Amazing Cricket Facts

ACF 14: Graeme Smith Converted First 4 Test Centuries to 150+ Scores

When a player is new to international cricket, especially Test cricket, there’s a lot of pressure to prove their mettle early on in their career. If they don’t put up satisfying performances, there are high chances that they might be axed from the team sooner than later.

However, some high-calibre players take the cricketing landscape by storm and leave a lasting impression. Graeme Smith was one such batter who garnered eyeballs for his exceptional batting outings in the Test format.

The former South African captain was an aggressive batter with a flurry of shots in his arsenal and a hunger for scoring runs. He made his Test debut in March 2002 and played a gutsy knock of 68 in the second innings against Australia.

But it was in his third Test that Smith brought up his first-ever Test hundred, which he later converted into a double. And he went on to create a ravishing record in his next 9 Tests.

Which record? Converting his first 4 Test centuries into 150+ scores!

Scoring hundreds and converting them into big scores is a herculean task in Tests, but Smith did it with ease. So, in this amazing cricket fact, we’ll glance at Graeme Smith’s first 4 Test centuries, which he extended beyond 150+ scores.

Graeme Smith’s First 4 Test Centuries Converted to 150+ Scores

Score (Balls)AgainstVenueMatch Date
200 (287)BangladeshEast London18 Oct 2002
151 (216)PakistanCape Town2 Jan 2003
277 (373)EnglandBirmingham24 Jul 2003
259 (370)EnglandLord’s31 Jul 2003

Before Graeme Smith’s extraordinary feat, 5 batters managed to convert their first 3 hundreds to 150+ scores. Smith went one step ahead and became the first batter to convert all of his first 4 tons to 150+ scores, with 3 of them being double hundreds.

The left-hander started his mayhem against Bangladesh in Buffalo Park, where he notched up his maiden Test ton. But he didn’t stop there and further added 100 runs to his tally to make it a perfect 200!

Smith’s second hundred came against Pakistan at Newlands Stadium, where he forged a solid opening stand of 368 runs with Herschelle Gibbs (228). He added 51 more runs and lost his wicket on 151.

Smith’s next 2 centuries were even more special, as he got the captaincy of the team a couple of matches before that. After the dual responsibility of captaincy and opening the batting, one would have felt a lot more pressure. But Smith showed that he could do both with finesse.

His third and fourth hundreds came against England in back-to-back matches. Playing for the first time in English conditions, Smith notched up captain’s knocks, converting both centuries into double centuries.

Also Read | Most 200s by South African Batsmen in Test Cricket

In the series opener against England, he amassed 277 runs in the first innings, which later helped him win the Man of the Match award and draw the match. In the second Test, he scored 259 runs, helping his side declare on 682 runs — South Africa’s highest Test team total — and defeating the hosts by an innings and 92 runs.

What’s special about all these knocks is that he scored them while opening the innings and 2 of them while captaining. Moreover, South Africa didn’t lose a single match, with the Proteas handing their opponents a defeat by a margin of an innings twice.

Smith’s remarkable achievement is a testament to the skills and character he possessed during his playing days. He utilised them quite well to carve a special place for him in the cricketing annals.

When Smith retired in 2014, he garnered 9265 Test runs, 6989 ODI runs, and 982 T20I runs, sitting among the top run-scorers for South Africa. He scored 10 ODI hundreds and 27 Test hundreds — 25 as captain, which is the most.

Moreover, he left the scene as the most successful Test captain and one of the most successful skippers across formats.

With that, it’s a wrap! You can check out other amazing cricket facts here.

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