Warner’s triple century and others

First, a list of all Test scores of 300 and above;

Triple centuries-1

David Warner’s 335* was the 31st instance of 300+ in a Test, and the first at Adelaide. Incidentally the previous highest was 299* by DG Bradman vs SA in 1931-32.

It is also the highest in any day-night Test, surpassing  Azhar Ali’s 302* at Dubai in 2016-17.

Highest in day-night Test

However, it is the second highest score by an Australian player and in Australia, where ML Hayden’s 380 is in first place.

Coming back to the list of 300+ scores above, 27 players have made 31 such scores.

Lara, Gayle, Sehwag and Bradman have 2 such scores each. Bradman and Sehwag came close to getting a third, getting up to 299* and 293 respectively.

It is instructive to see the list of 300+ scores in chronological order.

Triple century-2

The first such score was by Andrew Sandham in 1929-30. He remains relatively unknown now:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/20058.html

Prior to this tour of the West Indies, he had played in 10 Tests without a century, He made 152 in the first Test, and rounded this up with 325 and 50 in what was to be his last Test. England made 849 and later set WI over 800 to win. As in the better-known timeless Test at Durban a decade later, the match was called off as England had to catch their ship home.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17590/scorecard/62579/west-indies-vs-england-4th-test-england-tour-of-west-indies-1929-30

This record of 325 only lasted for a little over 7 months, as Bradman made 334 at Leeds during the 1930 tour. (His only other triple (304) also came at Leeds in 1934).

Another of Sandham’s records was more durable; his 375 in the match was not surpassed until Greg Chappell made 380 (247* and 133) in 1973-74.

In England’s customary add-on series with New Zealand after the bodyline series of 1932-33, Hammond made 336*. The captain (RES Wyatt) appears to have declared once he crossed Bradman’s record of 334. Even so, there was not enough time to win the Test.

So the record was back with England. Bradman got up to 304 at Leeds in 1934.

At the Oval in 1938, Hutton made sure it remained with England with 364. England’s total of 903/7 dec was the record until the Sri Lankans made 952/6 in 1997.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17544/scorecard/62652/england-vs-australia-5th-test-australia-tour-of-england-1938

A famous picture from that Test:

Bossers Pet

That record of 364 lasted a little less than 20 years, when a relatively unknown all-rounder named Garfield Sobers marked his first Test century with 365*. There was, expectedly, a crowd disturbance when he passed the old mark. But the captain Gerry Alexander declared after this, correctly guessing that there was enough time to bowl out Pakistan twice.

A more detailed account of this innings can be seen here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/make-mine-a-double-no-a-triple/

This record stood for just over 36 years, when another West Indian batsman Brian Lara made 375 at St John’s in 1994. An account of this innings:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/21525184/brian-lara-375-world-record-nearly

The West Indies won the series 3-1 with this final Test drawn.

In the second half of the 1990s, there were two determined efforts, with Sri Lanka’s Jayasuriya making 340 in what is still a Test record total of 952/6, and the puzzling score of 334* by Australian captain Mark Taylor who declared at this point. The official story then was that he did not want to go past Bradman’s Australian record. Both these Tests ended in dull draws.

By late 2003, Matthew Hayden got a chance against Zimbabwe. Admittedly its bowling was somewhat better than what it was later, but he did not stop at crossing 375 and made 380 at Perth, still a record for Australia and in Australia. Steve Waugh declared as soon as Hayden was out at 735/6.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/15140/scorecard/64048/australia-vs-zimbabwe-1st-test-zimbabwe-tour-of-australia-2003-04

Hayden’s record lasted only for 6 months, when Lara reclaimed it again at St. John’s:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/15068/scorecard/64080/west-indies-vs-england-4th-test-england-tour-of-west-indies-2003-04

As in 1994, this score was not enough for West Indies to win the Test even though England had to follow on. However, England had won the first 3 Tests and thus won the series 3-0. Lara’s 400* was therefore relatively unimportant to the result.

Since then, the closest anyone got was 374 by M Jayawardene in 2006. Warner might well have come close to the record except that rain was forecast for the remainder of the Test. It is yet unclear whether the captain TD Paine attached any special significance to 335 which was Warner’s score when the captain declared. There was enough time to dismiss Pakistan twice with over a day to spare.

 

 

 

More about batting averages

Here is the table showing the batting averages for all 1105 players who batted in at least 20 innings up to 25 Oct 2019:

Averages Oct 2019-Complete

The averages range from 99.94 (DG Bradman) to 2.00 (M Mbangwa).

The mean of these averages is 27.07, and those closest to it are KR Rutherford, JJ Lyons and PA Strang.

Looking at other measures of central tendency:

First quartile: 36.16 (Wasim Raja)

Median: 26.52 (PR Reiffel, RW Marsh)

Third quartile: 16.28 (RW Taylor, BL Cairns)

 

Test scores of 200+ by Indians and others

Information correct as on Oct 11, 2019.

First we look at those who have made 5 or more scores of 200 or more:

Scores of 200+ 5 times

We can see that Kohli is now equal with Hammond and M Jayawardene in making 7 scores of 200+. The previous record of 6 for India was shared by him, Sehwag and Tendulkar. Kohli is also the only current player above.

The only other player with more than one triple century is CH Gayle, whose 4 scores of 200+ include 2 triples.

A total of 374 scores of 200+ have been made in Tests. This includes one quadruple century, 29 triples and 344 doubles.

All those who have made 200+ for India are tabulated below:

200+ for India

We also look at scores of 200+ in ODIs:

There are only 8 such scores.

RG Sharma has made 3, with a top score of 264 which is the ODI record.

Others who have made 200+ scores in ODIs are Fakhar Zaman, CH Gayle, MJ Guptill, V Sehwag and SR Tendulkar.

And for T20Is:

The highest score is 172 by AJ Finch. There are 2 other scores above 150, by AJ Finch again and H Zazai.

 

Review of Aus-Eng Tests, 2019-1

We now start with the World Test Championship table at the end of this series:

WTC 16 Sep 2019

Australia and England are only above the West Indies. (The three teams below WI have not played any WTC matches yet).

The record of all Tests between these teams:

Aus-Eng results

Not all Tests between these teams have been counted as part of the Ashes; this can be seen in this review of the Ashes since 1970: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/09/16/the-ashes-since-1970/

Although the series was drawn 2-2 (the first drawn Ashes series since 1972) Australia retained the Ashes which they held since 2017-18.

Looking at individual performances:

Batting:

Most runs (2000 or more):

2019 Ashes Runs

Apart from scoring the most runs, Bradman has the most centuries (19) and 50+ scores (31). The next highest scorer was Hobbs with 11 centuries, although third-placed Border has 29 50+ scores.

Among current players there are Smith and the recently retired Cook.

Highest innings (200 or more):

2019 Ashes Innings batted

This series only has the 211 by Smith.  The highest in recent years was Cook’s 244* in 2017-18 and Smith’s 239 in 2017-18. RE Foster’s 287 in 1903-04 remains the highest for England in Australia. Bradman’s 334 and then Hutton’s 364 were then the highest in all Tests.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings): 40 and above:

2019 Ashes Batting Avg

Bradman tops by a large margin as usual, followed by Sutcliffe. Smith is now in third place. Root is the only other current player, just making the cut of 40.00.

To be continued:

 

Test batting averages across innings

There is often a significant difference in how batsmen perform in different innings. This is apparent when we look at those with the highest averages in Tests (for those who have batted in at least 20 innings).

Data is correct up to April 3, 2018. The ICC XI v Aus Test of 2005 is not counted.

First we look at the averages for Tests as a whole, for a minimum of 20 innings vatted across innings;

Highest batting averages in Tests (50 and above):

Overall averages for all innings

You do not need to be reminded about the man with 99.94. The next two are also well known in recent years. Some, like Kambli, are lucky to scrape through. Other contemporary players listed above include Kohli, Root, Younis Khan, de Villiers, Pujara and Williamson.

Most of those who are generally regarded as great batsmen are here-even though some like H Sutcliffe, GE Tyldesley and CA Davis never made a double century.

Now we look at the different innings. The 20-innings cutoff is applied in each case.

Highest batting averages in first innings of Tests (55 and above):

1st innings averages

Bradman and Steve Smith are still in the top 3, but then there is considerable variation. Hassett and Azhar Ali averaged less than 50 in all innings but did much better in the first innings. Voges, Graeme Pollock and Headley did not play enough Tests. Barrington and Weekes seemed to have particularly relished batting in the first innings.

Contemporary players here include Steve Smith, Azhar Ali, Pujara, Ross Taylor, du Plessis, Root and a few others.

Moving on to the second innings.

Highest batting averages in second innings of Tests (55 and above):

2nd innings averages

Bradman is still at the top, followed relatively closely by Kohli. Other contemporary players include Steve Smith, Williamson, Root, de Villiers, Younis Khan and AN Cook. Tendulkar just scrapes through the 55-mark, some distance behind Gavaskar who did not do too well in the first innings.

Now to the third innings.

Highest batting averages in third innings of Tests (50 and above):

3rd innings averages

Bradman now drops out of the table altogether, with May and Kallis taking the two top spots. Here the differences between the top players are comparatively smaller. Contemporary players here are headed by Amla and Azhar Ali.

Finally the fourth innings, where survival skills are particularly important:

Highest batting averages in fourth innings of Tests (40 and above):

4th innings averages

As we can see, it is as difficult to average 40 here as it is to average 50 overall. Boycott, Gavaskar and Hobbs are bunched together at the top. And some like Bradman did not need to do much in the fourth innings as they and their teams generally scored enough in the first and second innings. Some, such as Ranatunga, Misbah and Hutton did not even score centuries in the fourth innings and probably benefited by a number of not-out innings.

Contemporary players here include Younis Khan, AD Mathews, Misbah-ul-Haq, Warner, Ross Taylor and Mohammad Hafeez.

Comparison of centuries made in different innings will be taken up next.

 

 

 

 

Alistair Cook’s record score.

As you can see from here, Alistair Cook’s 244* at Melbourne is not his highest Test score.

That is 294.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/11728.html

However, it set a number of records. He became the first Test player to make 244*, while Bradman is the only one to be dismissed on 244 (vs England, who else?) in 1934.

Cook’s 244* is also the highest score by anyone carrying his bat through a Test:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283149.html

The previous record was 223* by GM Turner vs WI in 1971-72; this series had all 5 Tests drawn and is the only such series not involving India.

The previous record for England was 202* by L Hutton vs WI in 1950-this was not enough to prevent an innings defeat against Ramadhin, Valentine and Goddard.

And the previous record in Australia was 169* by MA Taylor vs SA at Adelaide in 1998.

There was also a near-miss in 1974 when DL Amiss made 262* against WI in a total of 432/9.

 

Unbeaten scores of 99,199 and 299

Test scores of 99 are more common than one may imagine. Misbah’s score of 99 in the ongoing Test at Kingston was the 89th such instance. The first such score was by Clem Hill against England in early 1902.

Scores of 99* are somewhat rarer. Here is the full list of such scores in chronological order:

99 NO

The first such score was recorded only in late 1979. Boycott carried his bat through this innings.

Boycott had a special affinity for 99, as he was the first to score 99 and a century in the same Test:  http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63121.html

That series-equalling win was also due to Tony Greig’s little-used off-spin which got him 13 wickets in the match.

RT Ponting (101 and 99) was the only other batsman to score a century and 99 in the same Test, which was against South Africa at Melbourne in 2008-09.

All the scores of 99* (except that of Tudor) ended when the team was bowled out. Tudor’s 99* remains the only one where the team was chasing a target. This Test, which immediately followed the 1999 World Cup, had a rather weird scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63841.html

10 wickets fell on the first day and 21 on the second. At close England was 3 for 1 facing a target of 208. Alex Tudor, who normally batted at 8 or below, had come in as a nightwatchman at the fall of the first wicket. On the 3rd day it looked as if he would get a century but his fourth-wicket partner Graham Thorpe was in a hurry to finish things off, leaving Tudor stranded on his highest Test score of 99*. It was to be his only score above 50.

199s and 199*s are still rarer. Here is a complete list of the 11 instances:

199

The first 199 was scored in late 1984 by Mudassar Nazar, and the most recent by KL Rahul. Both the unbeaten 199s came when the teams were bowled out. Andy Flower scored 142 in addition to 199* in a follow-on as his side lost the Test. (That match ended on 9/11 in 2001).

Sangakkara was more fortunate as his team won.

And 299? Two such instances, the first one being unbeaten:

299

Martin Crowe’s 299 was the New Zealand record for over two decades until McCullum made 302.  Let us have a closer look at Bradman’s unbeaten 299:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62601.html

This was the 4th Test of Australia’s 5-0 whitewash of South Africa, who had not yet fully graduated from whipping boys. Bradman was stranded on 299 when the No 11 HM Thurlow was run out for 0 on his debut. Thurlow also failed to take a wicket in two innings. Predictably his first Test was his last.