Quick quiz – Birthplaces

A trivia quiz on non-obvious birthplaces:

The real challenge is getting the answer without referring to the net.

Answer in Facebook’s comments page. I will post the correct answers after about 24 hours-say 2200 IST on 1 Sep.

  • In which city was Shashi Tharoor born?
  • Which recent US Presidential candidate was born in the Panama Canal Zone?
  • Which prominent tennis player from the US was born in Germany in 1959?
  • Which town in Austria was Adolf Hitler born in?
  • Which country was the Australian cricketer and coach Dav Whatmore born in?
  • Which state of the US was Barack Obama born in?
  • Which prominent politician from Tamil Nadu was born in Kandy in Sri Lanka?
  • In which city was Rajiv Gandhi born?
  • Which Nobel-prize winning physicist was nominally a Tamilian but was born in Lahore?
  • On which Greek island was Prince Philip, (the present Duke of Edinburgh) born?
  • In which city was General Pervez Musharraf born?
  • In which city was Field-Marshal Manekshaw born?

Answers:

  • London, UK
  • John Mc Cain (Obama’s opponent in 2008)
  • John McEnroe
  • Brunau (or Brenner)
  • Sri Lanka
  • Hawaii
  • MG Ramachandran, CM for several years.
  • Mumbai
  • Chandrashekhar (Nobel Physics winner in 1983)
  • Corfu
  • Delhi
  • Amritsar

References: these birthplaces can be checked from Wikipedia or other standard references in the articles on the concerned persons.

Test centuries but no fifties (Aug 2019)

There seems to be a lot of interest in this older post about Karun Nair:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/karun-nairs-test-records/

Particularly as he has now made a couple of good scores in domestic matches.

So we update an older post about those who scored Test centuries and no fifties.

One century and no fifties, arranged in order of highest score:

1 century and no fifty.JPG

Karun Nair tops this list, being the only one with a triple century and no fifty.

Then we have David Lloyd and Brendon Kuruppu. Lloyd’s double came in his second Test (against India’s ill-fated team of 1974), while Kuruppu scored his double on Test debut.

We then have a long list going down to TB de Bruyn, who is probably going to play again. Others who may play again would be Nair, KR Patterson, TA Blundell, GJ Maxwell and AG Cremer.

There are many who scored a century on debut, including Kuruppu, Fawad Alam, Khalid Ibadulla, Bannerman (in the very first Test), Griffith, Mills, Hartigan, Ali Naqvi, Abul Hasan, Ganteaume (only Test), Shodhan, Blundell, Hayes, Baichan, DR Smith, Milton, Wellham, Pataudi Sr and van Zyl. Of these club members, only Blundell is likely to leave.

If you were thinking of RE Redmond, he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.

Now for those who scored two centuries and no fifties:

2 century and no fifty

Graham scored a century on debut. And W Wasti scored both his centuries in the same Test.

And only one has scored three centuries and no fifties:

3 century and no fifty

While Bopara continued to play limited-overs matches for England, he did not get a chance to score a fifty after his three centuries.

For a short time KL Rahul shared this record, as he scored three centuries before making his first fifty.

 

 

NZ-SL Test review (Aug 2019)-2

Continuing from Part 1

Bowling:

Most Wickets (15 or more):

NZ-SL wkts

Muralitharan dominates, but current players such as Southee and Boult are slowly catching up. Southee overtook Vettori as top wicket-taker for NZ during this series.

Best innings bowling (6wi or more):

NZ v SL innings bowling

Vettori has the only 7-wicket haul here. Boult and Southee did well in the 2018 series.

Best match bowling (9wm or more):

NZ-SL match bowling

While there are several 10-wicket hauls, the only recent good performance was 9-107 by Boult in 2018. Sir Richard Hadlee is here from the early days.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

NZ-SL bowl average

For once, Southee is ahead of Muralitharan in bowling average. We can also see that the best economy rates are by Murali followed by Southee, and that the best strike rates are by Southee followed by Boult.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (10 or more):

NZ-SL dismissals

Here Watling leads although he has played relatively fewer matches. P Jayawardene has the most stumpings.

The next two places go to Tillakratne and Mc Cullum who were not keepers in all their matches. The most by a non-keeper is 23 by Fleming. Current players including Williamson and Taylor can also be seen here.

Innings dismissals (5 or more):

NZ-SL innings fielding

While IDS Smith has 7 catches in an innings, no non-keeper has reached 5.

Match dismissals (6 or more):

NZ-SL match dismissal

Watling is the only one with 9 dismissals. The most by a non-keeper is 7 by Tillakratne, which was a share in the world record for some years. He also took 7 catches as a keeper on another occasion.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

NZ-SL dismissal rate

Tillakratne heads this table, with dismissals both as a keeper and non-keeper. Next is McCullum, another “hybrid”. The best figures by a non-keeper are by SP Fleming.

Watling is not here as he has not played enough. Williamson and Taylor have the best figures among current players.

All-round performance:

Overall (see criteria in table):

NZ-SL AR-overall

The only true all-rounders Vettori and Vaas can be seen here.

Match performance (50 and 5wi):

NZ-SL AR match

Vettori and Vaas again. Vettori has the relatively rare feat of a fifty plus 10 wickets.

 

Review of NZ – SL Tests-1

This is the first Test series to be completed under the World Test Championship (although the Aus-Eng series started earlier and in in progress as this is written). As the 2-Test series was drawn 1-1, NZ and SL each got 60 points.

A total of 36 Tests have been played between these sides. New Zealand leads Sri Lanka 16-0 with 11 draws.

In New Zealand, the hosts lead 11-2 with 6 draws in a total of 19 Tests.

In Sri Lanka, however, New Zealand trails 5-7 with 5 draws in a total of 17 Tests.

Going to individual performances, starting with

Batting

Most runs (500 or more):

NZ-SL batting

Williamson and Latham are rising swiftly up this table, although the current Sri Lankan players are some distance away.

Highest innings (110 or more):

NZ-SL innings

The highest score in this series was Latham’s 154, although he had made two larger scores in the previous series in 2018.

Strangely enough, the highest scores between these teams for NZ (299 by Martin Crowe) and SL (267) were in the same Test in 1991.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

NZ-SL average

Fleming and (surprisingly) Mathews lead this table. R Taylor is the only other current player here.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):

NZ-SL strike rate

After Aravinda and Sangakkara, there are R Taylor, Williamson and several other current players.

To be continued.

 

The world’s shortest international rail journeys

Elsewhere on this blog you can read about the world’s shortest international flights, 8 minutes between small cities in Gemany and Switzerland here .

For scheduled rail services, the record would be held by the frequent metre gauge shuttles between Johor Bahru (JB) in Malaysia and Woodlands in Singapore. This is about 3 km.

Trains no longer run to the main terminus in Singapore. From JB there are connections to all parts of Malaysia and the Thai border.

At 1.08 you can see a metre gauge brake van of the same type used in IR.

The timetable can be seen here.

Until recently, Indian railfans could see ex-IR YDM-4s on the express trains between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Now we come to another short international rail journey of about 50 metres on standard gauge – more of a joke, really:

http://www.andrewgrantham.co.uk/the-worlds-shortest-international-railway/

As mentioned in the text, only children are carried as passengers on this short run between the Czech Republic and Germany. As they are Schengen countries, there are no border checks.

You may notice that the background music shifts from the Czech national anthem to the German one as the border is crossed.

Pentas and Hexas

You have heard of quadruplets, quintuplets and hextuplets. Or quadrilaterals, pentagons and hexagons.

The Penta has various connotations. Like the Pentagon. Or Brazil winning the soccer World Cup for the 5th time in 2002. Or even the dreaded Khalistani terrorist named Surjit Singh Penta, and the long-gone Hotel Leela Penta.

And there are penta locomotive combinations on the line through the Braganza ghats to Goa:

Note the “station” of Dudhsagar Water Falls, with is nothing but a viewing platform with signs.

This impressive array of power is needed for trains going downhill, particularly as they need additional braking power.

However, these are not the most locos on a train on the Indian Railways. Admittedly the six-pack you see below is quite rare.

Most of you have heard the one about “How do you get 4 elephants into a Volkswagen Beetle? Two in the front and two in the back”.

And the desi version involving the venerable Ambassador, where the 6 elephants are accommodated three in the front and three in the back.

Remember that now:

Video by Mr Rajendraprakash Saxena.

This was taken above Palasdhari at the start of the Bhor Ghat incline to Lonavla. Goods trains are normally hauled by electric locos, though here we have three WDG-3As in front and a triplet of WCG-2 howlers at the back. Not unlike howler monkeys. Sadly, you cannot hear them today.

Batting on all 5 days of a Test

RJ Burns took his appointed place on the short list of those who have batted on all 5 days of a Test:

Batting on all 5 days of Test

In some cases there would have been curtailment of play, but some play was possible on each of the 5 days. This does not include Tests which finished in 4 or less days. While there have been Tests played over 6 or more days, there is no such instance there.

Oddly enough, this did not occur until 1960 and Jaisimha had the record to himself until 1977. Several others followed Boycott in quick succession, although there was a 15-year gap between 1984 and 1999.

The lowest totals are by Pujara (74) followed by Jaisimha with 94.

In at least one case, the player (Boycott) can be said to have played a major role in his team’s win. There are some where his team lost (Lamb, Griffith, Burns).

 

Airline PJs

Airlines, like many other organizations, are often known by their initials. In some cases the original form may not be well known, as in QANTAS = Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.

Here is a large collection of PJs based on the names and initials of airlines. Beware that many of these are quite bad, and also that many  refer to unknown and defunct airlines. I have added a few more below the link:

http://cargotracking.utopiax.org/jokes3.html

PIA (Please Inform Allah) is usually followed by AI (Allah Informed).

BOAC: Bend Over Again Christine (Google for Christine Keeler or Profumo scandal).

Pan Am, officially Pan American Airways: Pandemonium Scareways.

GARUDA (Indonesia): Good Airline Run Under Dutch Administration

And TWA has associated jokes like “Do you want TWA coffee or TWA tea?”, although not all their passengers would have been familiar with the American word here.

There are a few similar ones like these for railway companies.

 

Peter Siddle and the PJs

Peter Siddle has been in and out of the Australian team.

In 64 Tests before the start of the current Ashes series, he has scored 1080 runs and has taken 214 wickets. In the current Test, he was the second top-scorer and made 44 batting at number 10.

He has taken 8 fivers and a hat-trick, and also holds one batting record as he is the only  batsman to have scored two fifties in a Test while batting at No 9.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/7898.html

Older cricket fans would remember Raju Bharatan and his horrible puns. He would have a field day with Peter Siddle, as his surname rhymes with many other words (not all of them polite): diddle, fiddle, middle, piddle, riddle, griddle etc.

The British media had this to say after one of his good performances: “Peter goes from second fiddle to fecund Siddle”.

Not quite up to the standard of Shashi Tharoor, but a good try.