Players who score big when they go past 100 February 7, 2007

Sangakkara's appetite for the huge hundred

The List looks at the batsmen who score really big when they pass hundred and those who have a higher average in innings below three-figures



Four of Kumar Sangakkara's 12 centuries have been double-hundreds © Getty Images

One of our readers, John Melville, wrote in with an idea last week - ranking batsmen by their non-century average. We took it a little further and explored which batsmen score really big when they pass hundred and which ones have a higher average in innings below three-figures. The not-outs skewed the averages in favour of players with unbeaten hundreds, so we decided to look at both the conventional average and the runs-per-innings figure, which simply divides the total runs scored by the total number of innings batted (without excluding not-outs).

Andy Flower has a skyscraper for an average in the innings in which he's passed 100. He remained unbeaten seven times in 12 centuries (no doubt he ran out of partners) and has a century-average of 340. Look deeper and you'll find he hit only one double-hundred and passed 150 just thrice. He left Don Bradman trailing in his wake as well. Bradman is ninth with an average of 234.47 because only six of his hundreds were not-outs. In the runs-per-innings table, though, Bradman leads the way with 185.96, thanks to ten double-hundreds, two triple-centuries, and six scores between 150 and 199.

Highest runs per innings when making a century - Tests (qualification: 10 tons)
Player Span Inns NO Runs HS RPI
DG Bradman (Aus) 1928-1948 29 6 5393 334 185.96
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 1969-1985 12 2 2158 274 179.83
KC Sangakkara (SL) 2000-2006 12 4 2128 287 177.33
V Sehwag (India) 2001-2007 12 0 2119 309 176.58
BC Lara (WI) 1990-2006 34 2 5889 400* 173.20
DL Amiss (Eng) 1966-1977 11 3 1879 262* 170.81
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1991-2006 14 0 2356 340 168.28
WR Hammond (Eng) 1927-1947 22 7 3685 336* 167.50
RB Simpson (Aus) 1957-1978 10 0 1646 311 164.60
GC Smith (SA) 2002-2007 11 1 1782 277 162.00

Click here for the one-day tables.

One player who is ranked high in both tables is Kumar Sangakkara. He averages 266 when he passes 100 in spite of having only four not-outs in 12 innings. He's passed 200 four times and has three scores between 150 and 199 as well. His runs per innings of 177.33 is only eight less than the Don. After a string of centuries that read 230, 270, 232, 138, 157 not out, 185 and 287, Sangakkara's last two hundreds were unbeaten scores of 100 and 156. If he'd been allowed to continue, you can bet that he'd have piled on a lot more.

Two batsmen with similar batting styles - a lazy stylishness that was extremely easy on the eye - appear on the list for lowest runs per innings. Mark Waugh hit 20 hundreds but never made more than 153 each time giving him an average of 120.6. Damien Martyn also managed a highest of only 165 in 13 centuries with only two undefeated centuries.

Lowest average when making a century - Tests (qualification: 10 tons)
Player Span Inns NO Runs HS Ave
AJ Strauss (Eng) 2004-2007 10 0 1265 147 126.50
MA Atherton (Eng) 1989-2001 16 1 2034 185* 135.60
Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak) 1959-1979 10 1 1232 201 136.88
MJ Slater (Aus) 1993-2001 14 0 1917 219 136.92
WM Lawry (Aus) 1961-1971 13 0 1794 210 138.00
MC Cowdrey (Eng) 1954-1975 22 2 2778 182 138.90
CL Walcott (WI) 1948-1960 15 1 2000 220 142.85
DR Martyn (Aus) 1992-2006 13 2 1594 165 144.90
ME Trescothick (Eng) 2000-2006 14 0 2032 219 145.14
AI Kallicharran (WI) 1972-1981 12 2 1467 187 146.70

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Viv Richards heads the ODI table for highest runs-per-innings with 1486 runs accumulated through 11 centuries. His performance is further highlighted when we look at the batsmen below him, all of whom played the bulk of their cricket in the 1990s and the 2000s, when conditions became significantly more batsman-friendly.

Andrew Symonds is second in the table with 657 runs from five hundreds. The fact that three of them were unbeaten elevates him to No 5 on the averages list as well. Take a look at the six names that follow him: all left-handers. Mere coincidence or is it QED that lefties have a bigger appetite for large scores?

Highest runs per innings when making a century - ODIs (qualification: 5 tons)
Player Span Inns NO Runs HS RPI
IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 11 6 1486 189* 135.09
A Symonds (Aus) 1998-2007 5 3 657 156 131.40
CH Gayle (WI) 1999-2007 15 6 1881 153* 125.40
SC Ganguly (India) 1992-2007 22 10 2731 183 124.13
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 1989-2007 23 5 2848 189 123.82
S Chanderpaul (WI) 1994-2007 5 3 617 150 123.40
BC Lara (WI) 1990-2007 19 4 2335 169 122.89
AC Gilchrist (Aus) 1996-2007 14 1 1708 172 122.00
GA Gooch (Eng) 1976-1995 8 3 974 142 121.75
DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1994 17 11 2067 152* 121.58

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Michael Bevan's low position in the batting order meant that opportunities to score a hundred were rare and the chance to score a huge century, rarer. It explains why Bevan's runs-per-innings - 104.50 - when he scored a hundred is the second lowest among all batsmen. To his credit, Bevan has the highest average for innings without a century. He averages a massive 49.88 excluding his hundreds and has remained not-out a staggering 64 times. Dean Jones in second place is a distant nine runs behind.

Highest average when not making a century - ODIs (qualification: 5 tons)
Player Span Inns NO Runs HS Ave
MG Bevan (Aus) 1994-2004 190 64 6285 87* 49.88
DM Jones (Aus) 1984-1994 154 23 5271 99* 40.23
IVA Richards (WI) 1975-1991 156 18 5235 98 37.93
Javed Miandad (Pak) 1975-1996 210 36 6502 91* 37.36
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 1974-1985 53 5 1793 97 37.35
JH Kallis (Afr/ICC/SA) 1996-2007 218 34 6871 98* 37.34
DR Martyn (Aus) 1992-2006 177 47 4781 95* 36.77
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Asia/Pak) 1991-2007 333 47 10428 91* 36.46
CG Greenidge (WI) 1975-1991 116 8 3936 98* 36.44
ML Hayden (Aus/ICC) 1993-2007 119 13 3811 99 35.95

Click here for the one-day tables.

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo. Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.

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