Bairstow's blues

Nervous nineties! England’s Jonny Bairstow is dejected after being adjudged out, leg before, for 99 in the fourth Test against South Africa at Old Trafford. He, thus, became only the third wicketkeeper in Test history to be dismissed one short of a century.   -  AP

99

The runs scored by England’s Jonny Bairstow in the first innings of the Old Trafford Test against South Africa. He, thus, became only the third wicketkeeper in Test cricket history to be dismissed one short of a century. The others are: Brendon McCullum of New Zealand, against Sri Lanka in Napier in April 2005, and M.S. Dhoni of India, against England in Nagpur in December 2012.

9

The number of occasions a player has made 250-plus runs and also claimed 25-plus wickets in a Test series. England’s Moeen Ali, in the recent series against South Africa, became the eighth player to achieve this. He is the first player in Test history to do so in a four-match series, while the others have done it in either six- or five-match series. Ian Botham, the only other England player in the list, has the distinction of doing it twice!

32

The number of Tests Ravindra Jadeja took to claim his 150th wicket. In the Colombo SSC Test, he became the quickest among left-arm bowlers to reach the landmark. The previous quickest was Australian pace bowler Mitchell Johnson, who reached the mark in 34 Tests in March 2010. For the record, among all Indian bowlers, only R. Ashwin has done it quicker, in 29 Tests in November 2015.

2

The number of Test hundreds scored by Dimuth Karunaratne (141 against India at SSC) for Sri Lanka while following on. He had also made 152 in Christchurch in December 2014 when Sri Lanka had to follow on. Among Asians, only Indians (Vijay Hazare and V.V.S. Laxman) have managed two centuries while following on in Tests.

50

The number of catches held by Ajinkya Rahane in Test cricket. In the second Test in Colombo (SSC), he became the 14th Indian to reach the landmark. By doing so in his 39th Test, Rahane is the second quickest Indian fielder to take 50 catches, behind Eknath Solkar, who achieved the mark in a record 26 Test matches.

3

The number of Test wins for India at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo — the joint most with Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, the other foreign ground with most wins for India in Tests. Incidentally, Colombo as a city has seen maximum Indian Test victories — five (three at the SSC and two at the P. Sara Oval). 

4

The number of Man of the Match awards won by Ravindra Jadeja in Tests, in the last 12 months. It is the most for any player in the last one year. India skipper Virat Kohli and Moeen Ali of England have three awards each during this period.

This week in 1938

August 24

England defeat Australia by an innings and 579 runs in the Ashes Test at The Oval, London. It still remains the biggest ever margin of victory in Test cricket history. Unfortunately for the visiting side, both Don Bradman and Jack Fingleton did not bat in either innings due to a foot injury and a muscle-strain respectively.

 

Queries corner

In the recent women’s World Cup final against England, Punam Raut made 86. Is this the highest individual score made in a women’s World Cup final?

Punam Raut’s 86 is now the third highest individual score in a women’s World Cup final. The top two scores have been by two Australians: Karen Rolton, who made an unbeaten 107 against India at Centurion in April 2005, and Belinda Clark, who scored 91 against New Zealand in Lincoln in December 2000.

In the second Test in Colombo (SSC), Malinda Pushpakumara, making his debut for Sri Lanka, was sent in as a nightwatchman. Has any Indian debutant been sent in as a nightwatchman?

Out of the 289 players who have made their debut for India in Tests so far, only one Indian debutant was sent in as a nightwatchman. That distinction goes to left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju, who was sent in at No. 5 just before the close on the second day, against New Zealand in Christchurch in February 1990. He was unbeaten on 7. The next day, he managed to reach 31 in two hours and 15 minutes, while facing 83 balls (2 fours). However, it should also be noted that Baqa Jilani on debut, in The Oval Test in 1936 against England, was sent in as a nightwatchman at No. 5 after he had batted at No. 10 in the first innings. Baqa had a first-class century to his credit against Leicestershire during the same tour.

Has any Indian Test batsman missed a century by one run because of a run-out?

Yes. The two unfortunate Indian batsmen are M. L. Jaisimha and M. S. Dhoni. The former did so while opening the batting against Pakistan in Kanpur in December 1960. He, in fact, batted for 505 minutes for his 99 before being run out to a throw from bowler Nasim-ul-Ghani.

Dhoni was the captain when he was run out on 99 by England skipper Alastair Cook via a direct throw from mid-off in Nagpur in December 2012. His knock came in 398 minutes off 246 balls. Incidentally, both the Tests were drawn!

Is Joe Root the youngest batsman to reach 5000 Test runs?

Joe Root is the third youngest to achieve the landmark in Tests at 26 years, 217 days. He is, in fact, not even the youngest to do so for England. That distinction goes to Alastair Cook, who was 26 years, 10 days when he reached 5000th run in Tests, in January 2011. However, the youngest ever is Sachin Tendulkar, who was 25 years, 301 days when he reached the milestone in February 1999.

Is Mumbai’s 41 National cricket titles the maximum by any domestic side anywhere in the world?

Mumbai (Bombay until 1995-96) winning 41 Ranji Trophy — the Indian first-class domestic cricket championships — titles since its first victory in the inaugural edition in 1934-35 is tremendous. Such has been its dominance that the next side with most titles is Karnataka, which has managed to win just 8. However, the world record is currently held by the New South Wales side, which has won the Australian domestic first-class competition (Sheffield Shield/and for some seasons also known as Pura Milk Cup) for a record 46 times!

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