Kennington Oval’s milestone

Moeen Ali (centre) of England celebrates with team-mates after completing a hat-trick against South Africa in the third Test at The Oval.   -  AP


The number of Tests played at the Kennington Oval in London. The ground, which hosted the inaugural Test in England in 1880, became only the fourth venue to stage 100 or more Test matches. The other grounds are: Lord’s in London (134 Tests since 1884), the Melbourne Cricket Ground (109 Tests since 1877) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (105 Tests since 1882).


The number of England bowlers who have claimed a hat-trick in Test cricket. At The Oval, against South Africa, Moeen Ali’s hat-trick was the 14th by an England bowler in Tests. Stuart Broad is the only England bowler to do it twice.


The number of occasions England spinners have claimed a Test hat-trick before Moeen Ali: Billy Bates at the MCG in January 1883, Johnny Briggs at the SCG in February 1892 and Tom Goddard at the Old Wanderers, Johannesburg, in December 1938. The list now includes three off-spinners and one left-arm spinner (Briggs!).


The number of Test hat-tricks at The Oval. The other English venues to witness hat-tricks in Tests are: Headingley (Leeds) and Old Trafford (Manchester) with three hat-tricks each, Lord’s (London) and Trent Bridge (Nottingham) with one each. For the record, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has seen the maximum Test hat-tricks — five!


The number of golden ducks (a batsman dismissed the first ball) in South Africa’s second innings at The Oval. The victims are: skipper Faf du Plessis, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel. This is the first such instance in Test cricket where four batsmen were dismissed the ‘first ball’ in the same innings. There have been 13 other instances recorded in Test cricket, where three batsmen have been dismissed for a golden duck in the same innings. The last occasion was in Nottingham in July 2011, when India’s Abhinav Mukund, Harbhajan Singh and Praveen Kumar were dismissed off the first ball they faced.


The number of Test matches Ravichandran Ashwin required to become the 15th all-rounder in history to do the double of 2000 runs and 250 wickets in Colombo (SSC) recently. The other Indians who achieved this feat are: Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.

This is the fewest Tests taken by any all-rounder to reach the landmark. The previous record holder was Richard Hadlee (New Zealand), who achieved the double in his 54th Test, in March 1985 at Port of Spain.


The number of occasions India has managed to register 600-plus totals in Tests since 2000. The next best: Sri Lanka, 11 times.


The number of occasions six Indian batsmen have made 50-plus scores in the same innings of a Test match. However, the recent Colombo (SSC) Test was the only second occasion when India managed to achieve this in an away match after The Oval Test in 2007.


August 14: At 17 years and 112 days, India’s Sachin Tendulkar became the second youngest player to score a Test hundred — after Pakistan’s Mushtaq Mohammad — when he made an unbeaten 119 against England in Manchester. He still remains the youngest to register a three-figure Test score in England.


Q & A

How many teams have won Test matches in all 10 Test-playing countries?

Only five teams — Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, India and Pakistan — have managed a Test win in every Test-playing country. Surprisingly, England has not won in Zimbabwe, West Indies has not won in Sri Lanka, and Sri Lanka has not won in Australia and India.

Who is the bowler who has dismissed the maximum number of batsmen for a duck in Test cricket?

Glenn McGrath of Australia. He claimed 563 wickets in his Test career and 104 of them have been of batsmen who failed to open their account. For the record, McGrath has managed to take the wickets of Michael Atherton, Rahul Dravid, Sherwin Campbell and Merv Dillon for ducks on three separate occasions!

When did T20 cricket actually begin?

It began on an experimental basis in the early part of this millennium. But the first official game began in England on June 13, 2003 with the first ever Twenty20 Cup tournament that was played among the English County sides.

Is it true that a Ranji Trophy match was completed in a single day?

Yes. The inaugural three-day Ranji Trophy match that began on November 4, 1934, between Madras (now Tamil Nadu) and Mysore (now Karnataka) was completed on the opening day itself, when 30 wickets fell at the Madras Cricket Club Ground at Chepauk (now the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium). Put in to bat, Mysore was dismissed for 48 in 27.2 overs. In reply, the home team made 130 in 43 overs. Facing a deficit of 82, the visiting side could just manage 59 in 30.3 overs and lost the match by an innings and 23 runs. In just 100.5 overs, the sides could manage only 237 runs for the loss of 30 wickets — all this happening on the opening day itself!

Who is the first bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODI cricket?

That distinction goes to the Australian paceman, Dennis Lillee. During the 1983 World Cup, Lillee became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in ODI cricket. He achieved the feat on June 9, 1983 against Zimbabwe at Trent Bridge. It was the Aussie’s 60th ODI.

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