First ball, first strike

Suranga Lakmal... the only Sri Lankan bowler to dismiss a batsman off the first ball of a Test on two occasions.   -  K. R. Deepak

 8

The number of times visiting captains have sent the home team, India, in to bat after winning the toss. The last time it happened before the Kolkata Test against Sri Lanka was 16 years ago, in February 2001, when Steve Waugh put India in to bat at the Wankhede Stadium.

Visiting sides sending home side to bat after winning toss in India

Visiting side

Visiting captain

India’s 1st inns total

Venue

Date

Result

Australia

Bill Lawry

212 in 96.4 overs

Kolkata

12 Dec 1969

Aus won by 10 wickets

West Indies

Alvin Kallicharran

424 in 137 overs

Mumbai WS

1 Dec 1978

Match drawn

England

Keith Fletcher

481/4d in 152.1 overs

Chennai

13 Jan 1982

Match drawn

Pakistan

Imran Khan

403 in 118 overs

Kolkata

11 Feb 1987

Match drawn

Sri Lanka

Arjuna Ranatunga

512 in 162.1 overs

Mumbai WS

3 Dec 1997

Match drawn

New Zealand

Stephen Fleming

83 in 27 overs

Mohali

10 Oct 1999

Match drawn

Australia

Steven Waugh

175 in 71.3 overs

Mumbai WS

27 Feb 2001

Aus won by 10 wickets

Sri Lanka

Dinesh Chandimal

172 in 59.3 overs

Kolkata

16 Nov 2017

Drawn

 

31

The number of instances when a wicket fell off the very first ball of a Test match. The latest instance happened on the opening day of the Kolkata Test, when Sri Lankan pace bowler Suranga Lakmal claimed the wicket of L. Rahul, off the very first ball of the match. Incidentally, Australian Arthur Coningham was the first bowler to achieve this, 122 years ago, on December 29, 1894. He did so against England in the Ashes series of 1894-95, when he claimed the wicket of Archie MacLaren. It was not only the first ball of the match, but also Coningham’s first ball he delivered on his Test debut!

2

The number of instances when Sri Lankan bowlers have managed to claim a wicket off the very first ball of the match. And on both occasions, it was Suranga Lakmal, who now has the distinction of being the only Sri Lankan bowler to do so, not once but twice! Nearly seven years ago, on December 1, 2010, he had also claimed West Indian Chris Gayle at Pallekele off the first ball of the match. Incidentally, it was the first ever delivery to be bowled in a Test match at Pallekele!

6

The number of Indian batsmen dismissed off the first ball of a Test match. For the record, Sunil Gavaskar has been dismissed so thrice! The table below has the details:

Indian openers dismissed first ball of the match

Indian opener

dismissal

Bowler

Opponent

Venue

Date

Result

Sunil Gavaskar

c Alan Knott+

Geoff Arnold

England

Birmingham

4 July 1974

Lost

Sudhir Naik

c Deryck Murray+

Andy Roberts

West Indies

Kolkata

27 Dec 1974

Won

Sunil Gavaskar

c Jeffery Dujon+

Malcolm Marshall

West Indies

Kolkata

10 Dec 1983

Lost

Sunil Gavaskar

c Javed Miandad

Imran Khan

Pakistan

Jaipur

21 Feb 1987

Drawn

Woorkeri Raman

lbw

Richard Hadlee

New Zealand

Napier

#10 Feb 1990

Drawn

Shiv Sundar Das

bowled

Merv Dillon

West Indies

Bridgetown

2 May 2002

Lost

Wasim Jaffer

bowled

Mashrafe Mortaza

Bangladesh

ChittagongDS

18 May 2007

Drawn

Lokesh Rahul

c Niroshan Dickwella+

Suranga Lakmal

Sri Lanka

Kolkata

16 Nov 2017

Drawn

+ wicket-keeper

# on 2 day. No play on 1 day!

Gavaskar and Bangladeshi Hannan Sarkar have done it most times – on three occasions!

Both Wasim Jaffer and L Rahul were dismissed off the very first ball of the series!

Lokesh Rahul previous seven innings in Tests since March 2017 before this first ball duck: 90, 51; 67; 60, 51*; 57; 85

THIS WEEK IN 1979

27 November

The first ever floodlit one-day international was played at the Sydney Cricket ground, between Australia and the West Indies. The Australia captain, Greg Chappell (74 not out), became the first batsman to score a fifty under lights, as the home team won by five wickets, with 17 balls to spare!

 

Queries Corner

Recently, an Afghan batsman made a double century on his first-class debut. Can you provide the details?

 — S. Rajan, Nagpur

He is Baheer Shah, an 18-year-old right-hand batsman who made an unbeaten 256 for his side Speen Ghar Region against Amo Region at Gazi Amanullah Khan Town while batting at No. 3, on October 21, 2017. The knock helped his side amass a huge total of 635-5 declared, and win by an innings and 46 runs. His 256 not out is now the second highest individual score by any first-class batsman on debut. Only Mumbai’s Amol Muzumdar — 260 against Haryana in Faridabad in Feb 1994 — has a higher score on debut.

When was the last time we had a four-day Test match?

 — Kiran Vartak, Nashik

I think you mean a four-day scheduled Test match. If so, the last one was held way back in February (16, 17, 18, 19) 1973, when New Zealand played Pakistan in Auckland. The match was drawn! The details of the Test are given below:

Pak

402 (117.5 ov)

Majid Khan 110; Bruce Taylor 4/86

NZ

402 (90.6 ov)

Brain Hastings 110, Rodney Redmond 107; Intikhab Alam 6/127

Pak

271 (78.7 ov)

Mushtaq Mohammad 52; Hedley Howarth 3/99

NZ

92/3 (24 ov)

Rodney Redmond 56, Wasim Raja 3/32

Toss: Pakistan

Note: is was an 8 ball over Test match!

Virat Kohli, despite his excellent form with the bat in all formats this year, has also quite a number of ducks. Is this unusual? 

— Arjun Marwah, Surat

In the Kolkata Test, Virat Kohli registered his fifth duck in all formats in 2017. But he also has 2312 runs @ an average of 60.84, with nine centuries in 2017. This is now the most ducks he has recorded in a single calendar year. In 2011, he had made four ducks across formats. Kohli’s mixed form is not unusual. In 2006, Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene had aggregated 2179 runs in 50 matches, but also had seven ducks during the year. Also, Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf in 2000 made exactly 2000 runs but also had six ducks!

Virat Kohli, for the second successive year, has managed to aggregate 2000 runs in all international formats. Is he the only Indian to do this?

 — Ajay Pandit, Delhi

Virat Kohli has made over 2000 international runs in both 2016 (2595 runs) and 2017 (2312 runs), and also in 2012 and 2014. But he is only the second Indian batsman to register 2000 international runs in successive calendar years after Sachin Tendulkar, who made 2000+ runs in 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2007.

Note: All figures above are updated as on November 20, 2017.

Readers may send in their queries to [email protected]