Ask The Spider #102

I know that Garry Sobers maiden Test century was a then-world record 365*, but has anyone else scored a triple century as their first Test century?

Yes, one other batsmen enjoyed this achievement, Australia’s Bobby Simpson, who managed 311 in the 1964 Ashes Test at Old Trafford, Manchester. Simpson shared in a double century opening stand with Bill Lawry, and a fifth wicket partnership of 219 with Brian Booth; he made his runs out of a total of 646.

How many players have scored a double century for their maiden Test century?

So far thirty players have opened their account in this way, the first and so far highest being Reginald Foster’s 287 in the timeless Sydney Ashes Test of 1902-03. Foster, coming in at number five, shared in a fifth wicket stand of 192 with Len Braund and scored his runs from a total of 460. Foster would never again score a century in test cricket.

And who achieved this most recently?

Jason Gillespie, sent in as a nightwatchman against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2006, compiled 201* whilst sharing in a fourth wicket stand of 320 with Mike Hussey. Not surprisingly Australia won by an innings and 80 runs.

Has anyone ever achieved a double century in their final Test match?

Actually someone has recorded a triple century in their final test, England’s Andy Sandham scoring 325 against West Indies at Kingston in 1930 (including a seven and a five and made while wearing a pair of shoes borrowed from his captain, Patsy Hendren), which was at that time a world record and the first ever Test triple. Besides Sandham, four players have ended their Test careers with a double century, namely Bill Ponsford (266 against England at the Oval in 1934), Seymour Nurse (258 vs New Zealand at Christchurch in 1968-69, Aravinda de Silva (206 against Bangladesh at Colombo in 2002-03) and the aforementioned Jason Gillespie, who’s first was also his last.

Who is the youngest player to have scored a double century in a Test?

The youngest player to have scored a double century was Pakistan’s Javed Miandad, who was aged 19 years and 141 days when he scored 206 against New Zealand at Karachi in 1976.

And the oldest?

Eric Rowan was seven days past his 42nd birthday when he amassed 236 against England at Leeds in 1951.




>> Reginald Foster\’s 287 in the timeless Sydney Ashes Test of 1902-03.

Off by a year

>> borrowed from his captain, Patsy Hendren

Hendren was not captain

Comment by Capiota | 12:00am GMT 27 March 2010

Thanks Capiota – should have said 1903-4 for Foster, and he borrowed the bat from his captain, Calthorpe, not the shoes (which were Hendren\’s).

Comment by Dave Wilson | 12:00am BST 1 April 2010

Thanks Dave. Both the shoes and bat were new bits of trivia for me

Comment by Tapioca | 12:00am BST 2 April 2010

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