Watch: Marlon Samuels celebrates maiden ODI hundred, waves Steve Waugh’s red handkerchief
Watch: Against India in Vijayawada in 2001/02, Marlon Samuels raced to his maiden ODI hundred. He celebrated the milestone by waving a red handkerchief borrowed from Steve Waugh.
While his immense potential with the bat was obvious, Samuels had achieved little in international cricket until the India tour of 2001/02 in either format. His 12 Test matches had fetched 535 runs at 29.04, while his 29 ODIs had got him 683 runs at 28.45.
In India, he finally played in the third Test match, in Kolkata, after the hosts had already taken a 2-0 lead. He did get that first Test hundred, but only after Wavell Hinds and Shivnarine Chanderpaul also got theirs. The match fizzled out to a draw.
The seven-match ODI series turned out to be closer. The West Indies took a 2-0 lead, but India drew level with consecutive wins. The tourists won the fifth ODI, but India won the sixth, and it came down to the decider, at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Vijayawada.
The tourists, playing without Brian Lara, quickly became 16-2 before Hinds (58) and Ramnaresh Sarwan (83) added 116. Samuels arrived after 28 overs and raced to a hundred, batting with – to quote the Wisden Almanack – “a flair and a swagger recalling Viv Richards”.
He remained unbeaten on a 75-ball 108, with 11 fours and five sixes. He marked the three-figure mark – his first in the format – by taking out a red handkerchief from his pocket.
Samuels had made his Test debut in Australia less than two years ago. After Australia had routed the West Indies 5-0, a 19-year-old Samuels requested home captain Waugh for the famous red handkerchief that the latter carried in his pocket.
Waugh obliged, and the piece of charm was passed on. It took two years to bear fruit, but in the next decade Samuels would become the first to win the Player of the Match in the final of a men’s T20 World Cup twice.
At Vijayawada, India collapsed to 180 despite Yuvraj Singh’s valiant 69-ball 68. Jermaine Lawson picked up 4-57 and Chris Gayle 3-22.