The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-1

Anyone who follows cricket (even the Test purists) should watch the report. Numerous bits and pieces can be seen on Youtube and directly on various news sites. But to get a full idea of the extent of the match-fixing industry it is well worth watching the hour-long report:

Some of the key takeaways:

How is it that a key man of the D company is freely functioning in Mumbai apparently without interference from the Mumbai police or anyone else? (One is struck with his quiet confidence and thorough knowledge of the “business”).

A relatively minor domestic player like Robin Morris seems to have made a lot more money from fixing than in his regular cricket career. Even if he had somehow got into IPL he would not have earned much. And he seems to have a particularly dumb sidekick who, unlike him, did play in a few Tests and ODIs.

Then there is the Morris – Rajkumar plan to organize T20 tournaments all over the world-whose only purpose is to make money through fixing. Almost like a never-ending Ponzi scheme or perpetual motion machine.

Although Al-Jazeera did not mention this, someone has already made a start in a “fraudulent” tournament in the UAE earlier this year. This was so blatantly a fixed tournament that the UAE authorities had to throw them out. A sample report:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/bizarre-scenes-uae-t20-league-icc-match-fixing-investigation/9377680

Other reports from that period can be found through Google. Not sure what ultimately happened there. But it sounds quite similar to what Morris (mainly) and Rajkumar were talking about. Clearly the players in this tournament had not been “trained” properly.

The allegations regarding Test matches pertain to

1) India vs England at Chennai in Dec 2016, the 5th Test which India won by an innings to take the 5-Test series 4-0: three English players (presumably specialist batsmen) are alleged to have manipulated the scoring rate. They have denied the charges. (Any guesses?) Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10732/scorecard/1034817/india-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-india-2016-17/

Those who followed the match closely on TV or the net may be able to figure out who the guilty trio are. I am not hazarding any guess, except that they would probably be 1-7 in the batting order.

Afterthought: Was even the bowling fixed? Did that allow Karun Nair to make a triple hundred (which is still the ONLY score he has made above 50 in a Test)?

2) India vs Australia at Ranchi in March 2017. This was the third of 4 Tests, the only drawn Test of the series. India won 2-1. Here two Australian players (presumably specialist batsmen) similarly manipulated the scoring rate. Al-Jazeera said that there was no reply from them so far. Here, too we can try to guess who they may be, batting at 1 to 7. Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10839/scorecard/1062575/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-ind-v-aus-2016-17/

3) Sri Lanka vs India at Galle in July 2017. This was the first Test of the series, in which India won all three Tests by heavy margins. This time no players were involved, but merely manipulation of the pitch by the curator (?) and others. (But what was the bet? Merely that the match would be high-scoring). It was, in the sense that India made 600 batting first. But the Sri Lankan batsmen did so badly that they lost by over 300 runs in what was effectively an innings defeat, as India would have won by an innings if they had imposed the follow-on.

Galle has a history of pitch manipulation. The former curator, Test bowler J. Warnaweera, was suspended for 3 years by the ICC in early 2016 for non-cooperation with ICC investigators. This is with reference to earlier matches at Galle.

Here is the scorecard, for what it is worth:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

The Sri Lankan leg needs a little more study as most of the characters are quite unknown even in neighboring countries.

To be continued.

Review of the Nidahas Trophy (2018)

This tournament is an one-off. There was another Nidahas Trophy in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. That was also a triangular series but with 50-over matches. T20Is were still in the future.

This tournament was contested by Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand. Though the league matches were badly affected by rain, there was still a narrow 6-run win for India as Sri Lanka came close to chasing down a 300+ total in the final. Such things rarely happened in those days. See the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8560/scorecard/66157/sri-lanka-vs-india-final-singer-akai-nidahas-1998/

At least the host got to the final then, unlike on this occasion. This time it was Dinesh Karthik who won the match with one of the most famous last-ball sixes in limited-overs cricket history. But Javed Miandad may have something to say about that.

Here is a statistical summary of the 2018 edition. The sample size is too small to have meaningful figures for averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (90 and above):

Most runs

Kusal Perera made 3 fifties, while three others made two apiece.

Highest innings (40 and above):

Highest innings

Dhawan and RG Sharma have the highest scores.

During the SL v BD match on 16 Mar, there was a wisecrack that Mr Perera had scored 119 runs and took 5 catches.

Most wickets (4 and above):

Most wickets

India’s junior spinners lead here, with a number of highly experienced bowlers following.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

Best innings bowling

The 4 top positions are by Indian bowlers.

Most dismissals (3 or more):

Most dismissals

Thissara Perera and Sabbir have the most (6) by non-keepers while Karthik (5) the most by keepers.

Most innings dismissals (2 or more):

Innings dismissals

Sabbir and Kusal Perera lead the non-keepers and keepers respectively.

All round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):

AR

Only one instance.

 

Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-2

Continuing our review of all Tests between these teams until now.

Fielding:

8 or more dismissals:

Dismissals

The lesser-known P Jayawardene has the most dismissals, most catches by a keeper and most stumpings. The better-known M Jayawardene has the most catches by a fielder. Mushfiqur is catching up.

Innings fielding (4 or more dismissals):

Innings dis

Dickwella equalled the record of 5 during this series. Sangakkara and Soumya have 4 catches as fielders.

Match fielding (5 or more dismissals):

Match dis

P Jayawardene has the record of 7, while M Jayawardene and Soumya have 5 catches as  fielders. Dickwella has the best figures from the current series.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings fielded, all cases):

Dismissal rate

Sangakkara has the highest here, as P Jayawardene did not play enough matches here. Mushfiqur has done almost as well as Sangakkara. Among non-keepers the highest rate is inevitably by M Jayawardene.

All-round performances

Overall-see criteria in table:

AR overall

Shakib is the only all-rounder with respectable figures. Vaas did not play enough in these matches.

Match performances (50 and 5wi):

50 and 5wi

The one-man army Shakib Al Hasan again. His absence in this series must have hurt Bangladesh a lot.

Review of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Tests in Feb 2018-1

With the premature conclusion of the 2nd Test at Mirpur (Dhaka), Sri Lanka won the 2-Test series 1-0. The last series between these teams was less than a year ago when Bangladesh drew 1-1 in Sri Lanka.

20 Tests have been played between these teams. Sri Lanka leads 16-1 with 3 draws.

In Bangladesh, Sri Lanka has played 8 Tests and lead 6-0 with 2 draws.

In Sri Lanka, the 12 Tests have resulted in the hosts leading 10-1 with 1 draw.

Batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):

Runs

Sangakkara has the most centuries (7) followed by M Jayawardene and Ashraful with 5 each. For scores of 50+, Sangakkara again leads with 14, followed by Dilshan (8) and M Jayawardene, Mushfiqur and Samaraweera with 7 each.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):

Innings

Sangakkara scored 319 and 105 in the same Test, becoming only the second (after Gooch) to score a triple century and century in the same Test. In this series we also saw Mominul Haque scoring 176 and 105, becoming the first from Bangladesh to score centuries in both innings of a Test. His 176 was the highest by Bangladesh against Sri Lanka at home, surpassing the 136 by Ashraful in 2006. However Mushfiqur’s 200 at Galle in 2013 remains the highest for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings):

Bat avg

Sangakkara has an average more than double that of runner-up Ashraful.

Batting strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced):

Batting SR

However, Dilshan and M Jayawardene have the highest strike rates, with Dilshan having a much higher figure than the runner-up.

Bowling figures:

Most wickets (15 and above):

Wkts

Muralitharan leads followed by Herath and then Shakib, with the first two far ahead of the rest. MDK (Dilruwan) Perera and a few other current players also figure on this list.

As you may expect, Muralitharan has the most 10-fors (4) and 5-fors (11). Herath is the only other one with a 10-for.

Best innings bowling ( 5wi and above):

Innings bowling

Note Muralitharan’s dominance here. From the current series we only have Dananjaya who was making his debut.

Best match figures (7wm and above):

Match bowling

Muralitharan dominates this list as well, while Dananjaya has the best match figures by a debutant for Sri Lanka. Taijul’s 8-159 is the best for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka, surpassing the 6-154 by Shakib at Colombo in March 2017. The best for Bangladesh in Bangladesh was 6-204 by Shakib at Chittagong in Dec 2008. His absence in this series seems to have made a lot of difference.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls):

Bowling avg

Muralitharan has the best bowling average, economy rate and strike rate. Herath and Shakib follow at a distance.

To be continued.

 

Akila Dananjaya’s comeback

Akila Dananjaya now has the best match figures by Sri Lankan bowler making his Test debut.

Apart from the best match figures on debut, he also has the second-best innings figures:

Match figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-innings match debut

(Kuruppuarachchi played only one more Test and Ahangama two more. The latter did not play after his debut series).

Innings figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-debut innings bowling

Not bad when you consider he once held a dubious record in ODI record. In March 2017, he was the only current player who had not batted, bowled or fielded in his ODI career. Here is an edited extract from my earlier post of 27/03/2017 titled “All-round fails in ODIs”:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

No batting, bowling and fielding in ODIs (complete list):

No batting no bowling no fielding

 

This explains what had happened in his one ODI till then:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/582191.html

In this rain-affected match, his team did bat and got to 123/8. He was to bat at No 10 or 11 and never got to bat. And he could not bowl or field as rain prevented New Zealand’s innings from starting

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Soon after this was written, his ODI career resumed and he became a regular ODI player, with a high of a 6-for against the all-conquering touring team of India besides a 50 against Pakistan. He may well become a regular in all 3 formats.

These are his current figures. Note that he has a nice smile. One needs to be cheerful to come back after an inauspicious start.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/574178.html

 

Review of India-Sri Lanka Tests (Dec 2017)-1

At the close of the second India-Sri Lanka series of the year, India’s 1-0 lead with 2 draws brought the total number of Tests between these countries to 44. India lead 20-7 with 17 draws. In India, the hosts lead 11-0 with 9 draws. In Sri Lanka, India also leads 9-7 with 8 draws. Thus Sri Lanka has not yet won a Test in India in 20 Tests stretching back to 1982.

We first look at batting records:

Most runs (750 and above):

Most runs

Kohli has the most runs among current players, followed by Mathews and Chandimal. The most centuries are 9 by Tendulkar and 6 by M Jayawardene. The most 50+ scores are by the same pair with 15 and 14 respectively.

Highest individual scores (175 and above):

Highest innings

From this series, Kohli is the only entrant with 243 and 213.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all cases):

Average

Mathews is the only current player here. Kohli and Chandimal have scored over 750 runs but have not crossed 20 innings yet.

Now for bowling.

Most wickets (25 and above):

Wkts

Ashwin and Herath have the most wickets among current players.

Best innings bowling (6 wickets and above):

Innings bowling

No entry from the current series, though N Pradeep has an appearance from the earlier 2017 series.

Best match bowling (including all instances of 9wm and above):

Match bowling

No entry from the recent series.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg

Ashwin and Kapil have the best averages from the above table. The best economy rates are by Chauhan and Kapil, and the best strike rates again by Ashwin and Kapil.

To be continued.

 

Records of the Nagpur Test

Cheteshwar Pujara probably became the first player to bat on 8 successive days in Tests, though it may be difficult to verify this. We do however have a list of those who batted on all 5 days of a Test, so one can use this as a starting point:

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283161.html

India equaled its record for the highest margin of victory in a Test (innings plus 239 runs) as you can see in the link below. This had earlier been achieved against BD at Dhaka in 2007.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/210099.html

We also look at Chandimal’s 50 in both innings. This has been achieved 132 times against India. 45 were in victories against India, 60 in draws and 27 in losses to India. Here is the list of instances in the last category:

2 50s against India in defeats

This is in chronological order. Andy Flower is the only one to achieve this more than once, as he did this in 1993, 2000 and 2001. He also has the highest match total with 253, ahead of Amla (237), Strauss (231) and Samaraweera (220). Amla and Strauss scored centuries in each innings.

While on this line, we look at those who scored 175 or more runs in a match when their team lost to India:

100 against India in defeats

Note Ponting’s 242 and 0, which occurred in the only Test where Agarkar took a fiver. Hayden’s 203 and 35 came against Harbhajan’s 15-wicket haul.

Viv Richard’s score came in India’s unexpected run chase of 400+, which was then a record for the highest winning score in the 4th innings.

Sri Lanka’s tour of India

Here is a short summary of Sri Lanka’s cricket performance in India:

Tests: 17. India lead 10-0, 7 draws.

ODIs: 48. India lead 34-11, 3 with no result. Sri Lanka has never won a bilateral series in India-though they did beat India twice during the 1996 World Cup on their way to the trophy.

T20Is: 5. India lead 3-2, and won the only bilateral series between the teams.

The triple clean sweep

The triple clean sweep in all 3 formats of cricket has been recorded once before, when Pakistan visited Australia in 2009-10. Australia won the Tests 3-0, the ODIs 5-0 and the single T20I (admittedly by only 2 runs). You can see the details here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

The second Test was won by the comparatively narrow margin of 36 runs.

Then came the ODIs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

The first 4 ODIs were rather one-sided although Australia won the 5th one by 2 wickets.

And finally:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2009%2F10;view=season

Australia won this by just 2 runs, making it a 9-0 sweep. Remember that this was in their home country.

Nothing like this was achieved until India visited Sri Lanka in 2017:

Tests 3-0 with Sri Lanka losing by big margins:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

ODIs 5-0, all by handsome margins except one win by 3 wickets:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

And the T20I by a good margin:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/series/index.html?season=2017;view=season

Thus India emulated Australia’s 9-0 triple clean sweep, with somewhat bigger margins of victory. But unlike Australia, they achieved this away from home.

Salute Virat Kohli and his men.

Kohli captained all 9 matches, but faced a bewildering array of captains:

Tests: Herath, Chandimal, Chandimal

ODIs: Tharanga, Tharanga, Kapugedara, Malinga, Tharanga

T20I: Tharanga

In contrast, the Australian captain Ponting faced M. Yousuf in the three Tests and 4 of the 5 ODIs, when Afridi came in for the last one. In the T20I it was Clarke vs Shoaib Malik.

Tail piece:

Earlier, India won a T20I series 3-0 in Australia in early 2016 which was believed to be the only clean sweep by a visiting team in Australia in any format of cricket in a series of at least 3 matches:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/category/australia-t20/

More on ODI defeats of Sri Lanka

It is well known that India has followed the 3-0 Test clean sweep with a 5-0 ODI sweep against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka last won a bilateral ODI series against India in 1997 with a 3-0 margin with one NR. The previous occasion was in 1993, when they won 2-1. They have not won a bilateral ODI series in India. The 1997 ODI victory was overshadowed by the world record Test total of 952/6 during that tour.

This was also their worst home defeat in a bilateral ODI series. The previous worst defeats were 2-0 in a 3-match series against Pakistan in 2005-06, and by the same margin also against Pakistan in 1985-86.

 

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

 

Lowest scores in ODIs and related stuff

Zimbabwe’s 54 all out would have had cricket’s number-men looking for records of lowest scores in ODIs. This was not the lowest score in ODIs or even the lowest score by Zimbabwe in ODIs.

Tables are for data as on 28/02/2017

Here is a list of lowest ODI scores (below 60):

odi-lowest

It can be seen that this is the lowest total against an Associate team.

Live link for ODI scores of 80 and below: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283987.html

Scorecard for the recent match, which came in a Duckworth-Lewis chase:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/1079250.html

The record for the lowest ODI score is 35, also set by Zimbabwe in 2004:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64890.html

Note that Sri Lanka’s innings of 9.2 overs and 39 minutes are probably records for a winning side in an ODI.

Indian fans would remember their team’s 54 as well, which was probably India’s most humiliating ODI defeat:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/65900.html

Humiliating particularly because one player (Jayasuriya) scored over 3 times India’s total. It was the heaviest ODI defeat at that time, though it has since been surpassed several times. India has also inflicted similar defeats on Hong Kong and Bermuda. Afghanistan has also been on the receiving end (against Australia in 2015).

ODI victory margins of 225 runs and above:

odi-margins

Live link for all wins by 180 or more runs: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283902.html