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Eleven Test centuries in a week

It's Test centuries galore this week in high-scoring matches, to prove this format of cricket is alive and thriving

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What a plethora of runs and tons we’ve seen in Test cricket this past week! In all but six days, no less than eleven Test centuries have been recoded – including two double hundreds, and a near-century at 99.

These scores came in two Tests, played almost simultaneously in Perth and Rawalpindi.

Aus v West Indies Perth Test, 30 Nov – 4 Dec

Australia won this test by 164 runs thanks to a Person of the Match performance by Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne who scored 204 runs in the first innings. He added 142 runs with Usman Khawaja (65) for the second wicket and 251 with Steven Smith (200 not out) for the third wicket. Then Smith added 196 for the fourth wicket with Travis Head (99) as the home team declared at 4 for 598.

Labuschagne also stroked a fluent and unbeaten 104 in the second innings before Australia declared at 2 for 182.

Century hitters Smith and Labuschagne Aus v WI Test 2022
Labuschagne and Smith (Source: Twitter / ICC)

In their two innings, the Aussies amassed 780 runs for the loss of only 6 wickets, at an astounding 130 runs per wicket.

Dismissed for 283 runs in the first innings, the Windies needed a massive 498 runs to win. They made 333 thanks to their captain and opening batsman Kraig Braithwaite making a gritty 110, adding 116 runs for the first wicket with Tagenarine Chandrapaul (45 runs).

The Aussies won by 164 runs to lead the series 1-0.

The highlight of the Test was two double centuries, two centuries, and a near century.

Labuschagne became the eighth player and third Australian to record a century and a double century in one Test. Australian legend Doug Walters was the first to achieve this rare dual feat in 1969.

Cricketer who scored tons and double or triple tons in one test
Centuries and double / triple centuries in the same Test (in chronological order)

In the above list, Gooch and Sangakkara are the only ones to hit triple tons; both scoring these in their first innings. Gavaskar is the only one to score a double century in the second innings.

Labuschagne had help from West Indies’ fielders and bowlers in both innings, with plenty going wrong. In the second innings, he was caught off a top edge when he was at 19. Luckily for him it was a no-ball!

Pak v Eng Rawalpindi Test,1 – 5 Dec

If you think that the Perth Test was dominated by centurions, take note of Eng V Pak at Rawalpindi.

England amassed 657; their first three and number five batter hitting hundreds. They were openers Zak Crawley (122 runs) and Ben Duckett (107) adding 233 for the first wicket. Then number 3 batter Ollie Pope smacked 108 runs and number 5 batter Harry Brook 153.

Pakistan seemed to say in reply to England, whatever you can do, we can do (almost) better – and scored 579. Openers Abdullah Shafiq (114 runs) and the bespectacled Imam-ul-Haq (121) contributed 225 runs. Not to be satisfied, skipper Babar Azam came in at number 4 and hit 136.

Seven centuries were belted in the first innings of both teams.

England declared at 7 for 264 setting the home team 343 to win. In an exciting finish, Pakistan fought till the end, scoring 268. England won this epic Test by 74 runs. No team in the history of Test cricket had lost a Test after scoring over 600 runs in the first innings but England came close in this run-rich match.

It’s been dubbed ’One of the greatest Test wins you’ll see’.

According to England’s veteran fast bowler James Anderson (aged 40) this was the best win he was involved in, in a Test career spanning 19 years.

Now who can say that high scoring matches are boring?

READ ALSO: Cricket at a crossroads

Kersi Meher-Homji
Kersi Meher-Homji
Kersi is a virologist by profession and a cricket writer and cricket statistician by hobby. He is an author of 17 cricket books and over 17,000 cricket and scientific articles.

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