Only twenty seven batsmen have scored a triple century in the history of Test cricket. That's how rare a feat it is. But six of them were dismissed on scores of 290-299. As agonising as it gets, none of them ever scored a triple century in Tests, barring Virender Sehwag. Today The Business Standard's AHM Nayeem looks at the batsmen who missed out on a triple hundred by the narrowest of margins and could never reach the milestone.
Sir Vivian Richards- 291 vs England, Kennington Oval, 1976
Despite finding himself in the middle with scores five for one, Viv Richards had little respect for the English bowlers. He started to dispatch the English bowlers with utmost disdain and within three hours he brought up his hundred off just 124 balls. The hundred enabled Richards to open up his shoulders a little bit more. He pulverized an almost clueless English bowling attack and had exactly 200 runs against his name by the end of the day.
Richards started from where he left off the next day and pummelled 83 in the morning session. But he did not last long as he tried to whack the ball through the off-side off Tony Greig, only succeeding in dragging the ball back to the stumps. He was dismissed for a majestic 291, narrowly missing out on a well-deserved triple century. This innings at Kennington Oval on 12 August, 1976 remains Viv Richard's highest Test innings.
Martin Crowe- 299 vs Sri Lanka, Basin Reserve, 1991
New Zealand, batting first, were bundled out for a paltry 174. Sri Lanka piled up 497 in reply, taking a massive lead of 323 runs. Things were looking ominous for New Zealand. They got off to a decent start in the second innings though. Martin Crowe joined Andrew Jones when the scores were 148 for two. They were still 175 runs behind.
But Crowe and Jones put on a world record 467 for the third wicket. Crowe continued to frustrate the Lankan bowlers as he was inching closer to a triple century. According to Crowe, on 299 he was too busy thinking that he would be the first New Zealander to achieve the feat. Thus he lost focus and slashed an ordinary delivery from Arjuna Ranatunga which flew low to Hashan Tillakaratne. Thus Martin Crowe missed out on a triple century by the barest of margins. He never got a triple hundred in his career.
Ramnaresh Sarwan- 291 vs England, Kensington Oval, 2009
Andrew Strauss' men were set to script a comeback in the Caribbean tour as they piled up a mammoth 600 for six in the first innings. But England's plans nipped in the bud as Ramnaresh Sarwan continued his extraordinary form in the series.
In a docile track, Sarwan batted with immense concentration for more than eleven hours to torment the English bowling attack. The Guyanese continued his dream run with the bat as everyone batted around him. He put on 261 with Denesh Ramdin for the sixth wicket where Ramdin played second fiddle to Sarwan. The right handed batsman succumbed to Ryan Sidebottom on 291 as a late outswinger cartwheeled his stumps. The innings studded with 30 boundaries and two sixes. The match was eventually drawn. This magnificent knock of 291 at the Kensington Oval remains Sarwan's career best Test score.
Sir Alastair Cook- 294 vs India, Edgbaston, 2011
In reply to India's 224 in the first innings, England got off to a magnificent start as Alastair Cook put on 186 with Andrew Strauss for the first wicket. There was no stopping of Cook despite Strauss' dismissal as he continued to amass runs in an almost chanceless innings.
Cook put on good partnerships with Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan and inched closer to a triple hundred. But he fell six short of what could've been a magnificent triple century. Cook tried to find to gap towards the off side off Ishant Sharma but hit the ball straight down the throat of Suresh Raina. The declaration came as soon as Cook was dismissed and he left the field with a standing ovation from the crowd. Cook's 545-ball marathon had 33 boundaries. This is Cook's highest Test score as well.
Ross Taylor- 290 vs Australia, Perth, 2015
Australia accumulated a mammoth 559 thanks to David Warner's scintillating double hundred. New Zealand responded well with a solid start. Ross Taylor came to bat in at number four and put on 265 for the third wicket with Kane Williamson. Williamson was dismissed for 166 but Taylor continued to pile up runs.
Taylor batted for nine and a half hours to score 290 before getting out to Nathan Lyon, missing out on his maiden triple century. He struck 43 boundaries and en route to his 290, he broke Tip Foster's 112-year old record of highest individual score in Australian soil as an overseas batsman. His 374-ball masterclass studded with 43 boundaries. This innings remains Taylor's best innings in terms of runs scored till date. According to Williamson, the tempo of his innings and the amount of time he spent in the middle were simply incredible.