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The highest individual score in each of the 4 innings of a Test match

Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:50 IST

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene

Batting in Tests is not easy. The batsmen have the arduous task of negating the pace and the swing when the ball is new, and dealing with the vicious turn and bounce as the pitch wears out.

Each innings of a Test match poses a different challenge. The batsmen need to get acclimatized to the weather conditions, read and understand the nature of the pitch, be mentally ready to face the opposition attack and finally, adjust their technique as per the condition of the pitch.

Over the history of Test cricket, there have been several batsmen who have batted with resilience and grit. They have displayed all kinds of batsmanship that the cricketing world could have asked for - blunting out testing spells, salvaging a draw or playing a marathon knock.

On that note, let us look at the highest individual score across all four innings in Test matches.

1st innings: 400 (Brian Lara against England in 2004)

Brian Lara
Brian Lara

Brian Lara was the lone bright spark of the West Indies batting line-up in the 1990s and 2000s. Hailed as the 'Prince of Trinidad', Lara's stroke-play would make the spectators gape at him in awe.

Always possessing a hunger to score big, Lara is the only cricketer to have notched up a quadruple century. He achieved the feat against England at Antigua in the year 2004. The innings was studded with 43 fours and 6 maximums.

This was an especially important knock for Lara as the team had already lost the series and the West Indies Cricket Board was planning to remove him from the captaincy.

2nd innings: 374 (Mahela Jayawardene against South Africa in 2006)

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene
Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardane's 374 against South Africa in 2006 is the fourth-highest individual Test score and the highest in the second innings of a Test match.

Sri Lanka were in deep trouble at 14/2, but what followed was a record-breaking partnership of 624 runs between Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. The South Africans were absolutely clueless as to how to break the partnership.

Jayawardene was in full flow, essaying gorgeous drives, cuts and pulls. Sangakkara too matched him stroke for stroke and the two batted together for over two and a half days.

When Jayawardene missed out on a 400, Sangakkara said, "Cricket's that sort of game. You can score a double hundred, or a triple hundred, and still be disappointed. But I was proud to be part of a partnership where Mahela batted so brilliantly - everyone's disappointed for him that he couldn't get to the 400 mark."

3rd innings: 337 (Hanif Mohammed against West Indies in 1958)

Hanif Mohammed
Hanif Mohammed

Hanif Mohammed spent a record 970 minutes to notch up a triple century against the West Indies in 1958.

After the Windies posted a mammoth 579, Pakistan were bundled out for just 106 in their first innings. Asked to follow on, Pakistan were expected to fold meekly in the second too. But the 22-year-old Hanif had other ideas.

His innings personified absolute grit and concentration. He never even attempted to touch the wide deliveries outside off stump, and his 16-hour vigil helped Pakistan secure a memorable draw.

Hanif's 337 is the highest Test score by a Pakistani batsman and the highest individual away score.

4th innings: 223 (George Headley against England in 1930)

Geroge Headley
Geroge Headley

George Headley was the first of the legendary stroke-makers from West Indies. Often referred to as the 'Black Bradman', Headley had an impressive debut Test series against England. He scored 703 runs in eight innings at a remarkable average of 87.80.

Headley scored a brilliant double century in the fourth innings of the fourth Test. This record is unlikely to be broken as it was achieved during the era of timeless Tests.

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Published 23 Oct 2019, 20:15 IST
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