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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Graeme Smith joins elite club with 25th Test ton

Graeme Smith joins elite club with 25th Test ton

Last updated on: July 22, 2012 08:31 IST

Graeme Smith joins elite club with 25th Test ton

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Bikash Mohapatra

Graeme Smith's spectacular 131 against England in the opening Test at The Oval was a special innings in more ways than one.

It was the South African captain's 25th Test hundred and his seventh against England.

Besides, it also made him only the seventh batsman ever to register a hundred in his 100th Test.

Rediff.com takes a look at the six legends who preceded Smith to the feat. 


Image: Graeme Smith of South Africa acknowledges the crowd after his dismissal during day 3 of the 1st Investec Test Match between England and South Africa at The Kia Oval
Photographs: Tom Shaw/Getty Images

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Cowdrey was the first to achieve the distinction

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Colin Cowdrey (England)

For starters, Colin Cowdrey was the first cricketer to play in 100 Test matches.

The Bangalore-born player's aggregate of 7,624 runs in 114 Tests (@ 44.06) was inclusive of 22 century-plus scores and 38 half centuries

Besides, he was the first batsman to score a hundred in his 100th Test, an innings of 104 against Australia at Edgbaston in July 1968 helping him achieve the feat. 


Image: England and Kent cricketer Colin Cowdrey (1932 - 2000) comes out of retirement to play Test Cricket for the injury hit MCC touring side in Australia
Photographs: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images

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Miandad achieved it against India

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Javed Miandad (Pakistan)

He played 124 Test matches and notched 8,832 runs (@ 52.57) in what was a glorious Test career.

Javed Miandad's exploits included 23 Test hundreds and 43 fifties.

Besides, the Pakistani batsman had a unique record.

On his Test debut, against New Zealand at Lahore in October 1976, Miandad score a majestic 163 in the first innings.

And in his 100th Test, against archrivals India at the same venue in 1989, Miandad scored an equally magnificent 145. 


Image: Javed Miandad of Pakistan in action at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore
Photographs: Chris Cole/Allsport

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Greenidge scored a ton in his first and 100th Tests

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Gordon Greenidge (West Indies)

One of the best opening batsmen ever to have graced the cricket field, Gordon Greenidge amassed 7,558 runs in 108 Tests (@ 44.72)

In fact, the West Indies legend followed Miandad as one of the few batsmen to score a century in both their debut Test as well as their 100th Test.

Greenidge preceded the Pakistani in the former case -- notching up scores of 93 and 107 in his maiden Test against India at Bangalore in November 1974. 

However, he played his 100th Test only in April 1990 -- against England at Antigua, scoring 149 in the first innings. 


Image: Gordon Greenidge of the West Indies hooks Norman Cowans during his double century against England in the fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester
Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport

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Stewart scored 105 in his hundredth Test match

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Alec Stewart (England)

Alec Stewart's Test average (39.54) was anything but flattering.

The former England stumper nonetheless notched up 8,463 runs in his 133 Tests, including 15 hundreds.

One of those centuries -- a patient 105 -- came against West Indies at Old Trafford in August 2000.

That happened to be his 100th Test match. 


Image: Alec Stewart of England cover drives
Photographs: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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Inzamam's 184 helped Pakistan thrash India

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Inzamam-ul Haq (Pakistan)

One of the most elegant batsmen of all-time, Inzamam-ul Haq scored 8,830 runs in his 120 Test matches.

The Multan-born player had 25 Test hundreds to his credit.

In his 100th Test match, in March 2005 against archrivals India in Bangalore, Inzamam scored a magnificent 184 in the first innings.

Besides, he put on a stand of 324 for the third wicket with Younis Khan (267), eventually guiding his team to a comprehensive 168-run win. 


Image: Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan hits out
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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Ponting hit centuries in both innings in Sydney

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Ricky Ponting (Australia)

He missed out -- by just four runs -- on a century on his Test debut in 1995 (against Sri Lanka).

In 164 Tests thereafter, Ricky Ponting scored 41 centuries while aggregating 13,346 runs (@ 52.75).

Punter achieved a double in his 100th Test, against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January 2006.

The Tasmanian scored 120 in the first innings and an unbeaten 143 in the second to lead his side to a comprehensive eight-wicket win.

Graeme Smith captained that South African team. Six years later, he has followed Ponting into the elite club. 


Image: Ricky Ponting of Australia bats during day four of the Fourth Test Match between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval
Photographs: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

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