Review of Tests between the West Indies and Pakistan-1

Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies in 2016-17 was historic in more than one way. Besides the overly sentimental last Test series for Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, this was the first time that Pakistan had won a Test series in the West Indies. Pakistan had won series in Pakistan and neutral venues before. But their best results in the West Indies had been draws; 1-1 in 1987-88, 2005 and 2011. Until their 2-1 victory this time.

Here is a summary of all Tests between the two countries:

P-WI overall

As we can see, Pakistan has consistently done better at home and in neutral venues, but not in the West Indies. There was a long gap between 1959 and 1975 when these teams did not meet.

We start with the batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):

P-WI Runs

Among current players, Younis Khan has the highest with 1030 followed by Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq and RL Chase.

M. Yousuf has the most centuries (7) followed by Inzamam and Lara with 4. M. Yousuf also has the most scores of 50-plus (10) while several others have 9. The most by a West Indies player is 9 by Viv Richards.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):

P-WI innings

While Gary Sobers’s former world record has pride of place, it is followed by Hanif Mohammad’s ultra-defensive 337 from the same series. From the current series only Chase (131) and Azhar Ali (127) qualify.

Best batting averages (minimum 20 innings, all instances):

P-WI average

Wasim Raja surprisingly tops this, while only Younis Khan is here from current players. Many prominent players such as Mohammad Yousuf, Gary Sobers and Misbah did not play enough innings. But you can see their averages in the first table above.

Enough for now. Will look at bowling, fielding and all-round records in the next post.

 

Tests between Pakistan and the West Indies-1

Better late than never. Here is a summary of all Tests between these countries including the recently concluded series in the UAE. A point of interest was that the West Indies recorded their first victory over Pakistan in neutral Tests, having lost 2-0 in 2002 and now 2-1. We see that they had lost all 4 neutral Tests against Pakistan till then.

49 Tests have been played between these countries. Pakistan now lead 18-16 with 15 draws. A summary:

                    Pak      WI       Draw  Total

In Pak         9              4          8           21

In WI           5             11          7           23

Neutral       4               1         0             5

Total          18            16      15           49

We now look at batting:

Most runs (500 and more):

pak-wi-runs

M. Yousuf has the most centuries (7) followed by Inzamam and Lara with 4 apiece

M. Yousuf also has the most 50+ scores with 10, while four others have made 9.

And M. Yousuf has scored the most runs in this series though he played in  a relatively small number of Tests.

Highest innings (150 and above):

pak-wi-hs

The top score here was the world record Test score for almost 40 years and strangely enough, Gary Sobers’s maiden Test hundred. In the same series, Pakistan recorded their highest score of this series which was one of the longest in all first-class cricket. It is still Pakistan’s highest Test score and the longest innings in all Tests (though no longer the first-class record).

Azhar Ali is the only current player here.

Highest batting averages (20 or more innings, all instances):

pak-wi-avg

Wasim Raja tops this rather surprisingly. But heavy scorers such as M. Yousuf (101.16 in 14 innings), Sobers (89.45 in 13 innings) and Hanif (73.60 in 11 innings) did not play enough to feature here. See the first table above for their averages.

Mention must also be made of Kraigg Brathwaite’s batting feat (which deserves a post to itself): https://abn397.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/kraigg-brathwaites-unique-feat/

Now for bowling:

Most wickets (20 and more):

pak-wi-bowling

The top few names are as expected, while newcomers such as Bishoo and Yasir Shah are climbing rapidly.

Imran has the most fivers (6), followed by 4 each by Akram and Walsh. No one has taken more than one tenner.

Best innings bowling (6 or more wickets):

pak-wi-innings-bowl

Bishoo’s 8-49 was the second best in this series, though his team did not win that match. The only other current player here is Yasir Shah at the bottom, though at least his team did win.

Best match bowling (9 or more wickets):

pak-wi-match-bowl

Bishoo and Yasir Shah also appear here.

Best bowling average (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

pak-wi-bowl-avg

Current players will take a while to reach here.

It can be seen that the best economy rates are 2.05 by Gibbs and 2.36 by Fazal. The best strike rates are 39.6 by Younis and 41.7 by Croft.

To be continued.

Make mine a double…..No, a triple (Part 1)

The most satisfying moment in a Test batsman’s career would be when he scores his maiden century-particularly when it is on debut, even if he never scores another century. This aspect was covered recently in this blog.

Then there are those whose maiden effort was a double century. This is somewhat more common than one may think. More about this shortly.

And there are two who went even further and made their first Test century a triple, and went on to score many more. More recently KK Nair became the third member of this exclusive club.

The first was Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers, generally known as Gary Sobers. He made his Test debut against England at Kingston on March 30, 1954 a few months before he turned 18. This was a relatively strong England team which had Len Hutton scoring 205 and defeating WI by 9 wickets. Young Gary batted at No 9 in both innings, scoring 14* and 26 besides taking 4-75 an 0-6 in the brief second innings. His first wicket was Trevor Bailey and the other three were tailenders (but famous names, Wardle, Lock and Laker). The scorecard is here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62772.html

In his next few Tests he batted at various positions including opening and more often at No 6, besides chipping in with a few wickets. Essentially he came to be regarded as a bowling all-rounder who wasn’t a particularly good batsman. By the middle of February 1958 he had played 16 Tests, with these career figures:

Sobers1

He had scored 856 runs at 34.24 with 6 50s, though he had scored 52 and 80 in the last Test against Pakistan which then had an useful opening pair in Mahmood Hussein and Fazal Mahmood supported by spinner Nasim-ul-Ghani. The West Indies won by 120 runs, with the 22-year old Sobers batting at No 3 and 6. He had also scored a fifty in the first Test of that series, which is remembered for Hanif Mohammed’s epic 337 which drew the Test. There was some thought that the then world record of 364 by Len Hutton in 1938 would be overtaken. Hanif did not manage this, but the peak was scaled in a most unexpected manner in the third Test at Kingston, starting on Feb 26, 1958.

By the second day Pakistan had scored an apparently respectable 328 and the West Indies had replied with 147/1 for Kanhai’s dismissal. Hunte was batting on 100 and Sobers on 20.

While Pakistan could not be called a bad bowling side, in this innings Mahmood Hussein was injured while bowling his first over and Nasim could not bowl after his 15th over. The brunt of the bowling then fell on Fazal Mahmood, Khan Mohammed and Kardar (who was hardly a strike bowler and was also injured) and various part-timers.

By the end of the third day (Feb 28), Sobers had got past his century hoodoo and was batting on 228 and Hunte was on 242, with the score on 504/1. On the 4th day (Mar 1), Hunte was soon dismissed for 260 but Weekes and Walcott kept things going. Sobers got past Headley’s 270 to claim the West Indies record, then 300, and ultimately Hutton’s record which had stood since 1938. Once he made 365 not out, there was a crowd invasion which resulted in the West Indies declaring at 790/3, with Walcott on 88 at the other end.

Then came the rest day. After that a dispirited Pakistan batted with two men short and collapsed to a large innings defeat early on the 6th day: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62837.html

Sobers then made up for his earlier drought of centuries by scoring 125 and 109* in the very next Test. The West Indies won that series 3-1 and then dominated the 1960s. Sobers played an important role in this dominance. By the time he played his last Test in 1974, he had scored 26 centuries (including one more double) and a then record 8032 runs besides taking 235 wickets and 109 catches in 93 Tests.

He also had a long if not very successful stint as captain. He was arguably the best all-rounder in Tests. But who would have imagined this before this Test at Kingston?

There were two other batsmen who made their first Test century a triple, though perhaps the circumstances there were less dramatic. More about them later.

Tail Piece: Sobers’s Test record of 365 lasted for 36 years before it was overtaken by Lara, then briefly by Hayden and again by Lara. But there were other unwanted records made by bowlers in this Test. Pakistan’s Khan Mohammad still holds the record of conceding the most runs in an innings without taking a wicket, while Fazal Mahmood is also high on the list of runs conceded in an innings:

KhanMohd