I’ve taken a look at the highest team scores, but what about the individuals? Here are the highest scores by batsmen in test cricket.
What is the Highest Individual Score in Tests?
The highest score by a batsman in test cricket is 400 by Brian Lara for the West Indies against England in 2004, Lara’s knock came at the Recreation Ground in Antigua and the innings lasted for 778 minutes with 582 balls.
While the score put Brian Lara into the history books, it wasn’t enough to force a result and the match was drawn.
Top 10 Highest Test Scores by a Player
BC Lara – 400*, West Indies v England – 2004
Having briefly lost the record for the highest score in test cricket, Brian Lara snatched it back with this stunning effort in Antigua. He became the first, and so far only batsman to reach 400 in tests with an innings that included 43 fours and four sixes.
Lara also holds the record for the highest score in first class cricket with his undefeated 501 which he made for Warwickshire against Durham.
ML Hayden – 380, Australia v Zimbabwe – 2003
For a brief period, Australia’s Matthew Hayden held the record for the highest score in test cricket. Against Zimbabwe at Perth in October 2003, the powerful left hander struck the Zimbabwe attack to all parts of the ground as he made 380 out of a total of 735/6 declared.
Hayden’s innings came from 437 deliveries and it included 38 fours and 11 sixes. His marathon effort set up a big win for his side. Zimbabwe made 239 and 321 in their two knocks, to lose the game by an innings and 175 runs.
BC Lara – 375, West Indies v England – 1994
Brian Lara first broke the world record test score by a batsman back in 1994. Once again, England were the opposition and the game was played on the same Recreation Ground in St John’s.
Lara went past Garry Sobers’ milestone and he was eventually dismissed for 375. The innings came from 538 balls and it contained 45 fours. West Indies made 593/5 declared, but England also made 593 in reply. While the tourists had lost all ten wickets, there was very little time left in the game and the test ended in a draw.
DPMD Jayawardene 374, Sri Lanka v South Africa – 2006
Sri Lanka’s prolific batsman Mahela Jayawardene was homing in on Brian Lara’s record in this test match against South Africa in 2006. The game was played in Colombo and Sri Lanka’s total of 756/5 declared remains as one of their highest in test cricket.
Jayawardene’s contribution of 374 came from 572 deliveries and it included 43 fours and one six. Just as it looked as though he would break Brian Lara’s record, a ball from Andre Nel kept low and he was dismissed on 374.
GS Sobers – 365*, West Indies v Pakistan – 1958
Another great West Indian left hander, Sir Garfield Sobers, held the record test score for 36 years until Brian Lara surpassed it. Incredibly, this was his first test century and he really made it count as he went on to make an undefeated 365.
Sobers’ effort came in 1958 in a test match against Pakistan in Kingston, Jamaica, The innings lasted for just over ten hours and it included 38 fours. The West Indies finished on a colossal 790/3 declared and they went on to win the game by an innings and 174 runs.
L Hutton – 364, England v Australia – 1938
Garry Sobers had passed the previous record which was set by Len Hutton in 1938. This was an Ashes test and it helped England to compile a huge total of 903/7 declared which was a world record at the time.
Hutton made 364 in that total and his knock came from 847 balls with 35 fours. It was a dominant performance on the Oval pitch and that effort helped to set up a monumental win by an innings and 579 runs.
ST Jayasuriya – 340, Sri Lanka v India – 1997
Many of Sri Lanka’s prolific batsmen of the 1990s and 2000s liked to go big when they passed three figures. In the case of Sanath Jayasuriya, his 340 against India at Colombo in 1997 helped his team to compile a world record total of 952/6 declared.
Opening the batting, Jayasuriya made those 340 runs from 578 deliveries with 36 fours and two sixes. It was a hugely impressive effort but, on a flat pitch, he couldn’t help his Sri Lankan team to force a result in this drawn test.
Hanif Mohammad – 337, Pakistan v West Indies – 1958
In the same series where Garry Sobers set his world record, Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad compiled the longest test innings of all time. His knock of 337 at Bridgetown took 970 minutes to complete. He was, therefore, at the crease for more than 16 hours.
There’s no record of how many deliveries Hanif faced, but we do know that he scored 24 fours. His innings helped Pakistan to 657/8 declared, but so much time had been taken out of the game that the test finished in an inevitable draw.
WR Hammond – 336*, England v New Zealand – 1933
For a brief period in the 1930’s England’s Walter Hammond held the record for the highest individual score in test cricket. Playing against New Zealand in 1933, he made an undefeated 336 in a fairly rapid innings that took just 318 minutes.
There’s no record of how long this innings took in terms of time, but we do know that Hammond had a reputation as a fast scorer. His knock included 34 fours and ten sixes as England compiled 548/7 declared in their first innings.
His efforts had put England in a winning position, but the rain came and washed out the game during the third day and the test was ultimately drawn.
DA Warner – 335*, Australia v Pakistan – 2019
Australia’s David Warner is a powerful left handed opening batter and he can score quick runs in any form of the game. In that sense, he is similar to Matthew Hayden and, in 2019, he came close to overtaking his countryman’s national record.
Warner made his highest test score of 335 not out against Pakistan in Adelaide. His knock came from 418 deliveries and it contained 39 fours and one six. Australia declared at 589/3 before their bowlers took over. Pakistan replied with 302 and, after being forced to follow on, they made 239 second time around to lose the test by an innings and 48 runs.
There’s nothing much to add to this list other than to just admire the achievements. A triple century in first class cricket is a rare enough event, but to do this on the biggest stage of all will put those batters into the list of all-time greats.
Even in a game where runs are scored at a higher tempo in the modern day, a big score such as these remains very rare. Inside the top ten, are four scores made before 1960.
The challenge is for others to break into this list, but who are the batters most likely to make seriously big international innings in the years to come?