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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

They did all right without hundreds

Misbah-ul-Haq and Angelo Mathews have among the best averages for batsmen without a century

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

September 13, 2011

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Misbah-ul-Haq provided the finishing touches with a run-a-ball 43, West Indies v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Gros Islet, April 25, 2011
Misbah-ul-Haq: an ODI average of 43 and plenty of fifties, but no century yet © AFP
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Ricky Ponting averages nearly 43 in one-day internationals; he has scored 30 hundreds. Sourav Ganguly averaged 41 in ODIs; he scored 22 hundreds. Pakistan's captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, averages 43 after 70 innings in 80 matches, but hasn't scored a century yet. This week's column is about batsmen who maintained acceptable averages without scoring a hundred.

Misbah's average is the highest among batsmen who have played at least 20 ODI innings and not scored a hundred. He has 17 half-centuries and the closest he got to a century was an unbeaten 93 against New Zealand in Napier.

Ian Chappell had an ODI average of 48, though he did not score a century. He played only 16 matches and made eight half-centuries: his best was 86 against New Zealand in Christchurch. He ended his career with four consecutive innings of 60 or more in his last five matches.

A couple of batsmen in the table below played more matches than Misbah and finished their careers without a century. Graham Thorpe averaged 37 with 21 fifties during an 82-ODI career but never made a century. Neither did New Zealand's Andrew Jones, who played the bulk of his 87 innings at Nos. 2 and 3, averaged 35, scored 25 half-centuries and had a best of 93.

Highest batting average without scoring a century - ODIs (qualification: 10 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 50
IM Chappell (Aus) 1971-1980 16 16 2 673 86 48.07 8
AC Voges (Aus) 2007-2011 15 14 5 392 80* 43.55 2
Misbah-ul-Haq (Pak) 2002-2011 80 70 17 2279 93* 43.00 17
CJ Ferguson (Aus) 2009-2011 30 25 9 663 71* 41.43 5
GN Yallop (Aus) 1978-1984 30 27 6 823 66* 39.19 7
PN Kirsten (SA) 1991-1994 40 40 6 1293 97 38.02 9
Fawad Alam (Pak) 2007-2010 27 25 9 603 64 37.68 4
GP Thorpe (Eng) 1993-2002 82 77 13 2380 89 37.18 21
Mohammad Nabi (Afgh) 2009-2011 18 16 4 429 62 35.75 4
AH Jones (NZ) 1987-1995 87 87 9 2784 93 35.69 25
JA Rudolph (Afr/SA) 2003-2006 45 39 6 1174 81 35.57 7
Nasir Jamshed (Pak) 2008-2009 12 12 2 353 74 35.30 4
AG Prince (Afr/SA) 2002-2007 52 41 12 1018 89* 35.10 3
AI Kallicharran (WI) 1973-1981 31 28 4 826 78 34.41 6
AD Mathews (SL) 2008-2011 53 42 11 1065 77* 34.35 7
AN Petersen (SA) 2006-2010 14 12 1 377 80 34.27 4
RA Jadeja (India) 2009-2011 37 24 6 613 78 34.05 5
AP Kuiper (SA) 1991-1996 25 23 7 539 63* 33.68 3
DM Bravo (WI) 2009-2011 28 25 3 736 86 33.45 5
J Dyson (Aus) 1980-1983 29 27 4 755 79 32.82 4

It would be reasonable to assume a batsman averaging 77 in ODIs has scored at least one century. If the batsman is Michael Hussey, the assumption would be wrong. After his 39th ODI, Hussey had 16 not-outs and nine half-centuries in 31 innings. His average of 77 was the highest for a batsman before scoring a maiden hundred. In his 40th game, which was also his first as Australia's captain, Hussey made an unbeaten 109 off 90 balls against West Indies in Kuala Lumpur and lifted his average to 84.

Before Hussey, the highest ODI average leading up to a first century belonged to a batsman who performed a similar role for Australia, Michael Bevan. He scored his first century in his 55th ODI - 103 against South Africa in Centurion - and had averaged 54 in as many matches until then, with 11 half-centuries and 18 not-outs.

Highest batting average before scoring first century - ODIs (qualification: 10 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 50 Score Opp Start Date Scorecard
MEK Hussey (Aus) 2004-2006 39 31 16 1156 88* 77.06 9 109* v WI Sep 18, 2006 ODI 2417
MG Bevan (Aus) 1994-1997 54 48 18 1634 82 54.46 11 103 v SA Apr 10, 1997 ODI 1197
RR Sarwan (WI) 2000-2002 27 26 6 942 99* 47.10 5 102* v Ban Dec 2, 2002 ODI 1909
M Kaif (India) 2002-2002 18 14 4 452 87* 45.20 3 111* v Zim Sep 14, 2002 ODI 1876
Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) 2006-2007 19 18 6 529 68 44.08 2 134* v Can Feb 28, 2007 ODI 2530
GS Chappell (Aus) 1971-1977 15 15 3 521 75* 43.41 3 125* v Eng Jun 6, 1977 ODI 44
MA Atherton (Eng) 1990-1995 24 24 2 941 92 42.77 8 127 v WI May 28, 1995 ODI 1002
Zaheer Abbas (Pak) 1974-1981 19 19 2 719 97 42.29 4 108 v Aus Dec 17, 1981 ODI 128
HH Dippenaar (SA) 1999-2003 60 51 8 1810 93 42.09 16 110* v Pak Oct 3, 2003 ODI 2046
RG Twose (NZ) 1995-2000 74 69 10 2437 97 41.30 20 103 v SA Nov 4, 2000 ODI 1655
NS Sidhu (India) 1987-1989 24 22 1 854 88 40.66 10 108 v Pak Oct 15, 1989 ODI 572
SV Manjrekar (India) 1988-1991 26 25 5 813 82 40.65 8 105 v SA Nov 14, 1991 ODI 688
BC Broad (Eng) 1987-1988 29 29 0 1161 99 40.03 11 106 v NZ Mar 16, 1988 ODI 508
KWR Fletcher (Eng) 1971-1975 16 15 3 468 68 39.00 4 131 v NZ Jun 11, 1975 ODI 23
KC Wessels (Aus) 1983-1984 29 29 2 1035 92 38.33 11 107 v India Sep 28, 1984 ODI 267
AC Parore (NZ) 1992-1994 23 19 4 571 96 38.06 3 108 v SA Dec 11, 1994 ODI 960
SE Marsh (Aus) 2008-2009 17 17 1 608 81 38.00 5 112 v India Nov 5, 2009 ODI 2923
MJ Clarke (Aus) 2003-2004 27 25 7 679 75* 37.72 4 105* v Zim May 29, 2004 ODI 2133
V Kohli (India) 2008-2009 13 12 2 377 79* 37.70 3 107 v SL Dec 24, 2009 ODI 2935
RA Smith (Eng) 1988-1990 16 15 3 449 81* 37.41 4 128 v NZ May 23, 1990 ODI 632

Among current players in Test cricket (at least 20 innings), Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews has the best average - 38.66 in 15 matches - for a batsman who hasn't scored a hundred yet. Mathews has got close to a century twice. He was run out on 99 against India in Mumbai, and in the first Test of the ongoing series against Australia, he ran out of partners and was eventually dismissed for 95, the ninth Sri Lankan wicket to fall in a 125-run defeat. Tim Bresnan, the England allrounder, averages 45 and hasn't scored a century, but he has played only eight innings in 10 Tests.

Chetan Chauhan, who was Sunil Gavaskar's opening partner for most of his 40 Tests, was the first cricketer to score more than 2000 runs without making a century. Chauhan scored 2084 runs at an average of 31.57, with 16 half-centuries and a best of 97. Even when he and Gavaskar put on 213 for the first wicket in pursuit of 438 against England at The Oval in 1979, Chauhan's contribution was 80.

Highest batting average without scoring a century - Tests (qualification: 10 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 50
AG Fairfax (Aus) 1929-1931 10 12 4 410 65 51.25 4
BK Shepherd (Aus) 1963-1965 9 14 2 502 96 41.83 5
JB Bolus (Eng) 1963-1964 7 12 0 496 88 41.33 4
DM Bravo (WI) 2010-2011 8 14 1 518 80 39.84 6
AD Mathews (SL) 2009-2011 15 21 3 696 99 38.66 4
Azhar Ali (Pak) 2010-2011 13 25 2 880 92* 38.26 9
A D'Souza (Pak) 1959-1962 6 10 8 76 23* 38.00 0
Asim Kamal (Pak) 2003-2005 12 20 1 717 99 37.73 8
BM Laird (Aus) 1979-1982 21 40 2 1341 92 35.28 11
MJ Stewart (Eng) 1962-1964 8 12 1 385 87 35.00 2
CK Kapugedera (SL) 2006-2009 8 15 3 418 96 34.83 4
KD Mackay (Aus) 1956-1963 37 52 7 1507 89 33.48 13
Zulfiqar Ahmed (Pak) 1952-1956 9 10 4 200 63* 33.33 1
A Bacher (SA) 1965-1970 12 22 1 679 73 32.33 6
CPS Chauhan (India) 1969-1981 40 68 2 2084 97 31.57 16
Hon.LH Tennyson (Eng) 1913-1921 9 12 1 345 74* 31.36 4
TR Veivers (Aus) 1963-1967 21 30 4 813 88 31.26 7
TM Dowlin (WI) 2009-2010 6 11 0 343 95 31.18 3
J Hardstaff snr (Eng) 1907-1908 5 10 0 311 72 31.10 3
N Deonarine (WI) 2005-2010 8 13 1 370 82 30.83 2

Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored his first Test century in his 19th match, in his third year after making his debut. Before that unbeaten 137 against India in Barbados, though, he had an average of 49 in 29 innings, one of the highest for batsmen without a Test hundred.

Highest batting average before scoring first century - Tests (qualification: 10 innings)
Player Span Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 50 Score Opp Start Date Scorecard
RB McCosker (Aus) 1975-1975 6 10 1 464 95* 51.55 5 127 v Eng Aug 28, 1975 Test 763
MH Richardson (NZ) 2000-2001 8 13 1 604 99 50.33 6 106 v Pak Mar 27, 2001 Test 1540
JD Ryder (NZ) 2008-2008 6 11 2 444 91 49.33 4 102 v India Mar 18, 2009 Test 1915
S Chanderpaul (WI) 1994-1997 18 29 4 1232 82 49.28 13 137* v India Mar 27, 1997 Test 1363
ML Jaisimha (India) 1959-1961 8 13 2 506 99 46.00 5 127 v Eng Dec 13, 1961 Test 516
SL Campbell (WI) 1995-1995 9 14 0 599 93 42.78 6 208 v NZ Apr 19, 1996 Test 1325
DR Martyn (Aus) 1992-2000 11 20 5 638 89* 42.53 5 105 v Eng Jul 5, 2001 Test 1550
DL Haynes (WI) 1978-1980 6 10 1 376 66 41.77 4 105 v NZ Feb 8, 1980 Test 873
PJL Dujon (WI) 1981-1983 7 11 2 376 51 41.77 1 110 v India Apr 28, 1983 Test 956
JB Hobbs (Eng) 1908-1910 11 22 3 786 93* 41.36 8 187 v SA Mar 11, 1910 Test 110
DR Jardine (Eng) 1928-1933 18 28 5 948 98 41.21 7 127 v WI Jul 22, 1933 Test 228
Basit Ali (Pak) 1993-1994 8 13 1 482 92* 40.16 3 103 v NZ Feb 24, 1994 Test 1251
AW Greig (Eng) 1972-1973 9 16 3 522 68* 40.15 5 148 v India Feb 6, 1973 Test 711
PJ Sharpe (Eng) 1963-1969 10 18 3 582 86 38.79 4 111 v NZ Aug 7, 1969 Test 657
WR Hammond (Eng) 1927-1928 9 14 1 504 90 38.76 4 251 v Aus Dec 14, 1928 Test 177
Habibul Bashar (Ban) 2000-2001 6 12 1 422 76 38.36 5 108 v Zim Nov 15, 2001 Test 1568
MTG Elliott (Aus) 1996-1997 6 11 1 382 85 38.20 3 112 v Eng Jun 19, 1997 Test 1370
RA Smith (Eng) 1988-1989 5 10 1 339 96 37.66 3 143 v Aus Jul 27, 1989 Test 1124
JB Stollmeyer (WI) 1939-1948 7 11 1 376 78 37.60 4 160 v India Jan 27, 1949 Test 310
MC Carew (WI) 1963-1969 9 18 3 562 90 37.46 4 109 v NZ Feb 27, 1969 Test 648

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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