Pairs in Tests-Updated Nov 2019

Correct as on 20 Nov 2019

You would know a King Pair or Golden Pair-when a batsman is dismissed first ball in each innings.

A Queen Pair or Silver Pair is when it is second ball in each innings.

A Jack Pair or Bronze Pair for three balls.

We also look at pairs involving 4, 5 and 6 balls in each innings.

Note that for many Tests before 2000, balls in an innings were not always recorded.

Here is the updated list of King Pairs:

King Pair

The 21 cases include a number of recognized batsmen (Richardson, Gilchrist, Javed Omar and Sehwag). Maybe even Agarkar, who made a Test century at Lord’s. Interestingly there is no King Pair at Lord’s.

Now for Queen Pairs:

Queen Pair

22 cases here, including two by McGrath in successive Tests in 1998-99.

Dawson and Broad achieved this at Lord’s. The two of them and Mohammad Abbas deserve their own little board at Lord’s.

Recognized batsmen here include OG Smith, Mudassar, Samuels, de Villiers, Babar Azam and Markram. AL Mann and Broad have also made centuries.

While no captain has made a King Pair, Bedi and de Villiers are here.

Now for Jack Pairs:

Jack Pair

Vettori, Griffith and Powell are the recognized batsmen here.

Finally we come to 4-, 5- and 6-ball pairs which are much rarer.

4-5-6 ball pair

One may invent new terms such as Ruby pairs or Sapphire pairs here.

Here, even Ireland’s bowlers inflict these ducks on recognized batsmen.

Gibbs, DS Smith and Bairstow are the recognized batsmen here.

Diamond ducks in Tests

After looking at fast scoring, we look at the lack of scores. Different kinds of ducks and pairs have been enumerated in various posts. We now concentrate on diamond ducks, where a batsman is dismissed without facing a ball. This usually happens when he is run out at the non-striker’s end. Less often, it could be when he is stumped or run out off a wide.

The number of balls faced in a batsman’s innings was not always recorded in the past. These are the undisputed cases of diamond ducks up to Oct 25, 2019:

Diamond duck

The only one to have two of these ducks is CS Martin, sometimes considered as the worst ever batsman in Tests. Ken Rutherford, Umar Gul and Nuwan Pradeep are the only ones to score diamond ducks on debut. Rutherford got a pair, but went on to become a successful batsman. Many years later his son Hamish Rutherford made 171 on debut.

There is no case of a diamond pair. The closest approach to one appears to be that of Taufeeq Umar who scored a pair with innings of 0 and 2 balls, thus scoring 0 in two innings with 2 balls which is the equivalent of a “king pair” or dismissal off the first ball of each innings.

Also note: There have been 152 diamond ducks in ODIs. The last were by AU Rashid and MA Wood, who were the last two batsmen dismissed in the World Cup final between England and New Zealand on July 14, 2019.

There have also been 50 diamond ducks in T20Is.

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.