10 Batsmen who narrowly missed out on a triple hundred

Lav Kumar

Scoring 300 in a Test match is a cherished dream for most batsmen. Only 26 cricketers have been able to achieve this feat till now, despite the batsman-friendly nature of the game.

Scoring a triple century is not an easy task as the batsman needs to be patient and control his instincts. It also requires quite a bit of luck to get there.

Cricket is not an individual sport. A batsman requires someone at the other end to build partnerships. On many occasions, they get close to 300 but run out of partners. One such instance occurred when Sir Don Bradman was stranded on the score of 299 and all the other 10 wickets fell.

Bradman did score two triple centuries in his career, but had he scored a 300 in that match he would have become the first (and only) player to score three triple centuries.

There have been 10 other batsmen have who come painfully close to scoring a triple century but could not quite reach the finish line. Here is a list of those:

#10 AB de Villiers

Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 3

AB de Villiers is known for his ability to tear any bowling attack apart, especially in the limited overs formats. But he has been a brilliant batsman in Test cricket as well, where he averages over 50.

The South African has 22 hundred to his name and twice he went on to convert them into double hundreds.

In the second Test of South Africa's tour of UAE in 2010, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first. South Africa lost three wickets in quick succession before AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis stabilized the innings.

Kallis got out on the score of 105 but De Villiers continued to dent the morale of the Pakistani bowlers. He shared a partnership of 107 with Morne Morkel for the last wicket. But South African captain Graeme Smith decided to declare at 584/9 with de Villiers unbeaten on 278.

#9 Martin Crowe

Martin Crowe

Martin Crowe played 77 Tests for New Zealand, scoring 5,444 runs at an average of over 45. He scored 17 hundreds and 18 fifties.

Only once among his 17 100+ innings did he go on to make a double ton. He did that in a match against Sri Lanka in Wellington in the year 1991.

In that match, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first. Their opening bowling pair of Rumesh Ratnayake and Graeme Labrooy picked 4 wickets each and New Zealand were bundled out for a score of 174. Martin Crowe with 30 was the highest scorer in the first innings.

In reply, Arvinda de Silva's 267 helped Sri Lanka post 497. New Zealand, trailing by 323, required a massive effort from the batsmen to save the Test. And their batsmen did exactly that.

John Wright scored 88 and Andrew Jones scored his career-best 186. Crowe, however, stood the tallest and scored his career best of 299. He was very unlucky to be dismissed just one short of a triple ton by Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga. But Crowe's effort helped New Zealand draw the match as well as the series.

#8 Ross Taylor

Australia v New Zealand - 2nd Test: Day 3

Another New Zealand batsman, Ross Taylor, fell 10 short of a triple hundred in 2015. In the second Test of the New Zealand tour of Australia at Perth, Australia batted first and scored a massive 559 in the first inning courtesy David Warner's 253 and Usman Khawaja's 121.

In reply, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor batted brilliantly, scoring 166 and 290 respectively. Taylor was the last man dismissed, by Nathan Lyon, thus missing out on a well deserved triple hundred.

It was a run feast throughout the five days and the match ended in a draw.

#7 Ramnaresh Sarwan

Second Test - Australia v West Indies: Day 4

Ramnaresh Sarwan scored 15 hundreds in Test matches and twice he went on to convert them into big scores. On both occasions, he could have scored a triple hundred.

In the second Test of the 2004 Bangladesh tour of West Indies, the Bangladesh batting lineup was dismissed for 284. In reply, Brian Lara scored a hundred and Sarwan scored an unbeaten 261 from 402 balls. Lara the captain decided to declare after Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored his hundred.

Bangladesh were dismissed for 176 in the second innings and West Indies won the match by an inning and 99 runs. But many thought Lara could have allowed Chanderpaul and Sarwan to play a little longer considering the match ended inside four days.

In the fourth Test of England's 2009 tour of West Indies, England scored a huge total of 600 in the first innings on the back of hundreds from England captain Andrew Strauss and Ravi Bopara and 90s from Alastair Cook and Paul Collingwood.

West Indies replied back strongly, scoring 749, mainly because of Sarwan's 291 and Denesh Ramdin's 166. Sarwan scored 291 from 452 balls and was bowled by Ryan Sidebottom. He missed a well deserve triple century but his efforts helped West Indies draw the match.

#6 Sir Viv Richards

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Viv Richards was one of the players who redefined batting. Unlike other players of his generation, he believed in attacking the bowlers and yet averaged above 50, scoring more than 8500 runs.

Even the great Richards once missed a well-deserved opportunity to score a triple hundred. In the fifth Test of the West Indies tour of England in 1976, West Indies while batting first posted a mammoth score of 687/8 mainly because of Richards 291 from just 386 balls.

Had he scored a triple hundred in that match, it would have been the fastest triple hundred of that time.

#5 Alastair Cook

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Alastair Cook was going through a rough phase in 2011. But in the third Test of India's tour of England, he rediscovered his ability to tough out epic innings.

India, while batting first, posted a below-par scored of 224 in the first innings. In reply, Alastair Cook single-handedly took England to a huge total.

Cook scored 294 from 545 and was unlucky to not be able to score a well-deserved 300. India were bowled out for 244 in the second innings, and England won the match by an innings and 242 runs. It was one of India's worst defeats ever.

#4 Stephen Fleming

Third Test - New Zealand v England: Day 4

Stephen Fleming was an excellent opener for New Zealand. He played more than 100 Tests and scored more than 7000 runs, with nine hundreds and 46 fifties.

Fleming slammed three double centuries in his career and twice he went on to convert them into 250+ scores.

In the first Test of the New Zealand tour of Sri Lanka in 2003, Fleming held up one end firmly and anchored the innings. He scored an unbeaten 274 from 476 balls. He could have carried on and scored a triple century but he decided to give Sri Lanka a few overs at the end of the second day.

They did get the early wicket of Marvan Atapattu but the other Sri Lankans batted really well and the match ended in a draw.

#3 Graeme Smith

New Zealand v South Africa - 1st Test: Day 3

Graeme Smith was one of the best opening batsmen and captains of all time. He scored more than 9200 runs at an average of close to 50, with 27 hundreds out of which 5 were double hundreds.

The 2003 South African tour of England was a very memorable one for Smith. In the first Test, he scored 277 from 373 balls and took South Africa to 594/5. He couldn't reach the milestone of 300 as he was dismissed by Ashley Giles.

In the second Test South Africa bowled England out for 173 and in reply, Smith played one of his best innings ever. He scored yet another double century, this time piling on 259 from 370 balls, but missed yet another opportunity of scoring a triple.

However, his hundred helped South Africa win the match by an innings and 92 runs.

#2 Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten of South Africa

Gary Kirsten will always be remembered as a brilliant coach by the Indians but he was a great batsman as well. He played 101 Tests for South Africa and scored more than 7,200 runs, with 21 centuries. Out of the 21 centuries, three were double hundreds.

In the third Test of England's 1999 tour of South Africa in Durban, England scored 366/9 in the first innings on the back of a brilliant hundred by captain Nasser Hussain. In reply, South Africa were dismissed for 156 and England enforced the follow-on.

Gary Kirsten opened the batting and held the fort till the end. He scored 275 from a mammoth 642 balls. He missed a well deserved triple hundred but his marathon innings helped South Africa draw the match.

#1 Javed Miandad

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Javed Miandad announced his arrival in Test cricket with a bang, scoring 163 against New Zealand in 1976. In his career, he scored 8832 runs at an average of 52.57, with 23 centuries out of which 6 were doubles and three were in excess of 250.

In the fourth Test of India's 1983 tour of Pakistan, Pakistan batted first and scored a massive 581/3 on the back of double hundreds from Mudassar Nazar and Javed Miandad. Nazar scored 231 from 444 and Miandad scored an unbeaten 280 from 460. He could have scored a triple had been given a few more overs to bat.

In the fifth Test of Pakistan's 1987 tour of England, Pakistan scored a massive score of 708 in the first innings after batting for more than two days. Salim Malik and Imran Khan both scored hundreds and Miandad top scored with 260 from 521 deliveries. He could have scored a triple century had he not been caught and bowled by Graham Dilley.

In the third Test of Pakistan's 1989 tour of New Zealand in Auckland, Pakistan scored another massive score while batting first. They batted for more than two days and put up 616/5 on the back of Miandad's 271 from 465.

Had Miandad not been caught off the bowling of Ewen Chatfield, he might have scored a triple hundred in that match.