TEST MATCHES: BATTING


FAST & SLOW SCORING

Fast 50s (balls) under reconstruction
Fast 50s (minutes)
Fast 100s (balls)
Fast 100s (minutes)
Fast 150s (balls)
Fast 150s (minutes)
Fast 200s (balls)
Fast 200s (minutes)

OVER-THE-BOUNDARY HITS/"SIXERS" IN TEST MATCHES

note: all refs. after 1911 are always 6s. Many hits over-the-boundary prior to 1911 were awarded only 4, or 5 runs for the stroke depending on regulations at the time.However, I am treating them as if they were a present-day 6.

Batsmen who reached 50 with a "sixer"
Batsmen who reached 100 with a "sixer"
Batsmen who reached 150 with a "sixer"
Batsmen who reached 200 with a "sixer"
Batsmen who reached 250 with a "sixer"
Batsmen who reached 300 with a "sixer"

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FAST 50s (by balls faced)

BALLS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
24 JH Kallis (54) SthAf v Zim Cape Town 2004-05
26 Shahid Afridi (58) Pak v Ind Bangalore 2004-05
26 Mohammad Ashraful (67) Bang v Ind Dhaka 2007
27 Yousuf Youhana (50) Pak v SA Cape Town 2002-03
28
[26]
IT Botham
[Research in recent years indicates that the figure is 28 balls faced, not 26 as originally thought. Despite repeated requests over the years, the MCC has refused to clarify whether 26 or 28 is the figure noted in the tour scorebook]
(66) Eng v Ind Delhi 1981-82
29 B Yardley (74) Aus v WI Bridgetown 1977-78
30 Kapil Dev (73) Ind v Pak Karachi 1982-83
31 WJ Cronje (82) SA v SL Centurion 1997-98
32 IVA Richards (61) WI v Ind Kingston 1982-83
32 IT Botham (59*) Eng v NZ The Oval 1986
33 RC Fredericks (169) WI v Aus Perth 1975-76
33 Kapil Dev (59) Ind v Pak Karachi 1978-79
33 Kapil Dev (65) Ind v Eng Manchester 1982
33 Mudassar Nazar (57*) Pak v SL Karachi 1985-86
33 AJ Lamb (60) Eng v NZ Auckland 1991-92
33 A Flintoff (75) Eng v NZ Wellington 2001-02
33 Harbhajan Singh (54) Ind v Eng Nottingham 2002
33 AM Blignaut (50) Zim v Pak Harare 2002-03

Mudassar's performance will surprise many, which is why it has probably gone unnoticed for so long. My source is the Dawn newspaper match report published at the time of the innings. The bowling figures lend weight to the claimed figure of 33 balls.

Note: Bruce Yardley (74) for Australia v West Indies at Bridgetown in 1977-78 is reported to have reached his 50 off very few balls, possibly as few as 26 or 27. However, his claim for being listed in the fastest 50s of all time should not be dismissed out of hand. I am currently working through the official scorebook entry and trying to reconstruct the innings ball-by-ball.

FG Mann scored 49* off 24 balls in 24 minutes for England v New Zealand at Leeds in 1949.

FAST 50s (by minutes)

MINS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
27 Mohammad Ashraful (67) Bang v Ind Dhaka (SBNS) 2007
28 JT Brown (140) Eng v Aus Melbourne 1894-95

FAST 100s (by balls faced)

BALLS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
56 IVA Richards (110*) WI v Eng St Johns 1985-86
57 AC Gilchrist (102*) Aus v Eng Perth 2006-07
67 JM Gregory (119) Aus v SA Johannesburg 1921-22

FAST 100s (by minutes)

TIME PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
58 JH Sinclair (104) SA v Aus Cape Town 1902-03
70 JM Gregory (121) Aus v SA Johannesburg 1921-22
75 GL Jessop (104) Eng v Aus The Oval 1902

On 10th November 1902 Jimmy Sinclair scored 104 runs for South Africa against Australia. He reached his hundred in 58/ c 60 minutes and is therefore, in my opinion, the present World Record holder.

Almost all record books published since the early 1950s claim Sinclair's time for reaching his century was 80 minutes, a time which I think should be ignored. Cricinfo website and the Wisden company were told of the facts below in 1999 but, as far as I am aware, continue to support the apparently baseless "80 minutes" claim.

The evidence for it appears to be notes written in about 1951, or almost 50 years after the event.

No source of evidence for such a claim is given in those notes. Despite numerous requests by me to those who support 80 minutes, none of them have ever been able to offer a single document or report to back the claim.

By the way, it should also be noted that the 1951 notes do not actually give a precise time - the direct quote from them is approximately 80 minutes.

Sometimes I am told by such people that the writer of the notes, Mr Curnow, used contemporary newspapers published in Cape Town for his information. I don't see how that can be true. The only two English-language daily papers published in Cape Town at the time are quoted below and as you can see they support my claim for Sinclair to be recognised as the record holder. Curnow's notes also claim Sinclair had scored 44 runs after 52 minutes at the crease.

How come the 80 minutes supporters never seem to have challenged the listing of Sinclair's 50 in 35 minutes in those same reference works?

If you have or know of any evidence, and I mean evidence - not unsourced speculation - then I'd be very interested to hear about it. In the meantime...

My belief that 58 minutes is correct is based on reports in at least three South African newspapers, all published within hours of the innings being played. The Cape Argus printed a special evening stumps edition, and the morning editions of The Cape Times and the Rand Daily Mail carried reviews of the previous day's play. All of them state Sinclair had reached his century in "58 minutes" or "about an hour."

The evidence is as follows:

from Cape Argus (evening newspaper, Cape Town) 10th November 1902 in a special stumps edition:
ěThe trees were now casting lengthy shadows over the pitch, the bowling crossing two distinct shadows, but waiting his time, Sinclair drove the third ball hard to long on and two were run. The whole crowd rose as one man, and cheered the grand feat again and again, this being the third century he had made against the Australians during the present tour.
ěHathorn got a neat single, and Sinclair late cut Saunders for 2, but two balls later his grand innings was prematurely closed, as in attempting to drive Saunders he was grandly stumped by Kelly for 104. To say it was good cricket would be superfluous; it was magnificent, and such hitting in such an important match has never been equalled at Newlands. In his innings there were six 6s and eight 4s, and his runs were made in 58 minutes, which shows he was no laggard with the bat.î

from Cape Times (morning newspaper, Cape Town) 11th November 1902:
ěThen Sinclair drove Howell wide of mid-on for 2, reaching the coveted century. As soon as the public became aware the great hitter had effected this, and scored his third century against the Australians, they cheered him again and again. A single to Hathorn was followed by Sinclair cutting the bowler for a couple, but he failed in his attempt to jump out and drive him three balls later, and was stumped by Kelly. 216-6-104. Sinclair played grand, superb cricket, giving an exhibition of hard, clean hitting, such as has never been seen at Newlands before, certainly not in a fixture such as the one under notice. He was only batting just over an hour. He made all the bowling look simple, and his figures included six 6s and eight 4s.î

from Rand Daily Mail (morning newspaper, Johannesburg) 11th November 1902:
ěSaunders now took the ball from Hopkins, and Sinclair got his first ball to leg for 3. Hathorn followed it up by getting the same bowler to the ropes. Fast scoring continued until the last ball sent down in the afternoon, when Sinclair was stumped for 104, the total standing at 216 for six wickets. Hathorn not out 15. In Sinclairís innings there were six 6s and eight 4s, and all the runs were made in 58 minutes.î

That is why I have Sinclair as the scorer of the fastest century in Test cricket. One can only assume that those who refuse to recognise the truth of this have non-cricketing reasons for doing so, because all the cricketing evidence supports the South African's right to the honour.

My findings about Sinclair's performance were made public for the first time at the AGM of the Association of Cricket Statisticians & Historians, in England in March 1996. My book "Test Match Sixes-A Draft Report" (published 1998) expanded more fully on the detail of my research. I also speculated (since confirmed as shown above) that Botham was an unrecognised record-holder.

Staff at the Internet site CRICINFO used the book as an initial source to add all known hits for six to the Test scorecards loaded on their database, and to create career tallies for leading hitters on their statistics pages. The continual work of statisticians and researchers around the world to update the 6-hitters list is much appreciated.


FAST 150s (by balls faced)

BALLS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
113 RC Fredericks (169) WI v Aus Perth 1975-76
115 DPMD Jayawardene (150) SL v B Colombo 2001-02
118 IDS Smith (173) NZ v Ind Auckland 1989-90


FAST 150s (by minutes)

MINS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
145 SJ McCabe(189*)Aus v SA Johannesburg 1935-36
170 RC Fredericks (169) WI v Aus Perth 1975-76
170 DG Bradman (334) Eng v Aus Leeds 1930

FAST 200s (by minutes)

MINUTES PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
214 DG Bradman(334)Aus v Eng Leeds 1930
217 NJ Astle (222) NZ v Eng Christchurch 2001-02

FAST 200s (by balls)

BALLS PLAYER SCORE MATCH PLACE SEASON
153 NJ Astle(222)NZ v Eng Christchurch 2001-02
211 HH Gibbs(228)SA v P Cape Town 2002-03
212 AC Gilchrist (204*) Aus v SA Johannesburg 2001-02

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