Most Half-Centuries in Tests

Most Half-Centuries in Tests
10.08.2020,16:08 230 0

Centuries are considered gold in Test cricket. They help teams win matches and draw the ones that could not be won. Half-centuries though aren’t celebrated as much as the centuries are and are more often considered missed chances of scoring centuries. Needless to say, they are as important in Test cricket. Let’s take a look at the consistent half-century makes in Test cricket.

List of Batsmen with most Half-Centuries in Test Cricket

We have presented a list of batsmen with most half-centuries in Test cricket. The list contains 11 players since Jayawardene and Steve Waugh have taken the last spot with 50 half-centuries each. Some cricketers in the below list have made an equal number of half-centuries in Tests. In such cases, they have been sorted based on the total number of Test runs.

The list is as follows:

  • Sachin Tendulkar (IND)
  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI)
  • Rahul Dravid (IND)
  • Allan Border (AUS)
  • Ricky Ponting (AUS)
  • Jacques Kallis (SA)
  • VVS Laxman (IND)
  • Alastair Cook (ENG)
  • Kumar Sangakkara (SL)
  • Mahela Jayawardene (SL)
  • Steve Waugh (AUS)

The list covers players from Allan Border starring in the 1970s, Tendulkar and Steve Waugh, heroes of the 1980s, to modern players such as Alastair Cook and Sangakkara debuted in the 21st century. The list contains 3 players each from India and Australia, 2 players from Sri Lanka and 1 player each from the West Indies, England and South Africa.

Sachin Tendulkar (IND) – 68 Half-Centuries

Sachin Tendulkar is a name that is omnipresent at the top whenever we talk about batting records. He is first on the list of top half-century makers with 68 half-half centuries to his name. In a 24-year-long career, Sachin Tendulkar has played 200 Tests – the most by any cricketer in the history of Test cricket. He also has the highest number of centuries (51) in Tests. Moreover, he has scored close to 16 thousand runs in Test Cricket, which is by far the most achieved by any batsman in Test cricket.

Sachin Tendulkar has a phenomenal conversion rate of 43% which shows how likely he is to score a century after scoring a half-century. He was dismissed 10 times in the 90s (score from 90 to 99) and 12 times in the 80s. Out of the 68 Test half-centuries, 45 have been scored in the 21st century in the last 13 years of his career. Sachin has 16 half-centuries – his most against a single nation – against Australia followed by 13 half-centuries against England and 10 half-centuries against the West Indies.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI) – 66 Half-Centuries

Shivnarine Chanderpaul has to be one of the most underrated cricketers in Test cricket. A rock in the fragile West Indian batting lineup, he has scored close to 12 thousand runs in Test cricket. With just two half-centuries fewer compared to Sachin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul is at the second spot with 66 half-centuries in Test cricket.

Partly, the reason Chanderpaul is not often rated among the best Test batsmen is his poor century conversion rate. With just 30 centuries to his name, after playing 164 Tests for close to two decades, Chanderpaul’s conversion rate is just 31% – the lowest among the players reviewed in this article.

Chanderpaul was prone to getting out immediately after scoring a half-century. He was dismissed 15 times in the 50s in his career – that is about 25% of his 66 half-century innings. He was dismissed only 4 times in the 90s. Most of his half-centuries (16) have come against England, followed by 11 against Australia and 10 against India. Chanderpaul was not out 18 times – joint-highest among the players of this top list – in the score between 50 and 99 with 5 of those coming in 5 consecutive innings in 2008.

Rahul Dravid (IND) – 63 Half-Centuries

Rahul Dravid is clearly one of the finest Test batsmen India has ever had. With 63 half-centuries to his name, Rahul Dravid is third on the list of top half-century makers in Tests. In a 16-year-long career, Rahul Dravid played 164 Tests, scoring 36 centuries along with 63 half-centuries.

Rahul Dravid, India’s crisis man, has often performed in tough conditions, especially away from home. His conversion rate in Test cricket is 36.4%. This slightly poor conversion rate was partly because about one-third of his dismissals were in the 80s and 90s. Moreover, he was likely to get out immediately after completing a half-century with 15 of his dismissals in the 50s.

Rahul Dravid was not out 7 times in these half-century innings. His most half-centuries have come against Australia and the West Indies – 13 each – followed by 9 centuries against Sri Lanka.

Allan Border (AUS) – 63 Half-Centuries

Allan Border, a prolific run-scorer and captain of Australia, is joint-third on this list with 63 half-centuries to his name. He had a fifteen-year-long career that started in the 1970s. Allan Border played 156 Tests and scored more than 11 thousand Test runs. He was the second player to score 10000 runs in Test cricket.

With just 27 hundreds to his name, Allan Border had a poor conversion rate of 30%.  This was partly because he had 18 not outs – same as Chanderpaul – in these 63 innings. Even if half of those were converted into centuries, his conversion rate would have looked much better. Most of Border’s half-centuries – 21 of them – came against England, followed by 14 against the West Indies and 9 against India. Allan Border was dismissed 10 times in the 50s and 12 times in the 60s. 14 of his 18 not outs are in the 50s and 60s too.

Ricky Ponting (AUS) – 62 Half-Centuries

Ricky Ponting is one of the most aggressive and successful players and captains in Test cricket for Australia. With just a half-century less compared to Allan Border, he is at the fourth spot on the list of highest half-century makers in Test cricket. Ricky Ponting played 168 Tests – joint-second highest after Sachin Tendulkar – in a career that spanned from 1995 to 2012. In the process, he also scored 13378 runssecond-highest in the history of Test cricket.

Additionally, with 41 Test centuries to his name, Ricky pointing has a good conversion rate of 38.9%. Most of his half-centuries have come against India (12) and South Africa (11), followed by 9 half-centuries against England. He was not out 9 times in these 62 innings. Ponting too was prone to be dismissed in the 50s, namely, 17 times of 51 dismissals in these 62 innings.

Jacques Kallis (SA) – 58 Half Centuries

Jacques Kallis was one of the most prolific run-getters and arguably one of the best all-rounders in Test cricket who was playing Test cricket for 18 long years from 1995 to 2013. In this period he played 166 Tests – third-highest ever – while taking the load of batting as well as bowling until the very last match of his Test career. Jacques Kallis also has made the third-highest number of runs (13289) in Test cricket, following only Ricky Ponting. With 58 half-centuries to his name, Jacques Kallis is fifth on the list of top half-century makers of all time in Test cricket.

With 45 centuries to his name – second-highest in Tests after Tendulkar’s 51 – Jacques Kallis has the best conversion rate of 43.7% among the players on this list. This good conversion rate is one of the reasons he is so low on this list. Often, he would go on to get a century after scoring a half-century.

12 of his 58 half-centuries have come against the West Indies, followed by 10 against Australia and 8 each against England and Pakistan. He also had 12 not outs in these 58 innings and 15 of his dismissals came in the 50s.

Alastair Cook (ENG) – 57 Half-Centuries

Alastair Cook is undoubtedly the best opener for England in the history of Test cricket. Since his debut in 2006, he was playing Test cricket for 12 years non-stop with a total of 161 Tests before retiring in 2018. With 57 half-centuries to his name, Alastair Cook is just behind Kallis on the list of top half-century makers in Test cricket.

Alastair Cook’s conversion rate is decent at 36.7% provided he could make only 33 centuries in Test cricket. Most of his half-centuries have come against Australia (11), followed by 9 each against India and South Africa. He was not out only 3 times in these 57 innings and 18 of dismissals were in the 60s. He was dismissed 7 times in the 90s which led to a slightly lower conversion rate.

VVS Laxman (IND) – 56 Half-Centuries

VVS Laxman was a dependable middle-order batsman for India who won and saved many matches with some gritty innings lower down the order. He was exceptional at batting with the tail. In a 16-year-long career, Laxman played 134 Test matches for India scoring 8781 runs. He is clearly an outlier on this list as all others have scored more than ten thousand runs.

Laxman scored 56 half-centuries along with 17 centuries in Test cricket. Because of the smaller number of centuries, he has the worst conversion rate (23.3%) among the players on this list. Another contributing factor was that he remained not out 12 times in these 56 innings. 12 of his half-centuries have come against Australia, followed by 11 against the West Indies. He was dismissed 13 times in the 50s and 15 times in the 60s.

Kumar Sangakkara (SL) – 52 Half-Centuries

Kumar Sangakkara was a legendary Sri Lankan batsman and skipper who was playing Test cricket for Sri Lanka for 15 years since his debut in 2000. In 134 Test matches, he has made 12400 runs – the most by a Sri Lankan in the history of Test cricket. With 52 half-centuries, he is at the 9th spot on the list of the best half-century makers in Test cricket.

Sangakkara has scored 38 Test Hundreds – most by a Sri Lankan batsman. Thus, he has one of the better conversion rates of 42.2% –  third-highest among the players on this list. Most of his half-centuries (12) have come against Pakistan, followed by 9 half-centuries against England and 7 each against Australia, Bangladesh and South Africa. Sangakkara was not out only once in these 52 innings and more than one-third of his dismissals – 19  dismissals – have come immediately after making a half-century in the 50s.

Mahela Jayawardene (SL) – 50 Half-Centuries

Sangakkara is followed by another prolific run-getter and fellow Sri Lankan – Mahela Jayawardene. This elegant batsman started his career in 1997 and was playing for 17 long years all until 2014. Jayawardene scored close to 12 thousand Tests runssecond-most among the Sri Lankan batsman after Sangakkara. With 50 half-centuries, Jayawardene is at the shared 10th spot on this list of highest half-century makers.

Jayawardene also scored 34 Test centuries – second-most by a Sri Lankan batsman after Sangakkara. His conversion rate stands at a good 40.5%. Most of his half-centuries have come against Pakistan and England – 10 each – followed by 8 half-centuries against India. He was unlucky to have been dismissed 6 times in the 90s and most of his dismissals – 17 of them – among these 50 half-century innings have been in the 50s.

Steve Waugh (AUS) – 50 Half-Centuries

Sharing the 10th spot with Mahela Jayawardene, with 50 half-centuries of his own, on the list of the most half-century makers is one legendary Australian, Steve Waugh. A captain and a fighter in the top and middle batting order, he has been known for some of his gutsy innings. He was the one who chased wins not centuries.

Steve Waugh scored more than ten thousand runs in Test cricket with an average of 51.06 in a career that spanned almost 2 decades. He scored 32 centuries along with 50 half-centuries. His conversion rate is respectable 39%. He was a tad unlucky to get dismissed 8 times in the 90s. Most of his half-centuries (14) have come against England, followed by 9 half-centuries against the West Indies.

PlayerCountryMatInnsNORunsHS100s50sAvg
1Tendulkar, S RIndia2003293315921248*516853.79
2Chanderpaul, SWest Indies1642804911867203*306651.37
3Dravid, RIndia1642863213288270366352.31
4Border, A RAustralia1562654411174205276350.56
5Ponting, R TAustralia1682872913378257416251.85
6Kallis, J HSouth Africa1662804013289224455855.37
7Cook, A NEngland1612911612472294335745.35
8Laxman, V V SIndia134225348781281175645.97
9Sangakkara, K CSri Lanka1342331712400319385257.41
10Jayawardene, D P M DSri Lanka1492521511814374345049.85
11Waugh, S RAustralia1682604610927200325051.06
12Root, J E*England95175137785254174948.06
13Lara, B CWest Indies131232611953400*344852.89
14Waugh, M EAustralia128209178029153*204741.82
15Inzamam-ul-HaqPakistan120200228830329254649.61
16de Villiers, A BSouth Africa114191188765278*224650.66
17Bell, I REngland118205247727235224642.69
18Gooch, G AEngland11821568900333204642.58
19Atherton, M AEngland11521277728185*164637.70
20Fleming, S PNew Zealand111189107172274*94640.07
21Gavaskar, S MIndia1252141610122236*344551.12
22Richards, I V AWest Indies121182128540291244550.24
23Stewart, A JEngland133235218463190154539.55
24Javed MiandadPakistan124189218832280*234352.57
25Boycott, GEngland108193238114246*224247.73
26Amla, H MSouth Africa124215169282311*284146.64
27Taylor, M AAustralia104186137525334*194043.50
28Lloyd, C HWest Indies110175147515242*193946.68
29Gower, D IEngland117204188231215183944.25
30Haynes, D LWest Indies116202257487184183942.30
31Thorpe, G PEngland100179286744200*163944.66
32Misbah-ul-HaqPakistan75132205222161*103946.63
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