Scoring a century in Test match cricket is by no means an easy task. Not many players have the privilege of being known as Test match centurions and with pitches these days being curated with the aim of getting a result, it could be argued that scoring a ton now is perhaps even more difficult than say it was a decade back. That said, there are still odd exceptions where flat tracks turn out to be batsmen’s paradise with more than one of them cashing in on the opportunity to score a hundred. Here, we have a look at the Tests that featured the most centuries scored in a single innings.
Five - Australia vs West Indies (June 1955)
Five centuries were scored in an innings in the final Test of Australia’s tour of West Indies in 1955. A total of seven batsmen scored hundreds in the game with Sir Clyde Walcott making tons in both innings for the hosts. However, it was the Australian innings that saw five of their players get to centuries as the tourists posted a mammoth 758 runs on the scoreboard. Colin McDonald, Keith Miller, Ron Archer and Richie Benaud, all scored hundreds while Neil Harvey went one better by scoring a double ton as the Aussies recorded an innings and 82-run win.
Five - Pakistan vs Bangladesh (August 2001)
Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, Taufeeq Umar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Abdul Razzaq are the only other five batsmen to score centuries in the same innings of a Test. Up against Bangladesh in the first match of the Asian Test Championship in 2001, Pakistan first bowled them out for 134, and then aided by their centurions, went on to score 546 before declaring. They dismissed Bangladesh for 148 in the second innings to win by an innings and 264 runs. Interestingly, even though there were five centurions to pick from, it was spinner Danish Kaneria, who was declared the Player of the Match for his 12 wickets in the game.
Four - England vs Australia (June 1938)
Batsmen from both teams had a field day during the first Test of Australia’s tour of England in 1938. Seven hundreds were made over the course of a match – four of which came in England’s first innings after they had won the toss and opted to bat. Charlie Barnett, Sir Leonard Hutton and Denis Compton scored centuries, while Eddie Paynter smashed an unbeaten 216. Stan McCabe also scored a double ton in Australia’s first innings and Bill Brown as well as Sir Donald Bradman brought up hundreds in their second. Needless to say, the match ended in a draw.
Four - West Indies vs India (November 1948)
Another match that featured four centuries in an innings and finished as a draw took place during the first Test of West Indies’ tour of India in 1948. After Sir Clyde Walcott was run out for 152, Gerry Gomez, Sir Everton Weekes and Robert Christiani notched up centuries as West Indies went on to post 631 on the scoreboard. The hosts batted resolutely and managed to save the Test with Hemu Adhikari scoring an unbeaten 114 to be the sole Indian centurion from the match.
Four - Pakistan vs India (January 1983)
The third Test of India’s tour of neighbours Pakistan in 1983 saw four batsmen from the home team score hundreds to help secure a 10 wicket win for them. After bowling out India for 372 in the opening innings of the Test, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Saleem Malik and skipper Imran Khan punished India’s bowling line-up by scoring tons and put Pakistan in a position of strength by scoring 652. India’s second innings saw them make 286 with Sunil Gavaskar carrying his bat after remaining unbeaten on 127. Pakistan needed just 10 runs for a win in their second innings and did so with ease.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Hugo Philpott