Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s magnificent innings on Saturday evening during the third match against Australia at Mohali was the third highest by a captain for the losing cause over the years. We enumerate herewith a list of other four instances among the top five innings:
Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 164 v South Africa at Johannesburg on March 12, 2006: The superb innings was played in the most memorable match in which records tumbled as fast as runs: highest successful run-chase & second-highest team total, fastest & second fastest individual 150s, etc. Ponting batting at his usual number three position smashed 164 in just 105 deliveries with the help of 13 fours and nine sixes as Australia raced to 434 for four off their stipulated 50 overs. South Africa in turn gave a fitting reply and in fact won the sensational contest with one wicket and a ball to spare. Both Ponting and Herschelle Gibbs (175) were named Man of the Match.
Graeme Smith (South Africa) – 141 v England at Centurion on September 27, 2009: England, electing to bat first, made 323 for eight in their 50 overs in the Champions Trophy league match with Man of the Match Owais Shah plundering swashbuckling 98. In reply, Smith led the side from the front and remained the only player to score more than 40 runs in that innings. He single-handedly took the team towards the ultimate goal but failed in the end as he was ninth batsman to be dismissed at 274 while facing 134 deliveries and scoring 16 fours in his controlled knock. However his team lost by 22 runs.
Chris Gayle (West Indies) – 135 v New Zealand at Napier on January 13, 2009: Another southpaw opener Chris Gayle mustered whirlwind 135 off just 129 balls with the help of nine fours and five sixes – one of which landed in the back garden of a nearby house - after West Indies were sent in by Kiwis. It was his 19th ODI century which set him on par with Brian Lara’s West Indian record. As New Zealand’s reply began it was very clear that rain and Duckworth/Lewis method will play paramount role in the outcome of the game. As it happened the home team just managed to surge ahead with nine runs at the end of 35th over. Gayle’s only consolation was that he bagged the Man of the Match award.
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) – 128 not out v New Zealand at Harare on October 20, 2011: Zimbabwe eventually reached their score of 231 for six off allotted 50 overs thanks to stirring rearguard led by their captain Brendan Taylor whose unbeaten 128 lifted them from the precarious position of 21 for four in 11 overs. He faced 120 deliveries while hitting seven fours and five sixes. Zimbabwe’s score was not enough was further proved by debutant and Man of the Match Rob Nicol's unbeaten 108 as Kiwis raced to nine wickets triumph with more than six overs to spare.