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UPDATED Test Program: The Davis Test Match Database Online.

 

I am working on a set of Test pages that may in the future lead to a large project. I have created some extended statistics for Test from a selected period (the 1940s) to see how they look. Having almost no skill in these matters, I don’t know how it will come out. Any feedback will be welcome.

 

The Test Match database is being slowly extended and I have started on the 1920s. The starting page is here. An information page describing the innovation in this database is here.

 

Modifications will occur, so be patient as it is developed. Ball-by-ball pages have been added where available (most Tests). By putting two overs to a line, Test files can be kept well below 10 pages. Maybe it is not the easiest thing to read, but such stuff is for more dedicated fans.

 

There is also extra detailed information of falls of wicket for some series.

 

 

 

24 April 2015

 

A “Burlesque Cricket Match”

 

On the occasion of the ANZAC (25 April 1915) Centenary…

 

Just today I read a remarkable document, unearthed by my cousin Kath from the massive archives of the Australian War Memorial. It describes a rest and recreation spell in the midst of the Great War. It is from the 5th Australian Field Ambulance Brigade, who after a hard slog in the forward trenches, was granted 14 days relief in June 1918.

 

It highlights the importance of sport, particularly cricket, in maintaining morale, and perhaps even sanity, in these extreme circumstances. No fewer than 40 cricket matches were played. We see sport and cricket as a valuable therapy, a way of holding on to humanity in what must have been an insane environment.

 

I particularly liked the “burlesque cricket match…anyone with any knowledge of cricket was prohibited from playing”, and the attempt by Captain H.W.L. Kelly to bat twice, the second time in “camouflage”. It appears that the officers and men were equally enthusiastic.

 

While the drama and sacrifice of the War outside is not by any means the subject, the spirit, and the sense of release, hints at the horrors that they had faced, and would return to.

 

From a personal perspective, the greatest interest is in the author, lance-corporal W.N. (William Norman) Davis, who is in fact my grandfather. This is the first document of any substance that we have found that was written by him during his service. Like many of his comrades, he spoke little of his War experience in later years. As a stretcher bearer venturing out into No Man’s Land, we can barely imagine the things that he saw. He died in 1953, before I was born.

William was evidently a half-decent cricketer, and we also have a photo of him with the Field Ambulance Rugby team. He later played first grade Rugby League in Sydney with the (now long-defunct) Glebe club. There is one (blurry) photo of him with his colleagues in the trenches. He was not among the original ANZACs, but by the time of the June 1918 document he had been serving on the Western Front for two years.

 

 

********

 

And here are a few other lines I wrote, also in connection with the Centenary

There can’t be many Australians who aren’t aware of the importance of the 25th April 1915 and its Centenary on Saturday. Not so familiar, perhaps, is a related Centenary on Friday (24th).

 

 

The 24th April 1915 marked the start of the pogroms and massacres of the Armenian community in Ottoman Turkey. The veil of war brought to a head a long history of oppression of this (civilian Christian) minority, which reached a frenzied level later in 1915. The massacres and deportations continued for several years. The death toll is disputed, but was certainly well over one million, with many more losing their entire families and escaping with nothing but their lives.

Had the Gallipoli landing succeeded in its aim of knocking the Ottomans out of the War, a great many of these lives could have been saved. The death toll of the Armenians eventually outnumbered the Allied deaths at Gallipoli by more than twenty to one.

 

Now I doubt if anyone in the ANZAC front line had any inkling that they might have been helping the Armenians. That was not the aim, but it was an effect. They were fighting for something. While the campaign failed, it was not futile or pointless. Better planning, and seizing the opportunity for victory at Suvla Bay, might have overthrown the Ottomans and turned the war on its head, and saved countless lives.

 

As awful and evil as war is, there are some things that are even worse. The prevention of such evil is something worth fighting for.

 

 

 

 

 

Highest innings in first-class cricket consisting entirely of boundaries (where known). For a time, this was thought to be an innings of 46 by John Emburey in Tasmania in 1986/87. However, here is one case of 52 runs that appears to be off  genuine bowling: SHT Kandamby in 2004.

 

Mark Pettini for Leicestershire Essex v Leicestershire scored 114*, entirely in boundaries, off 29 balls in 2006, against 'declaration' bowling.

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The most unbeaten Test captain: Viv Richards was main captain in 11 Test series, winning seven and losing none.

 

Most series by a captain who won them all is four by Salim Malik, although he was also losing captain in a one-off Test against South Africa.

 

Notable is Richie Benaud's record: 5 wins, no losses, 1 draw. It is a pity about that draw: Australia would probably have won the series if Benaud had chosen to chase a straightforward target of 242 off about 90 overs in the final Test of 1962/63.

 

I have excluded one-off Tests. To qualify, the player had to be captain in both the first and last Test of a series.

 

For the least successful, look no further than Bangladesh.

 

10 April 2015

 

Cricket Fatalities: Casting a Wider Net

 

 

The death of Philip Hughes was an especially shocking event. Not only did it occur to a batsman wearing the protective gear that has made serious injuries relatively rare, but it had no precedent in Australian first-class cricket, even in the days before helmets.

 

However, precedents can be found by casting the net wider. On his blog, “Cuts and Glances”, Gideon Haigh shared some results of a search of the Trove Australian Newspaper database. Haigh simply searched for articles containing the words “killed”, and “cricket ball” and came up with a remarkable number of hits. I extended this search with other combinations (death + cricket + ball, and fatal + cricket + ball), weeded out the duplicates, and compiled some statistics on the results.

 

As Haigh noted, there is no way of knowing how comprehensive such a survey would be. However, given that all were unusual and tragic events, and the fact that most cases were reported in multiple newspapers, I would expect (and hope, given the numbers) that a majority of cases have been uncovered. Some papers in those days would record all cases emerging from Coroner’s reports, and deaths of this type would certainly attract the attention of Coroners.

 

The number was surprising, even alarming. Over ninety separate cases were found of men, women, and children killed by cricket balls in Australia between 1880 and the 1950s. (The Trove database in its current state peters out after about 1954.) These cases are specific to blows from cricket balls, and do not include death from other causes during cricket matches. There were, incidentally, very few incidents reported during the World Wars; at other times, more than one per year was commonplace.

 

Some victims were umpires or spectators, but most were players, and most of those were batsmen. While most incidents happened during organised matches, others happened at practice or in people’s backyards. In a few cases, the blow may have exacerbated a previously existing health problem, so the blow was only an indirect cause of death.

 

The most striking feature was how young many of the victims were. Excluding non-participants, the median age was just 18. Half the victims were that age or younger. Thirty-three cases were under 16 years old. Even allowing for their lower skill level in avoiding such blows, it appears that the young may be particularly vulnerable to serious injury when struck. Some of the non-participant victims were also children, as young as eleven months (Annie Denison, killed in her family’s backyard in 1894).

 

About 70 percent had head injuries; most of the others were struck on the chest (“over the heart” is a common phrase). It was notable that at least ten were hit ‘behind the ear’, presumably like Hughes. There were more fatalities from this type of blow than on the temple (seven). In some 27 other cases, the head injuries were unspecified and without further detail in the reports, so it is very likely that there were more cases similar to the Hughes injury. Perhaps Hughes’ fate was not quite so rare as we thought.

 

In about ten cases, the player was pronounced dead on the field. Most died later; in some cases the seriousness of the injury was not realised at the time. A few of the victims walked off the field, or even walked home. “Don’t worry, I’m all right” were among the last words of David Mitchison after being struck in 1933.

 

Most freakish perhaps was a batsman, Robert Parker, killed by a ball hit from another game on an adjacent ground, at Artarmon in Sydney in 1925. In 1903, the unfortunate A.J. Collins died after being struck on the ankle; he somehow contracted blood poisoning.

 

We don’t have much data since the 1950s, but deaths would certainly have continued in subsequent decades, until protective equipment improved. A friend of Jeff Thomson named Martin Bedkober was killed in a club match in the 1970s.

 

Haigh also notes that the frequency of these tragedies was unknown to authorities or any experts who were asked. Unlike the recent tragedy, these events attracted only fleeting attention, with a few lines of reportage, and no follow-up. In the few reports where any implications were discussed, no one seemed aware of more than a handful of prior cases. It was certainly a surprise to find how many times this happened, and how young the victims often were.

Fatal Head Injuries from Cricket Balls 1880-1950s

behind ear

9

Temple

7

Side of head

4

forehead

3

face

2

eyes

2

above ear

1

ear

1

cheek

1

chin

1

head (non-specific)

28

 



 

 

Substitute Collection

 

I have put together a complete set of 768 catches by more than 200 substitutes in Tests. The incidence of “c sub” has waxed and waned over the years. The numbers reached a peak, about one every second Test, in the 1980s and early 90s, coinciding with the peak in batsmen retiring hurt. Since then the numbers have subsided to about one in every four Tests, similar to pre-War rates.

 

The most catches by substitutes are

WV Raman

8

PD Collingwood

8

Ramiz Raja

7

RA Harper

7

 

 

 

 

 

UDU Chandana effected five catches and three run outs as a substitute.

 

My recollection of Harper is of one of the very best catchers that I ever saw. He only played 25 Tests, being a spinner in the age of mighty West Indian pace bowlers, so he had few opportunities. He was, not surprisingly, a popular choice for substitute fielder.

 

Most catches by a player who never made a starting appearance in a Test match is three, by Iqbal Sikander (who did play ODIs for Pakistan) and also Sheldon Gomes, brother of Larry. In all, more than 90 players have taken catches as subs without ever playing in a Test XI. Most of them took only one catch: their appearances were fleeting, it would seem.

 

I haven’t checked thoroughly, but I don’t know of anyone who has taken a catch as Test substitute and never played senior cricket. Chris Sabburg, who famously took a sub catch after being on the field for only two balls at the Gabba in 2013, has still not played first-class cricket, although he has appeared for Brisbane Heat in Big Bash cricket. SH Copley, a member of the Trent Bridge ground staff who took a fine catch in 1930 to dismiss Stan McCabe, did play one fc match.

 

Interesting that the leading Australian 12th men, Andy Bichel (19 times) and Michael Kasprowicz (16), never took any substitute catches. For Australians, being 12th man means fetching and carrying duties only.

 

There are three instances of a player taking four substitute catches in one match

Gursharan Singh

Ind v WI, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 1983/84

V Sehwag

Ind v Zim, Nagpur 2001/02

Younis Khan

Pak v Ban, Multan 2001

 

 

 

Younis Khan’s catches were all in the same innings. Gursharan Singh, who made only one full appearance in a Test match, was also credited with a run out in the Test at Ahmedabad. [Note: a case of four sub catches by Chanderpaul at Old Trafford in 1995, as reported by Cricket Archive, is not correct. Two of the catches went to SC Williams. Thanks to Shahzad for the correction.]

 

 

 

 

As far as I can see, no country has fielded an identical ODI XI more than two years apart. Sri Lanka had identical teams in these two ODIs, 682 days apart...



http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/74/74463.html

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/79/79166.html

 

Sri Lanka used the same XI ten times in 1996, which was the team that won the World Cup.

 

In Tests, West Indies fielded identical XIs in two Tests 1059 days apart, from 1988 to 1991. The same XI played in nine other Tests in between, giving the most appearances by an identical XI. Of course, West Indies used other combinations in this period as well.

 

 

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Batsmen making Test centuries after being dropped on 0 (since 2001): AB de Villiers AJ Stewart AN Cook DR Martyn DS Lehmann Habibul Bashar Inzamam-ul-Haq KC Sangakkara KP Pietersen MEK Hussey ML Hayden SR Tendulkar

 

Hayden and Inzamam appear twice. The highest score made by someone dropped on 0 is 270 by Sangakkara at Bulawayo 2004. Tendulkar was dropped on 0 when he made his highest Test score (248*). Hussey (195) was dropped first ball (debatable). de Villiers (164) was also dropped first ball.

 

[As always, some dropped catches are debatable, and others might not have been recorded.]

 

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Most expensive maiden overs: at Wellington in 1977/78, the first over of the match, bowled by Bob Willis, was a maiden costing ten runs: eight byes and two no balls.

In an ODI at Cuttack in 2008, Irfan Pathan bowled a maiden over with eight leg byes.

 

********

 

I did do a calculation recently that in since 2013 teams batting first, for the full 50 overs, reached the halfway score point early in the 32nd over, on average. This is a slight shift from earlier times, where the halfway was indeed about 30 overs.

 

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Victor Trumper once scored 50 runs off nine balls bowled by one bowler. It was in a first grade match in October 1907 (not first-class, but quite a high level) during an innings of 89 in 35 minutes for Paddington v Waverley. The bower was Rose, and the hits were 4,4,6,6,6,6 (in one over) then 6,6,6.

 

The account is unclear but it seems very likely that Trumper faced ball(s) in between the two overs. Other sources say that Trumper faced ten balls from Rose, with a dot ball in the second over, but the Sydney Mail of 30 October 1907 says explicitly…

 

“In Rose's following over, Trumper was brought face to face with him at the fourth ball, and he hit three more sixers off the three remaining balls, which gave a total of a half century off nine balls received in succession from Rose."

 

17 March 2015


Bland

 

I have been trying to blog something about the World Cup. Of course, there are many possibilities but I struggle for inspiration, I’m afraid. Cricket is becoming disengaged from its traditions, and it gets harder to compare the players with their predecessors, particularly in the one-day game.

 

 

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Some rough notes on deaths and serious injuries in cricket…

 

In first-class cricket, fatal incidents like Philip Hughes are extremely rare. In Australian first-class cricket, Hughes is the only batsman to be struck by a fast ball and die as a result. Overseas, there are a couple of others: George Summers in England in 1870, and Abdul Aziz in Pakistan in 1959. (Aziz was struck in the chest by a slow bowler, and may have had a heart condition. Legend has it that the scorebook listed Aziz in the second innings as “Absent dead”). Very few if any others.

There have been a few incidents that looked similar to Hughes. Justin Langer was struck in the same area in 2006, first ball, and spent a little time in hospital. Only a few weeks before Hughes, Ahmed Shahzad was struck in the same area, in a Test match, and suffered a fractured skull. He did not retire hurt because he fell on his stumps and was out hit wicket.

 

Fielders have also died, on rare occasions, after being struck. Raman Lamba, who played for India, died after being struck (without a helmet) while fielding at short leg in a first-class match in Dhaka in 1998.

 

There have been near-fatal injuries to Test batsmen. In 1929, Jock Cameron, captain of South Africa, was unconscious for several days after being struck by Harold Larwood. In 1974, tailender Ewan Chatfield was struck in the temple by Peter Lever, collapsed and stopped breathing. He was revived by a quick-thinking physiotherapist who rushed onto the field. Chatfield went on to have a successful Test career. In 1979, Rick Darling was struck in the chest by Bob Willis, couldn’t breathe, and had to be revived.

 

There would be more incidents in minor cricket, but I haven’t seen a list of such cases in Australia.

 

Deaths from other causes have occurred in first-class cricket, and some senior cricketers have died while playing minor matches, including Ian Folley of Lancashire who was struck in the eye. In that case, the injury required surgery but was not itself life-threatening; Folley’s death during surgery was due to medical negligence. Wilf Slack was a Test cricketer who died on the field (heart attack in a minor match in Africa), also Wasim Raja of Pakistan (at age 56 in a minor match). Andy Ducat, who had played one Test, dropped dead during a minor match in 1942. Maurice Nichol, age 29, of Worcestershire died (during the night) of a heart attack during a 3-day first-class match in 1934. The match continued without him! There have been deaths in car accidents during matches including Charles Bull in 1939.

 

Perhaps the strangest was the death of Frederick Prince of Wales in 1751. Frederick was the heir to the British throne and a keen cricketer. His death from a lung abscess supposedly resulted from being hit by a cricket ball, although this is unproven.

 

There have also been deaths of umpires during matches, including Syd Buller (in 1970) who had been a survivor of the Charles Bull car crash. An umpire in Israel was killed by a cricket ball just a few weeks after Hughes’ death.

 

 

On debut in 1975/76, the first two balls bowled to Graham Yallop were bouncers; the first one knocked his cap off. In 1978, Yallop became the first batsman in Tests to wear a helmet, although they had been used earlier in Packer’s ‘World Series Cricket’ (firstly by Dennis Amiss). A serious injury to David Hookes, trying to hook an Andy Roberts’ bouncer in the early days of World Series Cricket, stimulated the adoption of helmets. Cricket helmets had been made in the 1960s (for Australia in the West Indies in 1965) but were never used.

In club cricket in the 1980s, helmets were little used.

 

For some years in the 70s and 80s there was a prohibition on ‘intimidatory’ bowling in the Laws of Cricket. However, the definition of that was left up to the umpires, and one or two bouncers (or even more) per over generally did not initiate a warning. From about 1986, there was a specific limit of one bouncer per over in One-Day Internationals. This was extended to Test cricket in 1991 (after a heavy bouncer onslaught by West Indies against England in April 1991), but was relaxed to two bouncers per over in 1994.

 

I have a few scoresheets from the 70s and 80s that mark when bouncers were bowled. I have only taken a quick look, but for the West Indian pace attack, one per over was not uncommon but two was a little unusual. More than that was very unusual. One problem with such stats is in the definition of a bouncer: a ball that rises fast towards the chest may be more dangerous that a very short ball at the batsman’s head, but may not count as a bouncer.

 

 

Some statistics follow on the historical incidence of batsmen retiring hurt in Tests. This is not a direct measure of bouncers but gives a general idea. Note that many batsmen who are hit do not retire hurt, and others retire hurt for other reasons (Michael Clarke notably). However you can see how the frequency of retired hurt increased substantially with the increase in the number of fast bowlers (and their aggressiveness) in the 1970s and 1980s. The numbers began to decline again in the late 1980s as the use of helmets and other protection became more widespread. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the incidence of retired hurt was higher against the West Indies bowlers than other countries.

 

In the last five years, retired hurt rates continued to fall. I am not sure why this is. The rate is now so low that bowlers are now more likely to retire hurt than batsmen.

 

Historical Rate of Batsmen Retiring Hurt in Tests (numbers Retiring Hurt per 10 Tests)

 

RH per 10 Tests

RH

Tests

1877-1914

0.60

8

134

1920-1939

0.79

11

140

1945-1959

1.80

39

217

1960s

1.37

25

182

1970-74

2.44

21

86

1975-79

2.67

32

120

1980-84

2.63

36

137

1985-89

1.64

21

128

1990-94

1.18

18

153

1995-99

1.48

29

196

2000-04

1.05

27

257

2005-09

1.30

27

207

2010-14

0.60

12

199

 

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I can find only one case of a bowler taking a wicket, and then losing his own wicket, off consecutive balls in a Test match. At the MCG in 1937, Bill O’Reilly dismissed Hedley Verity to finish off England for 76 on a sticky wicket. He was sent in to bat immediately as a nightwatchman, but fell to the first ball of the innings, c&b Voce. Too bad Voce wasn’t the man that O’Reilly had dismissed: that would have been a neat symmetry.

 

There are various cases of the converse, that is a batsman being out, then taking a wicket with the next ball of the match (first ball of the next innings). That is more common because opening bowlers are often tailenders and so frequently are last man out.

 

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Longest Career without a Man of the Match Award (since 1985)

 

Test

Moin Khan

69

PD Collingwood

68

D Ramdin

64

ADR Campbell

60

HAPW Jayawardene

58

FH Edwards

55

Habibul Bashar

50

 

 

ODI

NR Mongia

140

Khaled Mashud

126

DJ Richardson

122

Saeed Ajmal

111

IDS Smith

98

KS More

94

 

 

 

Historical list of fastest ODI 100s: Some early standards were set by Majid Khan, 100 off 88 balls in ODI #14, and Clive Lloyd, 100 off 82 balls in ODI #33. The next advance was very likely 100 off 72 by Zaheer Abbas in ODI #163. That and the rest can be found in Cricinfo's list of fastest 100s.


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Reaching a century off the last ball of an ODI innings: It happens occasionally. In 2011, Kane Williamson was 93 with one ball to play, and got his 100 thanks to 4 off a no ball and then 3.

 

DM Bravo also reached 100 of the last ball

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/480/480418.html

 

There are earlier cases.

 

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A wicket with first ball and last ball of an ODI innings:

 

There is Daryl Tuffey in 2001

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/71/71684.html

Nuwan Kulasekera took a wicket with the first ball and ran out a batsman with the last ball in 2009. He bowled the last over

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Score.../247/247209.html

Chaminda Vaas did it in this match:

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/63/63968.html

 

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Jim Laker bowled at least 674 balls to Frank Worrell without ever taking his wicket. There is data missing for one Test (Headingley 1957) but Laker probably did very little bowling to Worrell in that match.

 

Ray Illingworth probably bowled a similar number of balls to Garry Sobers, but data is quite incomplete here.

 

John Gleeson bowled 639 balls to John Edrich in 19 innings without a dismissal (data complete).

 

 

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12 February 2015


Never So Many

 

I have a posted a graph of the crowd trends in Australia over the last 50-odd years (sorry I can’t seem to embed it on this page). The figures are for daily average attendance, and so are not so much affected by fluctuations in the numbers of matches from year to year. The average uses smoothed data for 4-year intervals, to smooth out the bumps caused by Ashes years.


To better reveal underlying trends, World Cups are not included in the graph. Offseason matches were also excluded.

 

In spite of much doomsaying, Test match attendances have been rising more or less continuously in Australia for more than a quarter of a century. Attendances have basically doubled since 1980. Certainly there were times before 1980 when crowds were bigger, but back then there were fewer Tests, and fewer of them were played in smaller venues like Hobart and Perth.

Another striking feature is that attendances at Test matches are now exceeding limited overs internationals (ODI + T20i), even on a daily basis. For a full 4-year period, this has occurred the first time since ODIs became fully established in the calendar in 1979. This is partly due to a softening of support for ODIs during this century, but is something that would have been almost unimaginable 30 years ago, before Twenty20, when the doomsayers thought that ODIs would destroy Test cricket.

More than balancing the drop in ODIs has been a surge in interest in the franchise-based game, in the form of Twenty20 (Big Bash and so forth). As hard as I find it to get personally interested in this aspect, its success is always very welcome as long as it is not at the expense of the Test game.

The Big Bash attracted 823,000 people to the game this summer (might I recommend an excellent new website “Australian Sporting Attendances” that make this data easy to access), and it might have been even more if they had not scheduled the Final in Canberra. Once the World Cup is over, cricket will have had its biggest season ever in Australia. This is heartening at a local level, since A-League soccer has been moving in on cricket’s turf, so to speak. Good to see both thriving.

And now they are predicting a TV audience of a billion people for the upcoming India/Pakistan game in Adelaide in the World Cup, rivalling the Soccer World Cup final.

And yes, Test cricket is under threat and strain in other places, but that is a story for another day.

 

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Readjusting a Record

 

For some time I have listed Manchester 1936, the second session if the second day, as the highest-scoring 2-hour session in Test cricket, with 240 runs. This was based on a newspaper report that India was 69/0 at tea, after England (400/6 at lunch) declared at 571/8. Looking at a wider range of newspapers now online, this now seems unlikely. [Side note: the slow but sure extension of old newspapers available online is revolutionising this sort of research. In the past, I have actually made multiple trips to the British Library, 20,000 km round trip, to do such research, but even then I missed some of the reports I can now get online. The British Library was also not an easy place to do research for those with time constraints.]

 

The reports are not fully consistent. However, it appears that England declared at 3:50 and the Indian innings started at 4:04. India batted about 145 minutes before stumps at 6:30, Mushtaq Ali reaching 100 in 139 minutes and 105 out of 190 overnight. There was therefore no time for a tea break in this innings: it must have been taken between innings; unusually early, but it seems to be the case. This leaves us with 171 runs before tea and 190 after. The day remains the most productive in Test history with 588 runs. Unfortunately, none of the myriad sources gives the number of overs bowled during that day.

Perhaps the reported ‘tea’ at 69/0 was a drinks break after an hour, or at 5pm. At that ime, tea breaks were generally taken on the field in England and would have looked a lot like extended drinks breaks.

Mushtaq Ali’s innings needs to be added to the list of centuries in a session, even if the session was an extended one.

 

This re-establishes Australia’s 236/2 at Johannesburg in 1921 as the most productive 2-hour session in Tests.

 

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While I have them on hand here are some stats on the decline in caught and bowled dismissals. After reading about how the power in superbats can represent a hazard to infielders and umpires, I took a look at the proportion of catches in ODIs that are taken by the bowler. If balls are getting hit harder, you might expect fewer to be caught by the bowler.  Indeed, there is a clear historical trend.

 

% catches in ODIs taken by the Bowler
1986-1990   7.8%
1991-1995   7.9%
1996-2000   7.9%
2001-2005   6.1%
2006-2010   5.7%
2011-2015   5.1%

 

C&B figures were very steady up to 2000 and then suddenly dropped (coinciding with the first Superbats) and continued to drop. For 2014-15, the figures have been even lower, at an all-time low of 4.2%. This is evidence that C&Bs in ODIs are getting harder to take.

 

In Tests there is a somewhat similar pattern, although less pronounced. C&B in Tests is somewhat lower, perhaps because far more catches go to the slips. The figure for 2011-15 of 3.4% is an all-time low. In three Tests so far 2015, there has been only one C&B in 61 catches.

 

 

 

Reaching a century in style: At Harare in 2002, Inzamam went from 68 to 102 in eight strokes, with 44644444 (not in consecutive balls). However, the six included overthrows.



Various players have seven, but most of the strokes came after reaching 100. At Napier in 2009, Laxman went from 77 to 105 with seven 4s. his scoring from 60 to 105 was 444414444444



Shakib al Hasan is the only player in my database to score more than 50 consecutive runs entirely in boundaries (going from 4 to 56 in 12 strokes at Hamilton in 2010).

 

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Since I have been logging dropped catches in Tests since 2001, the bowler with most catches dropped is Harbhajan Singh with 99, followed by Danish Kaneria with 93, up to July 2014. Spin bowlers tend to have a lot of chances go to short leg, which is the hardest position for catchers. Spinners also get more caught and bowled chances, which have a high drop rate.

Jimmy Anderson leads pace bowlers with 70.

While such data by nature is not rock solid (as others will point out at length) I consider the great majority of dropped catches to be clearly defined and the stats useful, if a little imprecise.

 

********

 

Dominating scoring in an ODI: Gordon Greenidge reached his 100 out of 128 at Auckland in 1987

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/48/48414.html

 

********

 

The following captains have taken the last wicket (for their team, not the last wicket of the match) AND scored the winning run in the same Test:

R Benaud, Lahore 1959
AR Border, SCG 1989
Shakib al Hasan, Grenada 2009.

Captains who scored the winning run most times: it is a tie between GC Smith, GS Chappell, and RT Ponting, each with four.

41 captains have hit the winning run in a Test match.

 

18 January 2015

 

 

The Official Ratings for Test Batsmen

 

For quite a few years now, perhaps a quarter of a century, a quasi-official player ratings system has been in place. It changes name regularly, along with sponsors, and is currently known as the Reliance ICC Player Ranking. If memory serves, its first manifestation, in the late 1980s, was the Deloitte Rankings.

 

The website with the current rankings embraces a mountain of data, with complete rankings, on a daily basis, available going back to the beginning, for various types of Men’s and Women’s international cricket. What is lacking there is any sort of deeper analysis. So I did a bit of downloading. Daunted by the volume of daily data, I downloaded month-by-month data for Test batsmen, going back to 1958. I could (and perhaps should) go back further, but I feel that the methodology works less well when matches are more infrequent, and there is a lack of genuinely competitive teams as one goes back further.

 

I leave it to others to argue the utility of the ratings. I would say, though, that the principle of weighting performances in favour of recent results is consistent with ratings methods in other sports, and does maintain an up-to-date feel.

 

Anyhow, some stats. Here are the most appearances at #1 by leading players

 

Most months as #1 batsman, since 1958

Appearances

#1

G.S. Sobers

WI

240

122

I.V.A. Richards

WI

198

82

B.C. Lara

WI

191

43

S.R. Tendulkar

IND

289

40

G.A. Gooch

ENG

228

32

K.C. Sangakkara

SL

169

28

S.R. Waugh

AUS

214

26

R.T. Ponting

AUS

204

24

Javed Miandad

PAK

204

23

P.B.H. May*

ENG

45

20

S.M. Gavaskar

IND

191

19

J.H. Kallis

SA

192

18

A.R. Border

AUS

181

15

K.F. Barrington

ENG

127

15

G.M. Turner

NZ

167

14

C.G. Greenidge

WI

197

12

S. Chanderpaul

WI

250

12

R.B. Richardson

WI

138

12

A.B. de Villiers

SA

121

12

M.L. Hayden

AUS

132

10

K.D. Walters

AUS

182

9

G.R. Viswanath

IND

157

9

R.G. Pollock

SA

82

9

H.M. Amla

SA

105

9

*incomplete career.

 

(Sobers’ stats include appearances before 1958. He did not reach #1 until 1960.)

 

Sobers’ domination reflects the superiority of his performances in a time when scoring was generally not very high, and the great length of his career. Remarkably, his peak rating of 938 in January 1967 came at a time when he was also winning “Bowler of the Match” awards. He last held top ranking in March 1974, exactly 20 years after his debut and 14 years after his first #1 in 1960 (it is interesting that  scoring 1115 runs in ten innings at an average near 200 in 1958 did not get him to #1). As for Richards, at his best I remember him as the most dominating batsman of his time, and unmatched since.

 

Another way of filtering the data, that might allow better comparison, would be to eliminate months where the player was #1 but did not play. This gives us months where a player actively held onto the top ranking.

 

#1 and played (retain)

GS Sobers

28

IVA Richards

27

SR Tendulkar

16

KC Sangakkara

15

BC Lara

14

GA Gooch

12

SM Gavaskar

12

SR Waugh

12

 

 

The next table shows players who actively regained #1 position most times.

 

Regain/lose

SR Tendulkar

11

BC Lara

9

IVA Richards

8

KC Sangakkara

8

AR Border

7

GS Sobers

7

JH Kallis

7

 

 

This data reflects battles royal for top position between Tendulkar and Lara, sustained over a number of years, and also between Richards and Border.

 

 

More stats:

 

·      The highest rating since 1958 is 942 by Ricky Ponting in 2006.

·      The highest rating for a player who was not #1 is also Ponting, 936 for #2 spot in December 2007, behind Sangakkara on 938.

·      Most players with simultaneous ratings in the 900s: four in November 2007. Sangakkara ranked #4 with a rating of 900.

·      The lowest rating for a #1 player is 736 by Ian Chappell in August 1973. Chappell, who had just one month as #1, reached a rating of 811 two years later, but never regained #1.

·      Biggest lead for a #1 player is 140 by Sobers in Dec 1968. The only other players with 100 leads were Richards (peaking at 110), Gooch (100) and Steve Waugh (121 in Jan 1997).

·      Most appearances at #2: 49 by Rohan Kanhai. For the reason why, see Sobers (above).

 

Finally some stats on Top 10 appearances, as a percentage of career. Interesting to see Kanhai besting Sobers on this measure.

Months in Top 10

% career in Top 10

I.V.A. Richards

175

88.4%

A.R. Border

159

87.8%

Javed Miandad

179

87.7%

R.B. Kanhai

176

86.7%

G.S. Sobers

195

81.3%

R.B. Richardson

108

78.3%

B.C. Lara

147

77.0%

G.S. Chappell

109

70.3%

J.H. Kallis

134

69.8%

K.C. Sangakkara

114

67.5%

 

 

Finally finally, a word on Tendulkar. It is surprising that his rating never reached 900, peaking at 898 in 2002. More than 20 batsmen since the 1950s have reached higher ratings than this. Tendulkar spent a 53-month period outside the Top 10, from 2005 to 2009. Even so, he made 170 appearances in the Top 10. Perhaps his signal achievement was regaining #1, briefly in 2010, and then again in 2011 (tied with Kallis), more than 20 years after his debut. His appearances at # 1 spanned more than 16 years, surpassing even Sobers.

 

 

 

In Tests, the highest 'combined' average of hat-trick victims is 136.2 by IK Pathan in 2005-06 (Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf). Damien Fleming's hat-trick in 1994-95 totalled 129 and was notable in that the third victim, Salim Malik, had scored 237. This is the only case of the third man in a hat-trick having scored more than one run, and Fleming's total of 302 runs scored (by the batsmen) is the highest by a considerable margin.

 

It wasn't quite hat-trick, but Bill Voce once dismissed O'Brien, Bradman and McCabe in four balls.

 

********

 

There was a 21+ hour spell of continuous Test cricket on 10/11 March 2001. West Indies/South Africa day 2 at Georgetown ran from 14:05-21:15 GMT. NZ/Pak day 3 at Auckland ran from 21:00-05:30 GMT thanks to a long extension to make up time lost on the previous day. India/Aust day 1 at Kolkata ran from 04:00-11:30 GMT.

 

********

 

In the Melbourne Test, India reached a score of 402 before the first extra was recorded. This has no known precedent. In the 4th Test of 1957/58 at Johannesburg, Australia (401) reached 399 before the first and only extra of the innings, a leg bye. In that innings, there had been two no balls, but as they were scored from, they didn’t register as extras at the time. Australia (575) reached 371 with no extras (or no balls) in a Melbourne Test in 1947/48.

 

 

 

 

7 January 2015

 

 

‘Shortest Longest’ Innings

 

Cuan McCarthy, a South African fast bowler, still has claims on being the least effective Test batsman. In 24 innings, he scored 28 runs with a highest of 5. His longest innings (probably) was a 20-ball duck at Old Trafford in 1951. (Data is missing for one of his innings, but it was probably fewer than 20 balls).

 

Similarly, Bert Ironmonger (21 innings) had a longest known innings of 20 balls. Some data is missing but not likely to change this figure.

 

Jack Saunders, an Australian bowler from the early 1900s, batted 23 times but almost never for more than 15 minutes. However, there was one innings (2 runs) that may have been longer than that, but data is missing. Balls faced data is very patchy for his career. His only innings in double figures was 11 off 12 balls.

 

Bruce Reid batted 34 times with the longest being 32 balls. For longer careers, Chris Martin holds sway, with a longest innings of 34 balls.


********

 

The Fastest Bowling of 2014

 

I surveyed Cricinfo's texts for 33 Tests in 2014, and it exemplified the problems in this area. There were about 1500 balls with reported speeds, only a small percentage of the 78,000 or so bowled. However, the highest of 157 kph, by Dale Steyn at Galle, was doubtful. Here is the text

[41.5 Steyn to Thirimanne, no run, teaser outside off to lure the batsman into a drive, Thirimanne doesn't bite and the speed gun says that ball was 157kph! Really did not look that fast]

Otherwise there was nothing above 153 kph (Morne Morkel 152.7 at Port Elizabeth; Mitchell Johnson registered 152 in the same match). The fact that these were in the same match might raise suspicions about calibration.

 

It would be possible to study the data a lot more deeply, but I am not sure it is reliable enough, or complete enough, to be worth it.

 

I saw Shaun Tait the other day, still going around in the T20 Big Bash. He is still firing them in at above 150 kph.

 

 

 

On reports that Richie Benaud is struggling with skin cancer:

 

I do recall about 10 years ago going to a function where there were quite a number of old-time Australian Test cricketers from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Seeing them in the flesh, I was struck by the observation that they all had one thing in common:  weather-beaten skin. All of them had spent much too much time in the summer sun without the skin protection that is essential for us pale people.

 

There was an obsession with a 'healthy tan' back then. Australians from those times now have the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

 

********

 

No bowler has taken wickets with both the first ball and the last ball of a completed Test match, but Imran Khan (the original) came close. At Kandy in 1986, Imran dismissed Sidath Wettimuny with the second ball of the match, and later finished the match off by dismissing Jayananda Warnaweera, Pakistan winning the match by an innings.

 

There are 50 cases of a bowler taking both the first and last wickets of a completed Test. Brett Lee, Imran Khan and Waqar Younis all did so three times.

 

********

 

At this point in time, there have now been 115 Test matches (including draws) since a player from a losing side won a Player of the Match (PoM) award.

 

There have been seven Tests in that time where a player from the losing side either scored more runs than the PoM (if the award went to a batsman), or took more wickets (if the award went to a bowler); awards for all-round performances were excluded from this part of the analysis.

 

********

 

I figure that Wasim Akram bowled 20 hat-trick balls in Tests. 18 of them were unsuccessful. On other occasions Wasim took wickets with consecutive balls, but they were his last balls in the match, so there was no hat-trick ball. It's hard to check everyone, but there are no other contenders apart from Murali with 17 unsuccessful hat-trick balls.

 

********

 

In India, bowlers seem to be in for nothing but toil and trouble in ODIs, especially at the hands of the Indian batsmen.  Some stats: since 2011, teams batting first in India average 282, in other Test-playing countries it is 243. India averages 246 away and 299.7 (!) at home. Other teams that  have played in India average 270 in India and 241 elsewhere.

(Uninterrupted games)

 

********

 

Hitting the Winning Run in ODIs:  since 1999, although data is not quite complete, there is no doubt about the leader. I found 24 cases for MS Dhoni, with no one else more than 12. Does not include matches that ended with extras.

 

Dhoni has been not out at the end of an ODI 38 times. (Of course, sometimes his batting partner hits the winning runs.) India lost only one of those games; on that occasion, against Pakistan, India was all out, so Dhoni has never been left not out at the end of 50 overs in a losing cause, at least when batting second.

 

********

 

1 December 2014

 

The Least Desired Record

 

Shortest interval between last international appearance and date of death.

Days

Died

GF Grace

14

1880

PJ Hughes

46

*

2014

BC Hollioake

53

*

2002

HB Cameron

74

1935

WW Whysall

81

1930

DJ Pringle

112

*

1975

OG Smith

162

1959

KJ Wadsworth

179

*

1976

DLS de Silva

301

*

1980

Manjural Islam Rana

356

*

2007

FW Milligan

360

 

1900

NBF Mann

366

1952

* indicates ODI appearance

 

********

 

The Hot 100 for 2014

 

I have updated the lists for fastest and slowest scoring Test batsmen. As in past years, these lists change only slowly, but there is one new important entry, with David Warner qualifying for the first time, and making a spectacular entrance at #6 with a rate of 73.4 runs per 100 balls. We now have what appears a final rate for Virender Sehwag, who has held #2 spot just ahead of Adam Gilchrist.

 

Moving up the charts is Stuart Broad, who has scored at a Jessopian 113 r/100b in 2014, and gains 5 places, after losing some ground in 2013 thanks partly to an innings of 6 off 77 balls in an attempted match-save. Broad, however, has scored only one half-century in his last 48 Test innings. In better form was Brad Haddin, whose high and fast scoring since the last instalment sees him move from #53 to #42.

 

Lists for slowest scorers and most tenacious batsmen (longest average innings) don’t change much, but Faf du Plessis now qualifies for the latter list and is the highest-ranked present-day batsmen, for now at least. The evergreen Chanderpaul has moved up the list, averaging 148 balls per dismissal since the last assessment in 2013 and is now ranked #29.

 

********

 

A regular feature of cricket commentary is the knell of articles proclaiming the decline and end of Test cricket. Maybe one day they will be right, but I am more than old enough to remember how in the 1980s One-Day cricket was swamping and destroying Test cricket in Australia. Some destruction: last December saw the all-time record cricket crowd, at the MCG, and it was in a Test. Earlier than that, Ashes Test in England in the 1970s were often played before half-empty stands.

 

In any case, the present situation in India, which has a monkey grip on the game’s finances, remains troubling. Test crowds there are poor to indifferent. Yet there is other evidence that Test cricket retains its fascination. You would think that Cricinfo, for example, would go wherever the interest goes, but Test cricket is not losing its place at Cricinfo, in my estimation.

 

Anyway, some stats. On Cricinfo, a recent Test in Dubai, before mostly empty stands, received 30 articles that attracted over 1150 comments from readers. (This is even though it involves Pakistan, a nation with intractable problems that cannot even host international cricket anymore.) I compared that to the final of the Champions League Trophy, a major match in the Indian T20 sledgehammer that is supposedly destroying Test cricket. The match got nine articles in Cricinfo that attracted a total of 179 comments.

 

There are still a lot of genuine Test cricket fans out there. It would certainly be interesting to see which matches get the most page visits at Cricinfo.

 

 

********

 

Some more notes on tea intervals in early Tests.

Prior to 1914, 15-20 minute tea breaks in Australia were normal, but very variable in timing. There was usually no formal tea break if a change of innings occurred after lunch, and sessions as a result could last 2.5 hours or more, in a five-hour day. When Victor Trumper scored a 133 in a 'session' after tea in 1910/11, he batted 154 minutes and 47 overs.

 

Some reports of early Tests in Australia mention tea breaks taken on the field. Tea breaks occurred in Australia from the very early in the piece. I have noted a tea break on the first day of the 1878/79 Test when Australia was 40/3 after England was out for 113.  The 1877 Tests prior to that had rather truncated hours and late lunch breaks.

 

Brodribb and others describe tea breaks being employed in England in the 1890s. However, I have never noted any references to mid-innings tea breaks in Test match reports from England prior to 1902. Tea breaks of a sort seem to have been taken if there was a change of innings during the afternoon.  15-minute tea breaks are evident in the scorebook of the 1905 series and thereafter.

 

Hours in the 1905 series appear to be : 11:30 (day 1) or 11:00 (other days) to 1:30; 2:15 to 4:30; 4:45 to 6:30.

Between the wars in England, more often than not, morning sessions were 2.5 hours, 45 minutes lunch, then 2 hour sessions with 15 minutes for tea. The first day was half an hour shorter than this. There were variations on this theme.

 

 

********

 

Fewest runs in an uninterrupted drawn Test (5 days): It can be hard to tell whether a Test has had no interruptions at all. The Karachi Test of 1977/78 (769 runs) was uninterrupted, except for a visit by President Zia on Day 3. The scheduled hours were 5.5 per day, and the 5th day was called off an hour early (for 'lack of interest') .

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/37/37783.html


For a Test with 6-hour days, there was Cape Town 1992/93, 795 runs, which appears to be uninterrupted

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/56/56784.html

 

********

 

Lowest total at which a #4 batsmen reached 100 (remarkable): last year Mominul Haque reached 100 when his team was 128 at Chittagong against New Zealand.

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Score.../582/582017.html

 

This is quite close to the record for opening batsmen, by Chris Gayle (125, see 30 October 2013)). In 1967, Asif Iqbal once reached 100 when Pakistan was 194 for 8, and he batted at number 9!

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/29/29083.html

 

********

 

An curious event towards the end of the Pakistan innings in the Test vs Australia in Dubai (1st Test). Sarfraz Ahmed was out to the last ball before tea and the not out batsman Zulfiqar Babar retired hurt and did not resume after tea. Thus two new batsmen appeared for Pakistan post-tea. 

 

At Hamilton in 1996, GR Loveridge retired hurt on the same ball that DN Patel was out (over 78 ball 3). Until Dubai, this was unique.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/wis.../content/story/153558.html


There was a case where Rahul Dravid retired hurt on the same ball as the bowler (Dillon).

 

********

 

 There are two players who have scored four centuries in a row against one opponent, while playing innings against other countries during the sequence.

HM Amla v India 2010 (253*, 114, 123*, 140)

Shoaib Mohammad v New Zealand 1989/90 (163, 112, 203*,105)

 

 

31 October 2014

 

The Slowest Days: A Surprising Analysis

 

There are record lists for the fewest runs in a “full” day’s play: Cricinfo has one here. It is distorted by the changing norms for over rates and length of daily play, varying over history and between countries.  I was surprised to find that the record-holder, 95 runs in about 290 minutes play at Karachi in 1956, was a day with only 67.5 overs, vastly atypical for its time, and way below the standards for a ‘complete’ day even now. The next on the list, 104 runs in the equivalent Test in 1959/60, contained a mere 65 overs (that one was not strictly a complete day, as proceedings were interrupted by a visit and presentation to US President Eisenhower).

 

[The over counts are from my database: they are not available anywhere else.]

 

I thought it might be more useful to present the slowest days in term of runs per 100 balls. I simply set the bar at 67 overs or more, and didn’t worry too much about whether the days were absolutely complete or interrupted. Remarkably, the record-setting day in 1956 only scrapes into the list at about number 40, and the 1959 Test, even if it had qualified (too few overs), would not be in the top 100. Anyway, here is list of slowest day’s play. Some days were decidedly incomplete, but all had more than 67 overs. I have appended notes that help show whether a day was ‘complete’ or not.

 

 

Slowest Test Days, Minimum 67 Overs

 

Day

Day Runs

Day Wkts

Day Overs

R/ 100B

 

WI v Ind, Bridgetown, Barbados 1962

5

83

8

91.3

15.2

match ended before stumps

 

WI v Eng, Bridgetown, Barbados 1954

3

128

7

114

18.7

5-hour day

 

Aus v Eng, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1958/59 (8-ball ov.)

4

106

8

69

19.2

5-hour day

 

Eng v NZ, Leeds (Headingley) 1958

3

81

11

70.1

19.3

rain interruptions

 

Aus v Eng, Sydney (SCG) 1881/82 (4-ball ov.)

2

119

9

153.2

19.4

5-hour day

 

Saf v Aus, Johannesburg (Wanderers) 1957/58 (8-ball ov.)

4

119

2

75.2

19.8

5.5 hour day

 

WI v Ind, Bridgetown, Barbados 1962

4

152

4

127.3

19.9

5-hour day

 

Pak v Ind, Peshawar (Club) 1954/55

1

129

6

106

20.3

5.5-hour day?

 

NZ v Pak, Auckland 1964/65

1

161

8

131

20.5

6-hour day

 

Ind v Eng, Kanpur 1963/64

3

136

3

109

20.8

5.5 hour day

 

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 1891/92

4

188

12

149.5

21.0

4.5 hour day

 

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956

5

121

8

96.2

21.0

match ended before stumps

 

Aus v Eng, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1958/59 (8-ball ov.)

3

122

6

72.1

21.2

5-hour day

 

Saf v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1956/57 (8-ball ov.)

3

122

8

72

21.2

5.5 hour day

 

NZ v WI, Auckland 1951/52

3

101

7

79.4

21.2

5.5 hour day

 

Saf v NZ, Durban (Kingsmead) 1953/54 (8-ball ov.)

4

127

8

74.1

21.4

5.5 hour day

 

SL v SAf, Colombo2 (SSC) 2014

5

121

7

94

21.5

5.2 hours

 

Ind v Pak, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 1986/87

5

110

2

85

21.6

5.5 hour day

 

Pak v Eng, Hyderabad (Pak) 1977/78 (8-ball ov.)

3

123

9

70.6

21.8

5.5 hour day

 

Eng v NZ, Leeds (Headingley) 1958

5

97

7

74.2

21.8

Rain

 

Ind v NZ, Bangalore 1988/89

3

136

6

104

21.8

6-hour day

 

NZ v Saf, Wellington 1952/53

3

150

11

114.4

21.9

5.5 hour day

 

Pak v Eng, Dhaka 1961/62

4

134

9

102

21.8

5.5 hour day

 

Ind v Aus, Chennai (Nehru) 1959/60

4

112

8

85

22.0

match ended before stumps

 

Pak v NZ, Karachi (National) 1955/56

1

145

8

110

22.0

5-hour day

 

Pak v Aus, Karachi (National) 1988/89

4

115

8

87

22.0

5.5-hours play

 

Aus v Eng, Sydney (SCG) 1884/85 (4-ball ov.)

1

97

8

110

22.0

5-hour day, rain

 

Aus v Saf, Adelaide Oval 1993/94

5

111

7

83.5

22.2

match ended before stumps

 

Saf v NZ, Johannesburg (Ellis) 1953/54 (8-ball ov.)

2

130

14

73.3

22.2

5.5 hour day

 

Saf v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1956/57 (8-ball ov.)

2

136

14

76.1

22.3

5.5 hour day

 

Pak v NZ, Dhaka 1955/56

5

151

7

112

22.5

5.5 hour day

 

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 1978/79 (8-ball ov.)

2

122

14

67.1

22.7

6-hour day

 

Pak v Ind, Dhaka 1954/55

2

165

10

120.2

22.9

5.5 hour day

 

NZ v Saf, Wellington 1952/53

4

114

8

82.5

23.0

5.5 hour day

 

Eng v Saf, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1955

3

144

5

104

23.1

15' lost

 

Pak v Aus, Karachi (National) 1956/57

1

95

12

67.5

23.5

5-hour day

Ind v Aus, Kolkata 1964/65

2

137

9

96.5

23.7

5.5 hour day

Saf v Ind, Cape Town 1992/93

5

111

5

78

23.7

match ended before stumps

 

 

This is certainly a record that is largely frozen in time, but it is interesting to see South Africa making an addition to the list earlier this year, on a day when Sri Lanka proved it was still possible to bowl at reasonable over rates if a team was motivated enough.

 

The leader here, when Gibbs took his spell of 8/6, was a day that actually ended before tea, but still contained 91 overs.

 

Some of the days on the “fewest runs” list are absent here, and would struggle to make the Top 100 in a “fewest runs per over” list.

 

 

 

********

 

Most consecutive balls without a boundary by Australian teams.

 

279   SCG 1886/87

275   The Oval 1882

273   Dubai 2014

 

One more over by Smith and Johnson would have taken this one. Mind you, Mitchell Johnson would have to be one of the least likely batsmen to be involved in such a record.

 

Most by any team

 

379 balls (255 minutes) New Zealand at the WACA 1985/86.

 

Bear in mind this is a “where known” record. There might be others in the missing Tests. However, the missing Tests tend to be in the subcontinent and West Indies, where boundary hitting has historically been easier and such records are unlikely to be set.

 

 

********

 

There are 220 cases of two bowlers sharing a combined 10 wickets in a Test innings. Murali and Vaas shared the wickets five times (Murali eight times in all). Oddly, McGrath and Warne never did. (Warne twice with Brett Lee). Jack Saunders did it six times in his career of only 14 Tests, with different bowlers.

********


Six runs with helmet penalties…

Australia got 6 byes including helmet penalty at Karachi in 1994/95
Henry Olonga got a seven from a defensive prod including helmet penalty at Bloemfontein 1999/00. The other runs were overthrows run after the ball hit the helmet.
Daniel Vettori got a single plus helmet penalty, The Oval 1999.
Shane Watson similar at Brisbane in 2010, but the penalty went to extras.

Also,
A single to Hashim Amla plus 5 penalties when Sehwag kicked a ball over the boundary, Kolkata 2010.
six wides by Shakib al Hasan Chittagong 2014

 

********

 

Australia scored only 9 runs in a batting powerplay in the recent series against Pakistan. It is close to the record, for a powerplay starting after over 20, for a side batting first. I found one case of 7 runs by Bangladesh against New Zealand in 2007. Overs 30 to 34.

 

 

http://www.espncricinfo.com/nzvbdesh/engine/match/300426.html?innings=1;view=commentary

 

 

This appears to be one of the first games to include a 'batting' powerplay. In earlier games, selected powerplays were selected by the fielding side and were almost always used in the first 25 overs.

 

 

For a side batting second there were just 6 runs by South Africa against Sri Lanka last year

 

 

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/549/549721.html

 

One difficulty in comparison is that powerplay rules have changed arbitrarily, from year to year. The current requirement for powerplay before over 40 reduces the scoring compared to the days when one was almost always taken in the last few overs. Overall, powerplays are less important than most commentators assume.

 

 

 

At Kandy in 1994, Wasim Akram opened the bowling in the second innings and started with eight maidens in a row. Four wickets fell, three of them to Waqar Younis. Wasim conceded his first runs off the last ball of his ninth over.

Trevor Goddard also once bowled his first eight overs as maidens, at Johannesburg in 1970, but he did not open the bowling, and it was not an unbroken spell.

 

********

 

Most runs in a maiden over: I don't know for sure, but the first over of this Test was a maiden that cost 10 runs

There were 8 byes and 2 no balls, which made it a maiden under the protocols of the time. It was an 8-ball over.

 

********

 

Highest score by a batsman not winning Man of the Match. Sangakkara once made 287 and missed the MoM award (Jayawardene 374). Jayawardene (240) and Samaraweera (231) both missed the MoM award at Karachi in 2009, won by Younis Khan.

 

Michael Clarke (230) is one of the only 220+ batsman to miss out to another batsman who made less then 200 runs in the match (du Plessis 78 and 110*), at Adelaide in 2012.

 

There was no MoM award at The Oval in 1976. It would have been an interesting decision between Richards (a brilliant 291) and Holding (14 wickets on a perfect batting track). I wonder if others can think of Tests like where the decision would have been difficult.

 

********

 

Alonzo Drake took 15 wickets for 51 in 15.5 overs in what was to be his second last first-class match in 1914. War had been declared a few weeks earlier and this was one of the last fc matches in England until 1919. A few days later all remaining matches of the season were cancelled.

I read in Wikipedia that Drake was rejected for War service on grounds of ill-health and died in 1919 aged 34.


I should add that one William Brown took 15 wickets in 92 balls (23 x four-ball overs) in his only 'first-class' match, in Hobart in 1858. It is one of those matches that stretches the definition of fc cricket a bit too far, in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

3 October 2014

 

The Extreme Overs

 

I have been collating all examples of 20 or more runs in an over (Tests) that I can find. The cases found in my database are augmented by some others listed in Test Cricket Lists (Dawson and Wat). This source has a few from Tests not covered by my database. There are probably other unidentified cases (TCL itself misses about 30 cases that I found within the database) but I suspect that well over 90% of actual cases are by now listed.

 

There are now more than 150 known cases (if sundries are included), 26 of them from eight-ball overs. About half the cases are from this century; not surprisingly, it has become more common in the modern era of smaller grounds and superbats. assisted also by the change in law that added extras runs for hits off no balls. Of the 152, 104 involve one batsman scoring 20 runs or more; in the others, runs were more evenly shared between the batting partners. There are no cases of two different batsmen both scoring ten or more runs in an over.

 

There is opportunity for a few stats. The leading batsman in the list is Adam Gilchrist with eight cases. In six of those, Gilchrist personally contributed 20 or more. This places him well above others. Botham and Lara each have five cases; Lara personally contributed 20 three times, Botham two. Shahid Afridi has three four and and Nathan Astle three such overs. In Astle’s case, all three came in the same famous innings of 222 in 2002 (in one of the three overs Astle was assisted by Chris Cairns).

 

For bowlers, Matthew Hoggard suffered four times. Jeff Thomson also conceded 20 or more in an over four times, but note that two of these were eight-ball overs.

 

 

********

 

I have posted an article I wrote for the new Australian cricket journal Between Wickets here. It is entitled “The Statistician as Collector” and describes some of the efforts I have undertaken to amass my database, and some of the more interesting oddities I found. The article has been added to my “Longer Articles” register.

 

Let’s hope this journal gets going. There are far too few published outlets for good cricket writing any more.

 

 

********

 

I mentioned a while back that my father (more than 40 years ago) was an umpire for the M.C.C.C., that is the Mexico City Cricket Club, formed mostly of expat Brits. Here is a photo from 1969 of the scene during a match, from Dad’s collection. Rather idyllic I would say, rather as cricket is supposed to be. My mother and younger sister are in the photo, showing their customary level of interest in the game. The location would be hard to guess, to put it mildly. There are Australian gum trees in the background, which are common in that part of Mexico.

 

 

********

 

A question was asked about most consecutive fours in ODIs and T20i.

 

Sehwag hit seven 4s in a row, spread across 4 overs (overs 8-11), against New Zealand in 2001, in Colombo.


Gilchrist hit six 4s in a row against England in 2003. One of them appears to be all run.

 

Afridi once hit 4,4,6,4,4,4,wide,4,4 against Bangladesh in 2010.

 

In T20i I can only find one, and it would be impossible to guess. SO Tikolo hit six 4s off consecutive (legal) balls against Canada in a WT20 qualifier in 2013. However, there were two wides in the sequence.

 

 

In the last 1000 ODIs, for teams batting first and batting the full 50 overs, the average halfway point has been early in the 31st over. The median v. similar (Ov 30).

 

However, this doesn't quite mean that teams will likely double their score after 30 overs, because some will be bowled out before 50 overs are up.

 

********

 

In ODIs since 1999, I count 61 stumpings off wides (although some data is missing, mostly for minor countries). Most bowlers have no more than one, but Harbhajan and Shoaib Malik have five each.

Dhoni leads the keepers with six, the underrated Taibu five.

 

********

 

Highest team scores topped by an individual batsman: in Tests, Pakistan's 328 all out at Kingston in 1958 was topped by Sobers' 365*. In fc, Ponsford's 437 beat Queensland's 2nd innings 407.

In ODI, Calum MacLeod’s 175 here

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Score.../597/597388.html

 

Michael Jones adds that Phil Hughes recently set the List A record, 202 for Australia A v South Africa A 201.

 

********

 

If you combine the international formats, Ponting leads with 79 run out credits (12 Test, 65 ODI, 2 T20i). Figures for Rhodes are incomplete (70+) but he would not match Ponting's overall total, although he would surpass Ponting in run outs per match. Hobbs' known total for Tests is 19.

 

********

 

 

4 September 2014

 

The Elusive First Wicket Record

 

Some interesting correspondence from Shahzad has identified some subtle errors in an ‘official’ score that has some bearing on a record recently in the news.

 

The record is ‘most runs conceded before first Test wicket’. Pankaj Singh of India recently made a strong if undesired run at this record, a run that ended when he dismissed Joe Root at Old Trafford. Singh had conceded 274 up to that point, a total exceeded only by RGCE Wijesuriya.

 

The exact number conceded by Wijesuriya in 1985 has been hard to pin down. I had made an estimate of 283 or 284 before Shahzad eventually came up with an exact number of 285, one that didn’t quite fit in with my estimate or the official score. However, Shahzad informed me that Wijesuriya’s dismissal of Abdul Qadir was the ninth wicket of the innings, not the eighth, and occurred on a score of 290 not 288. The official version needs to be modified. My estimate had been based on that official version and newspaper reports that showed that the last five runs of the innings were all scored off Ratnayake by Wasim Akram.

 

Shahzad also tells me that Wijesuriya also bowled 3.1 not 3.4 overs in the second innings, which was completed in 16.1 not 16.4 overs.

 

So an improved list can now be produced….

 

Most Runs before First wicket in Tests

Runs

Balls

RGCE Wijesuriya

285

561

Pankaj Singh

274

418

JC Alabaster

273

513

JJ Warr

265

551

DB Pithey

252-257

~490

AG Kripal Singh

235

651

DR Tuffey

232

303

 

Anwar Hossain Monir conceded 307 runs in Tests without taking a wicket (348 balls).

Unknown: Rusi Surti conceded perhaps 250-260 runs before his first wicket. Conceivably, up to 275 runs (very unlikely). Probably >400 balls.

 

 

********

 

A New Head-to-Head scoring record: Namitha and others have alerted me to a new leader in the Player v Player scoring stakes. Kumar Sangakkara has now scored 531 runs (by my count) off the bowling of Saeed Ajmal, taking over from Gooch v Kapil (517) and Sutcliffe v Grimmett (515±). The revised list is here. Ajmal has dismissed Sanga only four times, for an average of 132.8. It is a characteristic of the very best modern batsmen that they score freely off spin bowlers. Sanga averages 70 off spin bowling and 52 off pace. Even so, his scoring off Ajmal is extraordinary given that Ajmal is the best spinner going around today. Sangakkara’s record appears to be worse off part-time spinners than major spinners, although Shane Warne also kept him in check (av 31.8).

 

 

********

 

MOST Fives in Tests: Strictly speaking, in Tests it is ten by 19th-century Australian George Bonnor, but they were all "six-hits" that only counted five in those days. Otherwise, the highest is nine by Geoff Boycott and Steve Waugh. While there are gaps in the data, it is complete for these two, and there are no other likely candidates to exceed them.

 

The only known case of three 5s in a match is by Bruce Laird at Adelaide in 1980. All were 1+4 overthrows.

 

Virender Sehwag (8586 runs) never hit a five in a Test match.

 

 

********

 

Progressive career wickets records

1877

A Shaw

8

1877

TK Kendall

14

1879

FR Spofforth

17

1882

GE Palmer

28

1882

FR Spofforth

32

1883

GE Palmer

43

1884

FR Spofforth

56

1884

GE Palmer

69

1887

FR Spofforth

94

1895

J Briggs

96

1895

CTB Turner

101

1895

J Briggs

103

1896

GA Lohmann

112

1899

J Briggs

118

1904

H Trumble

141

1914

SF Barnes

189

1936

CV Grimmett

216

1955

AV Bedser

236

1963

JB Statham

242

1965

FS Trueman

307

1976

LR Gibbs

309

1984

DK Lillee

355

1987

IT Botham

373

1990

RJ Hadlee

431

1994

N Kapil Dev

434

2001

CA Walsh

519

2004

M Muralitharan

532

2007

SK Warne

708

2010

M Muralitharan

800

 

 

 

 

Recently we saw Mark Craig become the first batsman to hit his first ball in Test cricket for six. So I had the idea of searching for batsmen who hit their last ball for six. Only one was found: Wayne Daniel at Port of Spain in 1984. Daniel’s six came off Tom Hogan and was followed immediately by a declaration. Daniel scored only 46 runs in Tests, but, if I recall, he did hit another notable six, off the last possible ball to win a One-Dayer in World Series Cricket, one of the first day/night matches.

Other batsmen have hit a six as their last scoring shot, but not off their last ball. Some hit a six and were out next ball.

 

********

 

Which Test batsman has seen the most batsmen dismissed at the other end? Chanderpaul on 493 and Dravid on 453 are the only ones over 400. Angelo Mathews has 101 off 44 Tests, but Glenn Turner had 128 in his career of 41 Tests, and a few others with fewer than 50 Tests are also ahead of Mathews. (Bruce Mitchell 128 in 42 Tests, Herbie Taylor 121 in 42, Khaled Mashud 119 in 44) . Notable is George Headley: 85 in only 22 Tests.

18 August 2014

 

No Need to Run

 

As part of that new world record 10th-wicket partnership at Trent Bridge, Jimmy Anderson hit 81 with 17 fours. Keith Walmsley recently asked me if anyone had hit as many fours in such a score before. The short answer is no: there is no precedent for hitting 17 fours in a complete innings as low as 81. However, Tim Southee did hit more runs in boundaries – 70, comprising four 4s and nine 6s – in his volcanic 77 on debut in 2008. I have put together a list of the most boundary-rich complete innings at each level of boundary-scoring, from 48 runs to 100.

Score

Boundary runs

4, 6

RS Kaluwitharana

51

48

12, 0

SL v Zim, Colombo2 (SSC) 1997/98

  SC Ganguly

60

50

11, 1

Ind v SAf, Johannesburg (New Wanderers) 1996/97

Younis Khan

58

52

13, 0

Pak v Aus, Colombo1 (PSS) 2002/03

CH Gayle

62

54

12, 1

WI v Eng, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 2004

MN Samuels

65

56

11, 2

WI v Ind, Kolkata 2013/14

  CH Gayle

72

58

13, 1

WI v Ind, Antigua (St John's) 2006

CH Gayle

66

60

15, 0

WI v Pak, Sharjah 2001/02

DPMD Jayawardene

71

62

14, 1

SL v Ind, Chennai (Chepauk) 2005/06

V Sehwag

74

64

16, 0

Ind v Zim, Delhi (FSK) 2001/02

  N Boje

82

66

15, 1

SAf v Zim, Centurion (Centurion Park) 2004/05

  JM Anderson

81

68

17, 0

Eng v Ind, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 2014

TG Southee

77

70

4, 9

NZ v Eng, Napier 2007/08

ME Trescothick

90

72

15, 2

Eng v Aus, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 2005

  ML Hayden

97

74

14, 3

Aus v Ind, Kolkata 2000/01

CH Lloyd

95

76

19, 0

WI v Eng, Kingston, Jamaica 1981

  Shakib Al Hasan

100

78

15, 3

Ban v NZ, Hamilton 2009/10

AB de Villiers

98

80

20, 0

SAf v Zim, Cape Town 2004/05

  RB Richardson

102

82

19, 1

WI v Eng, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 1986

AJ Tudor

99

84

21, 0

Eng v NZ, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1999

GJ Gilmour

101

86

20, 1

Aus v NZ, Christchurch 1976/77

  PJ Hughes

115

88

19, 2

Aus v SAf, Durban (Kingsmead) 2008/09

IVA Richards

114

90

21, 1

WI v Eng, Antigua (St John's) 1981

  DL Vettori

127

92

20, 2

NZ v Zim, Harare 2005

CL Cairns

120

94

10, 9

NZ v Zim, Auckland 1995/96

  AJ Lamb

125

96

24, 0

Eng v Aus, Leeds (Headingley) 1989

  DL Vettori

137

98

23, 1

NZ v Pak, Hamilton 2003/04

VVS Laxman*

124

100

25, 0

Ind v NZ, Napier 2008/09

 

Complete innings only. Innings in bold form a ‘critical path’: in that no other innings contains as many boundary runs in a lower score.

*Laxman scored 60 out his last 64 runs in boundaries.

 

It is curious that only two players, Chris Gayle and Daniel Vettori, appear more than once.

 

…And now for something almost completely different, here are batsmen who went from 50 to 100 without a boundary hit.

4s (1st 50)

PA Gibb

Eng v SAf, Durban (Kingsmead) 1938/39

2

WR Hammond

Eng v SAf, Durban (Kingsmead) 1938/39

3

AR Morris

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 1946/47

4

GP Thorpe

Eng v Pak, Lahore (Gaddafi) 2000/01

1

HP Tillakaratne

SL v WI, Galle 2001/02

3

G Kirsten

SAf v Ban, East London 2002/03

8

 

 

********

 

Rangana Herath recently ended a 553-Test ‘drought’ by taking nine wickets in an innings (9 for 127) against Pakistan at Colombo SSC, only the ninth bowler to do this in the first innings of a Test. I wonder whether the drought is coincidence, or the result of captains trying to avoid over-extending bowlers in the modern game. There were eight cases in the first 500 Tests, before 1960. As it happens, just last week I was making a list of bowlers who took nine in an innings, in a single bowling spell without being taken off. Herath did not do so, but about half of the bowlers who have taken nine or ten in an innings did so.

 

Nine or more wickets in an unbroken bowling spell

GA Lohmann

Eng v SAf, Johannesburg (Old Wanderers) 1895/96

14.2-6-28-9

JC Laker

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956 (1st inns)

8.4-3-20-9

HJ Tayfield

SAf v Eng, Johannesburg (New Wanderers) 1956/57

37–11-113-9

JM Patel

Ind v Aus, Kanpur 1959/60

35.5-16-69-9*

N Kapil Dev

Ind v WI, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 1983/84

30.3-6-83-9

Abdul Qadir

Pak v Eng, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1987/88

37-13-56-9

A Kumble

Ind v Pak, Delhi (FSK) 1998/99

26.3-9-74-10

 

 

 

Probable…

SF Barnes

Eng v SAf, Johannesburg (Old Wanderers) 1913/14

?

*Changed ends

 

The Kapil case is curious. Kapil himself was captain, and in spite of taking 9 for 83 was criticised for over-bowling himself. He did not win the Man of the Match award, and India lost the Test.

 

 

********

 

The following West Indies team won six (out of 11) Test matches
CEL Ambrose
PJL Dujon
CG Greenidge
DL Haynes
CL Hooper
AL Logie
MD Marshall
BP Patterson
IVA Richards
RB Richardson
CA Walsh

An Australian team in 2005 won five (out of 9). The Australian team in the last Ashes series won all five matches it played without change.

 

 

In the recent Colombo Test, JP Duminy scored 6 runs off 123 balls (3 off 58 + 3 off 65). No one has finished with so few runs while facing so many balls in a Test match before. RO Jenkins scored 8 runs (4 and 4) off 141 balls at Lord’s in 1950.  JT Murray scored 3 runs (0 and 3*) off 101 balls in the Sydney Test of 1962/63.

 

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Most dismissals by a wicketkeeper a single bowler in first-class cricket: for all bowlers there was 356 by Ames off Freeman, 320 by FC Huish of C Blythe, and 307 by D Hunter off W Rhodes. For fast bowlers, GO Dawkes made 252 dismissals off the bowling of HL Jackson. The better-known combinations of Binks and Trueman had 238.

 

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India bowled 76 overs after tea on the second day at Lord's in 1932, after an early tea for a change of innings. The session took about 3 hours.

 

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Sticking to one end: the batsmen did not change ends in the first 38.5 overs of Australia's 2nd innings at Old Trafford in 1948. Arthur Morris batted throughout, but there was a wicket at the other end in the 12th over. There were numerous bowling changes and 56 runs.

Cyril Washbrook once played out 10 consecutive maiden overs from Sonny Ramadhin at Lord's in 1950. The most extraordinary thing was that he was on a score of 114 at the time. He did not change ends for 134 balls (28 runs, mostly by the batsmen at the other end) at which point he was out.

31 July 2014

 

A Bookend for Most Balls in a Day

 

Like the earlier table of most balls faced in a day, the individual record for most balls bowled is rather ‘fossilised’, dating from the era of reasonable over rates. In particular, there was a period after the War where some captains just put off-spinners on in a ‘set and forget’ mode, and occasionally one would trundle through 50 or more overs in a single day. Remarkably, the top two totals were established by two different bowlers on the same day in the same match.

 

Most balls bowled in a day (individual bowlers)

Bowler

Day

360

AMB Rowan

3

Saf v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1948/49

328

NBF Mann

3

Saf v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1948/49

328

HJ Tayfield

1

Saf v Eng, Cape Town 1956/57

312

AL Valentine

4

Eng v WI, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1950

312

HJ Tayfield

3

Eng v Saf, The Oval 1955

307

TR Veivers

5

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1964

306

R Tattersall*

2

Eng v Saf, Lord's 1951

302

NBF Mann

4

Saf v Aus, Durban (Kingsmead) 1949/50

304

LR Gibbs

5

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1960/61

300

NBF Mann

1

Eng v Saf, The Oval 1947

300

AL Valentine

1

Eng v WI, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1950

300

JC Alabaster

4

Saf v NZ, Port Elizabeth 1961/62

294

S Ramadhin

4

Eng v WI, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1950

Not including no balls or wides

*2 innings (follow-on)

 

Tom Richardson almost certainly bowled 300 or more (up to 320) balls on the first day at Old Trafford in 1896.

 

Most by a modern bowler: 282 by Murali v Zimbabwe at Galle 2001/02 (day 3).

Most known by a pace bowler: 288 by CF Root, Old Trafford 1926. However, note Richardson above.

 

Tayfield’s 328 was in an unbroken spell, as was Veivers’ 307.

 

********

 

A Very Peculiar Pattern

 

I noticed that there had recently been very few new entries to a table of the “Most Boundaries in a Test Half-Century” table in Unusual Records. Grouping the list historically produced a curious pattern. There was a sudden surge in extreme boundary hitting after 2000. Fair enough, that was the advent of the super bats, but strangely, the surge has not persisted, with only one two new entries in the last 5 years. Can’t really suggest a reason why.

 

Batsmen scoring 46 or more runs their first half-century: historical cases

1975-79

2

1980-84

4

1985-89

2

1990-94

1

1995-99

3

2000-04

13

2005-09

3

2010-14

1 2

Other cases: 1905,1965, 1971.

 

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Slowest Test innings for each score

0 off 77 balls

GI Allott

NZ v Saf, Auckland 1998/99

1 off 68 balls

JW Guy

NZ v SAf, Durban (Kingsmead) 1961/62

2 off 73 balls

CEH Croft

WI v Aus, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1979/80

3 off 100 balls

JT Murray

Eng v Aus, Sydney (SCG) 1962/63

4 off 115 balls

H Sutcliffe

Eng v Saf, Leeds (Headingley) 1929

   4 off 95 balls    RO Jenkins    Eng v WI, Lord’s 1950

 

 

 

 

14 July 2014

 

Busy Days

 

Apologies for being ‘off-air’ for a while. My father passed away in Sydney and so it has been a busy time for our family. Anyway, here are a few comments about Dad that touch on cricket statistics…

 

My father Alan, who was a first-grade umpire in Sydney from 1961 to 1977, took me to a Test match on a visit to Melbourne when I was four year old. It was the day that there were over 90,800 people there (West Indies, 1961). So I contributed to a Test match world record. Sadly, I cannot actually remember the event, but it must have had a lasting impact on me. Unfortunately I was not there when the record was broken last Boxing Day, although I did go the next day. I wonder how many people went to both. I still consider these to be the records for crowds at cricket match, and I do not regard the rough ‘estimates’ for certain matches in Calcutta, which supposedly exceed these, to be reliable.


Dad was well-known enough as an umpire to be on a first-name basis with Bob Simpson, who gave us a lift home one day from an (away) match. I was very impressed but tongue-tied. Simpson was captain of Western Suburbs club – Pratten Park was walking distance from our home – and had retired, far too early, from the Australian captaincy just a short time before. He was arguably still the best batsman in Australia, and he spent a number of years terrorising club-level bowlers before being recalled to the Australian captaincy at the age of 40 (with great success).


Our family later lived in Mexico for a while, where Dad was official umpire for the M.C.C.C., that is the Mexico City Cricket Club, formed mostly of expat Brits. Highlight of that time, for me, was the visit of the 1970 England World Cup football team, having a day off. They played a one-day match against the MCCC, and absolutely thrashed them, as you might expect from a group exceptional athletes.  I managed to procure the autographs of most of them on a postcard, which I now have framed (famous names: the Charlton brothers, Bobby Moore, Gordon Banks, etc etc, even Alf Ramsay)

 

Dad worked for Qantas, and later took part (as umpire) in tours of club teams to India and elsewhere. Many years ago he told us he was umpiring a match in Malaysia, of all places, when Garry Sobers was out first ball, but later took five wickets in five balls (it was a minor game). I recall Dad producing a press clipping, from Malaysia, of the match.

 

This last recollection has puzzled me, but to my amazement Cricket Archive actually has the match online here. It confirms everything Dad told me. There is also a match report here. The puzzle is the date: 1964 was before I thought Dad was touring as an umpire, so that is a surprise.

 

Perhaps his strangest umpiring experience was in Sydney when both teams refused to play during a significant partial solar eclipse in 1976, hiding in the dressing room and refusing to come out for fear of the 'radiation'. Dad and the other umpire just waited at the wicket for them to come out again. Simpson was involved again. The teams were fined and the match deleted from career records, including a century from Simpson himself. It was the only match where the teams behaved like this: I myself was playing nearby, in a very minor league, and it never occurred to us to stop playing during the eclipse. I have an odd memory of my shadow splitting into two.

 

UPDATE: many thanks to those who sent messages of condolence. It is actually very touching to receive such messages from people I have never met.

 

********

 

Speaking of busy days, I have made a list of the most balls faced by an individual batsman in a day of Test cricket. It is one of those records that is pretty much ‘frozen’, because the decline in over rates makes the facing of more than 375 balls in a day near impossible now.

 

 

Most Balls Faced in a Day’s Play, where known.

Balls faced

Batsman

Day

Runs

Final Score

423

AC Bannerman

3

Aus v Eng, Sydney (SCG) 1891/92

67

91

421

DG Bradman

2

Aus v Eng, Leeds (Headingley) 1934

271

304

420

DG Bradman

1

Aus v Eng, Leeds (Headingley) 1930

309

334

417

C Washbrook

4

Eng v WI, Lord's 1950

114

114

414

B Mitchell

4

SAf v Eng, The Oval 1947

188

189

410

EAB Rowan

1

SAf v Eng, Leeds (Headingley) 1951

160

236

405

MC Cowdrey

4

Eng v WI, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1957

78

154

401

H Sutcliffe

3

Eng v Aus, The Oval 1926

141

161

396

L Hutton

1

Eng v Aus, The Oval 1938

160

364

395

W Bardsley

1

Aus v Eng, Lord's 1926

173

193

395

WM Woodfull

2

Aus v Eng, Lord's 1930

155

155

390

CP Mead

1

Eng v SAf, Durban (Kingsmead) 1922/23

128

181

390

PBH May

4

Eng v WI, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1957

172

285*

385

WR Hammond

3

Eng v Aus, Sydney (SCG) 1928/29

168

251

381

RB Simpson

2

Aus v Eng, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1964

156

311

376

WH Ponsford

2

Aus v Eng, Leeds (Headingley) 1934

159

181

 

Woodfull’s is the only innings to be completely contained in the day’s play. Nazar Mohammad batted through a day of 750 balls in 1952, scoring just 66 runs, but his share of the strike is unknown. Although the list above may not be complete, there are not many other candidates from the missing matches.

 

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A few more notes on the position of 12th man: There is no official position of 12th man; there are many hundreds of cases of teams not having a recognised 12th man. Touring teams in particular often never name one, simply using squad members as substitutes when required. There are also many cases of a 12th man being identified but not being present at the match; he is released to play elsewhere and substitute duties given to local club cricketers.

In most recent Tests it is not possible to identify the 12th men. One team that still names its 12th men is Australia.

 

Nathan Hauritz and Ken Archer both made six appearances as 12th man before their respective Test debuts.

I have identified about 1150 different cricketers who have been named as 12th man in Tests up to 2011. Of these, about 300 were 12th man before later going on to play Test cricket. Another 150 approx never played Tests in a first XI.

 

Exact numbers would depend on the definition of 12th man. Simply acting as substitute fieldsman should not count. If a team names a squad of 12 before a match, I regard the one missing out as 12th man even if he plays no part in proceedings.

 

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Adding 100 runs after retiring hurt

Runs added

RH score

Final

DCS Compton

141

4

145*

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1948

PLJ Dujon

104

35

139

WI v Aus, Perth (WACA) 1984/85

SM Gavaskar

127

39

166*

Ind v Aus, Adelaide Oval 1985/86

M Azharuddin

103

6

109

Ind v Saf, Kolkata 1996/97

 

 

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I have upgraded the Unusual Records section to allow fast linking to a record directly from the Table of Contents. Try it.

 

 

 

 

Saving the hat-trick: Some batsmen seem to find themselves facing a hat-trick ball more than others. I get 10 for Brian Lara, just ahead of 9 for Alan Border and Steve Waugh. None succumbed to the pressure, although Lara was once second man in a hat-trick. That batting powerhouse Courtney Walsh gets an honourable mention with 8 hat-tricks saved. Walsh once took a Test hat-trick, but he was never part of one as a batsman, in spite of making ten golden ducks.

 

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Wasim Akram took wickets in six consecutive overs against West Indies at Antigua in 2000.

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/69/69799.html

At the MCG in 1967, Garth McKenzie opened the bowling took a wicket in each of his first five overs.

 

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Highest rate of catches by a fieldsman off a specific bowler: M Jayawardene off Murali, 77 catches in 96 Tests together (=0.80 per match), ahead of Taylor /Warne 51 in 66 Tests (0.77). In combination, Sobers and Gibbs made 47 catches off the other’s bowling in 60 Tests together, a combined rate of 0.78. Sobers took 39 catches off Gibbs’ bowling, and Gibbs 8 off Sobers.

 

Minimum 25 catches.

 

29 May 2014

 

Dropped Catches: 2014 Report

 

In August last year I described how there had been a quantum jump (or should I say quantum fall) in the rate of dropped catches in 2012 compared to earlier years. Over the previous decade, the rate of dropped chances had hovered in the range 25-27%, but dropped suddenly to 23.5% for calendar year 2012.

 

I have now updated the survey for 2013 and up to the present, and the rate, while still remaining low, has bounced back a little to 25.0%. The increase is partly down to Bangladesh returning to larger numbers of Tests – they played very few in 2012 – and more Tests played by Bangladesh drives up the overall rate. Though Bangladesh has improved, recording a drop rate of 36% in the past 15 months, as against a disastrous 45% back in 2011, they are still dead last.

 

Even so, there is still an underlying improvement going on. Australia recorded a drop rate of 18.7%, the lowest annual figure by one team seen since the surveys started in 2001. New Zealand also came in under 20%, a rare achievement. Both teams could have been beaten by South Africa: however, South Africa have had a poor 2014, as reflected in their results in the series against Australia, where South Africa dropped 13 catches and took only 26, whereas Australia dropped 6 and took 35. This drove South Africa’s 2013/14 rate up to 21%.

 

About two-thirds of Australia’s missed chances were described as difficult or tough in the available texts, as opposed to one-third of Bangladesh’s chances.

 

The team with the biggest improvement is West Indies. From 2001 to 2009, West Indies’ drop rate was consistently above 30%. This fell to 27% in 2010-2011, and now is at a world-class 22%. Sri Lanka has gone in the other direction: percentage drop rates in the mid 20s about 10 years ago have ballooned out to 35% in the past couple of years. India, too, has had its worst year since the surveys began: 32.8%.

 

I noticed in the stats that Chris Rogers has yet to drop a catch in Test cricket, while his partner David Warner has taken the last 20 chances that have come to him, and has dropped only two chances (one of them debatable) out of 26 in his career so far.

 

There is a new leader in the ‘all-time’ individual list – all-time meaning since 2001. MS Dhoni has now missed 61 chances (dropped or missed stumpings), passing Adam Gilchrist and Rahul Dravid, who recorded 55 each since I have been doing surveys. In Dhoni’s defence, he does have to do a lot of keeping to spinners; keeping to spinners is the true Test of a wicket-keeper. There is nevertheless a gap between Dhoni (19% missed chances) and Gilchrist (14%). Most keepers are between these two figures, although Mark Boucher, at 10%, represents a gold standard.

 

Here are the rates for 2013+2014 for each country.

 

% Missed Chances by Country 2013 and 2014 – Test Matches

Australia

18.7%

New Zealand

19.8%

South Africa

21.1%

West Indies

22.1%

England

24.9%

Zimbabwe

25.4%

Pakistan

28.1%

India

32.8%

Sri Lanka

35.6%

Bangladesh

36.0%

 

The usual caveats regarding dropped chance statistics should be recognised. Some chances will always be a matter of opinion as to whether they should be included, and text searches for cases are bound to miss some (probably not many now). I tend to take a harsh view of chances for inclusion; incidents described as half-chances or ‘technical’ chances are included, as are incident where chance pass between keeper and slips or between fielders who react poorly. Even so, I am of the opinion that most chances are clear-cut, and the statistics provide useful comparisons.

 

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As an addendum to the recent list of bowlers ‘head-to’head’ hat-tricks, here is a list of bowlers who have dismissed a batsman twice in a Test, with the only balls he bowled to that batsman.

 

Bowlers Dismissing a Batsman Twice in a Match with only Two Balls

Bat

Bowl

WH Ashley

J Briggs

SA v Eng , Cape Town 1889

JT Willoughby*

GA Lohmann

SA v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1895/96

TA Ward*

TJ Matthews

SA v Aus, Manchester 1912

EG Hayes*

JH Sinclair

SA v Eng, Cape Town 1905/06

C Wesley*

JB Statham

Eng v SA, Nottingham 1960

JA Snow

KD Boyce

WI v Eng, The Oval 1973

CM Old

DK Lillee

Eng v Aus, Melbourne (MCG) 1976/77

GB Troup*

RJ Shastri

NZ v INd, wellington 1980/81

MS Atapattu

GRJ Matthews

Aus v SL, Colombo2 (SSC) 1992

Ata-ur-Rehman

DH Brain

Zim v Pak, Rawalpindi (Cricket Stadium) 1993/94

Mohammad Wasim

DW Fleming

Aus v Pak, Rawalpindi (Cricket Stadium) 1998/99

BKV Prasad

Shoaib Akhtar

Pak v Ind, Kolkata 1998/99

DPMD Jayawardene

Wasim Akram

SL v Pak, Dhaka 1998/99

BC Lara

SE Bond

WI v NZ, Auckland 2005/06

Javed Omar*

Z Khan

Ind v Ban, Dhaka (Mirpur) 2007

These are the only balls the bowler bowled to that batsman in the matches in question.

Matthews bowled Atapattu with the only two balls he bowled to him in Test cricket.

*King Pair.

 

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Run Out for 99 going for a second or third run.

Mike Atherton was run out for 99 going for a third run at Lord's in 1993. However, he had turned back.  Batsmen run out for 99 going for a second run:

 

JEF Beck     NZ v SAf, Cape Town 1953/54

JH Kallis      SAf v Aus, Melbourne (MCG) 2001/02

AD Mathews          SL v Ind, Mumbai (Brabourne) 2009/10

 

At Adelaide 1932, Don Bradman's last partner Thurlow was run out in attempting a second run, leaving Bradman on 299*. Matthew Sinclair's partner Astle was run out going for a second run when Sinclair was on 199. Sinclair batted on to make 214 on debut.

 

 

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In 2012, Marlon Samuels bowled 102 overs in a row in Tests without bowling a maiden, spread across 5 Tests. Shahid Afridi once bowled 97 in a row, and Mohammad Ashraful 88.

 

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Here's a strange one. The most balls between wickets for any Test bowler is 822 balls by Maurice Tate in 1929. The most balls bowled by a bowler who was never hit for six in his career is also Maurice Tate with 12,523. (Keith Miller bowled 10,461 balls.)

 

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Most sixes off one bowler in a single Test innings. I didn't think anyone could exceed the 9 off Paul Strang, all hit by Wasim Akram in 1997, but Rangana Herath conceded 10 in one innings at Mumbai in 2009: four by Sehwag, one by Dravid, and five by Dhoni. 10 is also the maximum for a match. India made 726.

 

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22 May 2014

 

A New Cricket Stat: The Head-to-Head Hat-trick

 

Here’s one that can only be divined from ball-by-ball records: cases of a bowler dismissing the same batsman with three consecutive balls that he bowled to him, a head-to-head hat-trick. Of necessity, this has to span multiple matches, and in some cases, multiple years. Both batsman and bowler could have been (and probably were) involved in other dismissals, involving different opponents, in the meantime. It is also possible for other matches involving both players to interpose, if the bowler did not bowl to that batsman in those matches. For example, Chris Old and Bishen Bedi both played at Edgbaston in 1974, after the Lord’s Test; both batted and bowled, but Old did not bowl to Bedi in that match.

 

There are likely to be other cases, not covered by the bbb database. Such cases would be near-impossible to ferret out and confirm. I was surprised to find no pre-War cases.

 

 

Bowlers Dismissing the same batsman with three consecutive balls in Tests

Note: this means that the bowler did not bowl a single ball to that batsman in between the dismissals.

Bowler

Batsman

RR Lindwall

AV Bedser (11)

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 1950/51

RR Lindwall

AV Bedser (2)

Eng v Aus, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1953

RR Lindwall

AV Bedser (1)

Eng v Aus, Lord's 1953

CM Old

BS Bedi (0)

Eng v Ind, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1974

CM Old

BS Bedi (0)

Eng v Ind, Lord's 1974

CM Old

BS Bedi (0)

Ind v Eng, Delhi (FSK) 1976/77

VA Holder*

JR Thomson (6)

Aus v WI, Adelaide Oval 1975/76

VA Holder*

JR Thomson (0)

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1975/76

VA Holder*

JR Thomson (0)

WI v Aus, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 1978

DK Lillee*

J Garner (7)

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1981/82

DK Lillee*

J Garner (0)

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1981/82

DK Lillee*

J Garner (1)

Aus v WI, Sydney (SCG) 1981/82

J Garner*

KJ Hughes (4)

Aus v WI, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1984/85

J Garner*

KJ Hughes (0)

Aus v WI, Adelaide Oval 1984/85

J Garner*

KJ Hughes (0)

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1984/85

Waqar Younis

HH Streak (14)

Pak v Zim, Rawalpindi (Cricket Stadium) 1993/94

Waqar Younis

HH Streak (1)

Pak v Zim, Rawalpindi (Cricket Stadium) 1993/94

Waqar Younis

HH Streak (1)

Pak v Zim, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1993/94

PAJ DeFreitas

KR Rutherford (37)

Eng v NZ, Lord's 1994

PAJ DeFreitas

KR Rutherford (0)

Eng v NZ, Lord's 1994

PAJ DeFreitas

KR Rutherford (7)

Eng v NZ, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1994

J Srinath

PR Adams (1)

Ind v Saf, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 1996/97

J Srinath

PR Adams (0)

Ind v Saf, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 1996/97

J Srinath

PR Adams (1)

Ind v Saf, Kanpur 1996/97

SM Pollock

SK Warne (1)

Aus v Saf, Melbourne (MCG) 1997/98

SM Pollock

SK Warne (12)

Aus v Saf, Sydney (SCG) 1997/98

SM Pollock

SK Warne (0)

Aus v Saf, Adelaide Oval 1997/98

Wasim Akram

M Jayawardene (50)

Pak v SL, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1998/99

Wasim Akram

M Jayawardene (0)

Pak v SL, Dhaka 1998/99

Wasim Akram

M Jayawardene (1)

Pak v SL, Dhaka 1998/99

AR Caddick

CEL Ambrose (3)

Eng v WI, Manchester (Old Trafford) 2000

AR Caddick

CEL Ambrose (0)

Eng v WI, Leeds (Headingley) 2000

AR Caddick

CEL Ambrose (0)

Eng v WI, The Oval 2000

SJ Harmison*

Mashrafe Mortaza (0)

Eng v Ban, Lord's 2005

SJ Harmison*

Mashrafe Mortaza (0)

Eng v Ban, Lord's 2005

SJ Harmison*

Mashrafe Mortaza (1)

Eng v Ban, Chester-le-Street 2005

*last three balls bowled by the bowler to that batsman in Tests

 

Srinath/Adams came from the 3rd, 4th and 5th balls Srinath bowled to Adams in Test matches; Pollock/Warne came from the 5th, 6th and 7th balls Pollock bowled to Warne. Caddick dismissed Ambrose four times in five balls that he bowled to him.

 

Defreitas’ hat-trick represented his only dismissals of Rutherford, in 209 balls that he bowled to him, conceding 83 runs.

 

 

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

I happened upon a case where Dale Steyn bowled a delivery that went for five wides, and followed it with a wicket (Harbhajan lbw) next ball. From one extreme to the other. It happened very recently also, with Mohammed Shami and Trent Boult. I wondered how often it happens and came up with the following (before 1998 the search included four wides)

 

Five (or Four) Wides Followed by a Wicket

Bowler

Bat

Imran Khan

DI Gower

Pak v Eng, Lord's 1982

MA Atherton

DB Vengsarkar

Ind v Eng, The Oval 1990

SP Jones

CH Gayle

Eng v WI, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 2004

CD Collymore

MJ Hoggard

WI v Eng, Chester-le-Street 2007

DW Steyn

Harbhajan Singh

SAf v Ind, Ahmedabad (Gujarat) 2007/08

MG Johnson

JP Duminy

SAf v Aus, Sydney (SCG) 2008/09

WD Parnell

V Sehwag

SAf v Ind, Nagpur 2009/10

Mohammad Aamer

AN Cook

Pak v Eng, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 2010

Mohammed Shami

TA Boult

Ind v NZ, Wellington (Basin Reserve) 2013/14

 

The absence of cases before 1980 is rather surprising. I have 577 Tests before 1980 in ball-by-ball form, but not a single example was found.

 

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No one has batted on 5 separate days of a Test in a single innings. Perhaps the closest was Herschelle Gibbs who scored 211* (rain-affected) at Christchurch in 1999 and was not out at the end of the day on the first four days. He would have batted on day 5 had not Cronje declared overnight.

 

Here is a list of individual innings that spanned four playing days of a Test match: 13 cases. I think that only 3 - Hanif, Jayasuriya, and Younis - were not rain affected.

 

ID Craig (38)         Aus v Eng, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956

CC McDonald (89)          Aus v Eng, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956

Hanif Mohammad (337)  Pak v WI, Bridgetown, Barbados 1958

GStA Sobers (226) WI v Eng, Bridgetown, Barbados 1960

FMM Worrell (197*)       WI v Eng, Bridgetown, Barbados 1960

RJ Shastri (111)     Ind v Eng, Kolkata 1984/85

DM Jones (157)     Aus v Eng, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1989

ST Jayasuriya (340)         SL v Ind, Colombo4 (RPS) 1997

HH Gibbs (211*)   SAf v NZ, Christchurch 1998/99

V Sehwag (254)     Ind v Pak, Lahore (Gaddafi) 2005/06

RS Dravid (128*)  Ind v Pak, Lahore (Gaddafi) 2005/06

JN Gillespie (201*)          Aus v Ban, Chittagong 2005/06

Younis Khan (313)           Pak v SL, Karachi (National) 2008/09

 

The longest innings in elapsed time is 4 days 21 hours by Bruce Mitchell (58) at Brisbane in 1931. He did not bat on all the days, though.

 

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In Tests, 20 bowlers dismissed Tendulkar on their Test debuts, beginning with Waqar Younis and ending with AJ McKay, who was playing his only Test. NC Johnson is the only bowler to dismiss Tendulkar twice on debut. He did so with consecutive balls to Tendulkar.

The following bowlers dismissed Tendulkar with the first ball they bowled to him in Tests

AJ Traicos
Shoaib Akhtar
PT Collins
MA Starc
SPD Smith

There may be others from the 1990s; data is incomplete. Steve Smith dismissed Tendulkar with the only ball he ever bowled to him in international cricket. Equally extraordinary is Pedro Collins, who dismissed Tendulkar with the first TWO balls he bowled to him in Tests, in two different matches.

Peter Taylor and Peter McIntyre got Tendulkar out without ever conceding a run to him.

 

 

 

A numerical omen? Martin Crowe was out for 299 after tea on the final day at Wellington in 1991; New Zealand had gone to tea on a score of 599 off 199 overs.

 

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Most wickets in the first over of an ODI innings… I get 39 times by Chaminda Vaas (29 definite and 10 probable), 33 for Shaun Pollock (26 definite and 7 probable) and 30 for Wasim Akram (14 definite and 16 probable). No one else has more than 20.

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At Rawalpindi in 2004, Asim Kamal batted for 18 overs without changing ends. There were 107 runs scored during that time (second innings, overs 33 to 51). At the other end, the batting was shared by Mohammad Yousuf (as Yousuf Youhana), who was out and replaced by Shoaib Akhtar. There were three no balls and 104 off the bat. I don't know for sure if that is a record, but it is far more than any other case I can find, and more than I would have expected for such a record. At Lord’s in 1982, Kapil Dev and Madan Lal added 62 without changing ends.

 

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The highest complete team score in first-class cricket that did not include a century is 609 by Namibia in 2010. However, there is a case of a team reaching an even higher score before anyone scored a century. At The Oval in 2007, India was 632 for 9 with no centuries, just before Anil Kumble reached 100. Kumble finished with 110* in a total of 664. I don't know if the 632 is a first-class record; that would be a hard one to work out.

 

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8 May 2014

 

New Light on the Slowest Hundreds

 

In 2012 (17 October) I posted a list of the longest Test innings based on the number of overs batted. This, I think, is an excellent way to compare innings in the absence of complete balls faced figures, since it is easier to reliably calculate or estimate elapsed overs than balls faced by individuals. In that spirit, I have put together a list of the slowest centuries, in overs elapsed for the first 100 runs.

Slowest to reach 100, in overs batted

Overs batted

Balls faced

174

Nazar Mohammad

Pak v Ind, Lucknow (University) 1952/53

520(est)

166

MC Cowdrey

Eng v WI, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1957

535

157

DJ McGlew

Saf v Aus, Durban (Kingsmead) 1957/58

485

152

AJ Watkins

Eng v Ind, Delhi (FSK) 1951/52

480

151

Hanif Mohammad

Pak v Eng, Dhaka 1961/62

448

150(est)

JW Guy

NZ v Ind, Hyderabad (Ind - LBSS) 1955/56

448(est)

143(est)

Hanif Mohammad

Pak v Ind, Bahwalpur 1954/55

427(est)

143

PE Richardson

Eng v SAf, Johannesburg (New Wanderers) 1956/57

440

139

Mudassar Nazar

Pak v Eng, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1977/78

419

Eight-ball overs converted

 

This establishes Nazar’s innings as the slowest Test century, in terms of the amount of cricket that had to be played for him to reach 100. Cowdrey probably faced more balls, but he faced an unusually high amount of the strike, and so comes in at a lower over count than Nazar. The innings by Nazar’s son, Mudassar, only ranks ninth in this list, but is still given as the slowest Test century in some other lists (which can only be described as seriously incomplete).

 

 

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Most runs in the first over of a Test innings. These figures are from the database, which covers only about 80% of Tests, so there could be others. The innings number is at the end of each line. The Gough and Sohag overs contained extras. The Hall over had no extras but was 8 balls. Bob Simpson hit the 18 runs, still the only one to do so in a Test (surprisingly).

Runs

Bowler

Inns

18

WI v Aus, Melbourne (MCG) 1960/61

WW Hall

4

18

Eng v Aus, Edgbaston 2001

D Gough

2

18

Ban v WI, Mirpur 2012/13

Sohag Gazi

1

16

NZ v WI, Antigua (Richards) 2012

CS Martin

2

15

Saf v NZ, Bloemfontein 2000/01

AA Donald

2

14

Eng v Aus, Adelaide Oval 1970/71

JA Snow

2

14

NZ v SL, Dunedin 1996/97

SB Doull

3

 


Sohag's over was his first in Test cricket.

 

 

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Ever been out early on and thought if you had just one more chance, you could make a hundred? Well here are a few batsmen in Tests who did score a century after being out earlier that same day. Naturally, all cases were follow-ons.

 

VVS Laxman

Out for 59, and 109* on the way to 281

Ind v Aus, Kolkata 2000/01

VS Hazare

Out for 116, and 102* on the way to 145

Ind v Aus, Adelaide Oval 1947/48

JH Sinclair

A duck and a century (104) on the same day

Saf v Aus, Cape Town 1902/03

 

Aamer Sohail was out for 32 and 99 on the same day at the Gabba in 1995.

 

Most runs in one day by a batsman who batted twice: 161 (158* and 3) by Mohammad Ashraful, v India Chittagong 2004/05. When Aubrey Faulkner made 122* against Australia at Old Trafford in 1912, he was told to keep the pads on to open when South Africa followed on, only to make a second-innings duck. That was on the same day that TJ Matthews took his two famous hat-tricks.

 

 

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A note on the covering of wickets in Australia.

RS Whitington wrote that Tests in Australia used fully covered wickets from 1947/48 (v India) onwards. I don’t think this is correct. Photos and articles in newspapers from that season suggest that only the ends of the pitches were covered, to protect bowlers’ run ups once play had commenced. The outcomes of Tests in that season, and for a few years thereafter, also suggest that ‘sticky’ wickets remained a problem up to 1951/52, and the playing surface would have to be uncovered for this to happen regularly. Pitches were fully covered in 1952/53 (v South Africa), and I believe that this was the first such season.* In England, where wet wickets did not often turn ‘sticky’, full covering of wickets was not introduced until 1979.

 

Whitington also said that new balls were available after 40 (eight-ball) overs in 1947/48. However, the earliest new balls recorded in the scores from that season were after the 41st over (several times). 41 overs is closer to the English standard of the time of 55 six-ball overs. The option of 200 runs may also have applied. In the previous season of the Ashes series of 1946/47, the old new ball rule of 200 runs seems to have still applied.

 

*UPDATE: Alastair Lynch pointed me to references that show covered pitches being used throughout the 1951/52 series v West Indies. I think I had heard that before, and the references confirm it to be true, but I had trouble understanding the Adelaide Test of that season, where 22 wickets fell on the first day on a wet, sometimes unplayable pitch, with one end worse than the other. How could that happen with a covered pitch? There was also the fall of 19 wickets on the first day of the final Sydney Test. Perhaps the techniques of covering pitches in these early days were poorly developed, and mistakes occurred. In the Adelaide case, the pitch covering was said to have exacerbated the problems by preventing drying before play started.

 

Peter Lyons subsequently emailed to say that Ray Robinson, in the Cricketer Spring Annual of 1952, wrote that the wicket covering in 1951/52 was “inadequate” and that the agreement to cover wickets was regretted by the West Indians. Evidently, the standards of the covers improved in 1952/53.

 

The Adelaide Test, incidentally, was the Test where Australian captain Lindsay Hassett pulled out through injury, only to be made 12th man, Sid Barnes was selected and then unselected for “reasons other than cricket”, leading to a law suit, and Phil Ridings was selected but then somehow ended up not playing. Ridings never did play Test cricket, although he was elevated to (long-serving) Australian selector only 12 months later.

 

 

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Undertaking the funeral of a team mate. The funeral of Victor Trumper in 1915 was undertaken by the W. Carter company. Ray Webster tells me that Hanson 'Sammy' Carter (Australian wicketkeeper at the time) indeed did work as an undertaker in the family business, founded by his father Walter. Walter had been a carpenter who was injured at work and was unable to continue his career, and started another business. 

Hanson was therefore involved in undertaking the funeral of a Test match team mate, presumably a unique situation for an active Test cricketer.

 

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At Multan in 1980/81, West Indies lost 3 wickets for one run in a single ‘session’ of play. Only 10 minutes play was possible after tea on the third day, the West Indies going from 84/2 to 85/5. Rain intervened, and limited play to 10 more overs on the final two days.

 

 

 

Here is an odd coincidence for the numerologists out there...not only did Murali take exactly 800 wickets in Tests, but he dismissed exactly 300 different batsmen. Kumble is next with 263 different batsmen in Tests, Warne 236. No one has dismissed exactly 100 or 200 different batsmen in Tests.

 

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Shakib al Hasan scored 52 consecutive runs entirely in boundaries, during an innings of 87 at Hamilton in 2010. He went from 4 to 56 with 10 fours and two sixes. Strangely, this was the same match that saw Martin Guptill scoring 56 without hitting a four (he did hit 3 sixes, though). Apart from Shakib, I don't know of anyone else with a sequence of 50 runs or more entirely in boundaries. Botham once scored 50 out of 51 in his famous 149 at Leeds 1981.

 

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Yasir Hameed faced 24 consecutive deliveries in an ODI at Rawalpindi in 2003. That appears to be the most since 1999 ( I don't have earlier data)

 

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There was a time when the follow-on margin was only 80 runs and it was compulsory. An extreme case in 1880 (Yorkshire 109 v Derbyshire 26 all out)

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/2/2393.html

 

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15 April 2014

 

A Scoring Pioneer

 

Sreeram and others have been piecing together information on early forms of advanced scoring techniques. This was brought on by the puzzle mentioned last year (14 May) of occasional reports of balls faced in Australian cricket prior to 1907, including Alec Bannerman’s epic 91 off 612 balls in 1892 (reported in The Argus and some other papers). All the instances before 1907 were at the SCG. It now appears that the scorer responsible in all cases was one J.G. Jackscohn.

 

Jackscohn (note spelling) was a scorer at the SCG from 1887 to 1895, and then again from 1905 (he lived in northern NSW in between). Ray Webster (in Story of a Cricket Country) notes that he even received a medal from Lord Sheffield for his scoring in 1891/92(!) His name is spelled Jackson in some early references.

 

My interpretation of the reports is that Jackscohn kept a separate tabular sheet when scoring, recording balls faced and runs scored by each batsman off each bowler in separate boxes. These appear to be “tables” (mentioned in a 1906 article) rather than linear sheets. This would explain how Wisden got that isolated reference to the balls faced by Bannerman specifically off Attewell in his 91, but did not mention balls faced for the whole innings. While it is possible to determine how many balls were faced off each bowler from linear sheets, it is not especially easy; counting them up would have to be done carefully. A tabular format would make it simple.


Jackscohn died in 1931 aged 84. There is an obituary in The Referee that I presume Ray used in his account.

 

Sreeram has uncovered a number of references to Jackscohn’s work in the Trove database, including one that says he was sole scorer for that Sydney Test in 1891/92. Another is that 1906 note on Jackscohn’s methods. It would be a wonderful thing if some of these old Tables could be found.

 

Bill ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, the instigator of systematic linear scoring, would almost certainly have encountered Jackscohn and his methods at some stage. I don’t think their methods were the same, but Fergie may well have been inspired to develop his system by Jackscohn’s work.

 

The mystery remains of the source for a few balls faced figures (and pioneering wagon wheels) in a Melbourne Test of 1907/08. See 27 Dec 2012.

 

 

Most runs off the “same ball”:

 

At Hamilton in 1998/99, Saurav Ganguly made five attempts to bowl the third ball of his fifth over, the first four being no balls. Craig McMillan hit the first two for four, and also hit a single off the fifth delivery. In all, 13 runs accrued off this ball, McMillan scoring nine. The over went 0,4n,4n,n,n,1,1,0,4. This took place shortly after the one-run penalty for a no ball was extended to include no balls that were scored from.

Under this system, Joel Garner would have conceded 14 runs from “one ball” at the MCG in 1984/85. (2n,n,n,n,n,3n,3: see entry for 12 Dec 2011)

 

In the run torrent that was the ODI at Joburg in 2005 (872 runs in 100 overs), Roger Telemachus conceded 20 runs while trying to bowl the ‘first ball’ of the 48th over. The sequence of five deliveries was 4n, 1n, 4n, 6n, 2 (faced by Ponting and Symonds). The whole over cost 28.

 

The most on record for T20 internationals is 15 runs (6n, 1n, 6) bowled by Izatullah Dawlatzai of Afghanistan against England in the World T20 in 2012. The over cost 32 runs even though it included a wicket.

 

********

 

I wonder if anyone with an identical twin played Test cricket before Lisle Nagel, who played one Test in the 1930s. His brother Vernon played for Victoria. They supposedly once swapped places undetected during a club match.

I understand that Rose and Liz Signal are identical twins (not sure); they played together for New Zealand Women in a couple of Women's Tests in 1984.

Isobel and Cecelia Joyce play ODIs for Ireland Women's team, although they have only been doing this since 2011.

 

 

******

 

Speaking of twins, Andrew Symonds once ran out Hamish and James Marshall in the same ODI, at Auckland in 2005. It turns out there was a precedent: Saqlain Mushtaq and the Waugh twins, SCG in 2000.

 

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/.../Scorecards/69/69222.html

 

I can find only one case of brothers being run out in the same Test match, GB Studd and CT Studd in 1883 (SCG). Different fielders were involved.

 

Ian and Greg Chappell were both run out by Viv Richards in the first World Cup Final in 1975.

 

Mark was run out when running for injured #11 Craig McDermott, with Steve left on 99 not out at Perth 1994/95.

 

 

 

Evan Gulbis recently scored 229 for Tasmania, the highest score by a #8 batsman in Australian first-class cricket. He also more than doubled his previous first-class career run total of 217 runs in 17 innings. This was not the highest, however.

 

Alan Richardson of Warwickshire scored 91 in his 32nd first-class innings, having previously totalled 82 runs in 31 innings.

 

http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/4/4606/4606.html

 

CC Passailaigue had scored 229 runs before he made 261 in his fourth innings. IS Lee had also made 229 career runs before he scored 258 in his ninth innings.

 

RL Pratt scored 80 in his 27th fc innings, having failed to reach double figures at his first 26 attempts.

 

 

********

 

Among the many records set in the New Zealand/ India Test at Wellington – New Zealand scoring 680 in the second innings – was this oddity. Ishant Sharma took 6/51 and 0/164 – his best and worst innings returns in Tests, the latter being the worst bowling return for any bowler who took five or more in the other innings. Notable previously is Botham 8/103 and 0/117 at Lord's 1984. The latter was his worst innings return in Tests, the former was his second best.

 

Phil Tufnell 6/25 and 1/150 at the Oval 1991 is also an interesting one.

New Zealand batted through a day’s play losing only one wicket. Historically, there are 12 cases of no wickets falling in days of 88 overs or more. The most overs is 83 eight-ball overs faced by Hobbs and Sutcliffe in 1924. Oddly, no pair has batted through an uninterrupted day Test since 2008, or 2006 if you exclude Bangladesh. 

 

 

********

 

The longest (as opposed to highest) single innings with no extras whatsoever is 191.5 overs by Australia (236) at MCG 1891/92. This applies to all fc cricket. The highest is 647 by Victoria v Tasmania in 1952. I have mentioned this elsewhere, but it is a curiosity that both Maddocks (271) and Hallebone (202 on first-class debut) were fill-in players who were dropped for the next match. This gives an indication of Tasmania’s cricket status at the time.

 

 

 

21 March 2014

 

What’s a Duckworth Lewis?

 

Here’s a short analysis of historical Duckworth/Lewis results in ODIs. I haven’t said much on this subject in the past, but Arnold D’Souza reminded me that there is a brief entry in my blog from 23 Jan 2005, and again in 2006. I think that the conclusion from my early reading was that the system made a lot of sense, but it needed accuracy in the detail if it was to be fair. A lot of that detail is not publicly available, although I did once get hold of an early list of ODI tables as they stood about 10 years ago. The system has been modified multiple times since then. If readers know of accessible sources for specifics of modern ODI D/L tables, I would be interested.

 

Anyway, here is an historical summary of D/L results, according to whether the winner batted first or second. The system came in to full use in ODIs only in 2000. For whatever reason, it was applied to only a few matches in that year.

 

Bat 1st Win

Bat 2nd Win

to 1999

4

5

2000-02

14

4

2003-04

11

5

2005-06

0

13

2007-08

12

20

2009-10

12

11

2011-12

5

21

2013-14

8

7

 

As I noted in my posts years ago, there was quite a severe imbalance in favour of teams batting first for the first few years after the widespread adoption of D/L. Between 2000 and 2004, D/L awarded the match to the team batting first 25 times to 9 times for the team batting second. Based on binomial theorem and a theoretical even probability, the chance of such a skewed distribution in 34 trials is well under 1 per cent.

 

[Going on memory here, I did find some oddities with the tables. For example, the tables seemed to imply an average last wicket partnership of 14, when the real average is 9.]


According to Wikipedia, D/L changed the system in 2004 and incorporated more sophisticated computer input. Was this behind the extraordinary reversal in 2005-2006? (At one point, fourteen consecutive D/L matches went to the team batting second, and 26 out of 32. Try doing that tossing a coin: we are in thousand-to-one territory here). The fluctuations in fortunes since then also look strange. The system still does favour teams batting second, although less strongly than in 2005-07. It remains possible that teams batting second can anticipate impending D/L intervention, and adjust tactics before D/L begins to be applied, so gaining an advantage. If rain is possible, teams batting second may keep an eye on the ‘par’ score, and try to keep ahead of it.

 

 

********

 

When six was the new five

 

Going through some old reports I noticed something about the awarding of sixers. I had thought that the awarding of six runs for all hits over the boundary was finally instituted in 1910; prior to that it could be four, five or six runs, rather depending on umpire's whim.

However, I have found that in all Tests in Australia and South Africa from 1905 onwards (15 Tests up to 1910), all known hits over the boundary scored six runs. Only in England did this not apply; the few known hits in 1907 apparently scored four runs, as had most in 1905, but things seemed to be changing. In 1909, all known hits scored six, bar one by Trumper at the Oval that scored five, and a four to Tibby Cotter.


The 1910 change in the Laws seems to be largely recognition of a fait accompli.

Incidentally, I found that Warwick Armstrong, in his 133 at the MCG in 1907/08, hit two consecutive balls over the boundary for six, off Braund. I believe that this is the first such instance in Tests, even if you include earlier Tests where they scored four and five. In all Tests, the next clear-cut case is by CL Vincent off AP Freeman at Headingley in 1929. It's probably still rare in Tests at the MCG, if you limit it to proper hits over the fence, rather than the rope. Mike Hussey was the last to do it there, off Andre Nel, in 2005/06.

 

 ********

 

Following a question on Ask Steven, I looked for cases of two bowlers taking wickets in the same over (one bowler retiring hurt). [I wrote something about replacement bowlers taking wickets on my blog last year. Scroll down to 20 June 2013, or search for "Wickets by Substitute Bowlers". There is a case of a replacement bowler Craig McMillan, taking two wickets in what was left of the over, at Harare in 2000/01.]

I couldn’t find any cases of wickets falling to two different bowlers. The nearest thing was at Port-of-Spain in 2008Mumbai in 2002: Rahul Dravid retired hurt on the same ball as the bowler Dillon went off injured. Harbhajan was out first ball to Cuffy when the over continued.

Only a couple of bowlers have taken a wicket and gone off injured in the same over. One odd one was Murali at Harare in 2004. He took a wicket with the last ball of one over and another with the first ball of his next. He was on a hat-trick, but could not continue. The replacement did not take a wicket. Murali came back later but did not manage a (very unusual) hat-trick. Another bowler who took a wicket and went off injured in the same over was CK Langeveldt at Cape Town in 2005.

Using replacement bowlers to complete an over only dates from the 1980s.

 

 

********

 

The longest Test career of a player whose debut innings remained his highest score was Darren Gough (58 Tests, highest score 65). Gough never exceeded his previous highest score: the player who surpassed his previous best score most times was Dilip Vengsarkar, on eleven occasions.

Alec Stewart made his highest Test score of 190 at Edgbaston in 1992. He played 115 subsequent Tests (202 innings) without improving on that score.

 

 

********

 

Ultimate Strike: Most Consecutive balls faced by one batsman in a Test innings (where known)

33

Saqlain Mushtaq

Pak v Eng, Faisalabad 2000/01

Batting with Danish Kaneria

30

GAR Lock

Eng v WI, Georgetown, Guyana 1968

Batting with PI Pocock

29

R Benaud

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 1958/59

29

JH Kallis

SAf v WI, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 February 2014

 

Following the Follow-On

 

When New Zealand declined to enforce the follow-on when leading by 301 runs in the recent Auckland Test, it created a mild flurry of debate. Some hold that enforcing the follow-on is an essential tactic. The stats, surprisingly perhaps, suggest otherwise.

 

I looked at follow-on situations in Tests over the past 20 years, and excluded Bangladesh and Zimbabwe matches. There were 108 follow-on opportunities; 69 were enforced, and 39 not enforced. Average runs (rounded) for the teams involved were…

 

All

F.O. Enforced

Not Enforced

Team 1 runs

509

528

462

Team 2 runs

217

217

216

Lead

291

310

246

 

A key thing to remember is that any team leading by 200 runs is in a dominant position, and will very likely win, whether or not the follow-on is chosen. There is not much point citing specific matches anecdotally to try to prove a point.

 

Given that the “enforced” category teams were more dominant, you might expect them to win more matches. However, the opposite is the case. Teams enforcing the follow-on won 72.5% of the matches, while teams not enforcing it won 82%. The rest of the matches were draws, except for one (famous) case where Australia enforced the follow-on at Kolkata in 2001 and lost. So even though teams enforcing the follow-on tend to have bigger leads (310 to 246), they are less likely to win.

 

One possible factor is that high-scoring matches on really easy pitches tend to be drawn, and the follow-on is more likely to be enforced in such cases. Naturally, higher scoring matches are more likely to be drawn. However, even when we compare “like with like”, the advantage of not enforcing remains. If we filter out the higher-scoring matches, by including only matches where the combined first innings is less than 800, and the lead less than 300, not enforcing still has a significant lead, with 92% wins vs 79% for the enforced cases.

 

There may be other factors in play – perhaps the enforced cases were more rain-affected (I don’t know) – but the bottom line is that enforcing the follow-on is not statistically supportable in terms of outcomes.

This was all a bit of a surprise to me, since the modern tendency is for teams batting fourth to win more matches than they lose. Teams not enforcing also often face the problem of the declaration: most captains like to create a safe buffer, which takes time, and one would think would increase the chances of a draw. When the subordinate teams bat again, they do better second time around when they follow-on than when they do not (296 runs to 277); however, the difference is not huge.

 

The figures do support a contention I made years ago: if you want to maximise your chances of winning, declare before a score of 500. A risk arises of losing (Freddie Flintoff must have had nightmares over Adelaide 2006/07), but the probability of a draw falls even more.

 

Of course, New Zealand did eventually win that Auckland Test. One wonders if the follow-on had been enforced: with India at 240/3, would New Zealand’s tiring bowlers have been able to power on and finish the job? Maybe yes, but India may have finished with more than 366, in a match they only lost by 40 runs.

 

For Australia, it hardly matters. Basically, when they lead by 200, they win, follow-on or no follow-on. Australia has won 27 out if the last 29 when it had a follow-on option; the only exceptions were a drawn match with almost 3 days of rain, and the freak turnaround of Kolkata 2001.

 

The last team to trail Australia by more than 200 and genuinely force a draw was Pakistan in 1994/95 when everyone's favourite player Salim Malik made 237. Since the 200-run follow-on margin was introduced in the 60s, Australia has won every time it has not enforced the follow-on (17 matches).

 

The main worry for captains contemplating the follow-on is the prospect of over-extending the bowlers; burnout can affect both the match at hand and matches to come.

 

 

********

 

Fastest Maiden Test centuries, balls faced to 100:

 

GL Jessop 76
PW Sherwell ~100
D Denton ~100
RR Lindwall 88
R Benaud ~75
RJ Hadlee 88
K Srikkanth 97
JR Murray 88
CL Cairns 86
L Klusener 100
SM Pollock 95
DR Smith 93
MS Dhoni 93
JE Taylor 97
MG Johnson 86
S Dhawan 85
Mominul Haque 98

Kapil Dev reached 102 off 101 balls with a boundary.

 

********

 

 

New Zealand wicket-keeper/captain Lee Germon did not concede a bye for the first 1242 runs of his Test career. Other clean starters include TE Blain 1062, RG de Alwis 955 runs. (AP Binns up to 1000 runs, exact number uncertain). Germon had a remarkable Test debut: not only did he concede no byes, he captained his team on debut (no one has done this since, except in the first Test for Bangladesh) and he top scored in both innings.

 

For records at any stage of career, the probable maximum without byes, in terms of runs or balls, is 2431 runs (5426 balls) by Mark Boucher spanning 7 Tests in 1999/99. He finally conceded a bye, off Paul Adams, at Auckland in 1999 after New Zealand had been batting for 190 overs (including follow-on). Strangely, he conceded four byes off the very next ball. Adam Parore went bye-free for a long period in 1994/95. Unfortunately one of the necessary scorebooks is missing: the number of runs is in the range 2274-2373 (around 4100 balls). There is an oddity about this case as well; just a few Tests later, Parore was replaced as keeper but remained in the team as a batsman. He was replaced behind the stumps by the aforesaid Lee Germon.


Incidentally, number of balls without byes is probably more appropriate than number of runs. The longest single Test innings without byes is 268 overs: New Zealand 543/3 at Georgetown 1972, TM Findlay keeper.

 

 

********

 

There was an extraordinary innings by Victoria against New South Wales in a recent Shield match. Victoria lost its first 6 wickets for 9 runs, with the first four batsmen making ducks. The latter is unprecedented in Australian first-class cricket, the former has not been seen since 1881. [Once again, the folly of using nightwatchmen (two in this case) is demonstrated.] The sensations did not end there, with Glenn Maxwell coming in and scoring 127 off 102 balls. A century by a #8 when the first seven did not get to double figures has happened before (not in Australia), but never when so few runs were scored by the first seven batsmen (10 runs in Maxwell’s case). For precedents, or near-precedents, here is an interesting one.

 

 

********

 

Consecutive first-class innings without a duck

Inns

Ending

MC Cowdrey

148

1965

G Boycott

142

1975

CS Baker

135

1914

GL Berry

135

1937

LB Fishlock

135

1951

DI Gower

135

1986

WRD Payton

133

1927

MTG Elliott

128

2004

L Hutton

127

1952

FA Lowson

126

1954

BJ Hodge

126

2006

FE Woolley

124

1933

EH Hendren

122

1934

SJ Cray

121

1950

GT Dowling

121

1972

MJ Smith

120

1978

Up to mid 2013.

 

 

********

 

Rajan Chawla on Ask Steven asked about streaks of singles in Test matches. While I have it on hand here's some extremes...

 

Longest sequence of singles by an individual batsman... DA Marillier (52) scored his last 38 runs in singles at Chittagong in 2001. In his next innings, his first two scoring shots were singles, giving 40 in all.

 

Most singles to start an innings... 15 by Bruce Dooland MCG 1946/47 and Warren Bardsley MCG 1924/25.

 

Biggest complete innings in singles only, 12 by 4 players

AI Taylor Joburg 1956/57

GM Wood MCG 1988/89

RS Dravid Ahmedabad 1999/00

SH Curnow Joburg 1930/31

 

Dravid was run out going for his 13th single.

 

Longest sequence in partnership: 29 singles, plus a wide and a bye, by GA Hick and GP Thorpe, Karachi 2000. This was in the final session of the match, which England won with 3.3 overs to spare and became the first team to beat Pakistan in a Test in Karachi.

 

This is from my database, which covers only about 80% of Tests.

 

********

 

Man of the Match in their last Test match. I believe that Jason Gillespie was the only one of these who was dropped from the team. Goodwin left Zimbabwe to live in Australia: the others retired, although Sarfraz may have been ‘tapped on the shoulder’.

 

IR Redpath

Aus v WI, Melbourne (MCG) 1975/76

GS Chappell

Aus v Pak, Sydney (SCG) 1983/84

Sarfraz Nawaz

Pak v Eng, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1983/84

SM Gavaskar

Ind v Pak, Bangalore 1986/87

MW Goodwin

Zim v Eng, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 2000

JN Gillespie

Aus v Ban, Chittagong 2005/06

SE Bond

NZ v Pak, Dunedin (Unversity) 2009/10

Up to and including 2010

 

 

 

22 January 2014

 

An Early Switch-Hit

 

There are various claimants to the invention of the reverse sweep or switch-hit (not necessarily exactly the same thing). There is mention of Mushtaq Mohammad, or going back further, Percy Fender or Plum Warner. Generally, the claims do not have a lot of hard evidence. However, Sreeram has uncovered an incontrovertible example from a Test in 1921. In the Manchester Test, Fender employed the shot, as described in The Times

 

“Mr. Armstrong kept the runs down at one end by bowling a couple of feet outside the leg stump. Mr. Fender was the more resourceful of the two batsmen, for, in dealing with Mr. Armstrong, he contrived at times to get away and place the ball on the deserted off side. He once shifted hands on the handle of the bat and pulled him back-handed across the wicket to the place where cover-point generally stands.”

 

Fender’s shot was also described in some detail by Charlie Macartney in an article 16 years later, so it must have made an impression.

 

The shot was made in the midst of some controversy. England had attempted to declare their innings closed in what was a rain-shortened match, only to be stymied when Armstrong pointed out that this was against the rules of the time. When England was forced to resume, Armstrong, who had bowled the last over before the interruption, bowled again. Apparently, calls from the crowd that this was about to happen were ignored by the umpires. Fender’s switch-hit occurred shortly thereafter, apparently gathering 2 runs, but the exact ball is uncertain.

 

As I said in an earlier post, I’m sure I read of such a shot in the 1909/10 MCC series in South Africa, (although I can’t find it now). Viv Richards definitely played the shot at Mumbai in 1975. Many inventions are made independently by different people, and I daresay the reverse sweep is one such.

 

UPDATE: Steve Pittard has emailed with a case from 1870. It is not completely clear that this batsman changed his stance as the ball was being bowled, or during the run up.

 

Kent were shot out for 20 at the Oval in 1870, with their latecomer William Yardley - ‘had not arrived 0’  - trying to make amends  in the 2nd innings by way of a cunning plan. Opening the batting, as  fast bowler Walter Anstead came in to bowl, the ambidextrous Yardley - able to throw 75 yards left handed  – reversed his  normal right handed stance and leathered  the ball, only narrowly  missing the nearby fielder Southerton at point, who now was an aunt sally at effectively silly mid on .  In fairness Yardley had enigmatically warned Southerton that should he see him suddenly change stance to make himself scarce but he had merely laughed. The next ball Yardley successfully repeated the trick with Southerton  this time dropping spread eagled to the ground. This greatly amused Yardley though the Surrey supporters were incensed; shouting “Not cricket! Not cricket”. Yardley, a thespian and later notable playwright, had turned the proceedings into a farce and when Anstead was withdrawn from the attack the crowd hissed and hooted him like a pantomime villain. Anstead later  returned  to clean bowl Yardley for 14 and with his innovation ultimately  proving to no avail  - Kent lost by an innings - one imagines the incident was dismissed as a bit of nonsense

 

 

********

 

Being There

Alastair Cook was around for 59.5% of England's runs in the 2010/11 Ashes series, which appears to be the most for a 5-Test series. Shoaib Mohammad batted during 82.3% of Pakistan's runs in a 3-Test 1990 series against New Zealand. Brad Haddin's efforts in the 2013/14 series are surely exceptional for someone batting down the order.

 

DSBP Kuruppu batted in 100% of Sri Lanka's runs in a one-off Test against New Zealand in 1986/87.

 

 ******

 

Here’s two bowlers who had catches missed off their first ball in Test cricket: David Warner (Brisbane 2012, Brownlie dropped by Pattinson) and RP Singh (Shoaib Malik dropped by Kumble) in Faisalabad 2006. My database doesn't have much on this category before 2002.

 

********

 

They took their first Test wicket with their last ball in Test cricket

IJ Siedle

DW Hookes

M Venkataramana

MV Boucher

RM Poore

S Amarnath

SV Nayak

W Barber

WB Rankin (to date)

WHB Frank

Mohammad Talha

 

Wilf Barber (2 balls in 1935) came closest to taking a wicket with his only ball in Test cricket.

 

********

 

Most runs by a batsman while partner(s) scored 0

67

Mohammad Yousuf

Ind v Pak, Multan 2003/04

66†

SJ McCabe

Aus v Eng, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1938

65

AC Gilchrist

Aus v SAf, Cape Town 2001/02

64

KC Sangakkara

SL v NZ, Christchurch 2006/07

64

BB McCullum

NZ v Aus, Adelaide Oval 2008/09

63

WG Grace

Aus v Eng, The Oval 1886

59

GAR Lock

Eng v WI, Georgetown, Guyana 1968

†The last 66 runs of the innings, in a partnership of 77 with LO Fleetwood-Smith (5). No extras were scored.

Yousuf batted with more than one partner.

McCullum’s innings included a partnership of 50 with IE O’Brien, the largest complete Test partnership where one partner contributed 0 runs.

 

********

 

The most Tests by a player who never hit the winning run is 145 by Shane Warne. Among top batsmen, Graham Gooch never did so in his whole career of 118 Tests. Kumar Sangakkara hit the winning run for the first time in his 119th Test, so in effect he ties Gooch.

 

********

 

In the 2013/14 Ashes, Kevin Pietersen averaged 29.4, and still topped England’s averages among those who played all five Tests. This is the first time that a team in a full-length Ashes series has had no batsman averaging over 30 in the full series. (Ben Stokes averaged 34.8, but played in only four Tests.) Here is a list of such “Worst Best” averages historically.

 

Worst Best Ashes Batting Average

Best Avge

England

2013/14

29.4

KP Pietersen

Australia

1956

30.1

JW Burke

Australia

1911/12

32.4

WW Armstrong

Australia

1978/79

32.6

GN Yallop

England

1930

34.0

WR Hammond

Qualification: players who played all Tests in a series. 5- or 6-Test series only. In 1930, H Sutcliffe averaged 87.2 but played in only 4 Tests.

 

 

Tendulkar Head to Head

After a couple of requests, I am posting a complete set of Sachin Tendulkar’s player-v-player stats in Tests at the link below. There was an earlier version of this in 2012, but that had a few problems, which I have painstakingly ironed out, I hope.

 

Such data requires ball-by-ball records, and unfortunately this is not available for some of Tendulkar’s Tests in the 1990s. In such cases, I have substituted estimates based on the runs scored by Tendulkar and the runs conceded by the bowlers in the innings in question. Where this happens, the data is labelled “Est”. For some bowlers such as Muralitharan, there is a combination of such data with real ball-by-ball data. For those who demand exactitude, sorry, but it is the best I can do.

 

For Tendulkar, bbb data is complete for all Australia, England and South Africa bowlers.

 

http://www.sportstats.com.au/tendulkarheadtohead.html

 

 

 

 

24 December 2013

 

Man of the Match in Tests

 

I have calculated the most successful Man of the Match winners as percentages of matches played. The concept of a single ‘official’ (usually sponsored) award spread gradually from 1975/76 (Brisbane, Greg Chappell) through the 70s and 80s. In those years, there were many Tests for which no record of an award can be found, so I have only used recorded matches in the calculations

 

 

MoM

Award Made (Tests)

 

Imran Khan

12

59

20.3%

RJ Hadlee

10

51

19.6%

Wasim Akram

17

100

17.0%

M Muralitharan

19

126

15.1%

CEL Ambrose

14

95

14.7%

JH Kallis

22

161

13.7%

PA de Silva

11

83

13.3%

MG Johnson

7

53

13.2%

KC Sangakkara

15

114

13.2%

MD Marshall

10

77

13.0%

IT Botham

12

96

12.5%

SK Warne

17

145

11.7%

 

Vernon Philander currently has 5 out of 18.

 

My data may not conform exactly to Cricinfo. I have found a few awards that are not in the Cricinfo system.

 

Historical Note: prior to 1975, there were player awards handed out for some Tests, including England in 1967 and 1968, separate awards for batsmen and bowlers. There were various awards made in Tests in India from 1969 to 72, again with multiple awards for a given Test. The 1966/67 India v West Indies series had player awards. Garry Sobers won both the batting and bowling awards at Calcutta, so could claim to be the first true awarded “Man of the Match”. However, for a Test in 1964 in Pakistan, there is a newspaper mention of Asif Iqbal being “Man-of-the-match”; this may have been just a turn of phrase, not an official award.

 

*****

When Ross Taylor made 217 not out at Dunedin recently, he might reasonably have expected to be the highest scorer of the match. However, he may have been surprised when was edged out by Dwayne Darren Bravo’s 218, when West Indies batted a second time. I made a list of the highest scores made that, like Taylor’s, were surpassed by an opponent later in the match.

 

Highest individual scores surpassed (subsequently) by an opponent in a Test match…

 

267 by PA de Silva, exceeded by MD Crowe 299, Wellington 1990.

240 by DPMD Jayawardene, (also 231 by TT Samaraweera), exceeded by Younis Khan 313, Karachi 2008.

217* by LRPL Taylor, exceeded by DM Bravo 218, Dunedin 2013.

216* by E Paynter, exceeded by SJ McCabe 232, Nottingham 1938.

214 by LR Rowe, exceeded by GM Turner 223*, Kingston 1972.

 

 

A few statistical morsels

 

Most consecutive 5WI in first-class cricket: ten by AP Freeman in 1930.

Most consecutive 10WM: eight (believe it or not) by Tom Richardson in 1895. WG Grace once got seven in a row, in 1874.

 

*****

 

I once looked for the maximum number of consecutive balls scored from in Tests. The answer wasn't very interesting, only 16 in a row (23 runs) by Rashid Latif during an otherwise unremarkable innings of 47 off 42 balls at Sharjah in 2001/02.

 

*****

 

There are more than a dozen players in first-class cricket who have taken a wicket in their only over. At least two of them took a wicket with their only ball, BN Khanna and MM Agasti.

 

*****

 

Mitchell Johnson was twice on a hat-trick in the same innings in the Adelaide Test. This got me looking at the database...

 

Last bowler to be on a hat-trick twice within the same innings in Ashes Tests: KR Miller Brisbane 1946/47.

 

Last Australian bowler in all Tests: GD McGrath v West Indies Brisbane 2000/01.

 

Last bowler in all Tests: Chaminda Vaas v NZ Wellington 2004/05.

 

Only bowler to take wickets with consecutive balls three times in an innings (where known) J Srinath v South Africa at Ahmedabad 1996/97.

 

*****

 

There are over 40 triple-wicket maidens in complete overs in the database, (covering 80% of Tests). Last one found: Ben Hilfenhaus v India at Perth 2012.  No one has more than 2 (Caddick, Vettori, McGrath, DJ Brown).

 

There are other cases of 3 in an over where the over was incomplete.

 

At the other end of the scale, Kallis once took 3 wickets in an over while conceding 10 runs (6 0 W 4 W W).

 

*****

 

Sunday Play in Australia

 

In first-class cricket, regular Sunday play commenced in 1967/68, same year as in Tests. Brian Booth, a devout Christian, played only one match in 1968/69 and then retired because he did not wish to play on Sundays. Adelaide was the last center to introduce Sunday play.

 

Prior to 1967, there was Sunday play in some Shield matches in Brisbane and Perth. The first was QLD v WA at the Gabba in 1964/65. It was introduced as "the answer to declining attendances". If only.

 

 

*****

 

Most runs in international cricket in any 31-day period.  Sanath Jayasuriya hit 881 runs for 22 July to 20 August 1997. Aravinda de Silva’s best was 842. Graham Smith has 822 for 3 July to 2 August 2003. I believe that these are the only ones above 800 in a 31-day period. Next is Zaheer Abbas on 792.

 

******

 

Chris Gayle, at Edgbaston in 2004, took 5 wickets and scored 82 runs on the same day (the fourth). I can find (if I programmed by search correctly) only two other cases of 50 runs and five wickets on the same day. Jimmy Sinclair took 6/26 and made 59* on the first day at Cape Town in 1898/99, and Wes Hall scored 50* and took 5/20 on the second day against India at Port of Spain 1962.

 

Perhaps the most notable other is Shakib al Hasan of Bangladesh who took 4/40 and scored 97 on the fourth day at Khulna against West Indies in 2012. The wickets, however, were tailenders in a score of 648.

 

Bill Edrich (Manchester 1947) and Garry Sobers (Sydney 1969) scored over 100 runs and took 3 wickets on the same day.

 

*****

 

Graham Swann’s abrupt retirement means that he conceded 22 runs off his last over in Test cricket. This is not quite a record. Derek Stirling conceded 24 runs in the last over of his Test career, at the Oval in 1986. 4, 6, 4, 6, 0, 4 courtesy Ian Botham.

 

Mark Gillespie's last over in Tests conceded 20 runs in 2012, but he may play again.

 

Of course, there is no law that says that Swann cannot play Tests again. Others have 'retired' in the heat of the moment and regretted it afterwards. Whether Swann would be welcomed back I don't know.

 

 

 

28 November 2013

 

More Simple Stats that are Hard to Find

 

I have been extracting some more statistical information from the Cricinfo texts – yes, it is painstaking – to get some baseline stats on catches and other dismissals. Here is a summary list of the location of catches, based on nearly all Tests from 2002 to 2013.

 

keeper

31.4%

1slip

8.7%

2slip

6.1%

3slip

2.2%

4slip

0.2%

Slip*

8.0%

gully

5.2%

3man

0.5%

point

5.2%

cover

4.1%

mid-off

3.9%