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March 24, 2002
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|
|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|
|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|
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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