The player coming in to bat at number 3, just after the dismissal of an opener, always carried importance in any batting line-up. Sometimes the team’s fate in a match depends on the one-down batter’s performance because the position can be the rock and the wall, which could save them from a failed start and leads them to a winning total.
The importance and role of the No. 3 batter in Test cricket are explained in detail in this blog.
Here in this article, we will be getting to know about the top 5 highest score by a number 3 batter in Test cricket.
#5 Don Bradman (AUS) – 334 vs England (Leeds, 1930)
Don Bradman is definitely the best person to have graced this sport of cricket with his incredible skills and sheer dominance against any other cricketing side back then.
It was way back in 1930 when Bradman produced a masterclass of innings – one of his many. This time it was his highest Test score and the third highest by an Australian Test cricket batsman. Don was in his usual element during this knock; he scored a run every minute and went on with a 100+ strike rate. By lunch, Bradman scored a century, one of his insane Test records. He was at 105* before the second session of the day.
Overall that Ashes series was one of the most memorable ones for him. Having hit a score of 254 at Lord’s in the previous Test, he bettered that with a massive 334 against at Headingley, Leeds. The match, though, ended in a draw.
#4 Walter Hammond (ENG) – 336* vs New Zealand (Auckland, 1933)
Next, we have is, one of the finest cricketers to have ever played for England. He had an average of 58.45 and hit 22 great centuries in just 85 matches taking his run tally to 7249. This all just talks about the class and the aura he used to have.
Just a few years after the record-breaking Bradman act, this cricketing maniac went on to better that record by surpassing Don’s total by smashing an outstanding knock of 336* against the not-so-great (then) bowling attack of New Zealand. The Kiwis elected to bat first and bowled out for a paltry score of 158.
England was looking for a win here, with the first game ending in a draw. The openers did provide a bit of resistance to the moving new ball, but they could not convert their starts. Then came Walter, who had a different plan just to go and express his game. He was the only person in the match to reach a three-figure score for either of the sides. He scored more runs than all the other players had in total.
#3 Sir Garfield Sobers (WI) – 365* vs Pakistan (Kingston, 1958)
Gary Sobers was a magical all-rounder. He excelled in every aspect of the game besides wicket-keeping ability, which made him a great asset to the West Indies cricket team for many years.
He had saved his best for this magnificent knock against Pakistan, scoring an unbeaten 365. While batting first, Pakistan scored 328, and it required Windies to put up a good show with the bat. As expected, the batters did not disappoint, with opener Conrad Hunte scoring a double-century and forming a formidable partnership with Gary to help them remove the game from Pakistan’s hand and post West Indies a mountainous total of 790 runs – the highest-ever West Indian total in Tests so far.
The 365* consisted of nicely timed 38 sweet boundaries, and he took 614 deliveries to reach that figure. This record was then the highest individual score in the history of Test cricket, until after 36 years came his fellow countryman Brian Lara who surpassed that score. West Indies comfortably won that game with an innings and 174 runs.
#2 Brian Lara (WI) – 375 vs England (St John’s, 1994)
Brian Lara, the next batsman on the list, is known for his massive, daddy hundreds, and that too more often. Lara was an exceptional batter who was excellent against both pace and spin. He liked to dominate bowlers with his vivid batting style. Find more about Lara’s astonishing backlift here.
Coming to the game, Courtney Walsh, the West Indies captain of that game, opted to bat first. The openers, Phil Simmons and Stuart Williams could not lay a good foundation as they fell for scores of 8 and 3. However, Lara, who walked in at 3, was at his best that day; he was a part of 3 good partnerships with Jimmy Adams, Keith Arthurton, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, striking 45 boundaries in 533 deliveries. He outscored the previously held record and played a great knock helping West Indies register a draw.
#1 Brian Lara (WI) – 400* vs England (St Johns, 2004)
Second time in the top five list, and that, too, the first two spots, says a lot about Brian Lara’s prowess and forte. After hitting that witty knock of 375 against England, Lara went on to make a world record highest score in First Class cricket of 501* of just 427 deliveries, the record which still stands tall.
Not stopping there, against England, the same opposition against whom he scored his previous best Test score ten years back, Lara created history again. Brian walked in at his usual spot of No. 3 and hit a mountainous knock of 400*, which is still the highest-ever Test score and likely to be forever.
Lara hit 43 boundaries and four maximums in the only 400-score in Test history. The game ended in a draw.