Saturday, June 24, 2006

Most runs in one over in Test cricket

Munaf Patel has been the pick of Indian bowlers in the ongoing St. Kitts Test taking three wickets out of the five to fall in West Indies’ innings including the prized scalp of Brian Lara. But he entered the record books for wrong reasons on day two as he was carted for six consecutive fours in one single over by Ramnaresh Sarwan. This provided only the fifth instance in Test cricket history of a batsman hitting six boundaries in one over.
India's Sandeep Patil was the first batsman to perform this feat in Test cricket. Patil did so off the bowling of England’s Bob Willis at Manchester in 1982.One of the fours came off a no-ball (third ball of the over) with one ball not scored off.

New Zealand's Craig McMillan became the first batsman to hit a boundary of every ball of an over when he hit five fours and a six off Pakistan’s Younis Khan at Hamilton in 2000-01.

West Indies Brian Lara emulated McMillan by hitting South African Robin Peterson for four fours and two sixes at Johannesburg in 2003-04. Another West Indian Chris Gayle scored six consecutive fours of English paceman Matthew Hoggard at the Oval in 2004.

Sarwan, in fact, had the opportunity to have his name in a separate league of his own, but he missed it by failing to score off any runs of the seventh ball of Patel’s over, which was there as a gift as Patel had over-stepped while delivering the sixth ball of this dreadful over. Had he scored another boundary off this ball, Sarwan would have created a new world record of most number of runs and boundaries in one over.

Most boundary shots off consecutive balls in an over:

Craig McMillan (NZ) off Younis Khan (Pak) at Hamilton in 2000-01
Brian Lara (WI) off Robin Peterson (SA) at Johannesburg in 2003-04
Chris Gayle (WI) off Matthew Hoggard (Eng) at The Oval in 2004
Ramnaresh Sarwan (WI) off Munaf Patel (Ind) at St. Kitts in 2006

Denis Lindsay (SA) off Johnny Gleeson (Aus) at Port Elizabeth in 1969-70
Rodney Redmond (NZ) off Majid Khan (Pak) at Auckland in 1972-73
David Hookes (Aus) off Tony Greig (Eng) at Melbourne in 1976-77
Krish Srikkanth (Ind) off Bob Holland (Aus) at Sydney in 1985-86
Mohammad Azharuddin (Ind) off Lance Klusener (SA) at Calcutta in 1996-97
Marcus Trescothick (Eng) off Mkhaya Ntini (SA) at Birmingham in 2003

There have now been fourteen instances of 24 or more runs being scored off a single over. However only a few are simple and straightforward with most of the instances needing detailed explanations about questions of eight and six-ball overs, overs including extras, no-balls which at the time were not debited against the bowler and other such issues.

To make things plain and simple, let us limit ourselves to only those instances when 24 or more runs were scored in an over without any help from extras.The maximum runs scored in one eight ball over are 25. New Zealand's Bert Sutcliffe and Bob Blair hit South African spinner Hugh Tayfield for so many runs at Johannesburg in 1953-54.

Apart from Sarwan, ten other players have hit 24 runs in six-ball over. They are West Indian Andy Roberts, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle, Sandeep Patil and Kapil Dev of India, England's Ian Botham, New Zealand's Ian Smith and Craig McMillan and Pakistan's Yousuf Youhana and Shahid Afridi.

Most runs in a single over in Test cricket:

Eight-ball over
25 (66061600)
Bert Sutcliffe & Bob Blair (NZ) off Hugh Tayfield (SA) at Jo'burg in 1953-54
24 (2x6,3x4)
John Morrison (NZ) off Imran Khan (Pak) at Karachi in 1976-77

Six-ball over
28 (466444)
Brian Lara (WI) off Robin Peterson (SA) at Jo'burg in 2003-04
27 (666621)
Shahid Afridi (Pak) off Harbhajan Singh (Ind) at Lahore in 2005-06
26 (444464)
Craig McMillan (NZ) off Younis Khan (Pak) at Hamilton in 2000-01
24 (462660)
Andy Roberts (WI) off Ian Botham (Eng) at Port-of-Spain in 1980-81
24 (4440444)
Sandeep Patil (Ind) off Bob Willis (Eng) at Manchester in 1982
24 (464604)
Ian Botham (Eng) off Derek Stirling (NZ) at The Oval in 1986
24 (006666)
Kapil Dev (Ind) off Eddie Hemmings (Eng) at Lord's in 1990
24 (244266)
Ian Smith (NZ) off Atul Wassan (Ind) at Auckland in 1989-90
24 (444426)
Yousuf Youhana (Pak) off Nicky Boje (SA) at CapeTown in 2002-03
24 (444444)
Chris Gayle (WI) off Matthew Hoggard (Eng) at The Oval in 2004
24 (4444440)
Ramnaresh Sarwan (WI) off Munaf Patel (Ind) at St. Kitts in 2006

-A leg-bye came off Botham's last ball, thus 25 runs were made in the over.
-The third ball of Willis' over was a no-ball, however it was not debited against the bowler's analysis as per the rules prevailing at that time.
-The sixth ball of Munaf’s over was a no-ball.

There has been one more instance of 25 runs scored in one over. England's Andrew Caddick conceded so many runs in the Christchurch Test against New Zealand in 2001-02, but only 23 runs came off the bats of Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns. There was a dot ball in that over and Caddick bowled a no-ball off which one leg-bye was taken. As a result two runs were added to the total.

The world record for most runs in an over is held jointly by West Indian allrounder Garfield Sobers and Indian batsman Ravi Shastri, who both scored six consecutive sixes in first class matches.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Follow-on in Test cricket

When Rahul Dravid asked West Indies to bat again after bundling out the hosts for a paltry 215 and gaining a first innings lead of 373, it provided only the 25th instance of an Indian captain enforcing the follow-on on the opposition.

Overall it was the 269th instance of a side enforcing the follow-on in Test cricket. England have imposed this ignominy on most number of occasions on the opponents -91, followed by Australia (66), West Indies (30) and India (25).

England, however, have also been at the receiving end on most number of occasions – 51 times, followed by Australia and New Zealand (39 apiece), South Africa (37) and India (28).

Australia are the only country to lose a Test after asking opposition to follow-on. They lost by 10 runs at Sydney in 1894-95 and at Leeds by 18 runs in 1981 – both times to England and then to India at Kolkata in 2000-01 by 171 runs.

Coming back to India, there is a great disparity in India’s performance at home and abroad wrt enforcing the follow-on. At home India have enforced the follow-on 18 times, winning 12 and drawing 6. In seven instances India have won 3 and drawn 3.The break-up of AWAY instances - two in England (at The Oval in 1990 and Leeds in 2002), one in West Indies (at Kingston in 1970-71), one in Australia (at Sydney in 1985-86), one in Pakistan (at Multan in 2003-04) and one in Bangladesh (at Chittagong in 2004-05).

Out of 24 previous instances of enforcing the follow-on, India managed a lead of 300-plus five times (winning four and drawing one), between 250 and 300 five times (winning four and drawing one) and less than 250 fourteen times (winning seven and drawing seven). 8 wins in 10 games where India enforced the follow-on after gaining a lead of 250 is a high success rate by any yardstick.

The two draws managed by the opposition despite India getting a first innings lead of 250 or more came at Delhi in 1978-79 when India did not have sufficient time at their disposal to dismiss the West Indies second time in the match (more than seven hours was lost due to rain) and at the Oval when England fought hard to score 477-4 in a high scoring match. On all other eight occasions India did not even need to bat again in the match and won quite comfortably by innings margin.

With Chris Gayle- top-scorer in three innings for West Indies in this series – already back in the pavilion and two days to go in the Test on a pitch of variable bounce, it will need a miraculous innings from Lara or some divine help for West Indies to earn a draw from here onwards.