Only twice has a team innings gone into four figures-and these were both by Victoria in the 1920s. There have been several other scores above 900 including two Tests. Here we take a closer look at the top 3 innings from this list:
Top position goes to Victoria’s 1107 against New South Wales at Melbourne in 1926-27:
Note that the first four all scored centuries, and that all four (Woodfull, Ponsford, Hendry and Ryder) were Test players. There were three other Test players in the XI.
From the bowling side, Arthur Mailey recorded what is still the world first-class record for the most runs conceded in an innings:
Still, 4-362 sounds more respectable than 0-259 recorded by Khan Mohammad when Sobers scored his then world Test record of 365 not out. Other Test players in the NSW team were T. Andrew, captain Kippax and Archie Jackson.
A victory by an innings and 656 runs sounds impressive, but it is not the world first-class record. That is an innings and 851 runs, where Pakistan Railways made 910/6 declared against Dera Ismail Khan making 32 and 27. The latter team was making its first-class debut. The Railways team did not include any Test players.
The second four-figure innings came earlier in the decade, with Victoria making 1059 against Tasmania at Melbourne in 1922-23. This, unlike the previous match, was not part of the Sheffield Shield.
Here the victory margin was slightly better at an innings and 666 runs. The centuries were by Test players Ponsford and Love who were also involved in the match mentioned above. Ponsford was yet to make his Test debut and his earlier highest F-C score was 162. His 429 was then the world record F-C innings, surpassing Archie MacLaren’s 424 in 1895. He surpassed the record with 437 against Queensland in 1927-28. This was also at his favourite MCG. It not was not until 2003-04 that Lara became the only other batsman to cross 400 twice.
The third instance was the highest Test score and ended in a draw:
Many familiar names here, including M. Jayawardene who made his debut with 66. He had the luxury of coming in at 790/4. There were many Test records set here, of which we mention only a few. The second-wicket partnership of 576 by Jayasuriya and Mahanama was then the world Test record for any wicket and the F-C record for the second wicket. Both records have since been surpassed.
They batted throughout the 3rd and 4th day, before both were out at 615. And spare a thought for debutant Nilesh Kulkarni who took Atapattu’s wicket with his first ball, and ended his career after two more Tests in which he took only one more wicket.