Unbeaten scores of 99,199 and 299

Test scores of 99 are more common than one may imagine. Misbah’s score of 99 in the ongoing Test at Kingston was the 89th such instance. The first such score was by Clem Hill against England in early 1902.

Scores of 99* are somewhat rarer. Here is the full list of such scores in chronological order:

99 NO

The first such score was recorded only in late 1979. Boycott carried his bat through this innings.

Boycott had a special affinity for 99, as he was the first to score 99 and a century in the same Test:  http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63121.html

That series-equalling win was also due to Tony Greig’s little-used off-spin which got him 13 wickets in the match.

RT Ponting (101 and 99) was the only other batsman to score a century and 99 in the same Test, which was against South Africa at Melbourne in 2008-09.

All the scores of 99* (except that of Tudor) ended when the team was bowled out. Tudor’s 99* remains the only one where the team was chasing a target. This Test, which immediately followed the 1999 World Cup, had a rather weird scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63841.html

10 wickets fell on the first day and 21 on the second. At close England was 3 for 1 facing a target of 208. Alex Tudor, who normally batted at 8 or below, had come in as a nightwatchman at the fall of the first wicket. On the 3rd day it looked as if he would get a century but his fourth-wicket partner Graham Thorpe was in a hurry to finish things off, leaving Tudor stranded on his highest Test score of 99*. It was to be his only score above 50.

199s and 199*s are still rarer. Here is a complete list of the 11 instances:

199

The first 199 was scored in late 1984 by Mudassar Nazar, and the most recent by KL Rahul. Both the unbeaten 199s came when the teams were bowled out. Andy Flower scored 142 in addition to 199* in a follow-on as his side lost the Test. (That match ended on 9/11 in 2001).

Sangakkara was more fortunate as his team won.

And 299? Two such instances, the first one being unbeaten:

299

Martin Crowe’s 299 was the New Zealand record for over two decades until McCullum made 302.  Let us have a closer look at Bradman’s unbeaten 299:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62601.html

This was the 4th Test of Australia’s 5-0 whitewash of South Africa, who had not yet fully graduated from whipping boys. Bradman was stranded on 299 when the No 11 HM Thurlow was run out for 0 on his debut. Thurlow also failed to take a wicket in two innings. Predictably his first Test was his last.

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