NZ-SL Test review (Aug 2019)-1

This is the first Test series to be completed (although the Aus-Eng series started earlier and in in progress as this is written). As the 2-Test series was drawn 1-1, NZ and SL each got 60 points.

A total of 36 Tests have been played between these sides. New Zealand leads Sri Lanka 16-0 with 11 draws.

In New Zealand, the hosts lead 11-2 with 6 draws in a total of 19 Tests.

In Sri Lanka, however, New Zealand trails 5-7 with 5 draws in a total of 17 Tests.

Going to individual performances, starting with


Most runs (500 or more):

NZ-SL batting

Williamson and Latham are rising swiftly up this table, although the current Sri Lankan players are some distance away.

Highest innings (110 or more):

NZ-SL innings

The highest score in this series was Latham’s 154, although he had made two larger scores in the previous series in 2018.

Strangely enough, the highest scores between these teams for NZ (299 by Martin Crowe) and SL (267) were in the same Test in 1991.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

NZ-SL average

Fleming and (surprisingly) Mathews lead this table. R Taylor is the only other current player here.

Highest strike rates (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):

NZ-SL strike rate

After Aravinda and Sangakkara, there are R Taylor, Williamson and several other current players.

To be continued.


Seymour Nurse’s odd record

Back to old-fashioned cricket.

Seymour Nurse passed away earlier this year:

He was one of the reasonably strong members of the West Indies invincibles of the 1960s, playing 29 Tests between 1960 and 1969.

And he was one of the few to score a double century in his last Test, which was

These are the few who achieved this:

200 in last test

As we can see, Sandham and Ponsford scored more than Nurse’s 258 in their final Tests.

Spare a thought for Sandham. He was the first to score a Test 300, and his match total of 375 was a record until 1974 when Greg Chappell overtook it. But an average cricket fan of today (or, indeed, from the 1940s onward) probably would not have heard of him unless they were deep into history.

Now we see that Sandham scored 325 and 50 in his last Test:

And Ponsford likewise scored 266 and 22 in his last Test (with Bradman making 244 and 77):

It was not often that Bradman made a double century but was outscored by a team-mate.

So we see that SM Nurse, who made 258 in his only innings in his last Test, holds the record for the highest last innings score in all Tests.

Others to score a double century in their last Test innings are:

Aravinda de Silva; 206 in his last first-class match.

JN Gillespie; 201* as a night-watchman batting at No 3 instead of his usual 9.

And Ross Taylor has scored 200 in his last Test innings in March 2019, and clearly will be around for a while.

For India, the record for the highest score in the last innings is 193 by CA Pujara in Jan 2019, followed by 159 by RR Pant in the same match. Both of them will be around for a while.

The genuine answer to this is VM Merchant, with 154 vs England in 1951-52. VS Hazare outscored him with 164*. Other Indians with a century in their last Test innings are VL Manjrekar (102* vs NZ in 1964-65) and M Azharuddin (102 vs SA in 1999-2000).