Marco Marais smashes the fastest triple ton in first-class cricket

Marco Marais, a player from the Border team in South Africa, struck a 191-ball triple ton in Sunfoil 3-day Cup game.

Marco Marais
Marco Marais plays a shot. (Photo Source: Cricket Europe)
Sampath Bandarupalli

Sr. Statistician

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Despite the recent surge in the frequency of triple centuries in first-class cricket across the globe, the record of the fastest triple remained intact till Thursday before a 24-year-old from South Africa shattered it by a fair margin. Marco Marais, a player from the Border team in South Africa, struck a 191-ball triple ton in Sunfoil 3-day Cup game that started on 23rd November. With this knock against the Eastern Province team, Marais broke the record for the fastest FC triple ton held by Charles Macartney of Australia.

The former player completed his triple century in 221 balls way back in 1921 when he faced the Marylebone Cricket Club. Marais struck 35 fours and 13 sixes to complete his triple soon after which the Border team declared their innings on 512/4 having batted for just 80.2 overs. He raised his century in 68 balls, his double ton in 139 balls and reached the 300-mark taking another 52 balls.

8 – A total of eight triple centuries in first-class cricket came in 250 and fewer balls. Four out of the five of those triple hundreds were scored in England while Frank Woolley’s 230-ball effort was recorded in Hobart. The last two triple tons before Marais’ innings were scored in Sri Lanka.

Fastest known triple centuries in first-class cricket:

(Note: This list contains only the triple centuries for which the balls taken for the milestone is recorded.)

13 – The 13 sixes Marais hit during the innings are the joint most in a first-class innings in South Africa. Frank Touzel in 1993/94 and Heinrich Klaasen in 2014/15 also hit 13 sixes in an FC innings in South Africa.

70.09 – Marais scored 70.09% of the 428-run stand for the 5th wicket with Bradley Williams. No player in FC history has made over 70% of a 400+ partnership. Marais scored 300 out of 428 while Williams scored 111 while another 17 came in extras.

139 – Balls Marais took for his double century. This is the 8th fastest known first-class double century and the fastest by a South African. Heinrich Klaasen scored a double ton in just 141 balls in 2014/15 against Namibia in Pretoria.

300* – Marais’s triple century is only the 9th in first-class cricket in South Africa and the first in seven years. The highest is 390 by Stephen Cook in 2009, which was also scored in East London.

428* – The unbeaten 428-run partnership between Marais and Williams is the 5th highest stand for the 5th wicket in first-class cricket. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja’s partnership of 520* in 2008/09 is the highest and the only 500-run stand for this wicket.