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Double Centuries scored in the 4th innings of a Test

Double Centuries scored in the 4th innings of a Test: Kyle Mayers’ outrageous double century was full of the West Indian swagger and venom the world used to witness back in the 70s and 80s. There was an authority in his strokeplay and the exuberance of a new age cricketer was palpable all the way through.

He helped the West Indies register one of their greatest wins of all time and left Bangladesh in absolute tatters. Not often does a cricketer score a double century on debut, and definitely not in the fourth innings. When you take into perspective that only 5 other cricketers have done that (scoring a double century in the 4th innings) previously in the 143-year Test cricket history, you know it’s something special.

Here’s a look back at the five other double centuries registered in the 4th innings of a Test match (in chronological order).

#1. George Headley – 223 vs England, 1930

Double centuries scored
George Headley is considered one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

The Kingston Test in April 1930 between England and West Indies lasted 9 days (including 3 days of no cricket) and that game had a very important chapter in Test cricket. Andy Sandham became the first-ever cricketer to hit a triple century in Test cricket, having batted over 100 overs and 10 hours. England set a target of 836 runs, which was always going to be an impossible mission to complete.

Karl Nunes led by example and scored some vital runs for the side, but it was the iconic George Headley who got the scoreboard running with some intent. Headley, who holds the record for the best batting average by a West Indian in Test cricket, batted aggressively and took on the English bowlers. His 223 came off 385 deliveries, at a strike-rate tad shy of 58.

At 408/5 on 10th April, it seemed like England will fight it out for a win but a draw had to be arranged as the MCC boat was leaving home. That knock from Headley was the first-ever double century scored in the fourth innings and to date the highest individual score in that category.

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