Bevan Congdon R.I.P. – and his Indian connection

Bevan Congdon, who was one of New Zealand’s major players in the 1960s and 1970s, died a few days ago a day before his 80th bithday.

Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:

That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.

Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.

Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:

Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.

Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.

Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.

But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.



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.


Akila Dananjaya’s comeback

Akila Dananjaya now has the best match figures by Sri Lankan bowler making his Test debut.

Apart from the best match figures on debut, he also has the second-best innings figures:

Match figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-innings match debut

(Kuruppuarachchi played only one more Test and Ahangama two more. The latter did not play after his debut series).

Innings figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-debut innings bowling

Not bad when you consider he once held a dubious record in ODI record. In March 2017, he was the only current player who had not batted, bowled or fielded in his ODI career. Here is an edited extract from my earlier post of 27/03/2017 titled “All-round fails in ODIs”:


No batting, bowling and fielding in ODIs (complete list):

No batting no bowling no fielding


This explains what had happened in his one ODI till then:

In this rain-affected match, his team did bat and got to 123/8. He was to bat at No 10 or 11 and never got to bat. And he could not bowl or field as rain prevented New Zealand’s innings from starting


Soon after this was written, his ODI career resumed and he became a regular ODI player, with a high of a 6-for against the all-conquering touring team of India besides a 50 against Pakistan. He may well become a regular in all 3 formats.

These are his current figures. Note that he has a nice smile. One needs to be cheerful to come back after an inauspicious start.


The Test debutants of 2017

Here we review the good performances by those who made their Test debut in 2017.

Batting: 50+ in an innings:

50 innings

A century and a near century. While Blundell has played only one Test after his debut, Markram continued to score well in his subsequent matches. As of Jan 31, 2018 he has a Test average of 52.00 with 2 centuries and 2 fifties. Pandya has not been so consistent, though he has an average of 33.00 with a century and 2 fifties. The others have not done much until now, though we may soon hear more about them.

We also look at debutants who scored:

75+ in a match:

75 match

Apart from Blundell, Markram and Sohail also scored over 100 runs in their debut match.

Bowling: 3wi or more:


Roland-Jones is the only one with a five-for, with Kuldeep Yadav the only other one with a four-for. While injury caused the former to miss a number of Tests, Yadav has done particularly well in limited-over matches. Roland-Jones took 17 wickets at 19.64 so far, while Yadav has 9 wickets at 20.77.

Looking at match performances:

4wm or more:


Roland-Jones has by far the best figures here, while Olivier is second.

Fielding: 2 or more dismissals in an innings:


Markram has the most catches (3) while two others have 2. Nurul Hasan is the only keeper here.

Looking at match performances:

3 or more dismissals in a match:


Markram and Nurul Hasan again. As of today Markram has 6 catches besides 520 runs in 6 Tests.

All-round performances: runs and wickets

40 runs and 4 wickets in a match:

AR 40-4

Roland-Jones again with Overton. Roland-Jones has 82 runs and 17 wickets in 4 Tests. Overton was unfortunate to make his debut against Australia in Australia.

All-round performances: runs and dismissals

20 runs and 2 dismissals in a match:

AR 20-2

Markram’s performance is the best here followed by that of Mossadek.



Test bowlers who failed on debut-Revised (Jan 2018)

This post from late 2015 started getting more views in January, perhaps because they wanted to see how England’s debutant Mason Crane would fare. He does appear here, but has not set any records. But Adil Rashid had done so in 2015.

England’s Adil Rashid became the unlikely hero for England on the last day of the first Test against Pakistan, but not before he had set an unwanted Test record in the first innings-the worst innings bowling by a debutant. This is assuming that no wicket was taken.

(All statistics are up to Jan 17, 2018 after the Ashes series and the 2nd Test between SA and Ind).

Worst innings bowling on debut-no wicket and 100+ runs conceded:

Worst bowling debut-innings no wkt

He took over the record from Australia’s one-test player BE McGain, while India’s Pankaj Singh is a close third. A few well-known names appear here, such as RG Nadkarni, GOB Allen and even JR Thomson. Bangladesh’s Abul Hasan at least got a century at No 10 to compensate; oddly enough he scored 113 in that innings to go with his 0-113. A more recent addition was 0-102 by RL Chase of WI.

A more unwanted record would pertain to those who failed to take any wicket in the match (though in some cases only one innings was bowled):

Worst match bowling on debut-no wicket and 100+ runs conceded:

Worst bowling debut-match no wkt

Here Pankaj Singh is in top place, surpassing Pakistan’s Sohail Khan and the better-known Aaqib Javed. McGain’s 0-149 in an innings gets him into 4th place here. Some famous names here include RG Nadkarni, MA Holding, HH Streak, GOB Allen and others we have met before such as Abul Hasan and JR Thomson. More recently RL Chase entered this list with his 0-102 (which was in a single innings).

Of course, one may be able to take a wicket or two and yet concede a large number of runs. Now we look at those who took wickets but conceded the most runs in an innings on debut:

Worst innings bowling on debut-150+ runs conceded:

Worst bowling debut-innings

Here the leader is a current Sri Lankan player S Randiv who took over the lead from Australia’s JJ Krejza in 2010. Mason Crane ends up in 5th position with his 1-193. Not many well-known players here, until you come to the bottom to the Australian who took one wicket (Ravi Shastri) on debut.

There are several who took expensive fivers on debut but had rather short careers (Krejza being a good example as he played only one more Test). Adil Rashid finds his place in the top half of this list.

And finally we look at the most expensive match bowling figures on debut:

Worst match bowling on debut- 190+ runs conceded:

Worst bowling debut-match

A surprisingly large number of bowlers conceded 200 or more runs in the match on debut. These include the luckless Krejza with 12-358 in a Test lost by Australia. The only other 10-for here is AL Valentine’s 11-204. The West Indies lost this Test, but in the next three Tests he and his “old pal of mine” Ramadhin combined to wreck England.

Rashid finds his place here towards the middle with 5-227.  Crane is also here with 1-193 (as he bowled in one innings). There are a few current players who are yet unproven (such as KV Sharma) but the only other well-known player is AA Mailey with his 6-200.


More about the honors boards at Lord’s-3

Having seen the honors boards for neutral Tests and for England, we now look at the corresponding boards for visitors playing Tests at Lord’s.

First, the 105 centuries by visitors:

Centuries at Lord's-1

Centuries at Lord's-2

Centuries at Lord's-3

The highest score here is 259 by GC Smith for SA in 2003.

India’s DB Vengsarkar is the only visitor to score 3 centuries at Lord’s, while several others have scored 2.

Centuries in each innings were made by Headley (106 and 107 for WI, 1939).

Centuries on debut were made by Graham (107 for Aus, 1893) and Ganguly (131 for Ind, 1996). Ganguly’s 131 is the highest by anyone making his Test debut at Lord’s. Graham was the first visitor to score a century at Lord’s.

Now we look at the 85 five-fors by visitors:

5-for at Lord's-1.JPG

5-for at Lord's-2

The best innings bowling by a visitor is 8-38 by McGrath for Aus in 1997, which is just behind Botham’s 8-34.

CTB Turner, Hadlee and McGrath took 3 five-fors apiece, and several others took 2.

Five-fors by visitors in each innings:

5wi in both innings at Lord's

Massie’s effort was on debut, and remains the best bowling for Australia in any Test. It was also the best match bowling by any debutant until India’s Hirwani inched ahead with 16-136 in 1987.

The following visitors took 5-fors on their Test debut at Lord’s:

5wi at Lord's on debut

Massie’s 8-53 is the best here. Nissar’s debut was in India’s first Test.

Visitors who took 10 wickets in a match at Lord’s:

10-for at Lord's

Ramadhin’s effort came in WI’s first victory in England (and the calypso “Cricket, lovely Cricket”).

Massie has the best match bowling figures at Lord’s. And he is the only visitor to take a 10-for on debut at Lord’s.

Looking at all-round performances, the following visitors have scored centuries and taken five-fors at Lord’s (though they may not be in the same Test):

Century and 5-for at Lord's

Mankad is the only visitor to score a century and take a five-for in the same Test at Lord’s (184 and 5-196 for Ind in 1952), while Miller did so in different Tests. Thus Botham and Miller were the only ones to do this at Lord’s. Mankad’s efforts (which included another fifty) were not enough to prevent defeat for his side.

DJ Nash (56 and 11-169 for NZ in 1994) is the only visitor to score a fifty and take 10 wickets in a match at Lord’s. He and MM Ali are the only ones to do this at Lord’s.

This concludes our summary of batting and bowling performances which find their place on the various honors boards at Lord’s.

Now you may well ask “But wait! Where are Gavaskar, Tendulkar, Ponting and Lara? Or Lillee, Warne and Ambrose?”

Good questions, which deserve a separate post.



More about the honors boards at Lord’s-2

We now look at the honors boards in England’s dressing room.

A total of 129 centuries were made for England:

Eng-century at Lord's-1

Eng-century at Lord's-2

Eng-century at Lord's-3

The most centuries by an English batsman are 6 each by Gooch and Vaughan.

Centuries in both innings were made by Gooch (333 and 123 v Ind in 1990) and Vaughan (103 and 101* v WI in 2004). Gooch’s 333 is also the only Test triple century at Lord’s. This was also the first instance of a triple century and century in a first-class match. Some years later Sangakkara repeated this in a Test against Bangladesh.

The next highest score for England here is 240 by Hammond v Aus in 1938.

Those who scored a century on debut were Hampshire (107 v WI, 1969), Strauss (112 v NZ, 2004) and Prior (126* v WI, 2007).

Next we look at the 95 five-fors by England:

Eng-5wi at Lord's-1

Eng-5wi at Lord's-2

Eng-5wi at Lord's-3

The most five-fors are 8 by Botham followed by 5 each by Anderson and Trueman. Anderson may yet add to this.

The best performance here is 8-34 by Botham vs Pakistan in 1978, and he also scored a century in that match. Eight-wicket hauls have been made on 4 occasions by Botham (twice), Verity and Underwood.

There are numerous cases of five-fors in both innings. The most recent instance was by Woakes vs Pak in 2016.

It seems to be easier for debutants to take a five-for than to score a century at Lord’s. Here are those who took a five-for on debut:

Eng-5wi on debut at Lord's

Cork has the best figures here. No one has taken five-fors in each innings on debut.

And finally, we look at the rather shorter list of the 17 who took 10wm for England:

Eng-10wm at Lord's

Underwood is the only one to do so twice.

Verity’s 15-wicket haul is the best here.

Bedser is the only one to do so on debut.

And MM Ali is the only English player to score a fifty and take a ten-for in a Test at Lord’s. He finished the match with a hat-trick.

There are some who have scored both a century and a five-for at Lord’s (though not always in the same Test):

Eng-100 and 5wi at Lord's

Botham (108 and 8-34 v Pak in 1978) is the only one to do so in the same Test.

Those who scored both a century and ten-for at Lord’s:

Eng-100 and 10wm at Lord's

None of them scored a century and took 10 wickets in a match (in fact, this has happened only 3 times in all Tests, Botham being the first to do so.) Oddly enough, Allen and Broad scored their only Test centuries at Lord’s.

Finally, in the third part, we will look at the boards for visiting teams.