Centuries without fifties in Test career

There are players like CPS Chauhan, KD Mackay and SK Warne who have made many Test fifties (16, 13 and 12 respectively) but were not able to reach three figures in their fairly long careers. There were some like C Vaas and A Kumble who did make one century towards the end of their careers. Here we consider the opposite case-of those who scored centuries but no scores between 50 and 99.

There are as many as 47 who scored one century but no fifty. A few are current players. A surprisingly large number had scored centuries on their debut. These include B Kuruppu, who scored a double century on debut. However the highest individual score in this list is D Lloyd’s 214*.


Other famous instances here include those of C Bannerman (165* in the first ever Test) and AG Ganteaume (century in his only innings). RE Redmond is not here as he made a fifty in the second innings.

Among current players we have A Lyth, KL Rahul, Sohag Gazi, S van Zyl and AC Voges who should soon get off this list.

There are some cases where this Test century was their only first-class century, such as CC Depeiaza.

Next we look at those who scored two centuries but no fifties. This list is considerably shorter.


H Graham scored a century on debut, while Wasti scored both his centuries in the same Test.

And there is only one who has scored three centuries without fifties. He can be called a current player but is probably not going to play in Tests again.


The Dannemora debacle

Ultimately the escapees from Dannemora failed to avoid capture for even 30 days, so the prison (officially called the Clinton Correctional Facility) can still claim that no one has successfully escaped from there in its 165-year history. It was a near thing, since if their getaway associates had done their jobs properly they may well have been in a faraway part of the country now (if not in another country).

Alcatraz still retains its place as the hardest prison to escape from. The best that anyone could manage was to reach the shore and collapse of exhaustion, which resulted in his capture within minutes.


Apart from that, there is no known case of anyone escaping alive and reaching the mainland. One famous case (made famous by Clint Eastwood in “Escape from Alcatraz”) remains officially unsolved as no bodies were found, but if the trio did survive some evidence should have emerged in the past 50-odd years.


The final scorecard reads:

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as “missing and presumed drowned”.

Britain has had its share of famous escapees who succeeded in leaving the country and were never recaptured. However they did ensure that no Axis prisoner of war could escape and return to their country.

The only German who had been imprisoned in Britain and succeeded actually escaped after he was moved to Canada.


There a few lesser known cases of Germans and Austrians escaping from detention in India and making their way to Tibet and Japanese-held Burma without being caught. Heinrich Harrer (“Seven Years in Tibet”) was commissioned as an SS officer (much in the same way that Tendulkar was commissioned in the IAF) so he should not really count.

Kings of the fourth-innings chase (Revised-Jan 17, 2018)

This was originally written in July 2015. For some reason it started getting some views again during the 2nd Test between South Africa and India in January 2018. So I thought of revising it.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to January 17, 2018. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases.

A cutoff of 15 innings is considered:

4th innings-batting

GC Smith also has the most centuries (4) and 50+ scores (10).

It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases.

Here we take a minimum of 1500 balls bowled:

4th innings-bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ashwin and McGrath have the best averages. Herath (85) and McGrath (83) are next to Warne.

The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by RA Jadeja followed by Ray Illingworth. And the best strike rate is by Waqar Younis followed by Ashwin.

Herath (10), Muralitharan (7) and Ashwin (6) have the most fivers. Ashwin and Jadeja can be called the twin destroyers in the 4th innings at present.

While we are at it, let us see about

Fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 15 innings fielded) and minimum 0.500 dismissals/innings:

Fielding-4th innings

Gilchrist has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). Gilchrist also has the most stumpings with 5. M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Haddin (2.173) has the highest followed by Gilchrist, Healy and Boucher. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.


More records by Imran Khan (Jr)

Note: This was written in July 2015 and has not been updated.

Imran Khan (junior), a Pathan like his better-known namesake, already has a couple of interesting Test records in his name.


One, he joins the select group of only 5 players with 5 or more Tests whose team won every Test he played in. Here are the other 4.


Of these, GJ Bailey is a current player but is not very likely to play for Australia again. If one really looks into it, Baptiste and the others were not particularly distinguished players but happened to be in the right place at the right time. Perhaps Imran has contributed more to his side’s wins than the others. For instance, he has 14 wickets including a fiver in his 5 Tests. Baptiste has one fifty and 16 wickets (best a three-for) in 10 Tests. The other three are specialist batsmen with no fifties.

And Imran is now the only one to play 5 or more Tests without scoring a run:


During his 5th Test he finally got a chance to face a ball in what was only his 2nd innings. He faced 8 balls in 24 minutes and was dismissed for zero. The only other time he batted was on his debut, when he spent one minute at the crease and did not face a ball.

Life on the border-Munabao (2)

Hope you have read the first part:


A bit of ancient history first, courtesy of a nice little book “Jodhpur Railway” by R.R. Bhandari, published by Northern Railway in 1982. Copies might still be available at the bookshop at the NRM in Delhi.

The start of this desert route came about by public demand in Sind province (which, unlike Jodhpur state, was ruled by the British). Thus a BG line was built from Hyderabad (Sind) to Shadipalli, a little east of Jamrao and Mirpur Khas. It was opened in 1892 and did not run at a profit.

Ultimately the British did some arm-twisting and persuaded the ruler of Jodhpur to extend the MG line from the then railhead at Balotra to Shadipalli. The line from Shadipalli to Hyderabad was then converted to MG, and the through MG connection was opened in 1901. The last section was transferred to the Jodhpur Railway. It was generally considered to be one of the best run mid-sized railways in India, and it was not surprising that they could run it at a profit.

An interesting sidelight from this book relates to the station now known as Marwar Jn. Marwar is the name of a region but not a town. This station came into being when the first connection from Pali (then an important town in Jodhpur state) was to be connected to the Ahmedabad-Delhi line. As it often happens, the optimum connection happened to be at a place with little local population. But it was chosen as the water supply there was more abundant than the other possible points. This station went through various names such as Kharchi, Jaswantganj, Jodhpur (which was OK until the line to the real Jodhpur was opened), Bitoora, Marwar Railway Jn and finally Marwar Jn. It is still essentially a railway town with few other activities.

By the 2000s, the MG system in Pakistan was on its last legs. Hyderabad to Mirpur Khas had been converted back to BG in the mid-1960s and the latter town had two expresses from Karachi. The pathetic state of the MG network can be seen from these extracts from a PR timetable of 2001:


The BG connection up to Hyderabad is shown above.


Here you can see the pair of trains which ran once a week between Mirpur Khas and Khokhrophar. They ran with ancient steam locos, as did the other MG lines.


The line from Mirpur Khas to Nawabshah appeared to have only two trains a month, and only two intermediate stations functioning on the 129-km route.


And this loop line from Mirpur Khas to Pithoro had one train a week, which ran only in the anti-clockwise direction and returned via the “main line” as you can see from page 48 above.

There were a few BG routes such as Quetta – Zahidan which had a similar pattern of service.

A recent picture of Hyderabad Sind station, which is a junction unlike its larger Indian counterpart:

Hyderabad Sind

By 2006 the Indian BG conversion had reached up to Munabao and was then extended up to the border. Similarly Pakistan converted the line up to the border. As Khokhropar was a few km away from the border, they decided to build a new station “Zero Point” just inside the border. There is a general understanding between the two countries that no new structures will be erected within a few hundred metres of the border, but India seems to have let this pass.

The geography of the border stations can be seen here:


Also Gadra Road station, which saw some action in 1965:


The service began in 2006 with the Indian train running from Jodhpur to Munabao, the trans-border train running between Munabao and Zero Point, and the Pakistani train running from there to Karachi Cantt with commercial halts at Mirpur Khas and Hyderabad. The Indian train apparently runs non-stop. After a couple of years the terminus was shifted from Jodhpur to the suburb of Bhagat-ki-Kothi (BGKT) Apparently it was easier to handle security from the smaller station, which is more known for its diesel locomotive shed.

Bhagat ki Kothi

There are full immigration and customs checks at both border stations. The trans-border train is the true Thar Express, while the train from BGKT is correctly called the Thar Link Express. The trans-border train is supposed to be run by India and Pakistan alternately for 6 months. When it is the Indian train, everyone gets on to the same train they came by once the border formalities are over. It takes them to Zero Point, where everyone gets down and the passengers from Pakistan board for their trip across the border. Similarly, the Pakistani train from Karachi takes their passengers across their border up to Munabao and returns to Zero Point. Everyone gets down for the formalities before they board again for Karachi.

The formalities may take several hours on each side and frequent seizures of smuggled goods and counterfeit currency are made. Expired visas and other irregularities are also commonly found, although visas are supposed to be checked before boarding at BGKT.

These are the timings of the Thar Link Express:TharLink

And on the Pakistani side:

Thar Pak TT

Note that this website can be seen only in some countries, so you may have to make some adjustments.

The timetables are more of a work of fiction as delays for checking often take longer than expected.

When the new service started, India already had a daily passenger train between Barmer and Munabao. But on the Pakistani side there was only the 405/406 running between Mirpur Khas and Zero Point with no intermediate stops. Khokhropar, the only place of some importance in that remote area, found itself totally cut off as roads were in a poor condition. More recently a daily passenger train has been introduced on this route:

Pak Pass TT

The current timetable does not show any services on the MG lines on the Pithoro loop or the Nawabshah branch, so we presume they are now closed. Thus Pakistan is now an unigauge country like Sri Lanka, but unlike India and Bangladesh where the metre gauge and narrow gauge will be around for a long time to come.

Pictures of Munabao station:

Presumably the sign on the left is a new one set up when the trans-border services started.

Pictures of Zero Point:

This station was newly constructed when the trans-border route was opened in 2006. Note the Sindhi inscription.

The old border station of Khokhrophar:


Here are a few videos of this train:

Arrival from Pakistan at Munabao:


Leaving Zero Point for India:


And passing through Chanesar, a suburb of Karachi:


Note the curious spelling of Mona Bahu.

It needs to be mentioned that it is a long and uncomfortable journey and not particularly worthwhile for Indian railfans. This is in contrast to the Samjhauta route where Lahore and Amritsar are both within an hour of the border.

They could, of course, travel from Barmer to Munabao by the local train. With luck, you might see some action between 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturday though the cross-border train is more likely to arrive late. Even if one could find a place to stay there, there is supposed to be a curfew between 7 pm and 6 am.

Life on the border-Munabao (1)

The Samjhauta Express gets all the news coverage, but its little known cousin the Thar Express remains away from the limelight. A look at its history.

While most of the railways in Pakistan came under the North Western Railway headquartered at Lahore, the metre gauge lines in Sind were run by the Jodhpur state railway. This is what the network looked like in 1933. Some smaller branches were not completed by then.Jodhpur Railway in 1933

This being 1933, there is only a little dashed line indicating the boundary between the British-ruled province of Sind and the state of Jodhpur. At around that time there was a mail train between Jodhpur and Hyderabad on the metre gauge, possibly with coaches from Ahmedabad which would have joined at Luni. Here you can see the “trans-border” timetable of the Jodhpur Railway in 1943, which was not too different from what it was in the 1930s:


The rest of the Jodhpur Railway in 1943 is here:


So we see the mail trains between Luni and Hyderabad Sind running without a stop at Munabao, although Gadra Road and Khokhropar seem to have been more important stations.

It would have been possible to travel by train from Bombay to Karachi by a roundabout rail route via Ahmedabad, but this would (at the bare minimum) have involved changes of train at Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Probably ships were more convenient.

Came 1947 and the Jodhpur railway authorities continued to run trains into West Pakistan for a few months. There seems to have been some cross-border services up to 1965 but details are lacking. Apparently the Pakistani forces did intrude across the border to Munabao (as they did at Khem Karan further north), besides shelling Gadra Road which is close to the border. This station was to serve Gadra town which was now on the other side. All cross-border train services between India and both wings of Pakistan ceased after this.

In 1971, the Indian army returned the compliment and advanced about 50 km into Pakistan, capturing Khokhropar and a few other stations beyond it. Documentary films of that time show Indian diesels (probably YDM-4s) running to Khokhropar. Incidentally Pakistan Railways generally neglected these MG lines and never got round to getting diesel locos there, though they seem to have shifted some of the more numerous steam locos from East Pakistan to run the limited services (much to the delight of foreign steam fans).

By 1976, the Samjhauta Express between Amritsar and Lahore got going. Now that was the only way (other than very limited air services) for the ordinary passengers from India and Pakistan to cross the border. Anyone from western India who wanted to travel to southern Pakistan had to make a long detour up to Amritsar and Lahore.Gradually both countries got round to reopening this long-forgotten link.

To be continued.

Grexit meets Google Translate

You must have got tired of cliches like Greek tragedies.

One of the new words we have had to learn is Grexit, meaning Greece’s exit from the Eurozone (though they have not yet started talking about leaving the European Union).

A prophetic sign at Athens airport the day before the referendum (courtesy of Dr Sunil Mukhi):

Grexit sign

The European Union consists of 27 countries-refresh your memory here:


And there are 20 or more official languages-which would be apparent when you see a passport or other important document from there. It goes without saying that translators have a field day translating every official communication into every other language. The UN manages with a handful of official languages.

We now see what Grexit (or rather “Greece leaves Eurozone”) translates into, courtesy of Google Translate. (“Greece exits” does not seem to convey the meaning as well as “Greece leaves”)

English:     Greece leaves Eurozone

Bulgarian:  Гърция напуска еврозоната

Croatian:   Grčka napusti eurozonu

Danish:     Grækenland forlader eurozonen

Dutch:       Griekenland verlaat de eurozone

Estonian:   Kreeka lahkub eurotsoonis

Finnish:      Kreikka jättää euroalueen

French:      Grèce quitte la zone euro

German:     Griechenland lässt Eurozone

Greek:         Ελλάδα αφήνει Ευρωζώνη

Hungarian:  Görögország elhagyja eurózóna

Irish Gaelic: An Ghréig duilleoga Limistéar an Euro

Italian:          Grecia lascia Eurozona

Latvian:        Grieķija atstāj eirozonai

Lithuanian:    Graikija palieka euro zoną

Maltese:        Il-Greċja weraq Eurozone

Polish:           Grecja opuszcza strefę euro

Portuguese:  Grécia sai da Zona Euro

Romanian:     Grecia părăsește zona euro

Slovak:           Grécko opustí eurozóny

Slovenian:      Grčija zapusti evroobmočje

Spanish:         Grecia sale de la zona euro

Swedish:         Grekland lämnar euroområdet

And the mother language:

Latin:               Greece relinquit Eurozone

Google Translate also covers a few sub-national languages such as Catalan and Welsh, though they haven’t got round to Flemish and Scots Gaelic so far.

The above translations would seem to cover most of the population of the current EU. Note that Serbia, Macedonia and Norway are not in the EU yet. Cyprus should be covered by Greek.

What short and snappy equivalents of Grexit can we expect? In Estonian it might be Kreelah (though this might be too close to Tarzan’s battle cry).  In French it could be Grèqui, and in Italian Grelas. The Irish would have a particularly bad time shortening it. The German language has a tendency to make long single words, but for the moment it could be Grieläs. The Germans are in fact also fond of short forms. In the former East Germany people were scared of the Vopos and still more terrified by the Grepos, i.e.

People’s Police: Volkspolizei: Vopo

Border Police:   Grenzpolizei: Grepo

Now let us see what Google Translate does with Indian languages for the same phrase. See for yourself how (in)effective it is.

গ্রীস ইউরো ছেড়ে

ગ્રીસ યુરોઝોનના નહીં

ग्रीस यूरोजोन के पत्ते   (particularly amusing)

ಗ್ರೀಸ್ ಯೂರೋಜೋನ್ ಎಲೆಗಳು

ഗ്രീസ് യൂറോ ഇലകൾ

ग्रीस Eurozone पाने

ग्रीस यूरोजोन छोडेर

ਗ੍ਰੀਸ ਯੂਰੋ ਨੂੰ ਛੱਡਦੀ ਹੈ

கிரேக்கம் யூரோப்பகுதியில் விட்டு

గ్రీస్ విడిపోతుందన్న ఆకులు

یونان یوروزون چھوڑ دیتا ہے

For once, the Bengali translation is slightly better than the one in Hindi. Probably you will find more amusement in the other languages. I wonder why the Tamil version is much longer than the others.