It’s official: Tino is the very Best
West Indian paceman Tino Best is now Test cricket’s highest scoring no 11 batsmen in the history of the grand old game with 95 of the best runs you’re ever likely to see from a “rabbit”.
But Best was no bunny. He was a giant-killer last night whose previous top score in 24 digs was 27 set seven years ago against Sri Lanka.
Best came to the Edgbaston crease against England with the Windies 9-283 to partner keeper Denesh Ramdin. He left after the pair had put on the third-best 10th wicket stand in 2,045 Tests with 143.
Only Kiwis Bevan Congdon and Richard Collinge’s 151 against Pakistan in 1973, and Pakistani’s Azar Mahmood and Mushtaq Ahmed’s 151 against South Africa in 1997 were better.
Best was gutted after being caught by England skipper Andrew Strauss drifting back from first slip when Best skied Steven Finn so close to becoming the first no 11 to post three figures.
He had batted so superbly to smack 14 fours and a massive straight-driven six off Tim Bresnan, all up facing just 112 deliveries.
Best would be the first to agree the loss of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad from the England attack made his life a bit easier. Two of the world’s best pacemen were rested on rotation once England had won the three-Test series 2-nil.
But Bresnan, Finn, Graham Onions, and Graeme Swann was still a formidable attack. Best rattled them, he was in command and loving every minute of it.
So did the sparse crowd in this rain-affected Test, but none more so than the Windies shed. They were on their feet grinning broadly.
Let’s not overlook Ramdin’s unbeaten 107. He shoved it down Sir Viv Richards’ throat after the former great heavily criticised the Windies keeper for not concentrating on his job.
So the honour-board for Test number 11′s now looks like this:
95 – Tino Best – West Indies v England in 2012.
Facing Bresnan, Finn, Onions, and Swann.
75 – Zaheer Khan – India v Bangladesh in 2004.
Facing Mashrafe Mortaza, Mohammad Rafique, and Mohammad Ashraful.
68* – Richard Collinge – New Zealand v Pakistan in 1973.
Facing Saleem Altaf, Sarfraz Nawaz, Intikhab Alam, and Majid Khan.
62* – Bert Vogler – South Africa v England in 1906.
Facing Walter Lees, Charlie Blythe, and Schofield Haigh.
61 – Glenn McGrath – Australia v New Zealand in 2004.
Facing Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, and Daniel Vettori.
60 – Wasim Bari – Pakistan v West Indies in 1977.
Facing Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, and Joel Garner.
59* – John Snow – England v West Indies in 1966.
Facing Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Gary Sobers, and Lance Gibbs.
59 – Mushtaq Ahmed – Pakistan v South Africa in 1997.
Facing Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, and Pat Symcox.
54 – Pat Symcox – South Africa v Australia in 1998.
Facing Mike Kasprowitz, Andy Bichel, Shane Warne, and Stuart MacGill.
52 – Rodney Hogg – Australia v West Indies in 1984.
Facing Joel Garner, Wayne Daniel, Roger Harper, and Viv Richards.
But today belongs to Tino Best.