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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.
A Bonus Page: some remarkable first-class innings, re-scored.
Reaching ODI 100 with a four most times...
V Kohli 12
S Dhawan 10
LRPL Taylor 9
HH Gibbs 8
KC Sangakkara 8
One other century by Gibbs is not recorded.
AB de Villiers 7
EJG Morgan 6
HH Gibbs 4
RH Sharma 4
Combined... de Villiers, Kohli on 14.
In Tests, Wasim Akram bowled at least 20 unsuccessful hat-trick balls, and two successful ones. Murali, who never took a Test hat-trick, bowled at least 17 unsuccessful hat-trick balls.
These figures do not include taking of the last two available wickets with consecutive balls, precluding any hat-trick.
The figures are uncertain because there could be some unidentified instances from the 1990s. These would be few in number.
In the Tests that I have ball-by-ball up to 2019, there are 1195 hat-trick balls and 38 hat-tricks, or one hat-trick in every 31 attempts.
Damien Fleming’s hat-trick in 1994-95 must one of the most unusual in first-class cricket. His third victim was Salim Malik, whose 237 is far and away the highest score by the 3rd wicket of a Test hat-trick; the next highest is 1. I suspect that it would be a record for first-class cricket also.
Only four century-makers have been involved in a Test hat-trick. Apart from Malik, the others were all the first victim, the highest being Javed Miandad with 163.
The highest score by the second victim of a hat-trick is 52 by PM Walker, in Geoff Griffin's hat-trick in 1960.
26 June 2020
Barry Valentine has produced a ball-by-ball record of the 1945 "Victory" Tests, which is available on the ACS website for those who are interested.
I get a rather fulsome mention.
The series has some interesting aspects. It began only a couple of weeks after the German surrender, while the Pacific War was still raging. One of the matches started on the day the Atomic Bomb was dropped in Hiroshima.
It is interesting that Bill Ferguson was around to score the series. I can only presume that he was in Britain for the duration of the War (he had scored the Tests of 1939, on a West Indies tour of England that was cut short by the outbreak of war). Fergie accompanied the 1945 Australian Services team to India for some matches and the team then toured Australia before disbanding. I have read that the players did not much enjoy all this touring, since they were keen on getting home to their families, but they were aware of the importance of this tour in re-starting first-class cricket.
I have completed the task of making notes on all cases of batsmen retiring hurt in Tests, recording the cause of each. There are 342 cases in my list, a handful of which are absent from online sources. The Wisden Book of Test Cricket was useful for descriptions of many cases, but many others required deeper reading.
The data probably justifies a longer article, but I will just summarise here some data on the bowlers responsible for ‘retiring’ batsmen. This is something I have touched on some years ago, but the data now is more certain.
Batsmen retire not out for a variety of reasons, many of which do not directly involve a bowler: pulled muscles, illness, cramp, collisions, or previous injuries are among them. The majority, however, retire after being struck by a bowled ball – 269 out of the 342. The bowlers involved are nearly all pace bowlers (the cases off spinners generally involve batsmen edging balls onto the face/head).
The bowlers inflicting retirement on the most batsmen are listed. I have taken care to identify the bowler responsible for the injury, which is not always the bowler active when the batsman actually retires. There are some cases where the batsman retired some time after being struck.
Bowlers Causing Most Retired Hurts in Tests
While Courtney Walsh leads in this category, Colin Croft stands out with six retirements in just 27 Tests. It is also fair to say that Croft was regarded as the most feared and dangerous bowler of his time.
Other bowlers with high ‘strike rates’ include Silvester Clarke (27 per 100 Tests), Azeem Hafeez (17), Harold Larwood (14), and Neil Adcock (12). However, these bowlers only caused three retirements each during their careers.
The absence of active bowlers from the list is a sign of the decline in batsmen retiring hurt, which in the past decade has been less than half the rate of the peak years 1975-85; this is attributed to improvements in protective equipment. There has, however, been a recent increase in cases due to the increased concern about concussion and its long-term effects. The availability of full substitutes is a corollary.
Which century partnership has one partner contributing highest percentage of the runs in Tests?
Sanath Jayasuriya (253) scored 89 out of a partnership of 101 in 2004; there were 11 extras, and his partner Dilhara Fernando made 1. You would expect that (at 87.1%) this would be the record, but Mike Hussey scored 88.8% of a stand of 107 with Glenn McGrath in 2005-06 at the MCG.
Dennis Lindsay scored 71.0% (157 runs) of a 221 stand with PL van der Merwe in 1966-67. For 300+ stands, Wasim Akram is unchallenged with 70.3% of the 313 with Saqlain Mushtaq at Sheikhupura in 1996 (220 out of 313)
Honourable mention: Dennis Compton 164 in a stand of 192 with Trevor Bailey at Trent Bridge in 1954 (85.4%).
Here is a rare reference to the first 1877 international as a 'test match'. This was in a New Zealand newspaper; I haven't seen the term 'test match' used in relation to this match in Australian sources, although it was used occasionally in reference to other matches or other sports around that time. This reference was found by Peter Huxford. Peter has also found the phrase ‘test match’ in Australian newspapers in the early 1880s; while they sometimes refer to actual Test matches (as per the modern canon) the references are rather scattered and irregular.
In my recent searches, I have seen the use of the term 'test matches' randomly in the NZ papers for even provincial matches.
What is the highest score by a batsman off his first 100 balls in a Test innings?
An interesting question with a strange answer: Brendon McCullum - twice.
For exactly 100 balls, McCullum reached 145 off 100 balls against Sri Lanka at Christchurch in 2014 on the way to 195. For less than 100 balls, it is 145 by McCullum once again, this time off 78 balls at the same ground, against Australia in 2016. He was out next ball.
Ross Taylor (138) was on 137 off 100 balls at Hamilton in 2010 against Australia, and Roy Fredericks reached 134 off 97 also against Australia, Perth 1975-76, on the way to 169.
In ODIs, Shane Watson scored 185* off 96 balls against Bangladesh in 2011. For a batsman facing his 100th ball, AB de Villiers had 172 against Bangladesh in 2017.
Highest Test partnerships without extras:
Two Test partnerships of 222, both for the 4th wicket:
Hazare (89)/Manjrekar (133) Leeds 1952 v England
(140) Hyderabad 2017 v Bangladesh.
In the Pakistan v New Zealand series in 2018-19, Pakistan had five 5WIs to New Zealand's one, and four centuries to New Zealand's two, but New Zealand won the series 2-1.
First use of StumpCam:
Stump Cam was an innovation of Kerry Packer's Channel Nine network. Allan Annual 1989-90 (Allan Miller) records the first use in the 1989-90 SCG Test v Pakistan. (My own memory was that it was older than that, but I think I was confusing it with the Stump Microphone which goes back to the early 80s.)
first overseas cricket televised live in Australia was part of the final Test
of 1972. I watched it, and remember Rod Marsh swinging his arms round and
round as he ran the winning run. In retrospect it is strange that they didn't
televise more of that series, given that the technology existed.
was so keen in those days that many times I sat up late into the night
listening to the radio broadcast.
was the first overseas series shown in full. Colour TV had just started in
The first use of the term "test match" was for some matches of the Stephenson tour of 1861-62. The term was coined by Tom Wills. Those matches were against odds and certainly not regarded as Tests today.
A quick look through Trove for "Test match" gave no hits for 1881-82, but a number of hits for 1882-83 including the first Test. It still was not a common term. There were mentions for 1884-85, but few and far between. The Shaw/Shrewsbury tour book uses the term test match (once) in relation to the 3rd Test, but not the first two Tests. In fact, the touring team did not regards the first two Tests as authentic.
The term became more common from 1886-87 onwards, particularly from 1891-92.
A quick search of The Times and the Guardian produced no hits for 1890 or 1893, but a number of hits for 1896. The surviving scorebook for the 1890 tour does not seem to use the term Test match, but the 1893 scorebook does so.
Australian newspapers were using the term regularly when reporting Tests in England from 1884 onwards, but not in 1882.
See update above.
22 May 2020
Here is a list of players who played Test cricket with a notable disability or chronic condition, for all or most of their careers. Sporting injuries are excluded.
Credit to Michael Jones for initiating the list; others have contributed. Readers are invited to suggest additions.
(I am not sure about Murali, who rather benefited from his condition)
Highest average Test partnerships. Unbroken stands counted as ‘not outs’.
DG Bradman 71.1
H Sutcliffe 56.7
RT Ponting 55.9
JB Hobbs 52.5
ML Hayden 51.8
Younis Khan 51.7
Shoaib Mohammad 49.9
SJ McCabe 49.8
DPMD Jayawardene 49.8
GC Smith 49.7
minimum 30 Tests
Factors: batting average, batting averages of team mates, openers and higher order bats favoured, because they bat less with tailenders. Slower batsmen do a little better than expected (note Shoaib Mohammad). Their partnerships tend to be longer, and when batting with a fast batsman, are worth more runs.
22 April 2020
The nervous 90s and Beyond
Here is a graph of the frequency of dismissals over a range of scores (75 to 130) in Tests. Strange to think that I first made a graph of this more than 20 years ago, to look for scores where the number of batsmen getting out was unusually high or unusually low. Well, I have updated it now.
The relationship between score and number of dismissal is an exponential decay curve, best shown on a log-linear scale. An exponential line has been fitted to the data; this comes out as a straight line on a log-linear graph. It can be seen that this line fits the data quite well across the range of scores used.
Of particular interest is the frequency of scores before and after the magic score of 100. In short, there is a deficit of scores in the range 85-99, and an excess in the range 100-115, and more specifically a deficit from 95-99 and a surplus from 100-105. These observation can be quantified as departures from the fitted curves, in a table
This data shows that the “Nervous Nineties” is a myth, or rather, that whatever nerves occur are often beneficial for the batsman. In general, a batsman has considerable lower chance of dismissal in the 90s than just after reaching 100. In the range 94 to 99, the chances of dismissal are depressed by about 10 per cent. From 100 to 105 the chances are elevated by about 13 per cent. It is curious however that the number of dismissals specifically on 99 is very close to the expected value.
I mentioned a while back that I have a new format for ball-by-ball files in my database, limited to one over per line. I have now completed the uploading of the new format for Tests prior to 1940. The work will continue, but at a measured pace. I still find it necessary to check each bbb record for problems before uploading.
21 March 2020
Highest Innings Starting and Finishing in Same Session
Nearly all of these were post-tea sessions. You will see from the batting times that at least four of these innings benefited from extended session times. In the old days, this could happen due to the flexibility of the tea break, which could be called very early if there was a change of innings. More recently, post-tea sessions are often extended to meet minimum over requirements.
have done a reconstruction of Shahid Afridi’s
famous century in Nairobi in 1996 (102 off 40 balls), and posted it here. The reconstruction uses the
ball-by-ball record in the Cricinfo Archive, supported by other
sources. Cricinfo lists every ball faced by Afridi,
but does not include his partner Saeed Anwar, and it
does not have the first wicket partnership of Anwar and Saleem
Elahi. There is some quite good video on YouTube
that allows most of these gaps to be filled, resulting in a reconstruction
that covers the first 20 overs of the innings. While a few of the overs
remain speculative, the reconstruction reproduces all known stats for the
first 186 runs, including Anwar reaching 50 off 47 balls with 8 fours.
14 March 2020
What is the most common number of runs conceded by bowlers? A bowler taking, say, four wickets in an innings will rarely concede less than 15 runs or more than 150, but somewhere in between the frequency will peak. It is quite interesting to look at the data that emerges from many Tests…
Most Common Runs Conceded by Bowlers
Data for Test innings since 1907. For 3 wicket data, bowlers bowling fewer than 10 overs excluded. More than 10,000 bowling returns were used in the calculation.
The most striking thing is that, by and large, the typical runs conceded hardly changes with the number of wickets taken. Nor does the spread of results, expressed as Standard Deviation. The data for nine wickets is the exception, for reasons unclear; note that the only bowlers taking 10 wickets conceded 53 and 74 runs respectively (average 63.5), rather similar to the data for 3 to 8 wickets.
For wicket counts lower than 3, the medians are lower, but the results tend to be muddied by a large number of ‘small’ analyses from single short spells. This data is not shown.
Graphing the data for each level produces something akin to a set of Bell Curves, although somewhat skewed by the fact that the data is bounded at zero but unbounded at the high end, giving each curve a ‘long tail’.
I said ‘akin to’ a Bell Curve but there is something else at play here. It appears that the data does not smoothly fit a Normal Distribution. The upslope seems more linear than bell-like. Better statisticians than I might be able to work it out.
1 February 2020
I have done some work on tidying up my session-by-session database, and fixing a few anomalies. In doing so, I came across an individual century in a session that I believe was previously unrecognised. At Leeds in 1924, England was 122 for 1 at lunch on the first day against South Africa. Patsy Hendren came in shortly after lunch and was 104 not out at tea, out of a score of 303 for 6.
Even though I have a scorebook copy for this Test, I had missed this one, mainly because the scorebook is in a mess and contains so many anomalies that my analysis has remained incomplete. Nevertheless, the century in a session is clear from newspaper reports that are now available on the British Newspaper Archive online. Hendren finished with 132 off about 160 balls.
I was also able to compile a list of batsmen making 99 runs in a session, which I think should be complete.
99 Runs in a Test Match Session
BB refers to total balls bowled in the session.
In some of these cases, the batsman benefited from considerable extensions to the session, but I have included them anyway. That first day of Test cricket way back in 1877, featuring Charles Bannerman, was effectively just two sessions. Play did not start until 1:00 pm, and ended at about 5:00 pm, possibly because the batsmen were looking into the late afternoon sun (in mid-March) on the east-west pitch (the pitch orientation was changed to north-south a few years later). A lot of balls were bowled in that second session, but it is nice to put Bannerman on the list.
Trumper, in his famous 214* at Adelaide, made 98 between lunch and tea and then 99 between tea and stumps. Both sessions were only about 90 minutes long.
Kapil Dev made his 99 in the final session of a dull draw. He had been one not out at tea, and was allowed to complete his century, but not his session century, before the match was called off prior to the scheduled close.
Some adjustments and addition have been made to session data in the database. Most changes are minor, although there has also been some data added. Affected series are:
1907 Eng SAf
1912 Eng Aus
1924 Eng SAf
1953 WI Ind
1955 WI Aus
1958 Ind WI
1959 Pak Aus
1976 WI Ind
1978 Ind WI
1984 Pak Ind
Another block of Tests, from 1982 to 1986, has now been completed and added to the database. Most of this period is based on surviving scorebooks, but there are still gaps. The last series in this block, Pakistan in Sri Lanka in 1986, is particularly short on extended data, perhaps as much as in any other series in Test history. If anyone has any detailed info on this series, by all means contact me!
10 January 2020
From time to time I hear of teams that choose not to use the DRS (Decision Review) when doing so would have resulted in the reversal of a decision. I haven’t seen any stats on this, so I set out to acquire some, by sorting through Cricinfo texts for the last couple of years.
I looked through the texts for 90 recent Tests, searching for occurrences of the word “review” or similar on balls where no review occurred, and phrases that indicated that the bowling team should have reviewed a “not out” or a batsmen should have reviewed an “OUT”. This is not an exact process; it is probable that instances were missed. We should also recognise that any checking of decisions in the absence of an official review is informal, so we cannot be absolutely certain that the 3rd umpire would have upheld the review (overturned the decision).
All ‘hits’ from the search process were checked, and confirmed or rejected, by careful reading. There were also a number of instances where recognition of the failure to review was only noted several balls later, when the DRS data became available. Nevertheless, I would think that I identified a large majority of cases, enough to compare teams.
Overall, there were 67 definite or probable cases of ‘failure to review’ – where a review would have been successful – in 90 Tests. In 13 of these cases, the failure was that the team had no reviews left; they had failed in too many reviews earlier in the innings. In the other 54, the team had an opportunity to use the DRS but declined to use it. Overall, 55 failures involved lbw decisions – the rest were catches.
The breakdown by team is as follows…
The figures mean that Australia (for example) had 14 ‘failures’. Two of these were due to running out of reviews, so Australia chose not to review on 12 occasions when decisions would have been reversed in its favour.
If you were under the impression that Australia has tended to blow its reviews, there is good support for that. The above figures include the 2019 Ashes, during which Australia failed to review six times when a review would have gone in their favour; they also had one case of running out of reviews. This was exacerbated by Australia having 13 consecutive bowling reviews go against them in the Ashes. Australia’s only successful bowling review in the series came against a tailender, and that was just a few overs before the end of the series.
did a little better in batting reviews in the Ashes, getting three decisions
out of 18 overturned. That is still a very unimpressive success rate.
I have posted a list of review failures here. If anyone can add to it (for Tests in the last 2 years) please let me know.
A contact in India, Gulu Ezekiel, has sent me a copy of an interview with Col Hoy, published in an Indian cricket magazine (Cricket Quarterly Jan-Feb 1978).
It contained an interesting item about the Brisbane Tied Test (umpired by Hoy) that I didn't know: Hoy says that the scoreboard at the ‘Gabba missed a run during the last over, and showed the West Indies winning the match. The operators had missed a bye off the fourth ball of the over. The scorers, who were probably a bit snowed under at that point, had not called the scoreboard to correct the error.
It is not mentioned in Fingleton's book or the newspaper reports that I have on hand. I wonder if anyone has read about this elsewhere.
The reaction of the West Indies players at the end suggest that at least some of them thought they had won the match.
Sreeram has noted that Keith Miller had once hit the first ball of a Test day for six (Adelaide 1946-47, Day 4, off a no ball bowled by Doug Wright) and asked if I knew of any other cases. To my surprise I was unable to come up with anything apart from Chris Gayle hitting the first ball of a Test for six against Bangladesh. So Miller is the only known overnight not out to do this.
Sreeram also tells me that during Ben
Stokes' century at Leeds he scored 70 consecutive runs off the bat (61* to
131* plus a wide) scored between Archer's last four and Leach's single.
6 December 2019
Here's an odd coincidence...
The sharing of the strike can be an important factor in some innings. Most large innings fall in the range 45-55%, but there are some outliers.
I figured out a way to easily calculate % strike received for major individual innings, without rearranging my data. So I calculated this stat for all the centuries and half-centuries that I could, over 3500 Test centuries in all (out of 4100).
Here is the coincidence, for Test centuries:
Lowest % strike: 36.3% AC Gilchrist 101 Port of Spain 2003.
Highest % Strike: 66.3 % AC Gilchrist 113 SCG 2004/05
There have been over 770 century-makers, so seeing the same batsman at both extremes is strange indeed.
One factor involving Gilchrist is that innings with few balls faced tend to have a wider spread in terms of the strike, and Gilchrist faced fewer balls in his centuries than just about anyone. Longer innings tend to regress toward the mean; it is very hard to farm the strike for extended periods.
Highest % Strike: Centuries
The figure for Sinclair is only approximate.
Lowest % Strike: Centuries
The extremes for half-centuries…
Ashraful’s 67 was an extremely fast innings; domination of the strike is much more likely over short periods.
Intikhab’s innings was during a famous 9th-wicket partnership at The Oval in 1967, which is also represented, from the other perspective, in the century by Asif Iqbal. I also remember watching Asif farm the strike at the WACA in 1978-79; he was the most skilled batsman in this respect that I have seen.
Dropped Catches Report, at last
After a long layoff, I have managed to update my database of missed chances (catches and stumpings) that I have been maintaining since 2001. (Based on searches of Cricinfo’s texts. These are wonderful; however, the searches are tiresome work and I wish Cricinfo’s commentators had a way of ‘tagging’ chances. It would make it so much easier.)
There is enough data in the update to make a historical comparison of wicketkeepers in this century. The results are interesting, I think.
The Best Wicketkeepers of the Century: Fewest Missed Chances
Minimum 50 chances as wicketkeeper (32 wicketkeepers qualified).
Catches and stumpings are only counted for those matches where missed chance data is available (not necessarily total career). In the case of Rashid Latif, that makes the numbers rather provisional, because only 18 Tests out of his 37-Test career have data. This includes a couple of Tests from the 1990s where data was logged by Bill Frindall. I took a close look at Rashid’s stats because Rashid himself asked me about them.
For Adam Gilchrist, some early matches are missing.
For most players data ends in May this year, except for Tim Paine whose data includes the recent Ashes. Paine’s figures are remarkable; we will see if he can sustain this (Gilchrist and Boucher were also in single digits at the same stage of their careers, but both faded a little in later years)
It is also interesting that Matthew Wade, who was Australia’s keeper in between Nevill and Paine, had a much higher drop rate of 17%. Wade, of course, is a much better batsman than either of the others and is now back in the team as a specialist batsman. I did calculate once that the extra runs conceded through Wade’s missed chances (compared to Nevill) almost exactly counterbalanced the extra runs that he scored.
At the far end of the scale, about half a dozen wicketkeepers have missed over 25% of their chances. Mushfiqur Rahim missed over 30%.
After a lot of thought, I have decided to change the layout of the ball-by-ball records of matches in the Test Match Database. Previously, I presented data with two overs per line. The saved space and was quite neat in presenting overs at each end in a side-by-side configuration. However, I finally decided that this layout was just too difficult to read. I had thought that readers could figure out the complexities if they really wanted to, but it was all a bit too difficult.
The new layout presents one over per line, rather like linear scoring. There are also line breaks where wicket(s) occur during an over, and at the end of every session, so that the exact score at these events is clearly displayed. An example of the new layout is linked below.
The new layout uses more pages in the pdf format, but I hope it is more user-friendly. Eventually, I will redo all the old ones, about 700 of them (!)
I have just reached Test # 1000 in my database!
I have added some bits of data to certain post-War series in my database. Some if this data came from Ashru. Other data concerns batting milestones, particularly times for half-centuries. Series affected include Eng v NZ 1949, Aus v Win 1951-52 and v SAf 1952-53, and series in India and Pakistan in 1954-55 and 1958-59.
14 November 2019
One of the most fascinating innings from the ‘Golden Age’ of Test cricket is Jimmy Sinclair’s 104 against Australia at Cape town in 1902. It was one of the fastest innings of its day – it would even be the fastest century of all time if some reports are to be believed. In truth, though, the record-breaking claims are very dubious.
I have studied Sinclair’s tour de force in the past, and some years ago posted online my reconstruction, based on contemporary newspaper reports. Recently, Robin Isherwood sent me a copy of another over-by-over analysis of the innings, made many years ago by R.H. Curnow. Curnow also based his analysis on newspapers, perhaps a more extensive set than I had access to. I have posted the resulting over-by-over score here. In short, the two versions are substantially in agreement with regards to Sinclair’s innings and its statistics, although there are differences in detail.
One contentious aspect of this innings is that some newspapers state that Sinclair’s innings lasted an hour or less; this would make it the fastest-ever Test century in terms of time. However, my analysis and Curnow’s agree that there were far too many overs bowled for this time to be possible, and 60 minutes is in clear conflict with times given for other milestones in the innings, stated in the same reports. One report said 80 minutes rather than 60, and this seems to be correct. The error may have arisen if the dismissal of Shalders was used as Sinclair’s starting time (leading to a time of 60 minutes), when in fact Sinclair had come to the wicket at the dismissal of Smith about 20 minutes earlier. Reports saying that Sinclair reached 50 in 35 minutes are similarly almost certainly wrong; the real figure is 55 minutes, in all probability.
I wondered if there had been a 20-minute tea break, but no report mentions any breaks in the innings. In those days, there was usually no tea break if a change of innings occurred after lunch, which was the case here.
A remarkable aspect of the reporting is the detailed account given in the Cape Argus. Amazingly, the report, covering the entire innings, was published on the same day as the innings (Monday Nov 10, 1902) even though Sinclair’s innings did not end until 5:40 pm! The Argus was an afternoon paper with multiple editions, and apparently they held the final edition open until the cricket report could be completed. Reports were sent from the ground to the office by bicycle courier.
I have a photocopy of this report, sent to me by Ross Smith many years ago; unfortunately it is sometimes hard to read, and I haven’t been able to get a better copy. I presume that Curnow had access to a clear version. Anyway, here is my interpretation of some of the time features of the innings, based on reports from five newspapers:
4:15-4:20 pm, over 31. CJE Smith out at 81/2. Sinclair in.
4:25 pm, over 36. South Africa 100 in 95 minutes.
4:30-4:35 pm, over 38. Shalders and Twentyman-Jones out. 115/4. Sinclair 26 off ~22 balls.
4:50 pm, over 44. Llewellyn out 136/5.
5:15 pm. Sinclair 53 off ~50 balls, 55 minutes. Over 49.
Overs 51-52. Sinclair hits 34 runs in 2 overs.
5:30 pm over 55. South Africa 200 in 160 minutes.
5:37 pm. Sinclair 100 in 80 minutes, 70-75 balls. Over 57
5:40 pm. Sinclair 104 in 83 minutes, 75-80 balls. Over 58, stumps called.
Uncertainties about balls faced are unavoidable, because dot balls are mostly not mentioned in reports, even though we have a good over-by-over account. In overs where singles or threes are described but the specific ball numbers are not, dot balls are distributed in what seems a reasonable fashion. It seems fair to assume that Sinclair faced fewer dot balls than his batting partners, given that he was making far more scoring shots.
Fast Centuries, Slow Times?
I was looking at some Tests from earlier this century when I came across some odd stats for a century by Adam Gilchrist at Port of Spain in 2003. Gilchrist reached his century off 104 balls, impressively fast as usual, yet he it took him 208 minutes. He received only 36.5% of the strike during his innings; in particular, he received little strike late in his innings, while batting with Darren Lehmann (160) and Brad Hogg (17*). Gilchrist faced only 31 out of the last 120 balls of the innings, which was declared closed when he reached his century.
I decided to take a look at centuries with the most extreme ratios of minutes to balls faced. Gilchrist is the leader here.
Test Centuries: Highest Ratio of Minutes batted to Balls Faced
At the other end of the scale we have innings from long ago, when over rates were much higher…
Lowest Ratio of Minutes batted to Balls Faced (where known)
[Note that I only have the requisite data on about 70% of early centuries.]
One point that I would add is that while balls faced is rightly recognised as the best way to compare the speed of innings, minutes batted should not be ignored. The latter is an important element of the spectator’s experience. A two-hour century will generally be more memorable than a three-hour century, other circumstances being equal.
Generally, it is very hard to maintain a severe imbalance in strike over a long period, but evidently there are exceptions. I don’t know if Gilchrist’s century is the most extreme in % Strike, but I may report on that later.
A surprise to me, worth recording...
In the 2002-03 Champions Trophy (ODI) in Sri Lanka, lbw decisions were frequently referred to the 3rd umpire. Shoaib Malik was the first batsman given out lbw this way, on 12 Sep 2002.
Back then there were fewer hi-tech aids, and the 3rd umpire was simply making his decisions from conventional replays.
Many catch decisions were also referred to the 3rd umpire; almost all ended up 'not out' because the available vision was inconclusive (in the days before HD TV) and the batsmen got the benefit of the doubt. There were complaints about this and about the delays it caused.
The lbw experiment was shelved after this series. The more sophisticated DRS was trialled in 2008 and introduced in Tests in 2009.
Tim Paine recently scored his first first-class century for 13 years (125 matches). This ranks pretty high in the longest intervals between centuries, but not at the top.
Meyrick Payne of Middlesex, like his near namesake a wicketkeeper by trade, scored a century in 1907 and his next in 1927. For a career uninterrupted by War, Arthur Sims went 17 years between centuries. His second century, in 1913-14, was notable for a world record partnership of 433 for the 8th wicket with Victor Trumper.
Fred Titmus went 293 f-c matches between centuries, from 1965 to 1976 (age 43). He had made his f-c debut in 1949.
Some years ago I did a study of some of Bill Frindall's scores that recorded shots that went off the edge (as Frindall saw it). I logged the edge shots from 27 Tests. FWIW, there were 1443 runs off the edge out of 25,156 total runs off the bat - about 5.7%.
Rohit Sharma made 176 and 127 in the recent Test at Visakhapatnam, repeating exactly the scores of Herbert Sutcliffe at the MCG in 1925. It is only the second time that a century in each innings has been repeated exactly. The other was Inzamam making 109 and 100* at Faisalabad in 2005, matched exactly by Azhar Ali at Abu Dhabi in 2014.
Only two batsmen have made higher scores in both innings than Sharma (and Sutcliffe): Brian Lara with 221 & 130 in 2001 and Greg Chappell with 247* & 133 in 1974.
There was also Andy Flower 142 & 199, if you reverse the innings.
Most dismissals by a fielder/bowler pair in first-class cricket: I get 356 for Ames/Freeman. Next is FH Huish/C Blythe on 320 and Hunter/ Rhodes on 307.
The above figures include a large proportion of stumpings. For catches alone I get 252 for George Dawkes off Les Jackson for Derbyshire. I also get 250 catches for Edward Brooks off Alf Gover (Surrey).
before 1984 only)
17 October 2019
Long-time correspondent Ashru has reminded me of an unresolved anomaly in the score of the Trent Bridge Test of 1950, and pointed out that Brodribb discussed this incident briefly in Next Man In (1952).
Day 3 of this Test ended when rain interrupted, after Reg Simpson had hit the first ball of an over for three. When play restarted after a rest day, there was confusion over who should bowl and who should face. First Ramadhin, then Valentine, were told to bowl, before the scorers (Ferguson and Wheat) ruled that Ramadhin had to finish the over. Unfortunately he then bowled to Simpson again, so the wrong batsman was facing anyway.
The surviving score does not resolve matters satisfactorily. It seems clear from the score that only Ramadhin and Valentine bowled between tea and stumps. The overs are not numbered in the score, but Valentine must have bowled the odd-numbered overs, starting at Over 37, and Ramadhin the even; this preserves the correct sequence of scoring strokes for the batsmen, which otherwise goes haywire under any other bowling order. There were no extras in the session.
The main problem in the score is that, after Ramadhin bowled Over 48 to Washbrook, the three by Simpson follows immediately, off the first ball of Over 49, apparently with Ramadhin bowling again. There are no other available overs in the recorded score to insert after Over 48. The scores published in newspapers next morning reproduce exactly the bowling figures in this scenario, recording 6.1 overs for Ramadhin and 14 for Valentine.
Tea-Stumps Day 3, Trent Bridge 1950
The best explanation that I can suggest is that the three was actually hit off Valentine, and erroneously (or confusingly) recorded by the scorers when play suddenly ended. Press reports say that when Ramadhin lined up to bowl next day, umpire Frank Chester intervened and wanted Valentine to bowl instead, but this was overruled by the scorers. Ramadhin continued ‘his’ over, but to the wrong batsman. Perhaps Chester was right after all.
So in effect, Ramadhin has been recorded as bowling two consecutive overs, something known on only two other occasions in Test history.
If readers can suggest other scenarios, let me know.
At Christchurch in 1977-78, in England’s second innings, there was an unusual set of contentious run out incidents, all in the space of five overs. England needed quick runs in advance of a declaration, but captain Geoff Boycott decided to bat in his customary manner (26 off 80 balls).
In Ewen Chatfield’s third over, Derek Randall cut a ball through gully and ran a quick two, returning to the ‘danger’ end. He made it, but keeper Warren Lees saw that Boycott was sauntering back to the bowler’s end, while looking back to see that Randall had made his ground. Lees threw down the bowler’s wicket. Boycott was almost certainly out of his ground, but the umpire Goodall said he was ‘unsighted’ (not paying attention is more likely) and ruled not out.
This incident probably provoked what happened a few balls later, when Chatfield did the ‘Mankad’ on Randall. Personally, I don’t have problem with bowlers doing this, but in this case, Chatfield did not even enter his delivery stride, breaking the stumps underarm.
New batsman Ian Botham soon became fed up with Boycott’s slowcoach methods. Off the first ball of Chatfield’s fifth over, Botham patted a shot to cover point and called Boycott through for an impossible run. Boycott called “NO!”, but Botham carried on and managed to pass Boycott before Stephen Book returned the ball to Lees and the stumps were down. Boycott was judged run out. If there was any doubt that it was a deliberate act by Botham, it was put to rest when Botham cheerfully admitted it.
There is YouTube video of the incident, featuring a Botham with extensive mullet, here.
In the 2003 World Cup, both Kenya and Pakistan fielded 10 players who had played in the previous World Cup.
The only team that has changed completely in consecutive World Cups is Australia in 1975 and 1979. The 1979 team selection excluded the Packer players.
longest interval between two identical teams appearing in ODIs is 682 days,
for a Sri Lanka team on 14-Apr-2002 and 25-Feb-2004. The players were:
A note following Steve Smith’s sequence of high scores. Ray Illingworth in 1970-71 exceeded his batting average (as it stood at the time) in 10 consecutive innings (during the Ashes series). Navjot Sidhu did the same in 1992-93.
I can find 10 cases of a player making a double century having missed the previous Test of the same series (excluding Test debuts), prior to Steve Smith’s 211 at Old Trafford. Not sure how many were due to injuries - not many - but the most notable must be Len Hutton missing the Leeds Test of 1938 through injury then scoring 364 at the Oval. Hutton did it again in 1950, injured for the 3rd Test but made 202* in the 4th.
Bob Simpson missed the 3rd Test of 1965-66 through illness but scored 225 in the 4th Test. Bob Cowper was dropped for that 4th Test to make way for Simpson but returned for the 5th Test and made 307.
Ijaz Ahmed made 211 in the Asian Test final in 1998-99 having missed the previous match, but I think he had been dropped previously, not injured. That was the most recent case that I found.
25 September 2019
Yes it has been too long since any real posts. I have no explanation available, apart from some waning in enthusiasm after about 15 years on this blog. I have kept busy, though, with progressively adding to the online database, which has now reached 1982. I have also upgraded all available ball-by-ball records to include, where available, times of day for each start and close of play (even this small addition involved a lot of work, considering that there are now more than 700 Tests online. The time upgrades for the most part are from 1905 onwards). The ends of sessions are now colour-coded for easier reading of the scores, and exact scores are now displayed for every lunch, tea and stumps break. There are upgrades and additions to how other breaks of play are recorded. I hope the changes allow for a clearer picture of the flow of play for each ball-by-ball score.
Here is some data examining the historical incidence of lbws in Tests. I was looking for a purported ‘DRS effect’. There was a common expectation that introducing the Decision Review System would lead to a spike in lbws. DRS was introduced in 2009, and by 2012 was being used in more than half of Tests. By 2017, it was being used in almost every Test.
If there is any DRS effect, it is not evident in the broad data. Over the long term, lbws have increased, but the trend seems to have plateaued in the 1990s or early 2000s.
Historical Incidence of lbws
I took a closer look at lbw decision after the introduction of DRS, comparing Tests where it was used against the rest. Again, no effect evident, without forgetting that DRS and non-DRS represented a somewhat different mix of countries. If anything, DRS Tests had fewer lbws, although the effect is weak.
Against West Indies in August/September, Jasprit Bumrah had a sequence of 10 wickets for 16 runs, across two Tests. Similar sequences are very rare. George Lohmann had a run of 10 for 4 in South Africa in 1895/96, but that was against ultra-weak opposition. The next best sequence of 10 wickets that I can find is Tony Lock against New Zealand in 1958. Across 2 Tests at Lord's and Leeds, Lock's bowling included a sequence of 10 wickets for 15 runs. He finished the first innings at Lord's with 4 for 1, took 4 for 12 in the 2nd innings, and started with 2 for 2 at Leeds.
If you extend the sequence back to the final Test of 1957 against West Indies, I found that Lock had sequences of 20 wickets for 68 and 30 for 97.
Some new notes on Test scorers:
Sreeram has discovered a report that Sahal S. Laher, a scorer for Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test in October 1992 (v India) was 16 years and 10 months old. That would make him the third-youngest scorer known, after Mark Kerly and Scott Sinclair in New Zealand in the 70s.
early instances of two women scorers…
Sandra Hall and Dumi Desai, Zim v NZ, Bulawayo (Athletic) 1992-93
The first Test in Australia with 2 women scorers was SCG 2001-02 (v S Africa): Merilyn Fowler and Ruth Kelleher.
Merilyn Fowler is called Merilyn Slarke in CA. One of those is presumably a married name.
In the Perth Test of 1988-89, West Indies won the match with only 11 minutes left on the clock (5:48 pm). However, the over rate had been so slow that there were still 25 overs left to be bowled.
In an ODI at Dhaka on 9 Oct 1999, Ridley Jacobs stumped two Bangladeshi batsmen off wides: Shaharia Hossain Campbell, and Aminul, both off the bowling of Campbell. It is the only case of two such dismissals in an ODI innings. While a stumping off a wide is not rare in shorter forms of the game, as far as is known, there has never been a stumping off a wide in a Test match.
In the 1891-92 Ashes Test series, WG Grace, at age 43, took more catches (9) than the teams’ wicketkeepers combined. He took most of the catches at point: the number of catches that went to point in 19th Century Tests is one of little mysteries of the early game.
31 May 2019
A while back I think I mentioned that injuries to bowlers during play were becoming more common than injuries to batsmen (in Tests). I have taken a look at bowlers’ injuries now, in terms of bowlers who were unable to complete an over.
The rules concerning this changed in the early 1980s. Prior to 1981, if a bowler was injured during an over, then the over was left uncompleted and the next over began from the other end. The first bowler to have an over completed by another was Graham Dilly at Kingston in 1981; his over was completed by Robin Jackman. Dilley was able to resume bowling not long afterwards.
I have made a list of 178 bowlers failing to complete an over since then (up to late 2017 in my ball-by-ball data). This is not the complete number; for one thing I am (for simplicity) only considering Tests for which I have complete bbb data. There is also the issue of bowlers going off injured after completing an over – I can’t really detect those reliably, and they are not considered.
In these terms, the bowler who has ‘broken down’ most times is Dale Steyn…
Most uncompleted overs 1981-2017 (Tests)
Murali was once injured while on a hat-trick; he returned later in the innings but could not complete the hat-trick. In an odd incident at Mumbai in 2002-03, the batsman (Dravid) and the bowler (Dillion) retired off the same ball.
Historical incidence of uncompleted overs (retirements /100,000 balls)
Data from Tests with bbb data only
As you can see from the basis of 100,000 balls, retirements are not a frequent event. There is, however, an upward trend in the data, although shorter-term fluctuations are perhaps the more notable feature. Bowling retirements have indeed become more common than batting retirements, even allowing for the fact that there will be additional cases of bowlers retiring after finishing an over, and this is not captured in the data. 133 bowlers have retired in mid-over since 1998, as against 97 batsmen retiring hurt (or ill) in the same Tests.
Close to one-third of the retiring bowlers were able to resume later in the innings; the return rate for batsmen is closer to 60% since 1998. Two bowlers have retired twice in the same innings: Aamir Nazir at Joburg in 1994-95, and Dale Steyn at Durban in 2015-16.
I have been making a few improvements to early pages in the Online Database. Some text descriptions of Tests are being added: these are from material I wrote for a book years ago, covering Tests in Australia only. I have also made some appearance improvements in pages showing the ball-by-ball data and session-by- session data. In the ball-by-ball data, ends of session are more clearly marked and are colour-coded.
5 May 2019
The fastest Test batsmen, adjusted for historical scoring changes
These scoring rates attempt a better comparison of leading batsmen of different eras, since scoring standards have changed over the years, particularly with the shrinking of grounds and introduction of “superbats” since the early 21st century. Scoring rates of 21st Century batsmen have been ‘discounted’, based on the recent general rise in scoring speeds. Virender Sehwag’s rate has fallen from 82.2 to 72.9 runs per 100 balls, although he retains #1 position. Scoring rates rose substantially after about 2001.
Data is to March 2019. Qualification is restricted to fully recognised batsmen only, with an average batting position of 6.1 or less. This generally excludes wicketkeeper/batsmen or lower-middle-order all-rounders, who have become more prominent in recent fast-scoring lists.
I have updated the Hot 100 scoring lists, and the above table is included.
The online database now encompasses 100 years of Test cricket 1877 to 1977!
In the second Test of 1936-37 at the SCG, Joe Hardstaff, on 11, offered a catch off Bill O’Reilly, but it was dropped by 12th man Ray Robinson at square leg. That’s not so unusual, but Hardstaff had a double dose of luck; he trod on his stumps during the shot, but umpire Borwick, watching the catch, did not see it. Stan McCabe appealed, but the umpire ruled in the batsman’s favour.
There is a picture of the incident in Jack Fingleton’s Cricket Crisis.
(Thanks to Ashru)
In 1974-75, Srinivas Venkataraghavan (Venkat) captained India against West Indies in the second Test in Delhi, but was dropped to 12th man for the next Test and did not play again in the five-Test series. His captaincy had been a fill-in job in the absence of the Injured Pataudi, and once Pataudi returned, the spin team of Prasanna, Bedi and Chandra kept Venkat on the sidelines.
Hassett also experienced the captaincy in one Test
and 12th man the next, in 1951-52. Hassett
was injured, however, and his appointment as 12th man seems to
have happened as part of some strange selections, with Sid Barnes kicked out
of the team “for reasons other than cricket”, and Phil Ridings selected and
then dropped again before the match began. Ridings never did play Test
15 April 2019
I have re-scored the two (complete) Test scores from 1893 (second and third Tests) that I obtained some weeks ago. Some notes of interest...
At Old Trafford, George Giffen opened the bowling for Australia and bowled his 67 overs without change (!) These were 5-ball overs, but even so, the 335 balls ranks third on the longest spells of all time (where known). It is the longest spell by an opening bowler.
The first hit for 'six' in a Test in England: W Gunn scored six by running four with two overthrows, off CTB Turner. All-run sixes, even with overthrows, are still very rare.
JJ Lyons hitting fours off five consecutive deliveries at The Oval, in two separate overs, is confirmed. (This is still very rare). The last two would be counted as six nowadays. He was out next ball.
Harry Trott played a very unusual innings: out for 12 off 4 balls (444W). AB De Villiers in 2004 is the only other who has played a similar innings.
W Bruce hit 18 off a Briggs over at Old Trafford (44244). This is the most expensive over known in the 19th century. The shorter overs and lack of sixes back then made it harder to do this.
Alec Bannerman scored some runs in this series (his last). There is now enough balls faced data to clearly calculate is his scoring speed: 22.4 runs per 100 balls, the slowest (by some margin) for anyone who made over 1000 Test runs.
The ball-by ball records of this series have been added to the online database. The first Test score in the scorebook lacks bowling details, so cannot be re-scored into ball-by-ball form.
Brothers in Australian first-class cricket, some quick notes.
a couple of matches in 1953-54, two pairs of brothers played for Victoria
(Harvey and Maddocks) against the Archer brothers
playing for Queensland.
In 1909-10, The Waddy brothers of NSW played against three Hill brothers for South Australia.
In a match in 1894-95, Victoria had the Trott brothers AND the McLeod brothers, while South Australia had the Giffen brothers AND the Jarvis brothers.
I have started adding a few more series to the database, from 1976-77.
In an ODI at Bridgetown in 1998, Carl Hooper and Stuart Williams, in the space of 16 overs (from over #16 to 31), added 57 runs, comprising 53 singles and two 2s. This was an extreme case of the mediocre and unadventurous batting that was then commonplace in the middle overs, and had authorities scratching their heads. Eventually, Power Plays and the like were introduced to try to spice up the middle overs of ODIs. Ultimately it would lead to Twenty20 cricket.
Williams broke the monotony by hitting Robert Croft for 6 in the 32nd over. West Indies won the game.
Mysteries of Pakistani players’ names continued. In a List A match on 26 Jan 2011, two players named Hasan Mahmood turned out for Faisalabad Wolves. Both were out for 53.
Another curious coincidence. Greg Chappell played just one innings his first calendar year in Test cricket (1970): he scored 108. At the end of his career, Chappell played just one innings in his last calendar year (1984,) scoring 182.
28 March 2019
The 400-wicket bowlers
Runs, balls and Tests on taking 400 wickets
These are exact numbers for the bowlers on taking their 400th wicket. The exception is Richard Hadlee – I don’t have the scorebook for the Test in question, so his figures are estimates. However, the estimates should be reasonably accurate, based on other information.
A short article that I wrote last year on the pressure (of playing schedules) faced by Steve Smith and players of earlier generations.
A small breakthrough in the search for old Test scores… I have obtained copies of the original scores of the Tests of 1893; the original tour scorebook turns out to be in the National Sports Museum here in Melbourne.
Some years ago I visited the museum and copied what scores they had. The 1893 book was purchased after that, and I was unaware of its existence until now.
Overall, the 1890s have been the most difficult decade of Test cricket to study statistically, so this is a boon. Unfortunately the first Test in 1893 does not have a full score (bowling analysis is missing) but the other two are complete.
I believe that the museum paid over five thousand pounds for the scorebook at an auction. I note this for the benefit for all those teams and grounds that have thrown these things away considering them worthless (Kennington Oval among many others, including almost every venue in India).
In an ODI at Edgbaston in 1991, England, set 174 to win in 55 overs, reached the target in 49.4 overs to win by one wicket, with opener Mike Atherton still at the crease on 69*. The West Indies, though, had been called for no less than 39 no balls and wides, and had thus bowled the equivalent of 55+ overs anyway. Without all the extra runs, England would have been nowhere near victory.
In 2015, New Zealand went 147 overs (513 runs) without losing a wicket in 2 consecutive partnerships, but in different series (v Sri Lanka and England). The time, 630 minutes, was greater than the Turner/Jarvis partnership of 540 minutes, but shorter than the Jayasuriya/Mahanama partnership of 1997 (753 minutes).
At the Oval in 1952, Len Hutton was the beneficiary of eight overthrows in the space of two overs bowled by GS Ramchand on the first morning. There was a ‘six’ (two runs + four overthrows) in one over and a five in the next (1+4).
Without them, England would have scored only 48 runs off 42 overs before lunch. David Sheppard was only 20 at lunch, and after lunch hit his first boundary after facing 180 balls.
2 March 2019
I am posting an article that I submitted to The Cricket Statistician last year. They haven’t fit to publish it yet (these things take time) but these days I no longer have the necessary patience to wait. It is on the subject of Victor Trumper’s famous 335 at Redfern Oval in 1903.
I hope that readers find it interesting. I think it is an interesting subject. For those who would like more info there is a recent booklet on the innings by Caitlin and Cardwell. Roger Page Cricket Books should have it.
In the current Dunedin Test (NZ v Ban), there were 327 runs scored before the first extra (sundry). The most runs before first extra that I know of is 400 at Joburg 1957-58 (4th Test) by Australia. That extra (a leg bye) came after tea on the second day with the equivalent of 198 six-ball overs having been bowled. However, there had been two no balls that were scored from (did not count as extras in those days).
The most consecutive runs without an extra (where known) is 471 runs at Mumbai 2012-13: India's last 173 runs and England's first 298 in the first innings. 157 overs. The second day was free of extras. This sort of thing is a bit more likely recently than before, given the 'decline' in no balls.
Taking wickets in the first over of a Test. Irfan Pathan (Karachi 2006) is the only one with three. I know of five cases of two
J Srinath Ind v Aus (2), Kolkata 1997/98
J Srinath Ind v NZ (2), Hamilton 1998/99
CL Cairns NZ v Eng (1), Christchurch 2001/02
SCJ Broad Eng v Aus (4), Nottingham (Trent Bridge) 2015
ST Gabriel WI v Pak (3), Sharjah 2016/17
There were two wickets in the first over of the Adelaide Test of 2010-11 (Anderson bowling) but one was a run out.
Curious that there do not seem to be any cases before 1997.
Two bowlers only in the first 20 overs of an ODI innings. There are gaps in the early data, so there could be more.
GD McGrath/AC Dale Aus v SL, Adelaide Oval 24-Jan-1999
J Srinath/BKV Prasad Ind v Aus, Sydney 14-Jan-2000
Waqar Younis/Fazl-e-Akbar Pak v Eng, Leeds 17-Jun-2001
AR Caddick/JM Anderson Eng v Aus, Adelaide Oval 19-Jan-2003
JN Gillespie/MS Kasprowicz Aus v Zim, Harare 29-May-2004
KAD Hurdle/S Mukuddem Ber v Ned, Benoni 2-Dec-2006
Seems to have gone out of fashion.
I am busy with non-cricket related work at the moment, but here are a few items presented briefly.
Most minutes batted in a series of 4 Tests (or fewer) :
1869 min CA Pujara (521 runs) in Aus 2018-19
1861 Min R Dravid (602 runs) in Eng 2002
1814 RB Richardson (619 runs) WI v Ind 1988-89
No wonder I was getting a little tired of watching Mr Pujara.
Here is an addendum to my list of five wickets in fewest balls in Tests. These are the instances since 2016.
*Boult took six wickets in 15 balls.
It occurred to me that it might be interesting to compile official batting rankings of Test batsmen in terms of Median rather than Average ranking. (Average can be unduly affected by low ranking early in a career). The following list is based on a download of month-by-month ICC batting rankings since 1955 (for completeness I included Sobers’ rankings for 1954 as well). Players with substantial careers before 1955 are not included. I have added a column to show how many competitive countries were active at the time of a career. Sobers gets a 6.5 because although South Africa was active at the time, it was playing only a limited number of Tests against just a few countries. Richards gets a 6.5 because Sri Lanka were only playing for part of Richards’ career; in fact West Indies did not play Sri Lanka until 1993, after Richards retired.
Sobers median of 1.5 means that he was ranked #1 almost the same number of times as all other rankings put together. Tendulkar’s figure of 7 means that he was inside the top 7 about as many times as he was outside the top 7.
Jason Gillespie’s double-century against Bangladesh in 2006 remains one of the strangest ever played. It keeps cropping up unexpectedly when records are calculated. Here is a list of notable records, related to this 201*…
- Highest score by a nightwatchman
- Career average batting position of 8.8, lowest position by a double-century scorer.
- Only player to be dropped from his team after winning a man of the match award and never play another Test. (current active careers excluded)
- Only batsman to bat on four days of a Test in a single innings, for a winning side.
- Averaged 231.0 in Tests in calendar year 2006, highest for a calendar year since Bradman in 1932.
- Series batting average of 231 and bowling average of 11.3 unsurpassed combination (minimum 8 wickets).
- Only batsman to score a double-century the only time he batted at #3.
- Only Australian with a top score more than 10 times his batting average. Wasim Akram the only one from other countries.
- Tallest batsman to score a Test double-century (since broken).
- Partnership of 320 with Mike Hussey was the only time they batted in partnership. Highest since Hutton/Leyland in 1938.
- Gillespie is the only player in history (at that time) whose only first-class century is a Test double-century.
- Gillespie made his first Test century in his 92nd innings, the longest wait for any player (since broken)
I have tried to focus on records that could theoretically be broken in any Test. There would be many other records of more specific type (team/country/ground).
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.
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.
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.