Highlights of the 3rd SA-Eng Test

The 3rd Test of the South Africa-England series ended in an innings victory for England. They lead 2-1 with one to go. A number of statistical landmarks occurred in this match.

First, you can see the scorecard:


Newcomer Oliver Pope was Player of the Match. He became one of the few to score a century and take 6 or more catches as a non-keeper:

Ollie Pope all-round

You can see that the performances of Woolley, Hayden and  Kallis were the best here.

Also see what Ben Stokes did in the previous Test (100 runs/3 wickets/6 catches):

Stokes all-round match

Joe Root had never taken more than 2 wickets in an innings until this Test. He did improve upon this, but suffered the indignity of conceding the most runs in an over. He got a share in this  negative record:

Most runs off an over

His best innings bowling analysis “improved” from 2-9 to 4-87.

Dane Paterson scored 39* at No 11 on debut, which is the fourth highest such score:

Dane Paterson debut

The previous highest by a South African No 11 on debut was 22* by PW Sherwell back in January 1906. Unlike in this Test, this score helped SA to win by one wicket. Sherwell was captaining AND keeping on his debut.


This last-wicket partnership of 99 is the second highest for SA vs Eng:

SA v Eng last wicket

Yasir Shah the batsman

It is not often that one scores a century at No 8 (or below) against Australia. Yasir Shah is now one of them:

no 8+ vs Aus

Of these 7, Parore was at no 9 and Read at no 10. Yasir has the second highest score IN Australia, after Prior’s 118. India is represented by current player Saha.

Those who have scored a century at No 8 (or below) for Pakistan:

Centuries by Pak No 8 and above

Asif Iqbal’s 146 was at No 9 and the remaining 12 were at no 8. And Yasir has the highest against and in Australia.

Another interesting point is found when we look at the career batting averages of all who scored at least one century:

Lowest average by century maker

(This was before Pakistan’s second innings). The lowest is by the recent West Indian bowler JE Taylor at 12.96, while Yasir Shah is second lowest at 14.06.

Going further down. Harbhajan Singh has the lowest average of 18.22 by those who made at least 2 centuries. And Wasim Akram (22.64) has the lowest by those who made at least 3 centuries.

And Yasir also joins the somewhat longer list of those who scored one or more centuries but no other scores above 50. Here is an earlier list:



Batting recoveries 3: Doubling the score by the 8th wicket partners

The last post in our series on great batting recoveries covers cases where the 8th-wicket pair doubled the score after the 7th wicket fell. There are 24 such instances; 13 resulted in losses, 4 in draws and 7 in wins.

These matches are tabulated below:

Doubling the score after the 7th wicket fell


The highest such 8th-wicket partnership of 332 by Trott and Broad in that tainted Lord’s match of 2010, where it is very likely that Pakistan’s bowlers deliberately allowed them to add runs to satisfy the requirements of the fixers. The “genuine” highest partnership would then be the 313 by Akram and Saqlain in the only Test ever played at Sheikhpura.

The highest ratio of (8th wkt partnership)/( sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) is 3.255 by Trott and Broad (102/7 to 434/8) followed by 2.423 by Absolom and Lord Harris (26/7 to 89/8). The lowest here is 1.053 by debutants Morkel and Vincent who went from 38/7 to 78/8.

Absolom and Harris did this as early as 1879, unlike the 9th wicket recoveries starting from 1946 and 10th wicket recoveries starting from 1980.

Soon afterwards Absolom became the first (and only?) Test player to be killed by sugar bags (or bananas?) falling from a ship’s crane.Also see https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22972852/the-curious-affair-charlie-absolom

Lord Harris went on to bigger things, not necessarily in cricket. He did, however see England win in all his 5 Tests although he hardly contributed to these victories.

If you look at the ratio of (innings total)/(sum of 1st to 7th wicket partnerships) the highest is 4.333 where Blunt and Dickinson started the recovery from 21/7 to 64/8 which went on to 112. This was New Zealand’s first ever Test and noted for debutant MJC Allom’s hat-trick and 4 wickets in 5 balls. Next is 3.474 by Morkel and Vincent, who started with 38/7 and went to 78/8 and finally 170. This is a little better than 3.255 by Trott and Broad, 102/7 to 434/8 and finally 446.

The lowest is the anemic 1.250 by Pakistan in 2017, going from 36/7 to 78/8 and 81.

Of special note was the England-WI Test of 1966 which witnessed a 200+ stand for the 8th wicket (Graveney and Murray) as well as a 100+ stand for the 10th wicket (Higgs and Snow), taking them from 166/7 to 383/8, 399/9 and finally 527. This ended a series of heavy defeats by the West Indies, and marked the start of the short reign of the maverick captain DB Close.

Batting recoveries 2: Doubling the score by the 9th wicket partners

We have seen that there have been only 6 occasions when the 10th-wicket pair has doubled the score. The 9th-wicket pairs do slightly better with 9 such instances. 8 of these ended in losses and one was drawn.

This is the tabular list:

Doubling after 8th wicket fell

Ratio 1 is the ratio (9th wkt partnership) / (sum of 1st to 8th wkt partnerships)

Ratio 2 is the ratio (sum of 9th and 10th wkt partnerships) / (sum of 1st to 8th wkt partnerships)

The first such instances occurred in 1948, then 1967 and 1981 and more regularly since then.

We are more concerned about Ratio 1 here. The highest is 2.923 by Asif Iqbal and Intikhab Alam, and the lowest is 1.038 by Fleming and Doull.

The 10th wkt partnerships were rather small in these cases.

The best here is 2.923 (again Asif/Intikhab) and the lowest 1.058 (again Fleming/Doull).

Note the debutants Masvaure and more recently Muthusamy.

The last instance here is the record 195 by Boucher and Symcox, which is the only drawn match here.

The highest score by a No 10 here is 108 by Symcox, followed by fifties from several others starting with Madan Lal (63*).


Batting recoveries 1: Doubling the score by the 10th wicket partners

There are only 6 occasions when a Test innings score has been doubled after the 9th wicket fell:

Doubling after 9th wicket fell

Interestingly, this first happened over 100 years after the first Test.

5 of these 6 instances have come since 2011. No 11 batsmen have become more skilled in handling collapses 🙂

The Hughes-Agar partnership is the highest (163) and has the best ratio of (10th wicket partnership) / (sum of 1st to 9th wicket partnerships): 1.393

Agar’s 98 remains the best at No 11 in all Tests. He was making his debut (as a pure bowler).

At the other end of the scale, Roach and Cummins just succeeded in equalling the 50 made by the first 9 wickets.

There are two instances (Lyon and Murtagh) where the No 11 batsman was the top scorer of the innings.

The only such effort which did not end in a loss was the one in 1980. It did avert a likely defeat.

Next we will come to doubling after the 8th and 7th wickets fell.

The Indian tail also wags

Data as of 14 Oct 2019:

Having seen how batsmen of no 8 and below have fared against India, we see how India’s tailend batsmen have done in Tests:

Innings of 90 and above by Indian batsmen at No 8 and below:

Indian tail innings

Dhoni and Ashwin are among the main contributors here. It is often forgotten that Saha has scored centuries (also two more while batting at 7 or higher).

There are relatively few newcomers here. RH Shodhan is the only debutant here, while Ratra, Ashwin and Pandya made their centuries at the start of their career. J Yadav soon dropped out of the Test reckoning. Kumble and Harbhajan made their centuries at a late stage of their careers.

It should be noted that Kapil usually batted at 7 or higher.

We now look at averages of those batting at 8 and below, subject to a minimum of 10 innings:

India tail averages

Dhoni expectedly has the highest average, while Saha is surprisingly second and Prabhakar third. Prabhakar also played many of his matches higher in the order.

Sandhu seems to have been better as a batsman than a bowler during his brief career. He still holds the record of the highest score by a debutant (71) at no 9.

Dhoni, Kapil, Ashwin and Harbhajan all have two centuries here. The most 50+ scores are by Kapil (15), Harbhajan (11) and Jadeja (10). Harbhajan did make rapid progress as a batsman since his debut.

Kumble has over 2000 runs here, while Kapil and several others have over a thousand. Saha, Ashwin and Jadeja are among the current players here.

Finally we look at century partnerships for the 8th to 10th wicket:

Indian tail partnerships

There are some large partnerships here, some of which were in a losing cause (such as the one between Azhar and Kumble). One which was significant was the 122 by Prasanna and Sardesai, which helped India to impose the follow-on on the West Indies and gain a psychological advantage which lasted till the end of the series.

The partnership between Tendulkar (248*) and Zaheer Khan (75) was then the record for the 10th wicket, until Root and Anderson overtook it against India. Both Tendulkar and Zaheer made their highest scores here. Another useful 10th-wicket partnership was the one between B Kumar and Shami, in which both scored fifties.

When the tail wagged against India

Indian bowlers have often been frustrated by lower-order batsmen. This happened in the first Test of this series as well as the first innings of the second Test.

Here we list all scores in Tests of 70 and above from No 8-11 (sorry, 12) against India:

Highest tailend scores against India

This includes several debut scores (including 137* by Neesham, 105 by BR Taylor, 103* by Samaraweera to begin with) as well as career-best scores of 173 by IDS Smith, 137* by Neesham, 107 by Christiani and numerous others such as MA Starc, MD Marshall, TT Bresnan and even Anderson and Muralitharan. The most recent entry is KA Maharaj with 72.

We also look at the averages (with a minimum of 10 innings) for those who batted at 8-12 against India:

Tail against India

Vettori, Broad and Starc have scored the most runs here. Starc, JO Holder and Broad have done well in recent years.

Finally, partnerships of 90+ from the 8th wicket onward against India:

Tail partnerships against India

Ironically the highest such partnership is for the last wicket, when Anderson scored his only Test fifty. From the current series we have Maharaj and Philander with 109 for the 9th, and Muthusamy and Piedt with 91 for the 8th.



More records of the India-SA Test at Vizag

The fourth day was dominated by the second century by Rohit Sharma, where he achieved something which no other opener had done in Tests so far, by making twin centuries in the first Test where he had opened. That was something which CG Greenidge and AJ Strauss narrowly missed, and was not achieved by a galaxy of renowned openers from Hobbs and Sutcliffe to Gavaskar and Graeme Smith.

The final day appeared to be ready for a quick finish when 7 wickets fell rapidly before lunch. The batsmen finally put up some fight to take the score from 70/8 to 161/9 to 191-one of the relatively few innings where the score was doubled after the 8th wicket fell.

S Muthusamy (49*), the No 7 batsman and debutant put on 91 for the 9th wicket with DL Piedt (56, his first fifty). Finally Muthusamy put on 30 for the 10th wicket with K Rabada (18).

While India won by 203 runs, there were a number of statistical highlights by the South African batsmen:

Highest score by No 8-11 batsman against India in the 4th innings:

Highest by 8-11 against India in the 4th innings

Piedt’s 56 is the highest such score in India. The only other tailend fifty in India was NJ Astle’s 51* in 2003. Also note Griffith’s 40* which helped WI force a draw in 1967.

Then we look more carefully at S Muthusamy’s 33* (at no 8) and 49* (at no 7). He also took Kohli’s wicket.

Highest totals without a dismissal on debut:

Most runs on debut with no dismissal-1

His 82 is in the middle of this table. AG Kripal Singh and RG Nadkarni are also here.

Highest totals with two not out innings on debut:

Most runs on debut with no dismissal in two innings

He is in 5th position here. Azhar Mahmood is the only one with an unbeaten century AND fifty on debut, and GC Grant the only other one with two unbeaten fifties on debut. Muthusamy’s 82 is the highest such total against India, ahead of CM Old’s 50 in 1972. AE Trott also took 8-43 on his debut

Highest totals on debut without a fifty:

Most runs on debut without 50

Muthusamy is in 6th place here, though the topper LK Germon (89) and AJ Pycroft (85) scored more against India. The best by India is 74 by M Vijay followed by 73 by Akash Chopra.

Highest total in all Tests without a fifty:

Most runs in any Test without a fifty

This was, predictably, headed by someone with two 49s. No debutant reached 90 without a fifty, the record being 89 by Germon listed above.  G Kirsten of SA is second here.

Finally we look at the highest scores by No 10 against India:

No 9 against India

Piedt is 4th on this list and the highest in the 4th innings. His 56 is higher than Verity’s 55* in the first innings.

More tailend heroics-2

Another aspect of great tailend recoveries is the proportion of runs added by the tailenders. Today we will concentrate on cases where the score was doubled after the fall of the 9th wicket.

There are only 6 such instances in all Tests. In chronological order, they are:

1) P Willey and RGD Willis took the score from 92/9 to 209/9. (Added 117*, which is 1.27 times the score of the first 9 wickets. Eng v WI, Oval, 24/07/1980. Drawn.

Scores: Eng 370 and 209/9 dec; WI 265.


2) PM Siddle and NM Lyon took the score from 21/9 to 47. Added 26, 1.24 times. A v SA, Cape Town, 09/11/2011. Lost.

Scores: Aus 284 and 47; SA 96 and 236/2. SA won by 8 wickets.

3) PJ Hughes and AC Agar took the score from 117/9 to 280. Added 163, 1.39 times. A v E, Nottingham, 10/07/2013. Lost.

Scores: Eng 215 and 375. Aus 280 and 296. Eng won by 14 runs.

4) C Overton and JM Anderson took the score from 27/9 to 58. Added 31, 1.15 times. E v NZ, Auckland, 22/03/2018. Lost.

Scores: Eng 58 and 320. NZ 427/8 dec. NZ won by an innings and 49 runs (Day-night Test)

5) GH Dockrell and  TJ Murtagh took the score from 85/9 to 172. Added 87, 1.02 times. Ire v Afg, Dehradun, 15/03/2019. Lost.

Scores: Ire 172 and 288. Afg 314 and 149/3. Afg won by 7 wickets.

6) KAJ Roach and ML Cummins took the score from 50/9 to 100. Added 50, 1.00 times. WI v Ind, North Sound. 22/08/2019. Lost.

Scores: Ind 297 and 343/7 Dec. WI 222 and 100. Ind won by 318 runs.

It is interesting that the first such instance occurred only after more than a century of Tests.

Going by the number of runs scored for the last wicket, the most is 163 by Hughes and Agar. The latter was making his debut and holds the record for the highest score (98) at no 11 in all Tests.

They also have the record for the highest ratio, 1.39.

You can also see that none of these teams won the Test. Only one managed a draw.

Next we will look at recoveries where the score was doubled after the fall of the 8th wicket. Apart from the 6 cases listed above, there are 8 others starting from 1927.

More tailend heroics-1

The best scores while batting at numbers 9, 10 and 11:

At No 9: (75 and above):

75 at no 9

At No 10 (60 and above):

60 at No 10

At No 11 (50 and above):

50 at no 11

More than 25 in each innings at No 11:

25+ in each inngs by no 11

This table is for those with 2 innings and over 50 runs. It can be seen that only TJ Murtagh has scored 25+ in each innings.

Finally, those who have scored a fifty in each innings at 9 to 11:

50 in both innings at 9 to 11

It can be verified that both of them scored 50+ in both innings at No 9.