South Africa has produced some of the most fierce fast bowlers that the game has seen. That is the reason that South Africa is still a toughest team to score runs against. But some teams have got a better of them at odd occasions. There are a few big partnerships against South Africa in test cricket for the first wicket.
A first-wicket partnership in any form of the game, helps the team to put pressure on the opposition. It lays a perfect foundation for the team. Speaking of the South African cricket history, the Proteas hold the unwanted record for the highest test partnership against them of 624 runs by Sri Lanka. But do you which are the biggest opening stand against them? That’s what we will check here in this article.
Highest Opening Partnership in Test against South Africa
|Leonard Hutton and Cyril Washbrook||359||England||Johannesburg||27 Dec 1948|
|Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma||317||India||Visakhapatnam||2 Oct 2019|
|Geoff Pullar and Colin Cowdrey||290||England||The Oval||18 Aug 1960|
|Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss||273||England||Durban||26 Dec 2004|
|Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe||268||England||Lord’s||28 Jun 1924|
|Bill Brown and Jack Fingleton||233||Australia||Cape Town||1 Jan 1936|
|Jack Hobbs and Wilfred Rhodes||221||England||Cape Town||11 Mar 1910|
|Bill Lawry and Ian Redpath||219||Australia||Melbourne||1 Jan 1964|
|Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden||219||Australia||Sydney||2 Jan 2002|
|Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir||218||India||Kanpur||20 Nov 2004|
3. Geoff Pullar and Colin Cowdrey (290 runs) in 1960
Former English pair scored the third-highest partnerships against South Africa in the history of the red-ball cricket. They did it When South Africa toured England in August 1960. It was the fifth and final game of the series at the Oval. Batting first, England didn’t have a great start and got all out for 155 runs. South Africa did well and scored 419 runs to take a 264-run lead in the first inning.
But England replied well in the second inning. They had a good partnership for the first wicket between Geoff Pullar and Colin Cowdrey. Both batters added 290 runs and scored a century each. Pullar made 175 runs with one six and 15 fours. Cowdrey scored 155 with 22 fours in it. England declared at 479/9 and gave a target of 216 runs to South Africa. Chasing the target, the Proteas were at 97/4 when the game got over with a draw.
2. Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma (317 runs) in 2019
The second-biggest opening partnership in a test against South Africa came when they travelled to India for three tests. It was the first test in Visakhapatnam. India started the tour with a brilliant opening stand between Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma. Both batters added 317 runs in 82 overs for India. Rohit made 176 runs with six sixes and 23 fours. Agarwal scored a brilliant double hundred. He made 215 with six maximums and 23 boundaries.
India declared at 502/7 in 136 overs. In reply, South Africa also did a decent job. They made 431 runs, but India got a 71-run first inning lead. In the second, India added another 323/4 and declared. Rohit Sharma made 127 runs. India set a target of 395 runs. That was too big for South Africa, as they got dismissed for 191 runs, losing the match by 203 runs.
1. Leonard Hutton and Cyril Washbrook (359 runs) in 1948
The biggest opening stand against South Africa came way back in December 1948 in Johannesburg. It was the second game of five tests between the two teams. After winning the toss, England decided to bat first. They scored a lot, with three centuries in their inning. England got off to a good start with both openers adding 359 runs for the first wicket. Leonard Hutton made 158 runs and hit 16 fours. Cyril Washbrook made 195 runs and smashed 18 boundaries.
As a result, England made 608 runs in 149.5 overs. That proved to be too big for South Africa. In the first inning, they only managed 315 runs in 104.4 overs. England enforced the follow-on, and South Africa batted again. But they did well in the second inning and reached 270/2 in 91 overs. And with not much time left in the game, it ended in a draw.