Marais scores fastest triple ton

WORLD RECORD: Border’s Marco Marais plays a shot during the match against Eastern Province at Buffalo Park yesterday. The EP keeper is Matthew Christensen Picture: ALAN EASON
WORLD RECORD: Border’s Marco Marais plays a shot during the match against Eastern Province at Buffalo Park yesterday. The EP keeper is Matthew Christensen Picture: ALAN EASON
Border star Marco Marais officially shattered a 97-year world record on Thursday afternoon when he became the fastest batsman to score a triple century in the history of first-class cricket.

Marais, 24, who reached an unbeaten 300 off just 191 balls, bested the previous triple century record by 30 deliveries. The long-standing record had been set by Australia’s Charlie Macartney who took 221 balls to reach his 300 for Australia against Nottinghamshire at Nottingham in 1921.

“I had absolutely no idea, someone actually posted it on Facebook and I saw my name mentioned up there with some of the biggest names in world cricket, it is amazing.

“To be honest it still feels like it didn’t happen, it’s just unreal to see my name there with guys like Sir Vivian Richards and Graeme Smith .

“I spoke to MartinWalters just after the 300 happened and he told me that ‘regardless of what happens in you career from now, nothing and nobody can take that away from you, it is with you forever’, which was really nice.”

Marais brought up his century off 68 balls, before going on to break the South African record for the fastest double century, reaching his 200 off 139 balls.

A number of other records were also broken during the impressive innings that saw Border recover from 84/4 in the morning, to eventually declare on 512/4 late in the final session of the day.

Marais shared in an unbeaten 428-run stand with Bradley Williams, who scored his maiden first-class century, finishing on 113 not out.

Their partnership is the highest fifth-wicket partnership in first-class cricket in South Africa, beating the unbeaten 393 scored by JP Duminy and Dane Vilas for the Cape Cobras against the Lions in Paarl during the 2015/16 season.

It is also the fifth-highest fifth-wicket partnership in all first-class cricket worldwide and the third-highest partnership for any wicket in SA first-class cricket behind Dean Elgar and Rilee Rossouw’s 480 second-wicket stand for the Eagles against Titans at Centurion in 2009/10, and the 441 scored by Carl Bradfield and James Bryant for Eastern Province against North West at Potchefstroom in 2002/03.

Border records that were broken in the match included the highest first-class score by a Border player, beating Peter Kirsten’s 271 scored against Northern Transvaal in the 1993/94 season, the 428 run partnership is the highest of any wicket in first-class cricket for Border, while the 512/4 declared was Border’s second-highest first-class score behind the 530/6 they managed against Orange Free State B in 1989/90.

It has been an amazing record-breaking season for Border so far, after they also broke a number of union records in their list A win over Western Province last month, including producing the highest chase in list A cricket in South Africa, when they chased down the visitors score of 353, scoring 357/4.

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