Samridh Agarwal and his world record in first-class cricket

Explanatory notes:

1) This article was primarily written for a readership of alumni of the Doon School, Dehradun who refer to themselves as Doscos.

2) I have had limited personal contact with Mr Samridh Agarwal, though most of the information in this article is available in the public domain.

THE DOSCO WHO HOLDS A WORLD CRICKET RECORD

There are a fair number of Old Boys as well as staff who have played first-class cricket with varying degrees of success. Until recently, Mr R. L. Holdsworth and Michael Dalvi could be said to have the most distinguished records. There were a few who had scored double centuries. But somehow Doscos did not shine as bowlers or all-rounders, and until recently Anand Bhatia’s 4-36 was the best return by an Old Boy in FC matches.

The rewriting of record books began in earnest with Samridh Sunil Agarwal (160-J, 2009). He moved to Millfield after ICSE and then joined Queen’s College at Oxford University. While still at our school he had played for UP’s Under-17 team in the Vijay Merchant Trophy, with present Test player Bhuvneswar Kumar among his team-mates in 2006-07. Later his name appears in the records of Millfield’s inter-school matches in 2009-10. He played primarily as a batsman, though his off-spin was frequently called upon.

His records can be seen under S.S. Agarwal and Sam Agarwal (as an England player) in Cricinfo, though the non first-class matches in India and England are covered better in www.cricketarchive.com . He made an unobtrusive first-class debut for Oxford vs Northamptonshire in April 2010, scoring 1 not out. He did make the headlines in the University Match against Cambridge on Jul 6-9, 2010 in which he scored 117 and 5-78. This is one of the few instances of a century plus five-for in the University matches. And he became the first Dosco to take a five–for as well as the only one to complete the all-rounder’s double of a century and five-for in the same match. The scorecard can be seen here:

http://www.cricketarchive.com/archive/scorecards/275/275963.html

He wrote himself firmly into the record books in another University Match, the Oxford v Cambridge match on Jul 2-4, 2013. By then he had been awarded his Blue (in 2012) and was captaining Oxford. He made 313 not out, the highest ever score in the University match. He also found enough energy to bowl 32 overs for 97 runs in the match, taking the wicket of Cambridge’s top-scorer in the second innings. Oxford won this match by an innings and 186 runs. The scorecard can be seen here:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/495/495498.html

Now, you may say, he holds the record for Oxford and is also the only Dosco to score a triple century in first-class cricket. But that doesn’t qualify as a world record. That was yet to come. He played in some matches for Surrey Second XI later in 2013, but has not so far played another first class match. He is now understood to be working in Britain, and has recently played club matches for Teddington in the Middlesex league. We hope that he soon gets back into regular cricket.

As of today, his first class career record is:

Batting (2010-13): 13 matches, 21 innings, 3 not out, 899 runs, highest 313 not out, Average 49.94, strike rate 61.61, 3 centuries, 3 fifties, 4 catches.

Bowling (2010-13): 13 matches, 2000 balls, 998 runs, 20 wickets, best 5-78, Average 49.90, economy 2.99, strike rate 100.00, one 5wi.

Numerologists may wonder that he has a neat figure of 2000 balls bowled and a strike rate of exactly 100.00. Also his batting average is virtually the same as his bowling average.

(This can be seen from the Wikipedia link at the bottom).

The world record is that he is now the only person to have scored a triple century in his final first-class match-although we should sincerely wish that he soon loses this record once he resumes his cricketing career.

Here is a list of players who scored 200 and above in their last first-class match. This can be extracted from the table “Century in last match” in the first-class section of the website http://stats.acscricket.com/records.html  (Access to this website needs registration though it is free and takes a few moments). Here we have a list of all those who achieved this in their last matches in 2013 or earlier. (There are also some active players who have achieved this in 2013-14 or later, but are not included below since they are likely to play in the future.) As you will see, this list includes some well-known international players.

200 OR MORE IN LAST FIRST-CLASS MATCH AS ON 15 DEC 2014 (In descending order)

Score Name Year

313* S. S. Agarwal 2013

241* A. H.Bakewell 1936

220 N. F. Mitchell 1926-27

217 R. C. Fredericks 1982-83

207 N. F. Callaway 1914-15

207 I. J. Siedle 1936-37

206 P. A. De Silva 2002

200* A. C. MacLaren 1922-23

200* Moin Khan 2005-06

While we may be glad to note that a Dosco holds this unusual world record, I think you will all join me in hoping that he soon loses it!

See this Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Agarwal

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