Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-2

Continuing our review of all Tests between these teams until now.


8 or more dismissals:


The lesser-known P Jayawardene has the most dismissals, most catches by a keeper and most stumpings. The better-known M Jayawardene has the most catches by a fielder. Mushfiqur is catching up.

Innings fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Innings dis

Dickwella equalled the record of 5 during this series. Sangakkara and Soumya have 4 catches as fielders.

Match fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Match dis

P Jayawardene has the record of 7, while M Jayawardene and Soumya have 5 catches as  fielders. Dickwella has the best figures from the current series.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings fielded, all cases):

Dismissal rate

Sangakkara has the highest here, as P Jayawardene did not play enough matches here. Mushfiqur has done almost as well as Sangakkara. Among non-keepers the highest rate is inevitably by M Jayawardene.

All-round performances

Overall-see criteria in table:

AR overall

Shakib is the only all-rounder with respectable figures. Vaas did not play enough in these matches.

Match performances (50 and 5wi):

50 and 5wi

The one-man army Shakib Al Hasan again. His absence in this series must have hurt Bangladesh a lot.


Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-1

With the premature conclusion of the 2nd Test at Mirpur (Dhaka), Sri Lanka won the 2-Test series 1-0. The last series between these teams was less than a year ago when Bangladesh drew 1-1 in Sri Lanka.

20 Tests have been played between these teams. Sri Lanka leads 16-1 with 3 draws.

In Bangladesh, Sri Lanka has played 8 Tests and lead 6-0 with 2 draws.

In Sri Lanka, the 12 Tests have resulted in the hosts leading 10-1 with 1 draw.

Batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):


Sangakkara has the most centuries (7) followed by M Jayawardene and Ashraful with 5 each. For scores of 50+, Sangakkara again leads with 14, followed by Dilshan (8) and M Jayawardene, Mushfiqur and Samaraweera with 7 each.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):


Sangakkara scored 319 and 105 in the same Test, becoming only the second (after Gooch) to score a triple century and century in the same Test. In this series we also saw Mominul Haque scoring 176 and 105, becoming the first from Bangladesh to score centuries in both innings of a Test. His 176 was the highest by Bangladesh against Sri Lanka at home, surpassing the 136 by Ashraful in 2006. However Mushfiqur’s 200 at Galle in 2013 remains the highest for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings):

Bat avg

Sangakkara has an average more than double that of runner-up Ashraful.

Batting strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced):

Batting SR

However, Dilshan and M Jayawardene have the highest strike rates, with Dilshan having a much higher figure than the runner-up.

Bowling figures:

Most wickets (15 and above):


Muralitharan leads followed by Herath and then Shakib, with the first two far ahead of the rest. MDK (Dilruwan) Perera and a few other current players also figure on this list.

As you may expect, Muralitharan has the most 10-fors (4) and 5-fors (11). Herath is the only other one with a 10-for.

Best innings bowling ( 5wi and above):

Innings bowling

Note Muralitharan’s dominance here. From the current series we only have Dananjaya who was making his debut.

Best match figures (7wm and above):

Match bowling

Muralitharan dominates this list as well, while Dananjaya has the best match figures by a debutant for Sri Lanka. Taijul’s 8-159 is the best for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka, surpassing the 6-154 by Shakib at Colombo in March 2017. The best for Bangladesh in Bangladesh was 6-204 by Shakib at Chittagong in Dec 2008. His absence in this series seems to have made a lot of difference.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls):

Bowling avg

Muralitharan has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. Herath and Shakib follow at a distance.

To be continued.


Review of South Africa-Bangladesh Tests (Oct 2017)

There have not been many Tests between these teams, so we can sum them up below:

SA-BD overall

SA has won 10 of the 12 Tests between these teams, and the two draws were in matches badly affected by rain. All 6 of the Tests in SA were won by SA, 5 by an innings. The sole exception was the first Test of this series, though that was practically an innings defeat as the sum of BD’s two innings was less than SA’s first innings.

With this small sample size, it is not worth studying averages but we look at other statistical points below:

Most runs (250 and above):

SA-BD batting

Several of these players played in the current series.

Amla and Smith scored 3 centuries apiece. They are also the only ones to make 4 scores of 50-plus.

Highest individual scores (75 and above):

SA-BD bat innings

One-sided indeed, although Mominul recorded BD’s highest score of 77 against SA. The previous record was 75 by H. Bashar in Bangladesh in 2003.

Most wickets (10 and above):

SA-BD wkts

Ntini and Steyn have a considerable lead over the others, though Bangladeshi bowlers also have a presence here.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi and above):

SA-BD innings bowling

Interestingly, the three best bowling performances are by Bangladeshi bowlers-including Shakib who opted out of this series. Rabada’s two fivers in the current series are among the best for SA. Four bowlers have taken two fivers apiece.

Best match bowling (including all 7wm and above):

SA-BD match bowling

K Rabada’s 10-63 in the first Test is the best match analysis from either side. The only other 10-for is by PR Adams in 2003. For Bangladesh, the best is a 9-wicket haul by Shahadat in 2003.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

SA-BD dismissals

Boucher is far ahead of the rest, while Liton Das moved on to BD’s highest tally of 8 dismissals. GC Smith has the most catches by a fielder (12).

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD innings dismissals

Liton Das is the only one to challenge Boucher. Markram has the most catches by a fielder (3).

Most match dismissals (4 and above):

SA-BD match fielding

Again a near-monopoly by Boucher. Pollock is the only fielder with 4 catches in a match.

All-round performance (50 and 5wi):

SA-BD Match AR

Only one instance by one of the best all-rounders in all Tests.




Review of Australia-Bangladesh Tests

The story of Tests between these countries is simply told:

Full history

Australia have won 5 of the 6 Tests against Bangladesh, 3 of them by an innings. But the last series was drawn 1-1. Bangladesh’s last venture was a 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka.

This series saw Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Australia, and they had a chance of winning the series.

With such a small sample, it is not worthwhile to look at the aggregates and averages. But we can look at innings and match performances.

Highest innings (100 and above):

Innings scores

The highest score here is by a tailender playing as a nightwatchman. It was his only Test century, which came in his last Test.

Lehmann, Steve Waugh and Warner scored 2 centuries. S Nafees is still the only BD player to score a century against Australia. Warner scored centuries in successive innings in this series.

Best innings bowling (including all cases of 5wi or better):

Innings bowling

While MacGill still holds the overall record, Lyon has the three next best performances which were all recorded in the current series. Shakib also recorded two five-fors.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Match bowling

Lyon recorded the best match figures for this series with 13-154 in the second Test, besides 9-161 in the first. His 22 wickets is the second highest in a 2-Test series, surpassed only by Herath’s 23 vs Pakistan in 2014. Muralitharan has also taken 22 in 2 Tests. Shakib also recorded the best match figures for BD v Aus.

The best series bowling performances for those playing 2 Tests are given here:

2 Test series

Best innings fielding (3 dismissals):

Innings fielding

The much-maligned Wade appears here.

Best match fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Match fielding

Gilchrist and Wade share the record, with Wade making 3 stumpings. Handscomb has the most (4) by a non-keeper.

All-round match performances (50 and 5wm):

AR match

Shakib Al Hasan is the only one to record this. It is in fact one of the best all-round performances in all Tests as he scored a fifty (coming close to a hundred) besides two five-fors. Relatively few all-rounders have achieved this:

Fifty plus two fivers

A small series, but with more than its share of points of statistical interest.


Shakib Al Hasan’s all round feat

Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Australia came in their fifth attempt, having lost all four of the previous Tests. Two were in Australia and two were at home.

The main architect of this victory was Shakib Al Hasan with a fine all-round performance, which we will look at in more detail:

While the feat of a century + fiver is well documented, the “converse” of a fifty and ten wickets is not. But it can easily be got from Statsguru.

Fifty and ten wickets in a Test:

50 +10wm

Only 28 such instances in all Tests. The only ones who have done this on more than one occasion are Sir Richard Hadlee (3 times) and now Shakib Al Hasan (twice). Kapil and India’s false knight also make appearances (while R. Ashwin does not). Moeen Ali was the last entry before Shakib.

Kapil and Jadeja are the only ones from India.

If you take the still rarer feat of a fifty and two five-fors:

Fifty plus two fivers

Only 14 instances-including two by Sir Richard and two by Shakib. None from India.

While we are at it, let us take the analogous case of two fifties and one five-for:

2 fifties and fiver

Only 14 instances, including four from India. Mankad, Umrigar and Surti could not save their team from defeat, while B. Kumar’s neglected batting helped in a draw.

No one has achieved this more than once.

No one has scored two fifties AND two five-fors in a Test. From the above we see that the nearest approaches were by Davidson in 1960 (44, 80, 5wi and 6wi) and Vettori in 2008 (55*, 76, 5wi and 4wi).

There have, however been four instances of 100 runs and 10 wickets in a match-in which Shakib figures again:

100 runs and 10 wickets


Looking ahead to the Champions Trophy semi finals

Here we shall see that predicting on the basis of long-term form can be misleading.

This is being written after Pakistan beat England on Jun 14.

Let us look at all ODIs between England and Pakistan in 5 years up to Jun 13, 2017:

England led 7-2 in this period

In England, England led 4-1 (all in the summer of 2016). And the only match Pakistan won was at Cardiff.

No matches in Pakistan. On neutral grounds (UAE), England led 3-1.

So, on paper, it looked like Pakistan had no chance. But the result was something else.

Now let us do the same analysis for India and Bangladesh in the 5 years up to Jun 14, 2017

India led 5-2 with 1 no-result.

In India there were no matches.

In Bangladesh, India led 4-2 with 1 no-result

In neutral grounds (in Australia in the 2015 WC), India won 1-0

But it should be noted that the last series between India and Bangladesh was in Bangladesh in 2015, when Bangladesh won 2-1. Forgotten that already? See the series summary (and scorecards if you want):

The key here was the “shock value” of  Mustafizur Rehman who made his debut here, with 5,6 and 2 wickets in the 3 matches. He was deservedly Man of the Series.

But then, he has not done too well in this tournament. See the details of his recent matches here:

So we see that India does have a strong record over Bangladesh in the last 5 years. Just like England had over Pakistan. India should not be overconfident (remember the World Cup of 2007?)



Little-known facts about Bangladesh cricket-1

A common question asked is “Was there any East Pakistani who played in Tests for Pakistan?” and most cricket fans, even from that part of the world, are not sure of the answer.

As Bob Dylan might say: the answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind, but can be found after some research on the internet.

See this:

and a list of East Pakistani cricketers here:

Note this extract:

“These included six Test cricketersMahmood Hussain, Mohammad Munaf, Mufassir-ul-Haq, Nasim-ul-Ghani, Naushad Ali, and Niaz Ahmed[6] No native East Pakistanis, Bengali or otherwise, represented Pakistan’s national side at Test level. The closest was Raqibul Hasan, who was twelfth man against the touring New Zealanders during the 1969–70 season, and the following season represented a full-strength Pakistan side against a Commonwealth XI.[7] Raqibul went on to serve as Bangladesh’s inaugural captain in the 1979 ICC Trophy, and later played two One Day International (ODI) matches for the team.[8] Two other East Pakistan players went on to play for Bangladesh in ICC Trophy matches—Ashraful Haque and Shafiqul Haque.[9][10]”

However, the information in this extract is not quite correct. The first 5 Pakistani players mentioned were indeed from West Pakistan and appear to have spent some time in East Pakistan for employment or other reasons. Mahmood Hussain and Nasim-ul-Ghani were fairly prominent in their time.

However, the case of Niaz Ahmed is different.


The Wikipedia entry is more detailed than the one on Cricinfo. Niaz Ahmed was born in Benares in the United Provinces (now Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) and his family moved to East Pakistan after Partition. He appears to have spent his early life there, when he made his two Test appearances in 1967 and 1968-69. He and his family then moved to Pakistan after the liberation of Bangladesh and settled in Karachi. He died there in 2000.

While he appears to have been originally from UP and not a Bengali, he did spend his early life in East Pakistan and started his cricketing career there. Thus, although he did not achieve much in his Test career (2 Tests, 17 runs and 3 wickets) we have to consider him as the only permanent resident of East Pakistan to have played in official Tests for Pakistan.

Then there is Raqibul Hasan:


He was indeed a Bengali, born in Dacca in 1953. He was also 12th man in the P v NZ Test at Dacca in 1968-69, though those outside the playing XI are ignored in the records. However, he did play in what might be called an unofficial Test side, for the BCCP  XI vs International XI in early 1971, just before the Liberation War began:

Scorecard of this match:

The BCCP  XI seems to be practically a full-strength Pakistani team, as most of the players did play in the Test series in England later in 1971-the same season in which India recorded its first Test and series win in England.

Note that the International XI consisted mainly of English players (essentially fringe and former Test players). Probably the best known members would be wicketkeeper JT Murray and the Australian bowler Neil Hawke. It is not clear how Pakistani test player Younis Ahmed and another Pakistani first-class player Wahid Yar Khan were playing in this team.

(Wahid Yar Khan, like Asif Iqbal, had grown up in Hyderabad in India and started his cricket career there before moving to Pakistan in the 1960s).

After this, Raqibul, like most Bengalis in East Pakistan, underwent a lot of hardships when the war resulted in  the deaths of many of his family and friends. He went on to be Bangladesh’s first cricket captain in the initial stages, and even played in two ODIs in the Asia Cup in 1985-86 besides a number of other limited-over matches (such as those in the ICC Trophy in 1979) which did not have ODI status. At that time Bangladesh was classified as an Associate and only their Asia Cup matches had ODI status.

So the question is now answered. Niaz Ahmed was the only permanent resident of East Pakistan who played for Pakistan in Tests.

And Raquibul Hasan was the only Bengali who played for Pakistan in what can be described as an unofficial Test.