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):

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/870723.html

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: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/330902.html

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Pakistan_first-class_cricket_teams

and a list of East Pakistani cricketers here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_East_Pakistan_first-class_cricketers

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.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42069.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niaz_Ahmed

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:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/bangladesh/content/player/56070.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqibul_Hasan_(cricketer,_born_1953)

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:

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/INT-XI_IN_PAK/INT-XI_BCCP-XI_26FEB-01MAR1971.html

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.

 

A landmark win for Bangladesh

Bangladesh has now completed 100 Tests. They marked the 100th Test with their 9th Test victory. Here are the 9 Test victories in chronological order:

BD wins

This can be summarized as:

Won 1-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2004-05

Won 2-0 away vs West Indies in 2009

Drew 1-1 away vs Zimbabwe in 2013

Won 3-0 at home vs Zimbabwe in 2014-15

Drew 1-1 at home vs England in 2016-17

Drew 1-1 away vs Sri Lanka in 2016-17

Today’s win was their first Test victory against Sri Lanka (and in Sri Lanka).

At this point we can review the performances of Bangladeshi players in these 9 Test victories.

Runs: 100 and above:

BD batt-overall

Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur played in 8 of the 9 wins. They only missed the one in 2004-05. Tamim scored 4 centuries and 2 fifties in these matches, as you can see in the table below.

Highest innings (90 and above):

BD batt-innings

Bowling (5 or more wickets):

BD bowl overall

Shakib far ahead of the others with Taijul as a surprise second, with newcomer Miraz rapidly moving up.

Best innings bowling (5wi and above):

BD bowl innings

The one-Test heroes Taijul and Enamul head the list. Otherwise there is mainly Shakib, but do not forget Mahmudullah’s fiver on debut as well as the emergence of MH Miraz.

Best match bowling (7 or more wickets):

BD bowl-match

Headed by Miraj and Shakib. Shakib scored a century in the same match.

Most fielding dismissals (5 and above):

BD field-overall

Headed by Mushfiqur who kept in all but the 2005 match. Khaled Mashud was the keeper then. Mahmudullah and Mominul have the most catches as non-keepers.

Innings fielding dismissals (3 or more):

BD field-innings

Mainly Mushfiqur, though Soumya Sarkar has the most (4) catches by a non-keeper.

Match fielding dismissals (4 or more):

BD field-match

As above, headed by Mushfiqur for keepers and Soumya for non-keepers.

All-round performance (minimum 250 runs and 5 wickets):

BD AR overall

Shakib followed by Mahmudullah (who was dropped for the current match).

All-round performance in match (fifty and five-for):

BD AR match

Includes M. Rafique, the only all-rounder in the early Tests and two efforts by Shakib. This includes the century and ten wickets at Khulna, which puts him on the same level as Botham and Imran.

You can also see this piece written at the time of the victory over England a few months ago:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/bangladeshs-greatest-test-win/

Score 500 and lose

From Journalism 101: “When a dog bites a man, it is not news.

When a man bites a dog, it is news”

Similarly: When Bangladesh loses a Test, it is not news.

When Bangladesh scores almost 600 and loses a Test, it is news.

Here is a list of instances where a side scored 500 or more and still lost a Test:

500-and-lose-a

It can be seen that Bangladesh now has the record score in a loss, surpassing the 586 by Australia well over a century ago.

All of these instances came in the first or second innings of the match, except for the 510 by India in 1967. That was in a follow-on, and the Test is remembered partly for Pataudi’s 64 and 148 and more for Boycott being dropped for excessively slow scoring on the way to his Test best of 246*: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63004.html

We also look at scores of 450 or more in the 3rd and 4th inning in losses:

500-and-lose-b

The highest 3rd-innings score in a loss is 510 as mentioned above. For the 4th innings it is 451 by NZ in 2001-02, which Pakistan just failed to cross earlier this season.

Taking another look at the scorecard of Bangladesh’s recent loss:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/new-zealand-v-bangladesh-2016-17/engine/match/1019985.html

We see that Bangladesh’s innings included 217 by Shakib, which is the highest Test individual score for Bangladesh. The only other double centuries are 206 by Tamim and 200 by Mushfiqur. Incidentally, Shakib is one of the few to score a double century and duck in the same Test (regardless of the result). The highest such score is 245 by Shoaib Malik vs England in 2015-16.

There are, however, many instances of double centuries being scored in innings of sides losing Tests:

200-and-lose

The record continues to be with RT Ponting with 242. Other greats including Lara, Graeme Pollock, Harvey  and Hayden also appear here.

All of these efforts came in the first or second innings except for Astle’s 222 which figured in New Zealand’s 451 mentioned above:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63981.html

We also look at individual scores of 175 and above in the 3rd and 4th innings for losing teams:

175-and-lose

The highest such score in the 3rd innings is 199* by Andy Flower. Numerous other well-known players also appear here.

An afterthought-we look at combined scores in both innings by a batsman in a losing side:

match-total-in-lost-test

Although there are numerous instances of centuries in both innings of a lost Test, Lara is the only one to make a double century and a century. Andy Flower just missed it with his 142 and 199*. Also note Ponting’s 242 and 0.

 

 

 

Bangladesh’s greatest Test win

While Bangladesh has made good progress in limited-over cricket in recent years, the just-concluded Test at Mirpur is historic. To understand this clearly, we look at the the team’s 8 Test victories:

bangladesh-test-history

This is their first victory against a full-strength “regular” team, not a fellow minnow such as Zimbabwe-even if it was a 3-0 sweep as in 2014.

And we don’t count the two wins against a West Indies third XI which included many debutants who (apart from Kemar Roach) vanished without a trace. The stand-in captain Floyd Reifer witnessed clean-sweep losses in the Test as well as the ODI series. In the course of the series he talked about his team improving. A journalist asked him, “Have you been smoking something that sounds like your name?”

(Those familiar with American crime novels would know that “reefer” is one of the numerous synonyms for marijuana).

It should be remembered that Bangladesh came very close to winning their first Test back in 2003, but were thwarted by the last-wicket pair of Inzamam (138*) and debutant Yasir Ali (1*): http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64045.html

Yasir Ali never played a Test again, but much was heard of another debutant Salman Butt in years to come.

 

Unbeaten scores of 50+ on debut

Predictably, England won the first Test at Chittagong. Less predictable was the narrow margin of victory. Had they won, this would have been Bangladesh’s first Test win against a major team. We should not count the two victories against the West Indies third XI in 2009.

Sabbir Rahman made an unbeaten fifty on his debut. We now look into all those who achieved this feat on their debut.

For convenience, we break these instances into three sections, depending on whether the debutant’s team won, lost or drew/tied the match. There are a total of 73 such instances (including two cases where the debutant scored unbeaten fifty-plus scores in each innings).

We start with instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team won:

unb-50-debut-win

27 such instances, including the first-ever Test century and a double century (Rudolph). That is the highest unbeaten innings by a debutant, and DSBP Kuruppu (see below) is the only other batsman to score an unbeaten 200+.

SG Law and MN Nawaz were playing their only Tests. Van Zyl and Voges had contrasting careers after their debut.

We will later try to see which of them may have hit the winning runs.

Next, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss

18 such instances, including two innings by GC Grant. He was also captaining the West Indies on his debut. Barrett and Javed Omar carried their bats through the innings. Some famous names of the recent past are topped off by Sabbir Rahman and his 64*. Southee added a five-for to his 77*, thus becoming one of the handful of debutants to score a 50+ and 5wi.

We will later identify those who were left stranded at the end of the fourth innings.

Finally, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team drew or tied:

unb-50-debut-draw-tie

28 instances, including two innings by Azhar Mahmood. He is the only one to score an unbeaten hundred and unbeaten fifty on debut. Rowe is here as well, having scored 214 along with the 100* mentioned here. And Kuruppu has an unbeaten double century. Again, a few famous names from the recent past who are still going strong.

Coming back to our original query, we isolate those who scored their unbeaten fifty-plus in the 4th innings, and were thus batting at the time of victory:

unb-50-debut-win-4th

Only 8 such instances, including Gavaskar besides Gimblett, Lloyd and Lewis against India. In some cases they may have hit the winning runs. This could be checked from the ball-by-ball commentary if available, or from contemporary match reports.

Finally, we look at those who were left unbeaten with 50+ in the 4th innings when their team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss-4th

Naturally, Sabbir Rahman tops off this list. India was not involved in any of these instances.

There might have been cases of remaining unbeaten on 50+ in the 3rd innings when their team lost by an innings. The possible candidates are:

Barrett, Ranjitsinhji, Grant, Howarth, Javed Omar and Henriques.

A look at the scorecard shows only Howarth and Javed Omar being left unbeaten in the third innings, when their team lost by an innings. Howarth was at the other end when fellow debutant No 11 Ewan Chatfield suffered a potentially fatal injury when struck by a ball from Peter Lever.