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February 23, 2002 | 2100 IST

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Gilchrist hits fastest 200

Adam Gilchrist scored the fastest double century in Test history on Saturday, his unbeaten 204 lifting Australia to a mammoth 652 for seven declared against South Africa on the second day of the first Test.

Gilchrist reached 200 with 19 fours and eight sixes in 212 balls, eclipsing the previous mark of 220 balls achieved by England's Ian Botham against India at The Oval in 1982.

In partnership with Damien Martyn, who became Australia's third centurion of the innings with 133, Gilchrist put on 317 runs for the sixth wicket.

The partnership is the second highest sixth-wicket stand of all time after the 346 added by Sir Donald Bradman and Jack Fingleton against England in Melbourne during 1936-37.

Australia captain Steve Waugh waited until Gilchrist reached his double century shortly after tea before declaring the innings closed after 146 overs.

The left-handed Gilchrist finished on 204, having faced only 213 balls and been at the crease for just under five hours.

Australia resumed on 453 for five after lunch, and continued their savage attack of the South African bowling.


Martyn accelerated to three figures off 167 balls, his first 50 having come from 130 balls and the second off only 37 balls.

He reached his century when he pulled a Makhaya Ntini delivery for four, and then hit fellow paceman Andre Nel for successive boundaries.

But Martyn was eventually dismissed for 133 when he cut a delivery from Jacques Kallis to Gary Kirsten at third man.

His runs came off 207 balls in 314 minutes and featured 17 fours.

Shane Warne was the seventh and last wicket to fall, caught by Neil McKenzie off the slow left-arm of Nicky Boje, for 12.

Earlier, Gilchrist was fortunate to be dropped by Kallis at second slip off the bowling of Nel when on 35.

Kallis had also dropped Matthew Hayden on the first day when the left-handed opener had not yet got off the mark. Hayden went on to score 122.

Scorecard: Australia: 652/7 decl. | South Africa: 111/4 (32)

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