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Highest 1st innings score in Test cricket: The England team that almost scored 1000 runs

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The England cricket team holds the record for the highest 1st innings score in Test cricket.

The English team of 1938 posted a score of 903/7d in the fifth Test of Australia's tour of England. Opener Leonard Hutton went all guns blazing with the bat as he hammered 364 runs off 847. His innings, which lasted 13 hours and 20 minutes, is the highest individual Test score by an England batter.

In response, Australia could only manage scores of 201 & 123 (follow-on) as England claimed a victory by an innings and 579 runs, the biggest ever winning margin in a Test match.

The match, however, proved to be a nightmare for Chuck Fleetwood-Smith as the Australian spinner conceded a whopping 298 runs in his 87-over spell, a record for most runs conceded by a bowler in one Test innings.

The 1938 England team bettered the previous record - 849 all out - that the reigning Cricket World Cup champions registered against Karl Nunes’ West Indies in 1930. The match ended in a draw and was the first instance of a tied Test.

West Indies are third on the list for highest 1st innings score in Test cricket. The Calypso Kings romped off to a score of 751/5d against England in their 2004 Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

The game was a historical affair as a certain Brian Lara hit an unprecedented unbeaten 400 off 582 balls. The record innings saw Lara create a record for the first quadruple century in international cricket and joined an elite list of players with the most triple centuries in Test cricket.

Next on the list is Australia, with a total of 735/6d against Zimbabwe in 2003. Matthew Hayden was the star performer for Australia as he scored 380 runs off 437 balls that was laced with 38 boundaries and 11 sixes. The Aussies would go on to win the Test by an innings and 175 runs.

Pakistan round up the top five list for highest 1st innings score in Test cricket. The Men in Green posted a score of 708 against England with Javed Miandad (260), Saleem Malik (102) and captain Imran Khan (118) scoring hundreds for Pakistan in the 1987 Test.

The Indian cricket team are among the top 10 teams with the highest 1st innings score in Test cricket. Team India, taking on Australia in the Sydney Test of their 2004 tour Down Under, scored 705/7d in 187.3 overs thanks to Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 241 and VVS Laxman’s 178.

Highest 1st innings score in Test cricket

Team Opponent Score Year
England Australia 903/7d 1938
England West Indies 849 1930
West Indies England 751/5d 2004
Australia Zimbabwe 735/6d 2003
Pakistan England 708 1987
India Australia 705/7d 2004

Author: William Paul

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Featured photo: Twitter / ICC

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