2015 Test Century Watch #11 – Gary Ballance


Gary Ballance – 122 v West Indies at North Sound, Antigua

Gary Ballance completed his fourth test century as he worked his way through a sticky start to flourish later on. 122 is his second highest score in tests, trailing his 156 at the Ageas Bowl in the 95 Test.

This was the 46th century made from the number 3 position since 1 January 1990 for England (without using Statsguru, try to guess the four different players to have made 200s from the number 3 slot for England). Three more will take him level with Trott who has made the most from that position. Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher and Nasser Hussain have six each in that time.

This was the 14th score of 122 made by an England player. Three scores of 122 were since 2000, all by openers – Trescothick in Galle, Strauss in Nottingham (v West Indies) and Alastair Cook’s largely overlooked innings in Mumbai in 2012. The first 122 for England was made by Tom Hayward (who finished his test career with 1999 runs – probably in a good space) in Johannesburg back in 1896. Four of all of our 122s were made at Lord’s, and three made in Johannesburg. This was the first in the West Indies. Ernest Tyldesley scored two 122s, and, suitably enough, one was at Lord’s and one was at Jo’burg. These were made in the 1920s.

This is the 61st time 122 has been made in tests. The last was in 2013 when Shiv Chanderpaul made the score against New Zealand in Hamilton. The last one in the West Indies was by Shahid Afridi in Bridgetown in May 2005. Sachin Tendulkar has made 122 on three occasions, one not out, while Hansie Cronje and Brian Lara have two apiece.

This was the 66th score of 100 made in tests in Antigua, and the 5th highest made at North Sound. Of course, after Ian Bell, he’s the second Englishman to make a ton at North Sound, and after Boycott, Willey, Atherton, Smith, Flintoff, Vaughan, Strauss and Bell, the ninth to make a ton for England on the island of 365 beaches.

Gary Ballance brought up his century in 233 balls with 11 x 4 and a six. He hit one more six in his final score.