South African batsman Marco Marais smashes fastest first-class triple century
South African batsman Marco Marais broke a 96-year-old record as he smashed the fastest first-class triple century for Border against Eastern Province in the Sunfoil three-day cup match. Marais got to his triple ton in just 191 balls and became the first batsman to get there in less than 200 balls, comfortably beating the previous record of 221 scored by Australia's Charles McCartney in 1921.
The 24-year-old right-hander scored 35 fours and 13 sixes on his way to his maiden triple ton and only the fourth century of his career. He brought up his 100 off 68 balls and took 71 more balls for his double century. Then he stepped on the pedal as he went from 200 to 300 in just 52 balls and broke a 96-year-old world record in the process.
Speaking to The Daily Dispatch after his record-breaking knock, Marais said: "I don't think anyone actually thinks they are going to get 300. I am really happy but I don't think it has fully sunk in yet. I am just so tired now. I think it will eventually hit me later tonight.
"I was striking the ball so well. I decided that I was just going to go hard at them and it came off in the end.Batting with Bradley was really good. I said to him that he must just play his normal game and that I was going to try and be attacking from the start."
Along with his partner Brad Williams, Marais managed to rescue Border from a precarious 4-84 to 512/4 and claim the first-innings points after the game ended in a draw. The partnership was also the fourth-highest fifth-wicket stand in the history of first-class cricket. Their 428-run partnership was also the third-highest stand for any wicket in a first-class match in South Africa.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja hold the record for the highest fifth-wicket partnership in first-class cricket. Their unbeaten 520 run stand against Orissa in Rajkot in the 2008/09 season still remains the world record no other fifth-wicket partnership has crossed 500 aside from that.
In first-class matches held in South Africa, only Elgar-Rossouw's 480-run partnership for Eagles against Titans at Centurion and Bradfield-Bryant's 441-run stand for Eastern Province against North West at Potchefstroom have scored more than Marais and Williams. Both those partnerships came for the second wicket.
The 24-year-old's record-breaking knock makes the leading scorer in this year's competition and put him in an elite list of players who have scored a first-class triple century in under 250 balls. That list encompasses the likes of the legendary Sir Viv Richards (244), Kusal Perera (244) and Graeme Smith (249).