The railways of Nagaland-past and present

In August 2022, the branch line from Dhansiri (in Assam) to Sukhovi (in Nagaland) was inaugurated. The Donyi Polo Express from Naharalagun (Arunachal) to Guwhati via Rangiya was extended to Dhansiri and Sukhovi, thereby linking Arunachal with Nagaland. The PR staff announced that Sukhovi was the first station in Nagaland, which was not correct.

The first stations in Nagaland were Rangapahar, Rangapahar Crossing and Dimapur on the main line from Lumding to Tinsukia. Dimapur started off as Manipur Road, then Dimapur Manipur Road in the 1970s and now Dimapur. The road from Dimapur to Imphal passed through Kohima in Nagaland.

Note that these signboards strictly follow the formula in other states-local language followed by English followed by Hindi. The local language is English.

The next station in Nagaland was Naginimora, on a branch from Simaluguri Jn in Assam. MG passenger trains were running on this route until at least 1994, but it closed soon afterward. Naginimora station was just over the border in Nagaland.

Then there was the short-lived MG line from Amguri Jn to Tuli. This was meant to serve a paper mill near Tuli, though it closed down after some years. It was planned to extend the line to Tuli Town.

However the MG line from Amguri to Tuli was converted to BG. There is no passenger service, though a small number of goods trains run for departmental use.

This is supposed to be the newly constructed BG station at Tuli.

And finally to the new line from Dhansiri to Shokhuvi. There is an intermediate station called Dhansiripar in Nagaland.

This line has a long way to go towards Zubza which will be the station for Kohima.

Delhi to Bangalore by metre gauge in 1976

With the near-complete removal of metre gauge from all important routes starting from the late 1970s, it would be a surprise to younger railfans that as late as 1976 it was possible to travel from Delhi Jn to Bangalore City wholly by metre gauge. (At that time there was no train from Delhi to Bangalore, though there were through coaches on the GT Express and Madras/Bangalore Express. The Kerala-Karnataka Express was yet to appear.)

There was, of course, no such MG train but by a series of reasonably good MG expresses it was possible to make this journey of 2389 km. The BG route via Madras would be a little longer at 2536 km.

Let us begin our journey from Delhi Jn. I have taken the distances from the 1976 All India Time Table. Spelling of names are from that period. Inflated distances were being charged between Khandwa and Hingoli, so I have taken actual distances.

Between Rewari and Phulera I have taken the route via Ringas rather than the better-known route via Jaipur, as the former is shorter.

This route passes through DL, HR, RJ, MP, MH, AP and KA. (Also TG which did not exist then).

Delhi-Madras has been covered here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2021/09/18/delhi-to-madras-by-metre-gauge-in-1976/

Madras-Bangalore has been covered here: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2022/01/02/madras-to-bangalore-by-metre-gauge-in-1976/

Those who have timetables of 1976 or thereabout can work out suitable combinations of trains to cover this route. Examples could be Delhi-Ajmer, Ajmer-Secunderabad, Secunderabad-Bangalore.

Compare this with the BG route via Madras.

Notes on the 2nd Test between England and South Africa, 2020

The two-Test series is now poised 1-1, with both matches finishing within 3 days with innings defeats.

Manchester continued to be an unlucky venue for SA as England leads 5-1 with 4 draws. SA won only in 1955.

The third Test is scheduled for Sep 8-12 at the Oval. Here England leads 7-1 with 7 draws. SA won only in 2012.

AK Markram played his 33rd Test, none of which were drawn. He has seen 20 wins and 13 losses.

Anderson became the first to play 100 Tests at home. Next is Tendulkar with 94.

Tendulkar has played the most Tests (200), followed by Anderson with 174. That is, naturally, a record for England.

Also see: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2022/08/25/most-tests-home-away-and-neutral/

Anderson also became the first to take 100 wickets in Tests between England and SA, Here are the top few:

SM Pollock, Donald and Barnes are next. Broad has 82, but is unlikely to cross his partner’s total.

Most Tests: home, away and neutral

At the start of the 2nd Test between England and South Africa at Manchester, it was mentioned that JM Anderson was the first to play 100 Tests at home.

This is true. Let us also look who has played the most Tests overall, away and neutral.

These figures include all those playing in the Manchester Test of 2022, and do not include the ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005.

Most Tests (125 or more):

Tendulkar (200) is followed by Anderson (174) and SR Waugh (168). The next from India is Dravid (163).

Also: Anderson (174), Broad (158), Warne (144) and VVS Laxman (134) have played the most Tests without ever captaining their sides.

Most Tests at home (60 or more):

Anderson leads with 100, followed closely by Tendulkar (94), Broad and Ponting (91 each). the next from India is again Dravid (70).

Most Tests away (other than neutral venues), 60 or more.

Tendulkar leads with 106, followed by Dravid with 93. Next is Chanderpaul with 81. Ponting, Anderson and Broad are further down.

And finally,

Most Tests at neutral venues (7 or more):

As you may guess, Pakistani players dominate this list starting with Asad Shafiq (30), Azhar Ali (29) and Younis Khan (28).

The highest by a non-Pakistani player is 8 by R Herath, followed by several others with 7. These include some NZ players who played in the WTC final against India in England in 2021.

Review of Zimbabwe-India ODIs (Aug 2022)

This series was the first time India had played Zimbabwe in ODIs since 2016. India won 3-0, following their earlier clean sweeps in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Summary of all ODIs between these teams:

India leads 54-10 overall and 22-4 in Zimbabwe.

We now look at individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (500 or more):

Tendulkar and Ganguly have almost the same totals. No current players here. The most are by Sikandar Raza (388) and S Dhawan (367).

The most centuries are 5 by Tendulkar and 3 by Ganguly.

The most 50+ scores are 12 by A Flower and 11 by A Campbell

Highest innings (100 or more):

Here there are some new records:

Shubham Gill’s 130 is the highest for India in Zimbabwe (surpassing Tendulkar’s 127* in 1998)

Sikandar Raza’s 115 is the highest for Zimbabwe at home vs India (surpassing E Chigumbura’s 104* in 2015).

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, 30.00):

Tendulkar leads by a large margin, while recent players have not played enough.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 500 balls faced and 75.00):

Yuvraj leads here, while recent players are again absent.

Bowling:

Most wickets (15 or more):

Unexpectedly, Agarkar has the most wickets here. None from recent years.

No one has taken more than one 5wi. The most 4+wi are 4 by Zaheer Khan and 3 by Agarkar.

The most by current players is 14 by AR Patel.

Best innings bowling (includes all 5wi and better):

Newcomer Brad Evans is the only current player here. India’s best bowling is a 6-for by the nearly forgotten A Mishra.

Bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls bowled, all instances):

Agarkar has the best bowling average and strike rate. Kumble has the best economy rate.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (12 or more):

A Flower leads by a large margin, and A Campbell has the most catches by a fielder.

Dravid, who played in some matches as a keeper, has the most dismissals for India.

Most dismissals in an innings (4 or more):

The most dismissals are 5 by Kirmani and N Mongia, while VVSL has the most (4) by a fielder.

Highest dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):

A Flower leads, while Azharuddin has the best rate by a fielder.

All-round performance (overall):

Minimum 20 innings and 1000 balls bowled:

Only Streak has batted and bowled enough. He does not really qualify to be an all-rounder in these matches.

All-round performance (match):

Minimum 30 runs and 3 wickets:

The best performances here are by Ganguly (2000) and Crocker (1992).

Two cricketers from Bengal

While every possible career statistic is tabulated for prominent cricketers, there are sometimes ambiguities in their place of birth.

We start with Wriddhiman Saha (who spells his first name in an unusual way). Where was he born? Cricinfo gives this:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/wriddhiman-saha-279810

This says that he was born in Saktigarh in West Bengal.

Most people who travel a bit will know of this Saktigarh:

This is a little east of Barddhaman and is on the main line from Kolkata to northern India.

However, if we look at his Wikipedia article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wriddhiman_Saha

his birthplace is given as Siliguri in West Bengal. But there is no contradiction, as there is a lesser-known Saktigarh which is close to Siliguri. While it does not have a railway station, here is proof of its existence:

The cases of Mohammad Shami is more interesting.

First we see his cricinfo profile:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/mohammed-shami-481896

Here it is mentioned that his birthplace is Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. This is near Moradabad on the road to Delhi. Wikipedia also gives the same birthplace.

He started his cricketing career in Bengal and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

At that time, all the references mentioned his birthplace as “Jonagar, Bengal”.

There is no town in Bengal with this spelling. However, someone pointed out that this may have meant Joynagar, an outer suburb of Kolkata best known for the sweet “Joynagar er Moa”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaynagarer_Moa

This place is served by this station, on the suburban line to Lakshmikantpur and Namkhana:

Even today some references like the Playfair Annual of 2022 still show his birthplace as “Jonagar, Bengal”.

While Mr Shami is one of the key members of India’s current team, he could not have possibly been born in two different places over a thousand km apart. Presumably someone connected with the Bengal cricket association (perhaps with the connivance of KKR) produced some document to show that he was born in Bengal.

If I am wrong, then why is his birthplace now listed in UP? Strange that none of the large tribe of cricket journalists commented on his moving birthplace.

Review of T20Is between India and West Indies-Aug 2022

The 5-match series in July-August 2022 included 2 in the US. India won 4-1

A summary of all T20Is between these teams:

India has a healthy 17-7 lead. They also lead in all three segments (in India, in WI and neutral).

The 5th match was said to be the first T20I match when all 10 wickets of a team (WI) were taken by spinners.

Looking at individual performances:

Batting:

Most runs (100 or more):

Led by RG Sharma and V Kohli, with N Pooran having the most runs for WI.

E Lewis is the only one with 2 centuries. RG Sharma and Kohli are the only ones with 6 scores of 50+. All of Kohli’s scores are less than 100.

Highest innings scores (70 or more):

The highest scores in this series were 76 by SA Yadav and 73 by KR Mayers. The former is the best for India in the West Indies.

Highest batting strike rate (Minimum 250 balls faced):

Led by Kohli, followed by RG Sharma and RR Pant.

Now for Bowling:

Most wickets (6 or more):

This has several current players at the top, led by B Kumar.

OC McCoy has the only case of 5wi. 4 players have taken 4+wi.

Best innings bowling (3wi or more):

In this series OC McCoy took 6-17, which is the best for WI vs Ind surpassing D Sammy’s 4-16 in 2011. It is also i) the best in any T20I for WI and ii) the best for any team in any T20I against India.

R Bishnoi’s 4-16 is the best for India against WI, surpassing the 3-4 by DL Chahar in 2019.

Now for Fielding:

Most dismissals (5 or more):

Led by RG Sharma with 12 dismissals.

Most innings dismissals (3 or more):

Several have taken 3 dismissals in an innings.

All-round match performance:

Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets in a match:

The best here is by DJ Bravo (66*, 4-38). AR Patel achieved this during this series.

Statistics of Commonwealth Games cricket-2022

Women’s cricket was included in the CWG for the first time in 2022. These matches have T20I status.

The winners were:

Gold: Australia

Silver: India

Bronze: New Zealand

4th: England

Summary of team performance:

Most runs (100 or more):

Note that Mooney is just ahead of Devine. Mandhana is in 3rd place and Rodrigues is 5th. No one has more than two fifties.

Highest innings (50 or more):

Headed by Bates with McGrath in second place. H Kaur and Mandhana have the highest scores for India.

Bowling-5 wickets or more:

India’s Renuka Singh leads with 11 wickets. Next are McGrath and Schutt with 8.

Innings bowling-includes all 3wi or more:

The best performance was 4-8 by King. The next two were by India’s Renuka Singh.

Fielding (3 or more dismissals):

Several players have 4 dismissals, including both keepers and fielders.

Innings fielding (2 or more dismissals):

Sanjeewani is the only one with 3 dismissals. Many others have 2.

All-round match performance (Minimum 20 runs and 2 wickets):

The best is by McGrath (78* and 3-13) followed by Devine (48 and 3-37).

The new line to Krishnapatnam port

This new line in Andhra Pradesh has been in the news lately. It is similar to the Dedicated Freight Corridors in that it is primarily meant for freight traffic (iron ore export) and there is no present plan to use it for passenger services.

There are, of course, a number of short freight-only lines on IR. This line is unusual in that it is over 100 km long and because it may well serve as a short cut between widely separated parts of a state. And it is electrified from the start.

A very brief summary is here:

https://www.rvnl.org/en/AnnualReportsDocuments/RVNL%20ANNUAL%20REPORT%202015-16%20ENGLISH.pdf

See p 35 of the pdf which corresponds to p 33 of the booklet.

A map of the route:

Obula line map

While this is a screenshot from a TV report, it must have been an official map to start with.

Other articles:

https://www.projectstoday.com/News/Krishnapatnam-Port-Venkatachalam-Obulavaripalle-railway-line-makes-progress

and

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/first-freight-train-between-obulavaripalli-and-venkatachalam-operated/article28139362.ece

The list of stations can be got from the RBS tables (where you have to ask for the “goods” option rather than “coach”).

Obu-Kri line cropped

There are some discrepancies between this table and the map shown above. Perhaps all the stations have not been completed yet.

It would be useful for passenger services between Kadapa and the east coast from Nellore and beyond, as Renigunta and Gudur would be bypassed.

But presently there is a problem with this, which will be apparent from this map of the eastern end of this line:

Obu-Kri line crossing

The new line crosses a flyover (between Kommarpudi and Venkatachalam) over the Gudur-Vijayawada line with no simple connection to the latter. Thus a prospective Nandalur-Gudur passenger or Kadapa-Vijayawada Express would have to reverse at Venkatachalam Road.

The route includes a tunnel about 6.6 km long (between Cherlopalli and Rapuru) which is being described as the “longest electrified rail tunnel in India” which may be correct today. But there will be longer tunnels in J and K which will be electrified over the next few years.

Details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rail_tunnels_in_India_by_length

and https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/scr-commissions-longest-electrified-tunnel/article28276234.ece

There are numerous video clips (in Telugu) on Youtube describing this route with an emphasis on the tunnel.

Also note:

ObulavaripalliVenkatachalam road

Also see these pictures of some of the intermediate stations:

Cherlopalli

Nidiguntapalem

The Karaimadai accident of 1893

Karaimadai is the station before Mettupalaiyam on the line from Coimbatore. At the time of this accident, this section was on the Madras Railway. It later became part of the South Indian Railway and then the Southern Railway.

The derailment of the Madras-Mettupalaiyam passenger on 9 Nov 1893 described below resulted in the deaths of 44 persons and injuries to 47. It was one of the most serious accidents on the Indian railways in the 19th century. Possibly it was the worst, as casualty figures for some earlier disasters are not accurately known.

A couple of pictures taken by a British officer who was serving on the Nilgiri railway:

The handwriting is a bit difficult to decipher, but can be read with some effort. The locomotive appears to be NA1 no 77. This was an 0-6-0 built by Neilson & Co, Glasgow.

Review of Pakistan-Sri Lanka Tests (Jul 2022)-Part 2

Hope you have seen Part 1: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2022/07/31/review-of-pakistan-sri-lanka-tests-jul-2022-part-1/

Continuing with Bowling:

Most wickets (25 or more):

Here Muralitharan has the second spot after Herath, while Saeed Ajmal has the most for Pakistan. Yasir Shah is the only current player.

Best innings bowling (6wi or more):

Herath again, overshadowing Imran Khan. No recent players except for Yasir Shah.

Best match bowling (including 9wm or more):

Here, Imran Khan has better figures than Herath. R Mendis, P Jayasuriya and Yasir Shah represent the current players.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Here, the two Ws have the top spots. Wasim also has the best economy rate, and Waqar the best strike rate.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (15 or more):

Led by Moin Khan and the fielder M Jayawardene. Current players include Dickwella, Chandimal and M Rizwan.

Most innings dismissals (4 or more):

Chandimal has most (6), while two fielders have taken 4 catches.

Most match dismissals (6 or more):

This time it is led by the lesser-known P Jayawardene with 9 dismissals. However, the better-known Jayawardene has the most (6) by a fielder.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.500):

Headed by Moin Khan by a large margin over the second-placed Chandimal. M Jayawardene has the best rate for a fielder. Chandimal represents the current players.

All-round performances:

Overall (see criteria in table):

Wasim has the best figures here, while Vaas does not really qualify as an all-rounder.

Match performances (50+ and 5wi):

The three performances have little to choose between them.