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Gary Sobers birthday special: Dazzling 254 v World XI MCG ” Test”

When we talk of the cricket’s greatest allrounders, Gary Sobers’ name comes in the forefront

From the late 50s to the early 70s he ruled world cricket with his outstanding allrounder’s skills. Being a lefthander, he amassed 8032 runs at 58 average with 26 hundreds in 93 tests. He took 235 test wickets with his medium-pace & skilful spin and snapped 109 catches with his sharp reflexes. The first ever cricketer to hit 6 sixes in an over. He was regarded as a genius by his contemporaries. Gary Sobers birthday special: Dazzling 254 v World XI MCG ” Test”.

On his 85th birthday, we reflect on his dazzling 254 vs Australia playing for World XI at Melbourne.

Sobers 254 v Aus MCG 1972.

Australia and World XI were involved in a 5 match unofficial test series due to the cancellation of the South African tour of Australia in 1971-72 season.

In the 3rd ” Test” at MCG, Australia dominated the first half of the match by knocking over World XI for 184 in the first innings with Lillee taking 5/48.  Sobers made 0. The Aussies were already leading 1-0 in the series.
In reply Australia took a vital first innings lead of 101  as they scored 285 almost entirely due to young  Greg Chappell’s 115 not out. 

With an important 101 lead conceded, World XI batted better in the 2nd innings and reached 146/3 but still only 45 ahead when Sobers came out to bat. 

Gary Sobers birthday special: Dazzling 254 v World XI MCG " Test"
image credits cricaddictor, featured image credits wisden

What the crowd saw next was an innings for the ages. Gary Sobers took the aggressive route and had a great contest against a formidable Australian bowling attack. He was particularly severe on his tormentor in this series, Dennis Lillee unleashing breathtaking drives, cuts and hook shots. Before this innings Sobers’ reputation was rattle somewhat by Lillee who troubled him with his pace but in this innings, Sobers was in total domination as the gigantic MCG saw the full range of his shots and genius.  He was not out 139 on the 3rd day and by the time he got out for 254, World XI was dominating the match.

World XI scored 517 in the 2nd innings. With 414 to win, Australia was bowl out for 317 in the 4th innings and lost by 96 runs. 

Thriving on the momentum of this Sobers’  brilliant innings, World XI went on to with the 5 match series 2-1 with another victory in the 5th test.


Gilmpses of Sobers 254 in a video footage below

video credits robelinda2
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