Stats: Oldest triple centurions in first-class cricket
Former New Zealand opener Michael Papps became the oldest triple centurion since World War II after his unbeaten triple ton for Wellington against Auckland at the Basin Reserve, Wellington in the opening round of the 2017/18 season of the Plunket Shield. In the process, the 38-year-old joined an elite list, broke several records and became the eighth-oldest triple centurion in the history of first-class cricket.
At 38 years and 113 days, Papps is the oldest New Zealand player to score a triple century in first-class cricket. However, he doesn't even feature in the top five in the list of oldest triple centurions and is a whopping 10 years behind the world record holder WG Grace, who scored a first-class triple ton, just two years short of his 50th birthday.
However, he did break former England batsman, Graham Gooch's record of being the oldest triple centurion since World War II. While the English batsman scored 333 against India at Lord's a few days after his 37th birthday, Papps broke that record by more than a year.
Among the oldest triple centurions, four of the top five have come in the County Championship. Two England batsmen achieved the feat in international cricket and only two don't involve either an England international or be scored in England. Aside from Dave Nourse, who scored an unbeaten 304 for Natal against Transvaal in 1920, Papps' triple ton for Wellington against Auckland is the only other such score.
Courtesy of his century, Papps became first player from Wellington to score a triple century, beating the previous-best of 296 scored by John R Reid against Northern Districts over five decades ago. Aside from being the sixth triple century in Plunket Shield history (eighth in first-class matches in New Zealand), this is also the opener's highest score in first-class cricket, bettering his previous highest of 206* and his 32nd century in first-class cricket.
His unbeaten 316 helped Wellington declare on 553/3 after bowling out Auckland for 62 and take a massive lead in the first round of the 2017/18 season of the Plunket Shield. The opening partnership of 432 between Papps and Luke Woodcock is the highest opening partnership in first-class matches held in New Zealand, beating the previous record held by Central Districts' Peter Ingram and Jamie How against Wellington at the same venue eight seasons ago. It is also the second-highest partnership in Plunket Shield history.
Although Papps only played 14 international matches for New Zealand, the last of which was a Test against South Africa in 2007, he has been prolific in domestic cricket, where he is the leading run-getter in the Plunket Shield and also the only batsman to score more than 10,000 runs.
His unbeaten 316 in this match is also the fifth-highest score in the tournament's history and his maiden triple ton, which helped put him on an elite list, consisting of some of the best players to have ever played the game.
Here is the complete list of the oldest triple centurions in the history of first-class cricket: