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


(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).


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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
Life and Style
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions