Review of the Nidahas Trophy (2018)

This tournament is an one-off. There was another Nidahas Trophy in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. That was also a triangular series but with 50-over matches. T20Is were still in the future.

This tournament was contested by Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand. Though the league matches were badly affected by rain, there was still a narrow 6-run win for India as Sri Lanka came close to chasing down a 300+ total in the final. Such things rarely happened in those days. See the scorecard:

At least the host got to the final then, unlike on this occasion. This time it was Dinesh Karthik who won the match with one of the most famous last-ball sixes in limited-overs cricket history. But Javed Miandad may have something to say about that.

Here is a statistical summary of the 2018 edition. The sample size is too small to have meaningful figures for averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (90 and above):

Most runs

Kusal Perera made 3 fifties, while three others made two apiece.

Highest innings (40 and above):

Highest innings

Dhawan and RG Sharma have the highest scores.

During the SL v BD match on 16 Mar, there was a wisecrack that Mr Perera had scored 119 runs and took 5 catches.

Most wickets (4 and above):

Most wickets

India’s junior spinners lead here, with a number of highly experienced bowlers following.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

Best innings bowling

The 4 top positions are by Indian bowlers.

Most dismissals (3 or more):

Most dismissals

Thissara Perera and Sabbir have the most (6) by non-keepers while Karthik (5) the most by keepers.

Most innings dismissals (2 or more):

Innings dismissals

Sabbir and Kusal Perera lead the non-keepers and keepers respectively.

All round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):


Only one instance.



Reviving the Darjeeling Mail route?

Here are extracts showing the timetable of the Calcutta-Siliguri route in 1953:

Darj Mail 001

As you can see, the border line crossed between Chilhati and Haldibari stations.

Recent pictures of these stations:

Further south, the Radcliffe line crossed between Banpur and Darsana. Later Gede station was built closer to the border.

As we well know, the Maitri Express and some goods trains cross the Gede-Darsana border. Probably the Haldibari-Chilhati border will  be used for goods trains only. In case you are wondering, there have been many attempts by Indian governments over the years to get Bangladesh to allow transit for Indian road vehicles and trains to cross Bangladesh to reach North Bengal and the Northeast. They do not seem to like the idea. In fact, tourist visas issued to Indians invariably mention that you must enter and leave from the same point if traveling by land e.g. if you enter at Benapole you have to leave at Benapole.

Anyway, there are some interesting stories connected with the Haldibari-Siliguri section, which I will take up next.


Centuries in both innings-2


Hope you read the first part:

A few other points of interest from the main table;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=start;qualmin1=2;qualval1=hundreds;size=100;spanmax1=05+Mar+2018;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting;view=match

CAG Russell (1923) made centuries in each innings in his last Test.

These players made their only two centuries in the same Test:

J Moroney (Aus)-1950

Wajahatullah Wasti (Pak)-1999

Yasir Hameed (Pak)-2003 (on debut)

PG Fulton (NZ)-2013

SD Hope (WI)-2016

Hope is the only current player and may add to his tally of centuries.

Apart from those listed above, these players made their first two centuries in the same Test:

W Bardsley (Aus)-1909 Total 6 centuries

VS Hazare (Ind)-1948 Total 7

LG Rowe (WI)-1972 on debut-Total 7

GP Howarth (NZ)-1978 Total 6

LRD Mendis (SL)-1982 Total 4

PJ Hughes (Aus)-2009 Total 3

Mendis made 105 and 105, where 105 is the highest score made in both innings.

While Sachin Tendulkar has scored the most centuries (51), he never made centuries in both innings. His immediate followers Kallis (45) and Ponting (41) have done so.

25 or more Test centuries without ever making a century in both innings:

SR Tendulkar             51

M Jayawardene         34

AN Cook                      32

S Chanderpaul           30

MJ Clarke                     28

GC Smith                      27



Centuries in both innings-1

 A total of 4066 centuries have been scored in Tests up to March 5, 2018 (not counting one scored in the World XI v Aus Test in 2005).

There have been 83 instances of centuries in both innings.

Details can be seen on this link:;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=start;qualmin1=2;qualval1=hundreds;size=100;spanmax1=05+Mar+2018;spanval1=span;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting;view=match

36 of these resulted in victories, 10 in losses and 37 in draws.

3 players have achieved this on 3 occasions: SM Gavaskar, RT Ponting and DA Warner.

2 players have achieved this on 2 occasions: AR Border, GS Chappell, PA de Silva, R Dravid, ML Hayden, GA Headley, JH Kallis, KC Sangakkara, H Sutcliffe and CL Walcott. Walcott did this in the same season.

And 54 did this on one occasion.

EH Weekes scored his 2 centuries in a sequence of 5 centuries in successive innings.

6 did so as captain: Border, IM Chappell, Gooch, Inzamam, Melville and RB Simpson. Of these, Melville’s 2 hundreds came in a sequence of 4 centuries in successive innings (with World War 2 intervening).

Two players have scored a triple hundred and hundred in the same Test: Gooch (1990) and Sangakkara (2014).

The following players have scored a double hundred and hundred in the same Test (in chronological order):

KD Walters (1969)

SM Gavaskar (1971) in debut series

LG Rowe (1972) on debut

GS Chappell (1974); his brother IM Chappell scored a century in each innings of the same Test.

BC Lara (2001); The only such instance on the losing side. His total of 221 + 130 = 351 is the highest match total in a losing side.

To be continued.




Test captaincy and non-captaincy records

It is easy enough to get the full figures of Test captains from Statsguru:

Those who captained for 35 or more Tests:


And it is easy enough to find those who were non-captains in the most Tests:

Those who played 100 or more Tests as non-captains:

Non captains

While Tendulkar, Kallis and Chanderpaul did captain their team in some Tests, there are others (starting with Warne) who never captained at all. We now take a closer look at this category:

Those who played 80 or more Tests without ever captaining their teams:

Zero captains

SK Warne leads here with 144, with JM Anderson and VVS Laxman as runners-up. The highest for other Test teams are:

Sri Lanka-132 (M Muralitharan)

South Africa-101 (M Ntini)

West Indies-98 (CEL Ambrose)

New Zealand-86 (Sir RJ Hadlee)

Pakistan-76 (Mudassar Nazar)

Zimbabwe-67 (GW Flower)

Bangladesh-40 (Javed Omar)

In a few cases (e.g. Warne) they led their country in a few ODIs. Sometimes even that consolation was not there.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are a small number who captained their team in all their Tests. There are various reasons for this-mainly because only amateurs were considered suitable to lead England until Hutton in the 1950s. In some cases (notably SA) most players were inexperienced in the early years and there was a rapid turnover of players as well as captains. And there were strange cases like the Maharajdhirajkumar of Vizianagram which Indian cricket fans would know about.

So here is the full list of 24 players who captained their side in all their Tests:

Pure captains

The leader here is the long-forgotten South African Percy Sherwell of the early 20th century:

Interestingly, he was a wicket keeper-one of the few who played more than a handful of Tests as captain until Dhoni came along.

The only  instance of “pure captains” in recent years was LK Germon of NZ in the mid-90s. He was also a wicket keeper.

We also see James Lillywhite jnr of England who captained his side in the first 2 Tests ever played and never played another, CA Smith who played one Test but carved out a career in Hollywood and N Betancourt who seems to be here because at that time (in the West Indies) the captain had to be from the territory where the Test was played.

Tail piece: LK Germon does possess an odd record-he has scored the most runs on debut without scoring a fifty:

Germon record







Review of South Africa-India T20I matches-Feb 2018

The list of T20Is between South Africa and India is fairly short-only 14 matches of which one was abandoned.

SA-Ind T20I results

There have been only two bilateral T20I series between these teams. The first was in India and was won by the visitors 2-0 with one match abandoned. The second was in SA and was won by India 2-1.

The table above shows India’s first ever T20I in 2006 which was won by them. They played their next T20Is in the World Championships in Sep-Oct 2007. It may well be a record in any sport (not just cricket) where a national team won a major tournament having played only one match in that format earlier.

Since 2007 the teams have also met in one-off matches and in the World Championships.

Here is a summary of the results:

Table of results

Interestingly India have never won against SA at home, though they have done better in SA and elsewhere.

We now look at individual performances. With the limited sample size it is not worthwhile to find averages, strike rates and the like.

Batting: Over 100 runs:


Rohit Sharma, who captained India in the last series, has the most runs. He and Raina are the only ones to have scored centuries in matches between these countries. Duminy has the best total for SA.

Innings of 50 and over:


During the last series, first Dhawan and then Pandey recorded the highest scores for Ind in SA. CA Ingram’s score in an one-off match in 2012 remains the best for SA.

Bowling (4 wickets and over):


Newcomer CJ Dala moved up quickly during this series. The only 5-for is by B Kumar in this series.

Innings bowling (3wi and over):

Innings -3w+

During this series, B Kumar recorded the best bowling figures for matches between these teams. CJ Dala had the best bowling figures for SA against India at home.

Fielding: 4 and more dismissals:


The most dismissals are 9 by non-keepers RG Sharma and Raina. The most by a keeper is 5 by Dhoni.

Fielding: 3 and more dismissals in an innings:

Innings-2+ dism

Strangely Dhoni does not appear here, and Karthik has the most stumpings. During that match Karthik also took a catch as a fielder.

All-round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):


Only one such instance, and it is not Kallis as you might think.




Bevan Congdon R.I.P. – and his Indian connection

Bevan Congdon, who was one of New Zealand’s major players in the 1960s and 1970s, died a few days ago a day before his 80th bithday.

Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:

That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.

Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.

Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:

Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.

Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.

Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.

But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.