Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day December 16, 2006

How Gilchrist mauled England

Adam Gilchrist set a few records straight with his astonishing century at Perth



Adam Gilchrist's wagon-wheel (click here for a bigger image) © Hawk-Eye

Since the start of the 2005 Ashes series, Adam Gilchrist has found the England attack particularly tough to handle. From the Lord's Test last year till the first innings at Perth, Gilchrist had managed 245 runs against England in 11 completed innings for an average of 22.27. Coming off two ducks in his last three innings, Gilchrist had plenty to prove, and he did it in style on the third day to demolish an already demoralised England.

Any innings by Gilchrist is usually characterized by aggressive intent, but this one was even more attacking than his usual knocks. As the shot zone graphic shows, Gilchrist attacked all but 13 of the 59 deliveries he faced. He got to his century in 57 balls, just one more than Viv Richards's 56 against England - again - in Antigua in 1985-86, which remains the record for the fastest Test hundred in terms of balls faced.



Gilchrist's shot zone, which shows how many deliveries he defended (click here for a bigger image) © Hawk-Eye

Particularly spectacular was the manner in which he dismantled Monty Panesar, who had dismissed him in the first innings off the fourth ball he bowled, for nought. Gilchrist clearly had a score to settle, and he did that quite emphatically, creaming 40 from the 17 deliveries that Panesar bowled to him. Ashley Giles has been compared unfavourably with Panesar over the last few days, but here's one stat where Giles's numbers look better - off 127 balls from him, Gilchrist has only scored 90, and has been dismissed twice.

Despite all the battering, though, Panesar did end up with match figures of 8 for 237. In 34 Tests at Perth, only one spinner has managed more wickets in a match - Bishan Bedi took 10 for 194 in 1977-78.

Gilchrist's audacious strokeplay stole the show, but the innings that set it up was Michael Hussey's 103, his first Ashes hundred. Hussey now averages 86.33 after 24 innings. Among all batsmen at a similar stage in their careers, only Don Bradman had a higher average (96.91).

Australia's total of 527 for 5 is the second-highest second-innings total by a team at Perth, missing the record total - 528 for 8 declared, against South Africa last season - by just one run.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo