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On This Day in 1982: Ian Botham Sprints to Fastest Double-Century in Test Cricket

The right-hander reached the magical figure of double hundred in just 220 balls. (Representational Photo)

The right-hander reached the magical figure of double hundred in just 220 balls. (Representational Photo)

Botham played a phenomenal knock of 208 runs with 19 boundaries and four maximums at a strike rate of 92.04

Ian Botham is widely regarded as one of the greatest allrounders to have played the game. The Englishman possessed the ability and belief to take down any opposition anywhere in the world. One of his such efforts, one of the greatest knocks of his cricket, came against India at the Kennington Oval in London.

On July 9, 1982, England were up against India in the last Test match of the three-match series. The toss flipped in the favor of home skipper Bob Willis and he made the choice of batting first. The first innings saw the stylish middle-order batsman Botham making heads turn. He played a phenomenal knock of 208 runs.

What’s special about this knock is that he reached the magical figure of a double hundred in just 220 balls.  This was the fastest recorded Test double-century in terms of ball faced at that time.

His innings featured 19 fours and four sixes.

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The exploits by Botham drove the hosts to a massive total of 594 runs. In reply India scored 410 runs as Kapil Dev played a sublime knock of 97 runs. It was a high scoring game and there is no doubt that the batters ruled the show. In the third innings England declared at 191. Chris Tavare was the highest run-getter for the hosts as he added 75 runs to the scoreboard.

However, the England bowlers failed to pick all the ten wickets of the Indian batter within the allotted time and as a result the match ended in a draw. Meanwhile, England won the Test series by 1-0 as they secured a victory in the first Test by seven wickets.

Botham held the prestigious record for 20 years before Adam Gilchrist leapfrogged him. The Australian smacked a double hundred in in 212 deliveries against South Africa.

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first published:July 09, 2021, 07:35 IST