With many teams struggling to bowl their allotted 90 overs in a day’s play and the standard of fielding higher than ever, it is comparatively rare these days for individual batters to manage big scores in a single day. That has not always been the case, and there have been examples of players in the past who have racked up more runs themselves than many teams manage in an innings.
Here is a list of the most runs scored by an individual batter during just one day of a test match.
Don Bradman – Australia (309 runs v England, 1930)
Don Bradman was a force of nature, a man who scored just under 7,000 runs in test cricket in just 52 matches, and only a cheap dismissal in his final match at The Oval in 1948 prevented him retiring with an average better than 100. (Had he played more matches he would certainly have taken his place among the top run scorers in international cricket).
He scored 29 centuries in his career, and 12 fifties, but one of his finest innings came against England at Headingly in 1930 during the Ashes tour of that year. On the first day of the match he scored 309, the only man to have managed a triple century in one day’s play.
The following day he added 25 more to his overnight score, before he was finally out for 334. England managed to save the match, but it was precisely this sort of innings that convinced them to adopt the controversial “bodyline” style of bowling to help counter the threat of Bradman.
Wally Hammond – England (295 v New Zealand, 1933)
Less than three years after Bradman’s feat, England’s Wally Hammond played an innings that almost equalled it during the Second Test of England’s tour of New Zealand in Auckland.
The home side had batted first, and were dismissed for 158, and when England replied, Hammond, coming in at number three, was 41 not out at the end of the first day.
He obviously had a good night’s sleep, because he added 295 the next day, before he was finally dismissed for 336. He had smashed 19 sixes and 34 fours, and scored at more than a run a minute.
The match again ended in a draw
Virender Sehwag – India (284 runs v Sri Lanka, 2009)
Sehwag, who was known for his attacking style of batting, played an innings to remember against Sri Lanka at Mumbai in 2009.
In reply to Sri Lanka’s first innings score of 393, Sehwag, opening the batting on the second day of the match and proceeded to attack the bowling almost from the off.
He brought up his century off 101 balls, and then pressed the accelerator, his next fifty taking just 29 balls.
The 200 mark was passed and he kept on going, closing the day unbeaten on 284.
He added 9 more next morning before he was finally removed by Muttiah Muralitharan (the most successful test bowler of all time), but he had more than played his part by then.
Sehwag had scored his runs off just 254 balls, and his innings featured 7 sixes and 40 fours,
India went on to declare their innings on 726/9, and eventually won the match by an innings and 24 runs.
Denis Compton – England (273 runs v Pakistan, 1954)
At the end of the first day of the Second Test between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge in 1954, few could have predicted what would happen next day. Pakistan had been dismissed for 157, and, in England’s reply, Denis Compton had just come to the crease, after Peter May was out for a three ball duck.
Compton resumed his innings next morning on 5 not out, and proceeded to add 273 more, before he was finally bowled. His innings lasted 287 minutes and included a six and 34 fours.
England won the match by an innings and 129 runs.
Don Bradman – Australia (271 runs v England, 1934)
Bradman loved played for Australia at Leeds, as he showed again four years after his last epic innings. When he came to the crease, though, his side were in trouble, having slumped to 39/3 in reply to England’s 200. By the time he departed, though, he had scored another triple century, 271 of them coming on the second day of the match.
It was not enough to win the game for his side, though, and it ended in a draw.
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