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An Australian Opening Record the first opening pair to score a double hundred each

On 6th May 1965, Australian opening pair of Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson achieved something which is still unmatched by any other Australian pair.  They both reached their respective double hundreds and became the first opening pair to do so.

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Last updated: 06.05.2020
Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson | Sports Social Blog

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In the long and glorious cricket history of Australia, there are many great openers who have played some historical knocks and achieved wonderful records. But in the Barbados test match which started on 5th May 1965, the Australian opening pair of Bill Lawry and Bob Simpson achieved something which is still unmatched by any other Australian pair.

West Indies were already leading the series 2-0, going on to the 4th test, and Australia was looking to win the 6-day test to give them a chance to square the series in the next test. Simpson won the toss for Australia and came to open with Lawry. By the end of the day, both of them reached their hundreds and were not separated as Australia ended the day with 263 for no loss.

On 6th May 1965, Lawry and Simpson both reached their respective double hundreds and became the first opening pair to score a double hundred each. In the way, they also put up an opening partnership of 382, just 31 behind the then world record of 413 by Vinoo Mankad and Pankaj Roy. However, to this day the 382 runs partnership between Lawry and Simpson is an Australian record for the first wicket. In 1989, Geoff Marsh and Mark Taylor added 329 against England at Nottingham but no other Australian opening pair could cross the 300 runs partnership barrier till now.

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Going back to the test match, thanks to those double hundreds and another century from Bob Cowper, Australia declared at 650/5. However, West Indies responded strongly as Seymour Nurse scored the third double century of the match, and handy contributions from Rohan Kanhai and Sir Garry Sobers helped them to reach 573. Desperate to win the match, Australia scored quickly in their second innings and Simpson gave a target of 253 in four and a half hours. West Indies openers started strongly and added 145 runs in the first wicket, however as the target got closer Simpson put more men on the boundary, and finally the time was over for West Indies with just 11 runs short from the target. The draw also meant that West Indies won the Frank Worrell Trophy for the first time.

Check out the full match scorecard here: Scorecard Australia vs West Indies May 5-11 1965

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