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:

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.



Kings of the fourth-innings chase (Revised-Jan 17, 2018)

This was originally written in July 2015. For some reason it started getting some views again during the 2nd Test between South Africa and India in January 2018. So I thought of revising it.

We also see which bowlers have been most successful under these conditions. Here we consider all Tests ending up to January 17, 2018. The batsmen are arranged by order of averages. GC Smith is the only one to have over 1000 runs in successful chases.

A cutoff of 15 innings is considered:

4th innings-batting

GC Smith also has the most centuries (4) and 50+ scores (10).

It is also interesting to see which bowlers have been most successful in terminating 4th-innings run chases.

Here we take a minimum of 1500 balls bowled:

4th innings-bowling

While Warne is the only one with over 100 wickets taken in Tests where a side is bowled out in the 4th innings, Ashwin and McGrath have the best averages. Herath (85) and McGrath (83) are next to Warne.

The best economy rate is (unexpectedly) by RA Jadeja followed by Ray Illingworth. And the best strike rate is by Waqar Younis followed by Ashwin.

Herath (10), Muralitharan (7) and Ashwin (6) have the most fivers. Ashwin and Jadeja can be called the twin destroyers in the 4th innings at present.

While we are at it, let us see about

Fielding under these conditions (again with a minimum of 15 innings fielded) and minimum 0.500 dismissals/innings:

Fielding-4th innings

Gilchrist has the most dismissals with 52, while he and Haddin have the most catches (47). Gilchrist also has the most stumpings with 5. M. Jayawardene has the most catches (27) by a non-keeper followed by Ponting with 26. When we look at dismissals per innings, Haddin (2.173) has the highest followed by Gilchrist, Healy and Boucher. Among non-keepers, M. Jayawardene (1.285) is followed by Redpath.