Home > Features > Moments in history >

Everton Weekes and his five hundreds in successive innings

Everton Weekes and his five hundreds in successive innings

Everton Weekes was ten short of a sixth successive hundred in consecutive innings when he was declared run out © Getty Images

On this day 64 years ago, Everton Weekes created history by scoring his fifth Test century in consecutive innings. Arunabha Sengupta traces the sterling sequence of hundreds that set up a world record that still stands.

By the end of his career, he was considered by many as the most accomplished batsman amongst the hallowed group called the three Ws. Yet, his start in Test cricket was hardly auspicious.

At Bridgetown, Port-of-Spain and Georgetown, he had been moved up and down the order, sent out at the fall of the first wicket, pushed to open the innings and then dropped down to number seven. Almost all the English bowlers had troubled him, and with a highest score of 36 in five innings, he did not really seem to hold much promise.

Indeed, he was omitted from the final Test match at Kingston, and managed to play only when George Headley had to drop out at the last moment. The Jamaican crowd wanted to see local boy John Holt, and he was booed on the field throughout the English innings.

Everton Weekes came in to bat at 39 for one and was immediately dropped by Godfrey Evans off Dick Howorth. He responded with a display of majestic driving that had seldom been witnessed in the islands, but would be a recurring story during the next decade. Fifteen boundaries etched his innings as he piled up 141 runs that converted baiters into devoted fans. West Indies won the final Test by 10 wickets and took the series 2-0.

Five on the trot

Seven months down the line, in November 1949, West Indies played their next Test match in Delhi. Weekes came in at No 7 and struck the ball delightfully against a hapless Indian attack to score 128 as West Indies amassed 631.

In the second Test at the Brabourne Stadium, Bombay, Weekes was moved up to No 4. He essayed a long succession of majestic hits, including a series of delectable strokes off the back-foot to negate the guile of Vinoo Mankad. Two chances went down – the standard tale of the early Indian sides – but they hardly dimmed the brilliance of his 194.

The party moved to Calcutta for the next Test, starting on the last day of 1948. The wicket had grass. The local fast bowler, Shute Banerjee, moved the ball around, dismissing Allan Rae and Dennis Atkinson early on the first morning to reduce the visitors to 28 for two. But, Clyde Walcott stuck around for a half century and Weekes played one of the best knocks of his career. Technique flawless and the driving exquisite both off front foot and back, the Barbadian batted just over three hours to compile 162, with 24 hits to the fence.

India responded with 272, ending 94 short of the West Indian total. However, with the pitch now helpful for Ghulam Ahmed and Mankad, they were in a spot of bother when Weekes walked in again at 32 for two. By the end of the day, the innings was steady at 120 for three, Weekes unbeaten on 62.

On the next morning, January 3, 1949, West Indians lost captain John Goddard on resumption, but Walcott joined Weekes and the two young batsmen took the game beyond the Indians. With reassuring clam punctuated by crisp and classy strokes, Weekes notched up his fifth Test hundred on the trot before driving one back to Ghulam Ahmed. His 101 was a determined effort with just five boundaries, and created the world record of consecutive hundreds in Tests.

Almost one better

The match at Calcutta ended in a draw. At Madras, Allan Rae and Jeff Stollmeyer added 239 for the first wicket. Weekes walked in to bat with the score reading 319 for two.

There was a mini-wobble as a number of wickets went down and Dattu Phadkar kept pegging away from one end. But Weekes, taking his time to settle down, went about making runs with customary ease. With Gerry Gomez, he had taken the score to 472 and was 10 runs short of what would have been his sixth hundred in succession when he was run out – a murky decision by the umpire that raised quite a few eyebrows. However, the West Indies won by an innings to take the lead in the series.

The day after he was dismissed for 90, there were newspaper reports which proclaimed  Weekes ‘finally fails’.

Well, by his sublime standards Weekes failed quite miserably in the thrilling final Test at Bombay, with scores of 56 and 48. He ended the tour with 779 runs at an average of 111.29

(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)

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Colombo

Match drawn

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

Photos

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test

Videos

Highlights of Phil Hughes' double ton

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

India vs England Live Cricket Score 3rd Test Day 4 at Southampton: Hosts in command

Alastair Cook England England vs India England vs India 2014 Ian Bell India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England 2014, Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton: It will be difficult for India to save the match, says Shikhar Dhawan

India vs England 2014, Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton: England are desperate to win, says Joe Root

James Anderson in fresh controversy during India-England 3rd Test at Southampton?

India vs England 2014, Day 4 of 3rd Test at Southampton: Defeat stares as Indians continue to find ways of getting out

Alex Doolan looking forward to first Indian tour

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: India’s lacklustre performance, Moeen Ali’s rise as a spinner and other highlights of play on Day 4

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: A symbol of genius encompassing almost two decades

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: Long live the King

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: How the legend began

Jacques Kallis retires from international cricket: The last great pace bowling all-rounder

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Prevent Diabetes Tip – get regular health check-ups

Do Xiaomi smartphones covertly spy on its users?

Ajay Devgn gets 2500 cops shirtless in Singham Returns!

India vs England 3rd Test, Day 4: 5 interesting highlights of the day’s play

Rafael to miss rest of Man Utd’s tour of the USA with groin injury

UPSC protesters torch buses, police booth in Delhi!

Motorola Moto G gets Rs 2,000 off on Flipkart

Will Nawazuddin Siddiqui throw a success bash for Salman Khan’s Kick?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here