Home > Features > Moments in history >

Duleepsinhji scores 333 in five and half hours to break Ranji’s record

Duleepsinhji scores 333 in five and half hours to break Ranji’s record

Duleep’s innings contained 33 boundaries and a six during five and a half hours of wristy poetry scripted with bewitching willow © Getty Images

May 7, 1930. KS Duleepsinhji set the county ground at Hove ablaze, scoring 333 in five and half hours. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the intoxicating innings which broke the Sussex record for highest individual score held by Duleep’s uncle, KS Ranjitsinhji.

Sussex has had long association with all that is princely of Indian batsmanship. The ground at Hove has been set alight by the magic and mystique of oriental majesty across generations.

At the turn of the last century, KS Ranjitsinhji made it glow with what Neville Cardus called “a light from the east.” The willow flashed in exotic arcs and angles were etched across the ground beyond the stringent straight lines of orthodoxy.

Thirty years later it was the turn of his nephew, Prince Duleepsinhji, “blest far above the ordinary in natural gifts of eye, wrist and footwork”. The magnificent ease with which he dispatched all that was not of the most immaculate length delighted President of MCC HS Altham and cast a spell over the crowds around the country.

Yet another generation later it was the turn of the dashing magnificence of Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, whose ferocity as a youthful batsman matched his Nawabi title to the hilt before that tragic car accident cost him an eye.

Ranji made his debut for the county in 1895, and played regularly till 1904 before returning to India. He travelled back to England, now as the ruler of Nawanagar, to play with the old pomp and grandeur in the years 1908 and 1912. However, his final three appearances after the World War were rather ill-advised.

He was at the peak of his powers from 1899 to 1901 — a period that also saw his celebrated
collaboration at the wicket with CB Fry. At Taunton, on a glorious summer day in 1901, Ranji and Fry set about trying to save the match against Somerset after trailing by 324 in the first innings. They ended with an unbeaten partnership of 292. With the conjurer in him coming out to the fore that heady August day, Ranji amassed an unbeaten 285 — a new record for the highest score by a Sussex batsman.

A quarter of a century after that magical innings, Duleep made his debut for Sussex in 1926. He played for the county till 1932, leading them in his final year, and heading the side’s batting averages every season. His bat ruled over bowlers across England, and while playing for England he dominated bowlers of the rest of the world. However, he himself was plagued by bouts of illness which ultimately ensured a severely truncated career.

Fortified by a winter in Switzerland, he made his debut for England against the touring South Africans in 1929. The debut was not spectacular, but he went on to conquer the pitches of New Zealand, scoring 358 runs at 89.50. Thus, by the time the 1930 season started, Duleep was already a Test cricketer.

The first game that year, against Nottinghamshire, was not very successful. The great Harold Larwood had him caught for 35. The next match was against Northamptonshire at the home ground of Hove, and started on May 7.

333 in 330 minutes

The Northants attack was not a bad one. Nobby Clark and Vallance Jupp had played for England, and Austin Matthews would do so later. Indeed, if one looks at the scorecard of the Sussex innings that unfolded that day, it is apparent that the bowlers did not do too badly in the beginning, but for the shadow of Duleep’s supreme artistry. 

Albert Thomas dismissed Ted Bowley for one and the Indian prince walked in to bat in just the second over. The bowlers kept chipping away at the wickets. James Parks was out for nine. Clarke got Thomas Cook for 19. James Langridge walked back for 17. Henry Parks was bowled for 11. The problem was that at the other end Duleep kept stroking the ball with uncanny ease and lazy elegance, without a bother in the world. The poor scores at the other end did not matter, because by the time Henry Parks was the fifth man out, the score was already 235. Duleep had added 77 with Cook, 75 with Langridge and 53 with Henry Parks.

And when Maurice Tate came in, runs flowed from both ends. At one end Duleep caressed the ball with sublime class, elevating batsmanship to glorious touch-play. Tate’s methods on the other hand were hewed out of the reserves of rustic efficiency. The runs kept coming at an astonishing rate. After just about five hours at the crease, Duleep went past the 29-year-old record of uncle Ranji to become the highest scorer for Sussex.

Tate fell to Reginald Partridge for 111, after providing a second dimension to the Sussex scorecard. The two had added 255.

Not too long after that Duleep himself stepped out to Matthews and was stumped. His spellbinding effort had been worth 333. The innings contained 33 boundaries and a six during five and a half hours of wristy poetry scripted with bewitching willow. The score stood at 514 for seven. There was still time left in the first day for captain Arthur Gilligan and Albert Wensley to add another seven runs to end at 521 for seven.

What followed

Gilligan declared at the overnight score and Northamptonshire surrendered to a defeat by an innings and 209 runs. Tate followed up his century with seven second innings wickets.

The summer continued to yield rich harvest for Duleep. Included in the side for the second Test against Australia at Lord’s, he essayed a sparkling 173 on the first day. When he lofted Clarrie Grimmett into the outfield to be caught by Don Bradman, uncle Ranji, sitting in the stands, remarked rather harshly, “The boy was always careless.”

Duleep’s record for Sussex stood for 73 years before the Zimbabwean batsman Murray Goodwin struck an unbeaten 335 against Lancashire in September 2003.

Brief scores:

Sussex 521 for 7 declared (KS Duleepsinhji 333, Maurice Tate 111) beat Northamptonshire 187 (Arthur Cox 40; Albert Wensley 4 for 45) and 125 (Maurice Tate 7 for 45) by an innings and 209 runs

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)            

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

India vs Australia 2014-15: Harry Conway replaces Gurinder Sandhu in CA XI squad

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Ahmed Shehzad set to return for ODIs; Sohaib Maqsood ruled out

Australia vs India 2014: Shane Watson uninterested in captaining Australia

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s overseas performances have impressed Mike Hesson

Moeen Ali: Would love to open for England again

Rohit Sharma: India are serious contenders

South Africa may lose momentum ahead of ICC World Cup 2015

Has Umesh Yadav cemented his place in India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The Melbourne Cricket Club is formed

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Sabbir Rahman fires explosive 44 on debut

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here