162 not out v Worcestershire, The Oval, 1906
rates this fourth-innings knock in a tough chase
- as Hobbs' best for Surrey. Surrey have 286 to get in the last innings, and four of the best batsmen fall - all to Robert Burrows' fast bowling - for 112 runs. The issue looks very much in doubt, but Hobbs finishes the game off with a 174-run fifth-wicket stand in two hours and 10 minutes. As early as in his second season, Hobbs shows he has the nerve for a crisis.
187 v South Africa, Cape Town, 1909-10
Googly bowlers on matting pitches are quite the terror at the time Hobbs masters them. In his first series on matting
, when the South African spinners are at their most menacing, he scores 539 runs at 67.37 - double the averages of England's next best. The best of the lot is his maiden Test century
, to set up a nine-wicket win. A measure of Hobbs' dominance is that a flawless Wilfred Rhodes manages only 77 out of a 221-run opening stand in less than two hours and 40 minutes on the first morning. Hobbs gives his first chance when on 146. South Africa manage only 103 and 327 in response to England's 417, thanks largely to Hobbs.
0 and 116 not out v Somerset, Bath, 1923
Hobbs' 100th first-class hundred. It turns the match against Somerset
on its head. Against the combination of the pace of Ernie Robson and left-arm spin of Test player Jack White, Surrey are bowled out for 91. Having conceded a lead of 49, big in a low-scoring game, Hobbs manages to keep Robson and White at bay in the second innings and scores 116 not out of 216 for 5 declared, gradually wresting control of the match - on a pitch where Surrey feel safe to declare with just 167 runs of lead. In an unbeaten 63-run sixth-wicket stand, his partner Henry Harrison manages only 10. Surrey hold on in the defence, winning by 10 runs.
101 and 101 not out v Somerset, Taunton, 1925
Starts the season at 113 first-class centuries and by July has got to 125, one short of WG Grace's record. For about a month, the newspapers, newsreel cameras, almost the whole nation, follow Hobbs, but the record-breaking century doesn't come. Hobbs admits to feeling restless during the period, but the record is not only equalled but beaten during a hot Taunton match
. Hobbs survives an early uppish clip into the leg side and ends the first day on 91. On the second, he agrees to wait for about a half hour to let everybody come in and watch him get the record. A Jack McBryan century for Somerset sets Surrey a target of 183, and Hobbs sees them home with an unbeaten 101.
37 and 100 v Australia, The Oval, 1926
Australia have held the Ashes since 1920-21, and on a bowlers' pitch at The Oval
, along with Herbert Sutcliffe, Hobbs wins England the urn in the decider. England are trailing by 22 when Hobbs and Sutcliffe walk out for the second innings. The pair add 172 in three hours and 40 minutes. Hobbs dominates the stand with an even 100 in what Wisden
regards as "one of the most masterly displays of his great career", on a pitch that has become difficult after rain. Australia are bowled out for 125 in the fourth innings, underlining that batting is not easy.
316 not out v Middlesex, Lord's
A fortnight later - in his 44th year remember - once again the bat is the sceptre with which Hobbs rules the bowlers. The scoring rate has come down with age, but at Lord's
Hobbs lets rip against Middlesex. He turns the clock back, getting to his highest first-class score, 316, in six hours and 55 minutes, with 41 boundaries - a rate of more than 40 runs an hour, which until about 10 years ago used to be the norm for the whole team to score at in Test cricket.