March 24, 2002

Astle smashes into record books

Mohammad Ramis

On 16 March 2002, during the final day of the first Test match between New Zealand and England at Auckland, Nathan Astle smashed the fastest double century in Test cricket off just 153 balls in 217 minutes. Curiously enough, his second hundred (from 101 to 200) came off just 39 balls in 69 minutes, which is also a world record.

Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist who completed his double century off 212 balls against South Africa at Johannesburg on 23 February 2002 held the previous record. His double century in terms of minutes (217 minutes), however, ranks second to Don Bradman's 214 minutes double ton against England at Leeds in 1930, when he had scored 334 off 446 balls in 378 minutes with the help of 46 fours.

Astle, by hitting 11 sixes also set a new record of most sixes in an innings for New Zealand. Chris Cairns had previously hit nine sixes during his 120-run knock against Zimbabwe at the same ground in 1995-96. The all-time record is still held by Pakistan's Wasim Akram who cracked 12 sixes during his unbeaten 257-run knock against Zimbabwe at Sheikhupura in 1996.

For interest here are more details.

Fastest double centuries in Test cricket

- In terms of balls
Balls Batsmen Scores For Vs Venue Season
153 N J Astle 222 in 168 balls, 231 min, 28 x 4's, 11 x 6's NZ Eng Christchurch 2001-02
212 A C Gilchrist 204* in 213 balls, 293 min, 19 x 4's, 8 x 6's Aus SA Johannesburg 2001-02
220 I T Botham 208 in 226 balls, 276 min, 19 x 4's, 4 x 6's Eng Ind Oval 1982
231 G P Thorpe 200* in 231 balls, 335 min, 28 x 4's, 4 x 6's Eng NZ Christchurch 2001-02
232 C G Greenidge 214* in 241 balls, 300 min, 29 x 4's WI Eng Lord's 1984
240 C H Lloyd 242* in 429 min, 19 x 4's, 4 x 6's WI Ind Mumbai 1974-75
241 Zaheer Abbas 215 in 254 balls, 334 min, 23 x 4's, 2 x 6's Pak Ind Lahore 1982-83
242 D G Bradman 244 in 277 balls, 316 min, 32 x 4's, 1 x 6 Aus Eng Oval 1934
242 I V A Richards 208 in 245 balls, 376 min, 22 x 4's, 3 x 6's WI Aus Melbourne 1984-85
- In terms of minutes
Min Batsmen Scores For Vs Venue Season
214 D G Bradman 334 in 446 balls, 378 min 46 x 4's Aus Eng Leeds 1930
217 N J Astle 222 in 168 balls, 231 min, 28 x 4's, 11 x 6's NZ Eng Christchurch 2001-02
223 S J McCabe 232 in 276 balls, 235 min 34 x 4's, 1 x 6 Aus Eng Nottingham 1938
226 V T Trumper 214* in 242 min, 26 x 4's Aus SA Adelaide 1910-11
234 D G Bradman 254 in 376 balls, 339 min 25 x 4's Aus Eng Lord's 1930
240 W R Hammond 336* in 398 balls, 325 min 34 x 4's & 10 x 6's Eng NZ Auckland 1932-33
241 S E Gregory 201 in 243 min, 28 x 4's Aus Eng Sydney 1894-95
245 D C S Compton 278 in 290 min, 34 x 4's, 1 x 6 Eng Pak Nottingham 1954
251 D G Bradman 223 in 297 min, 24 x 4's Aus WI Brisbane 1930-31
253 D G Bradman 226 in 277 min, 22 x 4's Aus SA Brisbane 1931-32