After his batting heroics in the final test against New Zealand, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has risen in the ICC Test batting rankings. The Sussex player has achieved the highest ranking of his career to date and finds himself tenth on the illustrious list with only Alastair Cook the other England player in the top ten (7th). To celebrate this achievement, I will look back at what I believe have been Matt’s best batting innings for England.
3) England V West Indies, 1st Test, Lord’s Cricket Ground, 2007
Matt Prior was making his international debut after being selected ahead of Paul Nixon. Coming in at number 7, Prior scored 126* (*= not out) and became the first England Wicketkeeper to score a century on debut. He also became the 17th Englishmen in history to achieve a debut century.
2) Australia V England, 5th Ashes Test, Sydney Cricket Ground, 2011
With the Ashes already wrapped up, England could afford to sit back and relax, this isn’t how Matt Prior reacted to the Ashes victory, and scored his first Century against the Australians. Having struggled in the previous tests for runs, Prior’s century helped England to a highest ever total in an Ashes innings (644). Prior scored the fastest Ashes Century since Sir Ian Botham in Manchester back in 1981.
1) New Zealand V England, 3rd Test, Eden Park, 2013
England had struggled in this match, a game in each the winners would win the series. New Zealand looked on course for the victory as they left England needing 481 to win. The high order Batsman were bowled out quickly; leaving England on 90-4 going into the final day, but Prior managed to take hold of the test and scored 110* meaning England would end the match and series drawn.
Matt Prior can now be regarded as a recognisable batsman- if he wasn’t before, for both Sussex and England. He will hopefully build on his test ranking and become a force to reckon with in the upcoming Ashes series and county season.