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Charles Davis: Statistician of the Year (Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians)

 

 

Who are the Fastest-Scoring (and Most Tenacious) Batsmen in Test Cricket? Click Here.

 

 

Longer articles by Charles Davis Click Here

 

 

Unusual Records. For Cricket Records you will not see anywhere else, Click Here

 

 

 

 

 

Click on the Date to go to that Blog Entry…

 

24 October 2018

29 September 2018

5 September 2018

26 August 2018

6 August 2018

8 July 2018

19 May 2018

17 April 2018

28 March 2018

8 March 2018

25 February 2018

2 February 2018

7 January 2018

 

 

 

2017 and Earlier Entries

 

 

The Davis Test Match Database Online.

 

Detailed scores for all Tests from 1877 to the1970s have now been posted. More than two-thirds of Tests include ball-by-ball coverage; virtually all others offer some degree of extended detail, beyond anything previously made available online.

 

The starting page is here. An information page outlining this database is here.

A Bonus Page: some remarkable first-class innings, re-scored.

NEWMajor Test Partnerships (200+) 1877 to 1970.

 

 

 

I have reached a milestone in the re-scoring of ODI scores prior to the ‘Cricinfo era’, into ball-by-ball form. In 2016-2017, I rescored matches from 1985 to 1999; I then went back to the beginning and have now finished the matches from 1971 to 1985. I have not actually finished, though, since I have collected about 60 additional scores this year, and I will have to tackle those before long. Overall, the project will produce ball-by-ball records of about 750 of the first 1400 ODIs. There are prospects for obtaining a significant number of additional scores; but there will still be hundreds of matches for which complete records cannot be found.

 

I also have obtained about 15 scores that Cricinfo did not cover after 1999. In the early years, Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball coverages was somewhat incomplete.

 

 

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1 January 2019

 

The Greatest Umpiring Blunder?

 

One of the most exciting Tests of its era was the Bombay Test of 1948-49, which ended with India eight down and needing another six runs, with the umpire erroneously calling stumps early on the fifth ball of an over. I had understood, based on newspapers reports at the time (Times of India, and Calcutta Statesman) that this was the extent of the error, but when discussing this, Ashru Mitra pointed out evidence that it was worse than this, and that an additional over should also have been bowled.

 

I have now found some more evidence supporting Ashru on this one. It is from an article by Berry Sarbadhikary, published in a book in 1975 (India v West Indies Tests) but probably written much earlier. I borrowed this rather rare book from Roger Page's inestimable collection.

 

Sarbadhikary was a radio commentator at the time and was well placed to know exactly what was going on. He states that there was more than a minute remaining and the extra over should have been bowled; he goes into some detail.

 

The only difficulty I have with this is understanding how Sarbadhikary can quote his own spoken commentary verbatim in such detail. He does not explicitly say that he has a recording. Was Indian radio really recording its broadcasts as early as 1949?

 

One inconsistency is that Phadkar is described as facing the last ball when other sources say it was Ghulam Ahmed.

 

It even appears possible that the umpire (AR Joshi, in fact) may have been tricked by Stollmeyer ‘swooping’ to seize the stumps as though the match was over. Maybe this caused Joshi to panic and call stumps. In any case, this may be the worst umpiring error in Test history.

 

Although two wickets were in hand, the last man, P Sen, had a broken arm. He was reportedly ready to bat with his arm in a sling.

 

I have updated my online scores to reflect this new information.

 

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Bowlers Taking 4 wickets for 0 run in 7, 8, or 9 balls

 

This is an addendum to a list from 24 October 2018, on the subject of bowlers who took four wickets in very few balls.

 

7

WP Howell

Aus v SAf (3), Cape Town 1902/03

7

GAR Lock

Eng v WI (5), The Oval 1957

7

WH Ashley

SAf v Eng (2), Cape Town 1888/89

8

Waqar Younis

Pak v Ban (1), Dhaka 2001/02

8

Z Khan

Ind v Ban (2), Dhaka (Mirpur) 2009/10

8

Mohammad Aamer

Pak v Eng (4), Lord's 2010

8

SCJ Broad

Eng v Ind (2), Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 2011

8

PJ Cummins

Aus v Ind (3), MCG 2018-19

9

AR Border

Aus v WI (2), Georgetown, Guyana 1991

9

PCR Tufnell

Eng v WI (5), The Oval 1991

9

GD McGrath

Aus v SAf (1), Johannesburg (Wanderers) 2001/02

 

Many of these instances involve the bowler running through the tail. Cummins is the first bowler in Tests to take the first four wickets of an innings for no runs in the space of fewer than 10 balls.

 

 

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Days where the only wicket was a run out

 

When Sri Lanka recently batted through a day without loss of a wicket, various lists appeared of such instances. Here is an addition: complete days’ play where no wickets fell to bowlers, but a run out occurred.

 

Day

Runs

Overs

Pak v Aus (2), Faisalabad 1979/80

5

274

92

SL v Ind (2), Colombo1 (PSS) 1985/86

1

168

89

SAf v Ban (2), Potchefstroom 2002/03

2

353

91

Aus v SAf (1), Brisbane ('Gabba') 2012/13

4

376

95

SAf v Ban (1), Potchefstroom 2017/18

1

298

90

 

In the Colombo Test of 1985-86, India dropped seven catches during the day.

 

 

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Most Time spent on Field in a Test (Minutes)

 

I don’t think I have ever put up a list like this, combining batting and fielding time. The list excludes Timeless Tests. If the Durban Timeless Test of 1939 is included, it would take the top three positions, led by PGV van der Bijl on 1936 minutes.

 

1790

BC Lara

WI v Eng (4), Antigua (St John's) 2004

1782

Taufeeq Umar

Pak v SL (1), Abu Dhabi 2011/12

1778

CT Radley

Eng v NZ (3), Auckland 1977/78

1777

HM Amla

SAf v Eng (1), The Oval 2012

1761

AN Cook

Eng v Pak (1), Abu Dhabi 2015/16

1760

RS Dravid

Ind v NZ (2), Hamilton 1998/99

1757

Younis Khan

Pak v Ind (3), Bangalore 2004/05

1747

N Hussain

Eng v SAf (3), Durban (Kingsmead) 1999/00

1746

Azhar Ali

Pak v WI (1), Dubai 2016/17

1745

DPMD Jayawardene

SL v Ind (1), Colombo2 (SSC) 1998/99

 

 

The list assumes that the player fielded throughout the opposition’s innings. In most cases, I have no way of confirming if this is true. The list is dominated by recent performances because the addition of extra time at the end of a day (due to slow over rates) has become quite standard.

 

 

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The English team that toured Australia in 1884-85 under the management of Alfred Shaw went through the whole five-Test series unchanged. In fact, the team was unchanged in every first-class match on tour.

 

There was a simple reason for this: there were only eleven players touring. As a former Test player, Shaw was on hand to fill in, but he only played in minor games, as did assistant manager James Lillywhite.

 

Robert Peel (reportedly) managed to take no fewer than 356 wickets on tour, thanks in no small part to the number of games against odds of teams up to 22. Peel took 18 for 7 in one innings against Moss Vale.

 

For comparison, bear in mind that the most wickets in a first-class Australian season is 106 by CTB Turner (if my old record book is still correct).

 

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15 December 2018

 

Here is a trend that will become a bit of a worry if it continues: the last 12 Tests have all been won by the team winning the toss and choosing to bat.

 

Of the last 22 Tests, only two have been won by the side batting second, or the side losing the toss. There has been one draw, and 19 wins to the side batting first.

 

In the last 38 Tests, the highest score by a team batting second is 427, with a batting average of 22.2.

 

 

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Updated list of no ball ‘dismissals’ beginning in 2001 and including Adelaide Test.

 

M Morkel

13

KAJ Roach

12

I Sharma

12

B Lee

9

ST Gabriel

8

Z Khan

7

Wahab Riaz

6

A Flintoff

5

DAJ Bracewell

5

DW Steyn

5

PM Siddle

5

PT Collins

5

Rubel Hossain

5

SL Malinga

5

 

Bear in mind that this relies on Cricinfo ball-by-ball texts, and my ability to search them. There are some cases of ‘lbw off no ball’ which require a measure of judgement, including the most recent at Adelaide.

 

It appears that the % of no balls that are attached to ‘dismissals’ is increasing. This is because umpires are ignoring a lot of no balls when a dismissal does not occur. I think that this is a bad thing. One day a match will hinge on this. It may well have at Abu Dhabi or even Adelaide – who knows?

 

 

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I wouldn't go so far as to call them unsung heroes, but in international cricket, the scorers must be the most unsung officials. This came home to me when I tried to google for information on Geoffrey Saulez, who scored a great number of Tests all over the world from the 1970s to the 90s. Very little of any substance turned up. A search of London Times from 1970 to 2009 turned up one – single-line – mention.

 

I was interested in finding a list of Tests that Saulez (whose name I don't even know how to pronounce) scored, but I doubt if there is one. My interest was piqued when I found a note that Saulez had scored some of the 1971-72 New Zealand tour of the West Indies. He scored India's tour of Sri Lanka in 1985-86 and many other 'exotic' Tests.

 

Saulez would go anywhere, at his own expense, to score Tests. The 'at his own expense' bit was the key to his popularity with touring teams. He was 'official' scorer for England many times, but always had to pay his own way.

 

John Kobylecky is one of the very few who have collected old Test match scores. He told me that he corresponded with Saulez before the latter's death in 2008, and obtained a few scores. It appeared that Saulez had kept copies of many others. When Saulez died, John heard about it and urgently called the family, to make sure nothing was thrown out before statisticians could have a look at Saulez's papers. However, when he was able to go visit, John found that all the papers and old scores had been thrown away anyway.

 

This was a huge and irreplaceable loss to cricket statistics. There must have been dozens of Test scores of his that are now on the 'lost forever' list.

 

Anyway, if anyone knows of other info on Saulez, (apart from his Wisden obituary), let me know. I presume there is some stuff in various tour books.

 

I do wonder, though, if Saulez devalued the craft and importance of scoring by doing it all for free (and at great personal expense). Mind you, I post all this for free too so perhaps I am not one to talk.

 

 

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The first player from a major county who played in List A but never played first-class cricket was Len Beel from Somerset, in 1969.

 

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Double-century partnership in each innings of a Test match (individuals):

 

Doug Walters (242&103) SCG 1968-69 – 336 with Bill Lawry and 210 with Ian Redpath.

 

Graham Gooch (333&123) Lord’s 1990 – 308 with Allan Lamb and 204 with Mike Atherton.

 

Gary Kirsten (102&133) Kolkata 1996-97 – 236 with Andrew Hudson and 212 with Daryll Cullinan.

 

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More on the counting of no balls and wides against bowlers: Even though this was introduced in October 1983, the ODIs in New Zealand in February 1984 (the Rothman’s series against England) used the old counting system. The runs conceded by some bowlers in this series remain technically incorrect to this day.

 

The old method seems to have persisted in some ODIs well into 1984. As I mentioned before, scoresheets in the ODIs in Australia in 1983-84 used the old counting method, but the bowlers’ figures were adjusted when the scores were published. The adjustments did not happen in a number of England’s ODIs in 1984.

 

********

 

When Graham Gooch was injured during the 1990-91 Ashes tour, Hugh Morris of Glamorgan was flown out to Australia as a fill-in replacement. Morris played just two games – both minor one-dayers – before Gooch recovered. Morris then flew home, apparently flying right around the world. It wasn’t much of a ‘tour’, but Morris did have the pleasure of playing at the Bradman Oval in Bowral.

 

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29 November 2018

 

Test Matches of the 1970s

 

I have begun posting detailed scores of Test matches in the 1970s as part of the Test Match Database Project.

 

Ball-by-ball records for the 1970s are actually more limited than for the 1960s (67% vs 77%), largely because of increasing numbers of Tests outside the ‘England/Australia’ axis. Keeping of official records in India, Pakistan and West Indies during this decade was practically non-existent. Another factor was South Africa dropping out of Test cricket. On the other hand, scores exist for all of England’s Tests home and away, and all Tests in Australia bar one, plus some of Australia’s tours.

 

However, published scores began to show more detail in this decade. Balls faced for some major innings can still be found even where original scorebooks are lost. Overall, about 78% of innings in the 1970s (on a runs scored basis) have balls faced figures, a figure comparable to the 1960s.

 

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A Long-Time Record Examined

 

The partnership of 577 by Vijay Hazare and Gul Mahomed, for Baroda v Holkar in 1947, stood as the highest in first-class cricket for almost 60 years. It remains the highest for the fourth wicket. However, apart from these bare statistics, not much has ever been said about this stand. I have gleaned a little more on this; however, information is limited – it was a long time ago, in a non-international, and outside the major cricket centres.

 

The match was the final of the Ranji Trophy, and was played to a finish without a rest day. Timeless cricket had been discontinued in Australia and elsewhere by this time, so by 1947 such matches were unusual. The playing hours appear to have been five hours per day (2+2+1, starting at 11 am) but even this is not completely certain.

 

Holkar was bowled out just after tea on the first day for 202 in 248 minutes, and by stumps Baroda was 16/0 off 11 overs. Next morning, Baroda scored slowly until Adhikari was out at 91/3, 7 minutes before lunch. The fourth-wicket partnership then extended until the first session of the fourth day. The known intervals are as follows:-

 

Baroda 1st Inns

Day 1

Stumps

16/0 (11ov)

Day 2

Lunch

~95/3

G 3, H 10

Partn 4

Day 2

Tea

?

Day 2

Stumps

283/3 (119 ov)

G 117, H 67

Partn 192

Day 3

Lunch

389/3

G171, H 115

Partn 298

Day 3

Tea

519/3

G 243, H 173

Partn 428

Day 3

Stumps

574/3 (205 ov)

G 269, H 200

Partn 483

668/4

G 319 in 533'

Partn 577

Day 4

Lunch

690/5

H 254

Day 4

Tea

779/9 (~290 ov)

Day 4

784/10 (291 ov)

Day 4

Stumps

Holkar 23/1 (15 ov)

 

 

Gul Mahommad was the more aggressive and his 319 was scored entirely within the one partnership. He reached 200 in 302 minutes, 300 in 505, and 319 in 533. Hazare was more circumspect: he reached 100 in 268 minutes and was out at 746/8 for 288 in 628 minutes.

 

All these figures are from newspapers or other publications. They cannot be regarded as ironclad. However, there is some internal consistency in the time figures for Gul Mohammad.

 

There is a specific puzzle in the number of overs per day: 108 on Day 2 but only 86 on Day 3, while 85 overs were bowled before tea on Day 4. The Day 3 figure seems too low to be explained by tiring bowling alone. No delays are mentioned in the available sources. However, a delay, probably before lunch on Day 3, is necessary to explain the low over count and Gul Mohammad’s batting times. Mohammad was only 171 at lunch on Day 3, by which time he should have been batting over 5 hours, in conflict with his reported 200 in 302 minutes. The reports describe Mohammad batting with great aggression before lunch on Day 3, yet he scored only 57 runs. A shortened session seems the best explanation.

 

Estimated number of overs for the partnership: 65 on Day 2, 86 on Day 3, and 25 on Day 4. At about 1050 balls, this makes the partnership shorter than the longest stands in Test matches, led by 1152 balls of the Turner/ Jarvis stand at Georgetown in 1972. The 577 may well be the longest stand outside Test cricket, however.

 

This is an incomplete study. Any help from readers would be appreciated.

 

 

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Highest Scores with no Boundaries in ODIs

 

The record is attributed to Adam Parore in making 96 at Baroda in 1994-95. I have no reason to doubt this, but I have a couple of corrections to other innings high on this list.

 

Ground

Date

AC Parore (96)

Baroda (IPCL)

28-Oct-94

Presumed correct

KJ Barnett (84)

The Oval

04-Sep-88

Actually 5x4

Zaheer Abbas (84)

Melbourne (MCG)

09-Jan-82

Correct

DL Haynes (76)

Sydney (SCG)

12-Feb-85

Actually 4x4

A Bagai (74)

Nairobi (Ruaraka)

30-Jan-07

Unconfirmed

JP Duminy (71)

Melbourne (MCG)

16-Jan-09

Correct

 

 

The Barnett and Haynes innings are given as boundary-free by online scorecards, but this is contradicted by surviving scores. It is conceivable, perhaps, that the fours were all-run, but I very much doubt it.

 

It reminds me of the 84 by Bill Lawry in a Test match at Brisbane in 1970. For years this was identified as the highest boundary-free innings in a Test match, but it all went back to a typing error in a magazine scorecard, carelessly repeated in a RS Whitington tour book. Lawry actually hit 9 fours.

 

 

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The first player from a major county who played in List A but never played first-class cricket was Len Beel from Somerset, in 1969.

 

 

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Double-century partnership in each innings of a Test match (individuals):

 

Doug Walters (242&103) SCG 1968-69 – 336 with Bill Lawry and 210 with Ian Redpath.

 

Graham Gooch (333&123) Lord’s 1990 – 308 with Allan Lamb and 204 with Mike Atherton.

 

Gary Kirsten (102&133) Kolkata 1996-97 – 236 with Andrew Hudson and 212 with Daryll Cullinan.

 

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More on the counting of no balls and wides against bowlers:Even though this was introduced in October 1983, the ODIs in New Zealand in February 1984 (the Rothman’s series against England) used the old counting system. The runs conceded by some bowlers in this series remain technically incorrect to this day.

 

The old method seems to have persisted in some ODIs well into 1984. As I mentioned before, scoresheets in the ODIs in Australia in 1983-84 used the old counting method, but the bowlers’ figures were adjusted when the scores were published. The adjustments did not happen in a number of England’s ODIs in 1984.

 

 

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When Graham Gooch was injured during the 1990-91 Ashes tour, Hugh Morris of Glamorgan was flown out to Australia as a fill-in replacement. Morris played just two games – both minor one-dayers – before Gooch recovered. Morris then flew home, apparently flying right around the world. It wasn’t much of a ‘tour’, but Morris did have the pleasure of playing at the Bradman Oval in Bowral.

 

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14 November 2018

 

Most balls bowled before conceding first run in Tests

 

49

AR Dell

Australia

1971

39

DAJ Bracewell

New Zealand

2011

30

WE Russell

England

1961

27

SJ Harmison

England

2002

26

BA Murphy

Zimbabwe

2000

26

HJ Butler

England

1947

25

JE Emburey

England

1978

25

Sarandeep Singh

India

2000

24

DJ Nash

New Zealand

1992

 

 

UPDATE: Sreeram tells me that Wisden reports ‘Tufty’ Mann, at Trent Bridge in 1947, starting his career with eight maidens. I don’t have this scorebook, and don’t know the exact number of balls before the first run.

 

The available data covers only about 80% of Tests. Tony Dell was an England-born fast-medium bowler who played only two Tests.

 

I only have data for about two-thirds of bowlers in ODIs, but I found that over 100 bowlers have bowled a maiden as their first over. More than 15 have bowled two maidens to start. Not many famous names, the most recent being Kane Richardson of Australia.

 

I found only two bowlers who started with three maidens. Asad Ali, who played just four ODIs for Pakistan, did so against Ireland.

 

The other was none other than Garry Sobers, who played only one ODI (and made a duck), in 1973, opening the bowling in West Indies’ first ever ODI. Sobers' first 21 balls were scoreless, one more than Asad Ali. Who would have thought that Sobers held an ODI record!

 

 

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Here's a strange one. There are two unrelated players in international cricket named HMCM Bandara, one male and one female. It is strange enough, perhaps unique, that two players would share a surname and all four initials, but I also found (a week ago) that the woman (Chamika Bandara) was also listed as playing in Mens’ List A matches. According to Cricket Archive, she played 5 matches for a team called "Neganahira and Uthura" in 2012/13.

 

I wondered whether this was the only case of a woman playing in Mens’ senior cricket, but it turns out it was an error on Cricket Archive’s part, and this has now been corrected. The player in those Mens’ matches is now identified as Malinga Bandara.

 

I note that that this Neganahira and Uthura team has played no senior cricket apart from those five List A games. Such is the strange state of Sri Lankan domestic cricket.

 

 

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Most first-class wickets in a calendar year

 

365

CTB Turner

1888

351

AP Freeman

1928

331

T Richardson

1895

301

T Richardson

1897

298

AP Freeman

1933

 

Tich Freeman took over 250 wickets in a season in England six times. These old records will never be broken. The most in the last 20 years are…

 

159

CA Walsh

1998

158

Danish Kaneria

2009

154

SK Warne

2005

151

SCG MacGill

2003

 

 

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The counting of no balls and wides against bowlers’ runs conceded commenced in 1983-84 (October). Curiously, official scoresheets of the 1983-84 season in Australia continued to use the old counting system. Wisden, however, published the scores using the revised counting, as they appear in current ‘official’ online scores.

 

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Victor Trumper scored 178 in his 178th first-class innings.

 

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They made hat-tricks with every hat-trick ball they bowled in Tests: TJ Matthews (2), PJ Loader (1), PJ Petherick (1).

 

Murali bowled 17 hat-trick balls in Tests without success.

 

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At Windsor Park in 2017, Mohammad Abbas bowled a hat-trick ball (to AS Joseph) and faced a hat-trick ball (bowled by JO Holder). Neither resulted in a hat-trick.

 

The same happened to Brad Stokes at Lord’s later that year. Keiran Powell was the batsman facing Stokes, and Jason Holder, once again, was the bowler.

 

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24 October 2018

 

One of the most freakish innings in the early years of ODIs came from Lance Cairns. It was at the MCG in February 1983 where Cairns scored 52 off 25 balls against Australia. Cairns hit one 4 and six 6s; his 50 off 21 balls was the fastest of its time (see entry for 19 May 2018). A re-score has now been done and gives Cairns the following sequence

 

00146066602166000021311W

 

The sixes were hit on the full-size MCG with no boundary ropes, long before the age of ‘superbats’. Cairns reached 44 off 14 balls, which would still rival the fastest first 14 balls in any ODI. I did find one (and only one) innings that was faster out of the gate: Martin Guptill reached 46 off 12 balls against Sri Lanka at Christchurch on 28 Dec 2015.

 

Cairn’s innings was in a very much lost cause. He came in when New Zealand was 45/6 off 18.3 overs chasing 302 (regarded as a near-impossible target in those days; in fact it was only the second time that a team had scored 300+ in a 50-over ODI) and New Zealand was thrashed by 149 runs.

 

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Scoring Test centuries in the same innings: a curious result

 

AB de Villiers/JH Kallis

8

GC Smith/JH Kallis

7

HM Amla/JH Kallis

7

HH Gibbs/JH Kallis

6

AB de Villiers/GC Smith

6

AN Cook/IR Bell

6

JL Langer/ML Hayden

6

RS Dravid/SR Tendulkar

6

RS Dravid/V Sehwag

6

SC Ganguly/SR Tendulkar

6

 

I might have expected to see Adam Gilchrist on this list.

 

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Lyon joins a short list, four wickets in six balls

 

Nathan Lyon tour four wickets before lunch on the first day in the Abu Dhabi Test. The last time a spinner took four wickets before lunch on the first day was also in the UAE for Australia v Pakistan, Shane Warne in 2002, in the match where Pakistan scored 59 and 53.

 

4 in 4 and 5 in 6 balls

GA Lohmann

SAf v Eng 1895/96 across 2 Tests

WWW/W0W

2 Tests

4 in 5 balls

MJC Allom

NZ v Eng (1), Christchurch 1929/30  

0W0WWW

same over

CM Old

Eng v Pak (1), Birmingham (Edgbaston) 1978 

WWnWW

same over

Wasim Akram

Pak v WI (3), Lahore (Gaddafi) 1990/91 

WW1WW

same over

4 in 6 balls

W Bates

Aus v Eng (2), Melbourne (MCG) 1882/83

W30/WWW*

2 overs

K Cranston

Eng v SAf (4), Leeds (Headingley) 1947 

W0W0WW

same over

FJ Titmus

Eng v NZ (3), Leeds (Headingley) 1965 

W0WW0W

same over

JN Gillespie

Aus v Eng (2), Perth (WACA) 1998/99 

W0WW/1W

2 overs

Mohammad Sami

Pak v SL (1), Lahore (Gaddafi) 2001/02 

WWW/00W

2 inns

Sohag Gazi

Ban v NZ (1), Chittagong 2013/14

W0/0WWW

2 overs

TA Boult

NZ v WI (2), Wellington (Basin Reserve) 2013/14

W0W/W0W

2 overs

KAJ Roach

WI v Ban (1), Antigua (Richards) 2018 

W/0W0WW

2 overs

NM Lyon

Pak v Aus (2), Abu Dhabi 2018  

WW/0W0W

2 overs

 

 * Probable

 

Roach, like Lyon, took his sequence in the first session of the match. He conceded 2 runs off the last ball of the over. Perhaps that was too expensive, because he did not bowl again in the match, finishing with 5-1-8-5.

 

Andy Caddick took four wickets in an over in 2000, but thanks to a no ball it was four wickets in seven deliveries.

 

 

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The ‘explosion’ of List A cricket: 150 List A matches were played in England in 1969, more than all previous seasons in all countries combined (1963-1968). Numbers continued to rise, towards 200 per English season in the late 1970s.

 

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An old ODI score (made by Irving Rosenwater, copy supplied by Andrew Samson) has recently been obtained, from the MCG on 9 Dec 1979 – the one where Viv Richards scored 153*. It records an all-run five, apparently without overthrows. It is annotated as “all-run m/wkt”, referring to midwicket. It was hit by Desmond Haynes off Dennis Lillee in the 7th over.

 

I haven’t come across any all-run fives without overthrows in an ODI before. Midwicket/ square of the wicket at the MCG is one of the few places where such a hit would be possible.

 

UPDATE: of course I was forgetting the five + run out at the MCG in the previous season (DL Bairstow). It appears from descriptions that there were no overthrows involved.

 

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Twelve players batted in Leicestershire’s first innings against Kent in August. One batsman, ZJ Chappell, retired hurt, and apparently was given a full substitute under a ‘concussion rule’. The substitute was Dieter Klein, who was permitted to bat and bowl. Chappell took no further part in the match.

 

Full substitutes are not uncommon in modern f-c cricket, but allowing them to bat in the same innings as the player they are replacing is, I am sure, quite unusual.

 

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For decades praise has been heaped on the 1948 Australian touring team to England, for going through the tour undefeated; they became “The Invincibles”.

 

Far less well-known is the fact that in the following year, the touring New Zealanders lost only once on an entire tour of England, out of 39 matches, and were undefeated in both the Tests and all the county games. Perhaps this speaks volumes of the strength of English bowling after the War. When New Zealand toured England in 1958, things were dramatically different, disastrously so for the New Zealanders.

 

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Mohammad Shahzad reached his century when Afghanistan had only 131 runs on the board in an ODI against India on the 25th of September. This was described as a record, but was actually one run shy of the 100 out of 130 by Dennis Amiss in 1973, in only the 6th ODI ever played.

 

Shahzad did have 103 out of the 131 runs, so he had a higher percentage of the runs than Amiss.

 

 

29 September 2018

Following up on earlier posts, a small compilation of the youngest official Test scorers, where known

 

Mark Kerly (16), Auckland in 1977-78.

Scott Sinclair (16), Dunedin 1979-80.

(Sinclair was just 8 days older than Kerly had been when he scored his first Test.)

Alison Margaret Hall (19) Auckland 1930

Sydney James Southerton (19), 1893 Tests

 

H/T to Sreeram for the Southerton info. Southerton was an Englishman and the son of the James Southerton who had played in the first Test in 1877, aged 49. As young man, Sydney worked on the ship that carried the 1893 Australia touring team to Britain. He seems to have talked tour manager Victor Cohen into appointing him as scorer/assistant for the team. It was the start of an impressive career as journalist and writer: Southerton eventually became editor of Wisden in 1933, but died in 1935.

 

Earlier information that Ninion Batchelor was a scorer on the 1893 tour needs to be corrected. That information was always tenuous. Batchelor did act as scorer on the 1890 tour, though.

 

For Tests in Australia, there are no known scorers younger than age 26. E.C Weller, who was a scorer in 1881-82, was 26 years and 3 months.

 

 

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I have recently been surveying List A matches as held by Cricket Archive, trying to get the numbering straight in my system. One thing that has really surprised me is the number of matches for which scores are very incomplete or absent altogether. I haven’t been counting but there may be hundreds of such matches. All the ones I have seen are from Pakistan or Sri Lanka in the 1980s and (particularly) the 1990s. There are even matches where only one team name is known, such as “Multan v not known” on 10 Mar 1985 (CA# a4340). Practically no other details are recorded for that match.

 

A good deal of the missing Sri Lanka data seems to come from the time of civil War in that country. It does mean that career data for players from that time is very incomplete. The assessment of what was, and what was not, a List A match in those days seems to be rather haphazard.

 

 

********

 

Some recent progress in finding old scores for internationals and other matches:

 

·      I was able to get permission to copy Bill Frindall's ODI scores kept at Lord's. (Researchers could access the scores but could not copy them for copyright reasons.) Getting permission involved a chain of four contacts passing on my request to Debbie Frindall (who held copyright), but once I finally was able to get in contact, Mrs Frindall kindly gave permission. By good fortune, Andrew Samson was just about to visit Lord’s, and he was able to copy about 30 ODI scores.

·      In his younger days, Lawrie Colliver in South Australia scored the 1987 World Cup Final from a TV broadcast, and he has sent me a copy of his score. Apparently South Australia was the only state to broadcast the entire match. I now have all World Cup finals ball-by-ball. No official score for that 1987 match has been found in Australian, English or Indian archives.

·      Lawrie also has sent me scores of various other ODIs and Tests that he scored off TV in the 80s and 90s. A true enthusiast!

·      Ronald Cardwell has sent me a copy of an original score of Victor Trumper’s famous 335 in Sydney in 1903. Although the score is difficult to decipher, I have managed to re-score the innings. I will report on this later.

·      Jamie Bell in New Zealand sent me scores from some ODIs in New Zealand in 2000 that had no online ball-by-ball coverage. Cricinfo was doing bbb by then, but their coverage was patchy in the early days and they missed a number of early ODIs in New Zealand (and one Test). They also missed a few ODIs in Australia, which I have also obtained elsewhere.

·      I have now obtained scores or ball-by-ball records of all bar five of the 617 ODIs played in Australia since 1971.

 

 

Keith Stackpole made a pair of ducks in his last Test match in 1974 (Eden Park). He was out to the first ball of the match, to a waist-high full toss from Richard Hadlee, (a height that might be called a no ball today). Stackpole ‘had a go’ at it but edged it to John Parker at slip, who surprised many onlookers by taking a good catch. I am told by Francis Payne that Parker dropped as many catches as he took at slip.

This is said to be the only Test where a wicket fell before the ball touched the ground.

 

Francis also tells me that the crowd on the final day in this Test was 34,000, which remains the highest in any New Zealand Test.

 

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Possibly (probably?) the last pre-War player to play List A cricket was Bill Edrich. Edrich’s last innings, at age 54, was at Lord’s (in a Gillette Cup match) in 1970, 36 years after his first-class debut. He scored 36, and his innings finished with 22 runs off six balls (2,4,6,0,4,6,W). (H/T Sreeram)

A sign of more relaxed times: the match was rained off for 2 full days, but still took place on a third day.

 

********

 

It has been noted by others, but worth noting again: Eric Tindall of New Zealand, who died in 2010, just months before his 100th birthday, was a dual international in Rugby and cricket both as a player and as a referee/umpire.

 

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5 September 2018

 

Bowlers taking wickets with the last ball of a session and the first ball of the next.

 

This list, drawn from the ball-by-ball database, is probably not complete. The data includes wickets with the last ball of the day and first ball of the next day.

 

Day 2/3

GH Hirst

Aus v Eng (5), Melbourne (MCG) 1903/04

Tea

B Dooland

Aus v Eng (3), Melbourne (MCG) 1946/47

Lunch

RNS Hobbs

Eng v Ind (1), Leeds (Headingley) 1967

Tea

SR Waugh

Aus v NZ (3), Hobart (Bellerive) 1997/98

Lunch

M Muralitharan

Eng v SL (1), The Oval 1998

Lunch

Mohammad Sami

Pak v SL (1), Lahore (Gaddafi) 2001/02

Lunch

RR Sarwan

WI v Ind (3), Bridgetown, Barbados 2002

Tea

A Flintoff

Eng v SAf (4), Leeds (Headingley) 2003

Tea

M Morkel

SAf v Aus (1), Cape Town 2011/12

Day 1/2

SCJ Broad

Eng v WI (1), Lord's 2012

Lunch

KTGD Prasad

SL v Ind (3), Colombo2 (SSC) 2015

Tea

K Rabada

SAf v Eng (2), Cape Town 2015/16

Day 3/4

AG Cremer

Zim v WI (1), Bulawayo (Queen's) 2017/18

Tea

K Rabada

SAf v Aus (2), Port Elizabeth 2017/18

Lunch

Mohammed Shami

Eng v Ind (4), Southampton 2018

Day 3/4

Mohammed Shami

Eng v Ind (4), Southampton 2018

 

The shortness of this list highlights the astonishing coincidence of Mohammed Shami doing it twice in one match. Rabada is the only other bowler to do it more than once in a career.

 

It has become more common. I get the impression that umpires are more inclined to call a halt when a wicket falls in the last over of a session than they used to, although when tried to look at this statistically, the data was inconclusive. There has been a change in the rule in recent years; when a wicket falls within three minutes of an interval, there is no more play. The limit used to be less than that.

 

In 200 Tests from 1998 to 2002, there were 211 sessions (out of 2200) that ended with a wicket on the last ball. In the last 200 Tests, there have been 265 such sessions out of 2400.

 

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I have been fortunate to receive a complete set of copies of Bill Ferguson’s scores of the Ashes Tests of 1926. For a long time, the whereabouts of this scorebook was unknown. Other scores from this series were known, but they were sometimes in poor condition, with many errors (particularly the historic final Test). The new material has allowed me to make greatly improved ball-by-ball records of this series. The updated series link is here.

 

This means that all of Fergie’s Ashes scores (1905-1953) have been located, with the exception of 1912. Fergie scored all of the Ashes Test in this period, with the exception of the 1907-08 series.

 

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At the first-ever Limited Overs match, between Lancashire and Leicestershire in 1963, the ‘Man of the Match’ was a brand new innovation; nevertheless it was an old-timer, Frank Woolley, who presented the award to Peter Marner. Woolley was then 76 years old, and his first-class career had begun 57 years earlier.

These two teams had been chosen to play the first match because it was a ‘knock-out’ competition, and the teams had come last and second-last in the County Championship in the previous year.

 

Brian J Booth faced the first ball from Terry Spencer. Booth hit one six in his 50, which was almost certainly the first six hit in One-Dayers. Later, Marner (121) hit four sixes.

One odd thing about this “One Day” match is that it took two days. Even in 1963, some thought that trying to pack in 65 overs for each side was too much.

Woolley lived to the age of 91, and died in 1978.

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Early in England’s first innings at Leeds in 1971, an over by Salim Altaf was left unfinished. Nothing to do with injury: the bowler split his trousers and left the field for repairs. Under regulations at that time, incomplete overs did not need to be completed by another bowler.

 

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I have notes on 16 instances of 5 all-run without overthrows in Tests, but I don't know of any since the Craig McDermott at Adelaide Oval in 1996.

 

They have happened at only four grounds: The Oval, MCG, Adelaide and Perth.

 

Neil Harvey went from 95 to 100 to reach his first Test century with one such shot, in 1948.

 

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26 August 2018

 

I am slowly working through my collection of One-Day International scores, analysing each one fully to create ball-by-ball records. Most analysis confirms, or is reasonably consistent with, ‘official’ figures, but sometimes there are departures. Here is an example: the 1st ODI of 1981-82 between India and England, the first ODI played in India. When I completed the ball-by-ball analysis, the core stats were confirmed, but the balls faced stats for the batsmen showed some significant differences in comparison to ‘official’ online sources.

 

Runs

'Official’ BF

Score analysis

SM Gavaskar

0

13

18

K Srikkanth

0

10

8

DB Vengsarkar

46

85

81

GR Viswanath

8

29

31

KBJ Azad

30

58

66

S Madan

6

17

21

SMH Kirmani

18

37

28

RJ Shastri

19

28

25

RMH Binny

2

3

1

GA Gooch

23

44

40

G Boycott

5

10

18

G Cook

13

41

27

DI Gower

8

18

21

KWR Fletcher

26

69

68

MW Gatting

47

68

81

IT Botham

25

13

12

 

One peculiarity is that the balls faced figures are not explicitly given in the score; they have to be derived, rather painstakingly, by re-scoring into ball-by-ball form. I am confident in the figures, however: the score is by Geoffrey Saulez and is rock solid. Apart from balls faced, every stat checks out 100%.

It does lead to the question: where do the ‘official’ balls faced figures come from? I don’t know. It is very doubtful that they were published anywhere at the time; balls faced were still not systematically reported then. One published figure I found is 89 balls for Vengsarkar found in the Times of India; that doesn’t help much, and two English newspapers, plus Wisden and The Cricketer magazine have nothing to add. Nor does the 1997 Frindall volume on ODIs. A scorer in India perhaps? But if so the score is long lost.

 

I should add that the other two matches of this series have the same problem. One other curious thing about these first ODIs in India: the innings were cut short if the 50 overs were not completed in time. One of the matches was shortened by bad weather, but in the other two the Indian bowlers, bowling first, got through only 46 overs in 210 minutes, at which point the innings was stopped. India were then allowed a 46-over chase, but as we know from Duckworth and Lewis, chopping off the last four overs of an innings is a bigger penalty than losing the first four overs, and India thus enjoyed a considerable advantage by failing to get through its overs!

 

 

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A question from Sreeram:

 

In the recent test, England lost 16/20 wickets to a catch to keeper / slip cordon. Is that a record?

 

At Perth in 1983, Pakistan lost 17 wickets to catches in the cordon from keeper to gully. There was one batsman bowled, one lbw and one run out.

 

16 is the most I know of for England. England lost 15 this way at Leeds in 2008, and also at Trent Bridge against India in 2011 (curiously)

 

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It occurred to me that, in my Test Match Database, major partnerships are not presented with detail in a convenient format. In light of that, I have prepared a table listing all partnership of 200 or more, from 1877 to 1970. The table includes breakdown, where known, of the relative scoring of the two partners, and partnership milestones. Milestones are expressed as balls bowled where available; where absent, minutes have been substituted. Speeds of the partnerships in runs per 100 balls have been estimated even in the absence of ball-by-ball records; it is reasonable to estimate these from times and prevailing over rates, especially as the complication of strike-sharing does not apply to partnerships.

 

The Database is now complete to 1970. I will continue posting Tests after a pause.

 

 

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A while back I reported that Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh was the only batsman in Tests to score 50 or more consecutive runs entirely in boundaries within a single innings (Hamilton 2009/10). Now I have found a rather similar case and it is Shakib Al Hasan again. At Mirpur in 2015, Shakib scored his last 46  runs in boundaries in making 89 not out against Pakistan. He then started his second innings with a boundary giving him 50 runs in a row.

 

*******

 

For the first few days of the Lord’s Test of 1948, a significant number of spectators, leaving at the end of the day’s play, went straight to the entrance gates and began queuing for the next day’s play.

 

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A century stand lost: the online scores of the ODI at the SCG on 15 Jan 1981 (Australia v India) have Australia losing its 4th wicket at 155 after a partnership of 100 between Allan Border and Kim Hughes. The ball-by-ball scoresheet by Irving Rosenwater tells a different story. The wicket fell at 135, not 155; the partnership was only worth 80 runs.

 

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At the MCG in 1931-32, South African Ken Viljoen hit a shot for six runs – all run. The shot started with an all-run four where Viljoen was almost run out by a ‘relay’ throw; the return from Ponsford ricocheted off the stumps and two more were run. Wicketkeeper Oldfield attempted another run out at the other end, but Quintin McMillan was home for the 6th run. Overall, four fielders plus the keeper handled the ball and both wickets were put down, while Bert Ironmonger was the unfortunate bowler.

 

I have notes on only two other all-run sixes in Tests. Both also involved overthrows. Hugh Massie scored the first six in Tests in 1881-82, with a three plus three overthrows. (Hits clearing the boundary scored only four or five at the time.) Mike Atherton hit a similar shot off Aqib Javed in 1992.

 

There was also, of course, an all-run seven hit by Majid Khan off Dennis Lillee, at the MCG in 1981-82, four all-run plus three overthrows.

 

I know of no all-run sixes without overthrows in Tests, although they were not unknown in the past in first-class cricket. Sixes with boundary overthrows still occur from time to time.

 

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Towards the end of the second day of that Delhi Test against Pakistan in 1979-80, Dilip Doshi was given run out by umpire Mohammad Ghouse, after Doshi left his crease thinking that the ball was dead. Ghouse was technically correct, but with a major disturbance brewing, the acting captain, Majid Khan (deputising for Asif Iqbal) showed admirable discretion and withdrew the appeal – against the advice of some more hot-headed team mates. Considering that Pakistan was playing its first series in India for almost 20 years after years of hostility between the countries, Majid avoided what could have been an escalating diplomatic incident.

 

 

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6 August 2018

 

Please note the new contact email address in the header to this blog. The old address will be checked and remain open for a time, but will be shut down before long.

 

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In March I reported the discovery of earliest known female scorer in a Test match, a Miss A. Hall at Auckland in 1930. Initially it was hard to get more detail about Miss Hall, but Steven Lynch, and others in the ToSH group, ran with this one and identified Alison Margaret Hall (1910-2004). Steven has now published an article on the subject here.

 

I won’t add much to Steven’s article, except that Alison married New Zealand Test player Paul Whitelaw in 1948. Also, it has been established that Alison Hall is not Miss A.W Hall, who was chair of the New Zealand Women's Cricket Council in 1937-38.

 

Here is a short list of early female Test scorers…

A.M. (Alison) Hall, Auckland 1930

S.H. (Shirley) Crouch, Brisbane from 1960-61.

Miss P. Williams, Johannesburg from 1964-65

Miss S.R. Hall, Johannesburg from 1966-67.

 

 

Alison Hall at age 19 also seemed a good candidate for the youngest official scorer of a Test match, but Steven found someone younger (identified by Francis Payne): Mark Kerly at the age of 16 in Auckland in 1977-78. Remarkably, it transpires that another New Zealand scorer, Scott Sinclair, was also an official scorer at age 16 (Dunedin 1979-80). Sinclair was just 8 days older than Kerly had been when he scored his first Test.

 

……

 

This reminded me of a school friend, Malcolm Gorham; we went through high school together in Sydney. Malcolm was a cricket tragic from a very young age and used to keep meticulous ledger books in the days before computers, with all the scores of every active player in Australia. Malcolm had a roller and kept a cricket pitch mowed and rolled in his backyard; unfortunately his skill at the game was no greater than mine. However, by the time he was 15 or 16, Malcolm was the official scorer for Western Suburbs 1st Grade (next level below Sheffield Shield) every weekend. I remember going to a game at Pratten Park circa 1971 and seeing his linear scores. It was the first time I had seen linear scoring: I think my initial reaction was that it looked like a waste of paper. (I have very much changed my view!)

 

Unlike the New Zealand teenagers, Malcolm took a while to graduate to more senior scoring – it is normally the preserve of older gents – but he did eventually become official scorer for some Test matches and ODIs at the SCG. Very sadly, however, he was stricken by a neurological disorder and died in his mid 40s. I very much regret that I never kept in touch with him after we left school.

 

I have copies of some of Malcolm’s Test scores. I think they are the neatest, clearest scores that I have ever seen.

There is now an annual award to cricket scorers in New South Wales called the Malcolm Gorham Scorers Award. There is even an article on Malcolm on Cricinfo from 2001.

 

 

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The Unchangeables

 

I count 86 innings in Tests where one bowler (but not two) remained unchanged through an all out innings (136 including cases where two bowlers were unchanged). It was common in the early days of Tests, but there have been only 14 cases since 1993.

 

A few curious cases...

 

Fred Spofforth bowled 36.3 out of 71.3 overs in an innings at the Oval in 1882. He did so by 'changing ends' which meant bowling two consecutive overs, which was permitted (once per innings) in those days.

 

At Delhi in 1979, Sikander Bakht bowled more than half the overs even though he bowled second; this happened because Imran Khan was unable to complete one of his overs due to injury (reports that Sikhander completed Imran's unfinished over are incorrect; the over was left unfinished). Six bowlers bowled in this innings, the most in an innings where one bowler was unchanged.

 

At Lahore 1987 v England, Abdul Qadir, across both innings, bowled his 73 overs in the space of 148 team overs, missing only one possible over, plus one change of end.

 

The most overs by an unchanged bowler in an innings in the last 100 years is 30.3 by Kapil Dev at Ahmedabad in 1983, taking 9 for 83. Incredibly, Kapil, who was captain, was criticised for his effort and did not win the Man of the Match Award.

 

 

Bowling unchanged in most Test innings

GA Lohmann

9

CTB Turner

8

FR Spofforth

6

SF Barnes

5

C Blythe

4

Fazal Mahmood

4

H Trumble

4

 

Bowlers on 3 include Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram.

 

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Bowlers with 10 wickets in a day in Tests

Wkts

Day

15

J Briggs

2

Eng v SAf, Cape Town 1888/89

12

J Briggs

3

Eng v Aus, Adelaide Oval 1891/92

10

GA Lohmann

2

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

10

SF Barnes

1

Eng v Aus, Melbourne (MCG) 1901/02

14

H Verity

3

Eng v Aus, Lord's 1934

11

MH Mankad

3

Ind v Pak, Delhi (FSK) 1952/53

10

JC Laker

2

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956

10

A Kumble

4

Ind v Pak, Delhi (FSK) 1998/99

 

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It may be that the explosive increase in six-hitting that began about 15 years ago is reaching a plateau. In the list of batsmen with most sixes in Tests, there are no currently-active Test players in the Top 25. (I am treating players like Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers as non-active here.) Brendon McCullum leads with 107 sixes followed by Adam Gilchrist on 100, but the most for any active player is 55 by David Warner, in 28th position. Warner, of course, can be expected to advance up the rankings.

 

However, it’s a different story with the bowlers. Both Rangana Herath and Nathan Lyon have conceded 192 sixes, just two short of the number recorded off Murali. The exact number conceded by Murali is uncertain, but is in the range 194-198.

 

 

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The most minutes batted for a winning side in a Test match is 835 by Rahul Dravid (233 & 72*) at Adelaide in 2003-04. He batted on four days, and nine sessions in total.

 

Geoff Boycott (99 & 112) batted for 799 minutes spanning 10 sessions on 5 days for the winning side at Port of Spain 1974. It was a 6-day Test match, with some sessions rain-shortened. Boycott lasted only one ball in one of the sessions.

 

The most minutes batted in a drawn Test is of course Hanif Mohammad. Hanif batted 1018 minutes at Bridgetown in 1958 if my sources are correct. Although Hanif lost the record for a single innings in first-class cricket, to RR Nayar, his match total appears to just shade Nayar’s 1015 minutes. Andy Flower batted 879 minutes for a losing side against South Africa at Harare in 2001.

 

A questioner on Ask Steven asked if anyone had batted on four days of a Test, in a single innings, and for a winning side. My initial reaction was that this could not possibly have happened in a five-day Test, and any Test with an individual innings spanning four days would surely have to be a rain-affected draw, but to my surprise it turns out there is one case. It was one of the most unexpected innings in Test history, an innings that crops up from time to time in records: Jason Gillespie, who at Chittagong in 2006 made 201* as a nightwatchman, batted on each of the first four days (with rain interruptions). Australia won the match by an innings.

 

 

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Some early female cricket commentators …

 

o   Chandra Nayudu, daughter of CK Nayudu, commentated for radio in India in the 1970s.

o   Kate Fitzpatrick commentated for Channel Nine  in the 1983-84 series in Australia. Fitzpatrick was a well-known actress who was keen on cricket, but she was not a good commentator (my opinion; I remember listening to her) and her contract was not renewed.

o   Sreerupa Bose, a former international, commentated on radio and Indian TV from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s.

o   Donna Symonds of Barbados commentated Test matches from 1988 (radio only?) and appeared on the BBC’s Test Match Special in 1998.

 

Alison Mitchell, recently signed as a leading commentator for Channel Seven’s upcoming cricket coverage, has been operating as a commentator since 2005 and commentated for ABC radio in 2014.

[Thanks to the  ToSH group for most of the above.]

 

 

 

 

18 July 2018

 

On the first day of the recent West Indies/Bangladesh Test at Kingston, Bangladesh bowled 35 overs before lunch on the first day, a number so great that it had the Cricinfo commentator checking his notes to see if it was right. Bangladesh bowled a similar number in a Test in 2013, but apart from that you have to go back to 1987 to find more overs bowled before lunch on the first day. (I’m looking at 2-hour sessions here: there have several more extreme cases in Pakistan, but always when sessions were 2.5 or 3 hours). The 1987 Test was at Edgbaston, where England bowled 38 overs before lunch on the first day.


The most overs bowled before lunch on the first day since 1920 (where known) is 49 by South Africa against England at The Oval in 1947, in about 123 minutes.

 

 

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It's as though Test cricket and ODI cricket are being played on different planets at the moment. Some stats...

 

Last 10 Tests runs per wicket = 23.25 with 17 teams bowled out for less than 200.

 

Last 10 ODIs runs per wicket = 35.5 with 2 teams bowled out for less than 200.

 

There have been 64 Test innings since the last team score over 500.

 

The 23.25 average for the last 10 Tests is the lowest for 10 consecutive Tests since 1969, and before that, 1956, and before that, 1914. What is going on?

 

What we are also seeing is ever-increasing numbers of 'off-season' Tests, as other formats crowd out the traditional game. The traditional seasons were chosen for a reason. The wickets for the off-season Tests can be difficult for batsmen, it seems.

 

It used to be that the only Tests in June and July were in England. Now they crop up in all sorts of places, with the exception of England I am sorry to say. I thought for many years that Test cricket was holding its own in England, but now it has been shunted into the season fringes, in favour of ever more meaningless ODI and T20 series.

 

(Stats calculated on 17 July 2018)


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In addition to uploading series from 1965 to 1970 Into the Davis Test Match Database, I am re-uploading series from 1945 to 1960 (one at a time). Some of these were originally uploaded as long ago as 2012, and more information has come to light since then. I have also expanded the scope of the data a bit since then, and this will bring the Tests of the 1940s to the same level of detail, where possible, as later Tests.

I have noticed that unfortunately something has gone haywire with one of the stats in the Averages sections of series in the Database. Specifically, the “10WM” column for bowlers (10 wickets in a match) is frequently all wrong. I have deleted this column for series in the 1960s, although going forward the stat (corrected) will be included. I will be deleting the column for earlier series as I work through them. It appears that an associated statistic “BBM” or Best Bowling Match, is nevertheless correct, as is “5WI” or 5 wickets in an innings. Thinking about it, a column for 10WM is rather redundant; multiple cases by a bowler in one series are so rare that it is hardly worth having a column especially for that, and single cases are effectively recorded in the BBM column.

 

 

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On Test debut at Kingston in 1976, Wayne Daniel bowled 20 no balls in India’s first innings (reported in the Georgetown Chronicle). It is not clear how many actual no ball calls there were. There could have been some multiple-run no balls, which would have reduced the number, and/or no balls that were scored from, increasing the number. The latter is actually quite likely.

 

Challenging Daniel for most no balls on debut is AL ‘Froggy’ Thomson at Brisbane in 1970. Thomson recorded 17 no balls in the first innings, but also bowled three other no balls that were scored from.

 

On a match basis, Patterson Thompson bowled 22 no balls, plus 9 scored from, at Bridgetown in 1996. In the same year, Mohammad Zahid registered 21 no balls on debut. However, there were only 18 no ball calls off him; there was one ‘four no balls’ and no other no balls were scored from.

 

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8 July 2018

 

I am back home now after a long holiday. I managed to visit Lord's again and I got copies of most of their ODI scores that I had not obtained previously, except for some of Frindall's scores that they won't allow me to copy. Overall I obtained about 60 scores.

 

I visited The Oval as well. I was disappointed to find that some of their international original scores have gone missing, with almost nothing before 1995. Ironically, I now have a collection of Test scores from The Oval that far exceeds theirs. I have scores for all Oval Tests since 1952 and many earlier Tests.

 

This is largely thanks to John Kobylecky, who almost 20 years ago visited The Oval and photocopied all the Test scores that he could find. In 2002, John kindly let allowed me to make copies of these, including the 1880 Test, the oldest existing Test score.

 

Sometime after that, The Oval lost track of all the pre-1995 originals. The current archivist (who was not responsible for the loss) and I searched a small storeroom full of documents (in disarray) without success.

 

The 1880 scorebook alone would have been worth a lot of money to collectors. Let’s hope it is found come day.

 

 

*********

 

In 2016 (see blog entry for 1 Feb) I speculated that during the first World Cup, on 7 June 1975, Dennis Amiss may have retaken the ODI innings scoring record for a few minutes, before being overtaken in turn by Glenn Turner. (itwas an answer I offered to the question “Who held an important record for the shortest period of time?”)

 

Amiss had scored the first ODI century in 1972, but by 1975 David Lloyd held the record with a score of 116. On the 7th of June, Amiss scored 137 and Turner 171 not out, in separate matches that started simultaneously. I now have some more information; although he reached his century first, it appears that at no stage did Amiss re-take the record.

 

From separate scorebooks, I determined that Amiss reached his century at 1:46 and Turner reached his at 2:00. From this, one might expect that Amiss would have reached the 116 record first, but it is probably not the case. Amiss lost the strike for a bit and did not reach 116 until 2:15. Turner, meanwhile, scored at a furious pace and reached 146 by 2:23. I don’t have an exact score for Turner eight minutes earlier at 2:15, but it almost certainly would have been greater than 116.

 

********

 

I have re-started the uploading of Test series in the Davis Online Database. The next stage of the project will tackle series from 1965 to 1970. The starting page for this section is here.

 

********

 

 

 

Recently I mentioned the case of Bob Crisp, the South African bowler who fell over in the delivery stride of his first ball in Test cricket. Ashru informs me that the same fate befell Bharat Arun at Kanpur in 1986-87, and also Mike Gatting at Auckland in 1977-78. Gatting was bowling his first ball but was not making his Test debut, having not bowled in his first two Tests.

 

*******

 

Mahela Jayawardene hit the winning run off the first ball he ever faced in a One-Day International, in making 1* at Colombo Premadasa against Zimbabwe on 24 Jan 1998. He would go on to play 448 ODIs.

 

Overall, there are about 30 batsmen who have hit the winning run in their debut ODI, starting with Rod Marsh in ODI#1. Notable names include Michael Clarke, Mohammad Yousuf, and Kevin Pietersen. There have been a few surprises, like Bob Willis in 1973.

 

********

 

19 May 2018

 

ODIs: Hot and Cold

 

Long-time correspondent Sreeram (I recently came across emails from him from 2004, on an old laptop) has sent me a copy of a score he made from a TV broadcast of Sanath Jayasuriya’s record-breaking half-century in an ODI in 1996 (50 off 17 balls), against Pakistan at Singapore. I have lined up the balls faced by Jayasuriya against the previous record-holder, Simon O’Donnell in 1990 (50 off 18 at Sharjah). Note that these innings were played before “superbats” came into vogue or the grounds were shrunk down.

 

Jayasuriya 1996 (76 off 28)

2424011606406641(53) 4441023104W

O'Donnell 1990 (74 off 29)

016111260224646161(50)  1121141436W

 

O’Donnell’s innings was notable for the lack of dot balls – none at all after he reached 20. It was freakish at the time; there had been very few other innings anything like it until Jayasuriya came along. The previous record for fastest 50 was probably held by Lance Cairns with 50 off 21 at Melbourne in 1982-83. Cairns was out for 52 and his overall strike rate was 208 to O’Donnell’s 255.

 

Thanks again to Sreeram for providing this, and much other interesting material over the years.

 

********

 

Slowest Centuries in One-Day Internationals

BF to 100

 

161

DC Boon

102*(163)

Aus v Ind, Hobart 10-Dec-1991

 

‡161

GM Turner

171*(210)

NZ, East Africa, 7-Jun-1975†

160

CG Greenidge

106*(169)

WI v Ind, Birmingham 9-Jun-1979†

157

Ramiz Raja

102*(158)

Pak v WI, Melbourne 23-Feb-1992

156

GR Marsh

111*(162)

Aus v Eng, Lord's 29-May-1989†

155

GM Wood

114*(165)

Aus v Eng, Lord's 3-Jun-1985†

152

CG Greenidge

103(161)

WI v Pak, Melbourne 21-Nov-1981

152

SB Styris

111*(157)

NZ v SL, Grenada 12-Apr-2007

up to 152

CG Greenidge

102*(154)

WI v Pak, Sharjah 18-Oct-1988

up to 152

RS Mahanama

101(153)

SL v WI, Sharjah 11-Oct-1995

151

TLW Cooper

101(155)

Ned v Afg, Voorburg 7-Jul-2010

151

M Prabhakar

102*(158)

Ind v WI, Kanpur 30-Oct-1994

150

DL Hemp

102*(152)

Ber v Ken, Potchefstroom 6-Apr-2009

†More than 50 overs

 

The balls faced for Boon and Greenidge differ slightly from online versions. In Boon’s case, this is because early sources included wides in balls faced, whereas the above figures, obtained by re-scoring original scores, use the modern protocol of ignoring wides. Boon faced 166 deliveries including wides. Greenidge faced no wides.

 

‡ UPDATE: I have added a figure found for Glenn Turner’s 171* against East Africa in 1975. The balls faced probably includes any wides (up to five, probably two or three). I don’t have this innings ball-by-ball.

 

The majority of these innings were played for winning sides carefully chasing down modest targets. The slowest for a team batting first is the 157 balls by Ramiz Raja.

 

 

********

 

“Wider Still and Wider Shall Thy Bounds Be Set”

 

Those who have followed One-Day Internationals from the beginning may remember a time when wides were called far less often; at some point a directive must have gone out for umpires to be much stricter on one-day wides than in multi-day cricket. To examine this, I made a table of the historical incidence of wides, and found that the calling of wides tripled, more or less, between 1980 and 1982, and remained high thereafter.

 

Historical Incidence of wides in ODIs (wides/100 balls)

wides/100b

nb/100b

1971-75

0.41

1.16

1976-79

0.36

0.92

1980

0.53

1.23

1981

0.88

1.07

1982

1.64

1.10

1983

2.14

1.11

1984

1.61

1.34

1985

1.69

1.33

1986-90

1.58

0.76

1991-95

1.97

0.89

1996-2000

2.53

1.03

2001-05

2.69

1.14

2006-10

2.90

0.63

2011-15

2.80

0.25

2016-18

2.25

0.62

 

My memory was that the calling of wides in the early days was along the same lines as Tests, but looking at the figures, this was not so. Wides in ODIs were always much more common that in Tests.

 

Test wides…

1960s: 0.04 wd/100b

1970s: 0.10 wd/100b

1980s: 0.16 wd/100b

 

The first table also shows that the incidence of wides, after the sudden rise in the early 1980s, remained fairly steady until 1990 and then began to rise again, over the next 10 years. It seems to have plateaued at a new level in this century. At some stage of this process there was the introduction of the (somewhat draconian) ‘wide line’ just outside the leg stump, which penalises bowlers for even small departures. I don’t know when these lines were introduced, although I suspect they had something to do with that post-1995 increase in wides. Readers might help me here if they know about this.

 

I doubt that the actual accuracy of bowlers has changed much over the years. Most of the changes in the incidence of wides probably come down to changing fashions in umpiring.

 

[Having said that, there is an anecdote about George Giffen, who at some point late in his career made a bet that he could hit a single stump at least 18 times out of 24 from 22 yards. He won the bet. I certainly can’t vouch for the truth of this, but I doubt if there are many bowlers today who would take on such a bet.]

 

********

 

 

 

The Changing Game: the Test at the Oval in 1965 was drawn after rain interrupted England on 308/4 and  in sight of their target. “South Africa’s slow over rate hinders progress” said the headline in the Guardian. What was that over rate then? It was 98 balls per hour (or 98 overs per six hours) a rate higher than almost anything seen in the modern game.

 

********

 

With war looming, the 1939 tour of West Indies to England was curtailed in late August and seven matches cancelled. The West Indians took the first available ship across the Atlantic, which travelled under naval escort.

If the tour had continued and finished in Ireland as planned, the players would have caught the 
SS Atheniawhich was the first ship to be torpedoed and sunk during the war.

 

********

 

 

26 April 2018

 

ODIs: The Early Days

 

I have been pursuing original scoresheets of ODIs in the 1970s and 80s, with some surprising success. It turns out to be easier to find scores from the 70s than it is from the 90s. In fact, I now have 17 out of the 18 ODIs that were played before the 1975 World Cup, and 68% from the 1970s as a whole, with possibly more to come. The main reason that these scores can still be found is that most of the matches were played in England or Australia, where such things are better preserved.

 

The first ODI was organised in a hurry during the 1970-71 Ashes tour, when a Melbourne Test was cancelled due to poor weather. Although it was a success (attendance 46,000) authorities did not quite know what to make of it. In 1971-72, two one-dayers were played against a World XI (filling in for a cancelled South Africa tour; there was also a virtual T20 match of 15 8-ball overs each), but there were only two more ODIs in Australia over the next seven seasons. Although a domestic competition was held every year, Australia did not really begin to embrace one-day cricket until Packer’s World Series Cricket pioneered day/night games in 1977-78.

 

While Wisden had practically ignored the original ODI in its tour report, England was more proactive than Australia and began the regular scheduling of ODIs during the Ashes tour of 1972.

 

Looking through the scoresheets of those early matches, the two ODIs played in New Zealand in 1973-74 stood out. Most previous ODIs had been rather dreary, producing less than 190 runs per innings even though most were played over 55 overs. The New Zealand/Australia matches were limited to 35 eight-ball overs, and included cricket that was of a different quality. One imagines also that the matches were not taken too seriously – a ‘picnic’ atmosphere. Press reporting of the matches was limited, and Wisden offered only potted scores.

 

New Zealand’s 194 in the first match in far-off Dunedin looked much like earlier ODIs, but Australia broke the mould by chasing the runs down in only 24.3 overs. Ian Chappell’s 83 off 68 balls was something of a pioneering innings; the first ODI innings that looks impressive by modern standards, and bear in mind that there were no fielding restrictions, and ‘wide’ bowling was allowed.

 

The Australian innings included what was almost certainly the first ODI over to produce more than 20 runs: 22 by Chappell and Stackpole (44441401) off Bevan Congdon. It was an 8-ball over, but there were 21 off the first 6 balls. (The first known 6-ball over with 22 runs was in 1978.)

 

The Australians continued in this fashion in the second match in Christchurch, with Ian Chappell this time scoring 86 off 67 and Australia reaching 265 in their 35 overs (164 minutes). This was scoring rarely, if ever, seen in Test cricket history up to that point. Congdon was clobbered again, conceding 11 runs per over. Not to be outdone, New Zealand gave it a good shot, reaching 234. Ken Wadsworth scored the first run-a-ball century, reaching 100 off 96 balls and out for 104 off 98. The real potential of limited-overs cricket was being explored.

 

Progressive Fastest Centuries in Early ODIs

Runs (BF)

100 off

DL Amiss

103 (134)

132

Eng v Aus, Manchester 24-Aug-1972

DL Amiss

100 (121)

115

Eng v NZ, Swansea 18-Jul-1973

RC Fredericks

105 (122)

115

Eng v WI, The Oval 7-Sep-1973

KJ Wadsworth

104 (98)

96

NZ v Aus, Christchurch 31-Mar-1974

Majid Khan

109 (93)

88

Eng v Pak, Nottingham 31-Aug-1974

CH Lloyd

102 (85)

82

Aus v WI, Lord's 21-Jun-1975

Zaheer Abbas

123 (87)

72

Pak v SL, Lahore 29-Mar-1982

 

A thank you to Colin Clowes at Cricket NSW, who found the New Zealand scores.

 

 

********

 

Statistics of Test fours since 2009

 

Boundary four

45148

Four, all overthrows

27

Boundary four (no ball)

265

4 runs all run, no overthrows

122

4 runs, including one overthrow

4

4 runs, incl. two overthrows

4

4 runs, incl. three overthrows

8

 

 

In India, there have been over 5000 fours since 2009; only two of them were all-run without overthrows. Both were at Nagpur in 2010; there have been none since. (I am rather relying on reliability of the Cricinfo texts here.)

 

Since 2009 there have been 20 all-run fours without overthrows at the Gabba and 19 at the MCG, 17 at Lord's and 9 at Adelaide. The very long square boundaries in Brisbane and Melbourne are more conducive to this than the straight boundaries in Adelaide, where fieldsmen are more likely to be lurking.

 

Brisbane and Melbourne were both originally classic ovals, longer than they were wide. However, the pitches faced east-west. When this was altered to the more normal north-south (many many years ago) the boundary points were not changed, so the straight boundaries became rather short and the square boundaries very long.

********

 

A couple of milestones have been reached in posting the Davis Test data online. I have completed the 1960-65 section, and I have also updated all interwar Tests (1920-39) with new information including locations of catches and names of scorers where known. I will start posting Tests from 1965 onward before long, and begin updating existing scorecards from 1946 to 1960.

 

 

*******

 

 

Fergie’s Monopoly: Legendary Australian scorer Bill Ferguson was an official scorer of every Test played in the world from mid-1935 to 1939 – 33 consecutive Tests. Nineteen of these Tests did not actually involve Australia. After the War, Ferguson missed one Test (NZ v Aus in 1946, which was only accorded Test status in 1948) but then scored the next 17 Tests, giving him 50 out of 51 Tests. Ferguson travelled by ship to England seven times in this period, and twice to South Africa.

 

Fergie toured England with the 1935 South African team, then South Africa with the 1935-36 Australians. He went back to England to score for the 1936 Indian team, then Australia and New Zealand with the England team in 1936-37. He accompanied the team back to England, where he served as scorer for the 1937 New Zealand tourists. His wife accompanied him on some of these tours; perhaps it was the only way of getting to see him.

 

********

 

The New Zealand Herald reported that in the Lahore Test of 1965 between Pakistan and New Zealand, there were at least 17 catches dropped in the match, and only 13 taken.

 

In my surveys of almost 700 21st Century Tests, I have found only one Test with more dropped catches than this. At Mumbai in 2005-06 (India v England), 19 catches were dropped, although 28 were taken.

 

********


On the third day of the Test at Edgbaston in 1965, the temperature in Birmingham at midday was nine degrees (48F). For much of the day, it was colder than this. Hot drinks were brought out for the players during drinks breaks.


*********


 

17 April 2018

 

At the Last Gasp

 

Here is a list of Test matches completed with very little time left (up to 3 overs or 10 minutes remaining). This is actually tricky to research. Readers might let me know of omissions or errors.

 

Result

Scheduled Days play

Eng v Aus, Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 1934

10 min left

R

4

WI v Eng, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 1935

1 ball left

R

4

SAf v Eng, Durban (Kingsmead) 1948/49

0 balls left

W

4

SAf v Eng, Port Elizabeth 1948/49

5 min left

W

4

Eng v SAf, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1955

9 balls left

W

5

Pak v Aus, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1959/60

10 min left

W

5

Aus v WI, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1960/61

1 ball left

T

5

Eng v Aus, The Oval 1968

6 min left

R

5

 

WI v Eng, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 1968

3 mins, 8 balls left

W

5

 

NZ v WI, Auckland 1968/69

3 overs left 6:10

W

4

Pak v Ind, Karachi (National) 1978/79

7 balls left

W

5

Pak v Aus, Lahore (Gaddafi) 1982/83

3 overs left

W

5

WI v Ind, Kingston, Jamaica 1983

4 balls left

W

5*

Ind v Aus, Chennai (Chepauk) 1986/87

1 ball left

T

5

Aus v Eng, Sydney (SCG) 1986/87

1 over left

R

5

NZ v Eng, Christchurch 1991/92

2.5 overs left

I

5

SAf v Eng, Centurion (Centurion Park) 1999/00**

5 balls left

W

5

Eng v SL, Manchester (Old Trafford) 2002

6 balls left

W

5

SL v Aus, Colombo2 (SSC) 2003/04

8 balls left

R

5

Aus v Ind, Sydney (SCG) 2007/08

1.1 over left (6')

R

5

Aus v SAf, Sydney (SCG) 2008/09

10 balls left

R

5

Ind v SAf, Kolkata 2009/10

9 balls left

I

5

Ind v Aus, Mohali 2012/13

1.3 overs left

W

5*

Pak v SL, Sharjah 2013/14

1.3 overs left

W

5

Eng v SL, Leeds (Headingley) 2014

1 ball left

R

5

WI v Pak, Dominica (Windsor) 2017

1 over left

R

5

 

* One day lost.

** 3 days lost. Contrived result; match fixing (Cronje)

 

Two drawn Tests have finished with scores tied:

Bulawayo 1996 (Zim v Eng)

Mumbai 2011 (Ind v WI)

 

There was also a Test in Pakistan in 1955-56 (Lahore) that some sources say Pakistan won on the last possible ball. This is probably in error; other sources say there were 18 minutes to go.

 

The lack of matches before 1934 is partly because Tests in Australia were played to a finish. There was never a “last possible over”. It is a little surprising, however, that no early Tests in England went ‘down to the wire’.

 

 

***UPDATE: Alastair Lynch has alerted me to the following additions:

 

Aus v WI, Adelaide Oval 1981/82

17 balls left

Zim v NZ, Harare 2000/01

16 balls left

Pak v Eng, Karachi (National) 2000/01

15 balls left

 

I had flagged these as tight finishes, but in my notes I had incorrectly added one over to each, and so they missed the cut.

 

 

********

 

Sustained Impact

 

100 runs in a match: most consecutive Tests

 

7

G Gambhir

2009-10

7

GA Faulkner

1910-1912

Includes all five Tests of the 1910-11 series in Australia

6

AD Nourse

1939-1947

Includes all five Tests of the 1947 series in England

6

DG Bradman

1936-1938

Nine Tests in a row, excluding matches in which he did not bat.

6

JH Kallis

2003-04

5

IVA Richards

1976

Twice in 1976. Ten Tests out of eleven.

 

Faulkner and Nourse are the only players to score 100 runs or more in every Test of a five-Test series.

 

 

********

 

Here is Garry Sobers’ entire ODI batting career, as recorded by scorer Irving Rosenwater. A six-ball duck at Leeds in 1973.

 

 

*******

 

An article of mine has appeared in Cricket Monthly online, on the subject of the trends in scoring speeds, and the fastest scorers of all time. It can be found here. I will post it on this website in due course.

 

In the Auckland Test, England was out for 58 in the first session, and in reply Kane Williamson reached 59 at the end of the second session (dinner, not tea, this being a day/night match). He was the first batsman, batting second, to outscore his opponents before the end of the second session of a Test match.

 

At Cape Town in 2013, Alviro Peterson of South Africa was 45 at tea after New Zealand was bowled out for 45. At Lord’s in 1912, South Africa was bowled out before tea for 58 after there was no play before lunch. RT Spooner was not out 67 at stumps.

 

The most runs before tea by a batsman batting second is 67 by Sanath Jayasuriya at Colombo SSC against Bangladesh in 2001. Bangladesh was out for 90.

 

********

 

At Trent Bridge in 1935, South African bowler Bob Crisp came in to bowl the first ball of the series, and the first of Crisp’s Test career, only to fall over. He was not injured, but ended up on his backside, with ball still in hand, next to the stumps.

 

********

 

 

 

28 March 2018

 

Statistician of the Year 2017

 

I have just returned from a flying visit to Britain that included receiving an award: the “Statistician of the Year 2017” from the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians. The award was made at the AGM of the Association, held in Derby. I was treated as an honoured guest. It was also terrific to meet up in person with various contacts who have helped me with my work in the past.

 

Only one Australian has previously won the award, which has been awarded annually for over 30 years. That was Ray Webster.

 

 

********

 

 

 

At Johannesburg in 1994-95, Aamir Nazir was called for as a Pakistan replacement but had to fly in from Pakistan. He arrived at the ground 36 minutes after the match had started. The South African captain had permitted a substitute while Pakistan fielded. Nazir broke down and was unable to finish an over twice on this first day. It is the only case I have on record (up to 2015) of a bowler breaking down and not finishing an over twice in one Test match.

 

CORRECTION: Boyd Rankin was unable to complete an over twice in one innings at the SCG in 2013-14. It was his only Test match (UPDATE, until Ireland’s first Test).

 

********

 

GC ‘Jackie’ Grant was appointed captain of the West Indies team to Australia in 1930-31 without ever having played first-class cricket in the West Indies. His cricket had been in England, mostly in university matches. Nevertheless, he was a considerable success as captain. He did not return to the Caribbean with the team, but sailed to Rhodesia to work as a missionary. Grant did not play f-c cricket in the West Indies until1934-35, when he captained the team again, against the touring England side.

 

********

 

A little statistic finally confirmed...

 

There were 60 Tests played on matting wickets. I can confirm this after correspondence with cricket historian Rollins Howard in the West Indies. Previously I was unsure of some Tests there.

 

The only Tests in West Indies played on matting were at Port of Spain. The last was in 1954 (v England).

 

There were 42 such Tests in South Africa (the last in 1931), 10 in Pakistan (including some in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh), 6 in West Indies and 2 in India. The last Test played on matting was at Karachi in 1959 (Pakistan v Australia).

 

********

 

 

8 March 2018

 

Here's a funny little discovery...

 

For the 4th Test of England's tour of New Zealand in 1929-30, one of the official scorers was a "Miss A Hall". Hall scored the match with Bill Ferguson ("WF"), the Australian who was doing duty as the tour scorer for the English team.

 

As far as I know, this would be the earliest case of a woman being official scorer of a Test, previously thought to be Shirley Crouch at the Brisbane Tied Test in 1960-61.

 

Jamie Bell of NZ Cricket Museum tells me that a Miss A.W. Hall was chair of the New Zealand Women's Cricket Council in 1937-38. Almost certainly the same person, and they may be able to come up with more information.

 

That 4th Test in Auckland had been organised in a rush, after the 3rd Test a few days earlier had been ruined by rain. The 3rd Test had been scored by someone else (TSC Haig, with Ferguson). Perhaps Haig was not available at short notice, and Hall filled in.

 

Sreeram reports that a young woman named Margaret Platts was the scorer in the Essex v Worcestershire match in 1939 under unfortunate circumstances (a car accident involving multiple players). It was discussed in the ACS list in 2014 as the first fc match involving a woman scorer. So this discovery has precedence. It may well be that Miss Hall had already scored first-class cricket in Auckland.

 

Grace Morgan scored in the first four women's Tests and is named in Cricket Archive scorecards.

 

********

 

There are 30 or more bowlers who have taken wickets with both their first ball and their last ball in a Test match. I haven't checked them all. Possibly the first was RO Schwarz in 1905, and the most recent was Mitchell Starc at Galle in 2016.

 

Two bowlers have done it twice, Maurice Tate and (amazingly) JP Duminy. Duminy did it at Dubai in 2103, and at Johannesburg in 2010, where he bowled only 1.5 overs in the match and took just two wickets.

 

********

 


 

In 1962, Subhash Gupte was excluded from the Indian team on disciplinary grounds. His ‘offense’ was being the room-mate of AG Kripal Singh, who had had the temerity to ask a woman (a hotel receptionist) out on a date during a Test match. “Gupte was accused of failing to control his room mate's behaviour.”(!) Gupte was the best bowler in the Indian side, but was not selected for the tour of the West Indies.

 

India lost the series in the West Indies 5-0, having also lost the previous tour abroad 5-0 (in England). The team did not tour abroad again for more than five years.

 

********

 

 

 

 

25 February 2018

 

More Test match Database!

 

I have begun to extend the Test Match Database into the 1960s, and I have reached 1962 so far. Series will be added progressively. At the same time I am progressively upgrading scorecards from 1920 to 1960 to include a little more information including the fielding locations of catches. The official scorers of Tests are being identified wherever possible.

 

 

********

 

Eight Wickets in Fewest Balls (individual bowlers, where known)

Balls

Bowler

29

GA Lohmann

SAf v Eng 1895/96

2 Tests

39

JC Laker

Eng v Aus, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1956

2 Innings

39

MKPAD Perera

Ban v SL, Chittagong 2017/18

2 Innings

40

J Briggs

SAf v Eng, Cape Town 1888/89

1 innings

45

Shoaib Akhtar

Pak v Ban, Peshawar (Niaz) 2003

48

Shoaib Akhtar

Pak v Aus, Colombo1 (PSS) 2002/03

49

SCJ Broad

Eng v Aus  2009

2 Tests

49

FS Trueman

Eng v Ind, Manchester (Old Trafford) 1952

50

ERH Toshack

Aus v Ind, Brisbane ('Gabba') 1947/48

 

The records for five wickets, six wickets and eight wickets in fewest balls (by an individual bowler in a single Test) have all been set against Bangladesh. Bangladesh does occasionally have some good matches, but their capacity for ridiculous collapses is tiresome.

 

 

********

 

Sole Run out credits in ODI

RT Ponting

50

JN Rhodes

44

CZ Harris

25

ST Jayasuriya

25

 

There are another three run outs where Rhodes was fielding but no run out credit is recorded.

 

 

Sole Run out Credits in Tests (where known)

JB Hobbs

9

CH Lloyd

8

DI Gower

8

HH Gibbs

8

RT Ponting

8

SR Waugh

8

TM Dilshan

8

WJ Cronje

8

 

 

 

 

An odd coincidence: long delay before first boundary in an ODI (teams).

 

In an ODI at Perth 6 Dec 1991, India (all out 126 with two fours) hit the first boundary off the LAST ball of the 26th over against West Indies. The score was 53.

 

One year later – to the day – Australia (160) hit the first boundary off the FIFTH ball of the 26th over, on the same ground against the same team, with the score on 52.

 

There is an unconfirmed report of no boundaries in the first 38 overs of an India/SriLanka ODI in 1986 (Austral-Asia Cup).

 

UPDATE: Steve Pittard records the following cases…

 

In the 1975 World Cup qualifier,West Indies v Australia, the first boundary was hit in the 27th over (Clive Lloyd).

 

At Lord’s in 1988, there were no boundaries until the 31st over (Graham Gooch).

 

********

 

Last time ODIs were played in the middle of a Test series (between the same  teams).

 

Looks like the 2002-03 Ashes tour, where ODIs were played between the 3rd and 4th Tests.

 

ODIs were played in India between Tests in 2017, but they did not involve the Indian team (Afghanistan v Ireland).

 

In 1992-93 an ODI in Zimbabwe was actually played in the middle of a Test, in a never-repeated experiment. The Test in Harare was on Dec 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 with the ODI on the 8th.

 

********

 

Origin of Abdominal Protectors. They were advertised as "Private Guards" as early as 1855. There was an earlier cryptic 1851 reference to a "cross-bar india rubber guard".

 

It is said that Jack Gregory batted without one, even when facing Larwood. The story seems to originate with Jack Fingleton writing in 1973. It is known that Gregory often batted without gloves, as did Herbie Collins (both were WWI veterans, if that is relevant).

 

Eric Rowan of South Africa also sometimes batted without one. "Made me concentrate" he said.

 

(Research by Gideon Haigh and David Studham, found in Haigh’s book Silent Revolutions.)

 

It would seem that abdominal protectors were introduced only a few years after the first gloves and pads, which first appear in illustrations in the late 1840s.

 

********

 

At Hamilton in 1996-97, Kumar Dharmasena was bowled by Daniel Vettori, but the Pakistani umpire Mahboob Shah, confused by the wicketkeeper Adam Parore taking off the other bail, ruled the batsman not out. Video review, which showed the incident clearly, was not available to the umpires.

 

On a related issue, I came across an English newspaper report of a Test match in South Africa in 1999. It is a reminder of how obsessed reports and commentary could be about umpiring, in the days when there was abundant video but before DRS.

 

http://www.sportstats.com.au/pe99.pdf

 

I don't know how much of it is justified, but I would say that some of the disputation in the report is really just the reporter's opinion. There is substantial agreement in other reports, however, and it appears that the players went out of their way to try to intimidate the umpires.

 

I also came across a Test report in the Guardian in March 2001 with a headline “Bitterness Mars England’s Progress” followed by sub-headings “Uproar over Jayasuriya dismissal” and “Umpiring falls to pieces under pressure”.

 

*********

 

2 February 2018

 

Bowlers Taking Three Wickets in Four Balls: Some Issues.

 

Cricinfo has a list of bowlers taking three wickets in four balls in Tests here. The list starts as follows:

 

Bowler

FR Spofforth (2)

Australia v England

The Oval

1882

Australia v England

Sydney

1884-85

J Briggs

England v South Africa

Cape Town

1888-89

WP Howell

Australia v South Africa

Cape Town

1902-03

JM Gregory

Australia v England

Nottingham

1921

MJC Allom

England v New Zealand

Christchurch

1929-30

EP Nupen

South Africa v England

Johannesburg

1930-31

WJO' Reilley

Australia v England

Manchester

1934

B Mitchell

South Africa v England

Johannesburg

1935-36

W Voce

England v Australia

Sydney

1936-37

 

There are some problems with this list. I would mention these:

 

·      Spofforth, The Oval 1882: this is not correct; it is actually three wickets in eight balls. I think this came from a misreading of the original score, which has an odd way of presenting the bowling.

·      Gregory, Nottingham 1921: the scorebook gives Gregory 3 in 5 balls WW[new over]00W.

·      Mitchell, Johannesburg 1935-36: again the scorebook has 3 in 5 balls WW01W.

 

I would also add these confirmed instances to the list prior to 1997-98

 

JV Saunders

SAf v Aus, Johannesburg (Old Wanderers) 1902/03

2 innings

CN McCarthy

SAf v Eng, Durban (Kingsmead) 1948/49

N Kapil Dev

Aus v Ind, Adelaide Oval 1985/86

W Watson

Pak v NZ, Faisalabad 1990/91

2 innings

L Klusener

Ind v SAf, Kolkata 1996/97

 

 

The Cricinfo list is also a bit misleading. It basically stops in 1997-98 but adds a single instance in 2015. There are actually more than two dozen other cases in the intervening period.

 

 

********

 

Here is some info that might be worthy of further investigation. Some commentators seem almost obsessed with the idea of ‘rotating the strike’. It occurred to me that there is virtually no evidence on the effectiveness of this, one way or the other. So I took a look at the incidence of singles in partnerships of different sizes (in the last five years or so). I kind of expected to find no effect, but there is something here.

 

Per Cent Singles in Test Partnerships

Partnership

% Singles

30-40

26%

50-60

25%

80-90

27%

100-110

29%

150-200

30%

250+

33%

 

There is some trend, and it is fairly consistent albeit rather weak. Higher partnerships tend to have a higher incidence of singles. Since a higher incidence of singles will tend to rotate the strike, maybe there is some benefit after all.

 

 

********

 

Here is something so arcane that I doubt if any list has been seen before…

 

Fielders taking catches off consecutive balls in different fielding positions.

APF Chapman

Aus v Eng, Brisbane (Exhibition) 1928/29

Catches at point and long-off (Grimmett and Ironmonger)

JS Solomon

Aus v WI, Sydney (SCG) 1960/61

Catches at short leg and slip (Mackay and Martin)

Sadiq Mohammad

WI v Pak, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad 1977

Catches at midwicket and gully (Murray and Inshan Ali)

PD Collingwood

Eng v SL, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 2006

Catches at point and gully (debatable?)

 

I know of about 20 cases of fielders taking catches off consecutive balls, usually in the same position. Dilip Vengsarkar once took three catches in four balls at short leg, in one over by Ravi Shastri at Wellington 1980-81.

 

 

********

 

 

In the first Test between Sri Lanka and Pakistan in 1997, Ijaz Ahmed was given out, run out, on a score of 98 early on the second day. There was initial confusion over which batsman was out (Ijaz or Salim Malik). The decision against Ijaz was given by TV umpire KT Francis, who nevertheless continued to review the video. The disconsolate Ijaz was back in the dressing room by the time Francis decided to change his decision, and informed on-field umpire David Shepherd that Ijaz was to be recalled and Salim Malik was the one out (for 58). Ijaz went on to a score of 113.

 

This echoes an incident from Don Bradman’s career when he was run out and left the field, only to be recalled and Stan McCabe given out instead.

 

********

 

Fewest runs conceded by a bowler in taking his first ten wickets in Tests: 39 runs by Ernie Toshack. JK Lever conceded 70 runs. Both bowlers bowled a few no balls, which weren't counted against bowlers in those days. Charles Turner conceded 75 runs in taking his first ten wickets in the 1880s, with no no balls.

 

********

 

Until this season the slowest century by an Australian, in minutes batted, was by Justin Langer against Pakistan in 1999-2000, at 388 minutes. But now Steve Smith has exceeded this twice, with two centuries, at Brisbane and Melbourne, weighing in at an identical 416 minutes.

 

There are more than 40 centuries by batsmen from other countries that are slower than Smith’s, and about 70 that are slower than Langer’s. Smith’s ‘slowness’ is really an indication of slow over rates; at 259 and 261 balls faced, neither was a particularly slow scoring rate. Contrast the minutes vs ball rate with Bill Woodfull’s century in 1929, where he faced 372 balls but batted only 322 minutes.

 

I think that the fact that Smith set records also reflects Australia’s dominance during most of the era of slow over rates; Australian batsmen since 1975 (the era of slow over rates) have played far fewer really defensive centuries than batsmen from other countries.

 

********

 

Steve Smith missed two catches off Alastair Cook (244*) in the MCG Ashes Test. As it happened, this deprived him of a record. Smith took no catches in the match, having taken at least one catch in each of his 26 previous Tests. The record for catches in consecutive Tests (non-wicketkeepers) is 27 by Bob Simpson in 1961-64.

 

********

 

On 21 December 1998, New Zealand and India played an unofficial One-Day game in Dunedin. It was a day-night game, yet a red ball was used and the players were in whites. Curious.

 

********

 

 

7 January 2018

 

A Dull Session, a Mind Wanders

 

While I was sitting (at the ground) watching Mitch Marsh score ten runs in a complete session, on the last day of the drawn Boxing day Test, I resolved to update my list of fewest runs in a full session by an individual batsman. I restricted myself to ten runs or fewer in a session, in the last 20 years.

 

Fewest runs in a 2-hour session (individuals) since 1998.

Session runs

Day

Session

Session balls bowled

5

Arshad Khan

SL v Pak, Colombo2 (SSC) 2000

3

2

222

6

HM Amla

Ind v SAf, Delhi (FSK) 2015/16

4

2

204

7

Abdul Razzaq

WI v Pak, Georgetown, Guyana 2000

2

1

151

10

Mohammad Aamer

Aus v Pak, Melbourne (MCG) 2009/10

3

1

164

10

MR Marsh

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 2017/18

5

2

174

2-hour sessions with at least 24 overs.

 

Among Australians, Marsh’s 10 runs in a session is ‘unsurpassed’ going back decades. Mitch’s father Geoff, scored just nine in the opening session of the MCG Test against Pakistan in 1989-90. In 1988-89, Allan Border (75) scored nine in a full session – all in singles – against the West Indies at the SCG. For Australians in Ashes Tests, Mitch’s effort is at the extreme. Alec Bannerman scored eight in a session at the MCG in 1891-92, but that may have been a bit short of two hours (there were 45 overs though).

 

[In some recent extreme defensive sessions, such as Peter Nevill and Steve O’Keefe and others at Pallekele in 2016, no one actually batted through a complete session.]

 

There are also the following cases from sessions with at least 24 overs but which were interrupted or shortened…

 

5 7

SR Tendulkar

SAf v Ind, Cape Town 2010/11

5

Misbah-ul-Haq

Pak v SL, Sharjah 2011/12

9

N Wagner

WI v NZ, Antigua (Richards) 2012

 

The Tendulkar and Misbah sessions were curtailed when matches were called off. Wagner’s session had a 20-minute rain interruption.

 

 

********

 

Curious goings on at the Faisalabad Test of 1997-98, Pakistan v South Africa on the first day. The report is from Dawn (Karachi) reproduced in the Cricinfo Archive.

 

The second session belonged to South Africa as the pitch eased and the

ball softened. The veteran Symcox attacked with relish, hitting two

sixes, and outpaced his senior partner.

 

Symcox must have realised the force was with him when, on 56, he played

inside Mushtaq. The ball went between off and middle stumps, nudging

them on the way. They parted, then came back into place without

disturbing the bail.

 

A grinning Symcox, a wistful Mushtaq and the rest gathered round the

offending set and it transpired that the bail was not properly cut,

allowing it to stay in place as the stumps moved. Both sets were later

replaced.

 

If that was perplexing, Kirsten's extra run was in the classic mystery

mould. Symcox was eventually bowled for his Test highest score of 81,

only his second fifty, and Kirsten was left - so we thought - on 91 when

last man Paul Adams joined him.

 

The scoreboard registered his century, brought up with a single, and the

player rightly rejoiced in a quality innings. Adams was out next ball

and then it was discovered that two sets of scorers had the opener on

99.

 

Kirsten said: "I heard there were some doubts when I got back to the

dressing room. It is official, isn't it?"

 

The official scorer put his seal of approval on the innings, saying a

leg bye had been missed somewhere. There were some nods and winks, but

it stands.

 

I would add that I have a score for this innings, a linear score kept for Pakistan TV. In the 58th over with Kirsten on 85, it has recorded a leg bye, but added a note “leg bye but official scorer given run”. So the TV scorer knew this to be a leg bye, but has registered it this as a run, perhaps to conform to the official score. The run, taking Kirsten to 86, is necessary to give Kirsten his 100. It would appear almost certain that Kirsten’s score was really 99 not out. A contact who has met the scorers confirms this. He said that the scorers were quite open about fudging the score to give Kirsten his 100.

 

 

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Players on the field throughout a Test

 

These are really the cases of openers who batted through their respective team’s innings, usually by carrying their bats when their team batted only once. In most cases it is uncertain whether or not the players were substituted in the field at any stage.

 

Alastair Cook’s recent effort at the MCG is the longest Test (in time) featuring on this list, at 1714 minutes. However, MC Atapattu’s Test at Galle in 2000-01 was longer in terms of balls bowled (2520 to Cook’s 2325).

 

Players on the field throughout a Test

Result

Days

Balls

Time, mins

Nazar Mohammad

Pak v Ind, Lucknow (University) 1952/53

I

4

1959

977

DJ McGlew

SAf v NZ, Wellington 1952/53

I

4

2499

1219

JH Edrich

Eng v NZ, Leeds 1965

I

5

1944

1132

G Boycott

Eng v Aus, Leeds (Headingley) 1977

I

4

1712

1119

DL Haynes*

WI v NZ, Dunedin 1979/80

W

5

1978

1371

Taslim Arif

Pak v Aus, Faisalabad 1979/80

D

4

2040

1212

DSBP Kuruppu

SL v NZ, Colombo3 (CCC) 1986/87

D

5

2043

1567

Shoaib Mohammad

Pak v NZ, Karachi (National) 1990/91

I

5

1750

1370

MA Taylor

Aus v SAf, Melbourne (MCG) 1993/94

D

4

1397

943

GW Flower

Zim v Pak, Harare 1994/95

I

4

2161

1409

BA Young

NZ v SL, Dunedin 1996/97

I

4

1934

1325

HH Gibbs

SAf v NZ, Christchurch 1998/99

D

5

1694

1146

MS Atapattu

SL v Zim, Bulawayo (Queen's) 1999/00

D

4

1796

1285

MS Atapattu

SL v Eng, Galle 2000/01

I

5

2520

1584

ML Hayden

Aus v Zim, Perth (WACA) 2003/04

I

5

2202

1486

RS Dravid

Ind v Pak, Lahore (Gaddafi) 2005/06

D

5

1354

928

WU Tharanga

SL v Ban, Bogra 2005-06

W

4

1587

1147

AN Cook

Eng v Ind, Birmingham (Edgbaston) 2011

I

4

1861

1292

KC Brathwaite

Pak v WI, Abu Dhabi 2016/17

W

5

2013

1515

AN Cook

Aus v Eng, Melbourne (MCG) 2017/18

D

5