T20Is between India and South Africa-June 2022

This series was drawn 2-2 with one no-result.

Here is a summary of all such matches until now;

India trails 5-3 for matches played in India, while they have a better record for matches played in SA and at neutral venues.

Prior to this series, India had won only one T20I against SA at home.

India has still not won a bilateral T20I series at home against SA. though they have won one in SA. And India also won the first T20I World Championship in SA in 2007.

Here we summarise the statistics of all T20Is for individual performances between these teams:

Most runs (100 or more):

Among those who played in this series, H Klaasen has the most runs (210). He is followed closely by I. Kishan. RG Sharma and SK Raina are the only ones to score centuries. Duminy and RG Sharma have 3 50+ scores apiece.

Highest innings (50 or more):

Klaasen’s 81 in this series is the highest for SA, surpassing de Kock’s 79* in 2019.

Most wickets (5 or more):

B Kumar is the only one with a 5wi, and the most (2) 4wis. He has also taken the most (14) wickets.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

There were three 4wis by Indian bowlers in this series.

Most dismissals (4 and more):

Raina and RG Sharma have the most dismissals, while Dhoni and Klaasen (5) have the most by a keeper.

Most innings dismissals ( 3 or more):

Several players have made 3 dismissals in an innings. None of them were designated keepers, although KD Karthik took 2 stumpings while temporarily keeping.

Match all-round performances (20 runs and 2 wickets):

The best all-round performance is by Yuvraj in 2012, which is slightly better than that of Pretorius in this series.

Onwards to Ireland and England

As I write, the India-South Africa T20I series is tied 2-2 with the 5th match to be played at Bengaluru on June 19.

The next tour involved two T20I teams in Ireland:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ire-vs-india-hardik-pandya-to-captain-india-in-ireland-t20is-rahul-tripathi-gets-maiden-call-up-1320109

The matches are at Dublin (Malahide) on Jun 26 and Jun 28.

Until now, India and Ireland have played 3 matches in this format. India has won all of them:

The first match in 2009 was part of the T20I World Cup.

Basic statistics:

Most runs: 149 by RG Sharma

Highest score: 97 by RG Sharma

Most wickets: 7 by Kuldeep Yadav

Best bowling: 4-19 by Zaheer Khan, 4-21 by Kuldeep Yadav

Most dismissals: 3 by MS Dhoni and by SR Thompson. The latter was a fielder.

Then there is India’s tour of England:

It starts with the left-over 5th Test which was scheduled to be held at Manchester in 2021. At that time India led 2-1 with 1 draw. Thus the possible results are a drawn 2-2 series, and Indian 3-1 or 2-1 win.

It is now scheduled for Jul 1-5 2022 at Birmingham, as Manchester had already been booked for concerts at that time.

India has never won a Test at Manchester and Birmingham, besides Southampton.

Then we have the T20I series:

Warm-up match 1 v Derbyshire at Derby, Jul 1

Warm-up match 2 v Northants at Northampton. Jul 3

The three T20Is are at

  1. Southampton, Jul 7
  2. Birmingham, Jul 9
  3. Nottingham, Jul 10

followed by three ODIs:

  1. the Oval, Jul 12
  2. Lord’s, Jul 14
  3. Manchester, Jul 17

Quick quiz: Places in South Asia

(Answers are given below the respective questions)

The best response was by Debatra Majumdar.

  1. What connects these places? (Hint: Think beyond the railways)

They were major air bases of the British and US air forces during WW2. Now they are disused. A few, like Kalaikunda, are still in use.

2. This may be simpler. It is easy to see what connects these places. Each of them corresponds to a station in India. Name them.

(Darsana)

(Biral)

(Rohanpur)

Benapole: Petrapole

Darsana: Gede

Biral: Radhikapur

Rohanpur: Singhabad

Chilahati: Haldibari

3. Each of these stations corresponds to a station in India. Name the latter.

Jassar: Dera Baba Nanak

Wagah: Atari

Zero Point: Munabao

(Note: Zero Point is now called Marvi. No picture with this board could be found).

4. This used to be an important junction in Pakistan’s Punjab, and is close to India’s border. What was it called in the 1940s? Hint: think of a place where the Dalai Lama stays most of the time.

Macleodganj Road Jn, listed in timetables of the 1940s. The Dalai Lama stays in Mcleodganj, near the town of Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh.

5. This station used to be on the NWR. But is neither in India nor Pakistan. Where is it?

Iran. This is between the Pakistan border and Zahidan. (Is the board in Farsi?)

6. This junction is for the branch to Pakistan’s northern-most terminus. Name the latter.

A branch from Taxila Cantt runs to Havelian, presently the northern-most station open in Pakistan. It is the railhead for Abbottabad. Earlier the northern-most station was Dargai on a branch from Nowshera.

7. This abandoned station was on the line connecting cities in India and Pakistan. Name them.

This is Ranbirsinghpura, the last station in India on the Jammu-Sialkot line which closed in 1947. Suchetgarh was the last station in Pakistan, although the village of that name seems to be in India.

8. What is special about this minor station in Bangladesh?

Dohazari is on a branch from Chittagong. It was built in the 1920s as the first stage of a line to Burma. No further progress was made.

9. This is a station in India. What is unusual about it?

This station is in India. Earlier there was a station with the same name in Bangladesh. The town extends over both countries.

10. What is common between these stations in different parts of Bangladesh?

(Hili)

Hili and Quasba are in Bangladesh but very close to the Indian border. In the picture for Hili, India starts just after the tracks on the right.

The Bandhan Express to Khulna

As you know, there are three pairs of trains running between India and Bangladesh: The Bandhan Express between Kolkata and Khulna, the Maitree Express between Kolkata and Dhaka Cantt, and the Mitali Express between New Jalpaiguri and Dhaka Cantt.

Of these, only the Bandhan Express has an exact counterpart from before Partition. This was known as the Barisal Express which ran between Sealdah and Khulna. The railway has not reached Barisal (now Barishal) yet, though this may happen in the near future.

The Barisal Express of 1944 is covered here;

That was running between 2017 and 2020, and has restarted in 2022. The main details are here:

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

Note that the rake has 4 AC-1 and 4 AC chair coaches and no other passenger coaches. In general, Indian rakes and Bangladeshi rakes are used on alternate days.

An IR diesel hauls the train between Kolkata and Benapole, across the border. A BR diesel takes it onward to Khulna. The track is electrified up to Bangaon, so an electric loco could have been used up to there. As in all the India-Bangladesh trains, the Indian loco crosses the border and proceeds to the first station there.

The timetables showing all intermediate stations:

13129 Kolkata-Khulna:

Note the stoppages at Petrapole, Benapol and Jessore

https://indiarailinfo.com/train/timetable/all/66521/7037/12313

13130 Khulna-Kolkata:

https://indiarailinfo.com/train/timetable/all/60169/12313/7037

The stoppages are the same.

A few pictures of stations on the Bangladesh side:

Nabharon

Joshore (Jessore) Jn

Khulna

It can be seen that even in large stations, most boards may be only in Bangla.

World record defeat in first-class cricket

Mumbai beat Uttarakhand by 725 runs in the Ranji quarter-final which concluded today:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/ranji-trophy-2021-22-2022-1280196/mumbai-vs-uttarakhand-2nd-quarter-final-1313304/live-cricket-score

This is the highest margin of defeat by runs in all first-class matches, surpassing the 685 runs margin for NSW v Qld in 1929-30 at Sydney. The existing records can be seen here:

Note that the 675-run margin for England vs Aus in 1928-29 at Brisbane is next on the list.

It can be seen that the Mumbai team included only two (fringe) international players in Prithvi Shaw and Dhawal Kulkarni. The main scorers and wicket-takers are relatively unknown.

In fact, the cricket grounds at Alur are situated at a rather remote part of greater Bengaluru, near Chikkabanavara:

Long station names in Kerala

Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have a well-deserved reputation for long place names, which I have covered here earlier. Another interesting point noticed by one of my friends is the unconventional Devanagiri fonts used in station signs in parts of South India.

Here is a random sample of station signs in Kerala. They have varying Devanagari fonts. Transliteration into Hindi is not always correct.

The longest station names in Kerala would probably be these two:

The capital:

And this smaller place:

A few more at random:

Alappuzha was earlier called Alleppey, which is uncomfortably close to Aleppo in Syria.

In the above two cases, “South” has been transliterated into Hindi while “East” has been translated.

(This is close to Tamil Nadu, so Tamil also appears).

And finally a short one.

Veli is accompanied by Kochuveli or “Small Veli”. However, Kochuveli station is a terminus and much larger than Veli station.

Hindi purists would note that sometimes the script used is not “standard”.

The strange case of the AGMUT cadre

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are the two most important wings of the India’s civil services. Here we look into the oddities in the state cadres which apply to these services. Everyone in the IAS or IPS is allotted to one of these cadres and does not move to another cadre under normal circumstances:

In Zone-1 we see AGMUT and in Zone IV we see Assam-Meghalaya.

The latter is simpler to understand, particularly as Meghalaya was part of Assam until the latter became a full-fledged state in 1972. In this cadre, one can be posted to any place in Assam or Meghalaya. (Since Assam is much larger than Meghalaya, one is likely to spend more time in the former than the latter).

In the AGMUT cadre, one can be posted anywhere in Arunachal, Goa, Mizoram or any of the Union Territories (UTs). At the time of writing in mid-2022, the UTs are:

There have been states were earlier UTs, UTs which were earlier states, and UTs which have been amalgamated. Some, like Himachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura are full-fledged states which have their full-fledged state cadres.

The UTs of Daman & Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have been merged in 2020.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was split into the UTs of (Jammu and Kashmir) and Ladakh in 2019.

Jammu and Kashmir had its state cadre, but no recruitment has been made to it since 2019. Presently the officers posted there are mainly from the old J & K state cadre, though AGMUT officers are now being posted there.

In case you are wondering, Arunachal, Goa and Mizoram were UTs for some years and the services were clubbed with the other UTs as they were probably not large enough to justify a separate state cadre.

Thus, officers posted in Delhi who annoy their bosses may find themselves abruptly transferred to Arunachal or Ladakh, which happened in mid-2022 when it was alleged that their dog-walking took up facilities meant for others.

There are precedents for this. During the Emergency of 1975-77, Navin Chawla was one of the officials who was closely associated with the beautification of Delhi and the accompanying excesses. The new government promptly sent him to Lakshwadeep, which was the most remote and unimportant place he could be sent to.

Another person whom I knew was generally not on good terms with politicians and seniors. He thus found himself being moved from Delhi to Puducheri to Goa, and was then “put away” as Chief Secretary of the Andamans and finally retired in a post in the Delhi government which had little work.

Summary of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests-2 (after May 2022 series):

Hope you have seen Part 1.

We now proceed to

Bowling:

Most wickets (12 and above):

Muralidaran has 89 wickets, far ahead of the others. Next are Herath and Shakib. Also note AM Fernando’s 13 wickets in 2 Tests in this series.

Best innings bowling (including all 6wi and above):

Led by Herath, with the next three by Muralidaran.

Nayeem Hasan’s 6-105 was the best by BD against SL, surpassing Shakib’s 5-70 in 2008. Also note AM Fernando’s 6-51 in this series.

Best match bowling (Including all 9wm and above):

Headed by Muralidaran and Herath. None from Bangladesh here. AM Fernando took 10-144 during this series.

Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls bowled):

Includes Shakib and Taijul from this series.

Muralidaran has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate.

Now for

Fielding:

Most dismissals (10 and above):

Led by P Jayawardene with Dickwella and Sangakkara close behind.

Mushfiqur Rahim has the most dismissals from BD

P Jayawardene has the most stumpings (8) and M Jayawardene the most catches by a fielder (17).

Dickwella has the most catches by a keeper (24).

Most dismissals in an innings (4 and above):

Mushfiqur and Dickwella have made 5 dismissals in an innings, but not in this series. However Dickwella took 4 catches twice in this series.

Sangakkara and S Sarkar have taken 4 as a fielder.

Most dismissals in a match (5 and above):

Again headed by P Jayawardene with 7.

M Jayawardene and S Sarkar have taken 4 catches as fielders.

Dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.600)

Headed by Sangakkara, with M Jayawardene heading the fielders.

Finally,

All-round performance

Overall (see criteria below):

Shakib (611 runs and 38 wickets) is the only one who qualifies.

Match (50 and 5wi):

All the instances are by Shakib.

Summary of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests-1 (after May 2022 series):

Sri Lanka won 1-0 with one draw.

Overall summary:

We see that Bangladesh is yet to win against Sri Lanka at home, although they have won one Test in Sri Lanka.

Batting:

Most runs (750 and above):

Sangakkara has the most centuries (7) and most 50+ scores (14). Mushfiqur has 10 50+ scores.

Several current players starting with Mushfiqur Rahim are here.

Highest innings (150 and more):

Mathews made the highest score in this series (199). He became the first to score 199 and a duck in the same Test. Several have made 99 and a duck.

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

Sangakkara has by far the highest average, with current player Mushfiqur having the second highest.

Highest batting strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced):

Dilshan has by far the highest strike rate, while current player Tamim Iqbal has the highest among Bangladesh players.

To be continued.

See Part 2

The worst batsmen in Tests and ODIs

You all know about Bradman’s batting average of 99.94.

Here, we look at the other end of the spectrum.

This data is updated to 27-5-2022. Matches involving the ICC XI are not counted.

As per the usual practice, a minimum of 20 innings is considered.

Lowest Test batting averages (below 5.00):

Heading this list is current Bangladesh player Ebadot Hossain with 0.72.

Next lowest is Zimbabwe’s “Pommie” Mbangwa with 2.00, and JV Saunders of Australia long ago with 2.29

Bangladesh has another candidate coming up with Khalid Ahmed with 7 Tests, 11 innings and batting average of 0.50.

Current players here include Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed, Lahiru Kumara, Shannon Gabriel, Lungi Ngidi, and “Fizz” Rehman.

The lowest by Indian players are 3.80 by Maninder Singh, 4.07 by BS Chandrasekhar and 4.65 by DR Doshi.

Now we look at the corresponding figures for ODIs.

As before, we take a minimum of 20 innings. Matches involving the ICC XI, Asia XI and Africa XI are not counted.

Lowest ODI batting averages (below 5.00):

Here, the figures are slightly better with the lowest by Zimbabwe players B Muzarabani (2.81) and CB Mpofu (2.85).

Current players include B Muzarabani and N Pradeep (4.37).

From India there are S Sreesanth (4.00) and Ishant Sharma (4.80).

Also note Mohammad Irfan, the only 7-footer to play in Tests.

Cricket obituaries-2021

Here is a brief listing of those who passed away in the calendar year 2021.

There are two separate tables-for Test players and for others. The others include prominent FC and ODI players, female cricketers, journalists, administrators and umpires. The choice here is more subjective, depending on how well they appeared to be known,

It is interesting to see a number of players who lived to be 100 or more, including Eileen Ash who crossed 110.

References-Cricinfo, Wikipedia

10 wickets by the Hasans

Hasan is a common name in some countries.

Now look at this scorecard where all 10 wickets involved at least one person called Hasan.

This was for the first Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at Chattogram recently.

Nayeem Hasan took 6-105.

Shakib Al Hasan took 3-60 (and also took one of the catches off Nayeem’s bowling).

And Dhananjaya was caught by Mahmudul HASAN Joy off Shakib’s bowling.

So the Hasans took 9 wickets. What about the 10th?

Kusal Mendis was caught by Nayeem off Taijul Islam.

So someone called Hasan was involved in all 10 dismissals.