December 29, 2007

Triple play

the most 300s the other day and like I wrote to you that record is held by Bradman (334 and 304) and Lara (400* and 375*).

Bradman could have been the sole holder of the record but like I was telling you on the phone, he was left stranded 299* in one test as the last man got run out for 0 when "in an attempt to keep the strike he tried a risky second run, and Australia's No. 11 Hugh "Pud" Thurlow - a fastish bowler from Queensland who was playing in his only Test - was run out by Syd Curnow's return to the wicketkeeper Jock Cameron."

Also, this 299* was in the middle of his amazing streak that began with the famous Ashes series of 1930. His streak leading up to the 299* reads: 8, 254, 334, 14, 232, 4, 25, 223, 152, 43, 226, 112, 2, 299* tests against England, WI, and RSA.

Note that other than Bradman's own 334, there had been only 1 triple century then by the first-ever triple centurion, Andy Sandham, who had scored 325 when he was in his 40th year - a mega 10-hour innings at Kingston, Jamaica, when England piled up 849 off the West Indies bowling - in what was to be Sandham's last test!!

However, in the next inning after that great 299*, Bradman got a first-ball 0. That 0 came in the first inning of the (in)famous Bodyline series, where Douglas Jardine used questionable tactics to stop Bradman's flow of runs! Here's a report from wikipedia:

He withdrew from the first Test at Sydney amid rumours that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Despite his absence, England bowled Bodyline (as it was now dubbed) and won an ill-tempered match in which Stan McCabe scored a famous century.
The public clamoured for the return of Bradman to defeat Bodyline: "he was the batsman who could conquer this cankerous bowling... "Bradmania", amounting almost to religious fervour, demanded his return". Included as a replacement for ALan Kippax, Bradman walked to the crease on the first day of the second Test at the MCG with the score at 2/67. A world record crowd of 63,993 provided a standing ovation that delayed play for several minutes.Anticipating the bouncer first ball, Bradman moved across to play the hook shot. The ball failed to rise and he dragged it onto his stumps, thus making a first-ball duck in a Test for the first time. The crowd fell into stunned silence as he walked off.
This was the low point of Bradman's illustrious career. Bradman had gone 11 innings without a century, the longest such spell of his career, prompting suggestions that Bodyline had eroded his confidence and altered his technique.

And then came another high-point... the 1934 return series to England to reclaim the Ashes...when Bradman surged back into form with 758 runs in the 5 tests, including his 2nd triple century followed by 244 in the next test (which was part of a long-held but now-overtaken record partnership with Ponsford of 451 runs for the 2nd wicket)

P.S. When he scored 334 (his highest score) at Leeds in 1930.... he scored 309 of those runs in one day!

11 Jul, 1930: Day 1 - Australia 1st innings 458/3 (DG Bradman 309*, SJ McCabe 12*)

These days, the entire team scores 300 runs in a day and we are amazed. Bradman scored a triple ton in one day (record still holds for most runs scored by a batsman on one day.) He was in prolific form in that series and scored 974 runs at an average of 139.14 in just 7 innings!

Don Bradman set the record for most runs in a Test series during the 1930 Ashes in England. He scored 974 runs in five Tests but actually batted only seven times, hitting two double-centuries and his career-best 334. In fact, that innings alone was nearly as much as Australia's second-highest runscorer, Bill Woodfull, managed in the entire series: 345 runs at an average of 57.50.

Its perhaps been done...but some day I'll write a book on Sir Donald Bradman. The man was amazing! Jo bhi batting record dekho..he's on the list! And this after 6 decades of cricket (he retired in 1948 60 years next year) and many amazing feats of batting since then! (Given the pace at which he played, one could be sure that he would have made an amazing ODI and T20 batsman!!)

A double century and a century in the same match -- would be a nice record* to boast about when he is 80! Gavaskar (124 and 220 at Port of Spain in his debut series) being the only Indian to do it so far. (Guess who else has that enviable record -- Ganguly's friend - Greg Chappell, who scored 247* and 133 against NZ in 1974 when Ganguly was < 2 years old).

this is one of the few batting records that the prolific Bradman does not have - he never scored a 200 and a 100 in the same match (though he scored 300+ runs in a single day!.

Also, Vishal: Bradman has test records of 2 300s (shared with lara) and a record 12 200s but in first-class cricket, no one comes close to his record: 37 200s and 7 300s!! And he has 117 100s in 338 innings, better than one every three innings. Nobody else has done better than one in five. Little wonder then that he is the fastest man to 100 first-class hundreds - in a mere 295 innings (next best Denis Compton in almost twice that many - 552 - innings!) and has the highest average in first-class crickets too -- 95.14 (no other player with 25,000 runs or more above 57) to go with his now-famous 99.94 average in tests.

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