List of first-class cricket quadruple centuries
A quadruple century (an individual score of 400 runs or more) has been scored ten times in first-class cricket by eight different players. It was first achieved in 1895 by Archie MacLaren, while both the most recent occurrences have been by Brian Lara, who is also the only player to have managed the feat in Test cricket. Lara holds the record for the highest score in first-class cricket, having made 501 not out in 1994.
Prior to 1895, the highest score in first-class cricket was W. G. Grace's 344. This total was surpassed by MacLaren, playing for Lancashire during a County Championship match against Somerset. MacLaren opened the batting for his side at the County Ground, Taunton, and struck 1 six and 64 fours during his innings, which lasted well into the second day of the three-day match. MacLaren's score remained the only quadruple century for over 25 years, until Bill Ponsford accumulated 429 runs in just his third first-class match. Ponsford improved on his own total four years later, reaching 437 runs; both of his quadruple centuries being scored at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The next quadruple century was again scored in Australia, on this occasion by Don Bradman. Playing at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Bradman surmounted his compatriot's total, finishing on 452 not out. His innings, which lasted 415 minutes, is the shortest of any quadruple century.
Each of the following three quadruple centuries were scored in the Indian subcontinent, where according to MacLaren's biographer Michael Down, "standards of play are sometimes hard to assess." B. B. Nimbalkar was the first batsman to score a quadruple century without setting a new record for the highest score, hitting 443 not out for Maharashtra at Pune Club Ground. Their opposition, Kathiawar, conceded the match on the third day without batting for a second time. In 1959, Hanif Mohammad eclipsed Bradman's record, scoring 499 runs before he was run out. Playing at the Karachi Parsi Institute Ground, he was trying to reach 500 runs before the end of the third day when he was run out in the final over. Fifteen years later, Aftab Baloch became the sixth player to score a quadruple century. Captaining Sind at the National Stadium, Karachi, Baloch scored 428 runs as his side totalled 951 for 7 declared in reply to their opponent's first innings 93.
In 1988, Graeme Hick made the second quadruple century in England. Coming 93 years after the first, it was similarly scored at the County Ground, Taunton. In an innings which Vic Marks described as "clinical rather than charismatic", Hick reached 405 not out from 469 deliveries: his first 300 runs came from 411 balls, and the last hundred were scored off just 58 more. England was once again the host nation for the next quadruple century—technically a quintuple century—when Brian Lara made the record high score in first-class cricket, hitting 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994. In contrast to Hick's patient innings, Lara's total was one of only two quadruple centuries that was scored at faster than a run a minute. In a match that had been ruined as a contest by rain, Lara asked his captain not to declare their innings so he could try to surpass Hanif Mohammad's total. Aiming for 500, he started the final over of the day on 497, and reached the landmark with a four, scored from the penultimate ball of the over. Ten years later, Lara became the only batsman to score a quadruple century in Test cricket when he scored 400 not out while captaining the West Indies against England at the Antigua Recreation Ground. When he passed Matthew Hayden's Test record score of 380, play was delayed as Baldwin Spencer, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda came onto the field to offer his congratulations. Lara continued to bat until he reached 400, whereupon he declared the West Indian innings at 751/5.
Quadruple centuries and above
- * – The player remained not out.
- Mins – How many minutes the player batted for.
- Balls – How many deliveries the player faced.
- Date – The date on which the match started.
- Unk – The number of deliveries faced is unknown, as it was not recorded.
- – Total was the highest first-class score at the time.
- "Records / First-class matches / Batting records / Most runs in an innings". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Hughes, Simon (2010). "And God Created Cricket". London, England: Random House. p. 109. ISBN 978-0552775069.
- Down, Michael (1981). Archie: A Biography of A. C. MacLaren. London: George Allen & Unwin. pp. 30–35. ISBN 0-04-796056-6.
- "Player Profile: Bill Ponsford". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Coleman, Robert (1993). Seasons in the Sun: The story of the Victorian Cricket Association. Hargreen Publishing Company. p. 328. ISBN 978-0949905598.
- "Maharashtra v Kathiawar: Ranji Trophy 1948/49 (1st Round)". CricketArchive. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Hanif Mohammad (10 January 2009). "11 January 1959: Hanif Mohammad is run out for 499". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Miller, Andrew; Williamson, Martin (28 March 2006). "Rubbing their noses in it". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Marks, Vic (21 September 2008). "Hick's 405: The biggest innings in England in 93 years". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Moore, Glenn (7 June 1994). "Cricket: 501 not out: Lara becomes world's first batsman to score 500 runs". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Hopps, David (1998). "Great Cricket Quotes". London: Robson Books. p. 87. ISBN 1 86105 967 1.
- Pringle, Derek (12 June 1994). "Cricket: History as seen from 22 yards away". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Lara celebrates record run". The Age. Melbourne: Fairfax Media. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- Miller, Andrew (12 April 2004). "England in strife after Lara's 400". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 November 2012.