Gary Ballance Reaches 3 Figures for Two Countries

After scoring 137 runs for Zimbabwe against West Indies on Tuesday, Gary Ballance became the second person to hit a Test century for two countries. This triple figure hit was Ballance’s fifth century of his Test career, but his first for Zimbabwe after officially moving to represent the country of his birth in late 2022.

The 33-year-old signed a two-year contract with Zimbabwe Cricket last December, having been granted a release from his Yorkshire contract. According to the International Cricket Council’s rules, a player can switch allegiance between full member nations if there has been a three-year gap since they last played for the country from which they are switching.

Gary Ballance’s 3 Figures Achievement

The century was made on the fourth day of the first Test against West Indies in Bulawayo on Tuesday. Ballance reached his century with a six off spinner Gudakesh Motie. 

The first person to hit a Test century for two countries was Kepler Wessels. Wessels reached three figures for South Africa and Australia.

In addition to achieving a Test century for two countries, Ballance now has the highest score by a Zimbabwe Test debutant. The previous record holder was the team’s current coach, Dave Houghton, who scored 121. 

CENTURY! A maiden Test ton for Gary Ballance! 🙇‍♂️Wonderful innings.

Only the second player after Kepler Wessels to score a century for two countries!

Watch every ball live and FREE on 📺#ZIMvWI | #VisitZimbabwe | #FillUpQueensSportsClub

— Zimbabwe Cricket (@ZimCricketv) February 7, 2023



Gary Ballance History

Before joining Zimbabwe, Ballance was the third fastest batter in England men’s history to reach 1000 Test runs. He played 42 times for England across all three formats, averaging 37.45 in his 23 Test appearances for England between 2014 and 2017. 

Ballance made four hundred for England in 23 matches in the longest format, the last of which came against West Indies in April 2015. The last time he played for Zimbabwe was in January for one T20I and two ODIs. 

A long break from international cricket meant that, by 2021, he was eligible to play for Zimbabwe. By December 2022, he announced that he had made himself available to play for Zimbabwe.

When talking about his switch to Zimbabwe, Ballance said, “The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion and excitement for the game.”

“I have kept in touch with a number of people within Zimbabwe cricket over the years and it has been great to watch their recent progress especially,” he added. 

Zimbabwe and West Indies Match Status

Thanks to Ballance’s outstanding 135-run partnership with Brandon Mavuta, the pair got Zimbabwe out of trouble in the Test series. Unfortunately, West Indies leads by 89 runs going into the final day’s play. It is because of Ballance’s ton that Zimbabwe remains alive for the final day, though. 

However, given that Zimbabwe and West Indies had rain interruptions on the opening two days, it is uncertain how the final results of the Test series will turn out. 

The final test matches between the two teams will be from February 12 to 16. So far, Zimbabwe has never won a Test series against the West Indies. The last time the two teams played in a Test series was in 2017-2018, and the West Indies won 1-0. 

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