On this day in 2003, our Legend of the Week, Herschelle Gibbs, struck South Africa’s fastest double century.
The milestone was achieved against Pakistan at Newlands, taking just 211 balls to do it. It was a scintillating effort from both Gibbs and Graeme Smith, who blew the Pakistan attack away, despite boasting greats Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq in their ranks. They piled on 368 in just 69 overs before Smith fell for 151. At the time it was South Africa’s highest partnership for any wicket, which has since been bettered three times.
That innings was also the start of an excellent year for Smith, who went on to be named captain in March, before striking back-to-back hundreds against England in July.
It was Gibbs, however, who stole the headlines, scoring what was then the second quickest double hundred of all time. He went on to make 228 which ended up being his best score in the green and gold. It was his second double ton after hitting 211 not out against New Zealand in 1999. He also passed 3 000 Test runs during the knock.
The Proteas went on to post 620-7 declared before trouncing the Pakistanis by an innings and 142 runs, claiming the series 2-0.
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