Looking ahead to the Champions Trophy semi finals

Here we shall see that predicting on the basis of long-term form can be misleading.

This is being written after Pakistan beat England on Jun 14.

Let us look at all ODIs between England and Pakistan in 5 years up to Jun 13, 2017:

England led 7-2 in this period

In England, England led 4-1 (all in the summer of 2016). And the only match Pakistan won was at Cardiff.

No matches in Pakistan. On neutral grounds (UAE), England led 3-1.

So, on paper, it looked like Pakistan had no chance. But the result was something else.

Now let us do the same analysis for India and Bangladesh in the 5 years up to Jun 14, 2017

India led 5-2 with 1 no-result.

In India there were no matches.

In Bangladesh, India led 4-2 with 1 no-result

In neutral grounds (in Australia in the 2015 WC), India won 1-0

But it should be noted that the last series between India and Bangladesh was in Bangladesh in 2015, when Bangladesh won 2-1. Forgotten that already? See the series summary (and scorecards if you want):

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/870723.html

The key here was the “shock value” of  Mustafizur Rehman who made his debut here, with 5,6 and 2 wickets in the 3 matches. He was deservedly Man of the Series.

But then, he has not done too well in this tournament. See the details of his recent matches here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/330902.html

So we see that India does have a strong record over Bangladesh in the last 5 years. Just like England had over Pakistan. India should not be overconfident (remember the World Cup of 2007?)

 

The jinx in India-Pakistan matches

Note: This was written before the start of the 2017 Champions Trophy.

It is often said that India dominates Pakistan in ICC tournaments. Hence the “Mauka Mauka” ads which aired at the beginning of the 2015 World Cup.

Let us see take a closer look at the history of these encounters. First, the World Cup:

I v P World Cup

India and Pakistan never met in the World Cups of 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1987. They were somehow always drawn in different groups so they could have met only in the semi-finals or finals. It was not until 1992 that they met in the World Cup. In that tournament all teams played each other in the knockout stage.

They met in the quarter-finals in 1996, Super Six in 1999, and a pool match in 2003. India won all these matches so the feeling of a jinx over Pakistan kept growing.

In 2007, both India and Pakistan were jinxed and failed to proceed beyond the pool stage, being displaced by Bangladesh and Ireland respectively.

In 2011, India won in the semi-final and repeated this in a pool match in 2015. So India have won all 6 encounters.

If you want to see the scorecards, open this link and click on the blue square on the extreme right.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=12;type=team;view=results

Now we go to the T20 World Championship. We will come back to the Champions Trophy at the end.

I v P T20

The teams met twice in the inaugural championship in 2007. Though the match in the pool stage was a tie, India got the winner’s points as they won in the bowl-out which was then the method used to determine the winner of a tied match.

Then India won against Pakistan in the final. The teams did not meet in 2009 and 2010. India won the next three encounters in 2012, 2014 and 2016. All of these were in the group stages and not the semi-final or final. Thus India leads 5-0 (including the tie) in the World T20 Championship.

You can see the scorecards from this link:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=3;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=89;type=team;view=results

For details of the bowl-out in the first match in 2007, see the commentary section rather than the scorecard.

But the story in the Champions Trophy is somewhat different:

I v P Chamions

India and Pakistan did not meet in 1998, 2000 or 2002 (when India shared the trophy with Sri Lanka). Pakistan won the first encounter in 2004 in the group stage. They did not meet in 2006. Pakistan won in 2009, also in the group stage. India finally won in 2013, in a group match on their way to the trophy.

So the jinx on Pakistan in ICC tournaments does not apply to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, where they lead India 2-1. Let us see what happens when they meet on June 4. India currently has a higher ranking than Pakistan, but that has no bearing in high-tension encounters like these.

See the scorecards here:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=start;team=6;template=results;trophy=44;type=team;view=results

 

 

Review of Tests between the West Indies and Pakistan-2

Continuing our review of all Tests between these teams, after the conclusion of the recent series.

Bowling-20 or more wickets:

P-WI wickets

Imran and Akram top the list, with Walsh having the most wickets for the West Indies. Among current players there are Yasir Shah (46), Bishoo (36) and Gabriel (25). The most 5wi are 6 by Imran and 5 by Yasir Shah. No one has taken 10wm more than once.

Best innings bowling-all cases of 6wi and above:

P-WI innings bowling

While Croft and Imran have the best innings figures for their teams, Yasir Shah’s 7-94 and 6-63, Mohammad Amir’s 6-44 and Gabriel’s 5-11 are from the just-concluded series. The second best figures of 8-49 were by Bishoo in the series in the UAE last year.

Best match bowling-all cases of 9wm and above:

P-WI match

Gabriel and Yasir Shah recorded 9-wicket hauls in this series, although the overall record of 12-100 was set by Fazal Mahmood long ago. Bishoo and Yasir Shah had  10-wicket hauls last year in the UAE.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls)-all instances:

P-WI bowl average

Croft has the best bowling average with Marshall and Wasim Akram close behind.

Of current players, Yasir Shah and Bishoo can be seen here.

The best economy rates are 2.05 by Gibbs and 2.36 by Fazal Mahmood.

The best strike rates are 39.6 by Waqar Younis and 41.7 by Croft.

Fielding: 12 or more dismissals:

P-WI dismissals

The record of 29 dismissals was set by Alexander long ago, though Kamran Akmal and Moin Khan are second with 25. The most stumpings is by Imtiaz Ahmed (8) and most by non-keepers 23 by Viv Richards and Younis Khan. Dowrich and Sarfraz Ahmed are slowly moving up.

Best innings fielding: 4 or more dismissals:

P-WI innings dismissals

The record of 5 is shared by DL Murray, Moin Khan and Kamran Akmal (twice). The most by non-keepers is 4 by Mathias, Logie and Taufeeq Umar.

Best match fielding: 5 or more dismissals:

P-WI match fielding

The much-maligned Kamran Akmal has the record of 9 dismissals, while Imtiaz Ahmed holds the record of 3 stumpings. The most catches by non-keepers is 5 by Logie, Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan. Younis achieved this in the 2nd Test of this series.

Best dismissal rate (20 or more innings):

P-WI fielding average

No wicket-keepers figure in this list as none of them played enough. The best dismissal rate is by Younis Khan followed by Viv Richards.

All-round performance (see criteria in table):

P-WI AR

Even with these modest criteria, only Imran Khan qualifies with a respectable total of 775 runs and 80 wickets.

All-round match performance (fifty and 5wi in match):

P-WI AR match

Oddly enough, Imran did not achieve this but the then captain Mushtaq Mohammad’s all-round performance is one of the finest for Pakistan. And we are reminded of Gayle’s lesser-known bowling capability.

 

 

 

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.

 

Saved by the last wicket

The West Indies players Gabriel and Chase should have remembered that no less than 22 Tests ended as a draw when the last wicket pair held on:

Saved by the last wicket-2

In some cases there were only a handful of runs to make for victory. The India-WI match of 2011 ended up as a draw with scores level (not a tie because all wickets had not fallen). England in 1963 also came close to victory with 5 runs to get. But in most cases a heavy defeat was averted because the last wicket did not fall.

They included some draws which critically influenced the result of a series. Take the last entry

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/667899.html

where the No 10 and 11 batsmen Eranga and Nuwan Pradeep survived for a draw.

In the 2nd and final Test of that series, No 11 James Anderson got out with one ball left. Thus Sri Lanka won the Test and the series.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-sri-lanka-2014/engine/match/667901.html

There are quite a few other cases where these 10th-wicket stands were critical. Like the one between Dhoni and Sreesanth in 2007, where India went on to win the series 1-0.

Interestingly the first such Test drawn by the last wicket pair was by India in 1946, with the long-forgotten Sohoni and Hindlekar at the crease:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62663.html

The above list is for the 4th innings where 9 wickets were down and the match ended with a draw. There have also been numerous cases where matches were drawn when 9 wickets in the third innings were down when the side was facing a possible defeat if the last wicket fell.

This cannot be directly be pulled out of Statsguru as in the above table. But all such 10th wicket survivor stories in the 3rd innings can be found below:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;innings_number=3;orderby=start;result=4;size=200;type=team;view=innings;wicketsmax1=9;wicketsmin1=9;wicketsval1=wickets

Ignore the declarations. Also, in many cases there would not have been enough time for the opponents to make a large number of runs. Maybe we can count cases where the potential target was less than 50 runs.

The narrowest escape would be this one of England vs SA in 1998, where England’s total in two innings exactly equaled SA’s total of 552. SA would have needed just 1 run to win, but England’s last pair of Croft and Fraser spent enough time to ensure that SA would not be able to bat even one ball:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63806.html

England’s escape at Cardiff in 2009 is also there, when Australia needed 13 runs to win.

While we are on this topic, also see the list of one-wicket victories. There have been only 12 in all Test cricket:

P-WI all 1-wkt victories

 

Little-known facts about Bangladesh cricket-1

A common question asked is “Was there any East Pakistani who played in Tests for Pakistan?” and most cricket fans, even from that part of the world, are not sure of the answer.

As Bob Dylan might say: the answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind, but can be found after some research on the internet.

See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Pakistan_first-class_cricket_teams

and a list of East Pakistani cricketers here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_East_Pakistan_first-class_cricketers

Note this extract:

“These included six Test cricketersMahmood Hussain, Mohammad Munaf, Mufassir-ul-Haq, Nasim-ul-Ghani, Naushad Ali, and Niaz Ahmed[6] No native East Pakistanis, Bengali or otherwise, represented Pakistan’s national side at Test level. The closest was Raqibul Hasan, who was twelfth man against the touring New Zealanders during the 1969–70 season, and the following season represented a full-strength Pakistan side against a Commonwealth XI.[7] Raqibul went on to serve as Bangladesh’s inaugural captain in the 1979 ICC Trophy, and later played two One Day International (ODI) matches for the team.[8] Two other East Pakistan players went on to play for Bangladesh in ICC Trophy matches—Ashraful Haque and Shafiqul Haque.[9][10]”

However, the information in this extract is not quite correct. The first 5 Pakistani players mentioned were indeed from West Pakistan and appear to have spent some time in East Pakistan for employment or other reasons. Mahmood Hussain and Nasim-ul-Ghani were fairly prominent in their time.

However, the case of Niaz Ahmed is different.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42069.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niaz_Ahmed

The Wikipedia entry is more detailed than the one on Cricinfo. Niaz Ahmed was born in Benares in the United Provinces (now Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) and his family moved to East Pakistan after Partition. He appears to have spent his early life there, when he made his two Test appearances in 1967 and 1968-69. He and his family then moved to Pakistan after the liberation of Bangladesh and settled in Karachi. He died there in 2000.

While he appears to have been originally from UP and not a Bengali, he did spend his early life in East Pakistan and started his cricketing career there. Thus, although he did not achieve much in his Test career (2 Tests, 17 runs and 3 wickets) we have to consider him as the only permanent resident of East Pakistan to have played in official Tests for Pakistan.

Then there is Raqibul Hasan:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/bangladesh/content/player/56070.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqibul_Hasan_(cricketer,_born_1953)

He was indeed a Bengali, born in Dacca in 1953. He was also 12th man in the P v NZ Test at Dacca in 1968-69, though those outside the playing XI are ignored in the records. However, he did play in what might be called an unofficial Test side, for the BCCP  XI vs International XI in early 1971, just before the Liberation War began:

Scorecard of this match:

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/INT-XI_IN_PAK/INT-XI_BCCP-XI_26FEB-01MAR1971.html

The BCCP  XI seems to be practically a full-strength Pakistani team, as most of the players did play in the Test series in England later in 1971-the same season in which India recorded its first Test and series win in England.

Note that the International XI consisted mainly of English players (essentially fringe and former Test players). Probably the best known members would be wicketkeeper JT Murray and the Australian bowler Neil Hawke. It is not clear how Pakistani test player Younis Ahmed and another Pakistani first-class player Wahid Yar Khan were playing in this team.

(Wahid Yar Khan, like Asif Iqbal, had grown up in Hyderabad in India and started his cricket career there before moving to Pakistan in the 1960s).

After this, Raqibul, like most Bengalis in East Pakistan, underwent a lot of hardships when the war resulted in  the deaths of many of his family and friends. He went on to be Bangladesh’s first cricket captain in the initial stages, and even played in two ODIs in the Asia Cup in 1985-86 besides a number of other limited-over matches (such as those in the ICC Trophy in 1979) which did not have ODI status. At that time Bangladesh was classified as an Associate and only their Asia Cup matches had ODI status.

So the question is now answered. Niaz Ahmed was the only permanent resident of East Pakistan who played for Pakistan in Tests.

And Raquibul Hasan was the only Bengali who played for Pakistan in what can be described as an unofficial Test.

 

Tests between Australia and Pakistan-2

We continue our study of study of the 2016-17 series.

First we take up Fielding: (15 or more dismissals)

most-dismissals

Rod Marsh and Wasim Bari are predictably at the top. ME Waugh (23) and Border and Greg Chappell (22 apiece) have the most catches as non-keepers. Wasim Bari has the most stumpings (10).

Best innings fielding (4 and more dismissals):

innings-fielding

Several keepers have 5 dismissals in an innings. The most by non-keepers is 4 by Hanif, Alan Turner, Border and Boon.

Best match fielding (6 or more dismissals):

match-fielding

While Haddin alone has taken 9 dismissals followed by Grout and Latif with 8, no non-keeper has taken 6 catches.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings,average 0.400 per innings):

field-avg

Rod Marsh just edges out Wasim Bari from the top spot. Among the non-keeper, Mark Taylor and Boon have the highest dismissal rates.

Now for All-Round performance:

Overall performance: (see the criteria):

ar-overall

Imran Khan is the only one with a good performance while Wasim Akram is far behind.

All-round match performances (minimum one fifty and one fiver):

ar-match

Only these two qualify (not even Imran). Note that Akram scored a century and took a fiver.