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Honours Board Legend: Graeme Smith '03 Published: 20 July 2012

Honours Board Legend: Graeme Smith '03

His opposing captain might not have known his name at the start of the series, but by the time he left Lord's, Graeme Smith had left a permanent mark.

Nasser Hussain famously called Smith 'Greg' at the toss during the first Test at Edgbaston, only to see a 22-year-old announce himself to the English public with a brutal 277, the highest Test score for South Africa.

England clung on for a draw but it was the end for Hussain's captaincy - he resigned as skipper in favour of one-day leader Michael Vaughan, who's 156 in the first innings had helped save the match.

Vaughan's tenure got off to a horrific start for the second match at the Home of Cricket though, as he lost the toss and watched on as Makhaya Ntini's five wickets bundled the hosts out for just 173 in fewer than 49 overs.

Enter Smith. After receiving a brutal onslaught in the opening match, the young skipper simply carried on where he left off, reducing the England attack of James Anderson, Darren Gough, Steve Harmison, Andrew Flintoff and Ashley Giles to dust.

As of July 19 2012 (Anderson is still taking plenty of wickets) that quintet has 1,091 Test wickets between them, but Gough was in his last Test, Giles ineffective and the younger three with their best years still ahead of them.

Wisden described the England performance as "totally demoralised and lifeless... they performed so poorly they were embarrassingly out of their depth". That was to take nothing away from Smith who "strolled past 200, including a rollicking 29 fours, as he toyed with the one-dimensional bowling attack."

Brutal

It was a hard hitting knock, helped by England feeding his favourite shots square of the wicket, and as perfect a demonstration of utter domination at the crease as Lord's has witnessed.

Alongside Gary Kirsten, Smith dominated the second day's play, taking South Africa on from an already imposing 151/1 to a stunning 412/2 by the close. The match was the tourists' to lose, and Smith had moved from 80 to 214 over the day.

At 556 for three Anderson finally got one past his defences and the skipper called time on the innings as he lapped up the deserved applause for an innings of 259 which re-wrote the record books.

The innings was, and remains, the highest by a South Africa batsman at Lord's, and beat Don Bradman's record for the highest by any overseas batsman at the Home of Cricket. He equalled another Bradman record as the first man to score back-to-back tons against England and became only the fourth man to do it in Tests overall.

Despite a century from Andrew Flintoff, Ntini took another five-for to share the man-of-the-match award with his skipper and seal an innings and 92-run win - though England fought back to draw a superb series 2-2 at the Oval.

Smith returned another century at Lord's as he led a series win five years later, and he will be hoping to reach the Honours Boards for a third time when the current series concludes at Lord's on August 16. Tickets for the match are still available from tickets.lords.org (opens in a new window).

In the MCC Museum

In the aftermath of this Test, Smith donated the batting gloves he wore during his momentous knock to the MCC Museum, where they will be on display during the England v South Africa Test. Ntini donated his bowling boots after becoming one of only ten men from overseas to take ten wickets at the Home of Cricket - these will also be on display.

Please click here for more information on visiting the MCC Museum - which is also part of the popular Lord's Tour.


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