In the Test that just finished between Pakistan, debutant Pakistani batsman Yasir Hameed made a century in each innings, coming in at first drop. Yasir scored 170 and 105. Scoring “twin tons” is a rare event in itself, but to do it on debut is very special. The only other player to achieve that feat was Lawrence Rowe (214 and 100*). Now the Bangladesh bashers may say that it doesn’t count – but think about it – how often do top batsmen actually get to complete two innings against Bangladesh?
There are several items that a batsmen could want on his CV, come the end of his career. Here are a few:
A double century
A triple century
Bat the entire day of a Test match
Carry the bat (if you are an opener)
Centuries against all other nations
A century in each innings of a Test match
Throw in all sorts of partnership records and a batsman can retire happily.
Many of the items on the above list, aside from the century and double century elude many of even the great batsmen.
Mark Taylor achieved them all except for the twin tons and when he retired, he had scored centuries against all nations that Australia had played against. “Tubby” narrowly missed the twin ton in the same match that he got his triple, scoring 91 in the second dig.
Steve Waugh can check them all off, except the triple century – he could have done with a really big score at some stage in his career. And carrying the bat is obviously not applicable. And he has scores of 150+, no less, against all other nations.
Here are some other interesting points:
1. Only one player has scored twin tons on three occasions: Sunil Gavaskar. Our own Allan Border has achieved the feat twice and narrowly missed a third when he made 98* and 100* against the West Indies.
2. Not many have achieved the feat twice. Just 6 in addition to Gavaskar.
3. Bradman achieved the feat just once (132 & 127 against India in 1947/48) – which might surprise a few. He scored a century in test cricket, on average, every 2.75 innings. So statistically, he was the player most likely to achieve the feat of multiple times. However, he played only 80 innings in 52 Tests – which means he batted twice in just 54% of the Tests that he played. His first innings scores were often so colossal that there was often no need to bat again. I believe that another factor was the pitches. Pitches were uncovered when Bradman played and the chances were that often enough, at some stage in the match, the batsman would be subjected to a rain affected, difficult (unplayable even) pitch.
4. Most of the players in the list (attached) are truly great names – see for yourselves. For Australia, these include: Bardsley, Morris, Bradman, Simpson, Walters, Greg Chappell (twice), Ian Chappell, Border (twice), Dean Jones (great? Hmmm), Steve Waugh and Hayden. Only Jack Moroney is a player of lesser note.
5. Five players have made twin tons and scored doubles or triples in the first dig. Gooch made 333 & 123 – the highest individual aggregate for a Test. Gavaskar is the only player to turn his second century for the match into a double.
6. Allan Border is the only player to have topped 150 in both innings. (150* and 153 in Pakistan in 1979/80).
7. Two sets of brothers have achieved the feat. The Chappells and Andy and Grant Flower of Zimbabwe. Ian and Greg achieved the feat in the same match in Wellington in 1973/74. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
8. The great West Indian, Clyde Walcott achieved the feat twice in the one series, against Australia in 1954/55.
9. Duleep Mendis of Sri Lanka is the only one to make true twins – with the same score in both innings. He made a pair of 105’s in India in 1982/83.