Clem Hill was particularly fond of 90s as he scored 99 followed by 98 and 97 mentioned above.
Nineties on debut:
While Chipperfield and Christiani later scored centuries, Asim Kamal finished with his 99 on debut as his top score. VH Stollmeyer made 96 in his only Test innings, which was unfortunately just before WW2 broke out. His younger brother Jeff Stollmeyer had a longer run and captained the West Indies.
Another point of interest is LJ Tancred’s 97 which was the highest score on debut by a South African-until Kepler Wessels scored a century on debut for Australia in 1982-83. The first “genuine” century on debut by a South African was 163 by AC Hudson in the comeback Test against WI in 1991-92.
A number of famous names narrowly missed a century on debut. They include Redpath, Worrell, Ponting, Dravid, SP Fleming and FS Jackson. Many lesser names scored a century on debut and did nothing much afterwards.
PA Gibb (93 and 106) and CG Greenidge (93 and 107) scored a 90 and 100 on debut.
Several players have made two 99s. The latest addition to this club was Misbah-ul-Haq.
If you take all scores between 90 and 99, the record of 10 is shared by Dravid, Tendulkar and Steve Waugh. Next is MJ Slater with 9, with de Villiers, Inzamam and Kallicharan with 8.
Test scores of 99 are more common than one may imagine. Misbah’s score of 99 in the ongoing Test at Kingston was the 89th such instance. The first such score was by Clem Hill against England in early 1902.
Scores of 99* are somewhat rarer. Here is the full list of such scores in chronological order:
The first such score was recorded only in late 1979. Boycott carried his bat through this innings.
That series-equalling win was also due to Tony Greig’s little-used off-spin which got him 13 wickets in the match.
RT Ponting (101 and 99) was the only other batsman to score a century and 99 in the same Test, which was against South Africa at Melbourne in 2008-09.
All the scores of 99* (except that of Tudor) ended when the team was bowled out. Tudor’s 99* remains the only one where the team was chasing a target. This Test, which immediately followed the 1999 World Cup, had a rather weird scorecard:
10 wickets fell on the first day and 21 on the second. At close England was 3 for 1 facing a target of 208. Alex Tudor, who normally batted at 8 or below, had come in as a nightwatchman at the fall of the first wicket. On the 3rd day it looked as if he would get a century but his fourth-wicket partner Graham Thorpe was in a hurry to finish things off, leaving Tudor stranded on his highest Test score of 99*. It was to be his only score above 50.
199s and 199*s are still rarer. Here is a complete list of the 11 instances:
The first 199 was scored in late 1984 by Mudassar Nazar, and the most recent by KL Rahul. Both the unbeaten 199s came when the teams were bowled out. Andy Flower scored 142 in addition to 199* in a follow-on as his side lost the Test. (That match ended on 9/11 in 2001).
Sangakkara was more fortunate as his team won.
And 299? Two such instances, the first one being unbeaten:
Martin Crowe’s 299 was the New Zealand record for over two decades until McCullum made 302. Let us have a closer look at Bradman’s unbeaten 299:
This was the 4th Test of Australia’s 5-0 whitewash of South Africa, who had not yet fully graduated from whipping boys. Bradman was stranded on 299 when the No 11 HM Thurlow was run out for 0 on his debut. Thurlow also failed to take a wicket in two innings. Predictably his first Test was his last.
You will remember the fuss about Karun Nair when he scored his triple century in his third Test at Chennai. We now look at his oddly skewed Test career after he has completed 6 Tests. This should be apparent from this sequence of scores:
He has a respectable average of 62.33. But he scored 303 of his 374 runs in one innings (81.0 %) and never made another score above 50. To be precise, his next highest score is only 26.
It is hoped that he will play at least a few more Tests and score more centuries. Until then, he holds a couple of records in all Tests. This does NOT include the highest maiden century, as Gary Sobers (365*) and Bob Simpson (311) are ahead.
Highest score by someone who scored only one century ( 150 and above):
KK Nair heads this list, ahead of England’s RE Foster who held the record for about 113 years. His 287 (on debut) was the world Test record until early 1930 when Andy Sandham made 325 (in his last Test), though Bradman crossed it with 334 later the same year.
Foster, Kuruppu, Fawad Alam, K Ibadulla, C Bannerman and A Jackson were making their Test debuts. Gillespie made his only century in his last Test while batting as nightwatchman. There are several other current players here led by MT Renshaw with 184.
Another quirky record is the highest Test score made by someone who never made a fifty (i.e. a score between 50 and 99). This gets a bit messy due to Statsguru’s limitations, but we get these figures:
Highest score by those who scored one century and no fifty (110 and above):
Highest score by those who scored two centuries and no fifties (all cases):
Highest score by those who scored three centuries and no fifties (all cases):
No one has scored more than three centuries without a fifty. For a short time KL Rahul shared the record with Bopara. But Rahul scored his first fifty soon after he scored his third century.
As we can see, KK Nair is the only one to score a triple century but no fifty. David Lloyd and Brendon Kuruppu are the only ones to score a double century but no fifty. And Ravi Bopara’s Test career may be over, but he also holds a record which may not be broken for a long time.
KK Nair is also the only current player with one or more centuries and no fifties.
It is interesting if one wants to see how the newer zones were created. A rather obvious case is the North Western Railway which was formed from Jodhpur and Bikaner divisions of NR and Jaipur and Ajmer divisions of WR, thus creating a zone whose jurisdiction covers most of Rajasthan.
Similarly, the East Central Railway was formed from Danapur, Dhanbad and Mughalsarai divisions of ER and Samastipur and Sonpur divisions of NER, thus covering most of Bihar.
The North Central Railway has a rather mixed parentage. It includes the divisions of Allahabad (ex NR), Jhansi (ex CR) and Agra (a new division with bits and pieces of WR, CR and NR, perhaps even NER).
One particularly odd thing is the Waltair division. Waltair is a suburb of Visakhapatnam where the main railway station is located. Waltair was renamed to Visakhapatnam over two decades ago but the division name remains.
But there are counter-examples of this. On SR there used to be the Olavakkot division which became the Palghat division and finally the Palakkad division, in line with the changes of the name of the station.
There are plenty of other points of interest in this listing, particularly for those into the history of IR.
Important note: The proposed South Coast zone and its divisions are very unclear at the time of writing.
This post is dedicated to a photo album which used to belong to a British soldier named Albert Chalcroft who appears to have been posted in Landi Kotal in the Khyber Pass, (close to the Afghan border) in the late 1930s. As it often happens, the album was discovered by his descendants many years later (maybe c.2010) and was put up on the net.
This album is interesting in that it shows many aspects of life as a British soldier in the Khyber Pass area at that time. There are some pictures of trains on the Khyber Railway as well as a number of crashed light aircraft. Some pictures appear to show the road crossing between India and Afghanistan. However there are hardly any meaningful captions.
Many of these pictures have ended up in the results of Google searches for the Khyber Pass.
Landi Kotal was the terminus of the Khyber Railway which was opened in 1925. From 1926 to 1932 it ran a few miles further towards the border up to another station called Landi Khana, though this section was closed in 1932.
A collection of old timetables of the North Western Railway (which covered most of present-day Pakistan and a bit of present-day India) can be seen here:
The line up to Landi Khana can be seen in the folder of the 1930 timetable. Only a few routes are shown here.
The entire NWR timetable as of 1943 can also be seen in another folder, which is from the Indian Bradshaw of that period.
Note the bit about passport checks at Jamrud in the 1943 timetable. As I understood from my father and other older persons who had traveled there, tourists from other parts of India could travel up to Jamrud fort in the 1930s but not beyond without special permission. However, they could claim that they had seen the Khyber Pass.
And the milestone at the border refers to P = Peshawar, J = Jamrud and LKL = Landi Kotal (the main cantonment at the top of the pass).
The last few pictures show Mr Chalcroft and his wife in later years. He appears to have worked in the Customs and Excise department at Liverpool. The last two pictures appear to be of Mr Chalcroft’s sister.
Getting information about the railway network in Bangladesh is difficult, especially as detailed timetables for the public have not been issued since around 1980. (Sri Lanka also seems to have stopped issuing timetables long ago). Anyway, one reference which gives the list of stations based on timetables up to 1978 is: http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/pdfasia/bangladeshrlys.pdf
The Indian Bradshaw used to publish timetables of East Pakistan and Bangladesh up to the mid-1970s although I have grave doubts as to whether the data for India’s neighboring countries was regularly updated.
Anyway, I have collected a few maps from various sources which some may find useful.
This one is from the “Railway Map of India” published by the Survey of India in 1991. Data for neighboring countries may not be fully up to date.
Note that the border stations on the Indian side are marked in red. There were probably limited cross-border goods services on a few routes at that time, though details are unclear. Note the Rupsa East-Bagerhat line being shown as NG, though from other reliable sources we know that it was converted to BG in around 1970 and closed after a few years.
Also note that there was no bridge connecting the western and eastern halves of the country. This purpose was served by the ferries between Sirajganj Ghat and Jagannathganj Ghat, and between Tistamukh Ghat and Bahadurabad Ghat. The Bangabandhu Bridge came up near the Sirajganj-Jagannathganj ferry.
Now we have this amateur effort from 2002. It was created by Y. Sakai, who appears to have been a Japanese who spent some time in Bangladesh. He tried to show every station which was then functioning. It does not show the link between the Bangabandhu bridge and Dhaka, which had not opened then.
This mapmaker seems to have done his own transliteration from Bengali to English, so the names may not exactly tally with earlier English maps and timetables. I found it useful while traveling in 2008, before the age of smartphones where one could follow Google Maps and the like.
Finally we have this map dated 2013 taken from the official website. This can be considered to be the latest official version, though it does not show every station.
It does have some information about the little-known bypasses of Ishurdi and Akhaura which avoid reversals for numerous long-distance trains. Note the newer developments such as the links from Bangabandhu bridge to Joydebpur (for Dhaka) and Jamalpur Town (for the Mymensingh area).
Some lines like Feni-Belonia are shown to be closed, but the Kulaura-Shahbazpur (ex Latu) line is shown to be open while other sources say that no train has run there since around 2002.
Other points of interest are at least two stations where Bangladeshi trains run within a few metres of the Indian border, at Hili in the west and Kasba in the east.
Someone who was really interested could create a more detailed atlas using this as a basis and supplementing it with Google Maps. To show sufficient detail, it would have to be in book form like the well-known Great Indian Railway Atlas. See http://indianrailstuff.com/gira3/
But would it be commercially viable? Perhaps only a handful of railfans (and that too mainly from outside Bangladesh) would want to buy it. The print-on-demand self-publishing sites could provide a way out.
Much excitement has been caused among those connected with the Railways by the imminent start of the new cross-border train between Kolkata and Khulna. Trial runs were held a few days ago and many videos can be seen on Youtube showing the train running at various places along the line to Bangaon and beyond. Here is an example:
The earlier Maitree Express, now running between Kolkata and Dhaka Cantt, follows a route in which much of the route in Bangladesh did not exist before Partition. There had been trains with names like the Dacca Mail which started from Sealdah and terminated at Goalundo Ghat, from where the passengers embarked on a ferry trip of several hours to Narayanganj on the outskirts of Dacca (as it was then spelt). By 2001 the Bangabandhu Bridge had been completed along with a connecting line to Dhaka. This provided a route from the Gede-Darsana border to Dhaka without a ferry crossing. More about that in another post.
This new service between Kolkata and Khulna revives a pre-partition train called the Barisal Express between Sealdah and Khulna which was running since at least the 1930s. In fact it was running for some time after Partition and was listed in the ER timetables of 1964. However, all cross-border services between India and East Pakistan ceased with the 1965 war.
In a Bradshaw dated February 1935, we see the 31 Barisal Express leaving Sealdah at 15.26 and arriving at Khulna at 20.45. It stopped at many places beyond the present border, though the main stoppages were Bongaon (16.47/16.55) and Jessore (17.59/18.02). The return train was the 30 Barisal Express which left Khulna at 05.45 and reached Sealdah at 10.10, with the main stops at Jessore (07.27/07.30) and Bongaon (08.34/08.42).
Here is an extract from a Bradshaw of June 1944, which is unfortunately not very legible as it has been photocopied many times.
Part of the first page has got cropped, although the full route from Khulna can be seen on the second page. The distance is shown as 110 miles or 177 km.
Another curiosity on these pages is the Khulna-Bagerhat Light Railway, which was to be the only narrow gauge line running in East Pakistan. It started from Rupsa East, across the river from Khulna and was not linked to the rest of the rail network. This line was converted to BG around 1970 but was closed a few years later as it was uneconomical.
Here is a destination board at Sealdah from that period:
You can see that the departure of the Barisal Express is given as 13.30, which matches the timetable shown above.
From the above time table, you can see that Petrapole station did not exist then and the border crossed the line between Bongaon and Benapol. The station at Petrapole, like Gede, was built after Partition in order to provide a station closer to the new international border.
Running of limited goods and passenger trains across the border continued after Partition up to 1965, though there may have been interruptions. Those who have been following the Indian Railways since the 1960s may remember seeing BG wagons marked PE and PW, being the initials of the then Pakistan Eastern and Pakistan Western Railways.
Goods trains across Gede-Darsana and Petrapol-Benapol and (to a lesser extent) other crossing points were running for some time before the Maitree express between Kolkata and Dhaka started running in 2008. There are frequent EMU services between Sealdah and Bangaon (the present spelling), but no passenger train seems to have run to Petrapole since 1965 till the present. Goods trains would have crossed the border after formalities at this station.
In early 2008 I had traveled by road from Khulna to Benapol. The highway between Khulna and Jessore runs mainly adjacent to the rails. One could see a number of IR wagons from various zones stabled at the small stations on this route.
A Google maps reference for Petrapole and surrounding areas is given here. Those who are interested can trace the path to Khulna, which involves a sharp turn to the south at Jessore.
It can be seen that the main road crossing point is in the vicinity, though not very close to Petrapole and Benapol stations.
Here is the checkpoint for the existing Maitree Express at Kolkata station. Presumably the new train will also use it.
Getting details of stations functioning in Bangladesh at present is not very easy, particularly as no detailed timetable seems to have been published since the 1980s. If one is really interested one can refer to http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/pdfasia/bangladeshrlys.pdf although it does not seem to have information beyond the 80s. This is the best I can find, from a map published by a railfan around 2001. The mapmaker has tried to show every station which existed at that time.
Here is the best official map which I could find, which is dated 2013. It does not show every station.
While the route from Khulna to Jessore is part of the main line going to the north-western part of Bangladesh, the Jessore-Benapol section was quite neglected with a single pair of local trains between Khulna and Benapol. See train nos 53/54 near the bottom of this page:
Examples of station signs with languages of neighboring states.
Copyrights of the pictures belong to the respective photographers.
Raichur in Karnataka and close to Telangana. Has Telugu apart from English, Hindi, Kannada and Urdu.
Nearby in Telangana there is Krishna. Has Kannada apart from English, Hindi, Telugu and Urdu.
Kollengode, Kerala. Has Tamil apart from Malayalam.
Pollachi, Tamil Nadu. Has Malayalam apart from Tamil.
In the past Kanniyakumari in TN had Malayalam apart from Tamil-partly because it was in Travancore state for a long time.
Sini, near Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. Has Odiya and Bengali.
Numerous signs in Jharkhand had Bengali, like here:
And in present-day Bihar:
Finally, Pimpalkhuti in Maharashtra, close to Telangana.
In Maharashtra near the Telangana border we have this inscription which is in Hindi and not Marathi.
Many stations in Maharashtra have separate inscriptions for Hindi and Marathi even if they are identical, but not here. .A typical example is this one from Miraj where Hindi and Marathi inscriptions are identical:
These are a few samples of good neighborliness. Numerous other cases can be seen in other parts of India.
Here are some pictures of stations and signs as they were in the 1940s or earlier. It is interesting to see the languages used in some of the signs, as these places are now in Pakistan
First, Karachi Cantt in the 1940s (from a film shot by a British soldier):
Lahore, probably 1940s:
Landi Khana. This is truly a rare picture, as it could have been taken only between 1926 and 1932. Note the Gurumukhi script.
Landi Kotal, probably 1930s:
Shelabagh, close to Chaman on the border with Afghanistan and not too far from Kandahar. Note the southern end of the Khojak tunnel:
And finally Tanduri, on the now-closed Sibi-Khost section. It appeared in the 1891 timetable and never again. Perhaps the extreme heat gave it its name and hastened its closure:
(This picture seems to have been taken in 2009). The sign does look to be a century old.
Finally, this is what you would see while entering British India from Afghanistan at the Khyber Pass border checkpoint in the 1930s:
It is easy to guess that the milestone refers to Peshawar, Jamrud and Landi Kotal. The station of Landi Khana was still closer to the border. It appears that an embankment and maybe rails were laid from there to the border, but trains never ran on them.
And when you tried to cross into Afghanistan at other points on the border, you would see this:
There are 33 such cases. Only one, TAP Sekhar of India, has played in more than 1 Test. But he has been reasonably successful as a coach.
Most of the other names are unfamiliar, as they were dropped after one lacklustre performance. The names of JCW MacBryan and V Rajindernath would be more familiar to trivia-hunters. We will see more of them in a moment.
A further step is to identify those who had
No runs, no wickets and no fielding dismissals in their Test careers:
This is a subset of the upper table, as 12 of them had taken at least one fielding dismissal (notably V. Rajindernath with 4 stumpings). The 21 listed here did not even have that. TAP Sekhar is again the only one with more than one Test.
The case of HM Thurlow is of some interest as he was run out for 0 to leave Bradman on 299 not out in a Test against South Africa. See the 4th entry here:
Never batted, bowled or fielded in their Test career:
While two Netherlands players have achieved this in T20Is and one Sri Lankan in ODIs, everyone who played a Test has at least fielded, if not made a fielding dismissal. You may want to see MacBryan’s Test career here:
Play was possible only on the first of the three days scheduled, in which South Africa batted for 66.5 overs. MacBryan would have fielded through the day, but did not take a catch. Presumably he must have touched the ball at some point.
And Rajindernath could at least console himself with sharing the record for the Most stumpings on debut (4):
From the section on “Etymology”, we see that it was known as Mhau or Mau long before the British built the cantonment there, and that the above explanation of the name is a backronym
We can guess that someone (probably a bored British soldier) invented this backronym as a joke which somehow became popular. After all “Military Headquarters Of War” is a non-standard phrase which really has no meaning-why not just Army Headquarters? And which war?
There are several other (non-Indian) examples of backronyms in the Wikipedia article. There are a couple of other place names in India which are thought to be acronyms but are not. Here is another one named Babina.
Here it is mentioned that the name is derived from “British Army Base In Native Asia”. Elsewhere I have seen it with “Northern Asia”. As in the case of Mhow, someone seems to have “created” this explanation which got accepted by others. It is easy enough to see that this is a joke; have you come across the phrase “Native Asia” in any standard reference book or historical document? And Northern Asia is generally understood to mean Siberia, Mongolia and perhaps part of China which were never ruled by the British. And when there were hundreds of British Army bases all over the country, what was special about this place to deserve this name? It was and is of some importance, but is certainly not one of the largest cantonments in the country.
Yet another one pertains to this Air Force base named Thoise. There is no railway station for hundreds of kilometres, so we make do with a map reference:
which mentions that the name stands for Transit Halt Of Indian Soldiers Enroute (to Siachen). This sounds a little more plausible than the examples quoted earlier.
However, a veteran IAF pilot who had served in this area in the 1960s pointed out that IAF transport aircraft were using this airstrip back then, long before anyone had heard of the Siachen Glacier. It was not until 1984 that our army took up positions there. It was known as Thoise even then, presumably named after a village in the vicinity.
Another authentic-sounding one is “AMmunition LAnd” for Amla in Madhya Pradesh. While the military seems to have storage facilities there, the Wikipedia article suggests it is named after a fruit.
“The word ‘Avadi’ has been considered as an acronym for “Armour-ed Vehicles and Ammunition Depot of India”, however this fact has no base since, the defense establishments in Avadi were set up only in the 1960s, whereas the town itself had existed long before this happened and with the same name. The name Avadi actually means in Tamil ‘a place filled with lot of cows’ ஆ (Aa) = cow + அடி (Adi) = location.”
As it often happens, the cows have the last laugh.