History was made in South Africa last week, as Border batsman Marco Marais smashed the fastest ever first-class triple century against Eastern Province.
At Buffalo Park, East London (South Africa), Marais hit an unbeaten 300 from 191 deliveries before retiring immediately, coinciding with the team’s declaration on 512-4. The game was actually drawn, after Border bowled East Province out for 212 and then ended the game on 66-2 in response.
Marais was as shocked as anyone to have accumulated such a mammoth score. “I don’t think anyone actually thinks they are going to get 300,” he told The Daily Dispatch.
“Before the season started I was targeting over 500 first-class runs and I have already passed that, so now I am going to have to make new goals for myself for the rest of the season.”
The previous record for the fastest first-class triple century was held for 96 years by Australian Charlie Macartney, who reached 300 from 221 balls against Nottinghamshire, playing for Australia in a tour game during the 1921 Ashes tour.
Marais’ incredible innings could be, he hopes, the catalyst for a call-up to the Warriors franchise side who play in the Ram Slam T20 tournament. They are currently bottom of the league, so Marais’ 35 fours and 13 sixes could surely turn a few selectors’ heads.
“I really hope someone sits up and takes notice. I think every semi-pro player dreams of playing at the next level, which is franchise cricket, and I would love to play in it,” Marais said.
Border coach Frank Plaatjes was full of praise for his record-breaking batsman: “I have always said Marco is a special player, I knew something was on the cards because he has been playing so well, but we didn’t expect 300 to be honest.”