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Twin tons more than once


Brendan_Taylor_Zimbabwe_cricket_TestThe second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur saw Brendan Taylor enter a select club of batsmen who have scored two hundreds in a Test on more than one occasion. With his efforts of 110 and 106* in Zimbabwe’s 218-run defeat, Taylor became the 14th man to achieve this feat. His previous such ‘double’ was also against Bangladesh, when his 171 and 102* guided Zimbabwe to victory by 335 runs at Harare in 2013.

Here is a look at the 13 batsmen to have previously scored twin hundreds in a Test match more than once, and whether or not their performances led to their team’s success.

Herbert Sutcliffe (England)

During the 1924-25 Ashes, Sutcliffe became the third man to score hundreds in both innings of a Test. After Australia made 600 in the second Test at Melbourne, Sutcliffe struck 176, putting on 283 with his fellow opener Jack Hobbs. He then gave England hope of chasing down 372 with a gutsy 127, but it was not enough to prevent Australia’s 81-run win. Sutcliffe’s second set of twin hundreds was in 1929, when he scored 104 and 109* in a draw against South Africa at The Oval.

George Headley (West Indies)

Headley recorded the first two instances of twin Test hundreds by a batsman from a team other than Australia and England. The first instance was highly significant, as it played a part in delivering the West Indies their first win over England – in the third Test at Georgetown in 1929-30, Headley scored 114 and 112 to pave the way for the hosts’ 289-run triumph. However, in 1939, his innings of 106 and 107 went in vain, as England secured an eight-wicket win at Lord’s.

Clyde Walcott (West Indies)

Walcott remains the only man to have scored twin Test hundreds twice in the same series – the 1954-55 home series against Australia. Unfortunately, none of these came in a winning cause. In the drawn second Test at Port of Spain, Walcott scored 126 and 110, but Australia piled up 600 in between. In the fifth and final Test at Kingston, the Barbadian had 155 and 110 to his name. Yet, the West Indies went down by an innings and 82 runs, as Australia amassed a total of 758/8.

Greg Chappell (Australia)

A high-scoring draw at Wellington in 1973-74 featured four Chappell hundreds. While Greg put New Zealand to the sword with 247* and 133, his older brother, captain Ian, contributed 145 and 121. In 1975-76, it was the turn of the West Indians to bear the brunt of Greg’s blade. By now the captain, he scored 123 in the first innings of the first Test at Brisbane, and followed it with an unbeaten 109 in the second innings, helping Australia chase down 219 and win by eight wickets.

Sunil Gavaskar (India)

Gavaskar enjoyed an incredible debut series in the West Indies in 1970-71, with his best display coming in the drawn fifth and final Test at Port of Spain. The 21-year-old scored 124 out of 360, before the hosts took a lead of 166. The second innings saw Gavaskar record his first double hundred, a fine 220 that not only steered India to safety, but put them in a commanding position.

In 1978-79, Gavaskar’s 111 and 137 provided India with a chance to breach the fortress of Karachi. But he lacked substantial support, and Pakistan cruised to an eight-wicket win. Six weeks later, he became the first man to score two hundreds in a Test thrice, as captain against the touring West Indians. The ‘Little Master’ began the third Test at Calcutta with 107, before striking an aggressive 182* to put India in front. However, the West Indies escaped with a draw.

Allan Border (Australia)

Border’s first set of twin centuries, 150* and 153 against Pakistan in a drawn affair at Lahore in 1979-80, was quite a remarkable effort, considering the fact that he batted at number six in both innings. His second-innings knock was a whirlwind, taking just 184 balls. The second time Border reached three figures in either innings was as captain, against New Zealand at Christchurch in 1985-86. He made 140 and 114* on this occasion, in what was another draw.

Aravinda de Silva (Sri Lanka)

One of Sri Lanka’s brightest batting stars, de Silva achieved the feat of twin hundreds twice in the space of four months. Both the instances came in drawn Tests at the same venue, the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. Pakistan were the first to be at the receiving end towards the end of the 1996-97 season, as they failed to dismiss de Silva - the stylish middle-order batsman produced unbeaten knocks of 138 and 103. Then, in 1997, he punished India with 146 and 120.

Matthew Hayden (Australia)

England’s 2002-03 Ashes campaign got off to a disastrous start, as they suffered defeat by a whopping 384 runs in the first Test at Brisbane. The Man of the Match was Hayden, who first creamed 197 and then sped to an assertive 103 to flatten the visitors. The burly left-handed opener repeated the double in 2004, when he toyed with Sri Lanka’s bowling en route to 117 and 132 at Cairns. This did not bring a win though, as Sri Lanka hung on for a draw on the final day.

Rahul Dravid (India)

The dependable Dravid was undeniably one of India’s greatest performers in overseas Tests. One of the earlier instances where he underlined his worth was against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1998-99, when he scored 190 and 103* in a draw. By 2004-05, Dravid was one of the world’s premier batsmen, and Pakistan fell victim to his prowess in the second Test at Kolkata. He was determination personified during his innings of 110 and 135, which gave India a 195-run victory.

Ricky Ponting (Australia)

A bountiful 2005-06 season saw Ponting become the second batsman to achieve the feat of scoring two centuries in a Test thrice. All three instances came in a five-month period, during a time when he was captaining one of the greatest teams Test cricket has known. Not surprisingly, all three performances led to Australian wins. The first them was at Brisbane against the West Indies, where his 149 and 104* played a major part in Australia’s massive 379-run win.

The second instance, at Sydney against South Africa, was perhaps the most memorable, as it made Ponting the first, and till date, only man to score twin hundreds in his 100th Test. ‘Punter’ scored 120 in the first innings, and then with Australia requiring 287 to win, added a stunning 143* to set up an eight-wicket win. He was not done with the South Africans yet, as he reeled off 103 and 116 at Durban less than three months later, with his team winning by 112 runs this time.     

Jacques Kallis (South Africa)

Kallis was the cornerstone of South Africa’s 160-run win over Pakistan at Karachi in 2007-08. The prolific all-rounder carved out 155 in the first innings, before an unbeaten 100 took the game away from the hosts. In 2010-11, Kallis was the leading performer in the gripping third Test against India at Cape Town. He followed his 161 in the first innings with an impactful 109* that rescued South Africa from an anxious situation, enabling them to draw the match and the series.

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

Sangakkara is yet another modern-day great to feature in this list. Both of the southpaw’s twin-ton performances came against Bangladesh, and both were in drawn matches. In a run-fest at Galle in 2012-13, Sangakkara ensured that he made the most of the flat pitch, scoring 142 and 105. At Chittagong in 2013-14, he joined England’s Graham Gooch as only the second man to score a triple century and a century in the same Test, by following his 319 with an unbeaten 105.

David Warner (Australia)

The belligerent Warner already boasts of three instances of twin tons, and since his career has not ended, there is a possibility of him becoming the first to record a fourth instance. Crucially, all three have come in a winning cause: 135 and 145 in the deciding Test against South Africa at Cape Town in 2013-14 (win by 245 runs), 145 and 102 against India at Adelaide in 2014-15 (win by 48 runs), and 163 and 116 against New Zealand at Brisbane in 2015-16 (win by 208 runs).

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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