Sri Lanka won the series 2-0 and thus became the first Asian country to win a Test series there. Neither have New Zealand or the West Indies won there yet.
Here is the summary of Tests between these teams:
Until now, Sri Lanka had won only one Test in SA, which was at Durban in December 2011. That was part of a 2-1 series loss.
This time, Sri Lanka won the first Test at Durban by one wicket and the second at Port Elizabeth by the more respectable margin of 8 wickets.
Sri Lanka also leads 6-3 for Tests at home.
We now move to individual performances, starting with batting:
Most runs (500 runs and above):
The old firm of Jayawardene and Sangakkara at the top. Amla heads the current players including Karunaratne, the only one from SL.
Jayawardene (6) has the most centuries followed by Cullinan with 5.
Sangakkara (10) has the most scores of 50+ followed by Cullinan and Sangakkara with 8.
Highest scores (110 and above):
The same old firm monopolizes the first four positions. MDKJ Perera’s match-winning 153* is now the best for SL in SA, surpassing TT Samaraweera’s 115* in 2012. Note Cullinan’s three centuries at the bottom.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):
Almost inevitably it is the same pair at the top. Amla is the only current player here.
Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):
Here we have Jayasuriya leading with ABD in second place. Karunaratne leads the current players.
There have only been 15 1-wicket victories, and none between 1923 and 1951 and then between 1951 and 1980.
Here is a list of all 1-wicket and 2-wicket victories as on 16 Aug 2021:
1) The first instance was in the Eng v Aus Test starting at the Oval on 11/08/1902, when England won.
The last wicket partnership was of 15 runs from 248/9 to 263/9 by GH Hirst (58) and W Rhodes (6). The story goes that they planned to get the runs in singles, but they did not have to do this.
2) SA v Eng at Johannesburg starting on 02/01/1906, won by SA. Partnership of 48 from 239 to 287 by AW Nourse (93) and captain/keeper PW Sherwell (22).
3) Aus v Eng at Melbourne starting on 01/01/1908, won by Eng. Partnership of 39 from 243 to 282 by SF Barnes (38) and A Fielder (18).
4) SA v Eng at Cape Town starting on 01/01/1923, won by Eng. Partnership of 5 from 168 to 173 by AS Kennedy (11) and GG Macaulay (1).
5) Aus v WI at Melbourne starting on 31/12/1951, won by Aus. Partnership of 38 from 222 to 260 by DT Ring (32) and WA Johnston (7).
6) NZ v WI at Dunedin starting on 08/02/1980, won by NZ. Partnership of 4 from 100 to 104 by GB Troup (7) and SL Boock (2).
7) Pak v Aus at Karachi starting on 28/09/1994, won by Pak. Partnership of 57 from 258 to 315 by Inzamam-ul-Haq (58) and Mushtaq Ahmed (20).
8) WI v Aus at Bridgetown starting on 26/03/1999, won by WI. Partnership of 9 from 302 to 311 by BC Lara (153) and CA Walsh (0).
9) WI v Pak at St John’s starting on 25/05/2000, won by WI. Partnership of 19 from 197 to 216 by JC Adams (48) and CA Walsh (4).
10) Pak v BD at Multan starting on 03/09/2003, won by Pak. Partnership of 5 from 257 to 262 by Inzamam-ul-Haq (138) and Yasir Ali (1).
11) SL v SA at Colombo (PSS) starting on 04/08/2006, won by SL. Partnership of 2 from 350 to 352 by MF Mahroof (29) and SL Malinga (1).
12) Ind v Aus at Mohali starting on 01/10/2010, won by Ind. Partnership of 11 from 205 to 216 by VVS Laxman (73) and PP Ojha (5).
13) SA v SL at Durban starting on 13/02/2019, won by SL. Partnership of 78 from 226 to 304 by MDKJ Perera (153) and MVT Fernando (6).
14) Eng v Aus at Leeds starting on 22/08/2019, won by Eng. Partnership of 76 from 286 to 362 by BA Stokes (135) and MJ Leach (1).
15) WI v Pak at Kingston starting on 12/08/2021, won by WI. Partnership of 17 between Roach (30) and Seales (2). Seales had earlier taken his first five-for.
Scorecards of the first match in 1902 and the last match in 2021 are here and here.
We now look at the 17 Tests which ended in a two-wicket victory.
One of them was actually an one-wicket victory as one batsman had retired hurt and probably would not have batted. This was at Dunedin where NZ had pulled off an improbable win in 1980 (see No 6 above).
The 1985 match was NZ v Pak at Dunedin starting on 09/02/1985, won by NZ. The 9th wicket partnership (effectively the last wicket) put on 50 from 228/8 to 278/8 by JV Coney (111) and EJ Chatfield (21). Earlier BL Cairns (0) had retired hurt at 217/7 and the 8th wicket fell at 228.
Coming back to the list of 14 1-wicket victories:
The Feb 2019 match saw the highest winning 10th wicket partnership of 78 in Tests as well as in all first-class cricket. The previous Test record was 57 by Pakistan in 1994.
Later in Aug 2019 we had the second highest winning 10th wicket partnership of 76.
The highest scores in these partnership were 153 by Lara as well as Perera, followed by Inzaman’s 138 and Stokes’s 135.
The lowest scores by the no 11 batsman include 0 by Walsh in 1999, 1 by Leach in 2019 and several other single-figure scores. Walsh did slightly better in 2000 scoring 4.
Leach made his single run only towards the end of the partnership, which ensured the match would at least be tied when England’s score reached 358.
The highest score by a No 11 in these matches was 22 by Sherwell in 1906.
Yasir Ali was playing in his only Test.
Inzamam and Walsh are the only ones to appear twice in these partnerships.
The highest total here is 362 by England in 2019, and the lowest 104 by NZ in 1980.
That was an eventful match which saw DL Haynes scoring 55 and 105, being the only opener in all Tests to be last out in both innings. It ultimately led to New Zealand winning a series against West Indies. This was the first time they had won any Test series at home. They had earlier won only against Pakistan in Pakistan in 1969-70.
The August 2019 win by England also involved one of the lowest first-innings totals by a winning side (and the lowest such total since 1887):
The most fivers were by Ambrose (8) and Gibbs (7). And the most tenners were 2 by Ambrose, Gibbs and Trueman.
The contemporaries Ambrose and Walsh have the most wickets, with Trueman’s 86 for England far behind. Among current players there are Anderson (82), Broad (57) and Roach (42).
Best innings bowling (including all 7wi and above):
RL Chase’s freakish 8-60 in this series is the best for a WI spinner against England, surpassing Valentine’s 8-104 back in 1950. No other major performance in this series, though Anderson and Stokes combined at Lord’s in 2017. Note ARC Fraser’s efforts in 1994 and 1998.
Best match bowling (including all 10wm and above):
No outstanding performance in this series, while there is one by Anderson in 2017.
CS Marriott is the only one in all Tests to take a tenner in his only Test. Greig’s 13-wicket performance was his only 10-for and the best for England in these matches.
Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):
Garner and Ambrose at the top, Anderson, Roach and Broad from the present.
Ramadhin and Valentine are together in this table.
While Garner and Ambrose have the best average, Valentine and Ramadhin have the best economy rate while Marshall and Holding have the best strike rate.
Most dismissals (20 and above):
DL Murray and Dujon are far ahead of the others. Ames of the 1930s has the most stumpings, Murray the most catches by a keeper and Lara the most by a non-keeper.
Best innings fielding (5 dismissals and above):
The best by a non-keeper is 4.
Best match fielding (7 dismissals and above):
The most stumpings are 3 by the occasional keeper Walcott, the most catches by a keeper are 9 by Browne and the most catches by a non-keeper are 6 by Cowdrey, Sobers and Adams.
Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.600):
Here Jacobs and Dujon have the best rate, while Hammond has the best by a non-keeper.
All-round performance (see criteria in table):
It is not surprising to see Sobers at the top, but Holding at no 2 is surprising. He seems to have reserved his best batting and bowling efforts for England. No one from recent years.
All-round match performance (50 and 5wi):
The best performances here would be by Sobers, Greig and Boyce. Here we do have Chase from this series and Stokes from the previous one. Sadly, Boyce and Marshall died young.
The 3-Test series was won 2-1 by the West Indies, with all three matches ending in decisive results. West Indies won their first series against England since early 2009. They have not won a series in England since 1988, and did not win a Test in England between 2000 and 2017.
The overall results are:
The West Indies still enjoy an overall lead and at home, while England leads them in matches played in England.
We now come to individual performances:
Most runs (1000 runs and more):
A long list without much contribution from recent years. The only name from the past few years is AN Cook.
The most centuries are 10 by Sobers and 8 by Richards and Headley. The most from England is 6 by several players. The most scores of 50+ are 23 by Richards and Sobers, followed by 21 by Chanderpaul. The most by England is 20 by Boycott.
Highest innings scores (175 and above):
This list is led by Lara’s world records and is followed by Sandham’s score which was the first Test triple century. The only such score from this series is captain Holder’s 202*, while Cook scored 243 in the last series in 2017.
Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings and 35.00):
Yet again, Cook is the only representative in recent years with his 57.96. Hutton and Headley are far ahead of others, and they both played their last Test in this series in 1954.
February 12, 2019 is Gundappa Viswanath’s 70th birthday. And the 50th anniversary of his Test debut comes up later in 2019. So it is a good time to review the history of those who scored a century and duck on debut.
This club has only 4 members:
Note that Viswanath was the first member of this club, with a duck followed by a century on his debut. The only other member of this sub–group is Mohammad Wasim.
Then there is AC Hudson and current player KK Jennings who scored a century followed by a duck on debut.
There have been a total of 166 instances of a century and duck in the same Test, starting with WL Murdoch (0 and 153* in 1880) and ending with UT Khwaja (0 and 101* at Canberra in 2019).
We also look at those who scored a duck and 50+ on debut:
From India, there are only Viswanath, DJ Gandhi and GH Vihari.
Against India, there are captain Tony Lewis (1972), the little-known Australian GR Robertson in 1998, Jennings and Dawson in the same series in 2016 and Roshan Silva in 2017.
Those who narrowly missed a century would be Colin Milburn (94 in 1966) and Zulqarnain Haider (88 in his only Test in 2010).
Note Herath’s late surge after Muralitharan retired. Starc heads the current players.
The most 5wis are 6 by Herath and Starc. The most 10wms are 2 by Warne and Starc.
Best innings bowling (6wi and above):
Cummins has the best figures among current players.
Best match bowling (9wm and above):
In this series, Cummins (10-62 at Brisbane) and Starc (10-100 at Canberra) surpassed the previous mark for Australia vs Sri Lanka at home. It was earlier held by Siddle (9-104 at Hobart in 2012).
Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):
Herath and Warne have the best bowling averages.
Vaas and Warne have the best economy rates.
Herath and Warne have the best strike rates.
Most dismissals (12 and above):
Gilchrist and Healy have the most catches by a keeper (32) and Gilchrist also has the most stumpings (5). The most catches by a non-keeper are 20 by M Jayawardene. Only Kusal Mendis represents current players here with 12 dismissals.
Most innings dismissals (4 and above):
This time Hayden has the most catches by a fielder with 4.
Most match dismissals (6 and above):
Healy and Gilchrist yet again, while Hayden’s 7 catches as a non-keeper were a share in the world record at that time.
Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.5):
Sangakkara has the highest dismissal rate, while M Jayawardene has the highest by a non-keeper.
All-round overall performance (see criteria):
Only Vaas meets these criteria.
All-round match performance (50 and 5wi in match):
Test series between Australia and Sri Lanka have often been one sided, with Sri Lanka winning all 3 tests at home in 2016 and losing both tests in 2019. Sri Lanka is getting used to clean sweeps at home, losing 3-0 to India in 2017 and 3-0 to England in 2018.
Here we look at the history of Tests between Australia and Sri Lanka:
Australia lead 19-4, with 3 of their losses coming in 2016. Sri Lanka has never won a Test in Australia.
Most runs (500 and above):
The most centuries are by M Hussey (5) and the most scores of 50+ are 8 by Clarke, Ponting and Sangakkara.
No current player from either side has more than 500 runs in these matches.
Highest innings (125 and above):
From this series we see 180 by Burns and 161 by Head.
Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):
Headed by Ponting and Sangakkara, with no recent players here.
Strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, 40.00)
Headed by Jayasuriya, with no one from recent years.