Record Partnerships in Test Cricket by Wicket

Chris Teale@@chris_tealeFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2014

Record Partnerships in Test Cricket by Wicket

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    Sometimes, two batsmen come together in Test cricket and pile on the runs, with opposition bowlers unable to get either of them out for an extended length of time.

    These batsmen may then go on to set their own piece of history, as the runs they put on could break national records and then historical records.

    For as long as Test cricket has been played, partnerships have been mounted by some of the best players of all time right down the batting order, with tail-enders even getting involved.

    Read on for the largest partnerships in Test cricket for each wicket, in a celebration of two players’ tremendous batting exploits in tandem with one another.

First Wicket: Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith (South Africa): 415 Runs

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    Opponent: Bangladesh

    Date: February 29 2008

    Venue: Chittagong Divisional Stadium, Chittagong, Bangladesh

    Individual Scores: Neil McKenzie 226; Graeme Smith 232

    The largest partnership ever between two opening batsmen came during South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh in 2007/08 as Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith spent just over a day batting together without being separated.

    Their stand of 415 was compiled against an ordinary Bangladesh bowling attack on a very flat wicket in Chittagong, and overtook the previous high for the first wicket of 413 by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy against New Zealand in 1956.

    Smith and McKenzie also shattered several other records, including the most runs scored in a day without a wicket falling, while Smith’s double-century was the fourth of his career, the most for a South African.

    The Proteas went on to win very comfortably by an innings and 205 runs, to take the Test series 2-0 during a tour in which they went unbeaten in all formats.

Second Wicket: Sanath Jayasuriya and Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka): 576 Runs

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    Opponent: India

    Date: August 2 1997

    Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

    Individual Scores: Sanath Jayasuriya 340; Roshan Mahanama 225

    In the first Test of their series away in Sri Lanka, India must have thought they had a good opening after removing opener Marvan Atapattu for 26 to leave the hosts 39-1.

    Their optimism would have been further added to after an innings of 537-8 declared, including centuries for Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sachin Tendulkar and Mohammad Azharuddin.

    However, Jayasuriya and Mahanama came together at the start of the third day in Colombo and would not be separated until the morning of the final day, with the score now at 615.

    In their incredible partnership of 576, the pair not only broke the world record for the most runs scored for the second wicket, but also the world record partnership for any wicket.

    The pair were eventually separated in quick succession, with Jayasuriya falling 35 runs short of Brian Lara’s then-world record individual score of 375.

    Sri Lanka closed their innings on 952-6 declared, with Aravinda de Silva also cashing in on a flat pitch with 126 runs of his own to take his team to the highest ever score in Test cricket.

    Unsurprisingly, the match was drawn, as was the two-match series between the two teams as both took advantage of pitches with very little to offer for their bowling attacks.

Third Wicket: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka): 624 Runs

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    Opponent: South Africa

    Date: July 27 2006

    Venue: Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo

    Individual Scores: Kumar Sangakkara 287; Mahela Jayawardene 374

    South Africa’s Test series away in Sri Lanka started badly as they were bowled out for just 169 in 50.2 overs, with only AB de Villiers passing 50.

    Things were about to get worse for the Proteas though, who found themselves on the receiving end of a third-wicket stand of 624 between Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

    At one stage the hosts had been 14-2 thanks to a rampant Dale Steyn, but then two of the best batsmen in the history of the game came together on a typically placid wicket in Colombo to mount what became the record partnership for any wicket in Test cricket.

    They batted together from day one until the afternoon session on the third day, when Sangakkara was finally removed for 287 to leave the Sri Lankans on 638-3.

    Jayawardene continued on his way however, and was finally out for 374 in the evening session on day three with Brian Lara’s world-record individual score of 400* in his sights.

    Sri Lanka closed their innings on 756-5 declared, leaving South Africa needing to make 587 just to make the hosts bat again.

    They tried desperately to save the game, but could not combat the spin of Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 6-131 in 64 overs, and lost by an innings and 153 runs.

    It was an unhappy tour for South Africa, who ended up losing 2-0 in the Test series and then withdrew from the triangular ODI series against Sri Lanka and India citing security concerns.

Fourth Wicket: Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera (Sri Lanka): 437 Runs

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    Opponent: Pakistan

    Date: February 21 2009

    Venue: National Stadium, Karachi

    Individual Scores: Mahela Jayawardene 240; Thilan Samaraweera 231

    Another entry for Sri Lanka and another also for Mahela Jayawardene, who certainly enjoys compiling big partnerships and large individual scores.

    This time, Sri Lanka were on tour in Pakistan and found themselves in some minor difficulties at 177-3 in their first innings in Karachi.

    Captain Jayawardene was joined by Thilan Samaraweera at the crease, and the pair went on to bat from the afternoon session on the first day until just before tea on day two.

    In that period, both scored double-centuries at very healthy strike-rates and were only separated when Jayawardene was caught behind by Kamran Akmal off the bowling of Shoaib Malik.

    It was Samaraweera’s first double-century for Sri Lanka and Jayawardene’s first outside his home country as the tourists hammered home their advantage on a batting-friendly wicket.

    They closed their innings on 644-7 declared late on the second day, leaving the hosts to try and bat to save the game on their home turf.

    Pakistan managed just that, as captain Younis Khan scored 313, Kamran Akmal 158 not out and three other players passed 50 as they piled up 765-6 declared.

    Unsurprisingly, the game ended in a draw, as did the two-Test series after a similar run-fest in Lahore.

Fifth Wicket: Sid Barnes and Don Bradman (Australia): 405 Runs

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    Opponent: England

    Date: December 13 1946

    Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

    Individual Scores: Sid Barnes 234; Don Bradman 234

    England, led by Walter Hammond and still containing Len Hutton, Bill Edrich and Denis Compton, were expected to pile up the runs after they won the toss at the SCG and elected to bat in the second Test of the 1946/47 Ashes series.

    However, they fell well short of expectations and were bowled out for just 255, well below par on such a true batting wicket.

    In response, Australia had some problems and found themselves at 159-4 when opener Sid Barnes was joined by Don Bradman, who had injured his leg and was batting down the order.

    In brilliant sunshine, both players combined to take the hosts sailing past England’s total and into a commanding lead, and they carried on their domination until day four, having come together part-way through the third.

    By coincidence, both players were dismissed on 234 within a short space of each other, leaving Australia 564-6 when they both made their way back to the pavilion.

    Having forced the pace with their remaining batsmen, the hosts declared on 659-8, meaning England required 404 just to make the Baggy Green bat again.

    The visitors battled hard, especially Bill Edrich whose 119 underpinned their effort in the second innings.

    However, they were bowled out for 371 on the sixth day of the match to hand Australia victory by an innings and 33 runs.

Sixth Wicket: Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling (New Zealand): 352 Runs

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    Opponent: India

    Date: February 17 2014

    Venue: Basin Reserve, Wellington

    Individual Scores: Brendon McCullum 281*; BJ Watling 124

    Brendon McCullum and BJ Watling eclipsed Mahela and Prasanna Jayawardene's effort for Sri Lanka with their stand against India in Wellington.

    When Watling joined McCullum just after lunch on day 3, the Black Caps were 94-5 and staring down the barrel of an innings defeat. 

    However they batted through the rest of the day and past tea on Day 4, beating the previous record against the same opponents in 2009 by a single run.

    Watling eventually fell lbw to Mohammed Shami as India got a lift from the third new ball.

    McCullum batted through the day and stands on the brink of a maiden triple century by a New Zealand batsman.

    Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton's stand of 346 had stood for 72 years before the Jayawardenes broke it but their mark only lasted four years.

Seventh Wicket: Denis Atkinson and Clairmonte Depeiaza (West Indies): 347 Runs

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    Opponent: Australia

    Date: May 14 1955

    Venue: Kensington Oval, Barbados

    Individual Scores: Denis Atkinson 219; Clairmonte Depeiaza 122

    The West Indies played host to the touring Australians for a five-Test series in 1955 with a strong squad that included the Three W’s of Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott; Gary Sobers and the spin twins Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine.

    However, they found themselves outclassed by the tourists, whose great team including Keith Miller, Neil Harvey, Ray Lindwall and Richie Benaud.

    It looked to be more of the same in the fourth Test in Barbados as Australia piled up 668 all out thanks to centuries from Miller and Lindwall and 98 from Ron Archer.

    In response, the West Indies had been teetering on 147-6 when captain Denis Atkinson was joined by wicket-keeper Clairmonte Depeiaza, but the pair mounted quite a recovery.

    They were together from the third day until the beginning of the fifth day, with Atkinson making 219 and Depeiaza tallying 122 in a total partnership of 347.

    The pair were finally separated with the score at 494, having batted their side into safety.

    The hosts could not force home their advantage as they were dismissed quickly for 510, and while they had Australia in some trouble at 177-8 in their second innings they could not press home their domination.

    Atkinson and Depeiaza would be together again in the second innings, as they were at the crease when the match ended in a draw after a run-fest.

    It was to be the high-point of the series for the West Indies, who lost 3-0 on home turf.

Eighth Wicket: Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad (England): 332 Runs

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    Opponent: Pakistan

    Date: August 26 2010

    Venue: Lord’s

    Individual Scores: Jonathan Trott 184; Stuart Broad 169

    A match overshadowed by revelations about Pakistani players Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt being involved in spot-fixing was also notable for Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad rescuing the hosts from total collapse in the first innings.

    England had been in enormous problems at 102-7 as Amir ripped through their batting lineup with some superb swing bowling, but Broad joined Trott at the crease with the pair intent on rebuilding.

    They did just that, putting on a record stand of 332 at the Home of Cricket to lead England to a strong first innings score.

    Broad scored his first Test century in making 169 while Trott was the last man out for 184, as the pair flattened Pakistan and ensured they would have a mountain to climb.

    Their collapse for 74 in the first innings was then followed by a slight improvement as they made 147 following-on in the second innings.

    Umar Akmal’s 79 not out provided some relief, but by then all the talk was of the allegations made by the News of the World about the three touring players.

    England’s win by an innings and 225 runs was followed by an element of farce, as Amir was presented with the Man of the Series trophy by a clearly angry Giles Clarke in an indoor presentation ceremony.

    It all left a bitter taste, but Trott and Broad’s achievement in lifting England from their desperate situation was one of the best moments of the summer.

Ninth Wicket: Mark Boucher and Pat Symcox (South Africa): 195 Runs

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    Opponent: Pakistan

    Date: February 14 1998

    Venue: New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

    Individual Scores: Mark Boucher 78; Pat Symcox 108

    South Africa welcomed Pakistan for a three-match tour early in 1998 but promptly collapsed under the pressure exerted by the tourists’ bowling attack to be 166-8 when spinner Pat Symcox joined wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.

    What followed was a superb revival led by the Proteas’ young ‘keeper and a bowler who had only passed 50 on four other occasions.

    The pair put on 195, with Symcox completing his first ever century and Boucher contributing 78 vital runs against a bowling attack of Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed.

    It took South Africa to 364 all out, as the final two wickets put on 198 between them with Allan Donald left stranded on 0.

    In response, Pakistan made 329 thanks in large part to 136 from Azhar Mahmood, with the match drawn as South Africa reached 44-0 in their second dig before the stumps were removed.

    The series itself also ended in a draw, as Pakistan’s victory in the next Test in Durban was cancelled out by the hosts winning in Port Elizabeth.

Tenth Wicket: Phil Hughes and Ashton Agar (Australia): 163 Runs

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    Opponent: England

    Date: July 10 2013

    Venue: Trent Bridge, Nottingham

    Individual Scores: Phil Hughes 81*; Ashton Agar 98

    The first Test of last summer’s Ashes series turned into an epic, as England scored just 215 all out before reducing Australia to 117-9.

    Joining Phil Hughes was debutant Ashton Agar, a left-arm spin bowler who had gone wicketless in seven overs during England’s knock.

    What followed was one of the most sensational innings of recent years, as Agar smacked an incredible 98 from just 101 balls from his No. 11 position.

    Hughes also increased his run-rate to finish with 81 not out as the pair took Australia to 280 all out with a partnership of 163.

    The Baggy Green may have lost that game by 14 runs as they failed to chase down their second-innings target of 311, but Agar and Hughes entered cricketing history with just one hour of extravagant hitting.

    It gave Australia some early hope as they began back-to-back Ashes series—both of which they were expected to lose comfortably.