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Joe Root slams 50, joins AB de Villiers in unique Test world record

Joe Root, the England skipper, created history on the first day of the second Test against West Indies in Leeds as he slammed his 12th consecutive fifty-plus score to level the mark set by South Africa’s AB de Villiers

cricket Updated: Aug 25, 2017 20:53 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Joe Root,AB de Villiers,England cricket team
Joe Root matched AB de Villiers’ feat of scoring 12 consecutive 50+ scores as the England skipper continued his great form.(AFP)

Joe Root had a memorable homecoming during the second Test against West Indies in Leeds. The England skipper, playing in front of his home crowd for the first time since taking over as captain, notched up his 31st fifty to rescue his team from a precarious position.

Root’s fifty was his 12th consecutive fifty-plus score in Tests, equalling the Test record set by South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

The England skipper has been in tremendous form since the second Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong in October 2016. In that Test, he managed scores of 56 and 1 as England suffered their first defeat against Bangladesh.

In the subsequent five-Test series against India, Root managed scores of 124 and 4 in Rajkot,53 and 25 in Vizag, 15 and 78 in Mohali, 21 and 77 in Mumbai, 88 and 6 in Chennai. Although he managed 491 runs in 10 innings, England lost the series 4-0.

In the four-Test South Africa series that followed at home in July 2017, Root smashed 190 and 5 at Lord’s,78 and 8 at Trent Bridge,29 and 50 at The Oval,52 and 49 at Edgbaston as England won 3-1.

In the first Test against West Indies in Birmingham, played with pink ball, Root blasted 136 and in the Leeds Test, he looked good for yet another ton but departed for 59 as he fell to Devendra Bishoo.

His feat is on par with South Africa’s star batsman AB de Villiers, who enjoyed a magnificent run of form from November 2012 till March 2014. Prior to the streak, de Villiers had not hit a fifty in nine innings but broke the jinx in remarkable style by blasting 169 off 184 balls against Australia in Perth to help South Africa to a 309-run win and a 1-0 series victory.

Following that Perth knock, de Villiers smashed 67 and 51 in the two Tests against New Zealand and followed it up with 31 and 103* in Johannesburg ,61 and 36 in Cape Town and 121 at Centurion in the three Tests against Pakistan. The right-hander continued to torment Pakistan in the UAE as he smashed 19 and 90 in the Abu Dhabi Test and 164 in Dubai.

When India visited South Africa for a series, de Villiers hit 13 and 103 in the Johannesburg Test and whacked 74 in the Durban Test to give South Africa a series win. Against Australia in 2014, he continued to have a great time by smashing 91 and 48 in the Centurion Test followed by 116 and 29 in Port Elizabeth. His streak ended in Cape Town as he was dismissed for 14 and 43 to give Australia a 2-1 series win.

First Published: Aug 25, 2017 20:52 IST