‘I’m totally lost for words’: Uncapped English batter up with Bradman and Lara in elite club after masterful innings


He’s never even played a match for England – but unsung Sam Northeast has joined cricket’s immortals while compiling the highest-ever first-class score at Lord’s, the game’s revered home.

Glamorgan captain Northeast powered his way to 335no against Middlesex in the county championship on Saturday, beating Graham Gooch’s record of 333, scored for England against India in a 1990 Test, as the biggest individual innings in 210 years at London’s cricketing cathedral.

Northeast declared with his side on 3-620, selflessly depriving himself of the chance of easing past his best score of 410no, scored in another county game at Leicester two years ago.

But by adding his record-breaking treble ton to that quadruple, the 34-year-old has joined an elite group of just five other batters who’ve scored an innings of over 300 and another of over 400.

Glamorgan’s Sam Northeast hits out. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

They include Australian legend Bill Ponsford, who scored two quadruples, and the greatest of them all, Don Bradman, who made five triples to go with his famous, one-time world record of 452no for NSW against Queensland in 1930.

West Indian legend Brian Lara remains out on his own as the only man to have scored a quadruple – the world Test record of 400no made against England in 2004 – and a quintuple, the 501no for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994. 

And the other two monster scorers were England’s Graeme Hick (one quadruple and three triples) and Pakistan’s Hanif Mohammad (one quadruple, one triple).

But of that list, Northeast, for long a prolific scorer on the English circuit, is the only one not to have played Test cricket, even though his Glamorgan teammate Marnus Labuschagne isn’t alone in thinking he must be one of the best not to have played for his country.

“I’m totally lost for words to be honest,” said Northeast. “I got pretty nervous there at the end when I was nearing it. It’s a privilege to play here, and to break a record like that is just beyond my wildest dreams.”

“A member actually told me about the record as I was walking out to bat and I forgot about it, and then when I got nearer, I started thinking about it again!

“A personal milestone like that, I had to just make sure I got it for sure.”

Northeast struck 36 fours and six sixes in his majestic knock that occupied 412 balls and eight-and-three-quarter hours as he became only the sixth player ever to score a triple at cricket’s home.

Witness the moment when Sam Northeast registered the highest ever first-class score at @HomeOfCricket ????#OhGlammyGlammy #MIDvGLA pic.twitter.com/8RlE181cl1

— Glamorgan Cricket ???? (@GlamCricket) April 6, 2024

He did get dropped once, on 239, and should have been stumped by Jack Davies when he skipped out of his crease on 291, but on a belting track he was commanding while sharing an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 299 with Colin Ingram, who finished 132no.

Starting the day on 186, Northeast reached his double ton within four overs and after he got to his triple with a swept boundary he accelerated and took a leg-side single off Henry Brookes to go past Gooch’s revered score before declaring at the end of that over.

In response, Middlesex moved easily to 1-138, with Australian-born Sam Robson making 43 and Mark Stoneman moving to 64no.

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