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

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

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

The history of pink-ball Tests

India and Bangladesh play their first day-night Test at Kolkata from Nov 22.

A total of 11 day-night Tests have been played till now:

11 Day-night matches

India and Bangladesh are the last of the original 10 Test teams to play with the pink ball. Even Zimbabwe has played one such Test, though it lasted only 2 days.

Each of these 11 Tests has had a result.

Highest innings scores (90 and above):

Innings above 90

Batting under lights cannot be that difficult as we already have a triple century, a double century as well as a near-double century.

Best innings bowling (including all 5wi):

Innings bowl

The best innings bowling is by Bishoo, although his team lost that match.

Best match bowling (including all 8wm):

Match bowl

Bishoo’s 10-for is also close to the best performance here. Cummins has the best match performance in the last day-night Test before this.

Best innings fielding (4 dismissals and above):

innings fielding

Wade is the only one with 5 dismissals, and Kusal Mendis has the most (4) by a non-keeper.

Best match fielding (5 dismissals and above):

Match fielding

de Villiers is the only keeper with 8 dismissals, and Kusal Mendis the only non-keeper with 5 dismissals.

All-round performance (50 and 5wi in match):


Dilruwan Perera has 58 and 5-98, and Jason Holder has 74 and 5-41 which are better figures.




Test Cricket: the greatest collapses-2

We have already seen instances when a collapse occurred after the first wicket put on 100 or more runs. We extend this to collapses after the first two wickets put on 200 or more runs.

Here, we choose the ratio of (runs added after the fall of 2 wickets)/(runs added by the first 2 wickets). The cutoff here is 0.3 or 30%.

Collapse after 200 + for 2

This  list is in chronological order. We can see that the greatest collapse here # 7, was by Pakistan in 2009, where they went from 285/2 to 320, with the last 8 wickets putting on a mere 35 runs or 35/285 or 12.3% of the runs put on by the first two.  They lost this Test. The next worst collapse was also by Pakistan (#1) where the figure was 16.3%. But it was enough to draw.

We briefly summarize these 8 Tests below. The detailed scorecards could be seen at www cricinfo com or www cricketarchive com among others.

1) Pakistan v India, Mumbai (BS), 02-12-1960. Drawn.

First match of 5-Test series.

Pak 350 and 166/4

Ind 449/9 dec.

The first innings of 350 (Hanif 160 Imtiaz 19, Saeed Ahmed 121, Desai 3-116, Gupte 4-43).

All 5 Tests were drawn.

2) England v West Indies, Port of Spain, 02-02-1974. WI won by 7 wickets.

First match of 5-Test series.

Eng 131 and 392

WI 392 and 132/3.

The third innings is England’s second: 392 (Boycott 93, Amiss 174, Denness 44, Sobers 3-54, Gibbs 6-108).

The series was drawn 1-1.

3) New Zealand v West Indies, Kingston, 04-05-1985. WI won by 10 wickets.

Last match of 4-Test series.

WI 363 and 59/0

NZ 138 and (fo) 283.

The third innings is New Zealand’s second: 283 (Wright 10, G Howarth 84, J Crowe 112, Marshall 4-66).

West Indies won the series 2-0.

4) West Indies v England, St John’s, 12-04-1990. WI won by an innings and 32 runs.

Last match of 5-Test series.

Eng 260 and 154

WI 446.

(Remember, the second innings (WI’s first) also figured in the list of greatest collapses after the first wicket fell).

446 (Greenidge 149, Haynes 167, Richardson 34, Malcolm 4-126).

West Indies won the series 2-1.

5) England v Pakistan, Leeds, 23-07-1992. Eng won by 6 wickets.

4th match of 5-Test series.

Pak 197 and 221

Eng 320 and 99/4.

Looking at the second innings and England’s first:

320 (Gooch 135, Atherton 76, RA Smith 42, Waqar Younis 5-117, Mushtaq Ahmed 3-60).

Pakistan won the series 2-1.

6) Pakistan v West Indies, Karachi, 06-12-1997. Pakistan won by 10 wickets.

Last match of 3-Test series.

(This innings, the second and Pakistan’s first, also figured in the list of greatest collapses after the first wicket fell).

WI 216 and 212

Pak 417 and 15/0.

417 (Aamir Sohail 160, Ijaz Ahmed 151, Saeed Anwar 15, Walsh 4-74, Dillon 5-111).

Pakistan won the series 3-0.

7) Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Colombo (PSS), 12-07-2009. Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets.

Second match of a 3-Test series.

This is the worst collapse after 2 wickets fell.

Pak 90 and 320

SL 240 and 171/3

The third innings and Pakistan’s second:

320 (Khurram Manzoor 38, Fawad Alam 168, Younis Khan 82, Kulasekara 4-37, Herath 5-99).

Fawad Alam was making his debut.

Sri Lanka won the series 2-0.

8) Australia v India, Hyderabad (Deccan), 02-03-2013. India won by an innings and 135 runs.

2nd match of 4-Test series.

Aus 237/9 dec and 131.

Ind 503.

The second innings and India’s first:

503 (M Vijay 167, Sehwag 6, Pujara 204, Doherty 3-131, Maxwell 4-127).

Maxwell was making his debut.

India won the series 4-0.



Test Cricket: the greatest collapses-1

Putting on a century partnership for the first wicket is difficult. It is particularly frustrating if the rest of the team contributes less than 50% of the opening partnership.

This has happened several times in Tests:

Collapse after century opening partnership

The above list is in chronological order. However the extent of the collapse can be seen from the column “Percent added”.

The worst such collapse was at # 5, where the West Indies plunged from 276 for no loss to 365 all out (when the others contributed 89 runs or 32.2 % of 276.

Naturally they lost. But you can see that some teams recovered enough to draw or even win a Test after such a collapse.

We look at each of the Tests mentioned above:


Debutant Bedser (7-49 and 4-96) had helped rout India in the first post-war Test in England at Lord’s.

In the second Test at Manchester, things went better for them:

Eng 294 and 153/5 dec

Ind 170 and 152/9.

The 170 included Merchant (78) and Mushtaq Ali (46) putting on 124 for the first wicket. Mushtaq was the first to go, dismissed by debutant R Pollard. The only other batsman to record double figures was the captain Pataudi (11). Bedser finished with 4-41 and Pollard 5-24, who followed him with a five-for on debut.

India was set 278 in three hours. This time Bedser took 7-52 (and thus took 11 wickets in each of his first two Tests) and Pollard 2-63. India reached 138/9 before the last pair of Sohoni  (11* on debut) and Hindlekar (4*) played out 13 minutes to ensure a draw.

This was the first time that a Test was saved by the 10th-wicket pair in the fourth innings.

Finally England won this series 1-0 with two draws.


This match was also dramatic but in a different way.

New Zealand had unexpectedly won the 2nd Test and thus led 1-0 going into the third Test:

Aus 221 and 346

NZ 112 and 158

Redpath had carried his bat for 159 in Australia’s second innings.

New Zealand were set 456 for an improbable victory. They started well enough with Turner (72) and JM Parker (34) putting on 107 for the first wicket. Once Parker was dismissed by  Gilmour, only Wadsworth (21) crossed double figures and they were dismissed for 158. Walker led the bowling with 4-39 and Australia won by 297 runs on the third day, drawing the series.


Not quite so dramatic. England had won the first Test of the series (their first win in the West Indies since 1974) and the series was drawn 1-1 going into this final Test.

Eng 260 and 154

WI 446

It was actually England who collapsed, but not in a peculiar manner like the West Indies.

The West Indies started with Greenidge (149) and Haynes (167) who put on 298 before the former was run out. There were more contributions down the line, with Malcolm (4-126) the leading bowler. The remaining wickets contributed 49.7% of the opening partnership, thus meeting our cutoff of 50%. The West Indies duly won by an innings and 32 runs, winning the series 2-1.


As in the previous match, this collapse did not affect the result.

This series confirmed the rapid decline of the West Indies in the latter half of the 1990s. They lost the first two Tests by innings margins. The result of this Test was similar:

WI 216 and 212

Pak 417 and 15/0.

For Pakistan, Aamir Sohail (160) and Ijaz Ahmed (151) opened until the former was dismissed by occasional bowler Chanderpaul on 298. After that Walsh (4-74) and Dillon (5-111) dismissed Pakistan for 417. It did not make much difference, as Pakistan won by 10 wickets and swept the series 3-0. This was the first “whitewash” in a 3-Test series for the West Indies since 1928.


The West Indies also figured in this match, the first of a two-Test series.

WI 365 and 97

NZ 393 and 70/1

They started off with AFG Griffith (114) and SL Campbell (170) who had put on 276 when the latter was dismissed by Nash. CL Cairns (3-73) and the upcoming Vettori (4-83) helped dismiss the team for only 89 runs added. In the second innings, they were dismissed for 97, thus completing a sequence of losing 20 wickets for 186.

New Zealand won by 9 wickets and completed the rout by winning the next Test by an innings.


The West Indies again, though this was a happier occasion for them at the start of a two-Tests series.

Zim 155 and 228

WI 559/6 dec.

Zimbabwe started the third innings 404 runs behind. The start was promising with DD Ebrahim (71) and ADR Campbell (103) putting on 164. Ebrahim was dismissed by Stuart. The only other batsman to cross double figures was GJ Whittall (10*), as McGarrell (4-38) and Stuart (3-45) dismissed the side for 228 giving the West Indies an innings victory. The second Test was drawn, so the West Indies enjoyed a series victory which was already becoming a rare event for them.


Here, the team which collapsed was able to scrape through to a draw.

Pak 482 and 181/6 dec

Aus 202 and 362/8.

Facing a large total, Australia started with Khawaja (85) and debutant Finch (62).

Finch was dismissed by Mohammad Abbas (4-29), who shared the wickets with debutant Bilal Asif (6-36). Pakistan did not impose the follow-on, and Australia was able to draw. But Pakistan won the second Test by a large margin and won the series 1-0.

We will also look at collapses after 200+ for 2 and 300+ for 3.



Umesh Yadav the batsman

This is a rather convoluted record, I know.

Umesh Yadav is the only batsman to make two scores of 25+ with a strike rate of 250.00 and above:

25+ with highest strike rate

Above 200.00, there is only DA Warner to accompany Yadav with two such innings. For India, there are also PS Kumar (40 at 222) and Harbhajan (37 at 205).

Rohit Sharma the opener

These are those who have made centuries in both innings as an opener:

Century in each innings as an opener

The only other Indian player here is Gavaskar (on 3 occasions). Others with multiple appearances are Warner (3) and Hayden and Sutcliffe with 2. Some well-known openers such as Graeme Smith, Fredericks, Boycott and Hutton did not achieve this mark.

No one achieved this feat on his Test debut, as Rohit became an opener after playing several Tests in the middle order. Wasti did so in his second Test, although he had opened in the second innings of his debut.

We also look at those who scored 300 runs in a match while opening. These are in order of runs scored. Some made their 300 in one innings:

300+ in a test as opener

Rohit is 19th on this list and 4th for India, with Gavaskar leading and followed by two instances by Sehwag. Others with two instances are Hayden and Gayle.

While LG Rowe scored 214 and 100* on debut, he was not an opener in that match. He later scored 302 as an opener.

Another curiosity is Sutcliffe and Rohit having the same combination of 176 and 127.

Here we look at those who scored centuries as opener for India. This is up to Nov 01, 2019:

Most hundreds by India opener

Note that Rohit and Mayank Agarwal are side by side. Since Nov 1, the latter has moved ahead of Rohit as he now has 3 centuries AND three fifties.

Interestingly, Gavaskar and Sehwag have almost the same batting average.

Finally, we look at batting averages for all openers with 20+ innings and average of 45.00 and above. This is up to Nov 01, 2019 and does not include the ICC XI Test of 2005:

Best average as opener

We see a rather close bunching just above an average of 50.00, with Gavaskar, Hayden, Sehwag, WA Brown and EAB Rowan.



Batting recoveries 3: Doubling the score by the 8th wicket partners

The last post in our series on great batting recoveries covers cases where the 8th-wicket pair doubled the score after the 7th wicket fell. There are 24 such instances; 13 resulted in losses, 4 in draws and 7 in wins.

These matches are tabulated below:

Doubling the score after the 7th wicket fell

The highest such 8th-wicket partnership of 332 by Trott and Broad in that tainted Lord’s match of 2010, where it is very likely that Pakistan’s bowlers deliberately allowed them to add runs to satisfy the requirements of the fixers. The “genuine” highest partnership would then be the 313 by Akram and Saqlain in the only Test ever played at Sheikhpura.

The highest ratio of (8th wkt partnership)/( sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) is 3.255 by Trott and Broad (102/7 to 434/8) followed by 2.423 by Absolom and Lord Harris (26/7 to 89/8). The lowest here is 1.053 by debutants Morkel and Vincent who went from 38/7 to 78/8.

Absolom and Harris did this as early as 1879, unlike the 9th wicket recoveries starting from 1946 and 10th wicket recoveries starting from 1980.

Soon afterwards Absolom became the first (and only?) Test player to be killed by sugar bags (or bananas?) falling from a ship’s crane.Also see

Lord Harris went on to bigger things, not necessarily in cricket. He did, however see England win in all his 5 Tests although he hardly contributed to these victories.

If you look at the ratio of (innings total)/(sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) the highest is 4.333 where Blunt and Dickinson started the recovery from 21/7 to 64/8 which went on to 112. This was New Zealand’s first ever Test and noted for debutant MJC Allom’s hat-trick and 4 wickets in 5 balls. Next is 3.474 by Morkel and Vincent, who started with 38/7 and went to 78/8 and finally 170. This is a little better than 3.255 by Trott and Broad, 102/7 to 434/8 and finally 446.

The lowest is the anemic 1.250 by Pakistan in 2017, going from 36/7 to 78/8 and 81.

Of special note was the England-WI Test of 1966 which witnessed a 200+ stand for the 8th wicket (Graveney and Murray) as well as a 100+ stand for the 10th wicket (Higgs and Snow), taking them from 166/7 to 383/8, 399/9 and finally 527. This ended a series of heavy defeats by the West Indies, and marked the start of the short reign of the maverick captain DB Close.