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Stats: Stephen Cook becomes the fourth-oldest batsman to score century on Test debut

Stephen Cook's century helps South Africa establish some control after day one of the fourth Test against England.

Stephen Cook
Cook now holds the national record for the highest score by a Test debutant over the age of 30

Stephen Cook became the 100th player to score a hundred on Test debut on day one of the final Test between South Africa and England. In the process, the 33-year-old also became the fourth-oldest batsman to score a century on his Test debut.

Cook, who was making his Test debut 16 years after making his first-class debut, made the most of his chance as he scored 115 and was involved in a double-hundred run second-wicket partnership with Hashim Amla, who also got to his 25th century.

While his debut hundred was certainly impressive, it was a little surprise it took so long for him to eventually make his debut. Cook has played over 150 first-class matches and has scored over 11,000 runs and has 35 hundreds to his name with an impressive average of 41.10.

In fact, his highest score of 390 is the highest individual score made in first-class cricket in South Africa. So, he would have certainly been disappointed he didn’t cash in and make a daddy hundred.

However, he fared much better on his debut than his father Jimmy Cook, who got a golden duck on debut against India in 1992. Although he made 43 in the second innings, he only played two further Tests for the Proteas, a feat Stephen will be looking to avoid.

Last year, Adam Voges broke the record for the oldest debutant to score a Test century, when got an unbeaten 130* against West Indies aged 35 years and 243 days. Not only was the 20th Australian to score a century on Test debut, he was also one of only two players to have scored a century on Test debut after 35.

The only other player was Dave Houghton of Zimbabwe who scored his hundred against India aged 35 years and 118 days. In a distant third place is England’s Billy Griffith who made the highest debut score on this list.

In fourth place is Cook, who got to his milestone at the age of 33 years and 54 days and rounding off the list is an Australian, Herbie Collins.

Only eight players who made their Test debut after turning 30, have scored a century on debut. Here are five of the oldest.

Five oldest batsmen to score century on Test debut

NoBatsmanOppositionScoreAge
1Adam Voges (Australia)West Indies130*35 years 243 days
2Dave Houghton (Zimbabwe)India12135 years 118 days
3Billy Griffith (England)West Indies14033 years 240 days
4Stephen Cook (South Africa)England11533 years 54 days
5Herbie Collins (Australia)England10432 years 334 days
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