Highlights of the 3rd SA-Eng Test

The 3rd Test of the South Africa-England series ended in an innings victory for England. They lead 2-1 with one to go. A number of statistical landmarks occurred in this match.

First, you can see the scorecard:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185306/south-africa-vs-england-3rd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

Newcomer Oliver Pope was Player of the Match. He became one of the few to score a century and take 6 or more catches as a non-keeper:

Ollie Pope all-round

You can see that Hayden’s and Kallis’s performances were the best here.

Also see what Ben Stokes did in the previous Test (100 runs/3 wickets/6 catches):

Stokes all-round match

Joe Root had never taken more than 2 wickets in an innings until this Test. He did improve upon this, but suffered the indignity of conceding the most runs in an over. He got a share in this  negative record:

Most runs off an over

His best innings bowling analysis “improved” from 2-9 to 4-87.

Dane Paterson scored 39* at No 11 on debut, which is the fourth highest such score:

Dane Paterson debut

The previous highest by a South African No 11 on debut was 22* by PW Sherwell back in January 1906. Unlike in this Test, this score helped SA to win by one wicket. Sherwell was captaining AND keeping on his debut.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17651/scorecard/62483/south-africa-vs-england-1st-test-england-tour-of-south-africa-1905-06

This last-wicket partnership of 99 is the second highest for SA vs Eng:

SA v Eng last wicket

Ben Stokes and the three dimensions

Not long ago, the BCCI was trying to justify the selection of at least one relatively undistinguished player for the World Cup on the grounds that he was a “3-dimensional player”.

It is true that being a good fielder is an asset to any player (whether they are batsmen or bowlers or both). Fielding, unlike batting and bowling, does not lend itself ready to numerical measures. One can count the catches taken by a fielder, but it is not so easy to evaluate the runs saved in the field or even the pressure put on the opposing batsmen by a good outfielder.

The case of a three-dimensional performance in a Test win comes up with Ben Stokes at the second SA v Eng Test at Cape Town, which was won by England by a large margin.

Stokes contributed 47, 0-34, 5c, 72, 3-35 and 1c in England’s 189-run victory:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

That is 119 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches.

We first look at the catching records for non-keepers

5 or more catches in an innings:

5 catches in innings by non keeper

The record of 5 catches in an innings is shared by 13 players, Stokes being the latest. Many of these performances have come in recent years.

6 or more catches in a match:

6+ catches in match as non keeper

The record is 8 by AM Rahane. de Villiers took 8 catches as a keeper when the regular keeper de Kock was injured at the beginning of the match. A total of 43 players (or 42 if you remove de Villiers) have made 6 or more catches as a non-keeper in a match.

AM Rahane and KL Rahul are the only current players with 7 or more catches in a match.

Some other current players (notably SPD Smith) have taken 6 catches in a match.

Coming back to Ben Stokes, we can round off and say that he scored 100, took 3 wickets and made 6 catches.

Who else has done this in Tests?

100 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches in Tests:

100 runs 3 wickets 6 catches

Only two other players. Stokes is in good company here.

Suppose we consider only two “dimensions”. Who else has Stokes emulated?

100 runs and 3 wickets:

This has happened on 338 occasions, with several players doing this on multiple occasions. Stokes himself has done so on 6 occasions.

Sobers did this on 16 occasions, followed by Kallis with 13, Botham (10) and Shakib Al Hasan (9). Ashwin and Stokes (6 apiece) are the only current players.

So that is not a particularly rare achievement.

Now we try

3 wickets and 6 catches:

3 wkts and 6 catches

Only 5 times. Apart from Woolley, Kallis and Stokes there are Vogler and Jack Gregory from long ago.

Another permutation is

100 runs and 6 catches:

100 runs 6 catches

This has been done only on 10 occasions, including twice by SPD Smith. Also note that Hayden is the only one to make a century AND take 7 catches. Kallis is the only one with a double century AND 6 catches.

So Stokes has achieved a rare all-round feat of 100/3/6 which had been done only twice before, by Woolley and Kallis.

Parting shots:

Who is the only non-keeper to take 5 catches in an innings on debut?

And who is the only non-keeper to take 7 catches in a match on debut?

Finally:

Which current keeper took 5 catches in an innings and 7 in the match on debut?

 

 

 

 

 

 

England and the curse of Cape Town

England recorded its 62nd win (out of  151) against South Africa, the 32nd out of 83 in that country and its 10th win (out of 21) at Cape Town.

Have a look at how they have fared in Cape Town (which has only one Test ground):

England Tests at Cape Town

Of these 10 wins, 8 were before 1930. The 9th was in 1957 almost exactly 63 years ago, and the 10th was in 2020.

The 1957 win was mainly due to JH Wardle’s 12 wickets.  In 2020, it was Ben Stokes’ 3-dimensional performance with 119 runs, 3 wickets and 6 catches:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

England also gained 30 points in the WTC championship and moved into third place. Meanwhile Australia bagged all the 120 points in their series against New Zealand and continued to creep up towards India’s tally.

WTC 07 Jan 2020

The 4th innings at Cape Town

As in the first Test at Centurion, we enter the last day with a potentially long run-chase.

South Africa was set 438 to win (remember that famous ODI when they reached that figure?) and had made 126/2 in 56 overs with about 90 overs left. They still need to make 312 runs at a run rate of 3.47, while they have reached 126/2 at an RR of 2.25

We look at 4th-innings scores above 300 in South Africa:

4th innings in SA

The highest winning score is 340/5 by SA vs Aus at Durban in 2002. But teams have got very close to winning by scoring 458 in 2013 and even 696 in 1939.

At Cape Town alone, we have:

4th innings in Cape Town

The highest score to win is 334/6 by Aus in 2002, and overall it is 354/5 to draw by WI in 2004.  SA’s highest score here is 335 (and lost) back in 1962. So 438 to win is unlikely.

But they had said that before this ODI in 2006:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/14676/scorecard/238200/south-africa-vs-australia-5th-odi-australia-tour-of-south-africa-2005-06

Update: South Africa held on long enough to reach the last hour, making 248 in 137.4 overs and losing by 189 runs. Stokes took the final wicket, finishing with 47, 0-34, 72, 3-35 and 6 catches.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/19430/scorecard/1185305/south-africa-vs-england-2nd-test-icc-world-test-championship-2019-2021

 

 

England-South Africa Tests (2017)-1

With this 3-1 victory, the complete record of the 149 Tests between these teams shows England leading 61-33 with 55 draws.

In England, England lead 30-14 with 24 draws.

In SA, England still lead SA 31-19 with 31 draws.

It may be more useful to look at the record after South Africa returned to international cricket. The first Test series between these teams in the new era was in 1994.

For Tests in 1994 and later:

47 Tests have been played.The teams are matched 15-15 with 17 draws.

In England, they are again matched 9-9 with 6 draws.

In SA, they are yet again matched 6-6 with 11 draws. Truly symmetric.

However, this was England’s first series win against SA in England since 1998. In between they had won two out of four series in SA. In the same period SA won one series in England and two were drawn.

We now look at individual performances.

Batting:

Most runs (1000 and above):

Most runs

Amla has the highest total among current players, with de Villiers and Cook some distance behind. The first few on this list are from the distant past.

Kallis has the most centuries (8) while several others have 7. Amla with 6 has the most centuries among current players.

Mitchell has the most 50-plus scores (23) followed by Hammond and HW Taylor (20). Amla with 13 has the most among current players.

Highest individual scores (160 and above):

Highest innings scores

While Amla holds the record of 311*, the only high score listed in the current series is 190 by Root. Stokes (258) holds the record for England.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, minimum 35.00):

Bat Avg

Again dominated by the old-timers, while Amla, de Villiers and Cook are the only current players.

To be continued.

 

Another landmark for Moeen Ali

Perhaps Moeen Ali shaving his head made some difference (apart from being mistaken for Hashim Amla at a distance). In the first Test of the current series against South Africa he became one of the relatively few (25) to score a fifty and 10 wickets in the same match (Sir Richard Hadlee did so 3 times, while a false knight of the present also appears here):

10wm and fifty

He also became part of a select group of 40 to have scored both a century and a ten-for in Tests. Only IT Botham, Imran Khan and Shakib Al Hasan achieved this in the same Test.

Century and tenner

In the third Test, he finished the match with a hat-trick. This was the 43rd hat-trick in Tests and he became the 39th player to achieve this. H Trumble, TJ Matthews, Wasim Akram and SCB Broad took two hat-tricks apiece. The updated list of hat-tricks:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/136977.html

Finally, he joined a rather short list of 7 players who have scored a century and taken a hat-trick in Tests. Of these, Sohag Gazi is the only one to do so in the same Test-though he vanished from the international scene quite rapidly.

  1. J Briggs
  2. Wasim Akram
  3. Harbhajan Singh
  4. IK Pathan
  5. SCJ Broad
  6. Sohag Gazi
  7. MM Ali

Of these, 6 of them (i.e. excluding Sohag Gazi) have scored a century, taken a ten-for AND a hat-trick in Tests.