Double Trouble: Australians with a century in both innings of an Ashes Test match
Scoring a hundred in Tests is a commendable feat in itself. However, scoring a ton in each innings of the same match is the stuff legends are made of.
Only a handful have managed to achieve this feat, with Indian batsman Rohit Sharma being the last to do it against South Africa in October last year. Two months prior and a year to the day, Australian batsman Steve Smith did it against England in the Ashes, becoming just the fifth Aussie cricketer to achieve this feat.
Below, we take a look at the five Australians who are in this illustrious list:
Steve Smith – 2019
After electing to bat first in the opener of the 2019 Ashes Test Series, just as the Australians found themselves in a spot of bother at 17-2, in walked Steve Smith to bat his side out of trouble.
The former skipper smashed 144 off just 219 balls and was the final man dismissed, as Australia notched 284 on the scoreboard owing to Smith’s magical knock. England responded strongly courtesy of fifties from skipper Joe Root and all-rounder Ben Stokes along with a century from opener Rory Burns, as they posted 374 on the scoreboard and were in the driver’s seat in the contest.
The visitors, however, scored 487 thanks to centuries from Smith, who scored 142 off 207 balls, and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who struck 110 off 143. The Australian bundled England out for just 146 in just under 53 overs to win the match by 251 runs and take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Matthew Hayden – 2002
In the first Test of the 2002 Ashes Series in Australia, England elected to field first and it would prove to be an unwise call, as opener Matthew Hayden and skipper Ricky Ponting smashed a century each to help their team pile a massive 492 on the scoreboard.
Hayden struck 197 runs off 268 balls while Ponting scored 123 off 195, as the duo forged a splendid 272-run partnership for the second wicket. After bowling out England for 325, Hayden came in to bat and started just where he left off in the first innings, scoring 103 off 152 balls to guide Australia to 296-5, post which the Aussies declared to set a target of 464 for the hosts.
The England batting line-up proved to be no match for the Australian bowling might, as they were bundled out for just 79 and lost by 384 runs.
Steve Waugh – 1997
Trailing 1-0 in the six-match series, Australia were in the hunt for a win in the third Test in Manchester and standout batsman Steve Waugh took matters into his own hands in the match to lead his side to victory.
Opting to bat first, Waugh walked in with the scoreboard reading 42-3 and proceeded to bat with great panache and style, smashing 108 off 174 balls to guide the visitors to a decent total of 235. The Australian bowling unit dismissed the home side for just 162 and needed a good performance from their batsmen in the second half to assure a victory in the contest.
Waugh came to the fore yet again, scoring 113 off 271 balls, as Australia declared at 395-8, setting a target of 469 for the home side. Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie combined to pick up seven wickets, while Shane Warne picked the other three in the second innings, as Australia bowled out England for 200 and won the contest by 268 runs.
Arthur Morris – 1947
Leading 2-0 in the five-match series in England, visitors Australia needed just a draw to retain the Ashes. The hosts, having won the toss and elected to bat, posted 460 on the scoreboard on the back of a splendid knock of 147 from Denis Compton.
After a solid display with the bat, England got off to a flyer with the ball, reducing Australia to 18-2, dismissing Sir Donald Bradman for a duck. Opener Arthur Morris, who was watching it all unfold from the other end, did not panic, however, and forged a crucial 189-run partnership with Lindsay Hassett, during which Morris reached his century and steadied the Australian ship.
He was finally dismissed on 122, after which batsman Keith Miller also struck a century, helping the visitors post 487 on the scoreboard. Compton hit another century in the second innings and guided England to a total of 340, as the hosts set a target of 314 in 44 overs for the visitors.
Opener Merv Harvey and Morris forged a 116-run opening stand which saw the visitors seal the fate of the contest and retain the Ashes. However, Morris wasn’t finished, as he struck a second century in the Test match and remained unbeaten on 124 off 171 balls, helping Australia draw the Test match and continue to maintain their grip on the urn.
Warren Bardsley – 1909
The first Australian to hit a century in each innings of an Ashes Test match was opener Warren Bardsley in the fifth Test of Australia’s Tour to England.
Electing to bat first, Bardsley smashed 136 in the first match, guiding Australia to a total 325. The visitors mustered 352 in response, primarily thanks to Jack Sharp’s century. The visitors batted magnificently in the second innings, as Bardsley scored another century before being dismissed on 130.
Chasing 313 in 33 overs was a mission impossible for the Englishmen, who proceeded with caution and finished with 104-3 as the match finished in a draw.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk