Record Book – West Indian double-centurions in England

  Many a batsman from the Caribbean have enthralled English crowds with their flair and finesse. From George Headley and Garfield Sobers to Vivian Richards and Brian Lara, some great West Indian names have enjoyed batting in England. Four such batsmen have achieved the distinction of scoring a Test double ton in England, with two of them having done it twice. Here is a look back at those six instances.

261 by Frank Worrell, Third Test, Trent Bridge, 1950

  With the four-Test series at 1-1, Worrell’s innings was the fulcrum of a dominating West Indian win. After England were bowled out for 223, Worrell, batting at number four, put on 143 for the third wicket with Allan Rae and 283 for the fourth wicket with Everton Weekes (129).  He batted for 335 minutes, hitting 35 fours and two sixes. The West Indies piled up 558, and duly won by ten wickets in a chase of 103. 

Viv Richards

        The great Viv Richards amassed 892 runs in his first Test series in England in 1976, including 232 at Trent Bridge and 291 at The Oval (source – Reuters)

209* by Basil Butcher, Third Test, Trent Bridge, 1966

  Despite conceding a first-innings lead of 90, the West Indies emerged victorious by 139 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series. The chief architect of this win was Butcher, who came in at 65/2 in the second innings and shared in century stands for the third, fourth and fifth wickets. He faced 416 balls and struck 22 fours during his 461-minute stay, which enabled captain Sobers ( who scored 94) to declare at 482/5. 

232 by Vivian Richards, First Test, Trent Bridge, 1976

  Trent Bridge continued to be the favoured ground for West Indian batsmen to notch big scores, as Richards joined the list in his first Test in England. The Antiguan took charge for 438 minutes, in the course of which he faced 313 balls and hit 31 fours and four sixes. He was fourth out at 408, after having put on 303 with Alvin Kallicharran (97). The West Indies finished at 494, but the match was drawn.

291 by Vivian Richards, Fifth Test, The Oval, 1976

  The West Indies had secured an unassailable 2-0 lead coming into this final Test, but Richards was not done yet – he would finish the series with 892 runs. He bettered his Trent Bridge effort with a career-best show – his 472-minute innings consumed just 386 balls and was studded with 38 fours. The final total swelled to 687/8, after which Michael Holding (14/149) ensured a 231-run win for the visitors.

214* by Gordon Greenidge, Second Test, Lord’s, 1984

  Buoyed by an innings win at Edgbaston, the West Indies rode on a breathtaking innings from Greenidge to make short work of a seemingly imposing target of 342. The Barbadian opener carted the English bowling all around Lord’s, facing just 242 balls in a little over five hours. He smashed 29 fours and two sixes, and his second-wicket stand of 287* with Larry Gomes (92*) completed the chase in just 66.1 overs. 

223 by Gordon Greenidge, Fourth Test, Old Trafford, 1984

  Greenidge scored his second double hundred of the series, which would result in a 5-0 clean sweep for the West Indies. This time he batted for nine hours and 45 minutes for his 425-ball knock, which included 30 fours. He steered the total from 70/4 towards 500, adding 197 for the fifth wicket with Jeff Dujon (101) and 170 for the sixth Winston Davis (77). The West Indies cruised home by an innings and 64 runs.  

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