A day after breaking Sourav Ganguly’s record 25-year-old record as an overseas opener in England, New Zealand opener Devon Conway on Thursday broke KS Ranjitsinhji’s 125-year-old record for the highest score by any batsman on debut in a Test match in England.
Conway achieved the milestone on Day 2 of the first England vs New Zealand Test match at Lord’s.
The left-hander, who at the time of writing this looked set for a maiden double ton, went past former England cricketers Ranjitsinhji and WG Grace. Ranjitsinhji held the record for the highest score by a debutant in England for 125 years. He had scored an unbeaten 154 against Australia in 1896 in Manchester.
England vs New Zealand live score, 1st Test Day 2
Grace had scored 150 on debut against Australia back in 1880 in Manchester.
Resuming the day at 136, Conway got to the 150-run mark in style and looked in trouble whatsoever in tackling James Anderson, Mark Wood and Stuart Broad.
New Zealand lost overnight batsman Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling but Conway made sure they neared the 300-run mark.
The left-hander, might have impressed with his gutsy ton on Test debut, but the batsman has said the thought of scoring a hundred in his first match in the longest format never crossed his mind.
“That [scoring a century on debut] never came across my mind. Just getting a Test debut, a chance to play at this level, was all I thought about,” he said.
“Very happy, grateful for the opportunity from Cricket Wellington and also the Black Caps as well. A pretty special feeling, and one I certainly didn’t think about when I made that move,” he added.
Conway also revealed skipper Kane Williamson’s first words to him when he walked back to the dressing after an eventual first day against England. “When we arrived at Lord’s a couple of days ago we walked into the changing room and got the opportunity to have a look at all the legends and the names up on that honours board,” said Conway.
Conway had become the sixth cricketer to hit a Test ton on his debut at Lord’s and also broke former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly’s record at the venue. Ganguly had scored 131 on his Test debut at Lord’s in 1996 which was also the highest score by a player at the venue until Conway scored an unbeaten 136 on the opening day.
(With agency inputs)