Euro 2020 Special

The Slowest Centuries in Test History

In 1967, England opener Geoff Boycott batted through the entire day to finish unbeaten on 196 and then made 140 the following day. His reward, though, was to be dropped for slow scoring and to be branded selfish by the British press.

However, Boycott’s achievement does not even merit inclusion in the list of slowest centuries in test cricket.

Here are five men who showed application, discipline, and concentration for much longer in reaching three figures and, at the same time, demonstrated why test cricket is losing its appeal with younger audiences.


Sanjay Manjrekar

(500 minutes vs Zimbabwe 1992)

Manjrekar has the distinction of scoring the slowest test century by an Indian player, although he had the excuse that he was fighting a rear-guard action in this match in Zimbabwe in 1992.

The home side had scored 456 in their first innings and then reduced India to 219/7. But batting at number three, Manjrekar dug in and found support from Kapil Dev and Kiran More to ground his way to three figures after facing 397 balls and spending 500 minutes at the crease.

He was dismissed soon after. But with India stretching their innings to Day Five, he had done his job and Zimbabwe batted out the rest of the day knowing there was no chance of forcing a result.


Jeff Crowe

(516 minutes vs Sri Lanka)

Crowe marked the first time he captained New Zealand with a historic innings of his own against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 1987.

The home side had made 397/9 declared in their first innings. And then with the ball, he enjoyed early success by reducing the Kiwis to 99/4. Crowe then elected to play an anchor role, allowing Richard Hadlee to attack from the other end.

The pair put on an unbeaten 246 for the sixth wicket with Hadlee scoring 151 of them. For his part, Crowe reached three figures in much more sedate fashionas he took 516 minutes.

When New Zealand declared, he was 120 not out off 398 balls, but he had more than done his job as the match ended in a draw.


Asanka Gurusinha

(535 minutes vs Zimbabwe)

Gurusinha showed that Sri Lankans are equally adept at playing long and patient innings during their tour of Zimbabwe in 1994. Combining with Sanjeeva Ranatunga, the pair put on 217 for the second wicket in Sri Lanka’s first innings.

Both made centuries but Gurusinha’s was the more noteworthy for the sheer length of time that it took – 535 minutes to reach the landmark.

He was eventually dismissed for 128 having faced 461 deliveries and batted for the best part of two days. Not surprisingly, the math ended in a draw. 


Jackie McGlew

(545 minutes vs Australia)

When Australia toured South Africa in 1958, they were looking to bounce back after making a disappointing 163 all out in the Third Test in Johannesburg.

At 28/2, they thought their bowlers had some hope but then Jackie McGlew combined with John Waite in a stand worth 231 runs.

McGlew clawed his way to his century which took 545 minutes to complete. However, the lower order batters failed to capitalise on his efforts and the match was eventually drawn.


Mudassar Nazar

(557 minutes vs England)

Nazar’s century against England in 1977 in Lahore took the best part of 10 hours to complete.

Not only is it the slowest century in test history, but he faced the most balls in reaching three figures in all – 419 deliveries.

Pakistan had chosen to bat first with Nazar opening the innings. They lost two early wickets but then Haroon Rasheed joined Nazar at the crease and the pair put on 180 for the third wicket together.

Rashid reached his own century relatively rapidly. But after he was dismissed for 122, Nazar just ground his way forwards.

Pakistan eventually declared on 407/9, in reply to which England crawled their way to 288 scoring at just 1.58 runs an over. Boycott again showed his flair for playing attacking cricket, taking nearly six hours to score 63.

The second time around, Nazar could not repeat his heroics and was out for just 26. But any hope of a positive result had long gone by that time.

It is rumoured that some of the spectators are still there, frozen rigid to their seats for time in memorial by boredom and may still be spotted when Pakistan and England play there during their T20I series




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