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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

The Karachi caper, and other fighting tons

Batsmen who scored centuries in Test innings where several wickets had fallen for very little

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

November 2, 2011

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Kamran Akmal sweeps during his century, India v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Karachi, 1st day, January 29, 2006
Kamran Akmal during his counterattack after Pakistan were 0 for 3 against India in Karachi in 2006 © AFP
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After Brendan Taylor's performances in the one-day internationals against New Zealand, in our last week's column we produced lists of batsmen who scored centuries when their teams were in severe trouble . There were several outstanding Test centuries as well, made when several wickets had fallen for very little, and this week's column is about them.

Pakistan and India had begun the third Test in Karachi, in January 2006, with the series level 0-0. Within minutes of the start, the visitors had taken a tremendous stride towards winning the series. Irfan Pathan, with three deliveries that swung prodigiously, had claimed a hat-trick in the first over of the game, reducing Pakistan to 0 for 3. They would slip further to 39 for 6. It was from that dire situation that Kamran Akmal engineered one of the great turnarounds in Test cricket.

Akmal defended as confidently as he counterattacked, and motored to a century off 130 deliveries. He could have been stumped on 80, but wasn't, and went on to make 113 off 148 balls, an innings that contained 18 boundaries. His partnerships of 115 with Abdul Razzaq and 82 with Shoaib Akhtar led Pakistan to 245, scored at over four runs per over. India failed to take a first-innings lead, and then Pakistan amassed a mountain of runs in their second innings, after which their bowlers dismissed India cheaply once again to take the series 1-0.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 3rd wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Kamran Akmal (Pak) 113 0/3 245 1 won v India Karachi Jan 29, 2006 Test 1783
MG Burgess (NZ) 111 1/3 360 3 lost v Pakistan Lahore Oct 9, 1976 Test 782
HA Gomes (WI) 123 1/3 394 2 drawn v India Port of Spain Mar 11, 1983 Test 952
CH Lloyd (WI) 143 1/3 394 2 drawn v India Port of Spain Mar 11, 1983 Test 952
Harbhajan Singh (India) 115 2/3 266 3 drawn v New Zealand Ahmedabad Nov 4, 2010 Test 1974
KP Pietersen (Eng) 129 4/3 253 1 won v New Zealand Napier Mar 22, 2008 Test 1868
Asif Iqbal (Pak) 146 5/3 255 3 lost v England The Oval Aug 24, 1967 Test 623
PBH May (Eng) 113 7/3 259 1 lost v Australia Melbourne Dec 31, 1958 Test 462
Imran Khan (Pak) 136 7/3 387/9d 3 drawn v Australia Adelaide Jan 19, 1990 Test 1135
Wasim Akram (Pak) 123 7/3 387/9d 3 drawn v Australia Adelaide Jan 19, 1990 Test 1135

Sialkot, September 1995. With the series level 1-1, Sri Lanka had set Pakistan 357 for victory in the deciding Test. Chaminda Vaas and Pramodya Wickramasinghe made short work of the hosts' top order, though, and had them reeling at 13 for 4 and 15 for 5. Moin Khan, Pakistan's wicketkeeper, began to fight and steered his team on 99 for 6 at stumps on the fourth day. He began the final morning on 46 and continued to resist, reaching his second Test century and adding 65 with the last man Aamer Nazir before Pakistan were eventually bowled out for 212. Moin remained unbeaten on 117.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 4th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Moin Khan (Pak) 117* 13/4 212 4 lost v Sri Lanka Sialkot Sep 22, 1995 Test 1306
Kamran Akmal (Pak) 113 13/4 245 1 won v India Karachi Jan 29, 2006 Test 1783
Harbhajan Singh (India) 115 15/4 266 3 drawn v New Zealand Ahmedabad Nov 4, 2010 Test 1974
M Azharuddin (India) 103* 16/4 208 1 lost v New Zealand Wellington Dec 26, 1998 Test 1435
P Willey (Eng) 100* 18/4 209/9d 3 drawn v West Indies The Oval Jul 24, 1980 Test 883
N Kapil Dev (India) 129 20/4 215 3 lost v South Africa Port Elizabeth Dec 26, 1992 Test 1206
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) 135 21/4 288 1 drawn v West Indies Georgetown May 5, 2000 Test 1494
G Kirsten (SA) 130 21/4 342 1 won v England Leeds Aug 21, 2003 Test 1656
Imran Khan (Pak) 136 22/4 387/9d 3 drawn v Australia Adelaide Jan 19, 1990 Test 1135
Wasim Akram (Pak) 123 22/4 387/9d 3 drawn v Australia Adelaide Jan 19, 1990 Test 1135

Already 0-1 down in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka in 2000, South Africa made a disastrous start to the second match in Kandy. They were asked to bat by Sanath Jayasuriya on a pitch that was prepared for turn but had sweated under covers because of heavy rain in the lead-up to the game. In a little over an hour, South Africa had been reduced to 34 for 5. Lance Klusener and Mark Boucher led the riposte. They added 124 runs for the sixth wicket before Boucher was run out for 60, after which two wickets fell quickly to leave South Africa on 173 for 8. Klusener managed to put on 80 with the last two batsmen, guiding South Africa to 253. The Test had a thrilling conclusion on the fourth day, with Sri Lanka collapsing from 130 for 4 to 169 all out to lose by seven runs.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 5th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Moin Khan (Pak) 117* 15/5 212 4 lost v Sri Lanka Sialkot Sep 22, 1995 Test 1306
Harbhajan Singh (India) 115 15/5 266 3 drawn v New Zealand Ahmedabad Nov 4, 2010 Test 1974
Asif Iqbal (Pak) 146 26/5 255 3 lost v England The Oval Aug 24, 1967 Test 623
N Kapil Dev (India) 129 27/5 215 3 lost v South Africa Port Elizabeth Dec 26, 1992 Test 1206
C Hill (Aus) 188 32/5 323 1 won v England Melbourne Jan 29, 1898 Test 56
L Klusener (SA) 118* 34/5 253 1 won v Sri Lanka Kandy Jul 30, 2000 Test 1505
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 115 37/5 253 1 drawn v West Indies Bridgetown May 18, 2000 Test 1496
Kamran Akmal (Pak) 113 37/5 245 1 won v India Karachi Jan 29, 2006 Test 1783
RC Russell (Eng) 128* 38/5 264 3 lost v Australia Manchester Jul 27, 1989 Test 1124
Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak) 135 39/5 288 1 drawn v West Indies Georgetown May 5, 2000 Test 1494

Apart from Pakistan against India in Karachi 2006, there are only two instances in the table below of teams winning a Test after losing the first six wickets for less than 60. Both were timeless Ashes Tests in the 19th century. In 1895 Australia were 51 for 6 at the SCG before Harry Graham scored 105 at No. 5 and, along with Albert Trott who made 85, led his team to 284 in the first innings. England were shot out for 65 and 72. When England visited in 1898, Australia were once again struggling at 58 for 6, this time at the MCG, before Clem Hill made 188 to take them to 323. Australia took a first-innings lead of 149, were able to enforce the follow-on according to rules at the time, and chased a target of 115 to win by eight wickets.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 6th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
N Kapil Dev (India) 129 31/6 215 3 lost v South Africa Port Elizabeth Dec 26, 1992 Test 1206
Kamran Akmal (Pak) 113 39/6 245 1 won v India Karachi Jan 29, 2006 Test 1783
Asif Iqbal (Pak) 146 41/6 255 3 lost v England The Oval Aug 24, 1967 Test 623
H Graham (Aus) 105 51/6 284 1 won v England Sydney Feb 1, 1895 Test 45
C Hill (Aus) 188 58/6 323 1 won v England Melbourne Jan 29, 1898 Test 56
RC Russell (Eng) 128* 59/6 264 3 lost v Australia Manchester Jul 27, 1989 Test 1124
Mohammad Wasim (Pak) 109* 60/6 231 4 lost v New Zealand Lahore Nov 21, 1996 Test 1339
JD Ryder (NZ) 102 60/6 279 1 lost v India Hamilton Mar 18, 2009 Test 1915
DL Vettori (NZ) 118 60/6 279 1 lost v India Hamilton Mar 18, 2009 Test 1915
RJ Shastri (India) 107 63/6 251 3 lost v West Indies Bridgetown Apr 7, 1989 Test 1118

Lord's, August 2010. Before the fourth Test between England and Pakistan was rocked by revelations of spot-fixing, Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad had rescued their team with centuries during an epic partnership. England were tottering at 102 for 7 in the first innings when Broad joined Trott, and the pair added a record 332 runs for the eighth wicket. Trott made 184 and Broad 169 as England ended on 446. Pakistan folded for 74 and 147 in their two innings, as accusations of spot-fixing were made against Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif by the now-defunct News of the World, for which they were found guilty a year later in a British court.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 7th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Asif Iqbal (Pak) 146 53/7 255 3 lost v England The Oval Aug 24, 1967 Test 623
P Willey (Eng) 100* 73/7 209/9d 3 drawn v West Indies The Oval Jul 24, 1980 Test 883
KC Sangakkara (SL) 100* 80/7 170 3 lost v New Zealand Christchurch Dec 7, 2006 Test 1820
N Kapil Dev (India) 129 88/7 215 3 lost v South Africa Port Elizabeth Dec 26, 1992 Test 1206
MG Burgess (NZ) 119* 92/7 200 3 drawn v Pakistan Dhaka Nov 8, 1969 Test 665
DJ Cullinan (SA) 122* 95/7 228/8 4 drawn v India Johannesburg Jan 16, 1997 Test 1350
G Kirsten (SA) 100* 98/7 239 1 won v Pakistan Faisalabad Oct 24, 1997 Test 1382
NJ Astle (NZ) 102* 101/7 248/9d 3 drawn v England Auckland Jan 24, 1997 Test 1351
IJL Trott (Eng) 184 102/7 446 1 won v Pakistan Lord's Aug 26, 2010 Test 1971
SCJ Broad (Eng) 169 102/7 446 1 won v Pakistan Lord's Aug 26, 2010 Test 1971

The Oval Test between England and West Indies in 1980 seemed headed for a draw when the hosts began their second innings after securing a lead of 105 in the first. Michael Holding and Colin Croft then reduced England to 20 for 4 at stumps on the fourth day. The slump continued on the fifth morning and England were 67 for 6 when Peter Willey began his innings. They were soon 92 for 9, leading by only 197, and West Indies were in with a shot with three and a half hours left in the match. All they had to do was get past Willey and Bob Willis. They couldn't do it, though. Willis batted 114 balls for his 24, and Willey played out nearly four hours to score an unbeaten 100, his maiden Test century. England were 209 for 9 when the Test ended in a draw.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 8th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
Asif Iqbal (Pak) 146 65/8 255 3 lost v England The Oval Aug 24, 1967 Test 623
P Willey (Eng) 100* 84/8 209/9d 3 drawn v West Indies The Oval Jul 24, 1980 Test 883
KC Sangakkara (SL) 100* 99/8 170 3 lost v New Zealand Christchurch Dec 7, 2006 Test 1820
MG Burgess (NZ) 119* 101/8 200 3 drawn v Pakistan Dhaka Nov 8, 1969 Test 665
NJ Astle (NZ) 102* 105/8 248/9d 3 drawn v England Auckland Jan 24, 1997 Test 1351
N Kapil Dev (India) 129 120/8 215 3 lost v South Africa Port Elizabeth Dec 26, 1992 Test 1206
JH Sinclair (SA) 106 127/8 177 2 lost v England Cape Town Apr 1, 1899 Test 59
Moin Khan (Pak) 117* 132/8 212 4 lost v Sri Lanka Sialkot Sep 22, 1995 Test 1306
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) 112 136/8 216 3 lost v India Multan Mar 28, 2004 Test 1693
HW Taylor (SA) 109 144/8 182 1 lost v England Durban Dec 13, 1913 Test 130

England were on the verge of victory at Eden Park in 1997. After taking a lead of 131 in the first innings, they had reduced New Zealand to 142 for 9 in the second. The hosts were only 11 runs ahead when Danny Morrison, a notorious No. 11 with 24 ducks, joined Nathan Astle. There were nearly three hours left in the Test, so the fall of the last New Zealand wicket followed by the completion of England's chase appeared imminent. Morrison and Astle added 106 for the last wicket, though, with both batsmen facing the same number of deliveries during the partnership - 133. England's chances of victory slowly faded and the Test ended after Astle reached his century. The last wicket had lasted 165 minutes.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 9th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
P Willey (Eng) 100* 92/9 209/9d 3 drawn v West Indies The Oval Jul 24, 1980 Test 883
NJ Astle (NZ) 102* 142/9 248/9d 3 drawn v England Auckland Jan 24, 1997 Test 1351
KC Sangakkara (SL) 100* 143/9 170 3 lost v New Zealand Christchurch Dec 7, 2006 Test 1820
Moin Khan (Pak) 117* 147/9 212 4 lost v Sri Lanka Sialkot Sep 22, 1995 Test 1306
CAG Russell (Eng) 111 149/9 241 3 won v South Africa Durban Feb 16, 1923 Test 152
KJ Hughes (Aus) 100* 155/9 198 1 won v West Indies Melbourne Dec 26, 1981 Test 915
JR Reid (NZ) 100 159/9 159 3 lost v England Christchurch Mar 15, 1963 Test 542
HGO Owen-Smith (SA) 129 172/9 275 3 lost v England Leeds Jul 13, 1929 Test 183
JH Sinclair (SA) 106 173/9 177 2 lost v England Cape Town Apr 1, 1899 Test 59
HW Taylor (SA) 109 181/9 182 1 lost v England Durban Dec 13, 1913 Test 130

Australia were leading 2-1 going into the fifth Ashes Test at the SCG in 1998-99, and they secured a 102-run advantage in the first innings. In their second, however, wickets began to tumble and no one apart from Mark Waugh and Michael Slater made double figures. Slater should have been run out on 35 but was reprieved because of a technical glitch. He went on to make 123 out of Australia's total of 184, 66.84 % of the score, hitting 11 fours and three sixes in his 189-ball innings. Australia set England a target of 287 and the visitors fell 98 runs short.

Scoring a century in an innings with a low team score at the fall of the 10th wicket - Tests
Player Runs FoW Score Inns Result Opposition Ground Start Date Scorecard
JR Reid (NZ) 100 159/10 159 3 lost v England Christchurch Mar 15, 1963 Test 542
KC Sangakkara (SL) 100* 170/10 170 3 lost v New Zealand Christchurch Dec 7, 2006 Test 1820
JH Sinclair (SA) 106 177/10 177 2 lost v England Cape Town Apr 1, 1899 Test 59
HW Taylor (SA) 109 182/10 182 1 lost v England Durban Dec 13, 1913 Test 130
MJ Slater (Aus) 123 184/10 184 3 won v England Sydney Jan 2, 1999 Test 1439
AB Barath (WI) 104 187/10 187 3 lost v Australia Brisbane Nov 26, 2009 Test 1936
DG Bradman (Aus) 103* 191/10 191 3 won v England Melbourne Dec 30, 1932 Test 221
MC Cowdrey (Eng) 102 191/10 191 1 won v Australia Melbourne Dec 31, 1954 Test 393
GA Headley (WI) 102* 193/10 193 2 lost v Australia Brisbane Jan 16, 1931 Test 203
RR Sarwan (WI) 107* 194/10 194 3 lost v South Africa Port of Spain Apr 8, 2005 Test 1747

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for ESPNcricinfo 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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