Pakistan-a bastion crumbles.

First have a look at the entire history of Tests involving Pakistan at neutral venues:

Pakistan neutral

The 1999 match was part of the Asian Test championship which had the final played in Bangladesh, which was not a Test country at that time.

Apart from 9/11, an attack near the hotel where NZ’s team was staying in Karachi in early 2002 resulted in matches being moved out of the country. This began with a 3-Test series against Aus (with the first Test at Colombo and the next two at Sharjah). Australia won this 3-0.

After this, serious cricket returned to Pakistan for some years before the Lahore incident involving the SL team in Lahore in 2009 made it the last Test to be played in Pakistan.

Here are the matches played IN Pakistan since 1999:

Pakistan home

In this period Pakistan lost 2-1 to Sri Lanka in 2000, 1-0 to England later in 2000, 2-1 to India in 2004, and 1-0 to SA in 2007 before the end came in early 2009. The UAE become Pakistan’s adopted home from 2010 onwards, after one neutral series against Australia in England.

Although some series were drawn, Pakistan did record a 3-0 victory against England in 2012, and a 2-0 victory against Australia in 2014. While they beat WI 2-1 in late 2016, they lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the just concluded series. This involved their first loss at Abu Dhabi, and the first series loss in the UAE since 2010. And their last 3 Tests in the UAE have resulted in successive losses at Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Certain venues like Bridgetown and Karachi were regarded as “fortresses” where visiting teams hardly ever won there. There are even such fortresses in domestic cricket including the IPL.

But the UAE may not be a fortress any more-which resulted in Pakistan moving from 1 to 7 in the rankings quite rapidly.

 

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Review of Tests between the West Indies and Pakistan-2

Continuing our review of all Tests between these teams, after the conclusion of the recent series.

Bowling-20 or more wickets:

P-WI wickets

Imran and Akram top the list, with Walsh having the most wickets for the West Indies. Among current players there are Yasir Shah (46), Bishoo (36) and Gabriel (25). The most 5wi are 6 by Imran and 5 by Yasir Shah. No one has taken 10wm more than once.

Best innings bowling-all cases of 6wi and above:

P-WI innings bowling

While Croft and Imran have the best innings figures for their teams, Yasir Shah’s 7-94 and 6-63, Mohammad Amir’s 6-44 and Gabriel’s 5-11 are from the just-concluded series. The second best figures of 8-49 were by Bishoo in the series in the UAE last year.

Best match bowling-all cases of 9wm and above:

P-WI match

Gabriel and Yasir Shah recorded 9-wicket hauls in this series, although the overall record of 12-100 was set by Fazal Mahmood long ago. Bishoo and Yasir Shah had  10-wicket hauls last year in the UAE.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls)-all instances:

P-WI bowl average

Croft has the best bowling average with Marshall and Wasim Akram close behind.

Of current players, Yasir Shah and Bishoo can be seen here.

The best economy rates are 2.05 by Gibbs and 2.36 by Fazal Mahmood.

The best strike rates are 39.6 by Waqar Younis and 41.7 by Croft.

Fielding: 12 or more dismissals:

P-WI dismissals

The record of 29 dismissals was set by Alexander long ago, though Kamran Akmal and Moin Khan are second with 25. The most stumpings is by Imtiaz Ahmed (8) and most by non-keepers 23 by Viv Richards and Younis Khan. Dowrich and Sarfraz Ahmed are slowly moving up.

Best innings fielding: 4 or more dismissals:

P-WI innings dismissals

The record of 5 is shared by DL Murray, Moin Khan and Kamran Akmal (twice). The most by non-keepers is 4 by Mathias, Logie and Taufeeq Umar.

Best match fielding: 5 or more dismissals:

P-WI match fielding

The much-maligned Kamran Akmal has the record of 9 dismissals, while Imtiaz Ahmed holds the record of 3 stumpings. The most catches by non-keepers is 5 by Logie, Taufeeq Umar and Younis Khan. Younis achieved this in the 2nd Test of this series.

Best dismissal rate (20 or more innings):

P-WI fielding average

No wicket-keepers figure in this list as none of them played enough. The best dismissal rate is by Younis Khan followed by Viv Richards.

All-round performance (see criteria in table):

P-WI AR

Even with these modest criteria, only Imran Khan qualifies with a respectable total of 775 runs and 80 wickets.

All-round match performance (fifty and 5wi in match):

P-WI AR match

Oddly enough, Imran did not achieve this but the then captain Mushtaq Mohammad’s all-round performance is one of the finest for Pakistan. And we are reminded of Gayle’s lesser-known bowling capability.

 

 

 

Review of Tests between the West Indies and Pakistan-1

Pakistan’s tour of the West Indies in 2016-17 was historic in more than one way. Besides the overly sentimental last Test series for Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, this was the first time that Pakistan had won a Test series in the West Indies. Pakistan had won series in Pakistan and neutral venues before. But their best results in the West Indies had been draws; 1-1 in 1987-88, 2005 and 2011. Until their 2-1 victory this time.

Here is a summary of all Tests between the two countries:

P-WI overall

As we can see, Pakistan has consistently done better at home and in neutral venues, but not in the West Indies. There was a long gap between 1959 and 1975 when these teams did not meet.

We start with the batting records:

Most runs (500 and above):

P-WI Runs

Among current players, Younis Khan has the highest with 1030 followed by Azhar Ali, Misbah-ul-Haq and RL Chase.

M. Yousuf has the most centuries (7) followed by Inzamam and Lara with 4. M. Yousuf also has the most scores of 50-plus (10) while several others have 9. The most by a West Indies player is 9 by Viv Richards.

Highest individual scores (125 and above):

P-WI innings

While Gary Sobers’s former world record has pride of place, it is followed by Hanif Mohammad’s ultra-defensive 337 from the same series. From the current series only Chase (131) and Azhar Ali (127) qualify.

Best batting averages (minimum 20 innings, all instances):

P-WI average

Wasim Raja surprisingly tops this, while only Younis Khan is here from current players. Many prominent players such as Mohammad Yousuf, Gary Sobers and Misbah did not play enough innings. But you can see their averages in the first table above.

Enough for now. Will look at bowling, fielding and all-round records in the next post.

 

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

 

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 Australia and Pakistan-2

We continue our study of study of the 2016-17 series.

First we take up Fielding: (15 or more dismissals)

most-dismissals

Rod Marsh and Wasim Bari are predictably at the top. ME Waugh (23) and Border and Greg Chappell (22 apiece) have the most catches as non-keepers. Wasim Bari has the most stumpings (10).

Best innings fielding (4 and more dismissals):

innings-fielding

Several keepers have 5 dismissals in an innings. The most by non-keepers is 4 by Hanif, Alan Turner, Border and Boon.

Best match fielding (6 or more dismissals):

match-fielding

While Haddin alone has taken 9 dismissals followed by Grout and Latif with 8, no non-keeper has taken 6 catches.

Dismissal rate (minimum 20 innings,average 0.400 per innings):

field-avg

Rod Marsh just edges out Wasim Bari from the top spot. Among the non-keeper, Mark Taylor and Boon have the highest dismissal rates.

Now for All-Round performance:

Overall performance: (see the criteria):

ar-overall

Imran Khan is the only one with a good performance while Wasim Akram is far behind.

All-round match performances (minimum one fifty and one fiver):

ar-match

Only these two qualify (not even Imran). Note that Akram scored a century and took a fiver.

Tests between Australia and Pakistan-1

With this 3-0 sweep by Australia in Australia, this is the final record for Tests between the two countries:

overall-table

What is more important is that Pakistan has lost 3-0 in 4 successive test series in Australia, namely in:

1999-2000

2004-05

2009-10

2016-17

In between, on neutral venues Australia won 3-0 in SL and UAE in 2002-03, drew 1-1 in England in 2010, and Pakistan won 2-0 in UAE in 2014-15. No matches were drawn in these series.

We now look at the statistics for individual players:

Batting:

Most runs (750 and above):

most-runs

The first few places are predictable. Miandad, Border, Greg Chappell and Ijaz Ahmed scored 6 centuries apiece. The most 50+ scores were 14 by Border and Zaheer Abbas. followed by 13 by Miandad. Current players in this list include Younis Khan and Azhar Ali.

Highest scores (160 and above):

hs-scores

Among current players there are Azhar Ali, MT Renshaw, Younis Khan and SPD Smith.

Azhar Ali’s 205* is the highest for Pakistan in Australia, surpassing Majid Khan’s 158 in Melbourne in 1972-73. Younis Khan with 175* also surpassed this later in the series.

Batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, complete list):

batting-avg

Interesting that Mark Taylor has a much higher average than the second-placed Ponting. Younis Khan is the only current player who has played 20 innings. He has the highest average among Pakistani players. This list goes down to McGrath and his likes with single-figure averages. Wasim Bari has a surprisingly low average.

Now for bowling performances:

Most wickets (20 and above):

most-wkts

The first few are predictable. Mohammed Amir and Yasir Shah are the only current players here.

The most fivers were by Warne (6) and Lillee (5).

The most tenners were also by Warne (2).

The best innings bowling (including all hauls of 7 or more wickets):

inningsbowl

None from the recent past. The table is headed by Sarfraz Nawaz’s freak performance in 1978-79, where his spell of 7 for 1 reduced Australia from 305/3 to 310 and defeat.

Best match bowling (including all hauls of 9 wickets and above):

matchbowl

Again, nothing from recent years. Fazal Mahmood’s record 13-114 in the first Test between these teams has remained a record since 1956, while Imran’s 12-165 in 1977 brought Pakistan it’s first victory in Australia.

Bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

bowling-avg

Fairly predictable, with no one from recent years.

It can also be seen that the best economy rates were 2.23 by Tauseef Ahmed, 2.25 by Iqbal Qasim and 2.40 by Imran. The best strike rates were 45.0 by Warne, 47.9 by McGrath and 59.8 by Wasim Akram.

To be continued.