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When Andy Sandham beat The Don to become the first triple centurion by three months

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England’s Andrew Sandham beat Australia’s Don Bradman by a mere three months to score the first triple century in Test cricket.

Andy Sandham reached the mark on the second day of the fourth Test against West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica on April 4, 1930. 

Bradman’s triple followed against England in the third Ashes Test at Headingley, Leeds in July the same year.

England piled up 849 in the first innings of the timeless Test match at Sabina Park on the back of opener Sandham’s 325 and wicketkeeper Les Ames’ 149. 

Andy Sandham faced 640 deliveries and was in the middle for exactly 10 hours, during which he hit 28 fours and no sixes. 

He made his runs with a bat borrowed from captain Freddie Calthorpe and in shoes belonging to No. 4 Patsy Hendren. 

Sandham was the fifth man to fall, bowled by Herman Griffith with the England score on 720.

West Indies were dismissed for 286 in reply but England did not enforce the follow-on and posted 272/9 declared in their second innings.

Sandham came in to bat at No. 7 this time and added another 50 for a match aggregate of 375. This was another record that stood until Greg Chappell (247* and 133) broke it against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington in 1974.

Set an improbable 836 to win on the sixth day, West Indies responded valiantly, with George Headley cracking 223 and captain Karl Nunes making 92. They had progressed to 408/5 by the seventh day when it started raining. 

No further play was possible as it continued to rain for the next two days and the match was called a draw since it was time for England to set sail for home.

It was to be the last of Andy Sandham’s 14 Tests, as his career unfortunately coincided with the legendary England opening pair of Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe.

Sandham was nearly 40 and had not played for England for almost five years when he was recalled for the West Indies tour. That was only because several regulars were unavailable following a long tour of Australia. 

England had also sent another squad to New Zealand at the same time, so two English teams were playing Test matches simultaneously at the start of 1930, one Down Under and one in the Caribbean.

Sandham continued to represent Surrey in first-class cricket until 1937, scoring a staggering 41,284 runs from 643 matches in exactly 1,000 innings at an average of 44.82. But perhaps, Andy Sadham will be largely remembered for the first triple century in Test cricket.

The 325 against West Indies remained his highest first-class score as he finished with 107 centuries, including one in his last match against Sussex at Hove.

Featured photo : Craig Hughes / Unsplash

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