Taylor joins the greats

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 14: Brendan Taylor of Zimbabwe celebrates after scoring a century during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and Zimbabwe at Eden Park on March 14, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

THE roster includes some of the all-time greats of world cricket like Sir Clyde Walcott, Allan Border, Matthew Hayden and Jacques Kallis.

By Enock Muchinjo

And now, Zimbabwe kingpin Brendan Taylor has become the 11th player in history to join the illustrious list of international players to have scored two centuries in both innings of a Test match — twice.

With Bangladesh winning the second Test yesterday by 218 runs to square the series 1-1, Taylor’s two hundreds gave the Zimbabweans something to cheer about in a series the tourists will salvage some pride from.

Zimbabwe’s 151-run win in the first match in Syhlet last week was their first Test victory abroad in 17 years, and the disciplined manner with which they went about it will please many of the team’s fans around the world.

The first man to achieve twice the feat of two centuries in a single Test was Englishman Herbert Sutcliffe, who cracked his first double against Australia in Melbourne In 1925.

Sutcliffe would repeat it four years later in 1929, against South Africa at Kennington Oval in London.

The other players in that group are George Headley of the West Indies, Australia’s Greg Chappell and Matthew Hayden, Sri Lankans Aravinda da Silva and Kumar Sangakkara as well as India’s Rahul Dravid.

Taylor’s first twin centuries were against the same opposition, in 2013, when his magnificent 171 and 102 in the first Test in Harare guided Zimbabwe to a 335-run win over the Tigers.

Regardless of the opposition, it is such a tremendous achievementn — looking at the quality of the men on that list — and that only Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting and David Warner went a step further to do it thrice, is testimony of the magnitude of the accomplishment.

All in all, the feat of two centuries in a Test match has been accomplished by 67 players on 83 different occasions.

His two hundreds in Dhaka means Taylor becomes the first Zimbabwean to do so on two different occasions, rivalled only by the brothers Andy and Grant Flower – who both reached the milestone once.

Grant Flower was the first Zimbabwe batsman to score two centuries in the same Test when he made 104 and 151 in a drawn match with New Zealand in Harare in 1997. His older brother, Andy, then hit 142 in the first innings before being left stranded on 199 in the second innings — in a losing cause against South Africa in Harare in 2001.

Interestingly — apart from the newcomers Ireland and Afghanistan — Zimbabwe, for all its unwanted records, is the only Test team never to concede two centuries against the same batsman in a single match.

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