 32, and Australia and South Africa – who are both on 29.

The first-ever 50 came from the opening batsman in the first-ever game at the tournament. Zimbabwe’s Alistair Campbell opened the innings against New Zealand in the preliminary quarter-final in 1998, and went on to score exactly 100.

The most recent came from India’s Virat Kohli, who scored 58 in the 2013 semi-final against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

It’s no surprise that the fastest-ever ICC Champions Trophy 50 was scored by Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi in the 2002 edition. He smashed 55* off just 18 balls against the Netherlands in Colombo – with a huge strike-rate of 305.55.

Six batsmen average 50 or more at the ICC Champions Trophy (minimum of ten innings). They are: Sourav Ganguly, Damien Martyn, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs and Paul Collingwood.

Australia

In all, 29 fifties have been scored by Australians, with their first ever 50 at the ICC Champions Trophy coming from Steve Waugh in 1998.

Damien Martyn and Ricky Ponting have scored the joint most fifties for Australia at the ICC Champions Trophy, with five apiece.

Martyn is also the only Australian batsman to average over 50 at the tournament (min 10 inns).

Bangladesh

Bangladesh have hit four fifties at the ICC Champions Trophy, coming from four different batsmen – Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Aftab Ahmed and Javed Omar. It was Omar who scored the country’s first 50 in the 2000 edition against England in Nairobi. Their most recent score of 50 or over came from Nafees, who went on to convert his half-century into a huge 123* against Zimbabwe in 2006.

England

England rank second in most fifties scored at the ICC Champions Trophy, just one behind India. Two England players – Neil Fairbrother and Adam Hollioake – scored fifties in their country’s first ever match at the competition, against South Africa in 1998.

Marcus Trescothick leads the way when it comes to fifties scored for England, as he has passed the half-century mark on four separate occasions in just eight innings.

Trescothick scored three of those fifties in the 2004 edition, where he led the ranks for fifties scored across all competing nations.

India

As mentioned previously, not only have India scored the most fifties by a country (33), but they also have the top two individual 50 makers in Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid – who’ve both passed 50 on six occasions.

It was the ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar who scored India’s first ever ICC Champions Trophy fifty in 1998. He put on a sensational show to knock 141 off 128 balls against Australia in the quarter-final in Dhaka.

New Zealand

Craig McMillan and Stephen Fleming lead the way in fifties for New Zealand, with three half-centuries each at the ICC Champions Trophy. They account for six of New Zealand’s 22 fifties, the first of which came from Fleming himself in 1998, when he scored 96 in the Black Caps’ dramatic win over Zimbabwe in the preliminary quarter-final.

Pakistan

Pakistan are the second-lowest fifty scorers of the teams competing in this year’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017, having scored 16 fifties in previous tournaments. Their first came back in the inaugural ICC Knock-Out Trophy 1998, as Ijaz Ahmed made 51 off 78 balls, but it was in vain as they were knocked out by West Indies.

Six of those 16 half-centuries were made by Saeed Anwar and Mohammed Yousuf, who lead the ranks of Pakistan fifty-makers with three each.

South Africa

Not only is Herschelle Gibbs the only South African to average over 50 at the ICC Champions Trophy (minimum 10 innings), he is also tied with Jacques Kallis for the most fifties scored by his countrymen at the tournament – they both passed fifty on three occasions.

As a team, the Proteas have knocked 29 half-centuries, joint third with Australia for most fifties by a nation at the tournament. They hit three half-centuries in their first ever game at the inaugural edition in 1998, with Daryll Cullinan, Hansie Cronje and Jonty Rhodes all passing 50 as they beat England in the quarter-final.

Sri Lanka

It’s no surprise to see Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara at the top of the list of most fifties for Sri Lanka. Both were prolific run-scorers in all formats of the game and it was no different in the ICC Champions Trophy, where they both passed fifty on five occasions – accounting for ten of Sri Lanka’s 28 fifties.

Arjuna Ranatunga hit his country’s first fifty at the tournament, during his match-winning innings of 90 against New Zealand in the ICC Knock-Out Trophy 1998 quarter-final.

50s by tournament:

1998 – 23
2000 – 26
2002 – 37
2004 – 25
2006 – 44
2009 – 39
2013 – 35

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