Sir Garfield Sobers, commonly renowned as Gary Sobers, is hailed as the greatest all-rounders of all time. In his illustrious international career, that spanned from 1954 to 1974, Sobers represented West Indies in 93 Test matches. The legendary cricketer has a whopping 8032 Test runs under his belt along with 235 wickets at an economy rate of 2.22. Described as a “five-in-one cricketer” by Sir Donald Bradman, Sobers smashed 100+ scores for as many as 26 times in his entire cricket career. As the former skipper turns 85, let’s revisit some of his extraordinary batting performances.
365 vs Pakistan, Sabina Park, 1958
The former West Indies skipper holds the record of scoring the highest maiden Test century. Playing against Pakistan in 1958 at the Sabina Park, Sobers surprised the entire cricket fraternity with his resilience and temperament. The left-hander hammered a splendid 365 in the second innings to propel West Indies to a score of 790. His knock was laced with as many as 38 boundaries. Sobers’ efforts finally paid off as the Caribbean side scripted a victory by an innings and 174 runs.
226 vs England, Kensington Oval, 1960
Gary Sobers’ second and last double century in the purest format of the game came in the inaugural match of the five-match series against England in 1959-60. West Indies were following the score of 482 in the second innings, when the legendary batsman caused a carnage on the field. Sobers played a remarkable innings of 226 runs to steer the hosts to a mammoth score of 563. The 85-year-old was aptly supported by Frank Worrell who added 197 runs to the scoreboard. In the end the Test match ended in a draw.
178 vs India, Kensington Oval, 1971
Sobers produced his best Test score against India in 1971 during the fourth Test of the five-match series at Kensington Oval. Batting first in the match, Sobers went all guns blazing against the opposition’s feeble bowling line-up as he added a whopping 178 runs to the scoreboard. West Indies thus managed to post a massive total of 501 runs in the end of the first innings. However, Sobers failed to work his charm in the next batting innings as he lost his wicket at 9. The Test match between the two sides ended in a draw as for India, Dilip Sardesai smashed 150 runs.
174 vs England, Headingley, 1966
The fourth Test match between West Indies and England in 1966 saw Gary Sobers delivering another fine performance. Batting first, West Indies were successful in posting 500 runs on the scoreboard courtesy of Sobers. The skipper played a terrific knock of 174 runs off 260 deliveries. The veteran was at his fluent best with the willow too as he picked a five-wicket haul in England’s first batting innings followed by a three-wicket haul in the third innings. The exploits by the all-rounder ensured that the visitors registered a comprehensive victory by an innings and 55 runs.