When the first four batsmen all scored a century

Last week’s LV=County Championship match between Sussex and Derbyshire at Horsham saw a rare batting feat being achieved when the first four batsmen in the Sussex line-up all scored hundreds in Sussex’s first innings.

Ed Joyce (164), Chris Nash (156), Ben Brown (112) and Murray Goodwin (100*) all reached three figures as Sussex amassed a mammoth total of 576 for 3 declared en route to a comprehensive innings victory to consolidate their lead at the top of Division Two of the Championship.

It was only the fourth time in the history of Championship cricket that the first four batsmen of a side had all scored a century in an innings, with the previous occasions being in the following games:

•   Middlesex v Sussex at Lord’s, 1920 (PF Warner 139, HW Lee 119,
JW Hearne 116*, NF Haig 131)

•   Middlesex v Hampshire at Southampton, 1923 (HL Dales 103, HW Lee 107,
JW Hearne 232, EH Hendren 177*)

•   Somerset v Leicestershire at Taunton, 2007 (ME Trescothick 182,
NJ Edwards 133, JC Hildreth 163, CL White 114)

There had been a previous occasion when four Sussex batsmen had scored a century in an innings – that was in July 1938 when they played at Northampton, and in reply to the home side’s first innings total of 377, the South Coast club amassed 631 for 4. Their run spree began with John Langridge and Jim Parks Snr adding 192 for the first wicket, before Parks departed for 106. His brother Henry then came in at number three but he was dismissed for just a single. However, number four George Cox and number five Hugh Bartlett subsequently scored hundreds, with Langridge completing a double-century before Sussex declared.

For the record, the recent Horsham match was the 21st time in the history of the competition that four batsmen have scored a century for the same side in an innings in a Championship match – to see a list of these, please visit
http://stats.thecricketer.com/Records/Firstclass/Overall/Most_Hundreds_in_Innings.html

About Andrew Hignell

Andrew Hignell was born in Gloucester, but raised and educated in Cardiff. He has supported Glamorgan Cricket since the early 1970s and was appointed the Club’s Statistician in 1982 and since 2004 has been their 1st XI scorer. Andrew has a doctorate in geography and taught for eighteen years before becoming Glamorgan’s scorer. Andrew has written over a dozen books on cricket and he is also the Secretary of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians.
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