Test cricket is all about resistance and temperament where players battle it out to either make a mark for them or to save the match for their team in difficult situations. The format provides players with the liberty to express themselves more freely and play more quality and gritty cricket.
After Jayant Yadav became the first Indian to score a century batting at number 9 in Test cricket, it brought back memories of some classic and blistering batting performances played at number 9 which not only helped the players earn recognition and praise but also were crucial in changing the course of the match.
Here are top 5 highest scores by batsmen batting at number 9:
#1 Ian Smith (New Zealand) – 173 vs India (February 1990)
India and New Zealand were playing aggressive and competitive cricket when they battled it out in a 3 match Test series in 1990. India went into the third match aiming to level the series after losing the first match and drawing the second. However, Ian Smith had different plans this time.
While New Zealand were struggling at 131 for 7 in the first innings, it was Richard Hadlee and Smith who changed the course of the match after they were involved in a partnership of 103 runs for the 8th wicket. Smith also went on to hit a majestic century, scoring 173 runs from 136 balls at a strike rate of 127.20 that included 23 boundaries and 3 sky-rocketing sixes and helped his team put up a respectable total of 391 on the board.
His innings was a delight to watch as he showed no mercy on the Indian bowlers and thrashed them all over the park. He played aggressive cricket throughout and never allowed bowlers to dominate him eventually ending the match in a draw.
Smith currently holds the record for the highest score batting at number 9 in Test Cricket.
#2 Stuart Broad (England) – 169 vs Pakistan (August 2010)
Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010 was a disastrous one as they lost the test series 3-1 after England put up a great Cricketing show. It was the 4th and final test at the Lord’s when Stuart Broad produced a miraculous innings against a fiery Pakistan bowling line-up and created history. England were reeling at 102 for 7 in the first innings when Broad came out to bat.
Coming out to bat at number 9, he smashed a scintillating century scoring 169 runs from 297 balls which included 18 boundaries and a huge six.
Not only did Broad earn a place on the Lord’s honour board, but also created history by becoming the second highest scorer batting at number 9 in Test Cricket. He completely changed the course of the match and put up a strong partnership of 332 runs with Jonathan Trott to help England put up a big total of 446 runs on the board.
Broad’s innings was a delight to watch as he played some beautiful Cricketing shots all around the ground including a straight drive and a cover drive.
#3 Clem Hill (Australia) 160 against England (January 1908
The Ashes is known to be the fiercest battles to be fought on the cricket field. Over the years, it has provided ample amusement and bought to light some breathtaking cricketing performances. The 1908 Ashes was no different where the world witnessed some amazing cricketing action. One of them came from Clem Hill of Australia.
With the series level at 1-1, both Australia and England went into the third match to gain a lead and earn an advantage over the other. England were enjoying the play after getting a lead of 78 runs over Australia in the first innings. They soon dismissed Australia’s top order cheaply before Hartigan and Hill decided to take over and change the course of the match.
Hill, especially, was efficient at number 9 and went on to score a scintillating century scoring 160 runs including 18 boundaries helping Australia win the match by a whopping 245 runs.
#4 Asif Iqbal (Pakistan) – 146 against England (August 1967)
It is not very often that we see a lower order batsman batting his nerve out to save a match for his team. This not only makes for an exciting watch but also remains etched in the memory of the cricket fans for a very long time. Asif Iqbal played one such innings when Pakistan toured England in 1967 for a three-match Test series.
Pakistan were trailing in the Test series 1-0 after losing the second Test and were aiming to make a comeback. However, their first innings’ performance was dismal and they went into the second innings trailing by 224 runs. Pakistan were struggling at 65-8 when Iqbal came out to bat.
Iqbal demonstrated immense calm and composure while playing a sensational innings scoring 146 runs from 244 balls including 21 boundaries and 2 sixes. He was unable to save the match for his team but however, his fighting innings did earn him praise and recognition from the whole cricketing fraternity.
#5 Daniel Vettori (New Zealand) – 137* against Pakistan (December 2003)
Vettori can easily be regarded as one of the finest and quality spinners to have ever played for New Zealand. He was a threat to batsmen worldwide and brought glory for New Zealand in matches that he played. However, it was his batting that stole the limelight when Pakistan toured New Zealand for a Test series in 2003-2004.
Vettori played a brilliant knock batting at number 9 in the first innings and scored a magnificent century scoring 137 runs from 170 balls which included 23 boundaries and a six.
He was confident in his approach and smashed the Pakistan bowlers all around the ground playing his trademark cover drives and flick. His knock lower down the order helped New Zealand put up a big total on the board which ultimately helped them to draw the match.