India v South Africa, 1st Test, Chennai, 3rd day
March 28, 2008
The day the records tumbled
Stats highlights of the record-breaking day in Chennai
Virender Sehwag reached new highs while laying low the South African bowling
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No batsman had scored over 250 runs in a day's play of a Test for over 50 years; Virender Sehwag smashed past the mark on the way to scoring his second triple-hundred, one of several statistical highlights from the record-breaking day in Chennai:
Sehwag's unbeaten 309 is the second triple-century by an Indian - he had scored the first in Multan in 2004. It was also the first time that a batsman had gone past the 300-run mark in India; VVS Laxman's epic 281 in Kolkata in 2001 was the previous highest score in the country.
Sehwag needed only 278 balls to reach 300, making it by far the fastest Test triple-hundred. Sehwag also becomes the third batsman after Don Bradman and Brian Lara to score two triple-hundreds.
Sehwag scored 257 runs in the third day's play, a feat bettered only by three other batsmen, with Don Bradman's 309 runs in a day against England in Leeds in 1930 topping the list. However, the last time a batsman scored over 250 runs in a day was in 1954, when Dennis Compton made 273 runs on the second day of the Nottingham Test against Pakistan on the way to his 278.
Sehwag's two partnerships so far - 213 for the first wicket with Wasim Jaffer and an unbroken 255-run stand for the second with Rahul Dravid - make it the first time double-century stands have been posted for the first two wickets of a Test innings.
Two triples indicate Sehwag's appetite for scoring big runs but what confirms it is the fact that each of his last ten centuries have seen him go past 150, including a couple of double-hundreds and triple-hundreds.
Sehwag's unbeaten 309 in a total of 468 for 1 so far equates to just over 66% of his team's total. The record for a completed innings is 67.35%, when Charles Bannerman scored 165 of the 245 made by Australia in the first innings of the first-ever Test in 1877. Another Australian, Michael Slater, is second on the list, having made 123 in Australia's 184 in the second innings of the Sydney Test against England in 1999. Laxman's 167 at the same ground is third; he scored 63.98% of India's 261 as they went down to Australia.
In the 14 innings when Sehwag has scored a century, his strike rate has been 77.79. Among batsmen with at least ten Test hundreds, only Adam Gilchrist has a faster strike-rate in centuries (99.64). The fact that his overall career strike-rate is 75 also reveals his tendency to bat at the same tempo regardless of his score.
For the second time in his Test career, March 28 turned out to be a day to remember for Sehwag. In 2004, on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan, Sehwag had finished the day on an unbeaten 228, and went on to score 309 the following day.
Mathew Varghese is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo
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