Tests between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has still not won a Test against Sri Lanka.

This is the record of all Tests between these teams:

SL-Zim Tests

Sri Lanka has won 13 and drawn 5 Tests against Zimbabwe. This includes winning the last 8 in a row.

Zimbabwe’s Test wins have been few and far between:

Zimbabwe wins

Only 2 of the 11 wins were away from home. Their one victory in Pakistan in 1998 may be the most significant, as it remains part of their only series victory against a major team.

Here are a few records which were set during this Test:

List of centuries in Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe Tests:

SL v Zim innings

CR Ervine’s 160 is now the highest for Zimbabwe in Sri Lanka, surpassing the old record of 105* by Andy Flower in 1998. Sikandar Raza’s 127 also surpassed this record. The overall record for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka remains 266 by Dave Houghton in 1994 in Bulawayo.

Best match bowling figures in Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe Tests:

SL v Zim innings bowling

AG Cremer’s 9-275 is the best match bowling for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka, surpassing his own record of 7-227 at Harare in 2016. The previous best for Zimbabwe in Sri Lanka was 6-112 by Heath Streak in 1998.

No significant records were set in fielding or all-round performance.

 

 

 

The other Test all-rounders-1

We start with the scorecard of the  England-South Africa Test at Lord’s:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-south-africa-2017/engine/match/1031437.html

Moeen Ali achieved the double of a fifty and 10 wickets in the match.

Now, the standard definition of a good all-round performance in a Test is a century and a fiver. Cricinfo provides this as a direct link: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/282793.html

There are 32 such instances at the time of writing.

The achievement of a fifty and 10wm is somewhat less common though the instances can be easily be got from Statsguru:

Fifty and 10 wickets in a Test (as on Jul 11, 2017)

10wm and fifty

27 entries here, the most recent entrants here being Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja and Dilruwan Perera. Sir Richard Hadlee is the only one to do this 3 times. No one else has done it more than once.

Also note that Alan Davidson was the first to score a hundred runs and take 10 wickets in a match (though without a century). This was in the Brisbane tied Test of 1960. He held this record for over 19 years. It was not until 1980 that Botham became the first to score a century and take 10 wickets in a match. Imran repeated this a few years later and Shakib followed much later.

While the list of those who scored a century and 5wi is mostly populated by the better-known all-rounders ranging from Sobers to Botham to Ashwin, the second list has a few unexpected names. These include bowlers who were not considered recognized batsmen but somehow managed a fifty: e.g. JK Lever (on debut), Abdul Qadir, DW Steyn and PS de Villiers. Then there are non-regular bowlers (notably AR Border and MG Bevan) who were not regular bowlers but somehow managed a ten-wicket haul.

In several cases these were the only fifties or ten-fors the player achieved in their Test careers. The strangest case may be that of JK Lever, who is the only one to score a fifty and take ten wickets on his debut. He did not achieve either of these again in his 21-Test career.

Landmark-the 4000th Test century (Updated in July 2017)

 

During the long break between Test matches between mid-May and early August, one can look back at the landmarks passed during the 2016-17 season. Practically any Test series which starts between May and September is considered to be the 2017 season.

One landmark which went unnoticed was the neat round figure of 4000 Test centuries which was achieved by Roston Chase in his ultimately futile 101* in the fourth innings at Roseau.

Here are the landmark centuries, which can be easily identified through Statsguru. Here we have included the Aus v ICC World XI Test which started on 14/10/2005. And Matthew Hayden scored 111 in this match. Some may feel that this should not be counted as a “real” Test. That correction can also be made.

For the moment, we do include Hayden’s century in the list.

100th: J.Sharp, 105, Eng v Aus, match starting 09/08/1909

500th: RN Harvey, 178, Aus v SA, 31/12/1949

1000th: WM Lawry, 205, Aus v WI, 26/12/1968

1500th: GS Chappell, 115, Aus v Eng, 10/12/1982

2000th: ME Waugh, 137, Aus v Eng, 05/08/1993

2500th: RT Ponting, 144, Aus v Eng, 16/08/2001

3000th: W Jaffer, 100, Ind v Eng, 01/03/2006

3500th: KC Sangakkara, 168, SL v SA, 26/12/2011

4000th: RL Chase, 101*, WI v Pak, 10/05/2017

Note the high proportion of Australian batsmen in these landmark centuries.

Now if you disregard the ICC XI Test and Hayden’s century, the numbers from 3000 onward will change:

3000th: AN Cook, 104*,Eng v Ind, 01/03/2006 (and Jaffer moves to 2999. This was Cook’s Test debut)

3500th: TT Samaraweera, 102, SL v SA, 26/12/2001 (Sangakkara moves to 3499)

4000th: JT Root, 190, Eng v SA, 06/07/2017 (Chase moves to 3999)

Afterthought: These landmarks were found using Statsguru’s listing, going by the date of start of the Test and then in alphabetical order of the player’s names. But the order of completion of the century can be different. My old friend Sreeram Acehbdfg points out that if you take the order of completion of the century, then it was IM Chappell (165) who scored the 1000th century rather than his team-mate WM Lawry, in the Test between Aus and WI starting 26/12/1968.

Similarly, No 2000 appears to be R Mahanama, 151, SL v Ind, 04/08/1993. There might be other instances like this.

 

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.