Chappell Brothers Script History at the Oval


Siblings playing for the same team is not a rarity, however, both scoring a century in the same innings is. Such a rare phenomenon happened on this day in 1972, when Australian duo Ian Chappell and Greg Chappell became the first pair of brothers to score centuries in the same Test innings. Notably, such occurrences have happened only four times so far, with all pairs being Australian.

Australia toured England in 1972 for the Ashes series and the hosts were already 2-1 in the series. The final and fifth Test at the Oval was to be a formality, but the visitors had a chance to level the series in what was going to be a decade, 1970s, of dominance for the Aussies. All this happened due to the efforts of the Chappell brothers, who scored tons, respectively, in Australia’s first innings of that historic Test match.

Ray Illingworth’s side were bowled out for 284 after electing to bat first. In reply, Australia lost both openers at the score of 34. This brought Greg Chappell to pair with his brother Ian who had walked in at number three. The brothers successfully strung together 201 for the third wicket, which slowly turned the momentum the visitors’ way.

The elder sibling and skipper, Ian, scored 118 from 267 balls with the aid of 20 boundaries. His younger brother, Greg smashed 113 off 226 balls with 17 boundaries. Thus, recording the first-ever instance of brothers scoring centuries in the same innings in Test history.

Despite Chappell’s twin centuries, Australia could only manage 399-runs in their first innings. England responded with 356-runs in their second innings and set a target of 242. The Australians chased it down after losing five wickets to draw the series, which duly happened the following day, as Test matches those days were six days long.

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