Review of SA-SL Tests-2

Hope you have read Part 1.

We now move on to Bowling:

Most wickets (10 wickets and more):

Bowling-10 wkts

Muralitharan is far ahead of the others, while Steyn leads current players with Philander close behind.

Muralitharan has the most 10-wicket hauls (4) while no one else has more than 1. He also has the most 5-fors with 11, when no one else has more than 3.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Bowling-6wi

Maharaj has the best analysis which came in the last series between these teams. There is nothing from the current series.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Bowling-8wm

While there are a few performances from the 2018 series here, there are none from this series.

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg

Expectedly it is headed by Muralitharan. The best economy rate is also by him, while Steyn has the best strike rate.

Now for fielding:

Most dismissals (10 and above):

Dismissals

Boucher heads this list by a large margin. He has the most stumpings and catches by a keeper. Kallis has the most catches by a non-keeper.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals-4

Boucher heads this again, while Kallis has the most by a non-keeper.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Match dismissals-6

de Kock heads this list, while Kallis again has the best by a non-keeper. de Kock is also the only current player here.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings and 0.400):

Dimissal rate-0.6

Headed by Boucher and Kallis. Amla is the only current player here.

All-round performance:

Overall (see criteria in table):

AR-overall

Only SM Pollock makes the cut.

Match performance:

No one has a fifty and five-for in the same match. However, we can find some who have made 50 runs and taken 5 wickets in a match:

AR-match

Pollock and Kallis would have the best performances here.

 

 

 

Review of SA-SL Tests-1

Sri Lanka won the series 2-0 and thus became the first Asian country to win a Test series there. Neither have New Zealand or the West Indies won there yet.

Here is the summary of Tests between these teams:

Overall

Until now, Sri Lanka had won only one Test in SA, which was at Durban in December 2011. That was part of a 2-1 series loss.

This time, Sri Lanka won the first Test at Durban by one wicket and the second at Port Elizabeth by the more respectable margin of 8 wickets.

Sri Lanka also leads 6-3 for Tests at home.

We now move to individual performances, starting with batting:

Most runs (500 runs and above):

Batting-500

The old firm of Jayawardene and Sangakkara at the top. Amla heads the current players including Karunaratne, the only one from SL.

Jayawardene (6) has the most centuries followed by Cullinan with 5.

Sangakkara (10) has the most scores of 50+ followed by Cullinan and Sangakkara with 8.

Highest scores (110 and above):

Innings-110

The same old firm monopolizes the first four positions. MDKJ Perera’s match-winning 153* is now the best for SL in SA, surpassing TT Samaraweera’s 115* in 2012. Note Cullinan’s three centuries at the bottom.

Highest batting averages (Minimum 20 innings, all instances):

Batting avg

Almost inevitably it is the same pair at the top. Amla is the only current player here.

Highest strike rate (Minimum 1000 balls faced, all instances):

Strike rate

Here we have Jayasuriya leading with ABD in second place. Karunaratne leads the current players.

To be continued.

Review of Aus-SL Tests-2019 (2)

Hope that you have seen Part 1.

We now move on to Bowling:

Most wickets (15 and above):

Most wickets-15

Note Herath’s late surge after Muralitharan retired. Starc heads the current players.

The most 5wis are 6 by Herath and Starc. The most 10wms are 2 by Warne and Starc.

Best innings bowling (6wi and above):

Innings-6wi

Cummins has the best figures among current players.

Best match bowling (9wm and above):

Match-9wm

In this series, Cummins (10-62 at Brisbane) and Starc (10-100 at Canberra) surpassed the previous mark for Australia vs Sri Lanka at home. It was earlier held by Siddle (9-104 at Hobart in 2012).

Best bowling averages (Minimum 2000 balls, all instances):

Bowl avg-all

Herath and Warne have the best bowling averages.

Vaas and Warne have the best economy rates.

Herath and Warne have the best strike rates.

Fielding:

Most dismissals (12 and above):

Dismissals-12

Gilchrist and Healy have the most catches by a keeper (32) and Gilchrist also has the most stumpings (5). The most catches by a non-keeper are 20 by M Jayawardene. Only Kusal Mendis represents current players here with 12 dismissals.

Most innings dismissals (4 and above):

Innings dismissals

This time Hayden has the most catches by a fielder with 4.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Match dismissals

Healy and Gilchrist yet again, while Hayden’s 7 catches as a non-keeper were a share in the world record at that time.

Best dismissal rate (Minimum 20 innings, 0.5):

Dismissal rate-0.5

Sangakkara has the highest dismissal rate, while M Jayawardene has the highest by a non-keeper.

All-round overall performance (see criteria):

AR-overall

Only Vaas meets these criteria.

All-round match performance (50 and 5wi in match):

AR-match

Only two such performances.

 

 

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-2

Hope you have watched the hour-long video and read my earlier post: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/the-al-jazeera-report-analyzed-1/

Here we look at the Sri Lankan connection in more detail.

There is a fleeting reference to Jayananda Warnaweera, who played in Tests with some success as an off-spinner. He was the curator at Galle and was facing queries from the ICC as to some oddities in pitch behaviour. As the ICC and Sri Lankan authorities felt he was being non-cooperative, he was suspended for 3 years in early 2016:

https://www.wisdenindia.com/cricket-news/warnaweera-suspended-years/195673

Anyway he was out of the way by the time this report got under way. His successors (who appeared in the Al-Jazeera report along with Robin Morris) did talk about fixing the Galle Test against Australia in August 2016. This was the second Test of the series which Sri Lanka won 3-0.

In this case, the pitch was deliberately prepared to be bowler-friendly. The betting was probably on low scores and an early finish. The fixers had done their job well: the match got over early on the third day, in one of the shortest Tests in recent times. The scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8917/scorecard/995453/sri-lanka-vs-australia-2nd-test-australia-tour-of-sri-lanka-2016/

In contrast, there was another Test at Galle against India in July 2017. This time they made the pitch more batsman-friendly. Indeed, India batted first and made 600. Sri Lanka collapsed abjectly and went on to lose the series 3-0. The betting was probably on a good score being made in the first innings. But no players were involved in fixing in these two Tests.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

Now let us look at the dramatis personae from Sri Lanka:

AJ cricket screenshot1AJ cricket screenshot2

Hasan Raza is the only name which most of us would recognize. All other former cricketers lesser known but are duly recorded in Cricinfo and other websites:

Robin Morris: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/31008.html

Tharindu Mendis: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/49681.html

Reasonable domestic player. Though not highlighted here, he is the elder brother of current ODI/T20I player Jeevan Mendis (BMAJ Mendis).

Jeevan Kulathunga: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/49394.html

Played in two T20Is

Dilhara Lokuhettige, who made a fleeting appearance: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/48487.html  He appears in the scorecards as LHD Dilhara. Has played in a few ODIs and T20Is, some against India.

Tharanga Indika: http://www.espncricinfo.com/srilanka/content/player/502540.html

Limited career as a domestic player.

The Sri Lankan cricket authorities have acted against the four persons named above: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/23630601/two-former-sri-lankan-players-suspended-spot-fixing-allegations

Dilhara has escaped for the moment.

Though this news report does not explicitly name Indika, he has also been suspended.

The Al-Jazeera Report Analyzed-1

Anyone who follows cricket (even the Test purists) should watch the report. Numerous bits and pieces can be seen on Youtube and directly on various news sites. But to get a full idea of the extent of the match-fixing industry it is well worth watching the hour-long report:

Some of the key takeaways:

How is it that a key man of the D company is freely functioning in Mumbai apparently without interference from the Mumbai police or anyone else? (One is struck with his quiet confidence and thorough knowledge of the “business”).

A relatively minor domestic player like Robin Morris seems to have made a lot more money from fixing than in his regular cricket career. Even if he had somehow got into IPL he would not have earned much. And he seems to have a particularly dumb sidekick who, unlike him, did play in a few Tests and ODIs.

Then there is the Morris – Rajkumar plan to organize T20 tournaments all over the world-whose only purpose is to make money through fixing. Almost like a never-ending Ponzi scheme or perpetual motion machine.

Although Al-Jazeera did not mention this, someone has already made a start in a “fraudulent” tournament in the UAE earlier this year. This was so blatantly a fixed tournament that the UAE authorities had to throw them out. A sample report:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-31/bizarre-scenes-uae-t20-league-icc-match-fixing-investigation/9377680

Other reports from that period can be found through Google. Not sure what ultimately happened there. But it sounds quite similar to what Morris (mainly) and Rajkumar were talking about. Clearly the players in this tournament had not been “trained” properly.

The allegations regarding Test matches pertain to

1) India vs England at Chennai in Dec 2016, the 5th Test which India won by an innings to take the 5-Test series 4-0: three English players (presumably specialist batsmen) are alleged to have manipulated the scoring rate. They have denied the charges. (Any guesses?) Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10732/scorecard/1034817/india-vs-england-5th-test-england-tour-of-india-2016-17/

Those who followed the match closely on TV or the net may be able to figure out who the guilty trio are. I am not hazarding any guess, except that they would probably be 1-7 in the batting order.

Afterthought: Was even the bowling fixed? Did that allow Karun Nair to make a triple hundred (which is still the ONLY score he has made above 50 in a Test)?

2) India vs Australia at Ranchi in March 2017. This was the third of 4 Tests, the only drawn Test of the series. India won 2-1. Here two Australian players (presumably specialist batsmen) similarly manipulated the scoring rate. Al-Jazeera said that there was no reply from them so far. Here, too we can try to guess who they may be, batting at 1 to 7. Here is the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/10839/scorecard/1062575/india-vs-australia-3rd-test-ind-v-aus-2016-17/

3) Sri Lanka vs India at Galle in July 2017. This was the first Test of the series, in which India won all three Tests by heavy margins. This time no players were involved, but merely manipulation of the pitch by the curator (?) and others. (But what was the bet? Merely that the match would be high-scoring). It was, in the sense that India made 600 batting first. But the Sri Lankan batsmen did so badly that they lost by over 300 runs in what was effectively an innings defeat, as India would have won by an innings if they had imposed the follow-on.

Galle has a history of pitch manipulation. The former curator, Test bowler J. Warnaweera, was suspended for 3 years by the ICC in early 2016 for non-cooperation with ICC investigators. This is with reference to earlier matches at Galle.

Here is the scorecard, for what it is worth:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17891/scorecard/1109602/sri-lanka-vs-india-1st-test-sl-v-ind-2017/

The Sri Lankan leg needs a little more study as most of the characters are quite unknown even in neighboring countries.

To be continued.

Review of the Nidahas Trophy (2018)

This tournament is an one-off. There was another Nidahas Trophy in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. That was also a triangular series but with 50-over matches. T20Is were still in the future.

This tournament was contested by Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand. Though the league matches were badly affected by rain, there was still a narrow 6-run win for India as Sri Lanka came close to chasing down a 300+ total in the final. Such things rarely happened in those days. See the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8560/scorecard/66157/sri-lanka-vs-india-final-singer-akai-nidahas-1998/

At least the host got to the final then, unlike on this occasion. This time it was Dinesh Karthik who won the match with one of the most famous last-ball sixes in limited-overs cricket history. But Javed Miandad may have something to say about that.

Here is a statistical summary of the 2018 edition. The sample size is too small to have meaningful figures for averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (90 and above):

Most runs

Kusal Perera made 3 fifties, while three others made two apiece.

Highest innings (40 and above):

Highest innings

Dhawan and RG Sharma have the highest scores.

During the SL v BD match on 16 Mar, there was a wisecrack that Mr Perera had scored 119 runs and took 5 catches.

Most wickets (4 and above):

Most wickets

India’s junior spinners lead here, with a number of highly experienced bowlers following.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

Best innings bowling

The 4 top positions are by Indian bowlers.

Most dismissals (3 or more):

Most dismissals

Thissara Perera and Sabbir have the most (6) by non-keepers while Karthik (5) the most by keepers.

Most innings dismissals (2 or more):

Innings dismissals

Sabbir and Kusal Perera lead the non-keepers and keepers respectively.

All round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):

AR

Only one instance.

 

Akila Dananjaya’s comeback

Akila Dananjaya now has the best match figures by Sri Lankan bowler making his Test debut.

Apart from the best match figures on debut, he also has the second-best innings figures:

Match figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-innings match debut

(Kuruppuarachchi played only one more Test and Ahangama two more. The latter did not play after his debut series).

Innings figures for Sri Lankan bowlers on debut:

SL-debut innings bowling

Not bad when you consider he once held a dubious record in ODI record. In March 2017, he was the only current player who had not batted, bowled or fielded in his ODI career. Here is an edited extract from my earlier post of 27/03/2017 titled “All-round fails in ODIs”:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

No batting, bowling and fielding in ODIs (complete list):

No batting no bowling no fielding

 

This explains what had happened in his one ODI till then:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/582191.html

In this rain-affected match, his team did bat and got to 123/8. He was to bat at No 10 or 11 and never got to bat. And he could not bowl or field as rain prevented New Zealand’s innings from starting

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Soon after this was written, his ODI career resumed and he became a regular ODI player, with a high of a 6-for against the all-conquering touring team of India besides a 50 against Pakistan. He may well become a regular in all 3 formats.

These are his current figures. Note that he has a nice smile. One needs to be cheerful to come back after an inauspicious start.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/574178.html