Little-known facts about Bangladesh cricket-1

A common question asked is “Was there any East Pakistani who played in Tests for Pakistan?” and most cricket fans, even from that part of the world, are not sure of the answer.

As Bob Dylan might say: the answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind, but can be found after some research on the internet.

See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Pakistan_first-class_cricket_teams

and a list of East Pakistani cricketers here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_East_Pakistan_first-class_cricketers

Note this extract:

“These included six Test cricketersMahmood Hussain, Mohammad Munaf, Mufassir-ul-Haq, Nasim-ul-Ghani, Naushad Ali, and Niaz Ahmed[6] No native East Pakistanis, Bengali or otherwise, represented Pakistan’s national side at Test level. The closest was Raqibul Hasan, who was twelfth man against the touring New Zealanders during the 1969–70 season, and the following season represented a full-strength Pakistan side against a Commonwealth XI.[7] Raqibul went on to serve as Bangladesh’s inaugural captain in the 1979 ICC Trophy, and later played two One Day International (ODI) matches for the team.[8] Two other East Pakistan players went on to play for Bangladesh in ICC Trophy matches—Ashraful Haque and Shafiqul Haque.[9][10]”

However, the information in this extract is not quite correct. The first 5 Pakistani players mentioned were indeed from West Pakistan and appear to have spent some time in East Pakistan for employment or other reasons. Mahmood Hussain and Nasim-ul-Ghani were fairly prominent in their time.

However, the case of Niaz Ahmed is different.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/42069.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niaz_Ahmed

The Wikipedia entry is more detailed than the one on Cricinfo. Niaz Ahmed was born in Benares in the United Provinces (now Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh) and his family moved to East Pakistan after Partition. He appears to have spent his early life there, when he made his two Test appearances in 1967 and 1968-69. He and his family then moved to Pakistan after the liberation of Bangladesh and settled in Karachi. He died there in 2000.

While he appears to have been originally from UP and not a Bengali, he did spend his early life in East Pakistan and started his cricketing career there. Thus, although he did not achieve much in his Test career (2 Tests, 17 runs and 3 wickets) we have to consider him as the only permanent resident of East Pakistan to have played in official Tests for Pakistan.

Then there is Raqibul Hasan:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/bangladesh/content/player/56070.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raqibul_Hasan_(cricketer,_born_1953)

He was indeed a Bengali, born in Dacca in 1953. He was also 12th man in the P v NZ Test at Dacca in 1968-69, though those outside the playing XI are ignored in the records. However, he did play in what might be called an unofficial Test side, for the BCCP  XI vs International XI in early 1971, just before the Liberation War began:

Scorecard of this match:

http://static.espncricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/1970S/1970-71/INT-XI_IN_PAK/INT-XI_BCCP-XI_26FEB-01MAR1971.html

The BCCP  XI seems to be practically a full-strength Pakistani team, as most of the players did play in the Test series in England later in 1971-the same season in which India recorded its first Test and series win in England.

Note that the International XI consisted mainly of English players (essentially fringe and former Test players). Probably the best known members would be wicketkeeper JT Murray and the Australian bowler Neil Hawke. It is not clear how Pakistani test player Younis Ahmed and another Pakistani first-class player Wahid Yar Khan were playing in this team.

(Wahid Yar Khan, like Asif Iqbal, had grown up in Hyderabad in India and started his cricket career there before moving to Pakistan in the 1960s).

After this, Raqibul, like most Bengalis in East Pakistan, underwent a lot of hardships when the war resulted in  the deaths of many of his family and friends. He went on to be Bangladesh’s first cricket captain in the initial stages, and even played in two ODIs in the Asia Cup in 1985-86 besides a number of other limited-over matches (such as those in the ICC Trophy in 1979) which did not have ODI status. At that time Bangladesh was classified as an Associate and only their Asia Cup matches had ODI status.

So the question is now answered. Niaz Ahmed was the only permanent resident of East Pakistan who played for Pakistan in Tests.

And Raquibul Hasan was the only Bengali who played for Pakistan in what can be described as an unofficial Test.

 

Tests between Bangladesh and India: the records

The story of Tests between these countries is simply told. A total of 9 Tests have been played between these teams, all but one in Bangladesh.India won 6 of the 8 Tests in Bangladesh and the only one in India. Weather probably prevented a clean sweep.

In these 9 Tests, Dravid, Zaheer and Tendulkar played the most Tests-7.

We now proceed to Batting:

Most runs (200 and above):

bd-v-ind-runs

Tendulkar and Dravid have scored considerably more than others. Next comes Ashraful.

The most centuries are 5 by Tendulkar and 3 by Dravid. For 50+ scores, it is 5 by Tendulkar and 4 by Dravid and Ganguly. Tendulkar converted all his fifties to centuries.

Highest innings (90 and above):

bd-v-ind-innings

2 double centuries, including Tendulkar’s career-best 248*. 4 centuries were scored in the recent Test, including another 200 by V Kohli.

Highest batting average (minimum 10 innings batted):

bd-v-ind-batting-average

Only these 4 qualify. Interesting that Dravid is followed by 3 Bangladeshis. Also note that Ashraful has the highest strike rate of 69.67

Now for Bowling:

Most wickets (8 and above):

bd-v-ind-wkts

Zaheer Khan leads by a large margin, followed by Irfan Pathan’s 18-wicket haul in 2 Tests in 2004. Also note Mohammad Rafique’s contribution as their leading spinner in the early years.

Best innings bowling (all instances of 5wi):

bd-v-ind-innings-bowling

Zaheer and Pathan dominate again. Pathan has the most 5wis with 3, followed by Zaheer with 2.

Best match bowling (7 or more wickets):

bd-v-ind-match-bowling

The same pair again have the only 10wms. Next comes SB Joshi in the first Test between these teams.

Bowling averages (Minimum 1000 balls):

bd-v-ind-bowling-average

Only three qualify for this cutoff. Zaheer’s average is much better.

Now for Fielding:

Most fielding dismissals (5 or more):

bd-v-ind-fielding

Dhoni leads, as you expect, although he has played only 3 Tests in this series. He is closely followed by Kartik who kept in some Tests. Dravid has the most dismissals among non-keepers.

Most innings dismissals (4 and more):

bd-v-ind-innings-fielding

Most match dismissals (5 and more):

bd-v-ind-match-fielding

Here Dhoni is far ahead. Das and Ganguly have the most dismissals for non-keepers.

Dismissal rate (minimum 10 innings fielded, all instances):

bd-v-ind-fielding-average

Kartik has a large lead over Dravid, who has the highest dismissal rate among non-keepers.

All-round overall performance (see criteria below):

bd-v-ind-ar-overall

Though Shakib is considered as one of the leading all-rounders today, Zaheer Khan happened to bat well here and thus has a better difference.

And finally, there is the best all-round performance (50 and 5wi in the same match):

bd-v-ind-ar-match

Only one entry here, by a lesser-known player in the first Test between these teams.

Score 500 and lose

From Journalism 101: “When a dog bites a man, it is not news.

When a man bites a dog, it is news”

Similarly: When Bangladesh loses a Test, it is not news.

When Bangladesh scores almost 600 and loses a Test, it is news.

Here is a list of instances where a side scored 500 or more and still lost a Test:

500-and-lose-a

It can be seen that Bangladesh now has the record score in a loss, surpassing the 586 by Australia well over a century ago.

All of these instances came in the first or second innings of the match, except for the 510 by India in 1967. That was in a follow-on, and the Test is remembered partly for Pataudi’s 64 and 148 and more for Boycott being dropped for excessively slow scoring on the way to his Test best of 246*: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63004.html

We also look at scores of 450 or more in the 3rd and 4th inning in losses:

500-and-lose-b

The highest 3rd-innings score in a loss is 510 as mentioned above. For the 4th innings it is 451 by NZ in 2001-02, which Pakistan just failed to cross earlier this season.

Taking another look at the scorecard of Bangladesh’s recent loss:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/new-zealand-v-bangladesh-2016-17/engine/match/1019985.html

We see that Bangladesh’s innings included 217 by Shakib, which is the highest Test individual score for Bangladesh. The only other double centuries are 206 by Tamim and 200 by Mushfiqur. Incidentally, Shakib is one of the few to score a double century and duck in the same Test (regardless of the result). The highest such score is 245 by Shoaib Malik vs England in 2015-16.

There are, however, many instances of double centuries being scored in innings of sides losing Tests:

200-and-lose

The record continues to be with RT Ponting with 242. Other greats including Lara, Graeme Pollock, Harvey  and Hayden also appear here.

All of these efforts came in the first or second innings except for Astle’s 222 which figured in New Zealand’s 451 mentioned above:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63981.html

We also look at individual scores of 175 and above in the 3rd and 4th innings for losing teams:

175-and-lose

The highest such score in the 3rd innings is 199* by Andy Flower. Numerous other well-known players also appear here.

An afterthought-we look at combined scores in both innings by a batsman in a losing side:

match-total-in-lost-test

Although there are numerous instances of centuries in both innings of a lost Test, Lara is the only one to make a double century and a century. Andy Flower just missed it with his 142 and 199*. Also note Ponting’s 242 and 0.

 

 

 

Unbeaten scores of 50+ on debut

Predictably, England won the first Test at Chittagong. Less predictable was the narrow margin of victory. Had they won, this would have been Bangladesh’s first Test win against a major team. We should not count the two victories against the West Indies third XI in 2009.

Sabbir Rahman made an unbeaten fifty on his debut. We now look into all those who achieved this feat on their debut.

For convenience, we break these instances into three sections, depending on whether the debutant’s team won, lost or drew/tied the match. There are a total of 73 such instances (including two cases where the debutant scored unbeaten fifty-plus scores in each innings).

We start with instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team won:

unb-50-debut-win

27 such instances, including the first-ever Test century and a double century (Rudolph). That is the highest unbeaten innings by a debutant, and DSBP Kuruppu (see below) is the only other batsman to score an unbeaten 200+.

SG Law and MN Nawaz were playing their only Tests. Van Zyl and Voges had contrasting careers after their debut.

We will later try to see which of them may have hit the winning runs.

Next, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss

18 such instances, including two innings by GC Grant. He was also captaining the West Indies on his debut. Barrett and Javed Omar carried their bats through the innings. Some famous names of the recent past are topped off by Sabbir Rahman and his 64*. Southee added a five-for to his 77*, thus becoming one of the handful of debutants to score a 50+ and 5wi.

We will later identify those who were left stranded at the end of the fourth innings.

Finally, we consider instances of unbeaten 50+ when the debutant’s team drew or tied:

unb-50-debut-draw-tie

28 instances, including two innings by Azhar Mahmood. He is the only one to score an unbeaten hundred and unbeaten fifty on debut. Rowe is here as well, having scored 214 along with the 100* mentioned here. And Kuruppu has an unbeaten double century. Again, a few famous names from the recent past who are still going strong.

Coming back to our original query, we isolate those who scored their unbeaten fifty-plus in the 4th innings, and were thus batting at the time of victory:

unb-50-debut-win-4th

Only 8 such instances, including Gavaskar besides Gimblett, Lloyd and Lewis against India. In some cases they may have hit the winning runs. This could be checked from the ball-by-ball commentary if available, or from contemporary match reports.

Finally, we look at those who were left unbeaten with 50+ in the 4th innings when their team lost:

unb-50-debut-loss-4th

Naturally, Sabbir Rahman tops off this list. India was not involved in any of these instances.

There might have been cases of remaining unbeaten on 50+ in the 3rd innings when their team lost by an innings. The possible candidates are:

Barrett, Ranjitsinhji, Grant, Howarth, Javed Omar and Henriques.

A look at the scorecard shows only Howarth and Javed Omar being left unbeaten in the third innings, when their team lost by an innings. Howarth was at the other end when fellow debutant No 11 Ewan Chatfield suffered a potentially fatal injury when struck by a ball from Peter Lever.