Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe’s current ODI and T20I captain, waited for 160 ODI innings for his maiden ODI ton © Getty Images
Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe’s current ODI and T20I captain, waited for 160 ODI innings for his maiden ODI ton © Getty Images

Elton Chigumbura’s first two One-Day International (ODI) centuries came back-to-back after having waited for 160 innings for his maiden century. Bharath Seervi lists other players who did the same in the past.

Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe’s current ODI and T20I captain, waited for 160 ODI innings and more than 10 years to score his maiden ODI century. He finally got his maiden ODI hundred against Pakistan at Lahore on May 26, 2015 — on his 161st ODI innings. He did not stop at that. He scored another ton in his next innings, against India at Harare on July 10, 2015. He had no century from 160 innings and then got two in two.

Before Chigumbura, 14 other batsmen started their centuries’ campaign in a similar way — but none took so many innings to achieve the same. Before Chigumbura, the last batsman to score his first two ODI centuries in successive innings was Mahmudullah in ICC World Cup 2015. They were the first centuries for Mahmudullah in ODIs as well for Bangladesh in their World Cup history.

The first batsman with such a sequence was Roy Dias who scored his first two centuries on September 15 and September 26, 1982, against India at Kotla and Chinnaswamy respectively. They were Dias’ first two ODI centuries as well as the first two by Sri Lankans in ODIs. Others who did it before 2000 are Dean Jones, Mark Greatbatch, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Brian Lara and Nick Knight.

The table below lists the 15 batsmen including Chigumbura, who scored their first two ODI centuries in consecutive innings.

Career’s first two ODI centuries in consecutive innings

Batsman Team Runs Against Venue Date
Roy Dias Sri Lanka 102 India Kotla 15-Sep-82
121 India Chinnaswamy 26-Sep-82
Dean Jones Australia 104 England WACA 01-Jan-87
121 Pakistan WACA 02-Jan-87
Mark Greatbatch New Zealand 102* England Headingley 23-May-90
111 England The Oval 25-May-90
Inzamam-ul-Haq Pakistan 101 Sri Lanka Multan 17-Jan-92
117 Sri Lanka Rawalpindi 19-Jan-92
Brian Lara West Indies 128 Pakistan Kingsmead 19-Feb-93
111* South Africa Bloemfontein 23-Feb-93
Nick Knight England 113 Pakistan Edgbaston 31-Aug-96
125* Pakistan Trent Bridge 01-Sep-96
Kumar Sangakkara Sri Lanka 100* Pakistan Sharjah 04-Apr-03
103* Kenya Sharjah 06-Apr-03
Andrew Flintoff England 106 New Zealand Bristol 04-Jul-04
123 West Indies Lord’s 06-Jul-04
William Porterfield Ireland 112* Bermuda Nairobi (Jaff) 31-Jan-07
104* Kenya Nairobi (Ruaraka) 02-Feb-07
Mohammad Shahzad Afghanistan 110 Netherlands Amstelveen 01-Sep-09
118 Canada Sharjah 16-Feb-10
Rohit Sharma India 114 Zimbabwe Bulawayo 28-May-10
101* Sri Lanka Bulawayo 30-May-10
David Warner Australia 163 Sri Lanka The Gabba 04-Mar-12
100 Sri Lanka Adelaide Oval 06-Mar-12
Shikhar Dhawan India 114 South Africa Cardiff 06-Jun-13
102* West Indies The Oval 11-Jun-13
Mahmudullah Bangladesh 103 England Adelaide Oval 09-Mar-15
128* New Zealand Hamilton 13-Mar-15
Elton Chigumbura Zimbabwe 117 Pakistan Lahore 26-May-15
104* India Harare 10-Jul-15

– Chigumbura is the only one for whom both centuries came while chasing.

– Chigumbura is the only one for whom both innings were scored at a strike rate of more than 100.

– Kumar Sangakkara and William Porterfield are the only two batsmen for whom both the centuries were unbeaten.

– David Warner is the only batsman to score another century in his next innings.

– Porterfield and Mohammad Shahzad are the two batsmen from Associate Nations.

– With Chigumbura and Mahmudullah, there is at least one batsman from each of the ten Test-playing nations except South Africa.

– Jones, Sangakkara and Rohit Sharma scored both their centuries at the same venue but against different oppositions.

– Dias, Greatbatch, Inzamam, Knight and Warner scored both centuries against same oppositions but on different venues.

– Mahmudullah is the only one to achieve this in World Cup.

– Kumar Sangakkara (100* and 103*) is the only one whose both centuries were less than 110.

– The centuries of Warner were in the first and the second final of Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12.

– Barring Chigumbura, no one had played 100 or more innings before achieve this. Mahmudullah played 97, Sangakkara 78 and Andrew Flintoff 63.

– Knight and Shahzad did it just in their career’s second and third innings after failing on debut.

– Chigumbura scored 18 fifties before his maiden century. Brian Lara and Andrew Flintoff scored 12 each.

– Inzamam scored two centuries by his sixth innings in ODIs. He scored only eight more from 344 innings.

– Sangakkara scored the most ODI centuries (25) among the above 15 batsmen. Lara scored 19.

– Dias and Greatbatch did not score another century in their ODI career in future. Mahmudullah and Chigumbura also have scored only two centuries but haven’t retired.

Footnote Trivia – Careers without two consecutive ODI centuries

Batsmen who scored most ODI centuries without a single sequence of back-to-back centuries are Adam Gilchrist and Nathan Astle — 16 each. Virender Sehwag has 15.

Astle missed out on scoring consecutive centuries twice by getting out in 90s after a century.

Gilchrist did not have such a sequence but he scored two centuries in three innings thrice in his career.

Sehwag just once scored two centuries in three innings.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SeerviBharath and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeerviCricket)