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Northeast joins Bradman in the 400 club

Sam Northeast probably never imagined he might one day mentioned in the same breath as Don Bradman and Brian Lara.

Yet the unsung English batter has just joined the Aussie nonpareil and the West Indian maestro in the elite band of batters to have scored 400 in a single first-class innings.

Northeast, a 32-year-old who’s never quite made the grade to international honours, recorded the 21st century’s highest individual score – 410 not out – in a county championship division two match for Glamorgan against Leicestershire on Saturday.

Better still for the man often talked about as perhaps the best English batter never to be selected for his country, Northeast’s monumental knock at Leicester’s Grace Road enabled Glamorgan to pull off a victory by an innings and 28 runs – with a bit of help from his Australian friends.

For after his incredible knock, Glamorgan’s veteran 41-year-old Aussie paceman Michael Hogan, took a matchwinning 4-43, while his compatriot, Test allrounder Michael Neser, also chipped in with 3-60.

But the day belonged to Northeast, who made hay with his sixth-wicket partner Chris Cooke (191no), allowing Glamorgan to earlier declare on 5-795 in reply to Leicestershire’s 584, before the Welsh county then dismissed their opponents for 183 in 59.4 overs.

Northeast joined Lara, Archie MacLaren and Graeme Hick as one of only four players ever to score more than 400 in an innings in England.

The man whose previous best was 191, can now boast ninth highest individual score ever after striking 45 fours and three sixes off 450 balls, while sharing an unbroken stand of 461 with wicketkeeper Cooke – the eighth highest partnership in county championship history.

Northeast, who’d been dropped at slip on 96, began the morning, in which he and Cooke rattled up 232 runs, by eclipsing Steve James’ 309 not out as the highest score ever by a Glamorgan player.

Northeast, by nature a textbook strokemaker, had only cleared the ropes once but with the 400 landmark and a lunchtime declaration looming, he threw caution to the wind, hitting Roman Walker over long-on for six to go to 402 before going past Hick’s 405 with another lusty blow next ball.

When he went past Lara’s 400, made in the Test against England in 2004, it became the biggest score compiled this century.

MacLaren had been the first man to hit a quadruple century back in the 19th century while Australian great Bill Ponsford was the only one to make a pair of 400s before Lara eclipsed him with his quadruple and quintuple tons.


The highest 11 individual scores in first-class cricket:

Brian Lara501no (Warwickshirev Durham, Birmingham, 2 June 1994)

Hanif Mohammad499 (Karachiv Bahawalpur, Karachi, 8 January 1959)

Don Bradman452no (NSWv Queensland, Sydney, 3 January 1930)

B.B Nimbalkar443no (Maharashtrav Kathiawar, Pune, 16 December 1948)

Bill Ponsford437 (Victoriav Queensland, Melbourne, 16 December 1927)

Bill Ponsford429 (Victoriav Tasmania, Melbourne, 2 February 1923)

Aftab Baloch428 (Sindv Baluchistan, Karachi, 18 February 1974)

Archie MacLaren424 (Lancashirev Somerset, Taunton, 15 July 1895)

Sam Northeast 410no (Glamorgan v Leicestershire, Leicester, 23 Jully, 2022)

Graeme Hick405no (Worcestershire v Somerset, Taunton, 5 May 1988)

Brian Lara400no (West Indiesv England, St John’s, Antigua, 10 April 2004)

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