ABD and the record books (again)

AB de Villiers is no stranger to the record books for batting in ODIs. See


However, his luck ran out soon after he became South Africa’s captain in the ongoing Test series. He started with 36 and 0 (off 5 balls) in the 3rd test and then a second-ball duck in each innings of the 4th. This might be called a silver pair or queen pair, since the first-ball counterpart is called a golden pair or king pair.

There are relatively few captains who have scored pairs:

Captain with pair

This list includes some famous names like VS Hazare, FMM Worrell and R Benaud amongst others. AB de Villiers is 21st on this list (besides being the second South African after LJ Tancred in the 1912 tri-series).

The above table could be easily pulled out of Statsguru. Getting a list of those who have made a “queen pair” is not so straightforward, but you can see the results below. I have made sure that everyone on this list was dismissed second ball for zero in both innings, according to the Cricinfo records. This may not be a complete list as a number of matches before 2000 do not have full records of balls faced in an innings. Anyway:

Queen Pair

AB de Villiers is not the first captain on this list as tailender BS Bedi suffered this indignity in 1976-77. GD McGrath is the only one to appear here twice, and that too in successive Tests. Other points of interest are mentioned in the “Remarks” column.

Although most of the players listed above were tailenders, the exceptions include OG Smith, Mudassar Nazar and de Villiers.

Update: As on 09 Jul 2017 there were two more instances of queen pairs:

17 Babar Azam, Pak v WI, Bridgetown, 30/04/2017

18 LA Dawson, Eng v SA, Lord’s, 06/07/2017

More on the topic of zeroes and pairs can be seen in this earlier post: