To make a debut at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s, itself is a moment to treasure. Devon Conway took it a step further and converted that into a dream start. Batting first, Conway looked in no trouble and etched his name on the Lord’s honors board on the first day by registering a century (136*). He continued his merry way and registered a double ton on debut and became the seventh batsman in Tests to feat this achievement. On his route, he broke or set several records and here is a list of a few of them:
Best debutant against England
In the first ever Test played between England and Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1877, Charles Bannerman registered a century. Post that, 24 batsmen had registered a ton on debut against England prior to Conway. However, none of them had gone on to convert that to a double century. Hence, Conway became the first to achieve this feat in Tests. Previously, George Headley in 1930 held the record for the highest score (176) for a debutant against England.
Best debut for a batsman on English soil
In the first ever match played on English soil in 1880, one of the Grace Brothers - Edward Grace, William Grace and Fred Grace – William went on to register a century (152) on his debut. This record was broken by K Ranjitsinhji 16 years later when he scored an unbeaten 154 against Australia at Manchester. In the first Test of English summer of 2021, Conway broke a 125-year-old record by registering a double century on debut on English soil.
First batsman to 200 on debut at Lord’s
As said earlier, making a debut at one of the most iconic grounds is itself one of the biggest moments of their career. Conway owned it by becoming the first batsman to register a double ton at the Home of Cricket on debut. On Day 1, he went past Sourav Ganguly's 131 that he had set on his debut in 1996 at Lord's. Coincidentally, both made their debuts in June and both share the same birthday (July 8th). He was the sixth batsman to score a century on debut at Lord’s in Test.
Second highest score by an NZ batsman on debut
On the first day of the Test match, Conway became the 12th batsman and fifth opener from NZ to post a ton on debut. On that day itself, he went past his present skipper, Kane Williamson’s record of 131 that he had posted against India in 2010. As he reached 171, Conway went ahead of Hamish Rutherford’s 171 against England on debut in 2013. When he reached 200, he became the second NZ batsman to hit a double ton on debut. Matthew Sinclair in 1999 against West Indies had scored 214, which is the highest.
Second opener in Test to score a double ton on debut
Whether on debut or not, it is always a tough task for an opener to score big, irrespective of the conditions. This is why this innings from Conway is one to remember. He became the second opener in Test to hit a double ton on his debut. Brendon Kuruppu from Sri Lanka had scored an unbeaten 201 against NZ in 1987. To put more weight on Conway's knock, among the 12 openers who have scored 150+ on their debut, he is one among the three to achieve this in away conditions and the only one to convert it to a double.
Second highest percentage of contribution in maiden innings
From ball one till the last ball of NZ innings Conway was in between the 22-yards. If he had remained not out, he would have been the third debutant to carry his bat in Tests (When all 10 wickets were lost). Nevertheless, he scored 52.9 percent of the runs (200 out of 378). Only Charles Bannerman, in the opening Test in 1877 had contributed 67.3 percent of the runs (165 out of 245), which is the most.
Second highest score by an NZ batsman in England
Even though English conditions are similar to back home, it hasn’t been as easy. When Conway scored 121 on Day 1, he set the highest score for an NZ opener in England, surpassing Stewart Dempster who had scored 120 in 1931. On the second day, when he reached his double ton, he became the second NZ batsman to score a 200 in England. Only Martin Donnelly (206) in 1949 had scored more than Conway.