10 Batsmen with the Most Runs in First-Class Cricket
In this article, we are going to look at 10 batsmen with the most first-class runs. Sir Jack Hobbs of England leads the pack which consists only of English players, a fact that is not surprising given the number of county matches held in England every year.
1. Sir Jack Hobbs
English opening batsman Jack Hobbs played 834 first-class matches between 1905 and 1934 to score 61760 runs at 50.70 with 199 tons and 273 fifties. Those runs include 5410 runs from 61 Test matches at 56.94 with 15 tons and 28 fifties, including his top score of 211. In his first county game against Essex, Hobbs scored 155 to become a the mainstay in the county cricket arena. He enjoyed his best first-class season in 1925 when he broke the then record of 126 tons previously set by WG Grace. That season he made 3024 runs at 70.32 with 16 tons. Hobbs achieved his highest first-class score against Middlesex in 1926 when he made 316 not out in less than seven hours with 41 fours. The most amazing thing about Hobbs was that he could have scored thousands of more runs if he had wanted as he often threw away his wicket to give others a chance to bat.
2. Frank Woolley
English all-rounder Frank Woolley played 978 first-class games for Kent from 1906 to 1938, scoring 58959 runs at 40.77 with 145 tons and 285 fifties. The left-handed batsman scored 3283 runs in 64 Tests at 36.07 with 5 tons and 23 fifties, including his top score of 154. Woolley registered his highest Test score of 154 against South Africa in Manchester in the 4th match of a series on South Africa’s tour of England in July 1929. Batting first, England scored 427/7 declared thanks largely to Woolley’s innings. Replying, South Africa were bowled out for 130. Following on, the Proteas managed only 265 in their second knock, making England the winners by an innings and 32 runs.
3. Patsy Hendren
English batsman Patsy Hendren played 833 first-class matches between 1907 and 1937, making 57611 runs at 50.80 with 170 tons and 272 fifties, including his top score of 301 not out. Those matches included 51 Tests in which Hendren made 3525 runs at 47.63 with 7 tons and 21 fifties, including his top score of 205 not out. Hendren achieved his highest Test score of 205 not out against the West Indies at Queen’s Park Oval, in the second Test of a series on England’s tour of the West Indies in 1930. After conceding a 46-run lead to the West Indies in the first innings, England were struggling in their second knock, at 52/3, when Hendren along with Les Ames, rescued the innings to help England set the West Indies a target of 380 before bowling out the hosts for 212 to register a 167-run victory.
4. Phil Mead
English batsman Phil Mead played 814 first-class matches between 1905 and 1939 to score 55061 runs at 47.67 with 153 tons and 258 fifties, including his top score of 250 not out. Those games included 17 Tests in which Mead scored 1185 runs at 49.37 with 4 tons and 3 fifties, including his top score of 182 not out. Left-handed Mead was famous for his deft footwork and dominated county cricket in the period between 1922 and 1928. Phil Mead achieved his highest Test score of 182 not out against Australia at the Kennington Oval in August 1931. Batting first in that game, England scored 403/8 declared. In reply, Australia were bowled out for 389. In their second knock, England were at 244/2 when the match ended in a draw.
5. W.G. Grace
English all-rounder WG Grace scored 54896 runs in 878 matches between 1869 and 1908 at 39.55 with 126 tons and 254 fifties, including his top score of 344. Included in those matches were 22 Tests in which he made 1098 runs at 32.29 with 2 tons and 5 fifties, including his top score of 170. WG Grace made his highest Test score against Australia in the 3rd match of a series at the Oval in August 1886. Opening the innings, Grace scored 170, helping England to a first-innings score of 434. Replying, Australia were bowled out for 68. Following on, Australia could make only 149, handing England the win by an innings and 217 runs. Grace achieved his highest first-class score of 344 while playing for Gentlemen of Marylebone Cricket Club against Kent at Canterbury in August 1876. He had two other 300-plus scores in his first-class career.
6. Herbert Sutcliffe
Between 1919 and 1935, English batsman Herbert Sutcliffe played 754 matches to score 50670 runs at 52.02 with 151 tons and 229 fifties, including his top score of 313. Those matches included 54 Tests in which Sutcliffe scored 4555 runs at 60.73, including the top score of 194. Sutcliffe made his highest Test score against Australia in the first Test of a series in Sydney on England’s tour of Australia in November 1932. Opening the innings, Sutcliffe scored 194 in 496 balls to help England reply with 524 to Australia’s first-innings score of 360. In their second knock, Australia were bowled out for 164. Needing only one run to win in the last innings of the match, England completed a 10-wicket victory. For several years, Sutcliffe’s Test average remained second only to Don Bradman’s.
7. Wally Hammond
English batsman Wally Hammond who was active between 1920 and 1951 scored 50551 runs in 634 first-class matches with 167 tons and 185 fifties, including his top score of 336 not out. In 85 Tests, Hammond scored 7249 runs at 58.45 with 22 tons and 24 fifties. Hammond made his highest Test score against New Zealand in the second Test of a series at Auckland in March 1933. Batting first, New Zealand were bowled out for 158. Replying, England scored 548/7 declared largely due to Hammonds’s unbeaten innings of 336. Nevertheless, the match ended in a draw with New Zealand stuck at 16/0 in the second innings. Hammond scored 905 runs in a Test series against Australia in the 1928-29 season which remained a world record for several years.
8. Geoff Boycott
English opening batsman Geoff Boycott who was active between 1962 and 1986 scored 48426 runs in 609 first-class matches with 151 tons and 238 fifties, including his top score of 261 not out. Boycott played 108 Tests to score 8114 runs at 47.72 with 22 tons and 42 fifties, including his top score of 246 not out. Boycott registered his first century (145 runs) against Lancashire in 1963, a year in which he made 1446 runs at 46.64. In the 1964 season, he performed better, finishing with an average of 59.45. He earned a reputation for long patient knocks and scored two centuries in the same match against Nottinghamshire in 1966. He registered his highest score, an unbeaten 260, against Essex in July 1970. In the 1971 and 1979 seasons, he averaged 100-plus, becoming the first of two players to achieve the feat.
9. Tom Graveney
English batsman Tom Graveney played 732 first-class matches between 1948 and 1972, in which he made 47793 runs at 44.91 with 122 tons and 233 fifties, including his top score of 258. Graveney played 79 Test matches to score 4882 runs at 44.38 with 11 tons and 20 fifties. Graveney made his highest first-class score in a Test match against the West Indies in Nottingham in July 1957. In that game, England batted first and scored 619/6 declared. Replying, the West Indies scored 372, and in their second outing, the guests made 367. Chasing 111 for a win, England finished at 64/1 as the match ended in a stalemate.
10. Graham Gooch
Between 1973 and 2000, English opener Graham Gooch played 581 first-class matches and scored 44846 runs at 49.01 with 128 tons and 217 fifties, including his top score of 333. He made 8900 runs in 118 Tests at 42.58 with 20 tons and 46 fifties. Gooch played county cricket for Essex from 1973 to 1997. The highlight of his career with Essex was his unbeaten 120 in the Benson and Hedges final in 1979 that helped Essex to win their first ever major domestic competition. In 1984, during a time he was serving a ban from Test cricket for having toured apartheid-hit South Africa, Gooch focused on his county performance and scored 2559 runs, setting a record for the most first-class runs in a season. Gooch achieved his highest first-class score of 333 in a Test match against India at Lord’s in July 1990. Gooch’s innings helped England post a first-innings score of 654/4 declared. India in reply were bowled out for 454. In the second innings, Gooch scored 123 to enable England to score 272/4, paving the way for England to win by247 runs by bundling out India for 224 in their second knock.
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