Trivia - batting December 18, 2007

The Monopolists

Some of the more intriguing Test records cannot be found by looking at traditional scorecards

Some of the more intriguing Test records cannot be found by looking at traditional scorecards. Hat-tricks are a prime example, but there are endless possibilities. I recently came across a case, at The Oval in 1886, of WG Grace scoring 60 runs while his batting partner, W Scotton, remained scoreless, stuck on 21. I wondered, what is the greatest number of runs scored while one batsman remained scoreless? I knew of one example greater than Grace: in his legendary 232 at Trent Bridge in 1938, Stan McCabe scored the last 66 runs of the Australian innings, while batting with Chuck Fleetwood-Smith.

Are there any modern parallels? This is where Cricinfo’s ball-by-ball archive, with more than 400 Tests since 1999, comes in. Make a suitable database out this archive and it can be searched for feats like this.

It’s not as simple as it sounds, but some results are in. Bear in mind also that the archive was set up more as a detailed commentary than an “official” statistical source, and contains gaps. Anyway, here are some results for extreme domination of scoring.

Monopolising scoring in Tests since 1999
Batsman (Total score) Runs Incl extras Scoreless partner (s) Versus Venue & year
Mohammad Yousuf (112) 67 74 Moin Khan, Mohammad Sami,
Saqlain Mushtaq, Shoaib Akhtar
India Multan, 2004
Adam Gilchrist (138*) 65 69 Shane Warne, Brett Lee,
Jason Gillespie, Glenn McGrath
South Africa Cape Town, 2002
Kumar Sangakkara (100*) 64 66 Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan New Zealand Christchurch, 2006
Sanath Jayasuriya (253) 58 70 Dilhara Fernando Pakistan Faisalabad, 2004
Andy Flower (183*) 56 63 Henry Olonga India Delhi, 2000
Tatenda Taibu (153) 52 54 Douglas Hondo Bangladesh Dhaka, 2005
Justin Langer (123) 51 56 Matthew Hayden New Zealand Hobart, 2001
Tapash Baisya (66) 51 51 Mohammad Rafique, Enamul Haque jr New Zealand Chittagong, 2004

Mohammad Yousuf went from 23 to 90 in 22 overs in that Multan Test, and saw three wickets fall while his partners added nothing, so that edges out McCabe as the most extreme case. McCabe, though, totally monopolised the scoring; there were no extras. Fleetwood-Smith still holds the record for watching his partner score while not scoring himself, although the total of 66 runs was exceeded by Dilhara Fernando if you include extras.

Perhaps the most remarkable example is the Langer-Hayden case, given that Hayden is normally such a heavy hitter. To find a more extreme example of one recognised batsman outscoring another, you have to go back to WG in that Oval Test of 1886. (Langer, incidentally, was the first batsman to reach a half-century in the first 10 overs of a Test match, a feat since emulated by Marcus Trescothick).

Readers who know of (or suspect) other extreme cases are invited to suggest them.