Building partnerships while batting is an essential and crucial part of any team's strategy, particularly in Test cricket. The longest format of the game is a Test of skill and patience, and players who have both have been quite successful in this format. There have been some great opening batters to play the game of cricket, and today we will look at some of the best opening partnerships for South Africa in Test cricket.
1. 415 Runs Against Bangladesh In 2008
The highest opening partnership for South Africa in Test cricket was made in 2008 by Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie against Bangladesh at Chattogram. Smith was a left-handed batter, and McKenzie was a right-handed batter. The two put up 415 runs for the opening wicket, a record that stands to date.
2. 368 Runs Against Pakistan In 2003
The next partnership that we are going to talk about is from the 2003 Pakistan tour of South Africa. In the second Test of the series, Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith put up 368 runs for the opening wicket in the first innings of the match. This partnership helped the Proteas score 620 runs in the first innings, which eventually helped them win the match.
3. 338 Runs Against England In 2003
In the first Test of the series between South Africa and England at Birmingham, Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs put up 338 runs for the opening partnership. Smith scored 277 runs off 373 balls, and Gibbs scored 179 runs off 236 balls, helping the Proteas score 594 runs in the first innings.
4. 301 Runs Against West Indies In 2004
The duo of Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith scored yet another massive partnership in their career in 2004 in a Test match against the West Indies at Centurion. The two put up 301 runs for the opening partnership. Smith scored 39 runs, and Gibbs scored 192 runs at the end.
5. 260 Runs Against England In 1931
The next partnership to feature on our list is from a 1931 Test match between South Africa and England at Cape Town. Bruce Mitchell, a right-handed batter from Johannesburg, and Jack Siedle, a right-handed batter from Durban, put up 260 runs for the opening partnership. Bruce scored 123 runs, and Siedle scored 141 runs at the end.
6. 256 Runs Against Zimbabwe In 2001
Herschelle Gibbs and Gary Kirsten put on a 256-run opening partnership in the first Test of the series against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2001. Gibbs scored a total of 147 runs in that inning, and Gary scored 220, helping the Proteas score 600 runs in the first inning.
7. 245 Runs Against West Indies In 2005
Abraham Benjamin de Villiers and Graeme Smith were involved in a 245-run opening partnership for South Africa against the West Indies in 2005 at St. John’s. Villiers scored 114 runs in that inning, and Smith ended up scoring 126 runs, helping South Africa score 588 runs in their first innings.
8. 243 Runs Against Bangladesh In 2017
The next partnership to register its name on our list is from the second Test match of the series between South Africa and Bangladesh in 2017, played at Bloemfontein. The openers, Dean Elgar, and Aiden Markram, put up a 243-run stand for the opening wicket. Elgar scored 113 runs, and Markram scored 143 runs at the end.
9. 236 Runs Against India In 1996
The next partnership to feature on our list is from the 1996 South Africa tour of India, which is a special one indeed for the Proteas, who eventually beat India on their home soil. Andrew Hudson and Gary Kirsten scored 236 runs for the opening partnership, helping South Africa put 428 runs on the board in the first innings. South Africa eventually won the match by 329 runs.
10. 217 Runs Against Zimbabwe In 2005
Graeme Smith and Abraham Benjamin de Villiers scored a 217-run opening partnership in the first Test of the series against Zimbabwe at Cape Town in 2005. Smith scored 121 runs in that inning, while Villiers scored 98 runs, helping the Proteas score 340 runs in their first innings.