Masterly Batting

100 Great Test Centuries

Compiled & Edited by 
Patrick Ferriday & Dave Wilson
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How to assess a great innings? How to measure it in relation to others? How to find, or attempt to find, the 100 greatest Test centuries?

These were the questions confronting an intrepid band of researchers, digging into all manner of documents, books, newspapers and websites for information that would help find the answers.

Collating the resultant information using statistics, mathematics, deduction and knowledge provided the database. Looking at ten categories – size, speed, bowling attack, chances, pitch conditions, match impact, series impact, percentage, compatibility and intangibles gave a home to this data. These categories provided the numbers and the numbers made the list. The innings on the list were matched with the writers and the resultant essays make this book.

The essays are no mere ball-by-ball reconstructions. There is room for the man, the match, the opposition and the age. There is room for context and consequence.

David Frith and Ken Piesse write about boyhood heroes, Stephen Chalke, Richard Parry and Ric Sissons describe great achievements of the inter-war years, Daniel Harris analyses a brilliant West Indian, then Rob Smyth, Neil Manthorp and Telford Vice take on three modern masters. Derek Pringle, Mark Butcher and Dennis Amiss recall memorable days and deeds.

Great innings across the ages and continents are recognised here, from Lord’s in 1884 to Johannesburg in 1935, then Guyana in 1954, Auckland in the 1970s, on to Faisalabad two decades later and finally Mumbai in 2012. Great players too: Don Bradman, of course, Viv Richards, Len Hutton, Saeed Anwar, Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar. But not only the accepted greats, some of the lesser names had stellar days too: Bruce Edgar, Darryl Cullinan and Percy Sherwell amongst them.

Old favourites and new discoveries abound and these essays paint an enthralling picture of masterly batting in Test cricket over the last 140 years.


 "The depth of research and breadth of innings captured are such that I struggle to believe even the keenest of cricket historians couldn’t learn something..."

Sean Riley, Cricket Web

Read the full review here

Out of Print but Ebook available