Pakistan-a bastion crumbles.

First have a look at the entire history of Tests involving Pakistan at neutral venues:

Pakistan neutral

The 1999 match was part of the Asian Test championship which had the final played in Bangladesh, which was not a Test country at that time.

Apart from 9/11, an attack near the hotel where NZ’s team was staying in Karachi in early 2002 resulted in matches being moved out of the country. This began with a 3-Test series against Aus (with the first Test at Colombo and the next two at Sharjah). Australia won this 3-0.

After this, serious cricket returned to Pakistan for some years before the Lahore incident involving the SL team in Lahore in 2009 made it the last Test to be played in Pakistan.

Here are the matches played IN Pakistan since 1999:

Pakistan home

In this period Pakistan lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in 2000, 1-0 to England later in 2000, 2-1 to India in 2004, and 1-0 to SA in 2007 before the end came in early 2009. The UAE become Pakistan’s adopted home from 2010 onwards, after one neutral series against Australia in England.

Although some series were drawn, Pakistan did record a 3-0 victory against England in 2012, and a 2-0 victory against Australia in 2014. While they beat WI 2-1 in late 2016, they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the just concluded series. This involved their first loss at Abu Dhabi, and the first series loss in the UAE since 2010. And their last 3 Tests in the UAE have resulted in successive losses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Certain venues like Bridgetown and Karachi were regarded as “fortresses” where visiting teams hardly ever won there. There are even such fortresses in domestic cricket including the IPL.

But the UAE may not be a fortress any more-which resulted in Pakistan moving from 1 to 7 in the rankings quite rapidly.

 

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More about the honors boards at Lord’s-1

The feats of scoring a century, five wickets in an innings and ten wickets in a match in Test matches are documented on the boards at Lord’s. There are separate sets of boards for the home team (England), visiting teams and (more recently) teams in neutral Tests.

A total of 135 Tests have been played at Lord’s from 1884 to 2017. 133 involved England and only 2 were neutral. They were: Aus v SA in 1912 as part of the Triangular Tournament, and Aus v Pak in 2010.

3 Tests (including one neutral Test) were played in 1912 and 2010. From 1928 onwards (except in 1940-45) Lord’s has always had at least one Test. When England started hosting two visiting teams in 1965 (starting with NZ and SA) Lord’s always had a Test for each side. Since 2000 there have always been two teams and thus two Tests at Lord’s, except in 2010 when there were three.

Neutral Tests at Lord’s:

Neutral at Lord's

We first look at the scanty entries on the boards for neutral Tests:

Centuries:

Neutral at Lord's-Batting

Two from 1912 and none from 2010.

Five wickets in an innings:

Neutral at Lord's-Bowling

In contrast, there are two from 2010 and none from 1912. Watson and North recorded their first five-fors. In North’s case, he was an occasional bowler and this was his only five-for in Tests.

Ten wickets in an innings:

No instance. The two best match bowling figures are 6-55 by MJ North (as above) and 6-140 by Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif in the same match.

To be continued:

 

 

Those who missed the bus at Lord’s (Revised in Sep 2017)

The honours board at Lord’s are well known-anyone who scores a century or takes a fiver or a tenner gets his name on them, even if it is a neutral Test not involving England. If you need to brush up, see

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord%27s_honours_boards

and for Indian players featured there, full details are here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/indian-cricketers-on-the-lords-honours-boards/

Also, the full list of names on the various boards have been covered in the last few posts on this blog.

However, note this extract from the Wikipedia article:

“A number of very distinguished players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne, Curtly Ambrose and Brian Lara are not named on the honours boards.”

It may be recalled that there was much heartbreak when Sachin failed to score a century in 2011, which was generally understood then to be his last Test there.

We now look at the aspect of prominent players failing to reach a board-worthy performance at Lord’s despite several opportunities. And there are some visitors who simply did not get to play enough at Lord’s.

Many English players whose career lasted about 5 years would have played 10+ Tests at Lord’s. Visiting players with long careers usually manage 4 Tests, unless they miss one Test or series. So we begin by identifying those who batted in  at least 8 innings there. A further stipulation is that their batting position is 1 to 8, to eliminate tailenders without much batting ability.

So we have this for Most matches at Lord’s without a century:
Most matches wo century at Lord's

Atherton, Thorpe and Gatting played the most innings there without a century-particularly odd as Gatting played for Middlesex. Atherton did score 99 there and has the most fifties (7).

Visitors are led by Gavaskar and Tendulkar, followed by Faulkner, AW Nourse and Ponting. Lara played in only 3 Tests and 6 innings. The highest averages here are by Dexter (51.62) and FS Jackson (47.71).

While most of the batsmen here scored at least one fifty, some did not. They include Ramprakash (HS 40 in 13 innings), bowling all-rounder Emburey, Brearley, wicketkeeper Downton, Tendulkar, Faulkner and Ponting. The lowest average here is 10.38 by Ramprakash who was a specialist batsman, unlike some of the others. Then comes all-rounder Pringle (16.11) and another famous batsman Ponting (16.87). Tendulkar at least got into the 20s.

The highest averages here are by Dexter (50+) and FS Jackson (47+). Apart from Atherton’s 99, there are 90s by TE Bailey, JM Parks and FS Jackson.

Next, we take up bowlers who bowled at least 1000 balls (while bowling at no 1 to 5) and never took a five-for:

Most matches wo five-for at Lord's

Hoggard has the most Tests (11) and innings (20) here with a best of 4-27. However Edmonds has the best bowling figures of 4-6, while Hoggard has the most wickets (37). Gibbs, Lillee and Kumble are the only visitors here.

Ambrose and Warne did not bowl enough balls here.

The best bowling average here is Laker’s 24.43, followed by Wardle’s 26.78.

And one gets similar results if we look for those who made the same effort and never took a ten-for:

Most matches wo ten-for at Lord's

Here, Anderson has the most wickets (90) with a best of 9-73. He may, of course, play a few more Tests at Lord’s. He also has the most 5-fors (5) followed by Willis and Hadlee with 3. Oddly enough Anderson has more than twice the wickets of the next bowler Swann with 40. The best bowling average is by Willis with 18.76 followed by Illingworth with 19.85.

 

 

Hanif Mohamad R.I.P.-some highlights

This time it is true-he did pass away on 11th August. We review some highlights of his career. There is of course Cricinfo for an overview.

Hanif made his debut in Pakistan’s very first Test in 1952, remembered more for Mankad’s 13-wicket haul. Here he made 51 and 1, and was also the designated wicket-keeper. That didn’t go too well, as he conceded 28 byes in India’s only innings besides taking one catch. He played his first 3  Tests (all against India in 1952-53) as a wicket-keeper but never kept in Tests later.

He is remembered for his 337 against the West Indies, which occurred in the very first test between Pakistan and the West Indies: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62835.html

Note that his 337 came in a follow-on, and the 4 successive century partnerships with Imtiaz, Alimuddin, Saeed Ahmed and brother Wazir. Ultimately Pakistan lost the series 3-1, running into Sobers and his 365 not out along the way. And the 970-minute innings is a record in all Tests, though not in first-class cricket now.

Hanif’s innings was a record for all first-class cricket for over 40 years, until it was broken in a Ranji Trophy match between two weak sides: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283145.html

In Tests, only Gary Kirsten has come close.

Then there was the first-class record which stood for over three decades. It came about a year after the Test mentioned above.

http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Records/Firstclass/Overall/Highest_Player_Scores.html

And this was the match scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/engine/match/308265.html

While most of the Karachi team had played or would play for Pakistan, the Bahawalpur team did not have any Test players.

The Parsi Institute Ground has since sunk into obscurity, hosting its last first-class match in 1976-77.

Finally, here is a souvenir from the birthplace of the Mohammad brothers (taken in 2013):

Gujarat2013 009

 

Indian cricketers on the Lord’s honours boards

Hope you have read the earlier post:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/07/20/all-round-feats-at-lords/

Here we continue our focus on Lord’s with the list of Indian batsmen and bowlers who figure on the honors boards there.

First, batting:

Lord's-India batting-1

Some points of interest:

Mankad’s century came along with a five-for. He and Ian Botham are the only ones to score a century and take a five-for in the same match at Lord’s.

Dilip Vengsarkar is the only visiting batsman from any country to score 3 Test centuries at this venue.

Ganguly’s 131 came on his Test debut. It is the highest innings score by anyone making his Test debut at this venue.

Agarkar made his only Test century here-all the more remarkable as his next highest score was 41. Now you know the answer to the old quiz question “What batting feat was attained by Agarkar and not by Gavaskar and Tendulkar?”

So we see the Indian batsmen on the honors board listed above. Let us stretch a bit and include those who scored 100 or more in a match without making a century:

Lord's-India batting-2

The most runs here is by Kapil in 1982. He also took 5 wickets in the match.

Gavaskar did make 100 runs in a match here, but Tendulkar did not.

3 frontline batsmen scored a hundred runs in 2002, but it was only Agarkar who scored a century in that Test.

Now we come to the bowling boards, listing all Indians who have taken 5 wickets in an innings here:

Lord's-India bowling-1

A fair cross-section of Indian bowlers over the years. Ishant Sharma now holds the record with 7-74, surpassing the record of 6-35 by Amar Singh in 1936. Mohammed Nissar’s fiver came on his Test debut which was also India’s first Test.

Match bowling figures for the above matches are given here:

Lord's-India bowling-2

From this, we can see that the best match figures by an Indian bowler are 8-168 by Kapil in 1982-when he also scored over a hundred runs including an 89.This would be the second-best all-round performance by an Indian at Lord’s, surpassed only by Mankad’s epic in 1952.

Next to Kapil’s 8-wicket haul there are 7-wicket hauls by Prasad, RP Singh and Ishant Sharma.

We now look at cases where players took 5 wickets in a match, without taking a five-for in an innings. Here the match figures are given:

Lord's-India bowling-3

Kapil’s effort came in India’s first victory at this venue.

Also look back to the match starting on 22 Jul 1971, where three spinners accounted for 17 wickets. This came close to being India’s first victory at Lord’s (and in England).

There is also an honors board for 10-wicket hauls, in which no Indian appears. There are some performances by English bowlers against India, notably Alec Bedser’s 11-wicket haul on his debut in 1946.

All-round feats at Lord’s

You would have heard of the honours boards at Lord’s. A summary can be seen here.

The “neutral” boards are dealt with at more length here  towards the end of the post.

Basically these boards list all instances of i) centuries ii) five wickets in an innings and iii) ten wickets in a match at this ground. Here we look at instances of all-round performances.

Only two have scored a century and taken a five-for in the same Tests. They are among the all-time greats:

Lord's match allround

Then there are others who have scored centuries and taken five-fors at Lord’s, but not necessarily in the same Test. The full list (which includes the pair listed above) is:

Lords allround-2

If you remove Mankad and Botham, you still have Allen, Miller, Illingworth, Flintoff and Broad who have scored centuries as well as five-fors at Lord’s. None have scored more than one century at this venue, though there are some instances of multiple five-fors.

There have been only three instances of centuries and ten-fors in the same Test, and all of them have occurred in Asia. We can find a few who have achieved centuries and ten-fors at Lord’s, but not in the same Test:

Lord's allround-3

Incidentally Allen and Broad scored their only Test centuries at Lord’s.

Let us now look at all-round performances at Lord’s which go beyond the honours boards.

A fifty and ten wickets in the match:

Lord's allround-4

Only one instance. If we “stretch” this to 50 or more runs and ten or more wickets, we get:

Lord's allround-5

Miller and newcomer Woakes are added here.

And finally, 100 or more runs and five or more wickets in the match:

Lord's allround-6

Additions to the original pair of Mankad and Botham (1978) are Morkel, Kapil, Botham (1984) and Mark Butcher. The earlier Morkel does not seem to be related to Albie and Morne. The instance of Botham in 1984 was the time when West Indies made 344/1 to win the match. And Butcher was an occasional bowler who took only 15 wickets in his Test career.

 

 

 

Cricketing coincidences-2

A well-known one pertains to the very first Test at Melbourne in March 1877 and the Centenary Test a hundred years later. In both cases Australia won by 45 runs.

See the scorecard of 1877:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62396.html

and of 1977:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63189.html

Although the story-lines of the two Tests are somewhat different, the end result was the same. Note that one performance in the 1877 Test remains a Test record even today.

Now here is another lesser-known one involving two brothers-Tony Greig (58 Tests) and the lesser-known Ian Greig (2 Tests). Tony had one of the best all-round debuts including 4-53. His brother also took 4-53 on debut.

Tony: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63084.html

Ian:   http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63317.html

Finally another one including two Tests, which had somewhat more similarities than the two Tests at Melbourne.

Our story begins at the India-Australia Test at Kanpur in 1959-60, which you will remember as India’s first victory over Australia:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62869.html

Jasu Patel’s figures of 9-69 and 14-124 stood as records for a long time. The first one was bettered only by Anil Kumble in 1998-99, and the second was bettered only by Narendra Hirwani in 1987-88.

Other points to note are:

  1. India won by over 100 runs after conceding a first-innings lead
  2. An Australian left-arm pace bowler (Davidson) took 12 wickets (5 and 7)

Almost 20 years passed. Kanpur saw 7 drawn Tests in succession, and got the reputation of being the deadest Test pitch in the world. These Tests were generally dull draws, with some highlights like GR Viswanath’s duck and century on debut in 1969-70 and India’s then highest total of 644/7 in 1978-79. Then came another Australian team in 1979-80, admittedly a rather weak team without the Packer players.

This was the result:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63243.html

There was no record-breaking bowling like that of Jasu Patel, but still

  1. India won by over 100 runs after conceding a first-innings lead
  2. An Australian left-arm pace bowler (Dymock) took 12 wickets (5 and 7)

Add to this the fact that both Australian bowler’s names started with a D, and there are certainly more coincidences than in the better-known Tests at Melbourne.

India and Australia have met only three times in Tests at this venue, in 1959-60, 1969-70 and 1979-80 but the 10-year cycle was broken in the next decade.