Cricket: Triple century a Taylor triumph

Australia 599-4 v Pakistan

MARK TAYLOR yesterday carved his name among cricket's elite with a record-shattering, unbeaten 334 against Pakistan to put Australia in command of the second Test and push himself close to cricket's summit. Taylor is just 41 away from fellow-left-hander Brian Lara's Test best of 375, but at 599 for 4 thoughts of a declaration overnight or early in the morning may halt the captain making further history.

Taylor's innings emphatically brought an end to a troublesome 18 months in which he has lost the one-day captaincy and his place in the Test set- up has been questioned. Indeed, Taylor, who turns 34 on 27 October, started last summer's Ashes tour of England with his career in jeopardy before a century in the first Test at Edgbaston.

"If I hadn't scored runs last June, I really would have seriously had to consider my options," Taylor reflected after his exhausting day.

His appearance in court here in Lahore to assist in the trial into bribery allegations against certain of his Pakistani opponents has not helped his mental state.

"There has been a lot on my mind the first few weeks of this tour," Taylor admitted. "This has been a chance to get them off my mind and start concentrating on the cricket."

Resuming on 112, already having completed his 19th Test century, he quickly helped Justin Langer secure his maiden one. The Western Australian pushed on from 97 to 116 before the medium pacer Azhar Mahmood ended a stand of 279, Australia's best for any wicket against Pakistan. Taylor continued his fluent batting after that in an innings he described as "the best I've ever played in Tests". It was his second Test double century and first treble, eclipsing his 219 at Trent Bridge in 1989 when he first announced himself as a world-class player.

It was thoughts of that innings nine years ago that pushed him to greater heights yesterday.

"I remember that [captain] Allan Border told me I threw it away then and he was right," said Taylor yesterday. "It would have been madness to throw it away today."

Taylor went to lunch on 215 thoroughly satisfied with his 103 runs in a session. It was a three-hour period due to an early start and a Muslim prayer day, but the achievement was not lost on the perceptive skipper.

After the break Taylor continued to notch the landmarks as his batting grew in confidence. Long gone was the Taylor dropped twice by Saeed Anwar off the leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed before passing 30 on Thursday.

Taylor ended the day having just passed Graham Gooch's 333 against India at Lord's in 1990 as the highest score by a captain and equal with Sir Don Bradman as the highest by an Australian.

Taylor also passed Bradman on his way to reaching 7,000 runs when he had made 213 and moved to third among Australians, passing Greg Chappell just before the close. Taylor has batted for 722 minutes, faced 564 balls, and hit 32 fours and one six.

"I am delighted as I have never thought I would ever score a triple hundred in Test cricket," said Taylor. "It is a great feeling and I will never forget this innings."

His triple century, the 15th in Test cricket's 121 years and first in Pakistan, was greeted by warm applause by all the Pakistan team and an appreciative crowd of around 8,000. Taylor shook hands with his opposite number, Aamir Sohail, and many of his side after acclaiming his team-mates and the crowd, a telling gesture given the acrimony that has sometimes brewed between these two teams in recent times. But that was all forgotten on Taylor's day in the hazy sunshine at Arbab Niaz stadium.

Second day of five

Australia won toss

AUSTRALIA - FIRST INNINGS

(Overnight 224-1)

*M Taylor not out 334

M Slater c Azhar Mahmood b Shoaib Akhtar 2

J Langer c Moin Khan b Azhar Mahmood 116

M Waugh c Salim Malik b Aamir Sohail 42

S Waugh c Moin Khan b Shoaib Akhtar 1

R Ponting not out 76

Extras (lb9 w3 nb16 ) 28

Total (for 4) 599

Fall: 1-16 2-295 3-418 4-431

To bat: I Healy, D Fleming, C Miller, S MacGill, G McGrath

Bowling (to date): Shoaib Akhtar 31-6-107-2 (nb-1); Mohammad Zahid 16- 0-74-0 (nb-8 w-1); Mushtaq Ahmed 46-3-153-0; Azhar Mahmood 23-2-82-1 (nb- 2 w-2); Aamir Sohail 42-8-111-1 (nb-2); Salim Malik 16-0-63-0 (nb-3).

PAKISTAN: *Aamir Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Inzaam-ul-Haq, Salim Malik, Moin Khan, Ijaz Ahmed, Yousaf Yohanna, Azhar Mahmood, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohammad Zahid, Shoaib Akhtar.

Umpires: S A Bucknor (WI) and Mohammad Nazir Jnr (Pak).

THE 300 CLUB

375 Brian Lara (West Indies) v England, St John's, 1994

365* Gary Sobers (West Indies) v Pakistan, Kingston, 1958

364 Len Hutton (England) v Australia, The Oval, 1938

340 Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) v India, Colombo, 1997

337 Hanif Mohammad (Pakistan) v West Indies, Bridgetown, 1958

336* Wally Hammond (England) v New Zealand, Auckland, 1933

334* Mark Taylor (Australia) v Pakistan, Peshawar, 1998

334 Don Bradman (Australia) v England, Leeds, 1930

333 Graham Gooch (England) v India, Lord's, 1990

325 Andy Sandham (England) v West Indies, Kingston, 1930

311 Bobby Simpson (Australia) v England, Manchester, 1964

310* John Edrich (England) v New Zealand, Leeds, 1965

307 Bob Cowper (Australia) v England, Melbourne, 1966

304 Don Bradman (Australia) v England, Leeds, 1934

302 Lawrence Rowe (West Indies) v England, Bridgetown, 1974

*denotes not out

News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

All Primary NQT's

£100 - £120 per day + per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Description Calling a...

DT Teacher - Food Technology

£100 - £145 per day + Pension and travel: Randstad Education Maidstone: SUPPLY...

Supply Teachers Needed in Thetford

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star