During the current Australia-India series, at Sydney, Michael Clarke became the latest member of the Test match triple hundred club, with his magnificent innings of 329 not out helping to guide Australia to an emphatic victory by an innings and 68 runs.
Clarke’s outstanding effort led many to reflect on the achievement of scoring three hundred in a Test, and also to ask who was the first to achieve this feat. The names of legendary batsmen Wally Hammond and Don Bradman would have been on many lips as being Test cricket’s first Test triple centurion.
But the answer was Andy Sandham, a lesser known light on the international stage, who made 325 for England against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Jamaica in April 1930.
In all, Sandham won fourteen Test caps in a career with England which saw the opening batsman make 879 runs in international cricket, plus the small matter of 33,312 first-class runs in county cricket for Surrey.
He had made his first-class debut back in 1911, before losing several potentially productive seasons to the Great War, but when hostilities ceased he resumed his productive Surrey partnership with Jack Hobbs, and made his Test debut on his home patch at The Oval against Australia in 1921.
Sandham’s triple hundred came during the MCC tour to the Caribbean in 1929-30, in matches which at the time were described as being “representative” before being subsequently re-classified as Tests.
The game at Sabina Park saw several other records being established. During the nine days, England registered a mammoth 849, with the match aggregate reaching 1815 after George Headley scored 223 in the home side’s second innings in the drawn match.
Three months later Don Bradman made 334 in the Headingley Test of the 1930 Ashes series, while as far as English batting records are concerned Sandham’s feat was eclipsed almost three years later at Auckland when Hammond scored an unbeaten 336 for England against New Zealand at Eden Park.
The quiet and unassuming Sandham continued to play for Surrey until 1937, before acting as their coach from 1946 until 1958, and then their scorer for another dozen years.
To view Andy Sandham’s career record, please go to: http://stats.thecricketer.com/Players/0/408/408.html