Century on debut and never again (May 2021)

Scoring a century on Test debut is not as difficult as one may think. As many as 108 players have scored 110 centuries on their Test debut, including LG Rowe and Yasir Hameed who scored centuries in both innings.

There are several who failed to score a century after their debut. The full list (up to 15/05/2021) is given below.

Players can drop off this list (as Fawad Alam did after over 11 years). Some current players (from PP Shaw downwards) can be reasonably expected to score another century sooner or later.

The most Tests played here are 25 by Yasir Hameed and 24 by L Amarnath. The latter was an useful bowler and a relatively better captain (by Indian standards of those days).

The most 50s scored after debut are 8 by Yasir Hameed and 7 by SK Raina. The latter was more successful in limited-overs matches, and was one of the first to score a century in a T20I.

Now we look at those who never crossed 50 after their debut.

Ganteaume played in only one innings. RE Redmond is not here as he scored a century and a fifty in his only Test.

The most Tests played among these players are 12 by van Zyl and 10 by DR Smith.

Fawad Alam (again!) got off this list after over 11 years.

There do not seem to be any current players here.

Records of Zimbabwe-Pakistan Test series-May 2021

Another one-sided series which was a common feature of the last few months.

Here is a full record of Tests between these teams:

Zimbabwe has only won 3 of these Tests. But they have been significant, as the first win in 1994-95 was Zimbabwe’s first win (though they lost the series 2-1). The second in 1998-99 ensured Zimbabwe’s first series win abroad. And the third in 2013 was one of their rare drawn series against a major team.

Highlights of this series: Babar Azam won all 4 of his first 4 Tests as captain.

Abid Ali’s 215* is the highest for Pak v Zim in Zim, surpassing Younis Khan’s 200* in 2013. The Pak v Zim record is still Wasim Akram’s 257* in 1996 at Sheikhupura.

He also became the first to make a score of 215* in a Test. Several others have been dismissed on 215, most recently MA Agarwal and M Labuschagne.

Nauman Ali (97 and 5-86) came close to becoming the first to make a century +5wi for Pakistan against Zimbabwe. PA Strang had already done this for Zim v Pak in 1996.

Fawad Alam now has the most centuries (4) without a score between 50 and 99. The previous “record” was 3 centuries by Ravi Bopara. However, it should be mentioned that ED Weekes made 5 centuries before making his first fifty, and GA Headley went a step ahead with 6 centuries before stooping to a fifty.

The 2020-21 Test season

The season finally got over with Pakistan’s effortless 2-0 win over Zimbabwe.

The ICC Test ranking tables as on 11 May:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/rankings/mens/team-rankings/test

It does not include Afghanistan and Ireland because of insufficient matches.

Then there is the table for the WTC Test Championship of 2019-21

https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-test-championship/standings

It is unclear what form the WTC will take in 2021-23 (or, indeed, if it will take place at all). If the restriction of the top 9 teams are taken, it may happen that Afghanistan will replace Bangladesh.

Records of the SL-BD Test series-2021

Sri Lanka won the series 1-0, with the first match being a dull draw. In the second Test, debutant Praveen Jayawickrama recorded the best bowling for SL on debut and also recorded the best bowling for any slow left-armer on debut, surpassing Alf Valentine’s record in 1950.

D Karunaratne’s 244 in the first Test is the best for SL v BD at home. The previous record was 222* by Sangakkara in 2007. However, the highest for SL v BD is 319 also by Sangakkara in 2013-14. He and GA Gooch are the only ones to score a triple century and century in the same Test. It is probably a first-class record as well.

We now look at the final WTC points table, as all the possible fixtures (barring the final) have been completed:

https://www.icc-cricket.com/world-test-championship/standings

Also, the ICC rankings (as distinct from the WTC tables:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/rankings/content/page/211271.html

This covers Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland as well. It is not clear how the 2021-23 WTC will play out, but it is possible that Afghanistan would challenge Bangladesh for the last place.

Praveen Jayawickrama’s records

Debutant left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama played a crucial role in Sri Lanka’s Test and series win against Bangladesh, especially as the first Test was played on a batting paradise.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/praveen-jayawickrama-1028665

In the second Test he took 6-92 and 5-86, making a total of 11-178.

This was the best by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut in an innings:

Note that his name appears twice here, for his 6-for as well as 5-for.

And the best match figures by a Sri Lankan bowler on debut:

We see that he is the first Sri Lankan bowler to take 10 wickets on debut.

Now let us see about left-arm spinners on debut:

Jayawickrama has the third-best figures here.

A more surprising result is obtained when we see the match bowling figures if this category on debut:

Here, he has the best match figures of debutants in this category, edging out the famous Alf Valentine’s figures in 1950.

The line to Aizawl

There have been some advertisements regarding various rail mega projects which will link the remotest borders by rail.

Here we look at one such project which may be completed relatively quickly.

The present railhead for Aizawl (and the whole of Mizoram) is Bhairabi, on a branch from Katakhai Jn which is between Badarpur junction and Silchar.

The line is to extend 50.5 km to Sairang, which is about 21 km short of the centre of Aizawl.

Here is the list of stations according to the RBS tables:

The link to the “rest of India” is Badarpur, so we also give the stations between Badarpur and Bhairabi.:

In 1947, the terminus was at Lalaghat near the present station of Lalabazar.

Note the district HQ of Hailakandi. This was part of Sylhet district which, along with Karimganj sub-division, remained in India while the rest of the district went to East Pakistan.

Let us see if there will be an Aizawl Rajdhani.

You can trace the path of the new line from Bhairabi on this map:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Bairabi,+Mizoram/@24.1820813,92.5436294,14z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x374e03e98bcd8d27:0xaabba20e26eb562!8m2!3d24.1853491!4d92.5371264

Vice-Presidents of the US

As you know, Kamala Harris is the 49th Vice-President of the US (while Joseph Biden is the 46th President).

Here we see pictures of all 49 Veeps:

Many of the faces would be unfamiliar, unless they went on to become President.

This helps you to keep track:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_vice_presidents_of_the_United_States

Here is an expanded version of the above collage:

See the heading, which states that a woman of color

Would have been a slave until Andrew Johnson’s time (1865; he succeeded Lincoln as President)

Could not vote until Calvin Coolidge’s time as VP (1921-23)

Had to attend a segregated school until Richard Nixon’s time as VP (1953-61)

And could not have her own bank account until Spiro Agnew’s time (1969-73), when Nixon was President.

Though it should also be pointed that both of Ms Harris’s parents first came to the US in the 1950s and 60s.

Also note: Walter Mondale, who was Jimmy Carter’s deputy in 1977-81, died recently at the age of 93. Carter is the longest-lived President, who is now over 96.

The Carter-Mondale pair lived for over 40 years after their terms concluded in 1981.

Thomas Marshall, Woodrow Wilson’s deputy in 1913-21, was known for his dry sense of humour:

“Marshall was known for his quick wit and good sense of humor. On hearing of his nomination as vice president, he announced that he was not surprised, as “Indiana is the mother of Vice Presidents; home of more second-class men than any other state”. One of his favorite jokes, which he delivered in a speech before his departure for Washington, D.C., to become vice president, recounted a story of a man with two sons. One of the sons went to sea and drowned and the other was elected vice president; neither son was ever heard from again. On his election as vice president, he sent Woodrow Wilson a book, inscribed “From your only Vice”.”

The longest-lived Vice-President was John N Garner (1933-41) who lived to be almost 99. Levi Morton (1889-93) lived to be exactly 96.

Tail Piece: Walter Mondale was probably the only US Vice President to inaugurate a Winter Olympics (in 1980).

Cricketers Deaths-2020

There are two lists here.

First for Test players:

and then for others (including prominent limited-overs players, female players, domestic players and others connected with the game):

The most well-known Test players here include ED Weekes, JH Edrich, JR Reid, DM Jones and CPS Chauhan.

Some of the deaths were clearly linked to Covid, notably that of CPS Chauhan.

A point of interest is that JE Manners was the longest-lived first-class player at the time of his death at 105. Another centenarian Vasant Raiji passed away at 100. For a few months he was the longest living first-class player.

Rajinder Goel was one of the leading wicket-takers in Indian domestic cricket but was unfortunate to play at a time when there were too many established spinners competing for Test places.

“Chuni” Goswami had a good record in domestic cricket but he was better known for his soccer skills. He captained India to a rare gold medal in the Asian Games besides playing in the Rome Olympics.

Events on April 21

Many people in India an elsewhere will be celebrating the birthday of someone born in Austria on Apr 20, 1889. Instead, we now look at April 21.

April 21 is “Civil Service Day” in India.

Births:

1864: Max Weber, sociologist

1882: Percy Bridgman, physicist

1915: Anthony Quinn, actor

1922: Alistair Maclean, writer.

1926: Queen Elizabeth II

1945: S. Venkataraghavan, cricketer

Deaths:

1910: Mark Twain, writer

1946: John Maynard Keynes, economist

1971: Francois Duvalier, dictator of Haiti

2013: Shakuntala Devi, show business

2015: J. B. Patnaik, politician

Note: There was some speculation as to whether Queen Elizabeth would abdicate on her birthday following the death of Prince Philip. April 21 is her actual birthday, while it is an official celebration in June to make it a more convenient public holiday.

Who is Raghunath Chandorkar?

The name would not have been familiar even to sports writers in Mumbai until recently.

The basic information about his first-class career is here:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/player/raghunath-chandorkar-27863

Note that he has a younger brother, also a first-class cricketer, who is living at 87.

Now there is nothing remarkable about his cricket career (except perhaps that he played along with DB Deodhar and Vasant Raiji, the only other Indian f-c cricketers to cross 100).

In June 2020, he became India’s longest-living first class cricketer following the death of Vasant Raiji. Later in 2020 he celebrated his 100th birthday. Following the death of NZ player Alan Burgess in early 2021, Raghunath became the world’s oldest living first-class player.

This article seems to have the most recent picture of him:

https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/sports-news-raghunath-chandorkar-becomes-third-indian-cricketer-to-complete-a-century-of-birthdays/364928

This live link gives the list of all first-class players who lived to be over 100:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers

If he is still living a little more than a year from now he will become India’s longest-living f-c player (after Deodhar). By July 2026, he would have become the oldest such player from all countries, (after John Manners). On the way he would pass the record of N Gordon, the only Test player here who lived to be a little over 103.

He may not be fully aware of his and other’s records, as he has been a patient of Dr Alzheimer for some time. He lives in an old-age home in Mumbai.

Review of WI-SL Test series-April 2021-Part 1

The series was drawn 0-0. After this series, the overall Test table for matches between these teams was:

It is surprising that the West Indies have not won a single Test in Sri Lanka until now. Sri Lanka have won 2 in the West Indies.

We now look at individual performances:

Batting: 250 runs or more:

The most centuries are 5 by Lara followed with 3 by Sangakkara.

The most fifty-plus scores are 8 each by Sangakkara and Sarwan.

The most runs by a current player is only 479 by Chandimal.

Individual scores of 100 or more:

Again, current players do not have much presence here. The highest score in this series was 126 by Brathwaite, although Karunaratne had scored 186 in a previous series.

Best batting average (Min 15 innings, all cases:)

No current players here. The second position is a little surprising.

Best strike rate (Min 750 balls, 45.00):

No current players here either. The first two places are predictable.

Now for the bowling records:

Most wickets (10 or more):

The most 5-fors are 9 by Muralitharan (who else?), followed by 4 by Vaas.

Muralitharan (3) is the only one with more than one 10-for. Vaas, Herath and Gabriel have one apiece.

And naturally Muralitharan has by far the most wickets, followed by Vaas.

Best innings bowling (includes all cases of 6wi and above):

Nothing from this series, although Gabriel has 8-62 in 2018.

Best match bowling (8wm and above):

Again, the only notable performance by current players was in 2018 when Gabriel had 13-121.

Best bowling average (Minimum 1500 balls):

Roach is the only current player here.

The best bowling averages are by Vaas followed by Muralitharan.

The best economy rates are by Herath followed by Muralitharan

The best strike rates are by Herath followed by Muralitharan.

To be continued.

Highest scores in losing ODI chases

Fakhar Zaman made 193 in a losing ODI chase, thus making a new record.

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/pakistan-tour-of-south-africa-2021-1251556/south-africa-vs-pakistan-2nd-odi-1251573/full-scorecard

Here we look at the record high scores in unsuccessful ODI chases:

Until now the record was 175 by Tendulkar against Australia in 2009. Oddly enough, the previous highest score in this category for Pakistan was ALSO by Fakhar Zaman (138 v Eng in 2019).

From the above table you can see that India is well represented.

For India alone, the highest scores in unsuccessful ODI chases are: