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Highest Opening Partnership in Test Cricket

Highest Opening Partnership in Test Cricket


In this article, we are going to take a look at the record for the highest opening partnership for the first wicket in Test matches currently held by South African openers Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith. We will also look at the nine next best stands for the first wicket and the progression of the world record, which has been passed over the last 72 years of Test cricket from England’s Hutton and Washbrook in 1948, to India’s Mankad and Roy in 1956 and to South Africa’s McKenzie and Smith in 2008.


ND McKenzie, GC Smith: 415

uth Africa’s openers McKenzie and Smith hold the record for the highest opening partnership of 415 in Tests, a mark they set in Chattogram in the second Test of a series on South Africa’s tour of Bangladesh between 29 February and 3 March 2008. While Smith scored 232 off 277 balls with 33 fours and a six, McKenzie’s share in the partnership was 170. South Africa batted first and on the back of the record stand, piled up 583/7 before bowling out the hosts for 259. Following on, Bangladesh were bowled out for 119, handing the tourists victory by an innings and 205 runs.

MH Manka

MH Mankad, P Roy: 413

Mankad and Roy established a record that endured for more than 52 years when they put on 413 for the first wicket against the touring New Zealand team in the fifth match of a series in Chennai in January 1956. The partnership ended when Roy was out for 173. Mankad went on to make 231 after adding 36 runs for the second wicket with Polly Umrigar. Batting first, India scored 573/3 before declaring. India bowled out New Zealand for 209 and 219 to win by an innings and 109 runs.

V Sehwag

V Sehwag, R Dravid: 410

In Lahore in January 2006, during India’s tour of Pakistan, Indian openers Sehwag and Dravid came within a whisker of setting a record opening partnership when they put on 410. Batting first, Pakistan piled up 670/7 declared with four batsmen helping themselves to tons on a batting track. When India batted, they gave no respite to the Pakistan bowlers. Sehwag was brutal, scoring an unbeaten 254 in 247 balls, with 47 fours and a six. Dravid’s contribution was 128 before he was out and the match ended in a stalemate.

GM Turner, T

GM Turner, TW Jarvis: 387

h Test of a series in Georgetown on New Zealand’s tour of the West Indies in April 1972, Kiwi openers Glenn Turner and Terry Jarvis were involved in an opening stand of 387. The hosts batted first and scored 365/7 before declaring. New Zealand’s opening stand ended when Jarvis was out for 182. Turner went on to score 259 in New Zealand’s score of 543/3 declared. The match ended in a draw, with the West Indies on 86 for no wicket in their second knock.

WM Lawry, RB Simps

WM Lawry, RB Simpson: 382

Lawry and Simpson put on 383 in an opening stand in Bridgetown in May 1965, in the fourth match of a series on Australia’s tour of the West Indies. Simpson was first out for 201, while Lawry went on to score 210 in Australia’s eventual score of 650/6 declared. After the hosts’ strong reply of 573, the visitors made a daring declaration to set them a target of 253. In a thrilling finish, the West Indies scored 242/5 before the game ended in a draw.

GC Smith, HH Gibbs: 368<

GC Smith, HH Gibbs: 368

series in Cape Town on Pakistan’s tour of South Africa, in January 2003, the hosts made 620/7 declared, riding on an opening stand of 328 between openers Smith and Gibbs. Smith got out for 151 to end the stand, while Gibbs eventually got out for 228. South Africa bowled out Pakistan for 256 and 226 to register an innings victory.

L Hutton, C Washbrook: 359

L Hutton, C Washbrook: 359

December 1948, English openers Hutton and Washbrook registered a record opening stand of 359 to help their team to a score of 608 in the second match of a series. The partnership ended when Hutton was dismissed for 158. Washbrook continued at the crease until he too was dismissed, for 195. In reply, hosts South Africa made 315. Following on, they ended at 270/2 in a drawn game.

GC Smith, HH Gibbs: 338GC Smith, HH Gibbs: 338

England and Ireland in July 2003, the guests began brilliantly with openers Smith and Gibbs involved in an opening stand of 338 in the first Test in Birmingham before Gibbs was out for 179. Smith made 277 in his side’s imposing total of 594/5 declared. England replied strongly with 408 before the visitors tried to force a result by setting a target of 321. England made 110/1 in their second knock as the game petered out into a tame draw.

MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya:

MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya: 335

s in Kandy on Pakistan’s tour of Sri Lanka in June 2000, the hosts batted first and helped themselves to an opening stand of 335 that culminated with the wicket of Jayasuriya for 188. In a rain-curtailed game, Sri Lanka reached 140 for no loss at the end of the first day, with skipper Sanath Jayasuriya unbeaten on 95. The dashing left-hander continued from where he had left off when play resumed on the second day but fell short of a well-deserved double ton. Marvan Atapattu went on to score an unbeaten 207 before rain brought the curtain down on the game, with the Sri Lankan scorecard reading 467/5.

GR Marsh, MA Taylor: 329

GR Marsh, MA Taylor: 329

aylor began the fifth game of a series in Nottingham on Australia’s tour of England in August 1989 with a stand of 329 that ended when Marsh was out for 138. Taylor went on to contribute 219 in his side’s score of 602/6 declared before bowling out England for 255. Following on, England could make only 167 in their second outing, handing the visitors victory by an innings and 180 runs.

Partners Runs Team Opposition Ground Match Date Scorecard
ND McKenzie, GC Smith 415 South Africa v Bangladesh Chattogram 29 Feb 2008 Test # 1865
MH Mankad, P Roy 413 India v New Zealand Chennai 6 Jan 1956 Test # 420
V Sehwag, R Dravid 410 India v Pakistan Lahore 13 Jan 2006 Test # 1781
GM Turner, TW Jarvis 387 New Zealand v West Indies Georgetown 6 Apr 1972 Test # 696
WM Lawry, RB Simpson 382 Australia v West Indies Bridgetown 5 May 1965 Test # 589
GC Smith, HH Gibbs 368 South Africa v Pakistan Cape Town 2 Jan 2003 Test # 1637
L Hutton, C Washbrook 359 England v South Africa Johannesburg 27 Dec 1948 Test # 307
GC Smith, HH Gibbs 338 South Africa v England Birmingham 24 Jul 2003 Test # 1651
MS Atapattu, ST Jayasuriya 335 Sri Lanka v Pakistan Kandy 28 Jun 2000 Test # 1502
GR Marsh, MA Taylor 329 Australia v England Nottingham 10 Aug 1989 Test # 1125
JB Hobbs, W Rhodes 323 England v Australia Melbourne 9 Feb 1912 Test # 119
MA Agarwal, RG Sharma 317 India v South Africa Visakhapatnam 2 Oct 2019 Test # 2363
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes 312 Bangladesh v Pakistan Khulna 28 Apr 2015 Test # 2159
GC Smith, HH Gibbs 301 South Africa v West Indies Centurion 16 Jan 2004 Test # 1682
CG Greenidge, DL Haynes 298 West Indies v England St John’s 12 Apr 1990 Test # 1144
Aamer Sohail, Ijaz Ahmed 298 Pakistan v West Indies Karachi 6 Dec 1997 Test # 1391
CG Greenidge, DL Haynes 296 West Indies v India St John’s 28 Apr 1983 Test # 956
G Pullar, MC Cowdrey 290 England v South Africa The Oval 18 Aug 1960 Test # 496
M Vijay, S Dhawan 289 India v Australia Mohali 14 Mar 2013 Test # 2081
JB Hobbs, H Sutcliffe 283 England v Australia Melbourne 1 Jan 1925 Test # 159
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