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On this day in sport: A key date for NHL great Gretzky and another World Cup for Australia

By Patric Ridge

London, March 29: If you were to ask Wayne Gretzky what his favourite day of the year was, do not be surprised if the NHL icon said March 29.

Gretzky achieved not one, but two landmark feats in his career on this date, albeit 18 years apart.

March 29 is also a big day for cricket, with two memorable moments coming on this date.

We take a closer look at what happened on this day in years gone by.

1981 & 1999 – Gretzky makes the great

Nicknamed "The Great One", Wayne Gretzky is roundly considered to be one of the greatest ice hockey players of all time.

On March 29, 1981, 20-year-old Gretzky broke Phil Esposito's NHL record for most points in a season by getting three assists in the Edmonton Oilers' 5-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Civic Arena.

Exactly 18 years later, Gretzky then scored the 894th and final regular-season goal of his NHL career in a 3-1 win for the New York Rangers in a 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders – it was the 1,072nd goal of his professional career, seeing him surpass Gordie Howe as the leading scorer in pro hockey history.

2015 – Aussies make it five

In front of 93,000 at MCG, Australia claimed their fifth Cricket World Cup crown in dominant fashion as New Zealand failed to step up in their first appearance in a final.

While the Black Caps would come much closer four years later, on this occasion they were swatted aside by Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson, with Grant Elliot's 83 pushing them to a measly 183.

The hosts, thanks to messrs David Warner, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke, making his final ODI appearance, strolled to glory inside 34 overs.

2004 – Sehwag makes history

Eleven years before Australia's World Cup triumph came a remarkable innings from Virender Sehwag, as he became the first Indian batsman to hit a Test triple-century.

Sehwag achieved the feat in some style, slapping Saqlain Mushtaq for six – it was the bowler's last international appearance for Pakistan.

By the time Sehwag – who surpassed Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman on his way to the record – edged a Mohammad Sami delivery to the first slip on 309, with India at 509 for three, he had faced 375 balls, striking 39 boundaries and six sixes.

He remains some way short of the record high score in Tests, however, with Brian Lara proudly holding that achievement with 400 not out for West Indies against England in 2004.

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Story first published: Sunday, March 29, 2020, 12:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 29, 2020
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