Hazlewood’s lost record

In the exciting finish to the Auckland ODI on January 30, commentators mentioned  Hazlewood’s durability as a batsman-as he had never been dismissed in 33 ODIs. Unfortunately, his luck ran out when Australia needed 7 runs for victory:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/new-zealand-v-australia-2016-17/engine/match/1020013.html

Note that he was dismissed for a diamond duck, as he did not face a single ball in a partnership of 24 balls and 54 runs, and was run out as a non-striker.

We look at the relevant records as they were on Jan 29:

Most ODIs without a dismissal:

hazlewood1

Most ODI innings without a dismissal:

hazlewood2

Hazlewood had played in 33 ODIs, more than twice the tally of the next in line. He shared the record for 6 innings without dismissal with the little-known Bermudan player SKW Kelly.

After today’s match (January 30):

Most ODIs without a dismissal:

hazlewood3

The record now passes to Ahsan Malik and Dhawal Kulkarni.

Most ODI innings without a dismissal:

hazlewood4

And so Bermuda has this record to itself. (Some say they had a record in Dwayne Leverock being the heaviest international cricketer in recent times. He was a popular figure during the 2007 World Cup, the only time Bermuda reached that level).

http://www.espncricinfo.com/bermuda/content/player/23742.html

We also look at the corresponding records for T20Is, as on Jan 30, 2017:

Most T20I matches without dismissal:

hazlewood5

The top 3 led by Steve Finn are still likely to play in international matches, so the record may change hands.

Most T20I innings without dismissal:

hazlewood6

AF Milne has the record for the moment.

 

 

 

 

The Lac-Megantic disaster of 2013

The Indian Railways are often the butt of jokes when a number of accidents happen in succession. But it is cold comfort to know that railway operating procedures in developed countries are far from perfect. As in the case of the derailment followed by fire at Lac-Megantic in Quebec province on July 6, 2013.

Here is a  Powerpoint presentation on this accident, which was used in a conference of safety engineering at IIT Gandhinagar in January 2017.

the-fire-disaster-at-lac-megantic-quebec

Note the videos on slides 8 and 9. They are important in understanding the sequence of events. The one on slide 8 is more accurate and is largely based on the accident investigation report. The one on slide 9 has a serious error as it shows the train slipping backwards, with the tank cars leading the locomotives. In fact the train went down the incline in its existing configuration of locomotives followed by other cars and tank cars.

You may wonder if something like this could happen on the Indian Railways. Certainly a heavy goods train would not be left totally unattended on an incline in mid-section. That is exactly what happened here.

There are a number of safety-related issues which have not been covered above, such as the hazards caused by additives used to increase the viscosity of crude oil for transportation.

For further reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lac-M%C3%A9gantic_rail_disaster

http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/rail/2013/r13d0054/r13d0054-r-es.asp

 

 

When Trump meets Bolmondoley

Joke writers have a tough time with President Trump. He creates so many opportunities for jokes that they have little to do. Or he says something which is too difficult to decipher, and it may or may not be funny. One such occasion was the use of the word “bigly” which is supposed to be a new word he invented.

However, experts have concluded that it was a wrong transcription of the more common “Big league”, particularly as his brand of New York English was not understood by most. More on this here:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37483869

and here: http://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2017/01/25/bag-the-bigly-moos-pkg-erin.cnn/video/playlists/wacky-world-of-jeanne-moos/

There are, of course, place names and person’s names similar to “bigly’, like this one-time English cricketer:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/12454.html

But British English has its share of pitfalls with words often being spelt in a way which do not reflect the pronunciation. Like Cholmondoley. Think you can pronounce it?

Find out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NTLkJqpC-A

The humorous possibilities in Cholmondoley being pronounced as Chumly was not lost on music-hall comedians of a century ago, who were noted for their low level of humour. Some examples can be seen here:

http://audiotalk.proboards.com/thread/3587

One example of such corny humour was bringing someone on stage with a placard saying “Bolmondeley”. Go figure.

Meet Hardik Patel-not the one you are thinking of

The name’s Patel. Hardik Patel.

Unlike my better-known namesake, I only trouble opposing batsmen.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/793915.html

https://cricket.yahoo.com/photos/india-a-vs-south-africans-slideshow/hardik-patel-of-india-a-take-the-wicket-of-david-miller-of-south-africa-during-the-t20-warm-up-photo-1443529291229.html

For example, see this scorecard for the Irani Cup:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/irani-cup-2016-17/engine/match/1053705.html

Maybe one day the national selectors will accidentally include me instead of Hardik Pandya. (Something of this sort happened because of confusion between two J.Yadavs some years ago).

Score 500 and lose

From Journalism 101: “When a dog bites a man, it is not news.

When a man bites a dog, it is news”

Similarly: When Bangladesh loses a Test, it is not news.

When Bangladesh scores almost 600 and loses a Test, it is news.

Here is a list of instances where a side scored 500 or more and still lost a Test:

500-and-lose-a

It can be seen that Bangladesh now has the record score in a loss, surpassing the 586 by Australia well over a century ago.

All of these instances came in the first or second innings of the match, except for the 510 by India in 1967. That was in a follow-on, and the Test is remembered partly for Pataudi’s 64 and 148 and more for Boycott being dropped for excessively slow scoring on the way to his Test best of 246*: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63004.html

We also look at scores of 450 or more in the 3rd and 4th inning in losses:

500-and-lose-b

The highest 3rd-innings score in a loss is 510 as mentioned above. For the 4th innings it is 451 by NZ in 2001-02, which Pakistan just failed to cross earlier this season.

Taking another look at the scorecard of Bangladesh’s recent loss:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/new-zealand-v-bangladesh-2016-17/engine/match/1019985.html

We see that Bangladesh’s innings included 217 by Shakib, which is the highest Test individual score for Bangladesh. The only other double centuries are 206 by Tamim and 200 by Mushfiqur. Incidentally, Shakib is one of the few to score a double century and duck in the same Test (regardless of the result). The highest such score is 245 by Shoaib Malik vs England in 2015-16.

There are, however, many instances of double centuries being scored in innings of sides losing Tests:

200-and-lose

The record continues to be with RT Ponting with 242. Other greats including Lara, Graeme Pollock, Harvey  and Hayden also appear here.

All of these efforts came in the first or second innings except for Astle’s 222 which figured in New Zealand’s 451 mentioned above:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63981.html

We also look at individual scores of 175 and above in the 3rd and 4th innings for losing teams:

175-and-lose

The highest such score in the 3rd innings is 199* by Andy Flower. Numerous other well-known players also appear here.

An afterthought-we look at combined scores in both innings by a batsman in a losing side:

match-total-in-lost-test

Although there are numerous instances of centuries in both innings of a lost Test, Lara is the only one to make a double century and a century. Andy Flower just missed it with his 142 and 199*. Also note Ponting’s 242 and 0.

 

 

 

Indian railway stations with matching names-1

There are some names which you will find in many Indian towns, such as Mahatma Gandhi Road. And there are many places with similar names, such as Rampur which must be the name of dozens of villages and small towns. Ironically, the largest place with this name was once part of a princely state ruled by Muslims.

Most of us have heard of the large cities of Hyderabad (capital of undivided Andhra Pradesh) and Hyderabad in Sind. Pre-1947 timetables listed the two as Hyderabad (Deccan) and Hyderabad (Sind). I could not locate any old pictures of these stations and their signs, though this is what they look like today:

There never was any train between these cities, and anyone traveling between them by train would have had to change at several places. One possibility would include a sea journey between Bombay and Karachi.

This also illustrates a general rule which the Indian Railways have tried to follow-that no two stations should have exactly the same name. Of course, the station code will be different.

One example is Madhupur in Jharkhand and Madhopur in Punjab:

You cannot travel by a direct train between these stations. The Howrah/Jammu Tawi Himgiri Express does run through both, but stops only at the one on the left. The one in Punjab is a smaller station, but for some years in the 1960s it was the northern-most station in India before the line was extended to Kathua, Jammu and beyond.

Then there are the three Katras:

The first two are in UP. The first is an ex-MG terminus near Gonda which is across the river from Ayodhya. It was connected to the BG network in recent times when a bridge was built across the Saryu.

The second is between Shahjahanpur and Bareilly. The third is the new showpiece station (SVDK) which is the railhead for Vaishno Devi.It is the northern-most station on the main IR network (though not on IR; that is Sopore near Baramulla). It is likely to hold this status for a few years until the connection to Banihal is completed.

There is one train which runs through Miranpur Katra on its way to SVDK, but does not stop there. This is the once-weekly Kamakhya/SVDK Express. The Himgiri Express and Kolkata/Jammu Express also run through it, though they still terminate at Jammu.

Then we have two places with similar names in Maharashtra and Jharkhand:

The one on the left was called Chandrapur (Maharashtra) until recently. There is another station called Chanda Fort nearby. There are no direct or nearly-direct trains between these stations.

And now to Rajendranagar in MP and Bihar:

The former is on the southern outskirts of Indore and is presently served by a number of DEMUs between Indore and Mhow. The latter is east of Patna Jn and is an important secondary terminus for Patna, while Danapur and the new Pataliputra station also fulfill this role.

There are two weekly trains between Indore and Rajendranagar Terminal (one of which was involved in a serious accident near Kanpur last November). So it is a reasonably simple task to travel between the two Rajendranagars. It is possible that the MG conversion south of Mhow may see some long-distance trains connecting these stations, though they are unlikely to stop at the one in MP.

Now these two in Rajasthan and Tripura. The latter has just seen the start of passenger services from Agartala:

It is theoretically possible that one day there may be a direct train between these two stations. There may not be much logic behind this routing.

The station on the left was opened in the mid-60s as part of the Udaipur-Himatnagar new line. The existing terminus of Udaipur was renamed Ranapratap Sagar, and still hosts most of the railway offices of this region. For some years Udaipur City was one of the few stations which were pseudo-junctions where a line of one gauge ended and line of another gauge started. It has now lost this status as the Udaipur City-Ahmedabad MG line is now under conversion. Other examples of pseudo-junctions are Kalka and Mettupalaiyam (but not Neral, Pathankot, NJP and Siliguri Jn which are junctions in the regular sense). Other pseudo-junctions have existed in the relatively recent past (e.g. Parli Vaijnath)

The station on the right is presently a terminus, but the line will soon extend downwards to Belonia and Sabrum at the southern tip of Tripura. It will not touch the now-closed terminus of Belonia which lies a short distance within the Bangladesh border. Also note that Bengali is the official language (at least for station signs) in Tripura and three districts of southern Assam.

Now, you may ask, is there any case of two widely separated stations with similar names having a direct train connection. There are some trivial cases like those of Merta Road/Merta City and Latur Road/Latur (but not Ranchi Road/Ranchi). But there is one more pair,  Gandhinagar Capital and Gandhinagar Jaipur. I traveled between them recently. More on this later.

Note: Copyrights of the pictures here belong to the original photographers.

Test all-round performances of 2016

This refers to all Tests in the calendar year 2016.

Overall all-round performance (see criteria below):

tests2016-aroverall

Ashwin deservedly leads this list, followed closely by Stokes.

All-round performance in matches (at least one fifty and one five-for):

tests2016-armatch

The list of 6 instances includes 2 by Ashwin and 2 by Jadeja. Chase made a match-saving century and took a fiver in his 2nd Test. Dilruwan Perera and Jadeja performed the less common double of a fifty and 10 wickets in a match. Jadeja was the only one of the 20-odd of these players (who took 50/10wm) to take more than 2 catches.

Over to 2017.