Review of Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe Tests-1

Sri Lanka won the series 1-0 with 1 draw. Zimbabwe put on a somewhat stronger challenge than expected, almost drawing  the first Test and putting Sri Lanka under some pressure in the second.

Summary of matches between these teams:

SL-Zim overall

Zimbabwe is yet to win a Test in this series. They have lost all 8 Tests which they played in Sri Lanka.

This series was not part of the World Test Championship. Zimbabwe is not part of the championship in this cycle. Perhaps they will be in the top 9 and qualify for the next cycle.

We now look at individual performances, starting with

Batting:

Most runs (250 and above):

Most runs-250

Atapattu leads by a large margin. He has the most centuries (5). A Flower has the most 50+ scores (7), including 2 centuries.

Karunaratne and CR Ervine have the most runs among current players.

Highest innings (125 and above):

HS innings-125

Note Atapattu’s 3 double centuries. The highest score in this series was 200* by AD Mathews. No one else crossed 125.

Highest strike rate (Min 1000 balls faced, all cases):

Batting SR

Jayasuriya predictably leads here, while Atapattu also has a strike rate considerably higher than that of the others.

Now for

Bowling:

Most wickets (10 and above):

Most wickets-10

Muralitharan and Vaas have done much better than others. Murali and Herath both have 2 ten-fors, while Murali also has the most five-fors (6).

Lakmal and Kumara have the most wickets among current players.

Best innings bowling (includes all instances of 5wi and above):

Best innings bowl-5wi

While Muralitharan and Herath are at the top of this list, Sikandar Raza’s 7-113 was the best for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka. The previous best was 5-106 by PA Strang back in 1996. The previous best for Zimbabwe at home was 4-50 by CT Mumba in 2016.

Embuldeniya is the only other bowler with a five-for in the current series.

Best match bowling (includes all instances of 8wm and above):

Best match bowling-8wm

Muralitharan and Herath again. However, Sikandar Raza’s 8-176 is the best for Zimbabwe at home. AG Cremer’s 9-275 at Colombo (RPS) in 2017 remains the best for Zimbabwe in Sri Lanka.

Best bowling average (Min 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowling average

Muralitharan expectedly heads this list as well. Herath did not bowl enough.

To be continued:

A closer look at centuries in first innings of Tests

Note: All data correct as of April 15, 2018. The Test involving the ICC XI in 2005 is excluded.

We first look at the best averages in first innings:

1st innings averages

And those who scored the most centuries in the first innings (9 and above):

Centuries in first innings

Ponting is just ahead of the overall leader in centuries as well as the second-placed.

Now let see who disliked the first innings. These players made the most centuries without ever making one in the first innings:

AD Mathews (8)

followed by Taufeeq Umar (7), WW Armstrong (6) and MG Burgess (5).

Mathews is still playing Tests so he may improve (?) on his record.

Conversely, there are those who love batting in the first innings. Apart from Ponting and his companions at the top of the table, there are those who scored all their centuries in the first innings:

JM Bairstow (5) He reached this mark in the last Test he played which was against New Zealand in 2018.

Next are AF Rae and Wasim Raja with 4.

Special mention to SP Fleming (8 out of 9 centuries in the first innings) and KC Wessels (5/6).

The second, third and fourth innings will follow.