Another record for Brendon McCullum (Revised in Sep 2017)

As we all know, Brendon McCullum recorded the fastest ever Test century in the Christchurch Test when he crossed 100 in 54 balls.

He also became the only Test player to score a century in the last test of his career, while captaining his country. This is what you get from Statsguru:

Century in last career Test, while captain

Naturally, Smith can be discounted as we know he has not retired. So McCullum is the only one who qualifies.

This seemed a bit odd, so I repeated this check to identify those who scored a fifty in the last test of their career, while captaining their side. We get this:

50 plus in last career Test, while captain

This live link may be more useful: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?captain=1;class=1;debut_or_last=2;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=25;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;opposition=9;orderby=start;qualmin1=1;qualval1=fifty_plus;team=1;team=2;team=25;team=3;team=4;team=5;team=6;team=7;team=8;team=9;template=results;type=batting

As many as 34 names here. But it includes some whose Test careers are not over, essentially everyone from Mushfiqur Rahim downwards excluding McCullum and now Misbah. So we remove Mushfiqur, Kohli, Mathews, AN Cook and SPD Smith.

So we are left with 29 who scored a fifty in their last Test when they were captaining. In some cases their retirement was known in advance, in other cases they may not have known they were playing their last Test.

McCullum has scored the most runs in the match (170) among these, though a few others have crossed 100 without making a century. The WI player RK Nunes is the only one to score two fifties in this category.

We may as well see the list of all those who scored centuries in the last Test of their career, regardless of captaincy:

Century in last Test

This live link may be more useful: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282931.html

Here we have a total of 42. We remove current players who are likely to keep playing for a while: Hafeez, Rahane, SE Marsh, Amla, SC Cook, de Kock, Burns and SPD Smith. This leaves 34 who scored centuries in their last Test (unless McCullum makes a comeback). In contrast, 100 players scored 102 centuries on debut (Remember Rowe and Yaseer Hameed).

Naturally our old friends AG Ganteaume and RE Redmond are there, as their first and last Tests were the same. Others who scored centuries on debut and last Tests are Duff (104 & 146), Ponsford (110 & 266), Greg Chappell (108 & 182) and Azharuddin (110 & 102). In case SE Marsh does not play another Test he will also join this club with 141 & 182.

Centuries in their last Test include those by Sandham (325, the first Test triple century) and double centuries by Ponsford, Nurse, Aravinda de Silva (last f-c match) and (strangest of all) night-watchman Gillespie making his only Test century.

CAG Russell is the only one to score centuries in both innings of his last Test. He was the first English player to score centuries in both innings of a Test.

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The great batting marathons

Only twice has a team innings gone into four figures-and these were both by Victoria in the 1920s. There have been several other scores above 900 including two Tests. Here we take a closer look at the top 3 innings from this list:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/135790.html

Top position goes to Victoria’s 1107 against New South Wales at Melbourne in 1926-27:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/12/12150.html

Note that the first four all scored centuries, and that all four (Woodfull, Ponsford, Hendry and Ryder) were Test players. There were three other Test players in the XI.

From the bowling side, Arthur Mailey recorded what is still the world first-class record for the most runs conceded in an innings:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Records/First_Class/Overall/Bowling/Most_Runs_Conceded_in_an_Innings.html

Still, 4-362 sounds more respectable than 0-259 recorded by Khan Mohammad when Sobers scored his then world Test record of 365 not out. Other Test players in the NSW team were T. Andrew, captain Kippax and Archie Jackson.

A victory by an innings and 656 runs sounds impressive, but it is not the world first-class record. That is an innings and 851 runs, where Pakistan Railways made 910/6 declared against Dera Ismail Khan making 32 and 27. The latter team was making its first-class debut. The Railways team did not include any Test players.

The second four-figure innings came earlier in the decade, with Victoria making 1059 against Tasmania at Melbourne in 1922-23. This, unlike the previous match, was not part of the Sheffield Shield.

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/10/10684.html

Here the victory margin was slightly better at an innings and 666 runs. The centuries were by Test players Ponsford and Love who were also involved in the match mentioned above. Ponsford was yet to make his Test debut and his earlier highest F-C score was 162. His 429 was then the world record F-C innings, surpassing Archie MacLaren’s 424 in 1895. He surpassed the record with 437 against Queensland in 1927-28. This was also at his favourite MCG. It not was not until 2003-04 that Lara became the only other batsman to cross 400 twice.

The third instance was the highest Test score and ended in a draw:

http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/64/64422.html

Many familiar names here, including M. Jayawardene who made his debut with 66. He had the luxury of coming in at 790/4. There were many Test records set here, of which we mention only a few. The second-wicket partnership of 576 by Jayasuriya and Mahanama was then the world Test record for any wicket and the F-C record for the second wicket. Both records have since been surpassed.

They batted throughout the 3rd and 4th day, before both were out at 615. And spare a thought for debutant Nilesh Kulkarni who took Atapattu’s wicket with his first ball, and ended his career after two more Tests in which he took only one more wicket.