The longest innings in the history of men’s Test match was played by Pakistani opening batsman Hanif Mohammad – the original ‘Little Master’ – during the first Test of the Pakistan tour of West Indies at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados between January 17 and January 23, 1958. In the six-day match, West Indies won the toss and elected to bat, racking up 579 for 9 declared, with Everton Weekes top-scoring with 197. In reply, Pakistan managed just 106 all out, losing their last five wickets for 24 runs, and West Indies enforced the follow-on.
Having been clean bowled by Eric Atkinson – who was making his Test debut, alongside older brother Denis – for 17 in the first innings, Hanif Mohammad returned to the crease later on the third day and stayed there for much of the remainder of the match . He was 161 not out at close of play on the fourth day, 251 not out at close of play on the fifth and finally caught at the wicket off the bowling of Denis Atkinson on the sixth, having scored 337 runs.
All told, his innings last 970 minutes, or 16 hours and 10 minutes, and left his team on 626-6. Pakistan scored another 31 runs before declaring their second innings at 657 for 8, leaving West Indies with precious little time to score the 185 runs they needed for victory. Indeed, opening batsmen Conrad Hunte and Rohan Kanhai managed just 28 runs off the 11 overs they faced and, not altogether surprisingly, the match ended in a draw.
For all his time at the crease, Hanif Mohammad does not hold the record for the most runs in a Test match innings. At the time, that record was held by Sir Leonard Hutton, who scored 364 for England against Australia at the Oval in August, 1938; it is currently held by Brian Lara, who scored 400 not out for West Indies against England at Antigua Recreation Ground in April, 2004.