Nought quite the perfect end
Sourav Ganguly's duck in the second innings of the Nagpur Test against Australia drew comparisons with Sir Donald Bradman. Cricinfo zeroes in on XI big names who faltered in the last act.
Paynter's Test record was most impressive: he played 20 Tests for England, scoring 1540 runs at 59.23 - and averaged 84.42 in his seven Tests against Australia. He was at the crease when England stormed to an eight-wicket victory inside three days against West Indies in the first Test at Lord's in 1939. But in the second Test at his home ground, Old Trafford, where he made his debut, he fell for zero in his final innings. Having managed nine runs in the previous innings, Paynter was out caught by Gerry Gomez off Manny Martindale. With the war, down came the curtains on a wonderful career. His final first-class innings was an unbeaten 75 for a Commonwealth XI against the Bombay Governor's XI in 1950-51.
In 78 previous innings he had made only three ducks, but a cruel fate awaited Stackpole at Eden Park in Auckland as he fell for no score in both innings of the third and final Test between New Zealand and Australia in 1973-74. He was caught by John Parker off the first ball of the Test, bowled by Richard Hadlee. And then in the second innings he was snapped up by Bev Congdon off Richard Collinge, having lasted just nine balls. Though Australia won by a huge 297-run margin to end the series at 1-1, Stackpole, who had a miserable tour, called it quits after his return home.
Majid also holds the dubious distinction of a duck in his first Test innings: coming in to bat at No. 8, he was out lbw to Johnny Martin in the one-off Test match between Pakistan and Australia in Karachi in 1964-65. There was no looking back from then, though, as he went on to score nearly 4000 runs from 63 matches, forming a highly successful opening partnership with Sadiq Mohammad. Majid was not picked for the first four matches of the series against India in 1982-83, but made it to the XI for the fifth Test in Lahore. Pakistan had already wrapped up the series and the only pressure seemed to be on Majid to come up with the goods. In the first innings Kapil Dev had him caught by Syed Kirmani for zero, and there would be no second chance for Majid as the fourth and fifth days were washed out due to rain - enough reason not to get him a place for the last Test, in Karachi.
Mulvantrai Himmatlal Mankad was the only man apart from Syd Gregory and Wilfred Rhodes to have batted in every position from No. 1 to No. 11 in Tests. And he was far from his successful opener's slot - where he scored 231, and put on a then-record 413 with Pankaj Roy for the first wicket against New Zealand in Madras - in his last match, in 1958-59. Coming down the order at No. 8 in the fifth and final Test against West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi, he became Roy Gilchrist's fourth victim in the first innings. He was then clean bowled by Collie Smith for a duck in the second after having been promoted to No. 6. The game was a draw, but that meant little as West Indies had already grabbed a 3-0 lead in the series going in to the Test.
Hughes tearfully stepped down as captain following Australia's defeat in the second Test against West Indies in Brisbane in 1984-85, to finish with four wins, 13 losses and 11 draws in a disappointing tenure at the helm. In the fourth Test at the MCG - which also marked the debut of Craig McDermott - Hughes was out for a golden duck. He was dismissed by Courtney Walsh in the first innings, caught behind by Jeff Dujon. If Hughes lasted two balls against Walsh, Joel Garner went one better, trapping him leg-before off the first delivery he faced in the second innings. West Indies, though, failed to complete their 12th Test win on the trot. Hughes lost his place for the final Test in Sydney, and after he was left out of the Ashes tour of 1985, he led the rebel tour side to South Africa, followed by undistinguished stints with Western Australia and Natal.
Greig first lost the England captaincy after secretly helping Kerry Packer put together the World Series of Cricket. But surprisingly he found himself included in the Ashes squad in 1977, under the leadership of Mike Brearley. A dramatic 91 at Lord's was the highlight of an otherwise quiet series. Brearley convinced the selectors to keep their faith in Greig for the last Test at The Oval and requested that he received a share of any bonus due to the team. The match, in which Kim Hughes made his debut, also witnessed Greig being caught by Ray Bright off Mick Malone in his last Test innings. That was Malone's first and last Test as well, as he teamed up with Greig in the WSC immediately after the match.
Hookes hit Tony Greig for five consecutive boundaries in his debut match, the Centenary Test at the MCG in 1977, but failed to repeat the heroics on the same ground against India in 1985-86. He was back in the team after 18 months, despite a drab series in the West Indies and low-key performances in the series loss to New Zealand just before the India series. Hookes followed up his 34 in the first Test in Adelaide with 42 in the first innings in Melbourne. He was, however, undone by Ravi Shastri, first ball the second time around, holing out to Kris Srikkanth. The Test also saw the debut of Steve Waugh - a clear indication of things to come, as Australia embarked on a selection policy of sticking to youth while passing over older players with inconsistent records.
"Barnacle" kept his place in England's Ashes tour party in 1958-59 despite forgettable performances at home in his two previous series, against West Indies and New Zealand. But his characteristic resolute defence failed him throughout in Australia and by the fifth Test, in Melbourne, the Ashes had already returned to the hosts. Opening the innings with Peter Richardson in the first innings, Bailey succumbed to Ray Lindwall's first ball, caught by Alan Davidson. A second duck followed when Lindwall sneaked through his defences, clean bowling him. Australia won by nine wickets and the English returned home, comprehensively thrashed 0-4, memories of Bailey's seven-and-a-half hour marathon for 68 in Brisbane still fresh in their minds.
Whatmore was picked for the Australian squad to tour India in 1979-80 - the final campaign before the Australian Cricket Board of Control and World Series Cricket called for a truce - after impressing with Victoria in the Sheffield Shield. He showed promise, with two fifties in the fourth Test in Delhi. Australia arrived in Mumbai for the sixth and final Test 0-1 down and looking to level the series. On a grassless Wankhede pitch, it was not the best of starts for Whatmore in what was to be his last Test: he fell leg-before to Dilip Doshi in the first innings for 6 and then was trapped in front by Kapil Dev in the second innings, lasting just the two balls. Australia went on to lose by an innings and 100 runs, handing India a series win against them for the first time.
Mahanama was one of the key players in Whatmore's Sri Lanka team that won the 1996 World Cup. In March 1998, though, the world-record partnership with Sanath Jayasuriya two years ago, had been forgotten thanks to lacklustre performances in India and at home against Zimbabwe. The pressure was definitely on Mahanama as Sri Lanka packed their bags for South Africa. He managed 9 and 11 in the first Test in Cape Town, and in the first innings in Centurion scored a cautious 50 as Sri Lanka managed a 103-run lead. But Allan Donald picked up 5 for 54 in the second innings; his victims included Sanath Jayasuriya, who played on to become Donald's 200 Test and 1000th first-class wicket. Mahanama fell the very next ball, trapped lbw. Sri Lanka lost the match and the series 0-2.
It was also Ramiz's last match as Pakistan captain. Fresh off a fifty in the drawn first Test at the Premadasa in Colombo in 1996-97, Ramiz was looking to lead Pakistan to a series win against Sri Lanka at the SSC. He scored 36 in the first innings but Pakistan couldn't prevent Sri Lanka from taking a lead. And once the hosts set a massive 426-run target, the going was always going to be tough for Pakistan. The start to the chase, late on the fourth day, wasn't the best. Ramiz edged Chaminda Vaas to Romesh Kaluwitharana behind the stumps off the fourth ball of the innings. However, a polished 155 from Saleem Malik ensured a draw. Incidentally he failed to get off the mark in his last ODI innings as well, against India in the fifth match of the 1997 Sahara Cup in Toronto, where he was bowled by Sourav Ganguly first ball.
Judhajit Basu is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo