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:


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*:

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


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:

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:


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:

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


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:


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.




The Viceroy and the ducks of Bharatpur

This time, I am not dealing with cricketing ducks even though Darren Bravo acquired a rare diamond duck today (a duck without facing a ball). The Keoladeo National Park (also called the Keoladeo Ghana Sanctuary earlier) at Bharatpur is one of the top birdwatching destinations in India. The inhabitants include a large number of ducks. Here are a few we encountered on a recent visit (which makes a convenient day trip out of Jaipur on the little-known Jaipur/Agra Shatabdi). However, this train no longer runs.



We now turn to Lord Linlithgow, Viceroy of India from 1936 to 1943. He had the longest tenure of any Viceroy but was not too successful, dealing with the Second World War, the Quit India Movement and the great famines in Bengal. But there was one thing he excelled in-shooting ducks at Keoladeo Ghana.

In the middle of the park there is a wall with a record of major duck shoots during the Raj. It records the number of ducks shot along with the number of guns in the party. Here is a small but important part of it:


Our friend and his party visited the park on 9 Nov 1936 (1415 ducks shot with 50 guns), again on 6 Dec 1936 (1476/41) and yet again on  6 Feb 1937 (2568/39).

But he was not done with slaughtering ducks yet. On 12 Nov 1938, his party with 39 guns accounted for no less than 4273 ducks (an average of 110 ducks per gun). Probably this would be a world record of some sort. This wall does attract the attention of foreign tourists; the Lonely Planet guide reports that 12 Nov 1938 was a particularly bad day to be a duck.

Fortunately the park is relatively well managed (compared to some others in the same state whose entire tiger population vanished) and is well worth a visit. There even was a resident tigress who was seen in 2005 and not again until she died in 2010. Another wandering tiger turned up later and was captured and sent to repopulate Sariska. Then there are the feral cattle who were abandoned in the park when some villagers were made to leave the area.

Residents of Delhi have a choice of trains to get there in 3 to 4 hours.