What Are the Longest Innings in The History of Cricket?

Here are the longest test innings every played in the history of cricket sport.

Test cricket is known for its longest innings. Such innings demand the utmost concentration and technical ability, as the slightest lapse in concentration can lead to the dismissal of the batter’s wicket. It is challenging to play and common like the other formats. The rules of this format are quite different from the other ODI and T-20 cricket formats. However, here, we will talk about the longest test innings ever played in the history of world cricket.

Top 3 Longest test innings:

Patience and concentration are the main facts in test cricket. Here I will talk about the top 3 longest innings of the test format.

1. Hanif Mohammad- (970 minutes), 337 runs vs West Indies, Bridgetown (1958)

One of the finest opening batters that Pakistan has ever produced, Hanif Mohammad was known for his technical batting prowess and ability to convert starts into big scores. Thus, it is no surprise that Hanif holds the record for playing out the longest innings in Test cricket by time. In 1958, Hanif played one of the most memorable innings in Test cricket against the formidable West Indies team. West Indies batted for over two days in the first innings and put in 579 runs, and victory seemed inevitable.

In their first innings, Pakistan was bundled out for a mere total of 106 runs and was forced to follow on. However, in the second innings, the Pakistan batters showed a lot more resilience, and their openers performed well. Therefore, Hanif went on to bat for a total of 970 minutes, during which he scored a total of 337 runs. With this herculean effort by Hanif, Pakistan was able to bat out for the remainder of the Test match and went on to draw the game. However, the runs in the second innings were inconsequential as Pakistan’s only objective was to draw the game, which they did on the back of an incredible batting performance by Hanif.

2. Gary Kirsten- (878 minutes) 275 runs vs England, Durban (1999)

Throughout the 90s, alongside many flamboyant players like Jacques Kallis, Darryl Kulinan, and Lance Klusenor, there was a gritty and old-fashioned yet very effective Gary Kirsten in the South African team. He showed the world his concentration and skill limits with a 275 against England in Durban. Unlike some of the other knocks in this list, Kirsten’s abysmally long knock was not meant for criticism, but it was rather the need of the hour. England piled up 366 after batting first, thanks to a brilliant 146 by the skipper Nasser Hussain.

South Africa, in reply, was bowled out for a mere 156 as Andrew Caddick. Who ended up seven wickets, wreaked havoc on the South Africans. Therefore, South Africa was too far behind in the game, and the defeat seemed inevitable as Hussain asked South Africa to follow on. Imagining a victory was too far-fetched, so South Africa decided to get stuck out there, and Kirsten led the way as he was the perfect man to deal with this kind of situation. South Africa batted for two full days, making a colossal 572 before the game was drawn. Kirsten’s 275 saved the day for South Africa and an embarrassing series defeat.

3. Alastair Cook- (836 minutes) 263 runs vs Pakistan, Abu Dhabi (2015)

Cook, England’s leading run-scorer in tests, has been known for being gritty and tough, much like other English greats. However, he described his patience and resilience in Abu Dhabi in the first test against Pakistan in 2015. The common thing about all the instances in this article is the presence of dull pitches. There was another dull pitch on offer in this game.

Pakistan posted a massive 523 onboard after batting first. Cook realized that England needed to put in the hard yards, and he led from the front. There was enough reason for him to be tough as England lost two wickets early. Therefore, he got support from other English players, and England batted for the longest innings. Cook was eventually dismissed for 263, but not before he tortured the Pakistan batters for 13 hours and 56 minutes. England declared with a lead of 65 on the fifth day and bowled Pakistan for 173. Courtesy of a fifer for Adil Rashid. England needed 99 runs in 19 overs which was very gettable, but the bad light played the spoilsport.


However, this article clarifies that the longest innings of the test format are still in the grip of Pak cricketer Hanif Mohammad. Now, we must wait for the record to be broken ahead.

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